Valerie wrote an incredible essay, but now she wants your opinion! Does this piece have what it takes to land her at her top choice university?—Sparkitors
I have all my dream schools picked out—but my problem is that they will only be dream schools unless I write a really rocking college entrance essay. So please, help me!
“Ahhhh, Come on,” I hear my father yell at the television. I sit on the counter trying to make sense of my math homework. I see my mother shake her head. She puts the towel she was cleaning with down and says to my dad with a soft smile on her face, “The Vikings are never going to win until I get that diamond ring. You know I jinxed them.” My father glares at her and says jokingly “You are just wrong! You had better take the curse off them now, woman.”
I roll my eyes at my parents' superstitions as my mother goes about her chores and takes a tiny statue of St. Anthony outside. I watch her dig a hole and place him in it upside down. She stands up with a look of knowing satisfaction as if this ritual has already served her purpose.
Despite my eye rolling, I have to admit that there is something in my blood, something passed down through the women in my mother's family that just feels powerful. I am not saying that my mother has the ability to single handily ruin the Vikings season. In my opinion they are just a victim of having my dad as a fan. But back to the point. My blood; it's more like how I imagine history feels in its raw animalistic power that pulses through my veins every so often.
As I delve deeper into describing the feeling its almost as if I can see ancestors that have come before me. I can barely see my great grandmother, rich and proud with her dark skin and strong features. In a few years she would be put on the “shelf” until she meets her future husband; an Irish man fleeing California with a disreputable past whom she will love in spite of it. She will grow uncommonly old and it seems as if she will never die, still wearing the same proud stance until she breaths her last.
More clearly I see my beautiful, glamourous grandmother with men hanging off her every word. I can almost taste her fear when her husband turns violent and I witness a change in her as her fear turns to defiance. Her pain pulses through me as if it was mine, when she is denied entry into every church in Tucson after her divorce. Years later, she stands smiling with my mother in her arms, older but wiser and with a kinder husband. Finally, I see her as she is today, basking in her well earned glory as the matriarch of the family, spoiling her millions of grandchildren and bragging about us to anyone who will listen.
With startling clarity, I see my mother as a child, crying for her Nina and Nino. I see her taking care of her now ancient grandmother. I feel pain run through my hand as she breaks her first boyfriend Nacho’s nose with her fist, whom had just hit her. I feel pride when she breaks her family’s mold of getting pregnant and dropping out and she eventually will even graduate from college. I see her happy with my father, my brother and then finally with me. I do not need to go back in time to see her making me stronger with her stories and trying, never in vain although she may think so, to make me believe in the superstitions that have been passed down through countless generations of women.
I pull myself out of my thoughts and memories. Sighing, I look back down at my algebra homework, knowing that whatever it is my ancestors gave me, it was not the ability to understand algebra. As the other team makes another touchdown and hear a strangled cry of anguish from my father. I see my mother with a self satisfied smirk saying, “Where’s my Ring?” And I can't help myself from smiling, knowing that someday, I will be teaching my daughters the same superstitions and family history that she is teaching me today.
We didn't edit Valerie's essay except for adding a few commas here and there; do you have any constructive tips about how she might improve it, or do you think it's perfect just the way it is?
Related post: College Application Essays