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My Favorite Flowers


answers: 14
Aug 6, 2009, 01:08am   #1
It's the optional question of U-chicago.I don't know if the category I added was too odd or not? Because this essay has word limit(about a page) so I couldn't describe every detail. I doubted if the structure of this essay is good or not? Any suggestion on topic or correction on grammar is welcomed.^^ Thank you in advance!

Prompt:Would you please tell us about a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, magazines, or newspapers? Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own.

My Favorite Flowers

"How person like you deserve wearing such fragrant flowers that represented elegance and purity!" That young woman in fashionable clothes and delicate cosmetics stared at me with surprise. Yes, I admitted it was my first time to quarrel with others in the public place.

Although the suffocating heat pervaded every corner of Shanghai, the sudden cool breeze that carried the delicate fragrance of jasmines still made me feel pleased. I was on my way to Starbucks when I bumped into that lady shouting at the old granny who sold jasmines in front of the coffee shop.

"I will compensate nothing even if I had mangled your flowers. You are just selling flowers that can be picked everywhere in the city. There is no difference between you and the beggar." Hearing her words in shanghainess, the old granny could do nothing but vulnerably continue stringing the jasmines together with her trembling hands. That lady stepped forward and kicked the basket full of jasmine. My heart was a little when I saw the petals of jasmines scattered around I couldn't help being angry. That's why I shot out the first sentence of this essay. "It's none of your business. She is not your grandmother." That lady said with a scornful tone "She is my grandmother!" My words blurted out. "Then why can't she understand my words? Is she deaf?" That young lady was still being aggressive. "Oh, I am sorry. My grandmother couldn't understand your words because she is a Portuguese." My words put that lady into embarrassment and meanwhile some people in the crowd tried to draw her away. Finally that lady went away with her tails between her legs and the crowd of onlookers gradually thinned off.

That old granny stooped down arduously to pick up the scattered jasmines on the ground. I carefully observed at that old granny. She was wearing the coat that had turned whitish from much washing and seemed the same age as my grandmother was. Her words interrupted my muse.

"Thank you so much for your help. I don't know how to show my appreciation and this is all what I can give you."" She handed the basket full of jasmines to me.
I gazed at the old granny's hands seamed with wrinkles. I was in a dilemma. The old granny depended on jasmines to earn a hard living in this fast-paced city. I did all of these just because I was willing to help not because I meant to get anything back.
"I wanted to buy all of them." I put the only 50 RMB in my pocket on her hand. I knew the old granny wouldn't accept it so I just grabbed the basket and went away.

Actually, jasmine is my favorite flower. The fragrance of had accompanied me since my childhood. Every summer, my mother bought some strings of jasmine back home and wore them on the chest. In Chinese culture, the petal of jasmine symbolizes purity and the faint smell stands for elegance. Now to me, jasmine means more than just a type of flower. The recall of that summer day and my courage to help that old granny always put a smile on my face. This year, I am still seeing that old granny selling jasmines in front of Starbucks. Merely watching at the back of the old granny and feeling the fragrance of jasmine pervaded in the air gave me a sense of pride and gratification.

Aug 6, 2009, 06:15am   #2
My heart was a little when I saw the petals of jasmines scattered around I couldn't help being angry. opps....I've typed the sentence wrong
sorry, it should be:
My heart was a little broken when I saw the petals of jasmines scattered around and I couldn't help being angry.
Sorry for the mistake. ^^
The fragrance of it had accompanied me since my childhood
Aug 6, 2009, 09:55am   #3
I love the category of "favorite flower"! (I was just thinking about that myself this morning, recalling the scents of honeysuckle, wild rose, and lilac.)

Keep the category. Keep the story. But find some way to work in a few of your other favorites in order to better answer the prompt. To do that, you will need to edit the story down to make it more concise.

I invite other forum members and contributors to help you do that and also to brainstorm ways to transition to other favorites.
Aug 6, 2009, 11:27am   #4
Simone,thank you so much ^^
Actually I was quite nervous after I posted this thread because I didn't know what kind of comments I would get and I doubted if the category was too odd. I've been waiting and waiting and finally saw your comment before I went to bed.(12 hours time difference)
Yeah I also think that I need to shorten the story to leave space for other of my favorites. I hope I can get the epiphany how to make the story more concise tomorrow I get up. ^^
I also hope if any other memebers or contributor can give me some suggestions to transition to other favorites. :P thank you in advance!
Aug 6, 2009, 12:51pm   #5
I think it is fine to use the flower, but I do have one concern. A flower is nature's accomplishment. The other things in the prompt are all human accomplishments or accomplished humans--books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, magazines, or newspapers. The prompt listings are all in the creative vein as well while a flower is a well, a flower. Flowers may be aesthetically pleasing, but they are not created nor are they creators unless you tie in that element. You could still work it in, but I see it as straying too far from the prompt as it is written. If I were to read this essay as an admission official, I would think that it was written for another purpose and you figured you would slide it in because you didn't have the time to write one especially for the University of Chicago. I might also make the assumption that the U. of Chiacoago was not your first choice if you didn't make the effort and slide your application off to the side.

