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Volunteering the Variety Club Summer Camp and Children's Chorus - common app


orlisgirl2011 1 / 1  
Oct 24, 2010   #1
Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

My essay: "The six years I spent volunteering at the Variety Club Summer Camp and Children's Chorus working with mentally and/or physically disabled children have been some of the most rewarding years of my life thus far. Because I have worked with some of the kids for so long we've essentially grown up together, becoming close friends and transcending the volunteer-camper relationship. Once my friend Emma, who has spina bifida myelomeningocele and is in a wheelchair, and I went to the movies to see the latest Harry Potter movie, which we are both obsessed with. While we were in line for popcorn a lady smiled at me and told me how nice it was that I was making the handicapped girl (Emma), feel like one of us, meaning someone who doesn't have a handicap. I was shocked because Emma is "one of us." She has crushes on boys, worries about getting into college, enjoys a good book, and goes to the movies on Saturday nights just like every other teenage girl. The only thing different about her is that her spine didn't fuse together all the way when she was a fetus and now she gets to brag about skipping the roller coaster lines at six flags theme park.

Despite the fact that we performed on yearly televised St. Louis Variety Club telethons and at Rams games, Cardinals games, Blues games, and other St. Louis events and at the First Lady's Christmas Gala at the White House in 2008, the reason why I continued to perform with the chorus for six years because of the pure enjoyment I got from spending time with some of my closest friends, all who had more joy in life and who showed more courage than anyone I know who doesn't have a handicap. They inspire me to live every moment to its fullest. It really hit me that life should be cherished when we lost Gracie to cancer when she was only eight years old; the entire chorus grieved as we mourned the loss of Gracie, the loss of a family member. Her death really drove home the idea that life is precious and sadly it took an event of that magnitude to make me really realize that. Unfortunately the chorus is no longer together, but I still get to see my Variety friends and sing with them, reliving the moments that brought us close together 7 years ago. Without them I would not be the same person who lives each day to the fullest instead of taking for granted the wonderful moments in life."

I'm mostly worried about length and whether or not it shows enough about me as a person. Any advice or editing is greatly appreciated!!
essaysdonequick /  
Oct 24, 2010   #2
Hello Kate,

I have graded your essay and it received a grade of 48/100. Your essay has numerous grammatical errors. You have several run on sentences and lack comas in several places where they are needed. Your essay is also very weak. It talks a lot about the people with whom you worked with, and little about how this experience has impacted/changed your life.

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EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 29, 2010   #3
Hi Katie, don't worry about the 48/100. The criteria for an impressive essay really depends on the AO reader's way of perceiving it.

This is very impressive: I was shocked because Emma is "one of us."

... and now she gets to brag about skipping the roller coaster lines at six flags theme park.--- again, this is good writing.

Despite the fact that we .... pure enjoyment I got from spending time with some of my closest friends, all of whom had more joy in life and showed more courage th an anyone I know who doesn't have a handicap. ---- This sentence is so long!! I made some small corrections, but please simplify. And sometimes it is better to leave out an unnecessary detail if it will make the sentence more concise and rhythmic.

Too much of the word "when" ---> It really hit me that life should be cherished when we lost Gracie to cancer; she was only eight years old. The entire chorus grieved as we mourned the loss of Gracie, the loss of a family member.

This essay is very good... I hope you know that this is a great accomplishment, because art is all about capturing an experience or emotion and conveying it to others -- and that is what you did well here.


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