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									                                        Princeton ADMITTED College Essays

Princeton 1
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:
What one person, class, book, or experience would you point to as having had a significant effect on the way you think about something?
Explain.



Essay Title
...Twice before crushing, but this time it was a 1.5-inch thick cement brick,
something I had never done before. I struck the brick with my palm and felt
excruciating pain. The brick remained intact. By this time hot flame was in
my
hand; this was the pain, fighting back as I struggled with it. I knew I had to
break it even if it were implausible for a 105-pound person to do it. Many
members from my school had their eyes fixated on me. Breaking the brick became
tantamount to overcoming any obstacle I could encounter so I lifted my fist
crashed it down into the brick, and shattered the cement into two.

After the test I shed tears, both of pain and joy. I learned that when I set my
mind to do something I can do it, even if the task seems impossible. Winner's
camp taught me that anything I need to reach my goals is inside of myself. When


I dislocated my knee cap I could have run to the phone, begged my mother to
drive to camp, and gone home to hide in the comfort of my bed- but I didn't. I
took
high rope course and the zip line that landed in water. I may have broken a
bone, but camp taught me that my spirit is indomitable.




Princeton 2
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership


ESSAY QUESTION:
2. If you were given a year to spend in any way you wish, what would you do?


Essay Title
The phone rings at 5:26 AM. 'Hello?' I drawl blearily. 'Mr. ****? I have some
good news.' - I wake up instantly. 'We actually do have a package for you to
courier to London today. Can you meet us at Dulles for a 7:45 flight?'
'Definitely,' I reply. If I were given a year to spend, I would travel.

I first decided to travel in my junior year. I had already applied to the
National Institute of Health, but it was months before I would hear from them.
In the meantime, I made plans. I desperately wanted to travel, but I didn't
know
how I would be able to. I ran through all the outlandish possibilities in my
head, ranging from living in a Tibetan monastery to performing dream
interpretations on a cruise ship. Eventually, I found an answer. Buried deep
inside of a dog-eared travel book my dad borrowed in the '70s was a footnote on
courier flights.

When a package is sent by air, it has to clear customs before it can proceed to
its destination, often languishing for days in a warehouse. But if the package
is paired with a passenger, clearance is quick. Courier companies need to have
their packages clear customs quickly, and adventurous spirits need to travel, so
long ago, a bargain was struck. Courier companies would buy a round-trip ticket
and offer it to someone willing to accompany their package. I learned that it
was possible to fly round trip to London for $50 dollars. Many flights were
free
if you were willing to fly within hours of notice.

I had an entire travel plan laid out. I kept my bags permanently packed and had
called all the family friends I knew to stay with. But at the beginning of
April, I heard from the NIH, putting a premature end to my plan. If I were
given
a year to spend, I would travel.




Princeton 3
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:

Essentially, talk about something important to you in 500 words. There were various permutations in the wording between Princeton, Yale,
Columbia, Georgetown, and UVA, but this was my general "major" essay.



Essay Title
Consider the Piet`, by Michelangelo. Not his first Piet`, the masterpiece with
Mary forever youthful and mourning over the luminous Christ, finished at 23 and
enshrined in St. Peter's Basilica, but his afterthought. Michelangelo said that
in sculpting, rather than imposing his will on the block, the statue is already
perfectly formed inside of the marble; he merely chips away the stone concealing
it. His last Piet` Rondanini was left half-delivered on his death at age
ninety.


It is a coincidence of history that the Christ and Mary are frozen stepping
from
the marble, almost dripping off like water at their feet, and their torsos are
obscured by the rough grain stone. Form and imagination meet in this Piet`, and
it proves that the artist's saw is not hubris, but his own deep sensibility of
form.

Michelangelo's renaissance sensibility is also modern. Karl Popper's
epistemology of falsification is the enormous chisel that divides what we know
from what must be. Science exalts and humbles its student, whose deepest
insight
is the removal of chaff. There is truth in data obscured by the opacity of
ignorance, and so analysis is a chipping away. Plodding sterility brooding over
the pure marble, the dispassionate scientific method has no taste for insight
unless it is reproducible. Intuition and the chipping away become negative
images that meet in beauty, where science and art are the mind becoming one with
the external.

I learned this at the National Institute of Health. My research involves data
from PET scans of sleeping patents, which we correlate with
electroencephalograms
to learn how brain metabolism is reflected in brain wave patterns. One thing we
have noticed is that while it's commonly thought that brain activity decreases
generally across the brain as a person goes deeper into sleep, there are some
regions that actually decrease less. This is exciting, and something which we
seek to explain, and yet, my work has also been extremely mundane. I spent time
dividing the brain into 200-odd general anatomical regions for comparison among
subjects, and I spent long hours tweaking the mathematical form of the data.
Often, it would seem like meaningless numerology.

Yet, to find a conclusion in
one of these forms that relates back to the brain itself through all the
numerical and formal abstractions, to all the brains of our subjects, is a
moment
of beauty where insight illuminates a drab chain of logic and cuts off a chip of
marble that never truly belonged.




Princeton 4
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:
Personal Statement. Write about any experience.



Essay Title
Escape to Lake Boronda

I'm not known as an outdoor person. I've never gone camping or hiking before,
and an indoor fly is enough to repulse me. But this summer, a friend convinced
me
to drive up to nearby Lake Boronda with him ' and for the first time in my life
I
was introduced to the pleasure of fishing.

For five hours on a beautifully breezy summer day deep within the peaceful Bay
Area Foothills, I sat at the edge of a dock switching between watching my friend
cast his rod, and observing a pair of dragonflies mate besides my head.

As I picked up my friend's pole and cast it for the first time, I felt a strange
transformation, as if holding that rod suddenly converted me into a placid
naturalist. Standing with a fishing pole on a small dock, dwarfed by a huge
lake,
overshadowed by a mountain range, I had a distinct feeling of serenity in
casting
and reeling, casting and reeling. My schoolwork, social life, and stress seemed
to sink away; all I could do was watch my lure sail through the air and splash,
feel the tingling of ants scrambling up my leg, and smell the fresh scent of
algae that had just risen to the surface.

Some people tend to ignore nature because it doesn't play a part in their daily
lives - but as I took my friend's rod and sat down at a nearby, secluded rock, I
began to feel a warm dependency on my surroundings. I gauged the passing time by
glancing at the sun rather than my watch; I dug in the dirt with my hands to
find
worms for bait, and then rinsed my hands in the lake water to wash off the
grime.

I didn't catch any fish that day. In fact, I revisited that lake over a dozen
times that summer, yet I did not catch a single fish. However, it didn't matter.
It wasn't the fish I was after, but the tranquility, the escape. Perhaps it was
fitting that the fish continuously eluded me, for I was on their turf.

Some of my friends derided me for enjoying sitting alone on a rock, instead of
joining them in more typical teenage pursuits, like playing video games or going
partying. But at the lake, I felt a joy from being away from the strains of
society, and among the beauties of nature. By walking past the gate that
separates Palo Alto from the Foothills, I was stepping into a new world free of
calculus tests and English essays. There was something tranquilizing about those
wiggling tadpoles, those screeching gulls, and those pesky flies that kept
buzzing into my ear.

On the last week of the summer, I drew from the murky water a gleaming,
four-inch long bass. I didn't feel triumphant, but flattered - as if the fish
had
finally accepted me into its secret paradise. Feeling a peculiar bond form
between that tiny creature and me, I held it tenderly in my hand and stretched
it
over the water, letting it jump off and scramble away. Then I reset my reel and
cast once more, gazing at the lure as it sliced through the air and dove into
the
water, again and again.




Princeton 5
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:

What one person, class, book, or experience would you point to as having had a significant effect on the way you think about something?
Explain. MINOR ESSAY



Essay Title
This summer I picked up a copy of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in order to get an
idea of the plot - it is my fall quarter English elective assignment. A
substantial book, I figured I'd at least get a head start on it before I was
required to analyze large portions of it. After finally finishing it the first
time through, I thought about its message and why it was deemed a classic, and
suddenly I realized that the book's structure revealed its value.

The omniscient
narrator, who describes most of the story along with segments in each person's
viewpoint, is who reveals the basic flaw in human nature that Tolstoy was trying
to illuminate, that relationships depend on communication, which must be
two-way.
 Yeah, it seems overdone and clichid, but really, Anna's two major life
decisions, to have a torrid extra-marital affair, and to kill herself in such a
brutal way - by throwing herself in front of a moving train, were both direct
results of not being able to communicate with and understand the men she loved.


Anna's lack of comprehension at times of Vronsky and Karenin, and vice versa,
which the readers can see in their thoughts but the characters themselves
cannot,
is just as much her evaluation of their actions as well as that of their words.
For example, after Anna tells Karenin she is having an affair, she interprets
his
stiffly numb reaction of shock to mean that he is incapable of love, when what
he
really feels is the hurt of having been deceived by the person he loves most.
Reading the entire book just made me want to jump in during any scene and
explain
each character's reactions to all of them. It really reminded me that I can't
underestimate the importance of body language, tone of voice, as well as human
contact in talking to another human being. Whenever I approach my parents now
for something, I remind myself that how I ask is just as important as what I
ask.

Humans talk to understand each other, not to confuse them; and, so out of
concern for the people I talk to, hopefully that's something I'll remember in my
future conversations.




