PLEASE READ MY ESSAY - UNUSUAL





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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: PLEASE READ MY ESSAY - UNUSUAL
By Alimshk (Alimshk) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:25 pm: Edit

I have to write about an experience I had with someone in another country . . . here it is. Be as harsh as you can, I appreciate the criticism. You can tell me about anything you feel needs to be improved.

__________________________________________________


When I was a child, I remember a visit to my grandfather’s house. His house was made of clay and stone and had a straw roof. All of the houses in his village were like this. As far as the eye could see, miles and miles of rice fields surrounded this small village. My grandfather loved his village.

I had never been to India before. The sweltering heat and thick humidity drained my spirits. “Come inside,” my grandfather said, “I want to show you something.” I heard a melodic sound when I entered the house. My grandfather was playing an instrument; a beautiful teak sitar. My body relaxed, my mind filled with wonderful thoughts, the notes sank into my soul. “Keep playing grandpa,” I said.

The whole village soon gathered around my grandfather’s house. Men were chanting Hindi verse; the women were dancing in circles. I was in the center, still sitting beside my grandfather. The crickets were now chirping as the sun fell below the earth and night fell. Our only source of light was the brilliant night stars and the aromatic candles lit by the children of the village. “Keep playing grandpa,” I said.

My grandfather, in poor health and old age, sat beside me and continued to play his sitar. Hundreds of mosquitoes now fluttered around the candles; the villagers dancing to the beautiful sound of the sitar. I was in a subtle trance, embraced by the colorful culture. “Grandpa,” I whispered, “you are growing tired. It is getting late.”

“I cannot,” my grandfather said. “My fingers have stopped tapping the strings long ago. The music you hear is from my soul. I must continue playing until grey clouds of rain fill the sky.”

The birds tweeting and the monkeys rustling in the trees woke me up the next morning. I could see the vast rice fields in the distance, and flamingos drinking water from a nearby pond. Then I felt something. Rain drops sprinkled on my head and ran down my face, shattering as they hit the Indian soil. Now I understood. The drought was over.

By Serdu (Serdu) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Nice. Very nice. But what is the message you try to covey?

By Whzup44412 (Whzup44412) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Is this a real experience or a fictional experience. “My fingers have stopped tapping the strings long ago. The music you hear is from my soul. I must continue playing until grey clouds of rain fill the sky.” I mean come on. I'm going to be brutally honest- no admissions officer is going to believe anyone actually talks like that.

By Perry (Perry) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:33 pm: Edit

Alimshk --

I liked your essay. Try opening the essay with your sentence: "Come on inside, grandfather said, I want to show you something." This will serve to draw the reader immediately into your narrative. Hereafter try interweaving your brief description of his house, the fields, and so forth. You also may want to give a hint of foreshadowing that the village was suffering from a severe draught. You could do this by providing a brief descriptive account of the parched fields, perhaps scarcity of water, the concern of the villagers about the extreme conditions, etc. Whatever you witnessed. This account would key the reader more into the meaning of the activities in your grandfather's house and the concluding sentence of your essay in circular fashion.

Also, a minor point. I would change "hundreds" of mosquitos to "swarms of mosquitos..."

I hope this critique helps a little.

By Polly (Polly) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:53 pm: Edit

I think your essay is very good. It's very descriptive.
However, it seems that your reflection, what you felt at that time and what you learned from the incident, is scarce.
Colleges might want to see that.

By Perry (Perry) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:56 pm: Edit

Another minor point. Rewrite the sentence that begins: "The birds tweeting..."

Say something like: "I awoke the next morning with the sound of the birds and the monkey's rustling in the trees. I walked outside in the dawning daylight. A soft grayness lay over the vast rice fields in the distance, while flamingos drank from a pond nearby." Or some such thing...

The point here is: did you sleep outside or did you walk outside after you awoke?

By Alimshk (Alimshk) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:01 pm: Edit

This essay isn't for a college application. It's for a writing project. I posted here because all of you are very good at editing and giving suggestions.

By Alimshk (Alimshk) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:02 pm: Edit

Thanks Perry, I really really appreciate your advice. You've made my day.

By Perry (Perry) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:05 pm: Edit

Addendum:

Don't say "dawning daylight" -- that's terrible.

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:14 pm: Edit

very good, small gramatical point. You misuse a semicolon twice, in the second and fourth paragraphs. The part after the semicolon should be able to stand alone

By Alimshk (Alimshk) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 08:06 pm: Edit

Hey everyone, thanks a lot for all your comments.
Here is my revised essay:

When I was a child, I remember a visit to my grandfather’s house. His house was made of clay and stone and had a straw roof. All of the houses in his village were like this. As far as the eye could see, miles and miles of parched rice fields surrounded this small village. The sweltering heat and thick humidity drained my spirits. I had never been to India before.

“Come inside,” my grandfather said, “I want to show you something.” I heard a soothing melodic sound as I entered his house. My grandfather was playing an instrument; a beautiful teak sitar. My body relaxed and my mind filled with wonderful thoughts as I listened, the notes sank into my soul. A cool breeze swept through the room. “Keep playing grandpa,” I said.

The whole village soon gathered around my grandfather’s house. Men were chanting Hindi verse; the women were dancing in circles. I was in the center, still sitting beside my grandfather. The subconscious worry of the villagers could be seen through their joyful liveliness. I knew of the harsh conditions. The crickets were now chirping as the sun fell below the earth and night fell. Our only source of light was the brilliant night stars and the aromatic candles lit by the children of the village. “Keep playing grandpa,” I said.

My grandfather, in poor health and old age, sat beside me and continued to play his sitar. Swarms of mosquitoes now fluttered around the candles; the villagers dancing to the beautiful sound of the sitar. I was in a subtle trance, embraced by the colorful culture. “Grandpa,” I whispered, “you are growing tired. It is getting late.”
“I cannot,” my grandfather said. “My fingers have stopped tapping the strings long ago. The music you hear is from my soul, my thirst. I must continue playing until grey clouds of rain fill the sky.”

I awoke the next morning with the sound of the birds and the monkeys rustling in the trees. I walked outside in the dim daylight. A soft grayness lay over the vast rice fields in the distance; flamingos drank from a nearby pond. I felt something. Rain drops sprinkled on my head and ran down my face, shattering as they hit the Indian soil. Now I understood. The drought was over.

By Cmaher (Cmaher) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 01:00 am: Edit

A soothing melody played in my ears as I entered his house.

By Alimshk (Alimshk) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 03:51 pm: Edit

Thanks Cmaher.


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