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TASS rejects 2014

Elena216Elena216 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
Hey guys! I just received my TASS rejection letter today :(
How long did you work on your essays and what did you think you did wrong? I proofread my essays for 3 weeks but I feel like they were too short. Are any of you guys thinking about applying to TASP next year?

Good luck to those who were selected for an interview!!!

Replies to: TASS rejects 2014

  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    I haven't heard anything.
    How'd you find out?
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    My essays were pretty nice, but I wrote them on the day of the deadline...the deadline that was extended....

    I can post them if you'd like, or I can private message you them.

    I really don't mind.
  • Elena216Elena216 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    They sent a letter to my house .. I would love to see your essays! Pm me please :)
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    JUST GOT ACCEPTED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, I'm a finalist.

    I just realized that I can't PM the essays as they release personal information about myself and who I am, but I will say this:

    For the Books thing, I wrote that I read:
    For School:

    -"The Bean Trees" by Barbara Kingsolver

    -"The Dew Breaker" by Edwidge Danticat

    -"The Odyssey" by Homer


    -"End This Depression Now!" by Paul Krugman

    -"Food Rules: An Eater's Manual" by Michael Pollan

    -"Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes

    -"Animal Farm" by George Orwell

    -Wall Street Journal

    -Maximum PC

    -New York Times

    -"How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

    -"1984" by George Orwell

    -"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand

    -"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

    -"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    -"The Insulted and the Injured" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    -"The Republic" by Plato

    -"The Road to Serfdom" by Friedrich Hayek

    -"Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell

    -"Slaughterhouse 5" by Kurt Vonnegut

    -"Catch-22" by Joseph Heller

    -"The Law" by Frederic Bastiat

    -"The Federalist Papers" by Alexander Hamilton

    -"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

    For the Future Objectives one, I wrote about wanted to pursue a degree in Public Policy after my experiences working for a cystic fibrosis centre that had successfully brought CF patients from Iran despite their sanctions

    For the inspiring art one, I wrote a really good essay about Picasso's Guernica, and it's meaning to me, which I then tied back to fighting CF and health injustice, as well as who I am

    For the significant African American issue, I wrote about how afirmative action must be abolished in education systems to help African Americans

    For the what seminar I wanted to attend, I said only Indiana, since attending Michigan would be a little silly as I was so interested in their Indiana/Global Health seminar.
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    Here's the African American issues one; please be kind, I typed these like 10 minutes before the deadline while drinking copious amounts of seltzer water

    I'm posting it here since I know that the topics change, so that no one will be able to copy it, it doesn't have any personal information, it's helpful to the readers on CC and this way I won't have to PM everyone who wants to see it.

    4. Discuss a significant issue in the experiences of African Americans. Your topic may deal with political, social, or historical issues, or any other aspect of this topic that is of interest to you. Explain the nature of the issue, why you think it is important, and your own opinion about it. You may research the topic if you wish, but your focus should be on expressing your own ideas. The suggested length is 1 to 2 single-spaced pages (or no more than 1,500 words).

    [A significant issue in the experiences of African Americans is affirmative action, specifically in the education sector. Affirmative action describes any policy that take factors such as race, religion, skin color, sex or national origin into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group. Affirmative action, as a policy idea for a variety of sectors, has been around since FDR in the 1930's, but has recently become a part of national debate as sides argue whether or not diversity in education is a fair determiner and if the policy is inherently racist towards those targeted or untargeted. The issue also has been tied into arguments about reparations for slavery and urban development in "black" neighborhoods. Affirmative action in education isn't specifically about African Americans, but they are one of the most affected groups of people, and typically, are the people most discussed in the debate surrounding this issue.

    This issue is highly important and may likely be the most important issue that African Americans face today. Education is a critical aspect of one's life; in America, one spends about 16 years or more in school and several advancements in civil rights have occurred in the classroom, especially during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. Also, this issue, affirmative action, is the most serious as it is one of the closest examples to actual debate about the rights of African American citizens in the modern era, and the government's stance upon the issue thus inherently reflects the disposition of the government towards the rights of African American citizens. Lastly, this issue is highly important as it threatens to unravel, or in the least, change the social progress made by African American citizens over the course of history in the United States of America. Hence, this topic is rather important.

