Is this additional essay too controversial and long for Harv





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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: Is this additional essay too controversial and long for Harv
By Addiena (Addiena) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 04:30 pm: Edit

I would like to elaborate on the verbally abusive situation that I experienced two years past; I penned this essay not intended for college but as a personal catharsis. However, I would like to use this for Harvard's "Additional Essay" option, but....
1. Is this too personal?
2. Is this too long? What can I do to shorten it?
3. Is this sort of style a lauded one?

I would like input as to what I should do- here is the essay.

William
“Oh! That I had a music and a voice
Harmonious as your own, that I might tell
What ye have done for me…” – Lines from ‘The Prelude’, William Wordsworth

It's ironic, really, that my first love came from abuse. Strange because it should have inculcated before, when I was liked by my friends, valued by my teachers; curious because in all sincerity, those three months were the worst of my life. But if my abuse had never happened- if I had never been placed in a nightly anguish on the precipice of all sorrows- I think my life would have proceeded a barrage of meaningless relationships, hollow because they never delved within me to a more secret and emotional core.

Like every coming of age story, it all began with my mother. She had just finished the paperwork on her second divorce; the kind that sneaks up on the kids involved like an unexpected nightmare.
"Why'd you do it?" I asked her once.
"Because he never made me feel like a goddamn woman," she told me.
I guess going out did make her feel like one, because I'd watch her in front of the vanity every Friday night putting on her impossibly high heels; redolent of Chanel No.5 and desperation. She'd dance for hours in the smoky dives of our fishing town and when she came home later, much later, it was me that wiped the sweat off of her forehead, cradling her body against mine until she fell asleep on the couch. It didn't take very long for her to bring home Mike.

My mother's lover was wealthy: an engineer, a card-carrying member of a socioeconomic class that we had before only dreamed of accompanying. He was intelligent: the only of my mother's lovers that actually understood my literary references; that could debate eudaimonism and the moral right in one breath and expound on life's meaning in the next in a dizzying stream of repartee. He was handsome: short, platinum blonde hair, the owner of flashing white teeth that smiled just like Michael Douglas did in Romancing the Stone. My mother and I had watched that movie and it was him I pictured Mike as, swinging devilishly on a creeping liana to sweep us out of our banal existence. How was I to know that life isn't an action movie?
"Am I pretty?" I asked him one night, long after my mother had fallen asleep. Something was stirring inside of me, an intimate longing nameless in my own vocabulary. I think I was jealous of my mother.
"Oh, Jesus Christ. Why would you say such a thing? Of course you are, honey. Of course you are." He looked down at me curiously, started stroking my cheek. When he put his hand up my skirt I didn't protest- I was too shocked that he had finally, in his own way, recognized me beyond our nightly rhetoric. I didn't know that he would that to me again and again- there is a mirror over my bed and I'd watch him, paralyzed until he finished. I waited and waited, but he never again told me I was beautiful.

When I woke up the next morning, my closet had been ravaged by an unforgiving incubus.
"Where are my clothes?" I asked Mike. A few pairs of blue jeans were left, three sweaters; and old wool skirt that would cling to my calves with beady sweat. The straps of my high heels had been gashed with knives.
"I don't want you looking like a goddamn sexpot anymore." He sneered, running his palm along the dull edge of the scissors. "Don't want any of those faggots at school looking at you anymore; you're a nice girl now. Who knows? Maybe you'll even turn out better than your slut of a mother." He left me crying in the closet- where, when, did our thread break?

Oddly enough, my wardrobe only served to endear me even more to the boys at school; pimply adolescents that wondered and preened at what was encased within. As desperate as I was for someone to kiss me, touch me, I ignored those boys; vaguely similar in their dull and uninspiring grasps for my affection. Around the same time, I began going on the Internet more and more, talking to people as remote from my life as a 1920’s geisha; a tribesman of the Masai. It numbed my mind from Mike's increasing rules.

