Writing the Essay at Starbucks

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: October 2003 Archive: Writing the Essay at Starbucks
By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 01:25 pm: Edit

I'm going to Starbucks now and I plan to just spend the whole day there writing my essay. I tend to write better like that. I'll post it for comments in a few hours.

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 06:19 pm: Edit

Ok! Here it is...a very rough copy

Written on the last night at Simonís Rock College Young Writerís Workshop.

Itís the last night of Summer. Itís been three months and I can feel my body stretch to recover those poems that Iíve felt and lived but didnít have the heart to write.
Well the night all started with a car ride, a gentle swerve of automation, propelling us down a road as we push through the air where our future used to be. Weíll wander hopelessly pretending weíve got something to do in between the now and the social happening of the evening. But yes, I said itís hopeless, so weíll surrender and be the first ones at that party. We grace the stone steps of the outdoor light show and enter into a dimly lit room where weíll spend the evening. the open mic looks to be looking wide and itís not long before someone will rise and chant something thoughtful and if I try to be sentimental Iíll understand what heís getting at.
And in the shade of the fading season Iím reminded of all the lives Iíve tasted, all the meals Iíve met. I remember all the things Iíve carried from all the places ive lived but I know water is the same everywhere. the dirty water in the pond outside is the same water in London. A general rule of thumb in London; donít go to the East End after dark and always carry a policeman. The East end was the white slum, the black slum, Pakistani town, Little India, a melting pot of social waste. Across the sprawling city, the other faction of Londonís split personality, lay the tasteful lights and
manicured mannerisms of the West End. But, the East End had the jazzÖthe blur of fast compelling
obsession, a vulgar tongue and a seductive language and the West End girls fell
in love quickly with the roughness around the dirty edges. So it is with every city; pockets of
chaos thrive in the wardrobe of civil society, they travel up her skirts and cannot be brushed off.
I Remember on that train, reading Anne Waldman, reading her soul and I decided she was right, that America was trying to get me down and get me upset, and making me uptight. I feel that subway sway in my stomach reminding me of my own history: the madman at the mic is shouting for the dark women of India to lay grain in the streets. I remember the romance of that evening weekend in new york city, getting caught in the rain and running 3 blocks to safety, and spending hours in. The bed, everything,the bath even in the same room.
Inspiration is a lot like those fireflies in the garden at Bard, I saw their light and I saw my hands but I couldnít capture one no matter how hard I tried. But when life, as complex as it should and always will be, begins to imitate a Pink Floyd song, doesnít that prove that something is clearly wrong? Tonight just as the shyest girl begins to dance, the sky will decide to fall. And in the few moments before the lights are shut off, Iím believing the world is watching me as my color changes. And it all ends with a car ride, knowing that autumn rushes to meet us.

By Crazee8 (Crazee8) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 06:30 pm: Edit

I like your style. You have created very beautiful and poigant images that stand out. However, I don't know where you are going with this piece and I am confused because the essay lacks focus. I love your stream of consciousness-type prose and the passion of your essay, just organize it better and add make it more focused and it will be truly wonderful!

By Folk_Hero (Folk_Hero) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 06:34 pm: Edit

Beautiful and pretentious... I hope you're applying to schools where they'll read it...

By Folk_Hero (Folk_Hero) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 06:40 pm: Edit

Organization?! NOOO!!! I'm actually reading Virginia Woolf right now... She didn't need organization.... not in the conventional sense, at least... Though, on that note, one tentative suggestion: touch base with the audience the way she does. Talk to the reader, especially at the beginning and end.

By Crazee8 (Crazee8) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 06:56 pm: Edit

A college admissions essay is different from the writings of Virginia Woolf because it is written for a different audience. An admissions officer has usually 10-15 minutes (may be a little longer for a LAC) to read through and analyze the whole application. Therefore, it is best to have a clear point, focus, or theme for the essay, while at the same time maintaining your unique voice, originality and passion.

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 07:00 pm: Edit

What do you mean by pretentious? Does it seem like I am writing just to impress the audience?

Most of the schools I am applying to are very small (Bryn Mawr, Smith, Vassar etc) so I am sure they will read it.

I agree that it doesn't have a focus. I don't even know what question I am answering. I guess "An event that has had a significant impact on your life."

Thanks for the comments!

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Reading back on this, some parts seem like they don't quite fit.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 11:17 pm: Edit

Sadeyed, parts of your prose veritably shimmer, but other parts leave me scratching my head.

"The open mic looks to be looking wide..." I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I didn't quite get it.

Some of the passages border on the non-sequitur, but you write them so prettily, it can almost be forgiven. A few sentences read a bit awkwardly, but I'm sure you'll catch them in a future rewrite. You evoke compelling images and conjure complex moods---very useful talents in a writer. And it is obvious that you ARE a writer.

I agree with Crazee8 that the essay lacks a certain cohesivness. It seems to wander a tad. Stream of consciousness may be a bit risky to use in a college essay. But as you said in the beginning, it's a rough draft. I look forward to reading the next edit of this intriguing piece of prose.

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 11:51 pm: Edit

Thank You very much.

I think I will submit this as an extra essay, so they will forgive the lack of focus and take it as a creative piece instead.

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 01:56 pm: Edit

I also have to find out about submitting a portfolio of creative writing pieces..if that is allowed..etc

By Vadad (Vadad) on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 03:55 pm: Edit

I don't know. On another topic here I decried the desire the adcoms have for edginess in the application essays at some length, and I still feel that way. But then I read this, Sadeyed, and I'm thinking, well, that's exactly what they are looking for. The imagery is outstanding. If there is a cohesive theme or point, though, I'm too dense to figure it out. But I still like it. My guess is that it certainly tells them something about you; I sure got an image of you. Valpal's comments are right on the money.

By Sadeyedlady (Sadeyedlady) on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 08:10 pm: Edit

I'm planning on giving it more direction and putting it under the question "Is there anything us you'd like to tell about yourself" and then revise it to make sure it really does say something about me.

By Starbyrst (Starbyrst) on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 07:26 pm: Edit

You are the type of writer I can only dream of being. Good luck w. everything and never stop writing. :)

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