Princeton 6
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership
ESSAY QUESTION:
Describe your ideal roommate. MINOR ESSAY



Essay Title
When I walk in the room, she's bouncing on the bed and belting out her favorite
songs along with the radio, but is willing to stop at a moment's notice and put
on her headphones if I tell her that I really need to get some work done.
That's
how I would want my roommate to be - considerate and able to compromise. Of
course I would have to think of her needs as well and offer to go to the library
sometimes. Since we will be sharing the same 10'x12' living space, in order not
to exasperate each other we will have to give a little. In addition, I would
hope that she would be at least somewhat organized.


I do not think that I can
live in a place with an inch of dirty clothes covering the bedroom floor. Being
tidy and neat allows people to spend their time doing either fun or important
things, not getting ready for them. You could be writing the final English
paper
due tomorrow instead of looking for your disk, or you could actually be cheering
at the football game wearing that cute sweater rather than wasting an hour
searching for it. The last two things I would find in my ideal roommate are
kindness and the ability to be a good listener. Living with a mean person is
neither healthy nor enjoyable, and neither is listening to someone babble
incessantly about herself. No one wants to come home to someone belittling her
or saying negative things all the time. It is possible to endure, but no one
actually likes it because it eventually dampens one's disposition.

It would be
wonderful to have a roommate with these qualities, because she would eliminate
one of the biggest adjustments to college life, living with others away from
home.




Princeton 7
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Why the Degree?



ESSAY QUESTION:

Why are you interested in studying engineering? Minor Question.



Essay Title
Engineering uses the theoretical and practical knowledge gained by the sciences
and mathematics to improve our everyday lives. This ability to help people
attracts me to engineering because of the immense opportunities to do so, in
what
ever direction I would like to specialize in later. I would love to use
engineering to study and regenerate nerve cells and vital organs, some projects
of which are in the works, but have not yet reached completion. The different
career options I'll have with an engineering degree are amazing; this stuff is
practical and there will always be a demand for me. Engineers are respected for
their dedication and hard work (all students have to take more than a full load
of classes to graduate in four years), as well as their ingenuity, which comes
from all of those design projects.




Princeton 8
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:
If you were given a year to spend in any way you wished, what would you do?



Essay Title
'Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be cruising at 30,000 feet and our flight time
will be just under five hours' -
I have always wanted to say that. Ever since I was young, my dream has been to
become an airline pilot.

Planes fascinate me. On the bookshelf in my room, there is an entire section
dedicated to books written on various types of aircrafts. Ever since I took my
first plane ride when I was six, I would study these books and the mechanics
behind flying. Of course I did not understand much when I was younger, but now
after studying physics, I am even more amazed at how this modern marvel
functions.

What better way to satisfy my love for planes than to become the person who
flies them? Whenever I go to the airport, I can amuse myself by walking around
and watching jets takeoff and land. Furthermore, each time I fly on a different
airline, I make sure to purchase a model plane to commemorate my journey. My
collection now consists of airlines ranging from US Airways to China Airlines.

In second grade, instead of building forts and playing cops and robbers, I built
miniature airports using couch cushions and pretended that my 'passengers'
(normally my mom) would shrink to a little less than a centimeter tall so that
they would be able to fit into one of my tiny airplane models. I would proceed
to
taxi the plane into position for takeoff, and, along with authentic sounds, I
would run the plane along the runway and fly it off into my family room's
airspace. Soon, it would land at its destination, the second airport I built in
my living room.

My love for planes is driven by my love for seeing new places and meeting new
people. As a pilot, I would not only be able to see new cities and countries,
but
I would also be able to meet new people and experience new and exciting foods.

Most importantly, I would be able to do what I love most: serve other people. It
would give me great pleasure to know that I helped a Grandmother visit her
daughter on Christmas or that I helped reunite relatives from opposite corners
of
the world.

Spending a year as a pilot would truly be my dream job because I would be able
to combine my passions for serving others and experiencing the unfamiliar with
my
interest in planes. Perhaps after a year, it would become my permanent
profession.




Princeton 9
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Personal Statement


ESSAY QUESTION:
Personal Statement


Essay Title
At home I have a 'magic' shoebox in which I keep all sorts of personal notes and
small presents. Often, when I have to write something, I open the box to take
out
my reading journal with excerpts I particularly like and read some to get in a
creative mood. Under Alice in Wonderland I found:

'Well! What are you - said the Pigeon. 'I can see you're trying to invent
something!'

'I-I'm a little girl,'said Alice, rather doubtfully, as she remembered the
number of changes she had gone through, that day.' Then, I smiled. I was ready
to
begin on my own.

I- I'm a bookworm in a way. "o be precise, I am the Queen of Bookworms. I have
laughed and shouted, and danced, and groaned to make my school my kingdom, and
neither my heavy crown of student responsibilities nor the court of deadlines
has
kept me from finding myself here. Therefore, I will not fear the temper of your
flamingoes but will present myself. Nice to meet you!

I was given this title by my English teacher back in preparatory class when,
along with excellent marks, I had a smart-alecky attitude that deserved a
nickname. I used to admire Mr. Kelly like a little girl who looks up to someone
young and funny, and my way of making myself heard at the time was to shoot
darts
of sarcastic remarks and make the class laugh. Then, I would study really hard
to
protect my quarters, just in case the teacher decided to fight back.

This story, however, did not last longer than a mouse-tail. Soon, an army of
schoolwork and the spell of being a painfully confused teenager united so as to
overthrow me, and I focused my royal attention on the rebellion. I remember
feeling both mad and hurt at having to memorize lists of names and numbers.
Thus,
when I saw a classmate faint during exam week, I made a speech in the crowded
auditorium, saying there had been too much stress. True, I did not change
anything, and I realize my approach was immature, but I had the courage to speak
out when I felt things were going wrong. I had started to rule on my own.

In the midst of this confusion the doors of the 'Conference Room' Hall of my
castle opened, and I found yet another way to express myself. I put on a yellow
coat and red book bag and in this motley attire joined the Mad Tea Party, Essay
Group. Mr. X, the librarian, was the one who introduced me to the cabal of
passionate intimate discussion of essays. Over a cup of tea on a Sunday, we
talked about all the peculiar aspects of our fairy tales that we could not share
with the other characters. I almost cried on our first meeting when I had to
explain what an essay was to me, 'It is like a hug,' I said, 'because it warmly
tells you a story you want to hear. It hushes me.' It was a home I found in my
whirlpool of emotions, a wonder that helped me walk on 'so long as I get
somewhere!' as Alice put it.

'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough,' and
I did. By the time I was a student of Mr. Y's, I had the self-assurance to write
an essay saying that John Donne and Andrew Marvell were really the same person.
It was wonderfully absurd, so I searched for every little bit of evidence and
supported my thesis. Now, I can walk out of my quarters and forget about the
sarcastic darts for 'if I am a Queen,' she said as she sat down again, 'I shall
be able to make it quite well in time.' I shall make friends with all the
interesting and smart foreign Kings and Queens of Bookworms and earn the things
I
want. I will study hard, work hard, and be a Queen at being myself.

I-I am NAME. Nice to meet you!




Princeton 10
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background
ESSAY QUESTION:
Describe how you imagine the college experience/how you will benefit from it.



Essay Title
The potter's wheel turns on and on, yet the center barely moves. At this point a
pot appears out of the wet clay. I envy the potter for the pleasure at the tips
of his fingers when his glistening muddy hands stretch the smooth surface. In
college I will be a potter myself. I will enjoy the freedom to choose the curves
of the courses that will shape my mind, and I will bake my pot in the furnace of
conversation. Then, relevant and irrelevant topics will bring out a steam of
replies and exhilarating discussions. In the end, I will sparkle with the hues
of
the people I meet. Thus, I could find purple, for instance, in someone like
Olga,
with whom I sent a message in a bottle at night from a beach drinking champagne
and lighting candles. Hence, a pot will turn on and on, and I will look at my
hands slippery with knowledge only to see the colors of my fingers warm from the
furnace experience.




Princeton 11
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
What was one thing you've always wanted to know/understand better?



Essay Title
When someone tells you, 'We need to talk,' I think the best answer would be,
'How much of your own principles are you willing to give up to hear me?' because
communication involves more than the desire 'to talk'. One needs to hear what
the
Other has to say in order to be able to reply and understand the matter well. To
use the example of a Zen anecdote, a western professor could only learn from
master Nan-in when he had his cup of tea emptied of his education, principles,
and prejudices.

Logically, this sounds quite plain, but communication is a very subjective
process, and that is what adds flavor to it. Different points of view have their
own textures, tastes, and even smells, I believe, so 'hearing' must take place
both on an intellectual and emotional level. It baffles me how complicated it
must be to step out of one's own paisley principles to see how another person
perceives the world, than go back an evaluate it. I wonder if motivation to
discuss and listen are all communication involves. And, if so, I would like to
know how much a person with a strong voice, like Picasso, for example, would be
willing to listen after expressing himself in his 'Guernica'.




Princeton 12
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Teamwork



ESSAY QUESTION:
In college you are likely to have to share your room with someone else. What characteristics would the perfect roommate have?



