Tuesday, January 11, 2005

How I spent my summer vacation

I'll give twenty bucks and a six-pack to anyone out there who wants to write a 300-word essaylet on "Something about [me] that [the graduate admissions board] wouldn't otherwise know by reading [my] application." Don't know me? No problem, neither do admissions boards; make it up. Feel free to sprinkle liberally with terminal illnesses/dire poverty/molesting uncles/eating disorders or anything else that might get me the pity nod.

Here's the thing.

We all know that questions like these are begging for the dramatic personal narrative. Nobody wants to read an "about me" essay on "I like to read a lot" or "I once met Santana" or "I was switched a birth." [I actually was! But I was switched back pretty quickly, so the dramatic arc crumbles pretty quickly.] At the risk of jinxing everything, I've been pretty lucky in my life thus far. After the whole switching-at-birth incident, it's been pretty smooth sailing for me. And the people I do know that have had some pretty tumultuous and trying obstacles in their childhoods and young adulthoods are precisely the least likely people to trumpet these in some "about me" essay. Ergo, this is a bullshit topic.

Anything that is relevant to me has been carefully interwoven and subtly presented in my finely crafted personal statement that took me ages to perfect. Now I have to blow all that work with some throw-away garbage on how I used to be a clarinet player. You know, ask me for a writing sample, ask me for a relevant essay, but don't base even a portion of your admissions decision on my ability to tell an amusing anecdote. What I'm saying is, don't make me take out the mole story...

Hot damn, are gummi bears good. And only Haribo. And not the orange ones which are objectively vile. Oh somebody help me because I'm not leaving this computer until essays are done.


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