“Do you like William Wordsworth?” I’m staring at the computer screen, bemused and bewildered by this impertinent question.
“I don’t know. I guess so. Why do you ask?”
“ Because I think you would like him. You seem like a sad artist. I watch you in the hallways at school and I think you need someone to talk to.”
“Well, I think that you’re a few miles off of Tintern Abbey.”
A pause. “Remember, sweetest heart, that the hermit sits alone.”

So began my relationship with a faceless boy. We talked for hours, intimating secrets that I never thought possible. I would ask him again and again to please please oh please, finally tell me whom he was, but he would smile, shrug; spurn me away from discovering his identity. Even later, when he would call me on the telephone and recite our favorite poems, I struggled to identify his voice; match it to the awkward boys I knew from my echoic days. My mother and I did like superheroes but in real life Clark Kent was becoming far more romantic.
In English class we were learning about the Greek gods. My project was Psyche and I painted her with long blonde hair and trepidation, debating whether or not to expose Cupid's face in the lamplight. I wondered if she, too, looked out at the sky, searching for a visage of eyes, cheeks, lips that talked and spoke a shuddering language of love. Did she ever think that maybe, just maybe, her lover was a monster after all? Did she ever wonder if love itself was just a false pretense?
The first time he called me on the phone, I closed my bedroom door. Mike peered in once and came towards me, but then my mother called and he left, I guess to go yell at her. I finally locked the door for good.

Holidays. The day before school begins again. The day of Mike’s demise. Before, it had been easy to ignore me; me that had hid behind an ostensible cover of school and books. I couldn’t hide from him that Christmas and I discovered him spying on me again.
“Who. The. Hell. Are you talking to.” He’s sputtering, raving, reaching for me on the bed. The phone receiver with my love’s voice on the other end is sprawled on a pillow, and his spilled glass of Chablis is staining the cord red.
“For God’s sake, Mike, it’s none of your business!”
“It sure as hell is my business. I’m your mother’s man, and you’re my girl now. You’re my responsibility, now, missy, and you better not be screwing it up with some new podunk kid.”
I’m watching us in the mirror; waiting for him to try and touch me again. But then he reaches for my skirt and he tears it and something in me breaks. I call for my mother; she’s been asleep for far too long. I scream again and again for her and the police come and the rays from their flashlights bounce around in my room and it’s then that I realize that not all knowledge is reflective. After they leave, I picked up the phone again.

“Sweetest heart.” He had stayed on the phone!
“Oh god… I swear, you didn’t need to hear that…I hope you didn’t hear that…” A few moments passed that felt icy as a Norse hell.
“You’re going to meet me tomorrow, sweetest heart. You’re going to find me in front of the library tomorrow morning. You’re going to kiss me in front of the pillars and we’re going to be together and I’m going to love you because you’re a phoenix that becomes new again. And because in all you have told me, I do love you.”
It was an order that didn’t stink of coiled chains. Humbly, gratefully, I acquiesced, and that night sonnets and couplets churned REM cycles in my mind on my new, crisp bed sheets.


Morning comes and I’m waiting and the white noise of cars and my own epinephrine are curdling my senses over with tension. My eyelids are shut and as people walk by I think that this is the first time I’ve ever really been vulnerable.
A kiss. An embrace. Lips touch forehead and when I open my eyes it is black eyes that I’m looking in to, black as coals,, eyes dark and twinkling. If I really am a phoenix I can become new in these eyes.
“What’s your name?”
“William.”
I kiss him again, and say:
“Why did you never tell me?”
He kissed me back, and replies:
“Because, like my namesake, I abide by the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness, and of love…”

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 04:45 pm: Edit

Ok, it's a good story but I feel like I missed something. You talk online to this guy who is remote from your life, yet he goes to your high school? He's faceless but he goes to the same high school as you? He goes to the same high school as you but you don't know who he is? He sees you in the hall way but you don't know who he is?

Good story, but I'd just like some clarification on that point

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 07:27 pm: Edit

I think it's the kind of essay that's better kept in your diary.
I honestly don't think that adcoms are interested in hearing about your sex life. If you send the optional essay, choose a subject that will reveal what you have to offer to enrich the intellectual environment at Harvard.

