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Should U Chicago's admissions dean have sent this essay around or am I too strict?

GreeneryGreenery 921 replies54 threads Member
edited December 2012 in College Essays
I think the "Essay" is too provocative...and they should have kept it in the "Admission" Office. I'm not against the selection of the student, but I dislike the decision of the Dean of sending this kind of "Essay" to prospective students...kind of romantic (?), a private love story...? What do you think?
"Dear" [student's name],

"I am sending you the following essay by one of your classmates with the hope that it lightens your mood, reduces any end-of-the-year stress and inspires your creative juices in completing your applications. Enjoy the essay and the holidays!

"Dear University of Chicago,

It fills me up with that gooey sap you feel late at night when I think about things that are really special to me about you. Sometimes I just hunger for more, but I keep that a secret. The mail you send is such a tease; I like to imagine additional words on the page. Words like "you're accepted" or "you're awesome!" or "don't worry, she still loves you!" but I know they're all lies. You never called after that one time, I visited you thrice, but you never come around anymore. Tell me, was I just one in a line of many? Was I just another supple "applicant" to you, looking for a place to live, looking for someone to teach me the ways of the world? The closeness between us was beautiful, it couldn't have been just me that felt it, I know you felt it too. The intimacy was akin to that of scholar and original text, your depth as a person is astounding! To be honest, I must confess I had already dreamt of a rosy future together, one filled with late nights and long discussions over the Gothic era and the ethical stage of Kierkegaard, we would watch the sunset together and spend every Christmas snuggled in blankets. Eventually we would get older, I would become a well-educated corporate lawyer and you would enrich yourself within the domain of human knowledge. Your cup overfloweth with academic genius, pour a little on me. You're legendary for it, they all told me it would never work out between us, but I had hope. I had so much hope; I replied to your adorable letters and put up with your puns. I knew going into it that you would be an expensive one to keep around, I accounted for all that; I understand someone of your caliber and taste.

And now you inquire as to my wishes? They're simple, accept me for who I am! Why can't you just love and not ask why? Not ask about my assets or my past? I'm living in the now, I'm waiting for you to catch up, but you're too caught up in my past, I offer us a future together, not a past to dwell upon. Whenever I'm around you, I just get that tingle deep inside me that tells me you're the one; you have that air of brilliance and ingenuity that I crave in a person, you're so mature and sophisticated, originality is really your strongest and most admirable trait. I wish we could be together, I still think in my heart of hearts we were meant to be, but you have to meet me halfway, dear. I'm on one knee here with tears welling up in my eyes, the fireworks are timed and ready to light up the night sky for you, just say 'I accept...you.'



P.S. Rohan was admitted to UChicago last week and will be joining us in the fall. I can't wait to meet him.

P.P.S. This was in response to the question: How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community and future? DO NOT see this as a blueprint, but one of many types of essays we get. Be yourself!

Best regards,
James N...Vice President
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid"
edited December 2012
213 replies
Post edited by Greenery on
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Replies to: Should U Chicago's admissions dean have sent this essay around or am I too strict?

  • patsmompatsmom 4247 replies513 threads Senior Member
    I think it's a pretty clever essay. I'm not sure I see why you object to it.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40174 replies320 threads Senior Member
    I don't either. I think it was clever and well done, though what do I know, I'm not U of C material. I don't see it as provocative or inappropriate, at all. What did you object to?
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  • mathmommathmom 32783 replies160 threads Senior Member
    I'm sure they got Rohan's permission. I think the letter is funny. My son's essay "Why Chicago" essay clearly wasn't the quirkiest one out there this year.
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  • GreeneryGreenery 921 replies54 threads Member
    I have mix feelings: I like to read the "essay," however, I feel the content is something you will say to an intimate person and not share it with anyone else. Maybe that's the reason I feel uncomfortable...like it should have kept private. I agree a clever essay...I cannot explain why I feel awkward.
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  • rrahrrah 1593 replies69 threads Senior Member
    I too think it's clever and funny. I can see why the student was admitted.
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  • limabeanslimabeans 4649 replies105 threads Senior Member
    Greenery, The purpose of UChicago's sharing this essay is to show the extent other applicants write their essays. It's really to get you to think "outside the box". For all I know, this letter was actually written by a marketing committee and not really by an applicant. It's really not at all designed to make someone feel uncomfortable when they read it; it's designed to inspire you to write something unique. They chose this essay to illustrate what that looks like. Remember, they had thousands from which to choose. This one fit their criteria: send something a bit bizarre, unexpected, light-hearted, and somewhat generic.

