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UIUC: Extracurricular activity (Designing Costume)


youngkim9193 4 / 13  
Dec 23, 2009   #1
I have exactly 300 words :)
I'll appreciate a lot for any criticism, suggestion or correction!
Thank you!!

In an essay of 300 words or less, choose one extracurricular activity, work experience or community service project from the list you provided on the application and explain why you initially chose it, why you continued with it, and how you benefited from it.

At the end of August, 2008, Ms. Tiffany Cain, director of the OCS drama department, handed me the script, The Sequence. "This is for you," said Ms. Cain, "you can expand your imagination as far as you want!" As I read the script, I noticed the show was set in the future. It was intriguing news for me, the costume designer, because it meant there was no standard fashion style to confine me and I would be a pioneer guided by my own imagination.

Instinctively the idea of the costumes floated into my head: extraordinarily high fashion. However, when I showed designs to Ms. Cain, she said doubtfully, "I don't know how you will make them. You, however, are the designer." Reminded that all the responsibilities rest on me, I became hesitant about whether to keep the designs or to make them less complex. If I had rationally thought about it, the answer was obvious- downscale the designs, get merchandized patterns, and manipulate the patterns to the designs. Then the next three months would go smoothly! Yet, even for my own sake, I couldn't let go of the designs- I couldn't compromise myself for practicality and stability. I didn't want to miss an opportunity to expound my creativity.

After days of working, I found myself watching the thirteen conspicuous, completed costumes on the stage. My heart rapidly pounded with excitement from witnessing my actualized avant-garde designs, imagination in concrete form. Indeed, there was more than excitement. As head costume designer, I learned not to let myself be restrained by circumstantial obstacles, but to have a bigger dream. By reaching for this bigger dream, instead of settling down and avoiding risk, I could pull out all my potential and complete the project that nobody believed I was capable of at first.
Vulpix - / 71  
Dec 23, 2009   #2
" However, when I showed designs to Ms. Cain, she said doubtfully, "I don't know how you will make them. You, however, are the designer." "

"Designs" should be "the designs."

"Reminded that all the responsibilities rest on me, I became hesitant about whether to keep the designs or to make them less complex."

Change the first part to "Reminded that all the responsibility rested on me [...]".

"After days of working, I found myself watching the thirteen conspicuous, completed costumes on the stage."
It only took "days of working"? From the difficulties you described, I thought that making the costumes would take months- or weeks, at least! Also, change the rest of the sentence to "I watched thirteen meticulously completed costumes on the stage." "Conspicuous" has a lot of negative connotations- your costumes could have been conspicuous because they were badly made, for example.

"By reaching for this bigger dream, instead of settling down and avoiding risk, I could pull out all my potential and complete the project that nobody believed I was capable of at first."

Get rid of "By reaching for this bigger dream", since it's redundant with your preceding sentence. Begin with "Instead of settling down [...]", and say "I demonstrated my potential and completed the project that nobody believed I was capable of." The project is already completed at this point, so you want to use past tense. I also tried to shave a couple of words from your word count by condensing "pull out all of my potential."
OP youngkim9193 4 / 13  
Dec 23, 2009   #3
Thank you for the feedback!

Yes, I will definitely change "days" to "months." I did work on the project for three months. so it should work:)

anybody else, please?!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 26, 2009   #4
whenever you do anything, it is good to start by thinking of your specific purose. If your purpose in writing this essay -- the experience you want to provide for the reader -- does not require you to give the teacher's name at the beginning, then the name is an unnecessary detail, like a weed sucking nutrients from your garden.

At the end of August, 2008, Ms. Tiffany Cain, the director of the OCS drama department handed me the script and said, "This is for you. You can expand your imagination as far as you want!" As I read the script, I noticed The Sequence was set in the future. ...

that second paragraph is very strong. You have a nice way with words!
fightingillini 2 / 6  
Dec 28, 2009   #5
youngkim9193. Can you read and critique my essay? I will do the same for you...

that second paragraph is very strong. You have a nice way with words!

I disagree with your thought on name usage. I think that it makes the story that much more personal when dealing with real names. It paints more of a picture even though it is just one name. That is just my opinion on it so you can take it with a grain of salt.


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