Don't choose a subject that would make the adcoms feel like peeping toms or wonder if you're on track to become a sex addict.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 07:32 pm: Edit

I think it's the kind of essay that's better kept in your diary.
I honestly don't think that adcoms are interested in hearing about your sex life. If you send the optional essay, choose a subject that will reveal what you have to offer to enrich the intellectual environment at Harvard.

Don't choose a subject that would make the adcoms feel like peeping toms or wonder if you're on track to become a sex addict.

By Orangeclock (Orangeclock) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 07:36 pm: Edit

I like it. It is much better than I could ever do. Is there a limit on words in your esssay? Wordcount says there are 1498 words in that essay, and most applications I have heard of have 500 word limits. Maybe thats not an issue though. Just something to think about. Could you tell me how to format a resume for my college application? I have never done one before. Thanks if you can help.

By Jjsmom (Jjsmom) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Uh. No. Not to submit to an adcom.

By Sac (Sac) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:25 pm: Edit

I agree with Northstar mom and Jjsmom. Save this for what will probably be an incredible memoir. But don't send it into Harvard

By Neo (Neo) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:08 pm: Edit

Keep that out the essay envelope if you're seriously considering Harvard.

As a rule, it's best to stay away from sexual topics for admissions essays. A good rule of thumb is to never write anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to read. They're not likely to admit you if you give off the impression of a disturbed person that might be in need of therapy -- they're looking for emotionally balanced people that can take it, take more of it, and bounce back for more. I have no idea of what you're like as a person, but I do know that this isn't the kind of thing you'd talk about in an interview for Harvard, so it certainly shouldn't be the sort of thing you discuss in an essay where the adcoms won't be able to ask for clarifications or follow-ups. Think of the essay as the sum of everything you might say during an interview -- if you wouldn't say it in person, don't write it on paper.

By Perry (Perry) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 04:26 pm: Edit

The essay makes you sound a bit like the Diane Keaton character in the film "Looking For Mr. Goodbar."

By Upandover (Upandover) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 11:52 pm: Edit

It's really really good. Are you thinking of becoming a writer one day? You should.

Keep that out the essay envelope if you're seriously considering Harvard.

Yeah, I agree.

By Folk_Hero (Folk_Hero) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 11:56 pm: Edit

I second Upandover's post. It's amazing, but not appropriate for college. Drug- and sex- related topics are OK if you start with it, then talk about how you overcame it and went on to be a great student, etc. This is too personal and confessional, and not relevant enough.

By Tati244 (Tati244) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 10:47 pm: Edit

Just for writting that essay I'd say you dont deserve to go to college, just for writting it. This is a joke right? Please tell me its a joke

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 11:07 pm: Edit

Tati, what the hell are you talking about? You're the one who's joking, right?

The essay was incredible - the second incredible one I've read in two days here. So I'm going to "kind of" break my rule again.

It's evident that you're a seasoned writer, and like any writer you know that certain writing situations demand that the essay be written to a specific audience with a specific purpose.

The college essay is one of these situations, and unfortunately I'm not sure that your essay was compatible with either audience or purpose.

Save it for a literary magazine. It's much better suited there. But I just can't say that this should be sent as a supplement. Sorry, I know you must've worked really hard on it, and it shows.

By Financelad (Financelad) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 11:09 pm: Edit

yeah dont submit it..:( itm ight ruing ure chance of ever getting in

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 12:49 am: Edit

I agree with the essence of what others have already posted to you. Thenamek put it very well. It has to do with purpose and audience. Using this for a literary magazine was a great suggestion. From what I can tell, you are an excellent writer, so I have confidence you can write a more appropriate resume for admissions into college. You have what it takes. This story is well told overall but not right for this situation. I am sure it was useful to get it all down on paper and it is a story worth telling. Just not for Harvard admissions. That does not mean you should not be yourself but this is not a good topic. Also, most essays should be around 500 words and this one is entirely too long for what they are asking you to do.