    Before revealing my personal stance on the issue, it is important to understand both sides of this debate. The people who support affirmative action in the education sector have traditionally argued that the targeted students are disadvantaged to begin with, and this policy is only evening the playing field. Other arguments in support of affirmative action are that affirmative action creates diversity, affirmative action serves as reparations to years of slavery and oppression, and that affirmative action helps end stereotypes promulgated in society. The argument against affirmative action historically has been that the policy marginalizes and demeans the actual successes of targeted persons, affirmative action creates reverse discrimination, and that race and gender will be used to make sure that more capable students can't get admissions to certain schools.

    My personal stance on the argument is that affirmative action should be abolished, and frankly, it should be done as soon as possible. African-American students are indeed disadvantaged from the start; they face a society that has historically perpetrated hate crimes against them and the added stress of school life, especially one that features social segregation against African Americans. However, affirmative action simply does not solve this problem. Frederick Lynch, the author of Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action, did a study on white males and found that white males were, as a whole, likely to characterize the admissions of African Americans, as well as other "targets", as unfair, stating that they were being unfairly victimized, and, as a whole, marginalized the achievements of the targets. Thus, it is clear that this policy is only continuing blind hatred and social injustice. If we are to move to a society where race is a non-factor in success or demeanor towards another, then we need to move to a society where race is, in fact, a non-factor in success or demeanor towards another. Also, if affirmative action was designed to benefit targets in education by getting them into schools that they wouldn't have before, how is that helpful? Why are we not focusing on making sure that African Americans, as well as all Americans, are prepared for the most rigorous levels of education? How can we have call this program a counter to racism and injustice when all that we are doing is promoting racist beliefs and attitudes whilst failing the African American population? As Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the only African American justice currently serving on the Supreme Court, the policy of affirmative action implies that African Americans need special treatment in order to succeed. African Americans do not need special treatment. They, like all others, need to be treated like all others, in the eyes of the law and society. African Americans need to know that their education system didn't fail them so miserably that they now need to be supported by the crutch of race in order to be part of society. Recently, an African-American student who attended my school scored high enough on his exams to apply several incredible schools, but attributed his ability upon his race, and ultimately, was not confident enough to achieve at his maximum potential. And if he, like so many other African Americans, cannot expect to be able to pursue their goals to their maximum potentials, then we, as Americans, are failing them through the policy of affirmative action. Every so often in history, mankind reflects upon its past and then leaps gallantly forward in the name of progress; America has a sordid past with African Americans; several grave injustices have gone against this race. However, the time comes to leap gallantly forward, to a new dawn of true social justice. Hence, I feel that affirmative action simply must be abolished in the field of education, lest man not wish to further venture down the path of justice and equality; of progress and a brighter future for those who inherit the world that we hold today.]
  • omgmakemesmarteromgmakemesmarter Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    edited February 2014
    oh oh oh i read a bit about affirmative action recently. just a little. i was reading richard rodriguezes books and it comes up a bit in them. he's interesting for being a mexican from an immigrant family who benefited lots from it, but someone who argues against it and is in fact one of its most eloquent critics (because he's such a good writer, but also because if you read closely there's some subtler arguments in his opposition to it for why its bad).

    btw remember how i said my friends think i like brown people (actually i think that was in the post you skipped so you can just hear it from me now) well this was one of the reasons, they discovered i was reading all these books by mexicans, memoirs, and then they reinterpreted all my interactions with brown people, the indians at my school i befriended, the school janitor i said hello to! as being driven by this one dimensional desire for affiliation with brown people. it was so below them i was ashamed. the next day i left them for a new group of friends, friends who wouldn't make such assumptions about me, friend who were brown. (i didn't really leave them right then and there but i can't say the thought didn't cross my mind).

    i read your essay. it was nice hehe, especially for being composed on so little time and so much seltzer water.

