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Author Topic: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it  (Read 55975 times)

redemption

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #50 on: December 24, 2005, 11:23:54 AM »
And this for Yale? A story that says, by analogy, "I am purposeless"? Doesn't make sense to me. What IS ambition without purpose?! Is the joke in the oxymoron? Who knows?

And, leaving aside that teensy problem (is that even possible?):

1. Toddler thing doesn't work. Toddlers can't find their way back to table after restroom break. 
2. Comparing Christ to GPS, Prozac, Pilates = disrespectful, even if true.
3. Blink and gasp when someone says "orient"? Really?...  "ORIENT!"


I like the thing about the 'off the freeway and relegated me to passenger seats and Peter Pan Buses". That's charming and genuine, but doesn't save the piece from its faults.

Over The Hill

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2005, 12:00:42 PM »
i wonder what everyone here thinks of this one as well.  those of you who've already read it, please don't prejudice the responses for at least a day or two.


-+-+-+-+-+-


I am plenty ambitious, but I lack direction.


I sincerely hope the character and fitness review includes no trailblazing component, because I possess roughly the directional abilities of a toddler. Worse, even, as toddlers seem instinctually able to toddle in the general direction of mommy, whereas I become hopelessly lost returning to my table in a restaurant after a visit to the ladies’ room. On beach days, after swimming in the ocean, I comb the shore for hours in a feeble attempt to relocate my companions. When someone asks whether I live north or south of a landmark, or uses the verb “orient” in its literal sense, I blink and gasp as though deprived of oxygen. “After a few days, you’ll get your bearings,” people say, but bearings elude me. Everyone has her weakness, but mine too often forced me off of the freeway and relegated me to passenger seats and Peter Pan buses.


Then I found Maggie.


Others find Christ, Prozac, Pilates; I found Maggie. Maggie is short for Magellan RoadMate GPS Auto Navigation System. She sits suction-cupped to my dashboard and sweetly directs, “left turn in one point two miles,” or “approaching destination on your right!” Would that I could have become my own Maggie; my car is littered with enough direction-laden legal pads to pave the Mass. Pike. But try as I might, I cannot guide myself organically, so I embrace my plastic friend instead.


Ambitious indeed, but I take direction well.



There is a lot to like about this statement. Most importantly, it takes two horrific clichés and plays with them in a way that is both clever and amusing. When I first read the "lack direction" line I cringed a little, and then I of course realized that she was actually talking about her North-South-East-West bearings. That was nicely done. And the "and then I met Maggie" cliché is also turned on its head quite cleverly.

The writing is clear and concise, unlike the previous one (even though I did like that one from a stylistic perspective).

The most salient failure of this essay, I think, is that the "ambitious" nature she mentions in the first and last line never comes into play. Why does she bring up her ambition if it isn't referenced at all? I understand that it allows her to play with the "ambitious but lack direction" cliché, but that's not good enough for me. If it's mentioned, and mentioned in so crucial a place no less, it should have some kind of significant role in the piece. Also, her use of "ambitious indeed" in her closing sentence implies that she has somehow demonstrated her ambitious nature by the time we get to that line, when in fact she hasn't.

Don't get me wrong; on the whole I think it's an excellent use of 250 words—and I don't give that compliment lightly—but I do believe it could be improved.

And I think it's much better than my Yale 250.

asdf1234

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2005, 01:13:16 PM »

my response:

excellent writer, not very persuasive essay.  He seems aghast about something (decreasing lack of intellectual curiousity) that he doesn't (and can't prove) and that to me seems pretty counter-intuitive.

I doubt that essay (or any other) got him in.  It was just part of the whole package.

My essay was much simpler and less creative than the examples I've seen though.  : ( *worries*

pgcc

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2005, 01:46:48 PM »
All these essays are wonderful as long as you have a 3.9 and 175 to go with them.

The Dread Pirate Roberts

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2005, 04:09:44 PM »
I thought a poem by Maya Angelou.  Either way, if somebody submitted that to yale and didn't get their ass immediately rejected I would be incredibly surprised, and more than a little upset.

Lenny

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2005, 04:45:25 PM »
Since the kid got in, you would be unwise to plagarize it. Nor do I think Yale wants a bunch of essays just like this. But I thought some applicants might like to see one that worked, and I'd like to know if you all think this helped him get in--or if his ridiculously high numbers did the trick.

The proverbial cat is nearly avenged. Curiosity has been marched before the firing squad of self-assured modern apathy and the rifles barrels are trembling with anticipation.
Over the centuries, empires have risen and collapsed, belief systems have appeared and vanished, and millions of people have sojourned on the earth. Despite vast differences in custom and geography, one common force has driven the progress of mankind: curiosity. The human condition has been continually lifted to new heights by the pondering of thinkers, dreamers, children, and ordinary people. Individual lives, too, have been enriched by engaging the intellect and imagination.
People today are immersed in information but unwilling to think. Knowledge seems like a cheap commodity to the Google generation: why pursue the life of the mind when one can find anything on the Web? Once the world was rocked, and the thoughts of man challenged and expanded, by the impact of thinkers who wondered about the way things were; Kant, Darwin, Einstein, and Adam Smith earned fame with the force of their ideas. Now we refuse to wonder—preferring ready-made, just-add-personal-bias sound bites.
There will always be some committed inquirers, but if general curiosity continues to whither, who will be their disciples? Even a master chef can’t satisfy diners that don’t care enough to swallow, let alone seek nourishment.
Could the stagnation of human knowledge result from too many answers and not enough questions? May that question breed many more.


I haven't read through all the posts, so maybe this point has already arisen.  But, this person used the passive voice 7 times, started a sentence with "there are" once, and engaged in an orgy of hyperbole.  It shows that he or she really wants to get in, which may be what really matters, but elegantly written I would say it is not. 

Over The Hill

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2005, 05:44:23 PM »
Well, having written a critique of that poem as a Yale 250 before learning it was by Maya Angelou, I certainly feel like an ass. I have removed my comments. I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and so now that I have some context for the poem I think it's a lot more powerful. Knowing that the poem was written by someone who grew up during Angelou's time and in her circumstances certainly makes me more receptive to its message. Interesting how that works...

leafer

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2005, 05:52:02 PM »
You know, they probably only even bother to read the 250 in marginal cases.  With some numbers, and some Resumes, you could probably submit even this piece of &^&^%^ and get an admit.  People obsess about this 250 thing way too much.

redemption

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2005, 06:23:18 PM »
Oh for pity's sake. The poem is by Maya Angelou as a previous post pointed out. No point in critiquing it. It's good. Not appropriate for a Yale 250 and no-one would submit it as such.

Yale College Inferno

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Re: Yale 250 that got a kid in last year--critique it
« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2005, 09:32:16 PM »
I know a guy who, for his application to Yale undergrad, wrote an entire essay with each word beginning with the letter Q.

Eh, I call bull...I just don't think there are enough words to craft much of a narrative or argument.  Heck, it was tough enough for Georges Perec et al. to write a book without the letter 'e'...

I guess I'd like to see an essay with 'q' words; the perfect standardized test score should not be underestimated though, IMHO.



I also call bull, unless it was a VERY short essay.

Writing an entire essay without using any articles (a, an, the) is hard enough, and none of them begin with "q". Then wipe out all the prepositions that don't begin with "q", and all the being verbs (is, to be, etc.) none of which begin with "q," and I think you have an impossible task. If you say anything at all, it suren't can't be particularly insightful.
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