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Chicago本科申请命题Essay——描述你最难忘的一次餐宴

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[Describe Your Most Memorable Meal ]

To me, there is nothing better than a good "home-cooked" Italian meal. Keeping this in mind, what could be better than eating such a meal in Italy cooked by relatives that you have never seen before in the medieval village of your ancestors. Two summers ago, I attended just such an event, alone!

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a hot, muggy Mediterranean day. I was sitting on the steps of Santa Croce Square in Florence waiting for my rented driver to arrive. After becoming one with the pavement, my eyes beheld a dark blue Alfa Romeo pull up in front of me. Upon seeing this, I thought to myself, "This is definitely going to be an experience that I will NEVER forget!" After trying to explain where I wanted to go, we were finally on our way to Monticatini where I was to meet some of my relatives for the first time. To get there, we traveled a steady rate of 85 to 110 mph-and I loved it! After aimlessly looking for the street I hoped was called Via [name], we found the house. Standing there was a man I had never seen before, yet I knew he was related. His name was [name] and he spoke no English. Despite this little difficulty, he was to serve as my tour guide for the rest of the day.

As I walked into the house, I can remember what a strange feeling it was to look on the outside wall and see "(name)" so far away from MY home. I swear that I had to of checked the spelling of the name a thousand times before I was really convinced it was the same. Upon entering the house, I was greeted by some of the others that lived there with a traditional Italian style greeting. Among them was [name], ironically an Italian banker, who was now to take over the driving duties to our final destination-Pontito.

It was now down to the four of us: [name], [name], [name] (a friend to help translate, ) and myself who set off by car to the medieval village of my ancestors-Pontito. As we wound up the 8,000 ft of hair-pin curved roads into the mountains, I finally caught sight of the stalwart village. Suddenly, I began to remember when I visited there as a little boy with my parents and brother and how little time I got to spend there. This time, I was determined to enjoy my relatives and the village much more.

After we parked our car and walked into the narrow passageways of the village, [Name] was quick to point out the carved statue of Pontito's founder, my relative. We then proceeded to go to the house where my remaining relatives lived at the present time. At the door, I was greeted by [name], [name], and [name] who, of course, are the relatives who live there. As I walked in, it felt like I was in a time warp. Nothing had changed since I was there as an eight year old boy. It was exactly the same!

After some discussion, we sat down to eat what could very well be the most memorable dinner of my life. At the table, I was joined only by the men of the family. As is accustomed for them, the women, who cooked the meal, were only to serve us as we ate. Before we were served, I asked what in the world the old carved stone ball in the center of the huge wooden table we were eating off of was. To show how old this place is, I was told that it was once used to throw down the mountain at invading villagers who tried to take over Pontito. Do you realize how old that must be?

Finally, as I was looking out of the window into the hazy mountains and valleys below and watched the sun rays bounce off of the stone floor, (electricity was a recent discovery to Pontito, they only had one light bulb, ) dinner was served, and served, and served! Not expecting the eight-course meal I was about to receive, I was already full after the first round of pasta. I sat there and watched my relatives put away food like it was water. After a while, somewhere around the prochuetto or the veal courses, they started to ask me why I was not eating everything. I didn't know what to do. I was so full that I was ready to explode but I couldn't explain this to the crying women who thought I hated her food-so I ate! I ate so much food from then on that I couldn't even look at food for the next two days. I even drank two cups of coffee to make her happy, and I HATE coffee! Don't get me wrong, the food was great, but there was enough to feed twenty people.

Another thing that amazed me was how much wine everyone consumed. Between the five men at the table, the drank eight bottles of homemade red wine and weren't even slightly affected! As for me, I was absolutely thrilled to be drinking water that was taken from the natural mountain spring trough once used by my ancestors many, many years ago. It was such pure, untouched water, (although it is said that one of my American relatives when visiting died two minutes after drinking the water for the first time for no apparent reason!)

