College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. So far, the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook has helped more than 10K students choose a college, get in, and pay for it. Get your free copy: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM
Let's post our essays to help next years students get an idea of what they should write.
Here's my Chicago essay exactly as I submitted it (typos included).
Apperently it didn't work :(
Essay Option 2: Destroy A Question
There must be an answer. I thought to myself. I, a thinking being, must be able to deduce the answer to any question I can pose. I could not. Every argument I concocted I just as easily repudiated. I only got back to where I began- nowhere.
I frantically perused the musty pages of the classics in a vain attempt to resolve my question. I found that my question was more often a topic of prevarication than discourse. Plato never pushed beyond his postulate that the universe was eternal and immutable. Descartes brilliance collapsed when his haphazard proofs of Gods existence were repudiated. William James simply dismissed the question as unanswerable. It seemed that the great minds spent more time dismissing each others work than building their own.
I was lost. In every other field I had studied reason provided a clear path to knowledge. This time, however, reason led me nowhere. Every time I thought I had deduced the logical path to a new idea I discovered faults in my logic that left me in the same place I had started. I could not find any axioms of knowledge.
I consulted a revered theologian. He consigned my question to the mind of god. But who created god? I asked, sensing a hole in his answer.
God is the uncreated creator. The memorized rebuttal carried with it contempt towards my lack of knowledge of theological canon. I left the conversation refusing to accept any axioms of my existence.
I then sought out a venerated scientist. I asked him my fabled question, expecting a meek response. Instead, he began a dissertation on the mechanisms of the universe. But why is it that way? I asked again and again only to be met with another wave of explanations.
That is what empirical evidence indicates. He retorted constantly.
But how do you know your conclusion isnt like an explanation of the movement of shadows on a wall I asked alluding to Platos Allegory of the Cave.
I neednt concern myself with hypotheses that cannot be falsified. I am a man of science. His dismissive reply left me in the same place I started.
As I walked out of his office I overheard a toddler importuning his mother. But why? he asked time and time again. His mothers repeated explanations failed to satiate his need for knowledge. He continued probing. Her explanations eventually focused on the existence of the universe. The toddler was not pleased. Why does the universe exist?
It just does, the mother said as she walked out of earshot.
As I walked on I noted that all three never reached any firm basis for their knowledge. The theologian and the scientist both dismissed the question as unanswerable. In his youth, the toddler refused to capitulate. He continued probing for knowledge beyond what his mother could provide.
My question was fundamentally a question of the mechanism explaining a condition. However, in order to explain something we must be able to observe it. By definition I couldnt step out of the universe and observe it. I couldnt answer my question because it was impossible for me to observe the mechanism. I capitulated to the inevitable: my question had no answer.