Is this essay any good?

<p>The rain pounds against my window as a bright streak of lightning stretches out across the sky, an opaque layer of grey. I listen intently for the crack of thunder which will inevitably follow for I need something to take my mind off what had occurred that day. The words still sting just as much as they had when they were first uttered.
“You’ll never learn to play ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.”
I sit in solitude, demoralized, pondering these words, examining them from every angle yet it only makes the pain worse, like pouring salt on an open wound. Everyone feels this type of mental pain sometime in their lives, when they are flying high and their dreams are suddenly shot down. But we must all cope with this pain by finding a source of inspiration to reinvigorate our dreams. Luckily for me, my source of inspiration just came trotting down the stairs.<br>
My yellow Labrador, Lady, comes over to me and simply stares at me with her signature expression, tongue hanging out, ears drooping, and eyes wide. I look back into those brown eyes and in them; I can clearly see a reflection of memories within my own head, one much more prominent than any other.<br>
Lady was diagnosed with the dreaded canine disease, parvovirus, at two months of age. I’ll never forget the sight of my parents, grown-ups who, in my view at the time, were impervious to childish emotions such as sadness, sobbing together. The newest member of our family, a sister to my brother and I, and a daughter to my parents, was going to be taken away from us just as suddenly as she had arrived.<br>
My family and I spent countless nights contemplating what was inevitably going to occur around our small dining room table. The dining room, once a place of festive occasions and a refuge from the hardships of daily life, now contained a cold aura that not even the comforts of a close family could warm. We had nothing left to do but pray and hope for the best.<br>
How it happened, I will never know but fate decided to give Lady a second chance. Vitality began to flow through her body as she once again became active and hungry. She had defied the odds and done what was thought to be impossible. In our eyes, she belongs in the same ranks as icons such as Lance Armstrong, Christopher Reeve and the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team only in this case; she gave the term “underdog” a whole new meaning.
We decided to throw in the word “Luck” as her new middle name but I refuse to believe that Lady survived simply by luck. I have always held true to the belief that she never reached her mental threshold, the point at which the body succumbs to the mind, that even a creature as simple-minded as a dog has the capacity for hope.<br>
These thoughts comfort me as I sit down at the piano bench. With a smile on my face, my fingers dance along the keys and the music flows not from my hands but straight from my heart.</p>

<p>Yes, IMO that is an excellent essay. Top shelf, indeed.</p>

<p>Thanks alot, man. Big sigh of relief.</p>

<p>This is hard to comment on. Overall, a nice job. You do a number of things I see as problems kids often do on cc, but you do them well enough, or move on quick enough that it's handled nicely. Hey, you left us hanging about who told you you would play RIB. </p>

<p>I'm wondering if there is any prompt for this essay, and if it will be the main one that will explain you to the school. In that way, it is not very illuminating about your personal qualities. Perhaps you mean it most to show writing ability, though?</p>

<p>What is hard for me to take is --I find calling a dog a daughter and sister is just way over the top and personally it is off-putting. Likewise comparing with Lance Armstrong; 'belief that she never reached her mental threshold, the point at which the body succumbs to the mind'. Perhaps it's just me....but...</p>

<p>This sentence is awkward "I can clearly see a reflection of memories within my own head, one much more prominent than any other.</p>

<p>This is not correct gramatically "such as sadness, sobbing together." and you might want to fish around for a more natural word than impervious in this sentence.</p>

<p>Thanks for the help. I'll try my best to fine tune it a little.</p>

<p>I agree with you that the this sentence is a little awkward.</p>

<p>"I’ll never forget the sight of my parents, grown-ups who, in my view at the time, were impervious to childish emotions such as sadness, sobbing together."</p>

<p>Does this version of the same sentence sound any better?</p>

<p>I’ll never forget the sight of my parents sobbing together, grown-ups who, in my view at the time, were impervious to childish emotions such as sadness. </p>

<p>Oh, I also took out the daughter and sister part.</p>

<p>Also, the reflection of memories may sound a little odd but you need to think about it for a second. When I look at my dog, I am immediately reminded of those memories. They immediately pop into my head, almost as if they were reflected by looking at her.</p>

<p>Anyway, it's not "a sister to my brother and I", it'd be "a sister to my brother and ME".</p>