Here's one idea on reworking it to fit:

Talk about a flower garden that contains jasmine. A garden is something that is created and cultivated by people and a gardener is the creator. A garden would be a closer parallel to the other items in the prompt. You could even say that a gardener "painted" the landscape with a "symphony" of color to tell a "story." (Or not, *grin*)
EF_Simone:
I invite other forum members and contributors to help you do that and also to brainstorm ways to transition to other favorites.

*Here I come.

Alright, I am going to be honest here.
-I know that before you said that feedback here can be discouraging here, but I am going to be honest here. There is no nice way to say this. Ok, Ill try the sandwhich thing actually because I can see Noto also posted

*This is an interesting idea
*I do not think you did that great of a job writing here
*At least you were creative

-Now, honest post:

I read the first few lines, and I did not want to read the rest. I do not want to read a story here. I especially do not want to read a story about how your interest in flowers came about. Do you want to know why?

'Would you please tell us about a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, magazines, or newspapers? Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own.'

^The prompt is not asking you to tell your readers about how your interest in a category came about. The prompt is not asking for a story. It is basically asking you to discuss your interest in a category, and possibly for you to explain what makes that thing interesting.
For example, I can say I love New Wave music. I can go on to say that I find New Wave music very enjoyable to listen to, because it is pacifying and great to listen to. What I will not do, is say how I became interested in New Wave, how I bought a Mystica CD etc. That becomes a story.

Notoman:
You could still work it in, but I see it as straying too far from the prompt as it is written. If I were to read this essay as an admission official, I would think that it was written for another purpose and you figured you would slide it in because you didn't have the time to write one especially for the University of Chicago. I might also make the assumption that the U. of Chiacoago was not your first choice if you didn't make the effort and slide your application off to the side.

^Well, you did bring up a good point about human and nature accomplishments. Hats off to you, I never quite made that connection. However Noto, this is in fact UChicago. It may actually approve of this idea of flowers, because writing about flowers is quite out of the box, which is something that UChicago actually looks for in essays.
omgg, i agree with what liebe ssays about flowers being a good topic. university of chicago LOVES out of the box. KEEP THE TOPIC.

btw, u actually did the optional essay?? CRAPP i decided not to do itt :(
now ur making me think i shoulddd lol.

good luck!
Maybe it's just me but I thought your dialogue was a little confusing in the first two paragraphs. I couldn't really tell what it meant. Anyway, nice story but what kind of impact did it have on you? I don't know what kind of person you are after reading this. I need to know this. By stating what aspects of the flower make you like it is crucial to explaining yourself.
Aug 6, 2009, 06:26pm   #9
What I really wanted to say was, "Gee, you spelled your name correctly. You didn't answer the prompt at all. Nice story!! But, alas, I knew that Liebe, Sean, and I would be the only ones laughing. This really has nothing to do with you tiantian, so don't read too much into it. Just a little inside joke. You would have had to have been there.

tal105:
university of chicago LOVES out of the box. KEEP THE TOPIC.

Oh! I thought that this was for:
Notoman:
the U. of Chiacoago

What in the world was I typing there? The U. of Chiacoago is probably a po-dunk community college that doesn't even require an essay. I really don't know what the University of Chicago looks for.

Liebe:
It may actually approve of this idea of flowers, because writing about flowers is quite out of the box, which is something that UChicago actually looks for in essays.

I think that out of the box is fine, but I would want to see a little bit of a connection between the prompt and the essay. Be out of the box, but at least stand within sight of that box. You can't go down the street, around the corner, and into Starbucks and still keep your eyes on the box. I don't see a connection between the prompt and the answer in this essay. Making the connection would make the essay work.
Aug 6, 2009, 10:47pm   #10
oh....haha, I just got up and saw so many comments. ^^
First of all, thank you for all your suggestions. They are helpful!

Actually when I started to think about this essay, I though I should write a book I really like or something like that. But I thought topic like music or book it a little bit trite. So that's why I picked up the category of flower although it may be quite far apart from the listed category. I thought the category listed is connceted to work of arts. So may be the flower is the art of nature....That's why I started to write about it.

However, I think I should work more on it to make the story or my content closely connected with the prompt. As Notoman said, I should tell the story in another way to make it more suitable for the prompt.

