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Voluntary Teaching; Princeton University/Summer

TranLePhu 4 / 14 1  
Dec 30, 2012   #1
Hi there, everyone! First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for taking their own, personal time to read my essay; I greatly appreciate it and am truly thankful for your sacrifice. :) My main gripe with my essay are the facts that it is roughly 300 characters over the 2500 character limit and that I overall don't feel so satisfied with the overall structure of the essay. Despite these feelings, I'm in sort of a ditch due to how I can't figure out how to neither shorten my essay nor structure it in a more pleasant way. Because of this, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on ways to make this essay more precise and short, any fixings on grammar, and any feedback, criticism, etc. on the overall message of this essay as well as its holistic level of pleasure to read. In other words, was it memorable, enjoyable, etc. to read? Again, thank you so much for taking your time to do this for me. :) Here's the prompt:

Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held, if not already detailed on the Common Application.

And here is the essay itself:

If one were to scrutinize the portrait of my summer prior to junior year, one could easily describe its colors and shapes to symbolize newly, sprouting loves in a wide array of topics. In the early stages of this sunshine season, I had jumped upon the chance to morph the seemingly infinite hours of the days into glorious opportunities to both reincarnate my long, lost passion for the viola and further polish the diamond I had crafted over ten years of piano. In addition to exploring the lands of music, I also sailed the seas of literature through the words of Cervantes and his "Don Quixote" and the eloquence of Hemingway's poems. Apart from the arts, however, due to always having a keen interest in the world of business, I decided to flirt with this unknown world by initiating an independent, racquet-restringing business. Being of lover of school, however, I concluded my post-sophomore days of endless sunshine with an enrollment in speech and US government in my local, community college for extra, high school credit.

Transitioning onward to my post-junior summer's canvas, one could easily see it as a representation of the maturation and fruitfulness of the sprouts planted in the previous season. With my desires towards academics immortal and tireless, I enrolled in macroeconomics with my local, community college and independently learned AP Calculus AB through textbooks to prepare myself for AP Calculus BC, the class I was to skip into starting my senior year. My appreciation for the arts grew exponentially as I collected brilliant works of Chopin and Vivaldi and absorbed the lectures of Hugo in his "Les Miserables". My experimentations with business morphed into an endorsement of the field as I advertised to more local, tennis courts. Ultimately however, the fruits of my labor were not eaten by me, but instead by others around me. Amassed with all these new treasures collected over the two seasons, I blissfully decided to distribute the wealth by voluntarily tutoring my little cousins in academics and watering the interests in their bright, little minds for piano, reading, and writing.

After examining the two paintings of my summers, it is reasonable for one to draw the conclusion that the artist (myself) must be nothing short of a workaholic, a man whose desires never cease to plateau; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, perhaps one of the banes to my existence is rising to the early hours of the day, especially in the summer mornings, a time meant to be filled with silent slumber, not the sound of alarm clocks. Although an oxymoron at its finest, the reason justifying this contradiction is that unlike the many youths who believe summer as a time for pure play and relaxation, my eyes instead see a season of opportunities and enlightenment for both myself and others.

--Essay written and owned by Tran Le Phu (Paul Le Tran)

sakura741 - / 7  
Dec 30, 2012   #2
further polish the diamond I had crafted over ten years of piano

I think you should specify that the 'diamond' is your piano skills.

community college for extra, high school credit.

'for an extra credit' should be fine.

With my desires towards academics immortal and tireless

This sentence is a little awkward, you could reword it?

Take out the 'myself', we know it is.

Wow, this essay is really good! I've learned a lot about your passions and goals through what you did during the summer! I see no need for any real changes.
loreliag 1 / 4 1  
Dec 30, 2012   #3
I really like the metaphor or art you used here, I think you should stick with it instead of including metaphors about nature and what not. In either case, chose one and go with it.

I had jumped upon the chance to morph the

Should be 'jumped at'.
OP TranLePhu 4 / 14 1  
Dec 30, 2012   #4
Thank you both for the feedback; your grammatical corrections really helped. :) I'm sorry for this useless post (I hope it's not considered spam ._."), but please someone help make my essay more concise; to cut down 300 characters while still retaining the impact of this essay would be beyond helpful for me. Again, sorry for the post of spam here. >.<

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