Please do not be discouraged cause most of all, you are a very good writer. I think it would be a shame for a writer like you to not get in cause the essay is of the wrong type for an application.
Susan

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 12:54 am: Edit

I forgot to mention that I think due to the nature of your questions in your original post, you too felt in your gut that this essay might not be right for your Harvard app, or you would not have asked those specific questions. So, I have a feeling you also think it is questionable to use this essay. This essay is more like a sample of a literary story (though based on your real life) but not an essay for college. And I do not think you would want to take the risks here to deal with subject matter such as sex and abuse and so on for college admissions. Just my feeling.
Susan

By Wjk323 (Wjk323) on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 07:34 pm: Edit

WOW...two things to say to you.
1) Really nicely written. You have a special way of setting up an environment and expounding on the topic.

Before I start my second statement, what are your stats. Are your stats really good to get into Harvard or are they like "so-so." If you think you have a SLIM chance of getting into Harvard, then SUBMIT this essay. Adcom's might be surprised at your writing but it might create an impression. (Its all about the impression!) Besides, if you chances are slim, than you have nothing to lose. This essay might be able to create an "edge" in college admission against the other candidates who wrote about helping the needy in Central America or how about they accomplished an extraordinary feat. So...in the end, submit this essay. Think of it like a game of blackjack. RISK IT!

2) IF you have stellar grades and standardized scores, and feel like you are a strong candidate for Harvard. Than DO NOT...(i repeat DO NOT) submit this essay. With your writing talent, write something different. Something like this essay, but a little bit toned down.

By Tati244 (Tati244) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 09:32 am: Edit

Playboy is hardly a literary magazine.... Actually yes, submit it , and then call and ask them what they thought of it.

I was originally freaking out about my essay, but if you people think THIS is good, then my essay is going to be amazing! Thank you for reasuring me.

By Televelis (Televelis) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 02:27 pm: Edit

Tati244 -

You're such an egotistical prick.

They're saying it is good writing, not that it is good to submit. Personally, I don't think it is that great, but there are nice ways to say things and there are mean ways to say it. Try and be a little kinder.

By Greekstyle (Greekstyle) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 07:10 pm: Edit

Good essay. I wouldn't know to advice you to send it or not.

One comment is that at one point in your essay you write 'off of'. You cannot say that in the English language, so just write 'off'.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 09:46 pm: Edit

Hey, Tati, guess what? You're an ass.

I never said it was Hemingway, but compared to some of the other self-inflating fecus that others are so insistent on writing for college applications, this is far-and-away better. Again, too bad it's so personal.

The experiences were what the experiences were, and nothing can change that. So stop disparaging the work by deeming it fit for playboy. That is just obnoxious.

Hey, just for shits and giggles, let's see your essay - I really don't take the word of people who claim that their writing is good when Hemingway himself said that he never wrote anything that he was satisfied with! WE'LL be the judge of YOU if YOU are so quick to unfairly and inappropriately judge OTHERS.

And if you don't have the guts to do it, then •••• off.

By Tati244 (Tati244) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 10:28 pm: Edit

I never said my writting was good, her essay just sucks. And at least i have better taste than to write about my sex life. Harvard people are supposed to be concerned about bettering humanity, not getting fingered. If u want that, go to a community college.

By Deusexmachaera (Deusexmachaera) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 10:38 pm: Edit

The writing is gilded to the T, but I actually don't think its that great of an essay. Its structure could use some work, and it sounds at points like a breathless attempt to make the author sound as intelligent as possible. Saying things like eudaimonism is nothing but selfindulgent word dropping. My initial reaction to it was essentially "Congratulations, you can use a thesaurus." Regardless of the content, I don't think you want to convey that impression to the admissions office.

By Satquestionguy (Satquestionguy) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 10:40 pm: Edit

Her essay does not suck. It is very well written. It may not be suitable for college but that does not mean the essay sucks.

By Mahras (Mahras) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 11:35 pm: Edit

Tati go and get a life. You know this is an excellent essay. It is a great literary piece of work. Its not suited for a college app. but its awesome. If you can write this....you can write an awesome essay. By the was Tati if you think this essay is that bad why don't you post your own writing sample. Rule of the thumb, NEVER show off if you don't provide evidence to your audience.