<p>I took that part of the sentence out but thanks anyway.</p>

<p>Hm... I think one thing you need to work on, is erasing your essay from your mind (I know this may be hard), and reading it over with the objectiveness of someone who has not seen it before. That way, you may be able to find, and correct, the multitude of awkward phrasing in this essay. There are quite a few sentences that, basically, mean nothing, because I have trouble deciphering them. For example:</p>

<p>"I have always held true to the belief that she never reached her mental threshold, the point at which the body succumbs to the mind, that even a creature as simple-minded as a dog has the capacity for hope."</p>

<p>I like the last part of the sentence about your dog and her hope, but I have no clue what you mean in the first half.</p>

<p>There are a lot of sentences in your essay that are run-ons and can easily be split into two, if not more, independent sentences. Like someone else mentioned, try to refine some of your word-usage; sometimes a smaller, more commonplace word, works better in context than an SAT top 500 vocab word. Oh, and I second the fact that Lance Armstrong/Christopher Reeve/hockey team comparison doesn't work.</p>

<p>All in all, it's a decent essay. It'd be nice if it showed a little more about your strength rather than the strength of your dog. Of course, we are who we love and your personality can probably be INFERRED from the way you described the plight of your dog, but I think admissions people would rather hear it straight from you. Your descriptions of the thunderstorm in the beginning of your essay does set a nice mood for your inner-struggles as presented in the second paragraph, but it doesn't add too much to your essay, so cut down a LITTLE. "an opaque layer of grey" doesn't describe a thunderbolt very well, nor does it flow, nor is it necessary to your essay, so that'd be good to cut.</p>

<p>Oh, you know what? I think when it comes down to it, your essay focuses too much on your dog and not enough about you. Why do you bother introducing your conflict with the piano piece into the essay if you're only going to skim over it? The conclusion at which you arrive after your introspection about your dog's illness is very weak. We want to know about YOU. All we know is that you're upset, then you're smiling while practicing, but not how you came to that, and what that actually shows about you as a person. Work on that, and if you need any more help feel free to send me a message :)</p>

<p>Good luck, hope I helped and hope you're not bothered by my straightforwardness.</p>

<p>oh and as you were asking:</p>

<p>"I’ll never forget the sight of my parents, grown-ups who, in my view at the time, were impervious to childish emotions such as sadness, sobbing together."</p>

<p>is still very awkward.</p>

<p>"I'll never forget the sight of my parents, who had always seemed so impervious to childish emotions, sobbing together."</p>

<p>aaaaaand I don't know what impervious means, but that also may explain my verbal SAT score ;)</p>

<p>Very good, except that the thesis/main plot was kinda hard to get until the end, it wasn't too clear for me. And you forgot to put the "2004 Red Sox" in addition to Lance Armstrong and the rest... :P</p>

<p>except the Red Sox could hardly have anything to do with his/her cat's survival after a battle with fatal disease.</p>

<p>(i'm no red sox fan either :P)</p>

<p>I think the essay is very poor. It tells me nothing about you and has serious point-of-view and tense issues.</p>

<p>3 out of 10</p>

<p>I'd say 7/10. The writing is very good. But the essay's relation to you is not. Some colleges are looking more for the former, others the latter. If you're going to stay with this, showing off your writing ability rather than your uniqueness/personal thoughts and feelings, just clean up some of the more complex, confusing sentences, and make the actual plot/storyline in the last couple paragraphs clearer.</p>

<p>Thanks for the helpful comments and pointers. Yeah, I would say that this essay was more about writing ability than showing my personal qualities. This is mostly due to the fact that I have had interviews with most of the schools I am applying to (none of them being super high level schools) and they now know me personally, making it so i wouldn't have to show more personal qualities through my essay. I used it more as a way to showcase the way I write instead. </p>

<p>Kepp in mind that I'm not applying to the ivy league schools. I'm simply not that brilliant but I am still applying to some fairly high level schools such as Boston University and the University of Rochester so if you can, don't look at this essay with the mentality of an admissions person at Harvard or Princeton. Keep it a level below that. THanks alot for your help.</p>

<p>I don't understand. This is a showcase of how you write? And that's good?</p>

<p>If you're going to be difficult about it, you shouldn't comment at all. A post like this is meant for critiquing, not insulting.</p>

<p>I also give it a 3/10.</p>

<p>I do agree that it needs to be changed so it is clear and concise.</p>

<p>What do you suggest I take out or add?</p>