Essay Title
My roommate climbed into a rocket to come to college while I was arranging my
luggage in the steamer cabin. She brought Catch 22 for quiet afternoons and does
not care about color. On the other hand, red makes me smile knowingly, and I can
almost talk to the women in A Hundred Years of Solitude. At times, she thinks me
an obstinate child, and I generally wish she were a warmer person but in the
evening, when we chat about philosophy, it does not matter. We both think we
know
what Heraclitus implied in his statement, 'War is the father of all things' and
we almost agree on that. Thus, the ideal roommate and I have a character trait
or
interest in common that is broad enough for us to be able to talk.

It would be
foolish to want her to share all my idiosyncrasies, and better yet, she can show
me her own. Therefore, the only basis we need is a language in common, somewhere
to start from when exploring each other as well as the open desire to do so.
There can be no recipe for making two people get along, or as the Bulgarian
proverb says, 'You only know somebody, once you have sprinkled a kilo of salt
with him.' For this reason I will let my ideal roommate surprise me.




Princeton 13
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background, Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:
"Tell us about an experience that tells us about you"



Essay Title
I boarded the train at 9:17 and sat down. I opened Camus. The Stranger.
'Light reading for the summer?' said the man seated on my right. I looked at
him. 'Yeah'. - Digging into my bag, I pulled out a garishly green, laminated
copy of World's Best Coin Tricks. Grinning, we talked. He works for the State
Department. I was interning at the NIH and get off at the end of the red line.
He works setting up education exchange programs and I did neuroimaging on sleep
and language patient. His major was national defense at the War College, and I
asked what he read. 'Modern writers and the classics, like Thucydides, and a
Prussian' he trailed off. 'Clausewitz? On War?' I offered. 'Yeah!' he said.
'I bet nobody else in this whole train has read On War.' What else have you
read? 'I've read Sun-Tzu and Herodotus, but haven't read Thucydides.' 'You'll
like it,' and he asked me what I wanted to do for college.
    'I'm really not sure now. There are a few things.' 'Go on?' 'I either
want to
go into neurology, business or join the CIA. I'm undecided, but until then I
want to major in economics or biochemistry. I also want to join the Peace
Corps.' 'That's great!' he said, 'I was in the Peace Corps 20 years back.'
'Really? That's awesome! Where did you serve?' 'Afghanistan, in Kabul believe
it or not.' 'Do you speak Farsi?' I asked, remembering reading a snide letter
to the editor of the Washington Post deriding yet another professor's plan for
peace in Afghanistan of teaching US soldiers Arabic by pointing out that people
in Afghanistan don't speak Arabic. 'I did, but I'm out of practice now.'

Thinking of languages, I added, 'Would you believe that I don't speak my mother
tongue?' He looked at me appraisingly. 'Yeah, sure. Maybe your parents wanted
you to assimilate?' 'Close,' I replied, 'My dad speaks his regional dialect,
while my mom's from elsewhere and speaks her own dialect. They didn't share a
common, natural language and met in the US speaking English.' 'That's really
interesting,' he replied. I asked, 'So what did you do in Afghanistan?' 'Oh, I
taught English to schoolchildren in Kabul, and since there wasn't much to do, I
kept a dream log.' 'Really? That's unbelievable!' I burrowed into my bag,
scooping from below my laptop a small, cloud gray book called A Little Course in
Dreams. 'I promise you, that's the last book I have in my bag, so no more
surprises.'

'Wow,' he replied, 'I haven't seen this book in a long time.' Pulling out a
fountain pen and writing the title and author on a corner of newspaper, it was
his stop coming up. So he asked for my phone number to continue the
conversation
later: I gave him mine, took his, shook hands. Tucking the slip into page 73,
the Horizontal Vanish, of World's Best Coin Tricks, I leaned right and went to
sleep, bound for Medical Center.




Princeton 14
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:
This essay was a response to the open-ended question, "Do anything you want to a sheet of paper to persuade us to admit you."



Essay Title
Dear Princeton Admissions Committee,

When I had to find a number for reading in my ranked list of activities, I had
trouble placing it. I've always read, and I think that reading is something too
important to me for one line. So, here is a list of the books I've read over
the last year that I can remember. I hope that this can give you a sense of
where
I've been intellectually wandering outside of school.

Sincerely,

Now reading:
Ecrits, Jacques Lacan
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
American Constitutional Law, Laurence Tribe
The Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal editorial pages
daily.

Fiction
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Orestia, Fschylus
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
The Plague, Albert Camus
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Artemis Fowl (Trilogy), Eion Colfer
The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Great Cases of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
The Golden Bough (condensed volumes), Sir George Frazer
The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass
The Saskiad, Brian Hall
Folk and Fairy Tales, Martin Hallett
Mythology, Edith Hamilton
Magister Ludi, Herman Hesse
Ulysses, James Joyce
Collected Stories, Franz Kafka
Captain Courageous, Rudyard Kipling
The Man Who Would be King and Other Short Stories, Rudyard Kipling
Eden, Stanislaw Lem
Chronicles of the Vikings, R.I. Page
The Morphology of the Folk Tale, Vladimir Propp
The Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
Holes, Loius Sachar
A Series of Unfortunate Events Series (11 volumes), Lemony Snicket
The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth Speare
Huck Finn, Mark Twain
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
Non-fiction
How to Build your Home in the Woods, Bradford Angier
Arabic in Three Months, Mohammed Asfour
The Complete Book of Abs, Kurt Brungardt
The Complete Book of Shoulders and Arms, Kurt
  Brungardt
Libertarianism, A Primer, David Boaz
De Bello Gallico (The Gallic War), Julius Caesar
Alchemy : an illustrated A to Z, Fernando, Diana.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Frederick
Douglass
Caesar and Christ, Will Durant
The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman
The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
The Book of Survival, Anthony Greenback
Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
Modern Times, Paul Johnson
Dreams, Carl Jung
Man and His Symbols, Carl Jung
Psyche and Symbol, Carl Jung
Worlds Best Coin Tricks, Bob Longe
The Discourses, Niccolo Machiavelli
History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy, Niccolo Machiavelli
Talk of the Devil: Encounters with Seven Dictators, Riccardo Orizio
Winning Table Tennis, Dan Seemiller
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, Barbara Tuchman
Ethics: Theory and Practice, Manuel Velasquez
The Middle East: Opposing Viewpoints, Mary Williams
Coaching Olympic Style Boxing, USA Boxing
The Evelyn Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program, Evelyn Wood

Poetry
The Waste Land and Other Poems, T.S Eliot
Never, Jorie Graham
Complete Works, Edgar Allan Poe
Collected Poems, George Seferis
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, J. R. R Tolkein
The Aeneid, Vergil




Princeton 15
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:

Discuss something (anything) you just wish you understood better than you now do.



Essay Title
I'm not known as an outdoor person. I've never gone camping or hiking before,
and seeing a fly indoors is enough to repulse me. But during the past year,
overwhelmed by work and stress, I've often found myself driving up to the nearby
hills late at night, and lying on the grass to stare at the sky. For centuries,
the sky has given philosophers, poets, and ordinary people an eerie sense of
wonder. During these late night excursions of mine, I've found a distinct
feeling
of tranquility in gazing at the sky and pondering all of its mysterious
qualities.

As a student of science and a lover of philosophy, Ive discovered the sky to be
a blending of physics and existentialism. When I lie there and stare, I know
from
books that the stars are physically billions of light years away. But when I see
the stars glimmer and feel the light beam upon my face, I also sense that the
stars are alive and within my reach.

I also know from a scientific perspective that the universe is bounded and
either expanding or contracting, that there is always the same amount of matter,
and that all stars, planets, and comets are made up of the same elements. Yet
the
vastness of the sky makes me observe something much more ethereal. I feel like
those radiant stars play a part in my fate, that my future is being decided by
the power of those immense heavens, and that my existence is an insignificant
part of a world beyond my experience.

After hours and hours of quiet observation, I have yet to fully comprehend the
magnitude of the sky. It is not the sight, but the sensation of lying before
something so mystical that eerily stirs my most inward musings. While I stare at
it, continually searching for an answer to all my questions, I begin to feel
that
the secret of the sky is the key to my own life. I envision the stars as
beacons,
stirring thoughts that will guide me to the final question. And when I finally
understand the mystery of the heavens - of creation, of existence, of purpose -
then I will find an answer to a question transcending what we know simply as
matter.




Princeton 16
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Why the Degree?



ESSAY QUESTION:
Think about all the things you hope or expect to gain from your college experience, and then tell us which two or three you would place at the
top of your list if you had to make up such a list today.



Essay Title
Contrary to many of my peers, I have no idea what I want to do when I'm older.
I've considered being a journalist, a particle physicist, an English teacher,
and
even an investment banker; but none of those seem like fulfilling jobs. I guess
I
want to help people, and I guess I want to make lots of money - but I have no
desire to become a Mother Theresa or Bill Gates. Sometimes I feel my high school
years have lacked a sense of purpose, I-ve never even aspired to become
president
before. However, I think this uncertainty has had its advantages, for it has
kept
my opportunities limitless. I'm not approaching college to study one particular
major or prepare for my first job, but to explore everything the world can offer
me. I'm hoping that college will be more than an education, but a life defining
experience, when I will be immersed in so many fresh ideas and brilliant people
that I will eventually discover my purpose in life. And who knows, maybe I will
end up running for president someday.