By Reba616 (Reba616) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 11:42 am: Edit

Yes.. please don't submit this essay. You are a terrific writer, but I feel sick to my stomach from reading it. Use your talent and submit something not so personal, with your talent, Harvard had better admit you.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Hey, Tati, there's a novel about a girl who got raped in the woods. But I guess it doesn't measure up to your standards.

In case you're interested, it's called "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy, one of the greatest novelists of the English language ever.

Ah, but that sort of smut can't possibly add to the discourse of humanity, can it? Pardon my ignorance.

By Underqualified (Underqualified) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 01:19 pm: Edit

I am by no means an expert on college admissions, but I agree with wjk323. This is the kind of essay that leaves an impression, and the adcoms will definitely remember you. The question is, is this what you want them to remember you for? Might this detract from your otherwise stellar accomplishments?

By Metz (Metz) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 02:01 pm: Edit

If you scored under a 1400 on your SATs and have no hooks, you are not gonna get in without somethign different. In that case SEND THIS IN! Most likely it will hurt your chances, but who cares cause you would be getting in anyway. The adcom that reads it may actually like it so much that it makes the difference in admissions. But if you did well in your SATs, good grades, good ECs, do not send this in! The odds are it will only hurt you. So if you already have a decent chance, don't bother with taking the risk.

By O71394658 (O71394658) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 04:29 pm: Edit

Either way, it would definitely be a gamble if you ended up submitting it.

By Tati244 (Tati244) on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 06:32 pm: Edit

sigh- of course u all are gonna think that something about sex is a great piece of work, sex sells. I never said i was a good writer, but anyone can write a beter essay than that. I'm not trying to show off, that essay just really sucks.

And I'm sure the novel about the girl who got raped is nothing like this essay. This essay is a cry for attention, and a way to show off to everyone that she's a horndog. I'm sure the novel served seperate purposes. And to whoever mentioned the vocabulary, good for u, a good writer doesnt need big fancy words for his work to have effect. Using big words only screams "hey look at me, i dont know what I'm doing so I'm gonna just throw in a bunch of words I dont know so i can sound smart!"

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:52 am: Edit

We can do without those patronizing sighs.

"Sex sells." My goodness. Have you ever heard of Thomas Hardy? If you have, then you never would have said something like that.

My point was that something being about sex does not necessarily mean it's smutty. The topic one writes about has very little to do with the quality of the finished product - it's the application of the idea and the execution of the writing process that make all the difference. If one writes with smut in mind, then smut will be the result - but I doubt very much that this was Addiena's purpose. Perhaps you are misreading the essay . . .?

And, again, I never said it was perfect, and perhaps it has been thesaurized a bit much. I'm not going to rewrite my earlier posts, so if you want my opinion, then go back and read them before you start arguing again.

By Bethjanelle (Bethjanelle) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Don't be discouraged by Tati's comments. I think you can clearly see that this is appreciated as a piece of literary work. I agree that if you were to submit it as a portfolio, that it would be incredible. I agree that there are some parts that sound facetious and even perhaps a bit dramatic. Phrases like "banal existence" add a bit of drama that is unnecessary and manipulates the reader. Sometimes quick, pithy language can get the images across better. There are some cliche lines like "Like any other story... it all began with my mother" Dive into it. It works better to enthrall the reader. Sorry... I'm getting into literary mode. I think you already know the answer to your question, but you didn't ask for it to be literarily critiqued.

Anyways, Good luck with Harvard.

By Sidestoner (Sidestoner) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 06:09 pm: Edit

The writing is fine, but the topic is very risky. I agree with others: Submitting this essay is most likely to hurt you alot, but there is a (smaller) chance that it could help you alot, so if you're not a really strong candidate in other areas, submitting this essay could give you the edge.

By Tati244 (Tati244) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:44 pm: Edit

I wasnt going to say this before because i really wanted her to submit the essay, but colleges find writting like this to be tasteless, and with an essay like this you are automatically placed on the reject list.

