1) The Personal Narrative : (3 pages)

I attached two examples please read it.The Personal Narrative, you will be writing a short essay, at least 3 pages in length, about a significant event in your own life. This event need not—and probably should not—be inherently, overly dramatic. Sometimes the most influential moments in our lives are smaller moments, events that we may not recognize as influential until years after the experience. In the personal narrative essay, you will want to tell the story as accurately as you can—search your deep memory—and tell the story from your own perspective. You will also want to exercise your selectivity as a writer, choosing to summarize background information/exposition, and really dramatize important scenes for the reader.
example_1__cops.docx

example_2__my_dancing_roots.docx

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“Cops”
Even as a law breaking mischievous youth I had always looked up to Police Officers in my
neighborhood. I even looked up to them when they would chase my friends and I when we snuck
out at night and kicked sprinkler heads off, or got caught drinking underage. I loved to watch the
show “Cops” and always pictured myself in the situations being portrayed on television. In my
youth I did a lot of things that most people would look down on and police departments may shun
you for, but that didn’t stop me from aspiring to join their ranks.
After serving in the military for over five years and attaining the rank of SGT (P), I was
sent orders for recruiting. This was not the path I wanted my career to go down, so I opted to
decline the orders. Once I had done this I was faced with a decision, what should I do now? I
decided I would try to get hired at a local police department. At the time I was stationed in
Manhattan, KS and had to choose between Manhattan, Salina, and Topeka. Topeka and Manhattan
were testing on the same days and as fate would have it I decided to give Manhattan a try.
Having no navigational skills in the city I was first challenged in finding the testing sight
for the physical agility test. The site was located at the RCPD range, which was off of Pillsbury
Drive, near Pillsbury Crossing. When I arrived I was shocked to see that I would be up against
forty some odd people fighting for five or six slots. Once I got out of my truck and started talking
to other hopeful applicants I became worried. What was I going to do if I didn’t get hired I asked
myself. I felt as though I was under qualified after finding out that 60%- 70% of the applicants had
degrees in Criminal Justice. I thought for sure that college would be a major hiring point. I had
come this far though and had no reason to doubt my ability to prove myself on an obstacle course.
The air was thin and cold on this particular day, making just breathing a chore. Gazing out
at the course the towers were tall and a long climb, the walls were high with steep drops to the
other side. Tires lined the courses isles to test your agility running through them, and at the end of
the obstacle course there was a 170 pound dummy that you had to drag to a safe zone. I felt
confident since I was still in the Army and was in the best cardiovascular condition in my life. The
lieutenant introduced himself to the crowd and began explaining the course, at the end of his
explanation and demonstration he asked for volunteers to go first. In my mind I thought it would
be good to volunteer, but I had learned early on in the Army not to volunteer for anything. I held
my ground and stayed back to gauge the motivated people stepping to the front. I felt as if watching
them would give me an edge. I watched several individuals run through the course until it was
finally my turn.
Once I stepped up to the starting line my adrenaline was pumping full blast, I felt
unstoppable at that point. I had heard the fastest time was 2:09 through the course on this day and
I was determined to beat it. I took off up the steep flight of stairs and down the other side simulating
a chase. I felt like a wild animal closing on my prey as I hopped the fence and dropped to the other
side. Next I ran through a make shift neighborhood setting and to a high wall I had to climb. Once
at the top I ran down the steps and around the turnaround point. It was then that I realized how fast
I was moving, I was flying through the course and hurting badly inside. I told myself that it was
mind over matter and to suck it up for another 30 seconds. I ran to the shooting simulation and
picked the bad guy out of the stand up targets, ran to the dummy drag and drug the 170 pounds 20
yards like a dog carries a flea on a daily basis.
Once I was at the end of the line I heard the scorer yell “2:03.” I had done it. At that point
I felt as if the job were in the bag. My score got beat by a fraction of a second later in the day, but
I was still proud that I was able to overcome the pain to get to the finish line. After several
vocabulary tests, spelling tests, writing tests, and a few oral review boards I was hired. I lived my
childhood dream of becoming a Police Officer for three years. It was a thankless job in many ways,
but it was also gratifying at times. I have since moved to San Antonio and changed professions,
but often reflect on some of the experiences I had. I know I wouldn’t have changed it for the
world.
“My Dancing Roots”
Like rain showers breaking the silence of midnight, the thunderous applause poured over
that final sustained-for-emphasis A-flat and me. My friends were whistling and hooting like they
just heard their favorite song by their idolized music artist at a sold-out concert. I was all
smiles. Although it was only my first vocal music recital at my new high school, my new friends
truly made me feel celebrated. We were all artists, born and made from the same peculiar passion
that drives us to dedicate ourselves daily to the perfecting of whatever it is we do. Family oriented
by choice, there was a nurturing and supportiveness that was contagious among the students and
faculty. This school required a rigorous two auditions and an interview with the principal and a
senior faculty member from the students intended major. The end result, I shared the hallway with
only 200+ students from grades eight through twelve. I have experience singing in Italian, Latin,
French, German, Hebrew, and Spanish. Being a vocal music major with a minor in performance
piano is what I have always done and was always perfectly content doing. Imagine the
awkwardness when I found out that this small performing arts high-school was so exclusively
“artsy” that for Physical Education credits, students are required to take Ballet Technique Level I
to fulfill the requirement! I distinctly remember thinking, “This is going to be the biggest, longest,
stupidest waste of time.”
Most non-dancers shared this depressing requiem. Over lunch the 16-year-old prodigy
