College Application

23 08 2008

I’m writing this entry from a hotel room in Berea, Kentucky. Tomorrow I will help my son move into his freshman dormitory and then head back home to Pennsylvania, 400 long miles away. I’m excited for Ben, and anxious to see how God leads and directs him as he moves into adulthood. But tonight I’m sad. So I browsed the net for something about college that would make me laugh… This is priceless:

College Application Essay

This is an actual essay written by a college applicant. The author, Hugh Gallagher, now attends NYU.

Essay: In order for the Admissions staff of our college to get to know you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following question: Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realized that have helped to define you as a person?


Answer

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play blue grass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish and entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, weave, I dodge, I frolic and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But, I have not yet gone to college.

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2 responses

23 08 2008
Tom Fisher

Doug, this is a hilarious essay, but Hugh Gallagher actually wrote it in 1990 as a submission to a writing contest. He did also submit it to some colleges and he did attend NYU. I’m not sure why it keeps surfacing as a recent item, but anyway now you know….

25 08 2008
Benjamin P. Glaser

Berea is a very good school. I have several friends from High School that attended there and all came out with excellent educations, both in life and knowledge.

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