This is a personal narrative essay for college admission. The prompt was to describe an adversity you have had and how you overcame it. I would like opinions about whether or not I am telling more than showing. I would also like to know which parts are unclear or clumsy. Comments on the title will help too. Thank you!
Smile, Laugh, Dance, Love
One day I told my mom that I did not want her to talk to me in Spanish any more. I don’t remember saying it, I was too young. Then she didn’t talk to me in Spanish for a long time. I don’t remember why I did it, but I do regret it now. I would be bilingual now if I never had said that. But then again, how would I have known? And I don’t blame my mom in any way. There must be an important reason why I only ended up learning English. I am half British and half Nicaraguan. I’m a first generation American. Even though I’m not bilingual, I’ve learned that I can still communicate and feel connected with my Latin side without spoken language.
My abuelo smiled at me. I smiled back. That was about all I could do. I could understand only some of what he told me. Something about boys and how I should watch out for them. Mostly my mom translated for me. My abuela brought me a glass of mango juice. It was so sweet and cold compared to the perpetually sticky Nicaraguan heat. He dealt the cards and described the game in his deep and varying voice. I had no idea what he was talking about. But his eyes were so animated and happy. He was telling me all kinds of things, not just the rules of the card game. I wish I knew what he said. I wish I could have answered him, but when I opened my mouth, only a few feeble words fell out.
My abuelo was always making jokes, and I knew to laugh only because of the way his face moved and the intonation he used to say the words. I wish I could have told him about me. My friends to talk about how their grandparents would take them out to events in town on the weekends or tell them funny stories when they came to visit. That time, when we played cards and I drank mango juice, was the first time I could remember that I had spent time with my Nicaraguan grandparents. Even then, I could not directly converse with them.
Fortunately, I found that it is more meaningful to show my Latin side. Flamenco is a dance form that consists of almost exclusively Hispanics (it’s from Spain after all). Flamenco is almost like a club: it’s such a small niche of dedicated, passionate artists. Even though I am not entirely Latin, when I dance flamenco I have the passion, or “duende” as they say, that fits. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but when I dance, people say my Latin side comes out. I’ve found that dance can say so many things that words cannot, just like other art forms. It is a dance form that I have an affinity for and feel like it’s a part of me. In this way, I can feel more connected to my Nicaraguan side. There is more than one way to surpass people’s initial assumptions and judgements.
I only wish my abuelo could have seen me dance flamenco. Then he could have felt my love.
Note: Abuelo means grandpa. Abuela means grandma.
Last edited by flamenca14; 26-May-2009 at 06:10.