Ok, I will try to work on it....^^

To liebe:
originally I didn't like your honest comments, but now I think it will be better if I listen to your comments, think about them and change my essay. In your comments, I really see what my essay lacks. Your comment will motivate me to improve the quality of my essay. :P thank you!
Notoman:
But, alas, I knew that Liebe, Sean, and I would be the only ones laughing

Notoman:
Just a little inside joke. You would have had to have been there.

^Yup lol.

Notoman:
What in the world was I typing there? The U. of Chiacoago is probably a po-dunk community college that doesn't even require an essay.

^Haha lol.

Notoman:
I think that out of the box is fine, but I would want to see a little bit of a connection between the prompt and the essay. Be out of the box, but at least stand within sight of that box. You can't go down the street, around the corner, and into Starbucks and still keep your eyes on the box. I don't see a connection between the prompt and the answer in this essay. Making the connection would make the essay work.

^Very well said.
Aug 9, 2009, 11:15am   #12
Change the category but still keep the story. Perhpas it maybe a combination of the song and the flower together. I think it is a little bit longer. Any suggestions?

My Favorite songs

"What a beautiful jasmine flower. What a beautiful jasmine flower." In the old summer days with no air conditioner, every night my grandmother, sitting at the cracking edge of my wooden bed, waved the fan in her hand quietly and crooned me to sleep with the chinese folk song 'jasmine.' The swaying melody always brought me to a sweet dream which I felt the cool summer breeze mixed with the real delicate fragrance of jasmine. Every summer, buying some jasmine strings and wearing them on my chest became my habit. Even I myself couldn't figure out whether I liked that song or the flower more. Because to me, jasmine is more than a song or a type of flower, behind it was my own story.

The other day, I was on my way to Starbucks when I bumped into a young lady kicking the basket full of jasmines and shouting to the old granny who sold flowers in front of the coffee shop. "I will not compensate anything even if I had mangled your flowers. There is no difference between you and beggars." I was heartbroken when I saw the old granny sitting vulnerably alongside. I stepped forward to pick the scattered jasmine petals despite the surprising expressions of the crowds. "It's none of your business. She is not your grandmother." That lady said tried to prevent me and argued with a scornful tone "She is my grandmother!" My words blurted out. "Then why can't she understand my words? Is she deaf?" That young lady was still being aggressive. "Oh, I am sorry. My grandmother couldn't understand your words because she is a Portuguese." My words put that lady into embarrassment and went away with her tails between her legs. The crowd of onlookers also gradually thinned off. I carefully observed at that old granny. She was wearing the coat that had turned whitish from much washing and seemed the same age as my grandmother was. Her words interrupted my muse.

"Thank you so much for your help. I don't know how to show my appreciation and this is all what I can give you."She handed the basket full of jasmines to me. I gazed at the old granny's hands seamed with wrinkles. I was in a dilemma. The old granny depended on jasmines to earn a hard living in this fast-paced city. I did all of these just because I was willing to help not because I meant to get anything back. "I wanted to buy all of them." I put the only 50 RMB in my pocket on her hand. I knew the old granny wouldn't accept it so I just grabbed the basket and went away.

My grandmother was a little surprise when she saw I carried the whole basket of jasmines back home. After hearing my experience, she told me the reason why she liked the folk song jasmine so much. "Compared to radiant rose or noble lily, jasmine is so unattractive. However, its tiny white petals carried the refreshing smell still made people feel pleasant in the canicule. It is what the lyrics try to convey. Compared to great people, we are so common but that doesn't mean we cannot contribute something to this world. Just like your courage to maintain justice makes the world a better place."

This year, I am still seeing that old granny selling jasmines in front of Starbucks. The flower, the song, the back of that old granny and the words of my grandmother become my most precious memories.
HAHAHAHAHAHA That song is epic. Just to put that out there.

tiantian12:
"Compared to radiant rose or noble lily, jasmine is so unattractive. However, its tiny white petals carried the refreshing smell still made people feel pleasant in the canicule. It is what the lyrics try to convey. Compared to great people, we are so common but that doesn't mean we cannot contribute something to this world. Just like your courage to maintain justice makes the world a better place."


What? She said that? That's a pretty insightful granny. If she really said that then yeah cool. But the way you wrote it seems so unreal.

So what do the song and flower convey about you? All I got was...your a gentleman.
Aug 10, 2009, 03:26am   #14
To Llamapoop123:
Yes, it is what she said. The same question as my previous essay.
My grandmother said these words in chinese.So, I just translated her words.
How do you think that I could change the sentence to make them sound real?
It seems that your whole lesson is learned in that instance. I can certainly imagine her saying such things in Chinese but in English it's a little difficult. If that's what she really said go with it.



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