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State: California, USA High School: Private boarding school, 100 students in graduating class Ethnicity: Asian Gender: Male GPA: 4.0 out of 4.0 SAT: Reading 750, Math 750, Writing 800 ACT: n/a SAT Subject Tests Taken: Mathematics Level 2, Biology E/M, Literature Extracurriculars: Nonprofit director, Editor-in-Chief of student newspaper, Senior Editor of literary magazine, Art Prefect, varsity baseball player Awards: Williams Book Prize, National Merit Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Gold Key Major: Government : A Houston-based academic preparation business with glowing feedback and global operations, The Brain Domain features college counseling, test preparation, and one-on-one tutoring tailored to students’ unique learning styles. Those few openings in between the tapestry of art were dotted with grubby little handprints, repurposed by some overzealous young artist as another surface for creative expression.ESSAY Bold white rafters ran overhead, bearing upon their great iron shoulders the weight of the skylight above. In the middle of the room lay two long tables, each covered with newspaper, upon which were scattered dried-up markers and lost erasers and bins of unwanted colored pencils. The older artists—myself included—sat around these tables with easels, in whatever space the limited confines of the studio allowed.Playing a crudely fashioned bamboo pipe, in the midst of sullen inmates—this is how I envision my grandfather.
And I can't tell you exactly when or why my attitude changed, but eventually my own lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality to which I had once dutifully adhered, my fervor leaving in its wake black fingerprints and smudges where once had existed unsoiled whiteness.
It was in this studio that I eventually made the leap into a new realm of art—a realm in which I was neither experienced nor comfortable.
One such example is “the whiteness of the background” on his sketchbook being “meticulously preserved” but yet “marred by the frenzied strokes of my instructor's charcoal.” Nevertheless, imagery alone does not provide the concrete, powerful narrative found in Bobby’s essay.
One of the most powerful appeals of the essay is that it represents a coming-of-age story that echoes the Bildungsroman literary sub-genre, in which characters evolve psychologically from youth to adulthood during the story.
Late evening rays streamed through these sprawling glass panes, casting a gentle glow upon all that they graced—paper and canvases and paintbrushes alike. The instructor sometimes talked, and we sometimes listened.
As day became night, the soft luminescence of the art studio gave way to a fluorescent glare, defining the clean rectilinear lines of Dillon Art Center against the encroaching darkness. Most of the time, though, it was just us—children, drawing and talking and laughing and sweating in the cluttered and overheated mess of an art studio.It is first utilized to bring the reader into the piece and make the introduction pop, with “Late evening rays [...] casting a gentle glow” and “the soft luminescence of the art studio” becoming “a fluorescent glare.” Immediately, the reader knows what the essay will generally be about: art.Still, in the beginning of the essay, a lot of information is left out, leaving the reader begging for details to contextualize the mental images Bobby leaves them.Indeed, not only does this essay document Bobby’s development from child to young adult, but Bobby’s art also matures from something orderly and superficial to something abstract and deeply meaningful.What separates Bobby’s essay from a well-written story, however, is the subtextual narrative it provides the reader.Unsatisfied, I would scamper away to find his battered bamboo flute, and this time, with my eyes, silently beg him to play.Although I struggled to communicate clearly through Chinese, in these moments, no words were necessary.It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.I cherished this connection—a relationship built upon flowing melodies rather than broken phrases.After each impromptu concert, he carefully guided my fingers along the smooth, worn body of the flute, clapping after I successfully played my first tentative note.