I have also questioned something more fundamental, the reason for our existence.
Why do I care about school or friends or money, what am I living to accomplish,
if anything? Is it love or happiness and the 'perfect wife and kids?' However
that seems too simple, it lacks the glory and magnitude of what I have always
envisioned as human existence. But then again, does the life of Napoleon mean
any
more than the life of a common street peddler to people today? When we die and
fade into history, is there really a difference between significance and
obscurity? Perhaps magnitude cannot be defined by importance, but something
deeper inside.
I've begun to discover that once I become content with my own life - no matter
how small or powerless it is compared to others - I can become my own savior and
achieve a magnitude beyond inventing calculus or writing sonnets. College will
be
the defining moment in my maturation, and the first chance I have to meet people
and experience things beyond my small life here in Palo Alto. I hope there I
will
discover what it is that makes me happy - whether it is classical music,
particle
physics, or late-night running. Perhaps then, I will in my own right feel as
important as Napoleon did when he conquered France.




Princeton 17
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:

What one person, class, book, or experience would you point to as having had a significant effect on the way you think about something?
Explain.



Essay Title
I've always thought of science as simply another subject, one that involves
memorizing theorems, solving book problems, and reading about brilliant people
who discovered something about how the world works. But this summer, when I was
offered a job at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), I had a chance
to
become more than a student of science, but an actual scientist.

On the first day, my boss, a graduate student, gave me a brief lecture on the
nature of third generation synchrotrons and his idea for an invention that would
use an infrared laser to act as an undulator while I sat bewildered. After
posting on the wall a list of everything he wanted me to research by the end of
the summer, he left me with a pile of graduate-level textbooks, a radiation
badge
for access to the accelerator, a computer to type my final report, and a few
words of blessing.

Although I was apprehensive at first, I was determined to accomplish my task, so
I slapped on my badge and found my way to the Stanford synchrotron, speaking to
every scientist I could find (who didnt look at my 16-year-old face with
contempt). I met one man who was anxiously repairing his stations computer
system, which had been malfunctioning that entire week. Another scientist was
struggling to install his stations new high-resolution detector, worth over a
million dollars. One person was frantically running trial after trial of protein
mapping before the synchrotron closed for upgrades.

I soon realized that all these people had one thing in common: they were not
simply pushing buttons to collect data, but their work was an expression of an
immense and seemingly irrational drive to know what they did not know. No matter
how daunting the task, these scientists continued to pose questions and pursue
answers, in order to fulfill that urge to understand what they couldn't.

I began to recognize that as a true scientist, my job wasn't to just do
research, but it was to try to understand something formless, beyond my
knowledge
but within my grasp. My work at SLAC taught me that science isn't just a school
subject, it is something more lifelike: a human passion, an intrinsic drive to
comprehend what we do not yet know.




Princeton 18
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background


ESSAY QUESTION:
What one person, class, book, or experience would you point to as having had a significant effect on the way you think about something?
Explain.


Essay Title
I've always thought of science as simply another subject, one that involves
memorizing theorems, solving book problems, and reading about brilliant people
who discovered something about how the world works. But this summer, when I was
offered a job at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), I had a chance
to
become more than a student of science, but an actual scientist.

On the first day, my boss, a graduate student, gave me a brief lecture on the
nature of third generation synchrotrons and his idea for an invention that would
use an infrared laser to act as an undulator while I sat bewildered. After
posting on the wall a list of everything he wanted me to research by the end of
the summer, he left me with a pile of graduate-level textbooks, a radiation
badge
for access to the accelerator, a computer to type my final report, and a few
words of blessing.

Although I was apprehensive at first, I was determined to accomplish my task, so
I slapped on my badge and found my way to the Stanford synchrotron, speaking to
every scientist I could find (who didnt look at my 16-year-old face with
contempt). I met one man who was anxiously repairing his stations computer
system, which had been malfunctioning that entire week. Another scientist was
struggling to install his stations new high-resolution detector, worth over a
million dollars. One person was frantically running trial after trial of protein
mapping before the synchrotron closed for upgrades.

I soon realized that all these people had one thing in common: they were not
simply pushing buttons to collect data, but their work was an expression of an
immense and seemingly irrational drive to know what they did not know. No matter
how daunting the task, these scientists continued to pose questions and pursue
answers, in order to fulfill that urge to understand what they couldn't.

I began to recognize that as a true scientist, my job wasn't to just do
research, but it was to try to understand something formless, beyond my
knowledge
but within my grasp. My work at SLAC taught me that science isn't just a school
subject, it is something more lifelike: a human passion, an intrinsic drive to
comprehend what we do not yet know.




Princeton 19
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
Describe a character in fictions, an historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and
explain that influence.



Essay Title
Sitting on a grassy hillside, Scipio Africanus stared down at the burning
remnant of Carthage. After three long years of fighting, Rome's mortal enemy was
defeated. Scipio ordered his troops to salt the soil and cross the city's
foundation by plowshare so that it would never rise again. Still, tears rolled
from his eyes and the words of Hector slipped from his lips: 'The day shall come
in which our sacred Troy and Priam, and the people over whom Spear-bearing Priam
rules, shall perish all.' Asked by a companion what he meant, Scipio replied,
'This is a glorious moment, Polybius; and yet I am seized with fear and
foreboding that some day the same fate will befall my own country.'

Many people who hear this story interpret it as a fable of humility, but pure
humility isn't what forged the story into accounts of the battle, or impacted
Romans so strongly that they whispered the tale as a bedtime story for their
children. What speaks so powerfully to us is Scipio's gravitas, his sense of
the
importance of the matter at hand. Scipio Africanus didn't lament looted museums,
burned orphanages, or even the fate of the city. In the dying embers of
Carthage, he saw Rome.

As heirs of the Roman Empire, our culture is steeped in classical thought and we
surround our judges and lawmakers in Corinthian columns, but gravitas is acutely
missing. And there is no better example of this than our dealings with the
heirs
to the Carthaginian Empire, Libya.

Libya seeks to purchase an end to its pariah status by paying blood money for
its Lockerbie bombing. Four million dollars dribble when the UN lifts sanctions
of Libya, then four more drip should the US lifts its own sanctions. The final
two million trickle if the State Department removes Libya from its terror list.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page, probably one of the last confessed
bastions of Roman virtue, acridly expressed its sentiments by asking, 'Would the
US accept ten billion dollars from Osama Bin Laden and call it even?' But the
story goes deeper.

As a young nation, we lack the gravitas that Rome had. We possess greater power
than Augustus ever wielded, but we lack earnestness in what we do. In ancient
times, tribute was accepted in exchange for yielding your prerogative to wage
war. Now, we place sanctions on North Korea, or Cuba, or Libya as their actions
compel us, and promise to lift them should conditions ever change. Through
international law, we've given up the catharsis of forgiveness. Rather than
forgiving and forgetting, we simply forget.

Scipio Africanus stared into the dying embers of Carthage and discerned the fall
of Rome. We stare into the embers of Libya and see nothing.




Princeton 20
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
Discuss an intellectual interest of yours.



Essay Title
Whether politics is an endlessly various soap opera or the deepest expression of
our culture striving for itself, I'm totally captivated. I spend at least an
hour
a day over the newspaper, and read, from left to right, The New York Times, The
Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal editorial pages.

What captivates me is that politics is the ratio of all disciplines. Biology
collides with business in Medicare, but the conflict centers on methodology, not
fact. Making two opposed op-eds talk to each other is like squeezing water out
of rocks. The dull language of policy is truer than any other because the
allocation of resources seeks to span the breadth experience. Ultimately, the
law
of conservation is the law of the universe, and policy can't deny all of it at
once, nor any of it forever.

My brother and I both read multiple newspapers, and for years we've played
tennis and talked through our opinions of the opinions. We both love to rattle
off order of magnitude calculations. An opinion in the Post on falling Chinese
aquifers brought us to calculate that the world's energy supply, including
metabolic, is about 50/50 biomass and oil. Almost a gigaton of wheat is
harvested annually, nearly a quarter of all agricultural yields, and a gigaton
of
oil is burned, with four times starch's energy density. Wherever I go to
college, I know I'll miss these conversations.




Princeton 21
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
Discuss an intellectual interest of yours.



Essay Title
Whether politics is an endlessly various soap opera or the deepest expression of
our culture striving for itself, I'm totally captivated. I spend at least an
hour
a day over the newspaper, and read, from left to right, The New York Times, The
Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal editorial pages.

What captivates me is that politics is the ratio of all disciplines. Biology
collides with business in Medicare, but the conflict centers on methodology, not
fact. Making two opposed op-eds talk to each other is like squeezing water out
of rocks. The dull language of policy is truer than any other because the
allocation of resources seeks to span the breadth experience. Ultimately, the
law
of conservation is the law of the universe, and policy can't deny all of it at
once, nor any of it forever.

My brother and I both read multiple newspapers, and for years we've played
tennis and talked through our opinions of the opinions. We both love to rattle
off order of magnitude calculations. An opinion in the Post on falling Chinese
aquifers brought us to calculate that the world's energy supply, including
metabolic, is about 50/50 biomass and oil. Almost a gigaton of wheat is
harvested annually, nearly a quarter of all agricultural yields, and a gigaton
of
oil is burned, with four times starch's energy density. Wherever I go to
college, I know I'll miss these conversations.




Princeton 22
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Extracurriculars



ESSAY QUESTION:
Of the activities, interests and experiences listed previously, which is the most meaningful to you, and why?