Again, just for writting this essay you dont deserve to go to an Ivy League school. Ivy League isnt for sluts.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 06:04 pm: Edit

How does being the victim of sexual abuse make one a slut?

Think carefully before answering. You're already teetering on the brink of absurdity.

Oh, and while you're at it, would you be so kind as to divulge your sources that consider "this type of writing" to be "tasteless?" And define exactly what you mean by "writing like this?"

By Bobbyh (Bobbyh) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 07:31 pm: Edit

okay, dont be so "abstract" in your writing. be straightforward, and make it succinct.

By Reba616 (Reba616) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 08:31 pm: Edit

Obiwan -

This girl got molested and Tati is calling her a horndog and a slut. That's completely inappropriate and really has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Ban him...?

By Tati244 (Tati244) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 08:36 pm: Edit

Victim? If she were a "victim" she wouldnt have stared at her and the guy in the mirror. If she was a "victim" she would be afraid of guys, which she obvioulsy wasnt. If she was a "victim" she would have told her mom, the police, whoever, and gotten the guy arrested. I know thats what I would do. The only way that I wouldnt do that would be if I actually enjoyed it....and thats just sick.

My sources "Barron's Writing a Successful College Application Essay."

pg 46- "Telling the truth doesnt mean you must bare your soul and disclose your deepest secrets. Colleges dont need to know about your sex life, psychiatric treatement, or drug and drinking problems....'Every year,' says Barbera Jan Wilson, formally dean of admission at Wesleyan and now a university vice president, 'we get an essay or two about a student's first sexual ezperience written as a literal response to the 'significant experience' question.' Wilson says, 'Dont do this, it shows POOR JUDGEMENT and is not relevant to admission to college.' "

By Reba616 (Reba616) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 08:43 pm: Edit

WOW. Have you ever looked into the psychology behind why many who are molested and raped don't come forward? I'm sure you haven't, and I'm sure you've never been molested yourself.

Nice "sources" by the way. I like how you regard Barron's book as biblical.

By Obiwan (Obiwan) on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 08:48 pm: Edit

Reba616, thanks for calling it to my attention.
Without commenting on the essay directly, I think the OP was pretty brave to put it up here and was asking for respectful comments. Personally, I would NOT put that essay in an application but that's just me. I think the substance of Tati244's most recent post (above) is correct. But just as some bright students don't get into a given college because of attitude, some correct posters can be banned because of attitude. And so it is written for Tati224.

A comment to everyone who passes this way: I've declined to edit a post or ban a poster simply because someone's feelings were hurt. Sometimes, that's life. But if I judge that a poster is inflicting abuse or pain without due consideration, that poster is gone. You need to treat each other with respect. A rule of thumb might be not to say anything you wouldn't say in public with a room full of admissions officers listening in. Most of you don't need that caution but a few of you do.

--Moderator Obiwan

By Minibrit (Minibrit) on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 05:43 pm: Edit

"He was handsome: short, platinum blonde hair, the owner of flashing white teeth that smiled just like Michael Douglas did in Romancing the Stone. My mother and I had watched that movie and it was him I pictured Mike as, swinging devilishly on a creeping liana to sweep us out of our banal existence. How was I to know that life isn't an action movie?
"Am I pretty?" I asked him one night, long after my mother had fallen asleep. Something was stirring inside of me, an intimate longing nameless in my own vocabulary. I think I was jealous of my mother.
"Oh, Jesus Christ. Why would you say such a thing? Of course you are, honey. Of course you are." He looked down at me curiously, started stroking my cheek. When he put his hand up my skirt I didn't protest- I was too shocked that he had finally, in his own way, recognized me beyond our nightly rhetoric. I didn't know that he would that to me again and again- there is a mirror over my bed and I'd watch him, paralyzed until he finished. I waited and waited, but he never again told me I was beautiful."

Please reread that. No where does that scream, I WAS MOLESTED!!! Instead it screams WOW I WAS TOUCHED BY A HOT SEXY MAN OH MAN I HOPE HE TELLS ME I"M PRETTY AGAIN!!!