    heres some of the quotes on affirmative action from his books (don't feel like you have to read them all although i DID read your essay for the summer program that i've never even heard of, so you can read these quotes from an author you've never heard of, but only if its something you WANT to do)
    After all that Richard Nixon had written about how hard work wins the day in America, finally it was Nixon who arranged for me to bypass the old rules. Through the agency of affirmative action, akin to those pivotal narrative devices in Victorian fictions, I had, suddenly, a powerful father in America, like Old Man Kennedy. I had, in short, found a way to cheat. The saddest part of the story is that Nixon was willing to disown his own myth for political expediency. It would be the working-class white kid—the sort he had been—who would end up paying the price of affirmative action, not Kennedys. Affirmative action defined a “minority” in a numerical rather than a cultural sense. And since white males were already numerically “represented” in the boardroom, as at Harvard, the Appalachian white kid could not qualify as a minority. And since brown and black faces were “underrepresented,” those least disadvantaged brown and black Americans, like me, were able to claim the prize of admission and no one questioned our progress


    As a young man, I was more a white liberal than I ever tried to put on black. For all that, I ended up a “minority,” the beneficiary of affirmative action programs to redress black exclusion. And, harder to say, my brown advantage became a kind of embarrassment. For I never had an adversarial relationship to American culture. I was never at war with the tongue. Brown was no longer invisible by the time I got to college. In the white appraisal, brown skin became a coat of disadvantage, which was my advantage. Acknowledgment came at a price, then as now. (Three decades later, the price of being a published brown author is that one cannot be shelved near those one has loved. The price is segregation.) I remain at best ambivalent about those Hispanic anthologies where I end up; about those anthologies where I end up the Hispanic; about shelves at the bookstore where I look for myself and find myself. The fact that my books are published at all is the result of the slaphappy strategy of the northern black Civil Rights movement.


    my name came up in a conversation. Someone at the sherry party had wondered if the professor had seen my latest article on affirmative action. The professor replied with arch politeness, ‘And what does Mr. Rodriguez have to complain about?’ You who read this act of contrition should know that by writing it I seek a kind of forgiveness—not yours. The forgiveness, rather, of those many persons whose absence from higher education permitted me to be classed a minority student. I wish that they would read this. I doubt they ever will


    One of my best teachers in graduate school seemed surprised that I always brought up the subject. I was not like ‘the others,’ he confided, as a kind of compliment. Why then did all this minority business concern me so incessantly? Why spend so much valuable time writing and arguing about affirmative action? he wondered


    But I was increasingly annoyed by the fact that the white students who complained about affirmative action never bothered to complain that it was unfair to lower-class whites. What solely concerned them was that affirmative action limited their chances, their plans


    I wrote a note to all the chairmen of English departments who had offered me jobs. I left a note for the professor in my own department at Berkeley who was in charge of helping graduate students look for teaching positions. (The contradictions of affirmative action have finally caught up with me. Please remove my name from the list of teaching job applicants.)

  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    Thanks for the stuff!
  • Elena216Elena216 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Congratulations Apollo!!!!! Your essay was excellent, mine was only 700 words. I wrote about disadvantages in voting and gerrymandering. Update me on your interview :) Hopefully I will have a chance at TASP next year. I wish you the best of luck!
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    Thanks! I actually didn't like that essay as much as the one I wrote about Guernica, but now I need to prep/freak out about the interview
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    Anyone else get in/rejected?
  • persnicketylemonpersnicketylemon Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Yeah, I got in. Apollo11, your "on my own" list is full of stuff I should probably read. Cool essay, by the way, and I fully approve of your choice of beverages. Personally I think I mostly drank tea, and my "issues regarding African-Americans" essay was about white privilege and the stupidity of using it as an excuse to insult white people while still expecting them to support the POC community.

    omgmakemesmarter, nice to know that you have new "brown friends."
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    Do you know the acceptance rate amongst finalists?
  • Elena216Elena216 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Last year 300 people applied and only 36 get in. 80-120 are selected for the interview.
  • Apollo11Apollo11 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    ^Oh, okay. I heard that there were 330+ applicants last year, and the finalist total was 100.
  • kolanutkolanut Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Just got my letter! I'm really nervous about the interview.
This discussion has been closed.