trumpet player laments how a dance teacher tried to make him stretch his legs open, “This wide!”
with his arms outstretched like the crucified Man Of Sorrows. The Sophomore painter shows a
doodle of the dizzying stars she saw when they tried to teach her to just spin and spin from one
end of the dance studio to the other. A Communications student described his tragedy at Ballet I,
as an event so calamitous it “should have been televised.” Clumsily dodging the other beginners
as he fumbled through each combination looked less like dancing and more like these beginners
had synchronized the ants in there pants. “Anti-graceful” was the agreed upon description for all
non-dancers. I was definitely not looking forward to my “first class” experience.
The dressing room was a mixed territory of veteran ballerinas and the tenderfoot wannabe’s
that would dare hold a class within a mile of their talent. The distinctions in dress between the two
groups were strikingly obvious to me. We all hold to the same basic standard of black tights,
leotard, and hair in a neat bun or chignon out of the face and off the neck. Still, there were details
in the clothing itself that separated the novice from the seasoned. The experts wore hundredtimes-washed, simple leotards, tights that used to be footed but now had lost fights with a scissor
along the way up their bulging calf muscles, some had leg-warmers borrowed from the 1980’s,
with functional-looking shoes that looked danced to death. They were quite unashamed of their
neat-pauper kind of look. The aspirants were like seventh-graders on the first day of school, all
fixated on making a good first impression with every shred of dance apparel brand new. I noted
that the vets looked prepared to break a sweat and the wannabe’s were, of course, clueless.
We filed in slowly like wallflowers, utterly afraid of the open space with a tell-all-yoursecrets mirror that spanned one entire wall. The instructor pranced in motivated to embarrass a
fresh group of victims assembled for his viewing entertainment. He instead graciously encouraged
this group of painters, musicians, and playwrights, with words of affirmation and empathy. He
began as a graphic artist himself and got wooed into the dance world. A community of racing
pulses instantly slowed to a shared sigh of relief as his speech ended with his humble admission
of familiarity to our scary and new world. “Now class, approach the barres.” It was time to begin.
Though he moved like molasses through the first combinations it was surprisingly tough
to mimic. Contorting into strange twists and bends was taking a toll on my body after the first
week. I finally decided to try to embrace and maybe even think about enjoying being a dance
student though I truly would have been happy to simply learn the classical piano music we were
wasting on the Dance Department. Over the passing weeks the class, as a whole, improved steadily
and we began to respect and admire the craft as well as take on new challenges. One morning my
teacher required of us an impossible task . In our first lessons we would do each combo with our
beloved instructor in front of us as we all faced the mirror for reinforcement. Now we are being
required to dance with him out of our sight for cues. Without him front and center to guide our
intended outcome, it was much harder to remember what to make your leg and arm do
simultaneously, plus when to do it! Not only did my muscles ache, my brain was now a
cardholding member of the, “Organs and Muscle Groups Who Hate Shannon Association”. After
painful attempts with some few victories, we eventually got used to not being bottle-fed our
choreography. A few of us even acquired a hole here and there in our tights and shoes. Yes!!
When women cry, I have heard it said from men that they can never really tell which
emotion has surfaced, so either way a well-meaning hug is usually appropriate. The following
year and several thousand dance steps later, I signed up for the next level in dance instruction. My
request was denied. A knot got stuck in my throat then found it’s way all the way down to my
heart and I said to my self, maybe next semester. I cried. Disappointed, I began wrapping my
mind around the fact that I was probably destined to just be a singer who played piano. I showed
the transcript to a good friend who pointed out that a certain code did not denote a denial, but a
skip to the next level higher than I originally requested. My dance teachers had decided I was
progressing rapidly enough to skip all intermediate dance courses and proceed to Advanced level
1. I cried, again Then somewhere in between, this happiness made me jump up and down in the
hallway clapping.
I remember the day I entered that same locker room with a new attitude. The newbie’s
were still dressed as newbies, and the experts were still identifiable as experts. Where do I fit in? I
looked in a small mirror to see that I resembled an expert on the outside, but felt like a newbie that
secretly acquired a backstage pass to an expert class. The weeks went by and there were a lot of
times I felt like I was a kitten breathlessly struggling to run among cheetahs. The combinations
were more precise, and the transitions from one combo to the next were quicker, almost seamless. I
was beginning to accept my place in the rankings as the least experienced expert. You know the
one who, as a peer, you never really go to with a question, but usually approach with your own
good advice and tips. Whenever a new dance move is taught, we all attempt the choreography one
by one in a sort of conga line across the floor. The student who performs it the most accurate is
called out to express it alone so the rest of the class can learn a bit more about how to correctly
execute. One day, we were all taught a brand new type of leap and after demonstrating our
attempts one by one, I was called out! I thought I had done something so wrong, I would be told
that I represent what NOT to do. Turns out I was the only dancer who demonstrated an
understanding of what the leap should look like. I did the combination solo and received smiles,
pats on the back, and a reassurance that I was in the right place. I leaped the highest I had ever
leaped, right into the stride of a cheetah.
My report back at the lunch table that first day of a new school year was one animated with
surprise and excitement as I learned that I was maybe multi-talented! My story began like theirs
once did, but I discovered the lesson in my experience was in blooming where I was planted. When
I perceived I was plopped into a rocky place unfit for the kind of growth I was interested in, I had
to uncomfortably tunnel deeper to find that there was good soil beneath. My dancing roots can
now be traced to that famous school of the arts where I had begun dancing and have yet to stop to
this day.

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