The Absurd, The Prom

In the space provided below, or on a separate sheet if necessary, please describe which activity (extracurricular and personal activities or work experience) has had the most meaning for you, and why.

In ninth grade, we learned that Voltaire’s Candide was a satire on society, expressed through the absurd extremities Candide must face. In “What Befell Candide among the Bulgarians”, ‘our hero’ must ‘run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls’. Two years later, as Prom Committee President, such a dilemma hit close home. But who was playing this cruel satire on my life? Any path I attempted seemed near-fatal. Many were disillusioned about this “First Ever Prom”, few were dedicated or willing to help, and people bluntly said it could not be done.After all, though, we lived in suffocating Saudi Arabia, where a heavily publicized COED gathering, moreover, a dance, would be impossible. So was my call to empowerment. I became Prom for six months. I inhaled menu plans, and exhaled decoration themes. I spoke royalty items, and heard ticket sales. Never before had I ever felt a task so personal, so symbiotic, so me. May 30th, 2002, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” was ready: the lamps twinkled, the tiered fountain sparkled, and the enchanted garden exuded life. It was the most ecstatic and gratifying night of my life…As I ushered my classmates out, one of my senior friends, with tears in her eyes, begged me to extend the Prom just another half hour. All these sleepless nights, this hardship, this aggravation, seemed somehow to be worth it. For one whole night, I felt fulfilled, achieved, accomplished… Satisfaction glared me in the eye: I delved in it.

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