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To keep up the spirit of this years Deep Springs discussion, I thought Id kick this one off.
Like many applicants here, I myself found the Round Two threads from previous years to be extremely interesting and, at times, even helpful. Surely, WE can be just as helpful here to each other and to future applicants by keeping up to date on how visits went, by discussing essays, art submissions, etc.
As all you Round IIers know, tomorrow is the deadline for Round Two applications and the first day of applicant visits to the college. There are ten applicant visiting groups in total (with 2-5 applicants each), each of which spends roughly four days traveling (doing lots of it, in fact!) and staying at the college.
Things to consider:
- What did you write about/what was your approach to the RII essays? Which quotation did you chose for question C?
- Did you make any optional art submissions? If so, what?
- What did you discuss in your interview? How did it compare with your expectations?
- What is labor really like?
- How are classes (even though we arent allowed to actively participate in them) and student body meetings?
- What are the students like?
For reference, these are the essay topics for the 2008 second round application:
1. An essay or term paper that you submitted for a class, with teacher comments attached. Try to find something under seven pages.
2. Thoughtful and concise responses to each of the following prompts; the combined word count should not exceed 3500 words:
A. What is a person?
B. Examine an academic or creative discipline about which you are passionate. What are its assumptions and limitations? How does it help you understand the world?
C. Respond to one of the following quotations. Take a position and provide thoughtful arguments in support of it. The particular position that you take is not important, nor is the original context of the quotation.
a. There exists no law of nature that man should love mankind, and if there is and has been any love on earth up to now, it has come not from natural law but solely from peoples belief in their immortality. That is what all natural law consists of, so that were mankinds belief in its immortality to be destroyed, not only love but also any living power to continue the life of the world would at once dry up in it. Not only that, but then nothing would be immoral any longer, everything would be permitted.
b. Love, because of its inherent wordlessness, can only become false or perverted when used for causes such as a change or salvation of the world.
c. Violence, being instrumental by nature, is rational to the extent that it is effective in reaching the end that must justify it. And since when we act we never know with any certainty the eventual consequences of what we are doing, violence can remain rational only if it pursues short-term goals. The danger of violence, even if it moves consciously within a non-extremist framework of short term goals, will always be that the means overwhelm the end.
d. Human sensory knowledge aims at beauty; it glorifies the world. Why should we snatch at anything else? Why do we seek to transcend our senses? Restless knowledge leads to bleakness and ugliness. Let us be content with the aesthetic view of the world!
e. The interior life is often stupid. Its egoism blinds it and deafens it; its imagination spins out ignorant tales, fascinated. It fancies that the western wind blows on the Self, and leaves fall at the feet of the self for a reason, and people are watching. A mind risks real ignorance for the sometimes paltry prize of an imagination enriched. The trick of reason is to get the imagination to seize the actual worldif only from time to time.
Theres probably a mad rush to finish essays tonight. But hopefully we can get some discussion going here soon.
Its been a long journey to this point, but- acceptance or no acceptance- I think many of you will agree with me that the process has been entirely worth it; I wouldn't turn back the clock to rethink applying to Deep Springs even if I could.
Good luck to you all with your visits and whatever may come in the next few months!