Essay Title
I'm deeply interested in biology, so the activity most meaningful to me has been
my research. I began last June when I was chosen as a summer biomedical
research
intern. This senior year, I've continued my work through my school's selective
mentorship program. It allows chosen seniors to leave school three days a week
at 10:00 AM for area labs. I take the metro to the DC where I continue my work
as a volunteer and leave for home at the end of the work day.

My foray into research began when my chemistry teacher, suggested I apply to the
summer internship program. I applied, and while waiting for a response, I
became
interested in the work of a researcher who was exploring the intersection of
neuroimaging methods and language. Luckily, since I had studied neurobiology
and
had read some Noam Chomsky, both scientific and otherwise, he could find a place
for me.

Our project involves comparing differences in regional brain metabolism with EEG
brain wave patterns. Our data suggest that as a person falls deeper into sleep,
brain activity decreases less in certain area of the brain than commonly
supposed. My role has ranged from analytical work to dividing the brain into
over 200 different anatomical regions for region to region comparison, and the
last half-year has been extremely exciting for me.




Princeton 23
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
Write about anything important to you that will give us a sense of who you are in 500 words.



Essay Title
'Tell me the causes, O Muse, why the Queen of heaven drove him, a man marked by
such devotion, to undergo so many perils, to endure so many toils. Can the minds
of heaven bear such malice?' (Aeneid, 1.15)

Water laps at my heels, and I realize with a start that high tide is washing in.
On salt caked soles, I walk back from the foot of the lighthouse, thinking over
a
classical question the Aeneid's opening raises: do the gods inflict suffering
from cruelty or apathy?

The year was 1911. My grandfather coiled his hundred-year lease into a shallow
pocket of his thick dungarees. The promised lush acres rolled down to the sandy
shores of the bay on the West rim of the island. Age twenty, he rooted his
sugar-cane plantation under the bright-eyed lighthouse. Planting by the bay, he
prepared his crop for the harvest of the fall.

Growing sugar cane is exacting work. At harvest time, the towering Cane calls
you to the field, barbed and beckoning by serrated leaves. The field is given
to
flame, cleansing it of dry leaves and releasing caramelized incense as it burns.

The stalks are hacked down by machete and bundled alongside the plantation
tracks. Later, agents would appear at the junction to receive the burnt
offerings.

My grandfather fathered many children before my father was born. But between
the first and the last, times changed. Our family plantation was successful,
but
the tide of globalization eroded our prosperity. Although our cane was less
expensive than Floridian cane, farm subsidies to Florida cane growers amounted
to
$618 an acre, and Congress severely restricted sugar importation into the United
States. As a result, Americans pay four times the international market price
for
sugar, while island growers are denied the right to compete. Plantations
folded,
and the honorable and ennobling work gave way to the pursuit of tourist dollars.


My grandfather felt that tide lap at his heels as the agents granted less and
less for cane. Soon, they stopped coming at all, and our plantation came to an
end. Abel killed Cane and Globalization struck us from tillers into wanderers,
scattering us East of Eden. We prospered in the United States, becoming
doctors,
teachers, and businessmen, but ultimately, we're still wandering.

Walking on salt-caked feet across the shoals that separate the lighthouse from
the plantation, I gaze over the worn fields. The plantation lies fallow and its
fields are covered in low shrubs, tall grass, and dead leaves. On a corner of
the
property, our old tractor rests in a furrow, grizzled by tawny rust. The air is
thin and cool, without a hint of the caramel of burning cane carried on ocean
breeze. In the distance, a yacht slices across the bay under the bright-eyed
lighthouse's gaze: Carthaginian ruins blurring into Roman foundations. Now, I
realize that the classical question of whether we've suffered from apathy or
malice doesn't matter. Now, it's only my academic point.




Princeton 24
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:

This was the essay for the Common Application - one of the suggested topics was to write about a challenge you faced, which is roughly
what this is about, though of course I took a creative angle to it.



Essay Title
'Kelly, why do we do this?'
Val's question jolts into my rain-numbed reverie.
'D-d-do this?' I chatter. Water lifts the fragrance of shampoo from my braids
and smudges mascara beneath my friends eyes.
'This... this sport.' Val spits the word as though it tastes bad. 'This
torture. This hell. This exercise in misery.'
'Oh,' I reply, comprehension forcing itself across my icy face.
'Cross-country.'
It's 4:21 on an October afternoon, and the rain is coming down like artillery
fire. A whistle's lament cuts through the syncopated patter of the rain and
chatter of my teeth as I take my place on the starting line. Crack! The report
of the gun gives way to a thunderous rumble as fifty lightweights with whipping
ponytails jostle for the lead. I hang back; years of racing have taught me to
choose my battles carefully. Now is not the time. This is not the place.
These
girls are not the enemy.
Thudding down the field, across the bridge, the clackety-clack-clack of one
hundred and two feet rasps on weathered wood and wet gravel. Wood chips slither
beneath my spikes as we scramble up monsters affectionately dubbed 'Freshman
Hill' and 'Snake.' Val's question buzzes around my thoughts, unanswered, as the
miles trickle by. Permeating the scene like the scent of wet leaves,
apprehension weaves my stomach into knots. There is one hill yet to come.

Cardiac. It is a name to strike fear into the most intrepid runners heart, a
catchword in elite cross-country circles, the highest point in Sunken Meadow
State Park. Deceiving us with twists and false summits, ridden with jutting
roots and rain-gouged rivulets, nearly perpendicular at its apex - this hill is
the defining feature of our course. Salty rain trickles between my lips as I
approach its base. This is the time, the place, the enemy. I am ready.

Pumping my arms in rigid arcs, I seem to bounce in place as other girls stagger
past, hands on their knees. Trees and pebbles, rain and runners, all melt away
until I am conscious only of this: that there is the hill, and there is me; and
one of us will have to give up first. One of us... it won't be me... getting
there I'm almost there n o w ! even breathing artificial regulation gives way
to gasps of painful triumph as the victory burns in my calves my heart thumps in
my ears like a war drum and my legs unwilling children must be forced to
continue
its not over yet knees still trembling the conquered hill pulls me toward its
base with a force stronger than gravity feet skim the ground and then I am at
the
bottom and the colors cease to blur and again I find my rhythm wet braids
beating
a tattoo across my shoulders as they move like pistons or like dancers to a
rhythm like the heartbeat of the pulsing earth. I have won.

In the serenity of the final mile, epiphanies shoot like stars across my vision,
startling me with sudden answers. A philosophy forms, unanticipated, as old
questions are cast aside. Life is about the little things, the rain, and the
leaves, and the easy rhythm of breathing. It's about running up hills, even
though walking is faster. It's about spending hours on a poem for sheer love of
language, not for a grade; it's about learning because I want to understand, not
to outdo the person next to me. It's about running. I do not run to beat the
clock, or my teammates, or the time my coach expects of me. I run because in
the
spaces between the footsteps and the heartbeats, I can feel the fiery green
echoes of my soul. As I sail across the finish line, rain now warm against my
skin, there is not a doubt left in my mind. I know why I do this.




Princeton 25
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
What was the invention which has had the most impact on our life.



Essay Title
The invention of paper may seem a somewhat trite or over-obvious answer to the
question - has there been one life in the civilized world unaffected by the
stuff? - but I've come to realize that all of the things which make me who I am
are almost entirely paper-based. First, and most obvious, is my love of reading
and writing. From the first crayon-scratched novel I ever wrote ('The Cat,' I
believe it was called), to the shards of broken poetry I scrawled in my notebook
just a few hours ago, this most central and defining component of my personality
would be nothing without paper. Second only to this is my love of art - drawing,
painting, stamping, embossing, folding, cutting, crafting, staining, blending -
all possible through the invention of paper. Looking now to principal
extracurricular activities, we again find a common theme. Paper is layered with
glue and wood in the toes of my pointe shoes, folded and stapled in the medical
files I pile in rows or carry across the hospital in my pink-and-white striped
pinafore. Sheets of paper filled with lines and tiny dots dance before my eyes
in the pit orchestra's dim lighting, paper smelling of ink, still warm from the
printer, decorates the school walls with announcements of the National Honor
Society's next meeting. Would any one of us be the same without paper? Perhaps
not. But without this simple invention, every important or defining part of my
personality would simply not exist.




Princeton 26
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background
ESSAY QUESTION:
What was the invention which has had the most impact on our life.



Essay Title
The invention of paper may seem a somewhat trite or over-obvious answer to the
question - has there been one life in the civilized world unaffected by the
stuff? - but I've come to realize that all of the things which make me who I am
are almost entirely paper-based. First, and most obvious, is my love of reading
and writing. From the first crayon-scratched novel I ever wrote ('The Cat,' I
believe it was called), to the shards of broken poetry I scrawled in my notebook
just a few hours ago, this most central and defining component of my personality
would be nothing without paper. Second only to this is my love of art - drawing,
painting, stamping, embossing, folding, cutting, crafting, staining, blending -
all possible through the invention of paper. Looking now to principal
extracurricular activities, we again find a common theme. Paper is layered with
glue and wood in the toes of my pointe shoes, folded and stapled in the medical
files I pile in rows or carry across the hospital in my pink-and-white striped
pinafore. Sheets of paper filled with lines and tiny dots dance before my eyes
in the pit orchestra's dim lighting, paper smelling of ink, still warm from the
printer, decorates the school walls with announcements of the National Honor
Society's next meeting. Would any one of us be the same without paper? Perhaps
not. But without this simple invention, every important or defining part of my
personality would simply not exist.




