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Snow, Sand, and Sunshine: A Collection of Essays: Page 217 of a 300 page biography


medelman2010 11 / 31  
Dec 30, 2009   #1
This is for my Penn supplement. Can you comment about whether you think the approach is ok? Do you think the difference between the two chapters is too stark? Plus any other edits and suggestions that you have. Thanks!

Snow, Sand, and Sunshine: A Collection of Essays

Standing at the top of the hill, I had to make a choice. Do I gain as much momentum as possible thus giving me airtime off the jump, or do I slow myself down and ski down instead with no air? In a split second decision, spurred by adrenaline, and probably the high altitude, I decide to go for it. On one side, rocks were poking out of the snow, Alta didn't have quite enough snow yet, on the other side, a black forest of trees loomed over me. There was one path, straight down the middle, and at the end a rock covered in snow that I was supposed to fly off of. Thoughts of everything that could go wrong zoomed through my head at the speed of my skis, I was about to give up when I realized that I wasn't on solid ground anymore. The anxiety rushed away and I was left feeling the thrill of hurtling through the air. My skis hit the ground and I went off like a bullet, too much momentum to come to a complete stop. When I finally came to a stop, I was completely out of breath but I felt a strange sense of satisfaction, one that only comes from pushing myself. It was the feeling I used to get when I would try a hard skill in gymnastics, a mixture of an adrenaline rush and the satisfaction of completion.

EDIT:

Chapter LV
A day in the Life


7:00, the alarm clock is blaring the static sound symbolizing that it is in between stations. Running up three flights of stairs from the basement, my mother bursts into the room and starts pushing buttons on the clock. Finally finding the right button, the alarm shuts off and she looks around the room. To her astonishment, both girls are sleeping soundly, undisturbed by the glaring sound of the alarm. In the adjoining room the third girl is sleeping as well, catching the last few minutes of sleep before starting the day.

While I cannot personally attest to the truth of this story, as I am the third girl, who where we last left is still asleep in her bed, my mother never fails to tell me about this daily situation. This is how a day starts in my house every week day, yet somehow we still have not figured out a better method. After numerous wakeup calls from my mother, all three girls are finally awake by the time the carpool comes at 7:30. We all head off to school, parting ways until later in the afternoon.

I walk into my house after school and take in everything going on around me. My parents are making dinner, my youngest brother is playing Wii, one sister is having an impromptu dance party complete with blaring music, my other sister is attempting to do homework while loudly trying to get everyone to be quiet, and my other brother is practicing soccer, kicking the ball repeatedly at the garage door. This is a typical afternoon at the Edelman household. Unfortunately though a warm and inclusive environment, my house is not very conducive to successful homework completion. Thus I have developed a routine, I walk in, say hello to my parents, organize my nightly homework load and walk right back out of the house. I head to the local coffee shop down the street from my house, get my "regular" and sit down at my favorite table. Incredibly, the coffee shop is actually quieter than my house, and I am much more productive away from the noise and distraction of my family. I can work for hours at a time at the coffee shop, completing all of my homework and then walk back up the street and rejoin my family for a spirited dinner.

Chapter LI
The Edelmans go Skiing


Every year during winter break, my family takes a break from the monotony of everyday life and heads off to Alta, Utah to go skiing. The skiing is fabulous, and allows us all to get some exercise while pushing ourselves to our physical and mental limits. My favorite part of skiing is cliff jumping, and my best memories from ski trips of years past are of the thrilling sensation of flying through the air on my skis. On this particular ski trip I saw from a chair lift a particularly tantalizing rock. I forced my parents to come with me, as I found the location of the rock and prepared to jump. On one side, rocks were poking out of the snow, Alta didn't have quite enough snow yet, on the other side, a black forest of trees loomed over me. There was one path, straight down the middle, and at the end a rock covered in snow that I was supposed to fly off of. Thoughts of everything that could go wrong zoomed through my head at the speed of my skis, I was about to give up when I realized that I wasn't on solid ground anymore...

mle2010 7 / 38  
Dec 30, 2009   #2
Definitely a chaotic household, but I love the Edelman house.

The second chapter definitely captures that. You are onto something about the discontinuity between the chapters. Not only are the subjects vastly different, but the writing style changes. Both styles are awesome, but because this is a autobiography, I think the chapters should be slightly more cohesive, enless you wanted to go for a Louis Sachar effect. Maybe switch the chapters. Put the skiing one second. Maybe make the skiing chapter more about the break in repetition from the hectic week. Might add a little bit more chronology to it.

Don't know if that made sense, but I hope it helped. You know I am no good at grammar though, hence why I didn't touch on that.

P.S I actually spelled grammar wrong, and fixed it. Since when is it not "grammer." Geez this language is hard.
mle2010 7 / 38  
Dec 30, 2009   #3
I love it!! I like this arrangement better. BTW love the thing about Shmu. Is the second chapters roman numerals right? Otherwise I love it.

My youngest brother is playing Wii, shouting at the TV as he loses the football game he his playing. One sister is having an impromptu dance party complete with blaring music and singing at the top of her lungs. My other sister is attempting to do homework while simultaneously trying to get everyone to be quiet and asking everyone around her for help on the essay she is writing . My other brother is practicing soccer, kicking the ball repeatedly at the garage door. This is a typical afternoon at the Edelman household. Unfortunately though a warm and inclusive environment, my house is not very conducive to successful homework completion.

Its a little chaotic, which is probably the point, but what about something like:

While one brother is playing Wii, shouting at the TV as he loses the football game he his playing, the other is practicing soccer, kicking the ball repeatedly at the garage door. Just as screaming and banging don't make the best environment for studying, neither does pestering or singing as one sister has an impromptu dance party complete with blaring music and singing at the top of her lungs, and the other attempts to do homework while simultaneously trying to get everyone to be quiet.

I don't know if that is too much of a run-on though.
OP medelman2010 11 / 31  
Dec 31, 2009   #4
So my mom "isnt wowed" by it...she thinks it will be the difference between me getting in or not and at the moment leaning towards not...

Can anyone give me some suggestions as to how to improve it? I would be happy to return the favor...

Thanks!


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