Ivy Applications: Optional Questions

This is the form to use if there’s anything else you’d like to tell us that we haven’t asked you about on the application. If you believe that there is some fact, experience, talent, thought, or whatever which just didn’t seem to fit into our application but which you’d like us to take into consideration, let us know about it here.

College applications are serious business. If I can leave you with one impression to remember me by, however, I want it to be of my positive sense of humor, my spirited joy for learning. Anecdotes are usually good for making one’s point. Here are a few to make mine.

The assignment for History class was straightforward; make a team presentation satirizing television news coverage. We grabbed a camcorder and on a hot, humid Saturday climbed the rocks to the top of a nearby cliff, carefully dragging what we planned to throw from its peak: the limp, lifeless form of a man. With sweat blurring our vision, we squinted to survey the target below–a church parking lot. After one last walkthrough, we rolled the tape and heaved our newsmaker over the edge.

Granted, our star was only a newspaper-stuffed pair of jeans and shirt with a Ronald Reagan-mask head. But when the final, edited footage (complete with voice-overs and cutaways to our reporter) played for our class, they loved it. I co-wrote, performed in, and produced this COPS-like account of a man receiving his due for ignoring that stern warning on a Blockbuster video rental. The sequence was grim testimony to what can happen when you don’t rewind. It was our “film at eleven” on Deadline News. (I regret we didn’t come up with a better name for our newscast but, actually, we did do everything at the last possible moment.)

My philosophy is: Enjoy learning. I didn’t fully understand the inspiration behind Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales until our group sat down to storyboard another of our video visions, The Tales of Floyd, an Honors English project. As we scripted the mythical quest of a disparate group of teenagers in pilgrimage to see the band Pink Floyd in concert, I came to understand how Chaucer might have seen the men and women he sent off to Canterbury. Unlike Chaucer’s version, though, ours had Jimi Hendrix appearing in the ghostly dream of a burned-out Sixties hippie, commanding him to find the Holy (VW) Beetle. Our little drama certainly wasn’t great art, but I’d like to think the inspiration was similar to Chaucer’s.

The core of the Tales of Floyd and Deadline News team I worked with comes from my elementary school years. In sixth grade, our Odyssey of the Mind team won the Classics Division of the Pennsylvania state competition and we went on to the World Finals at the University of Colorado. I’m still working with some of that team’s members. We’ve always have a good time solving our challenges with creativity and good humor.

Why do I want to you to remember me as a light-hearted learner? Well, the other parts of this application show you, I believe, that I can do serious work. But I want you to know I don’t “grind” when I do my academic thing. For me, it’s not like giving birth; there’s no suffering or pain. I love challenges. As my high school courses have become more demanding, I’ve enjoyed it all the more. College could be the most fun yet.

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