Princeton 27
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:
What would you do with a year all to yourself away from college to engage in community service.



Essay Title
This is a very hard question to answer, since so much of my life now revolves
around service activities. How could I choose just one from the several
volunteer jobs I now hold? Would I spend a year in the hospital, running
deliveries, minding patients, taking pictures, answering telephones, making beds,
holding hands? Or would I choose instead to spend my year with the kind and
hardworking volunteers of the Miller Place-Mount Sinai Historical Society, making
signs and showing quilts, mending holes and raising money, restoring old
buildings and listening to the echoes of another century? Or would I rather live
a year on the windy roads, in my damp brown gloves and orange vest, filling bag
after enormous bag with other people's litter? Maybe I would spend the year at
the soup kitchen beside my fellow Girl Scouts, steam dampening my hair to stringy
tendrils as I ladle scoop after scoop of cooked peas, or maybe I would spend a
year at the Island OB/GYN office, listening to fetal heartbeats, taking blood
pressures and weighing expectant mothers. I think perhaps my final decision
would be to try something entirely different. Life in Miller Place has afforded
many opportunities for helping others, but not for helping the environment. This
one of my passions has been left unexplored to date, and, if given a year to do
whatsoever I chose, I would dearly love to work for some environmental cause,
helping to undo the damage we have for so many years ignored.




Princeton 28
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background
ESSAY QUESTION:
What your most difficult decision so far in life has been.



Essay Title
I mentioned earlier that love of dance - or more precisely, love of ballet en
pointe - was one of my most defining passions. The hardest decision of my life
was made the day I laid toe shoes aside and lifted a textbook in their stead.
In
tenth grade, my life was an exciting, almost dizzying whirl of excitement. A
newcomer to our school's monumental Drama program, I had been rewarded with a
minor lead in our production of Peter Pan - and a full week of extra flying
rehearsals. My first AP course, European History, was hugely fascinating but
enormously time consuming, as was a college course called 'American Dreams' I
was
taking through the Honors Program at a local community college. I was little
more than a blur in and out of the house, arriving to dance class mud-splattered
and sweaty from cross country meets and fifteen minutes late from rehearsal,
lugging textbooks and notes for essays in my dance bag, stumbling home with
bruised toes and tattered bun to sprawl across the floor for hours before my
homework was completed and I could drag myself through a shower and crawl into
bed. In dance I had found one physical activity at which I was actually good:
switching studios, I was almost immediately recruited for pointe and advanced
classes, and even invited to audition for the competitive dance team. These
opportunities, however, required time that I simply did not have to give. I
cried the day I left the studio for the last time, and barely a day has passed
that I do not think with longing of the soft piano and graceful movements, clean
lines and quick feats of strength and flexibility. I have never regretted my
choice to stick with academics, but even in giving dance up I have reaffirmed my
love of that art. I know now how deeply ingrained ballet is in my soul, and I
look forward to the days of college ahead of me, less cluttered with extra
involvements, where my twin passions of learning and dance may peacefully
coexist.




Princeton 29
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:

Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.



Essay Title
No. You don't know him. No, you have never heard his name. No, you don't even
know he exists, yet once you read this, you will want to meet him. He was born
in 1923 in the midst of Nazi Germany, where he grew up facing feelings of hatred
towards him, all because he was an innocent Jewish boy. With black hair and
dark
eyes, he was different than his siblings (for they had blonde hair and blue
eyes), and thus was called a 'dirty Jew' by the other Aryan youngsters. At age
twelve, his parents decided to escape Europe before falling to Hitler and his
Nazism. For the first time, he left his home on a boat and headed to Cuba,
where
he was denied access. More feelings of hatred and prejudice was what he
encountered. Then, by pure chance, he anchored in the remote port of
Buenaventura, in Colombia. He had never heard the Spanish language, but due to
economic necessities, he had to start working in the Spanish speaking wilderness
as a golf caddie. He was only twelve, and the hope for receiving a formal
education had banished. He soon moved from the coastal town to Bogota, which
was
still only a big town and not a city. Life was hard and money was scarce. His
father was a seamstress while his mother juggled the job of raising five kids
and
attending a bakery. He worked hard: he was a newspaper delivery boy, a caddie,
and a messenger at a factory. His twenty cents a week salary taught him the
value of each cent. With all these jobs, he never again entered a classroom.

Today, he is fluent in five languages, learned how to read and write, knows
math, science, history, literature, and geography, just to name a few. He has
his own factory where thousands of panty hose and socks are produced and sold
each day. He never attended college, yet he has become a successful
businessman.

He has three kids, who all hold a college-degree. He has established and
supported a family, all from scratch. He supports all four of his siblings, who
have not been as successful as he has. Also, he now takes care of his wife, who
suffers from Alzheimer's. He is always there to help his family, no matter what
the problem is. He has taught me numerable lessons and values. Clearly, he is
a
self made man.

He has taught me, and most important, has showed me that hard work and
determination can take a person anywhere. One's dreams are the limit to what
one
can achieve. He often tells me: 'Value your education because it is the only
thing that you can hold forever.' He encourages me to pursue my dreams, and
pushes my intellectual abilities to the limit. He inspired me to strive to
reach
my goals. He epitomizes the idea of a self made, Renaissance man, for he is
wise, loving, caring, and determined. I am proud to say, this man is my
grandfather. I hope everyone gets to have one as great as mine, but I find it
hard to believe that there are that many great people in this world.




Princeton 30
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:
Describe a moment that has had an impact on your goals.



Essay Title
I looked at the score board: 14-13. It was the match point of the district
volleyball game, and I was at the service line with the ball in my hands. This
would be the last time I would ever play for my high school team. The whistle
blew. The pressure was all on me. I started to think about my life, my
education, and my goals in search of inspiration.

I was only nine years old when I joined XXX Clubs girls volleyball team in XXX
city. I had never played the sport, and naturally, as any amateur, I was not
good at it. When it was time to play, I was so nervous that I could not even
bump the ball over the net. I would turn to look at my mom in the stands,
clapping and giving me a sense of security, but then I would just miss the
underhand serve. It was a harsh reality, but I was not good at all. My
determination and my love for the game kept me from quitting, until I had to
move
to Miami, where there was no XXX Club volleyball team.

I was fourteen years old when I decided to try out for Junior Varsity volleyball
team at school. Tryouts were intimidating, for the other girls were much better
than me, but the coach saw my passion for the game and decided to give me a
chance. For the entire season, a warmed the bench for my teammates.
Nevertheless, I was determined to improve. The following season, I migrated
from
the bench to the starting line up. It was a great feeling now that I could get
an overhand serve over the net and in the court. Still, that season I could not
spike a ball to the floor. Eleventh grade soon arrived, and I was moved to the
varsity team, where I was also a starter. I worked on my weaknesses, and
strived
to improve. The season was great, for I learned a lot from it. The team's
record was 16-3 (the best it had been in a long time). Now, as a senior, I had
passed the hardest obstacle: spiking.

As I thought about my life, I realized how much I had improved on the court. My
passion for the game drove my determination. More important, my determination
was not limited to the court, but was evident in all my activities, both
extracurricular and school related. I had reached my goals in life, and was now
ready to set new ones. BEEP! The whistle blew and I contacted the ball for the
serve.




Princeton 31
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:

Describe a moment that has had an impact on your goals.



Essay Title
I looked at the score board: 14-13. It was the match point of the district
volleyball game, and I was at the service line with the ball in my hands. This
would be the last time I would ever play for my high school team. The whistle
blew. The pressure was all on me. I started to think about my life, my
education, and my goals in search of inspiration.

I was only nine years old when I joined XXX Clubs girls volleyball team in XXX
city. I had never played the sport, and naturally, as any amateur, I was not
good at it. When it was time to play, I was so nervous that I could not even
bump the ball over the net. I would turn to look at my mom in the stands,
clapping and giving me a sense of security, but then I would just miss the
underhand serve. It was a harsh reality, but I was not good at all. My
determination and my love for the game kept me from quitting, until I had to
move
to Miami, where there was no XXX Club volleyball team.

I was fourteen years old when I decided to try out for Junior Varsity volleyball
team at school. Tryouts were intimidating, for the other girls were much better
than me, but the coach saw my passion for the game and decided to give me a
chance. For the entire season, a warmed the bench for my teammates.
Nevertheless, I was determined to improve. The following season, I migrated
from
the bench to the starting line up. It was a great feeling now that I could get
an overhand serve over the net and in the court. Still, that season I could not
spike a ball to the floor. Eleventh grade soon arrived, and I was moved to the
varsity team, where I was also a starter. I worked on my weaknesses, and
strived
to improve. The season was great, for I learned a lot from it. The team's
record was 16-3 (the best it had been in a long time). Now, as a senior, I had
passed the hardest obstacle: spiking.

As I thought about my life, I realized how much I had improved on the court. My
passion for the game drove my determination. More important, my determination
was not limited to the court, but was evident in all my activities, both
extracurricular and school related. I had reached my goals in life, and was now
ready to set new ones. BEEP! The whistle blew and I contacted the ball for the
serve.




Princeton 32
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Why the Degree?



ESSAY QUESTION:
Why are you interested in studying engineering?