Then, after eating more food than I can handle in a week, it was time to go. We said our good-byes and proceeded down the mountain to the car. Although desperately trying to keep my eyes awake, I feel asleep until we returned to Monticatini. There, after [name] took me to the local Ferrari dealership, I went to Monticatini Terme where I took a train back to Florence. On that train, I just sat there and tried to grasp the full concept of what had just happened that day. I thought of how fortunate I was to have been able to visit with relatives and trace my heritage back so far. I thought about the graves that I had seen in Pontito with "(name)" etched into them and what those relatives lives must have been like. Now, after I have long since returned to my home in America, I still think about Pontito and that incredible meal I enjoyed there. As I think about it now, the only way that meal can be topped would be to someday see MY children sitting at that same wooden table and experiencing exactly what I did.
Comments by Admissions Officers who Assisted in the Creation of this Course

The applicant needs to work on the writing style. The admissions officers generally liked the story itself. Below are their specific comments:

The author creates an unintended tension in this essay between what he wants us to know and what he actually tells us. Reflecting upon his visit to Pontito as a child, he writes, "This time, I was determined to enjoy my relatives and the village much more." What a fascinating premise for a personal essay! It offers the opportunity for reflection on how he has grown since childhood, on what it means to commune with family in an utterly foreign environment, on the significance of making this visit alone-all framed within the description of a traditional Italian family dinner. And he drops hints throughout the essay that this is what made the visit and the meal significant: the statue of his ancestor who founded Pontito, the sign with his surname on the entrance to the house, the stone ball on the table, the desire to see his children have the same experience. But he never goes any further. Rather than explaining how and why these icons hold real meaning for him, he essentially writes, "This just blows my mind!" In that respect, they have no more significance in this essay than the Alfa Romeo or zipping through the countryside at 100 m.p.h. or the amount of food everyone ate or how much wine they drank or the fact that he managed to choke down two cups of coffee. In other words, because he makes no real distinctions between those things which hold ancestral and cultural relevance to him and those which are trivial by comparison, everything is reduced to the state of being "cool." Not until the final paragraph do we get the sense that he has grown from this experience. I wish he had started there instead; it could have been a powerful essay.

[Beware of] wearisome transitions: "As I walked, " "After we parked, " "After some discussion, " "As I was looking out, " "After eating more food."

点评:

作者在文中运用了一种无意识的紧张的气氛的带领我们去了解他所发生的事。反映出当他还是小孩时就参Pontito,他这样写到,这时,我更加确定了要去喜爱我的亲戚和这个村庄。在个人的文书中这是一种迷人的叙述。它给了一种机会去反映了从他还是小孩子起到他长大时的映像,重要的是体现作者出独自参观村庄,外加描述了一次意大利当地家庭的餐宴。在写参观的过程和对餐宴的重要性时埋下了伏笔:在Pontito发现了他祖先的雕像,在入口处发现了他的姓氏,在桌上的石球和那种希望他的孩子也有相同经历的愿望。但是作者没有写更深一步的含义,就像这些映像怎样和为什么对作者有重大意义,他只是写了,这个冲击了我的思想。在文中有带有一些没有意义的东西,就像阿尔法罗密欧以100m.p.h.快速得穿过城郊,他们总共吃了多少食物喝了多少酒和他设法咽下两杯咖啡。换句话说,因为他没有实际的写出他的祖先和文化和他的相关性,以及他们之间的细小的比较,每件事都归于“酷”。直到最后一节,我们都没有感觉到他在这次经历中的成长。把这些不必要得描述都换去的话,这将是一篇好文章。并当心乏味的变换,就像"As I walked, " "After we parked, " "After some discussion, " "As I was looking out, " "After eating more food."

译文:

命题要求:描述你最难忘的一次餐宴。

对于我来说,没有任何事比享受家庭烹饪意大利餐更好的事了。带着这种思想,没有比享受一下在一个从没去过的古老的,你祖先的村庄并享受由你的亲戚做出来得意大利餐更好的事了。2年前,我就参加了像这样的一个活动,一个人!