    So, no. You're not too 'strict'. But, you're not reading it from their point of view, or using their criteria.
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  • MD MomMD Mom 6644 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Clever--reminds me of a poem my daughter wrote that sounded very provocative, and at the end you learned she was talking a washing machine. It was priceless watching her father read it for the first time.
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  • roshkeroshke 3090 replies36 threads Senior Member
    As spoof on a love letter, it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous. There is really nothing in that letter that most people would consider inappropriate (sappy, maybe!). If the language bothers you because it sounds too much like a real intimate love letter, then I'd characterize that as extremely conservative by today's standards, though (kind of like an 8:00 pm curfew for a HS senior ;)). I suspect there are cultural background differences here.
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12525 replies545 threads Senior Member
    greenery, you are "reading "too much" and "too little" into this wonderful essay! I agree with roshke, it is a wonderful spoof on what at first glance may appear to be a "love letter", but it is wonderfully twisted into an original, "quirky" "why Chicago" admissions essay!
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  • Confused92Confused92 172 replies26 threads Junior Member
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with the essay.

    There is something wrong with the dean sending this around, namely that now my Why Chicago looks roughly 63% less original. yippee
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  • 2collegewego2collegewego 2615 replies95 threads Senior Member
    I love it! I'm glad that kid got in. :-)
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  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon 11830 replies298 threads Senior Member
    Ditto, Roshke.

    (For some reason :confused:) it reminds me a little bit of an essay my D wrote for school she didn't end up attending...where from some sort of free-formish prompt she wrote a personal letter to their director of (whatever they called) residence hall services. I can't remember much of it but I do remember that in the "letter" she was lamenting the lack of a wire coat-hanger on the "provided materials list" . She listed several reasons why they should be provided as standard equipment but I only remember a couple:

    Securing the muffler to her Xterra in the event she knocked it loose in a snow-drift.

    And she closed with (and I remember this one because it was so bizarre) un-winding it to its full length so she could reach across from her bed and poke her sleeping roomie "while denying all knowledge of the poke and the poking device". Bet she was the only one who wrote THAT. ;)
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  • YurtleYurtle 828 replies22 threads Member
    I laughed! It was cute.

    It's a spoof letter, and it's very witty.
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 84272 replies1048 threadsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
    very witty! :)
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I think it was a little intimidating to send this around a week before the application deadline, but it's awfully good.

    I would like to sticky it and have it handy to trot out whenever people here are complaining about some student with inferior "stats" and "ECs" getting accepted at a college in lieu of his betters. This essay comes close to an automatic acceptance, regardless of what the rest of the application looks like, as long as it is consistent with the applicant actually having written this. (And the internal hints are that there were plenty of flaws in the rest of the application.) When we look at a resume and list of stats, we are looking at only a portion of the information available to admissions staff. And something like this is far more impressive (and probably more rare) than 4.0 GPAs or 2400 SATs.
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  • idadidad 4849 replies179 threads Senior Member
    Couldn't agree with JHS more. When visiting on admitted students day I actually asked the admissions dean why S1 (whose GPA was not stellar) was admitted. His response to me was, "His essays." Someone from the College later asked for permission to reprint one of them, though I don't know if they ever did. In my calculation, the essay had to be worth about .40 GPA points.
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  • NesterNester 805 replies57 threads Member
    Greenery -- If you are living in a culture in which relationships between men and woman are more formal than they are in mainstream America, I can see where an older man sending a young girl an essay spoofing a love letter which mentions snuggling together under blankets or alludes to a tingling feeling deep within could seem inappropriate or disrespectful. Know that in the context of the culture of most American universities, the letter is really not over the line and the two phrases I mentioned are not interpreted by most readers (see all the postings above) as sexual innuendo. The essay just reads as a funny letter that expresses how much the writer wants to attend the U of C in a very clever way.
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  • hopeandaudacityhopeandaudacity 15 replies4 threads New Member
    Is this a good why this college essay? From what I understand I would have thought this was well-written, but not really informative. It could apply to any college, not necesarily UChicago (just swap in a different name--still works).

    I wrote one of these why essays and worked really hard to research and give specific reasons for why I wanted to attend X college....I can just do this? Aha.
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  • mommusicmommusic 8232 replies69 threads Senior Member
    I would think they should have omitted the writer's name...now on campus when he meets people they'll always ask, "Are you the Rohan who wrote that essay?"

    But it's a clever essay!
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  • lololulololu 1407 replies50 threads Senior Member
    Ick. If this is indicative of the kind of kid that Chicago is accepting, maybe it really isn't the place for my son. I found it overly cute and cloying, but not inappropriate. As some one up thread pointed out it really doesn't say much, either about Chicago or the applicant. It is all surface and no substance. This is the kid who will write twelve pages essays and miss the point every time.
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