Essay Title
The field of engineering is appealing to me because it deals with problem
solving, which offers a practical application of ones knowledge. The field
allows one to use the rigorous powers of analysis, which prepares students for
future careers in science, industry, research, business, law, or medicine.
Engineering requires an individual to use the tools learned in mathematics and
science and apply them to real problems. The field trains an individual to
understand a concept thoroughly in order to make use of it in a practical manner.
 I find it particularly attractive that one uses advanced math to solve complex
problems, for math is my strongest and favorite subject. Furthermore,
engineering allows me to experience hands on learning by conducting experiments
in a lab to further develop my skills. I like the fact that engineering combines
math and science in a field that allows one to use analytical skills and
creativity to come up with the most practical solution to dilemmas. These
aspects are appealing to me because I see engineering as a practical science that
helps society solve crucial problems in a mathematical and analytical way by
developing new processes and methods.




Princeton 33
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
Briefly describe any experiences that you have had that are related to engineering or that led you to have an interest in one or another field
of engineering.



Essay Title
I became interested in engineering as a result of my A.P calculus and chemistry
classes last year, where I saw the practical applications of the materials
learned. While finding the derivative of the cost function to find its minimal
cost to examining an unknown substance to discover its components, I grew
interested in a field that combines both subjects. Furthermore, I attended the
Introduction to Engineering Program at Notre Dame last summer, where I
reconfirmed my previous interest. At the program, I explored various fields of
engineering as well as the curriculum in each of these. I also learned about the
work of an engineer today, which was appealing to me.




Princeton 34
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Why the Degree?


ESSAY QUESTION:
How do you think the programs in engineering offered at Princeton might suit your particular interest?
Essay Title
Unlike many universities, Princeton University offers a wide variety of programs
from which to choose. Although I am sure that I want to pursue the field of
engineering, I have not yet decided what type of engineering I want to study.
Since Princeton offers various types of engineering, I have many options to
choose from once I decide what field I want. In addition, I am attracted to the
engineering curriculum at Princeton, for students study mathematics, physics,
chemistry, and computing during the first two years in addition to seven courses
in humanities and social sciences. In this manner, the University shapes its
engineering students into well-rounded students that are knowledgeable in an
array of areas. Furthermore, the program provides engineers with language and
communication skills that are crucial for today's world, which are often areas
that other engineering programs neglect. The freshmen seminars offered at
Princeton include topics such as the Engineering of Ice Cream or How Cities
Work,
which are programs that are unique to the University. The program at Princeton
is appealing because it is a flexible program where the student can choose from
many courses.




Princeton 35
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Why the Degree?



ESSAY QUESTION:
Think about all the things you hope or expect to gain from your college experiences, and then tell us which two or three you would place at
the top of your list.



Essay Title
College is a once in a lifetime opportunity where an individual learns and
experiences new things everyday. During the next four years, I am eager to
become intellectually mature not only in my field of expertise but in other areas
as well. The foundations that I will build in my undergraduate years will mold
me into a well-prepared woman for the career world. In addition to engineering,
I want to become a well-rounded person who can hold intellectual conversations
about a wide variety of topics. In addition to expanding my intellectual limits,
I hope to become a mature and independent person. The college experience will be
an exciting one for me because I will be living in a college dorm as opposed to
my home. This encompasses various new responsibilities, for I will have to be
independent. Consequently, I will have to learn to manage my life and my money
in a responsible manner. Independence and maturity are crucial tools to
achieving future.




Princeton 36
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Accomplishments/Background



ESSAY QUESTION:
Discuss something you just wish you understodd better than you now do.



Essay Title
Very often, bad things happen to good people. It seems indeed cruel that honest
and caring people have to suffer the consequences of hardships. For this reason,
I wish I understood why events such as these occur. For example, I do not
understand why innocent children are born with birth defects or cancer. It is
also a mystery to me why people are starving throughout the world and why women
are being suppressed in Afghanistan. When someone has not done any harm to other
humans, why do they have to suffer dire consequences? In instances like these, I
wish I understood the role of God and religion. I may never be able to
understand this concept, for it is an abstract concept that involves a thorough
understanding of religion. Nevertheless, I wish I could comprehend why bad
things happen to good people.




Princeton 37
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:
Chances are that you are going to have one or more roommates at some point in your college years. What sort of person would you consider
the ideal roommate? Explain why.



Essay Title
The ideal roommate needs to be a person who has an array of ideas and interests,
like myself. The person should want a quiet study time during the weekdays and a
social time in the evenings. She should be understanding and compassionate, so
that I can share my feelings with her. In addition, she should value her
education as highly as I do. Just like myself, she should be a caring, friendly,
energetic, and outgoing person who is always eager to explore new ideas.
Furthermore, she should be an honest and open-minded person whom I can live with
in a harmonious manner. From rapelling to snowboarding to art and to studying,
the roommate should be a well rounder person. The ideal roommate should be a
respectful person who shares some similarities with me, yet celebrates our
cultural and religious differences. My ideal roommate should be an organized,
clean person, but not a neat freak. The roommate should be responsible for her
personal belongings and have respect for my property as well. Hopefully, my
roommate likes a variety of music, ranging from Latin to pop to classical music.
My roommate should be a person whom I can trust. I hope my roommate is a person
whom I can grow and mature with.




Princeton 38
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:
Common Application Personal Statement



Essay Title
(Kimchi: a representative Korean food that is made of pickled vegetables,
typically with red pepper seasoning. Koreans can never live without Kimchi, let
alone eat anything without it).

Maybe I was Korean, but not Korean enough. After spending five of the most
influential years of my childhood in Hawaii, I was back in Korea. With the
characteristic 'know-it-all' attitude of a typical twelve-year-old, I thought
that the Korean brotherhood would embrace me with open arms, and that I would
feel blissfully content within the majesty of my ancestors. (Right.) Never had I
imagined that I would feel alienated instead.

In the Korean middle schools, there were tons to study, tons to memorize. 'A bye
bye to all the carefree days of swimming at the beach and climbing coconut
trees,' I thought. What struck me even harder was the different way of thinking.
'What makes you different is what's important,' Mrs. Sumida, my 4th grade
teacher
in Hawaii, used to say. 'Don't you give me a hard time by trying to stick out
from the rest of the class' was what Mrs. Kim, my 7th grade teacher in Korea,
used to say. It's not that I deliberately troubled Mrs. Kim by skipping classes
or anything like that. What troubled her were the critical remarks I made in
class, the imaginary stories I turned in for the essay assignments, and the
abstract pictures I drew in the Art periods when I was told that I was free to
draw anything. Mrs. Sumida said I was unique in expressing my thoughts. Mrs. Kim
believed that I was being rebellious.
These big differences were all too much for a kid who was having enough trouble
with her 'inventive' Korean. My English wasn't fully 'English' either; with all
the 'Wazzap brah?' and 'Aloha sis, so whacha doin' on Kalikimaka' talk in
Hawaii,
I had polished my 'kool' Hawaiianish English skills to the highest level. In
Korea, I became more linguistically sophisticated by speaking 'Kornhawaiiglish'
(Korean+Hawaiian+English) which no one, not even my family, really understood.

I recall lecturing my dad about why we had to go back to the islands. 'I could
grow into the best swimmer in Hawaii! Korea's devouring all my potential,' I
would say. 'The beach is calling me. It's my mission to go back. My DESTINY!' I
tried to be creative. But dad shook his head and left me with no more to say,
replying with a frown that said I really, really disappointed him.
I vividly remember the Saturday I changed my attitude towards Korea. Grandma had
invited my family to her special meal of ginseng chicken soup, with her homemade
Kimchi. I used to consider these foods 'yucky', but that day I was determined to
try them. I bravely dived into the soup with my spoon, and with an awkward grip
of my chopsticks, took big bites of the crunchy Kimchi. At home, with the
pungent
taste still lingering on my tongue, I opened up the pages of the dusty school
textbooks that had been left untouched for some time. I began to study them,
with
my Korean-English dictionary right beside me. I noticed my dad, peeking into my
room, smiling.
Before I knew it, Korea began to feel like home. Not to mention that my
grandma's special meals became my mana (Hawaiian word meaning 'source of
energy'). Slowly and quickly, I learned to be more deeply reflective, humble,
and
patient, just like my grandma and many others in Korea.

I still have the Hawaiian spirit in me, and I long to visit the Waikiki beach,
the place I have so many memories about. But the Han River is also perfectly
fine
to my taste; I enjoy the cool breeze as I hear the distant cries of the Changku
(Korea's traditional drum). I miss my wild adventures in the Hawaiian tropical
forests, but I am content with Mt. Sorak and all the excitement hidden behind
the
beautifully twisted branches of the Sonamu (Korean pine tree). I can truly savor
the coolness in the hot and spicy Korean foods. They reflect exactly how the
Korean people are- introspective yet lively and exuberant. Now they are also a
reflection of myself.

I can proudly say that I am now the 'special' red Kimchi that is so very Korean
yet fuses wonderfully with Hawaiian pineapples. (Well, at least to me it's a
great match.) Now I seek to enrich my Kimchi flavor by adding more 'spice' in to
my life. Experiencing more, and tasting more people of different flavor, I want
to stick out from the other Kimchis. I want to become the global Kimchi that
everybody will need on their dinner plate




Princeton 39
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:

Common Application Personal Statement
Essay Title
(Kimchi: a representative Korean food that is made of pickled vegetables,
typically with red pepper seasoning. Koreans can never live without Kimchi, let
alone eat anything without it).

