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"Stop playing video games! " - Commonapp Short Answer and Personal Essay.

ge1992113 2 / 2  
Dec 1, 2009   #1
This is my first draft of both the short answer and the essay.
Please give me some comments after reading it, thanks :D

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In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer).

"Take a deep breath, relax your fingers, concentrate and go do your best."

My piano teacher was pacifying me before I stepped into the examination centre. I was shivering because it was the hardest exam I have ever taken in my life. I rubbed my hands, adjusted my glasses and headed inside.

I learned to play the piano for 10 years, every time when I am playing these wonderful pieces, I fall into another world which only me myself inside, expressing different emotions. All the worries are gone when my fingers are dancing on the keyboard. Every pieces has its own low ebb and up surge, just as our life, that's why I'm always joyful, when hard time comes, I'll treat it as a hard piece, I'll get over it and finish it with my passion and confidence.

"You may now start," said the examiner.

Let's get it started.


Personal Essay

"Stop playing video games! Get your butt on the piano chair and start practicing!" My mom yelled at me while I was concentrating on the computer screen. "I will mom, just give me five more minutes!" I sighed, yammering in my mind, feeling so unlucky comparing to my friends. Why do I have to play those boring pieces over and over again in this beautiful weekend, instead of enjoying what I would like to do!?

I sat on the piano chair impatiently and started beating the keyboard, the coarse sounds made me pettish. I knew I could not handle this anymore, my mom saw my angry face and she suddenly said, "If you really don't want to play, just give it up then. I'm not going to shout at you anymore." Her respond shocked me, I have never seen her that disappointed before. I felt so guilty, I upset her, in a really serious level.

She went back to her room, closing the door quietly. The whole living room was covering with dead air. I was still stunning on the piano chair, start deliberating why did I start playing piano, what is the goal? I remembered when I was young I begged my mom to let me to learn the piano because we heard a spectacular pianist playing Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 in a show, the beautiful melody melted me and I swore I have to play as good as he did at that time. Since I had never been that passionate before, she allowed me to learn piano. But what happened after then? I got distracted by games and forgetting my target, played the piano when my mom forced me to, instead of doing it consciously.

I took out the music book which has the Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 in a cabinet, and I flipped to that page. It was a hard piece, but I realized if I practice earnestly every day, step by step, I would make it one day. At that moment I suddenly got my passion back, I started to practice voluntarily and was getting better day by day.

I won't forget what my mom told me after that day, "When you find your goal, stick on it and don't let anything bothers you, never give up and be patient, you have to put a lot of effort if you want to accomplish your wish." This becomes my motto and it greatly shaped me as who I am today.

I open that music book again, looking at those notes and all the pencil marks on the sheet, I did accomplish my dream, I can play it fluently now. And now I have more targets to aim, and I will complete them with my confidence.
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 3, 2009   #2
Psst< you out there, we need another opinion...

so can I use "Let get it started" ? or should i think of another sentence?

Well, Gerald, I was leaving that up to you and also hoping for another opinion (tap, tap, anybody there :)...I would leave it out and let the examiner have the last word; the whole essay is about the exam and how it affected your attitude toward difficult situations, yeah?

Sorry to neglect your other essay...I've been under the weather. I'll take a look tomorrow (well...tonight). My schedule is all messed up! Haha!

Blue skies!

izlong 1 / 4  
Dec 3, 2009   #3
Okay, I stopped editing your essay halfway. There are quite a lot of grammatical errors and problems with expressions, which you probably should get someone to help you look through and edit. But the reason I stopped was because I thought you might want to change your essay (a little? a lot?). Firstly both your essays are on the same topic - it might work for the reviewers, but in my very humble opinion, I would want you to talk about more aspects of your strengths and abilities. Talk about other things you're passionate about, or other interests that will show the reviewer a bigger picture of who you are.

Also, your essays are written very narratively. Personally, it's not my kind of thing, but I must commend you for bringing out your feelings and detailing your thought processes quite clearly. You also described the scenes quite vividly, which may be good, but I had hoped to read more about you. All your essay shows is that you learnt an important lesson that benefitted your musical experience, and you took a lot of words to do it. Maybe you would want to elaborate on what makes piano such an appealing activity to you, or what you hope to accomplish in the future? Talk about more aspects of yourself, because I'm not finding out enough about you.

Just my 2 cents worth.
zealzou 11 / 54  
Dec 3, 2009   #4
I like your essay! You write about the piano in both articles, but you can find difference angles from "one piano". They mold your values and shape you in different ways. That can show that you are not just playing the piano, you are thinking with the piano about everything in your life!

ps...The two articles should be from different angles, no overlap areas, which is what you did...or maybe the AO will be confused that you mention the same thing in two essays.
xugx29 4 / 17  
Dec 4, 2009   #5
Writing about the same topic in both main essay and short answer may not be a good ideal unless you really want to show the different aspects of this "piano" thing. I guess there will be a lot of poeple writing about playing piano because it is really a wide hobby. What you want to express in the main is that your regained passion for music through the arguement with your mom. To be honest, this is a little stereotyped. Brainstorm again, see if you can find anything else that is related to piano, at the same time is unique about you.
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Dec 5, 2009   #6
I guess there will be a lot of poeple writing about playing piano because it is really a wide hobby.

This is excellent advise, Xu! I will take it with me if you don't mind...(Jeannie trot's off into the sunrise with a suitcase full of great advise...)

Blue skies! I hope to be up and running at top speed soon! Ish! I feel like @#7&*(*$#@. <that means "yucky" in comic-book speak...


Just my 2 cents worth.

...Yep, try a bazillion $ worth! Well said, Isaac!

Gerald, please take this to heart; your passion is evident but one-sided. Reach for more dimension! I know you have it, I just don't know what it is. Pretend another aspect of "you" is a minor chord - that rich, dark, secret love, and tell a story about it with the same grace and vigor you use to describe the intimate workings of the piano pieces. It will all be good then.

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