我的印象就像是昨天。 那天像是地中海气候,很热很闷。我坐在佛罗伦萨的Santa Croce广场的阶梯上等待我的租用司机的到来。之后在一条公路上,我的眼睛被一辆停靠在我身前的黑蓝色的阿尔法罗密欧吸引了。看到这些,我想起了我自己,“这将是一次对我来说难忘的经历”。在我解释了我要去的地方后,最终我们上了去Monticellite的道路,一个我第一次见我亲戚的地方。去那的路上,我们行使在一个稳定的,我喜爱的速度85到110时速。在我漫无目的的查找我希望的那个叫?后,终于我们找到了那个屋子。站在那里的男人我从来没见过,之后我知道他是有关系的。他叫?他不会说英文。尽管有些困难,他还是在我剩下的日子里当我的导游。

当我走进屋子,我记得那是一种很陌生的感觉当我看到外面的墙上写着?,一个离我家很远的地方,我发誓那个就是我不得不检查拼写1000遍的名字在我真正确信它是相同的之前。在我进入屋子后,我用当地意大利式的问候问候了在那屋子的其他人。在他们之中有个叫?讽刺的说是一位意大利的银行家现在接任驾驶的职务带我们去最终的目的地Pontito。

现在只剩下我们4个人:???(一位帮助翻译的朋友)和我,乘车去我的老式的祖先住的村庄Pontito。 当我们激动从8000英尺的发夹一样弯曲的道路进入山里,我终于瞥见了那个村庄。突然,我想起当我还是个小男孩时就和我的父母,兄弟在这里逗留拜访了一小会。这时,我更加确定了要去喜爱我的亲戚和这个村庄。

在我们停放了我们的车,穿过狭窄的过道走进村庄时,很快的指出了那个Pontito的创始人的雕像,我的亲戚。然后我们向那个目前还有我剩余的亲戚住的房子出发。在进门时,我向??和?问好,当然那些是住在这里的我的亲戚。当我走进房间,它给我的感觉像是时间的弯曲。和我八岁时来这里的景象一样,没有任何变化。真的是一模一样。

在我们交谈了一会之后,我们坐下享受餐宴,这是一顿非常好得在我一生中最难忘的一餐。在餐桌上,我加入了在这个家庭只有男人享受的待遇。就像他们的习惯,当我们吃饭时由烧饭的人来服务,女人。在我们进餐前,我问起我们吃饭那个巨大木桌中间那古老的石雕球究竟是什么。为了表现这地方有多古老,我被告知这石球曾被用于向山下丢掷试图入侵Pontito的村民的。你应当认识到了这有多古老了吧?

最后,我留意窗外的朦胧的山脉和下面的山谷,看到太阳的光线反射到石头的地板上,(电器在Pontito是一项新的发明,他们只有一电灯泡)正餐被供应,供应,再供应!我没有像预期的那样接受八道菜,在吃了第一道的意大利面食之后我就饱了。我坐在那里看着我的亲戚进餐就像是喝水。一会之后,大约在上prochuetto/小牛肉的时候,他们开始问我为什么我不吃任何东西。我不知道该怎么做。我饱得准备爆炸了但我不能解释让那个女人认为我讨厌她的食物而哭。之后我吃了很多甚至后2天我都不想看到食物了。我甚至喝了两杯咖啡使她高兴,我讨厌咖啡。不要认为我不正常,食物非常好,但是那足够填饱20个人了。

另一件让我惊奇的是每个人消灭了多少酒。5个人在餐桌上,喝完8瓶自制的红酒尽然没有明显得反映。对我来说,喝那里的水绝对让我发抖,要知道那是从很久很久以前我亲戚用的天然山泉水槽取出来得水。它是这样的纯,无与伦比的水,(尽管我的一位美国亲戚游览这里时第一次喝这种水,2分钟后竟然没有任何明显的原因死去)。

之后,我吃得食物多过我一个星期吃得,是时候离开了。我们道了别向山下的车走去,尽管我设法使我的眼睛清醒,在我们返回Monticatini的路上,我感觉睡着了。在我去了那里当地的法拉利代理部之后,我从Monticatini Terme坐上了去佛罗伦萨的火车。在火车上,我坐在那里设法去回想那天所发生的完全的概念。我想我是多么幸运我能去拜访我的亲戚和能追溯我很早以前的传统。我思索着那个在Pontito被风化的墓地和那相同的亲戚们的生活。现在,自从从那里回到我的美国的家很久以后,我仍然想着Pontito和在那我享受的不可思议的餐宴。当我现在想起它时,唯一能结束那食物的就是有一天我的孩子坐在那相同的木桌上和正确的体验一下那时我所感受得。

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