Maybe I was Korean, but not Korean enough. After spending five of the most
influential years of my childhood in Hawaii, I was back in Korea. With the
characteristic 'know-it-all' attitude of a typical twelve-year-old, I thought
that the Korean brotherhood would embrace me with open arms, and that I would
feel blissfully content within the majesty of my ancestors. (Right.) Never had I
imagined that I would feel alienated instead.

In the Korean middle schools, there were tons to study, tons to memorize. 'A bye
bye to all the carefree days of swimming at the beach and climbing coconut
trees,' I thought. What struck me even harder was the different way of thinking.
'What makes you different is what's important,' Mrs. Sumida, my 4th grade
teacher
in Hawaii, used to say. 'Don't you give me a hard time by trying to stick out
from the rest of the class' was what Mrs. Kim, my 7th grade teacher in Korea,
used to say. It's not that I deliberately troubled Mrs. Kim by skipping classes
or anything like that. What troubled her were the critical remarks I made in
class, the imaginary stories I turned in for the essay assignments, and the
abstract pictures I drew in the Art periods when I was told that I was free to
draw anything. Mrs. Sumida said I was unique in expressing my thoughts. Mrs. Kim
believed that I was being rebellious.
These big differences were all too much for a kid who was having enough trouble
with her 'inventive' Korean. My English wasn't fully 'English' either; with all
the 'Wazzap brah?' and 'Aloha sis, so whacha doin' on Kalikimaka' talk in
Hawaii,
I had polished my 'kool' Hawaiianish English skills to the highest level. In
Korea, I became more linguistically sophisticated by speaking 'Kornhawaiiglish'
(Korean+Hawaiian+English) which no one, not even my family, really understood.

I recall lecturing my dad about why we had to go back to the islands. 'I could
grow into the best swimmer in Hawaii! Korea's devouring all my potential,' I
would say. 'The beach is calling me. It's my mission to go back. My DESTINY!' I
tried to be creative. But dad shook his head and left me with no more to say,
replying with a frown that said I really, really disappointed him.
I vividly remember the Saturday I changed my attitude towards Korea. Grandma had
invited my family to her special meal of ginseng chicken soup, with her homemade
Kimchi. I used to consider these foods 'yucky', but that day I was determined to
try them. I bravely dived into the soup with my spoon, and with an awkward grip
of my chopsticks, took big bites of the crunchy Kimchi. At home, with the
pungent
taste still lingering on my tongue, I opened up the pages of the dusty school
textbooks that had been left untouched for some time. I began to study them,
with
my Korean-English dictionary right beside me. I noticed my dad, peeking into my
room, smiling.
Before I knew it, Korea began to feel like home. Not to mention that my
grandma's special meals became my mana (Hawaiian word meaning 'source of
energy'). Slowly and quickly, I learned to be more deeply reflective, humble,
and
patient, just like my grandma and many others in Korea.

I still have the Hawaiian spirit in me, and I long to visit the Waikiki beach,
the place I have so many memories about. But the Han River is also perfectly
fine
to my taste; I enjoy the cool breeze as I hear the distant cries of the Changku
(Korea's traditional drum). I miss my wild adventures in the Hawaiian tropical
forests, but I am content with Mt. Sorak and all the excitement hidden behind
the
beautifully twisted branches of the Sonamu (Korean pine tree). I can truly savor
the coolness in the hot and spicy Korean foods. They reflect exactly how the
Korean people are- introspective yet lively and exuberant. Now they are also a
reflection of myself.

I can proudly say that I am now the 'special' red Kimchi that is so very Korean
yet fuses wonderfully with Hawaiian pineapples. (Well, at least to me it's a
great match.) Now I seek to enrich my Kimchi flavor by adding more 'spice' in to
my life. Experiencing more, and tasting more people of different flavor, I want
to stick out from the other Kimchis. I want to become the global Kimchi that
everybody will need on their dinner plate.




Princeton 40
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Personal Statement



ESSAY QUESTION:
What aspects of college do you most look forward to?



Essay Title
The one aspect of college that I most look forward to is intellectual
stimulation. College will be the first time in my life that I am surrounded 24
hours a day by people who are as intent on learning as I am and who have as many
of their own views that they are as eager to defend as I am to defend mine. I
want my ideas to be challenged, and I want to be free to challenge others' ideas
in the friendly atmosphere of intellectual debate. When people agree with me, I
want to play devil's advocate and find opposing arguments more convincing than I
would have imagined. I want to prove myself right before others who aim to prove
themselves right and still be able to smile and laugh with everyone when all has
been said. As I am particularly interested in law, I find Princeton's new James
Madison Student Forum immensely appealing. In college, I would definitely seize
such an exciting opportunity to discuss and debate the fine points of
constitutional law with people who love debate and the law as much as I do.

Next to the opportunity to learn and grow, I most look forward to the
independence of college life. For the first time, I will be away from my family
for longer than one summer vacation. I have always valued autonomy, seeking
control over as many aspects of my life (weekend plans, school schedules, and so
on) as my parents would accept, and I see the self-reliance of college not as an
obstacle to be surmounted but as a chance finally to direct my own life. In
college, I will still be somewhat financially dependent upon my parents; however,
I will learn in class the skills that will help me secure employment and become
financially independent. Meanwhile, I will learn outside of class the skills that
will allow me to live independently. I will have to experiment and discover to
find the lifestyle that suits me. Thus, I hope to attend college in a varied
environment: I want to be close to the excitement and opportunities of a large
city (like New York) but also have a smaller town (like Princeton) in which to
catch my breath and enjoy life in case the fast lane is just too fast for me.




Princeton 41
ESSAY CATEGORY:

Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:

What would your ideal roommate be like?



Essay Title
For me, the ideal roommate would be someone serious enough to sit down and study
with me on the night before an exam we would be taking but relaxed enough to take
a break at midnight and discuss, over a cup of coffee, how life has been. Our
conversation would be a combination of deep philosophy and shallow chatter. My
ideal roommate would sometimes play music and throw parties, inviting friends
over to play games, watch movies, or talk, but at other times, he would work
quietly. Thus, I would occasionally be able to study in the convenience of the
room and not have to bring my books to the library--I enjoy the eccentric comfort
of doing homework in bed. Our study times would not have to coincide, but some
overlaps would be nice. I would like my roommate to be considerate enough to give
me peace and quiet on the night before one of my midterms and to be assertive
enough to ask the same of me.

My ideal roommate would be on about the same intellectual level as I am. I would
be able to ask him for help: he would explain difficult mathematical concepts to
me or serve as a sounding board for my essay ideas. At the same time, I would be
able to teach him other things and help him with his problems; I wouldn't feel
like an intellectual parasite. I like neither the giving end nor the taking end
of a unidirectional relationship; I greatly prefer mutually rewarding
relationships and would have one with my ideal roommate.

There would be more to him, though, than books and tests. I would like him to be
someone who can relax and have fun and not be completely dominated by his
studies. I would like us to be able to reassure each other when we are under
stress; I want us to relax together and talk. It would be great if he was
interested in law and government, as those are two of my deepest interests and
favorite debate topics. Oh, one more thing: he would be able to tolerate
listening to pop music--I have an incurable addiction to S Club 7! I would, of
course, be willing to listen to his favorite music as well. After all, 'Do unto
others...'




Princeton 42
ESSAY CATEGORY:
Character Leadership



ESSAY QUESTION:
Discuss something (anything) you just wish you understood better than you now do. As tempted as you may be, don't choose 'the college
admissions process.' (minor)



Essay Title
I have often pondered but never understood the association of terrorism with
cowardice. Right after the September 11 attacks, it seemed that every analyst,
commentator, and news source was scrambling to deride the terrorists, almost
invariably using the word 'cowards.' 'Cowards' had become a buzz word; every
politician and reporter seemed to feel compelled to use it at least once. As I
wondered why few public figures aspired to originality, I began wondering just
how accurate the word choice was. Yes, terrorists' use of brutality demonstrated
an inability to reason like civilized beings. Peaceful demonstrations such as
those visible in city streets are certainly more sophisticated, considerate, and
legal than terrorist acts, but are they more courageous? To be fair, hijacking an
aircraft and giving one's own life flying into a skyscraper take much bravery.
Why, then, did so many people link terrorism with cowardice? Calling the
terrorists cowards did seem like an easy way of striking back at the unidentified
criminals, with words if not actions, and to unite Americans in criticism of
terrorism. However, would a sweeping denunciation of all the terrorists as
cowards cause us Americans to lower our guard? Who would have guessed that mere
cowards from abroad would have dared to give their lives in such a devastating
attack on civilians? 'Those cowards wouldn't dare--they would die with the
passengers!' a skeptic might have cried before the attack. 'Besides, we'd nuke
their country in a second!' But the attack occurred. Why, then, did we not
realize that in this changing world of ours, night had grown darker, criminals
bolder, and terrorists braver? Instead of scrambling to eliminate new threat, we
raced to call the terrorists cowards. To protect America, we would have to face
the facts, but we retreated further into our protective bubble, our false sense
of security, denouncing the real world outside. Much later, we moved decisively
against terrorism, but our initial response still puzzles me. Who first connected
terrorism and cowardice? On what basis? I wish I knew.

								
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