Those who dont come foward is because they were threatened....doenst look like she was threatened to me. It says, clearly on the essay, that she was glad that he was seeing her as more than just a daughter. NOw had she said "i was hurt, i cant believe he was doing this to me, i hated it, blah blah blah," then that would prove to me that she was raped. But she obviously wasnt. Therefore the essay is about sex, and its tasteless.

I'm surprised that someone can be banned because of attitude yet its okay to post porn up here. I dont understand because bragging about your sexual experiences is a lot more tramatizing for people to read than someone telling you that your essay sucks. I know reading the essay definatly made me want to stab myself for not having all those oh so fun times in the mirror. Then again i dont like old men.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 09:08 pm: Edit

Minibrit, have you ever been the victim of sexual abuse?

Then how can you possibly, POSSIBLY, try to speculate about what an appropriate reaction to sexual abuse OUGHT TO BE?

Is it not conceivable that this might be this individual's reaction, perhaps as a way of dealing with the pain? Are there really no other interpretations of the "waited and waited" line to be made?

And why did the police come, if she enjoyed it?

To use the old cliche: "Until you've walked in another's shoes . . ." Obviously, you have not. The author herself said that this essay is a form of catharsis, and I think you should respect that.

Never have I seen such a group of insensitive people.

Back to Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Did Tess ever violently object to Alec's rape of her? No - in fact, she lived at his estate for some time following the incident. But does that mean that she accepted what was done to her? No - it simply means that the evil that had been wrought was so shocking that what we would consider to be rational responses aren't really rational at all. Nothing is rational when you're dealing with this sort of abuse.

Of course, Tess did slaughter Alec at the end of the book - but that was only after a long time had passed, which is the duration that in some cases is necessary to collect one;s thoughts.

Again, it might seem strange or unbelievable to someone who has not experienced it - but don't try to speak for somebody who has. It's just a mean thing to do.

Thanks, Obiwan.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 12:56 am: Edit

I don't think this works as an essay. While I generally like to see applicants take risks, doing so with this essay has more negatives than positives, imo. The writing itself is a bit of a high-wire act and, as a writer myself, I think the writer needs better to control--the prose is just too over the top at places--to make it work.

Finally, I think Minibrit needs to get a grip. There's a distinction between "sexual content" and "pornographic."

By Sleepdeprived (Sleepdeprived) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 05:12 am: Edit

I don't think you should just forget about sending this essay at all especially if your stats are not completely flawless. Colleges want their students to be emotionally strong people who can overcome hardship.
It's great writing but i think you should cut out some of the more graphic parts for Harvard and emphasize how you were able to triumph over this sexual abuse and be the person you are.
You want to steer clear of any connotations that you are in any way a mentally/emotionally disturbed person. Hope this helps!
buena suerte!

By Minibrit (Minibrit) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 05:25 pm: Edit

NO i have never been a victim, but ive been through experiences that I dindt want to go through, but i cant say it was abuse because i brought it on myself. By no means did i look in the mirror, i didnt even want to look at him, or think as lightly and as happily about the guy as this girl has.

Too many girls cry rape in order to save themselves. THey get themselves in ackward situations and then later on regret it. Hey, she could have been the one leading him on, yet the guy gets the blame because of a double standard. Any girl can easily cry rape, and most who do were usually not.

And no where does she say that she was raped.

By Thenamek (Thenamek) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 08:48 pm: Edit

1. I agree with TheDad. As I said before, it's not Hemingway, and I don't think it should be sent. It does, though, have tremendous potential.

2. Not only do you miss the point of the essay, Minibrit, but you miss the point of my Hardy reference as well. Try again, and don't be so literal in your interpretation - seldom is literature meant to be interpreted solely literally. Though I do agree about crying rape - I have some sources at the military academies, in fact, who say that half of the claims made are made by women who don't want their own careers destroyed (remember that sex is forbidden at the academies). There are bogus claims, perhaps many of them, but that doesn't give you license to demean this individual or the way she reacted to what was done to her.


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