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Maybe the Christians are right. Or the Muslims. Or the Buddhists. - Stanford

whitepolarbear 7 / 31  
Dec 24, 2009   #1
I was wondering if this essay even fit the prompt...
Prompt is:
Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

In this day and age, religion and emotional aspects of life are given a backseat to logic and scientific discovery. Science constitutes law. Why is the sky blue? The shorter wavelengths are scattered throughout the earth's atmosphere. Why are there millions of species, despite similarity in environment and genetic makeup? Biodiversity is promoted due to changing circumstances. Although these answers may be valid truths, I find it difficult to believe that emotions arise solely due to the activities of the amygdala, and that the behaviors of human kind are largely results of animalistic, basic needs. Of course, science is not completely bogus. It contributes to the rapid rate of progress in medicine and technology. I simply view science as one in many approaches to understand and define life. There is only so much science can explain, and even then science can be erroneous. Can pheromones be the true reason why one is attracted to another, and can a mother's sacrifice for her children be explained as simply a behavior to propel the survival of a species? What about coincidences? They occur, against all odds. What are the chances of finding a caravan delivering olive-topped pizza to my very doorstep this Thursday morning, at 3:00 AM? Not likely, but it could happen. This thwarting of science is fascinating. It proves that though science can provide explanations for physical phenomenon, it can never encompass all of reality. Perhaps life does exist beyond the grave. Maybe the Christians are right. Or perhaps the Muslims. Or the Buddhists. We can never know, and we should be thankful. Who in the world wants to be a complete know-it-all?

All help is appreciated! Please let me know if this even fits the prompt...
gynn92 3 / 30  
Dec 24, 2009   #2
Hello =)

This fits the prompt, but I think you should write more about how it relates to you. What you have right now just shows your interest, but make a connection. How has this interest influenced your life? Good luck! =)

Take a look at mine?
OP whitepolarbear 7 / 31  
Dec 24, 2009   #3
Thank you! I really needed the help because this essay was a desperate, final attempt after hours and hours of thinking... I'll go read your essay now :)
jeovanshadow 2 / 5  
Dec 24, 2009   #4
Hi Yejin,

I would advise you to, like Ginny said, make it about yourself. You can accomplish this by organizing your essay into a story or narrative. To be perfectly honest, i think it lacks a bit of focus in the sense that I don't understand what idea you find intellectually engaging. Is it science, spiritual, coincidence, or something else? I think that you should stick to the one that you are interested the most and develop that idea clearly.

I hope it helps, and good luck.

I'm doing the same supplement, would you take a look at it?
OP whitepolarbear 7 / 31  
Dec 24, 2009   #5
I wrote a completely new essay. I think it is much more focused! Please give feedback--tear this thing apart!!!
I also just realized that this is way over the character limit, so let me know which parts i can cut out.

Why do people do it? Why purposely reject the "I should", even though the efforts are well worth it and well received? The concept of perverseness is a curious enigma; perhaps when its cause can be explained in detail, the world can finally understand the mechanics of that kid in third grade who would not cease kicking our chair. Edgar Allen Poe wrote an entire short story dedicated to this phenomenon. Someone must have ticked off Poe beyond his wits end, because the guy in "The Black Cat" acted on perverseness to an extreme scale, and received his just desserts in the end. Although Poe explored the behavior of perverseness more than any other artist, all he could give as an explanation was: "just because". So what is the true reason why my brother sings louder when I ask him to quiet down, or why men leave the toilet seat up? There are two possibilities: either people are averse to being told what to do, or people do not find the extra effort worth the surrender of their luxuries. The Marshmallow Experiment, conducted by Walter Mischel at Stanford University in the 1960s, tested the theory of delayed gratification. Young children were each given a marshmallow and told that they would be given more only if they leave the first alone for twenty minutes. Most kids ate the marshmallow. In their eyes, the reward was not worth the instant satisfaction that would have resulted from just eating the marshmallow. Adults tend to fare better in controlling this behavior, but not by much. This inclination towards the wrong that offers immediate indulgence, rather than the right that has obvious long term benefits, is fascinating. My brother feels instantaneously triumphant by disobeying my request, and he rejects the long term affection I would have for him otherwise. As for leaving the toilet seat up, the effort of putting it down, though infinitesimal, is just too much. The study of perverseness is relevant to my interest in environmental science. By grasping this concept, it is easier to understand why many people do not recycle when they should, or do not shorten the length of their showers. By understanding the inner workings of the human mind, the solution to improved treatment of the environment is in sight: teach everyone to not eat the marshmallow.
mrwonderr 2 / 4  
Dec 24, 2009   #6
I'm liking how you tie it together at the end with how it applies to you. Definite improvement; answers to prompt so much more.
OP whitepolarbear 7 / 31  
Dec 24, 2009   #7
why... did my title of this thread change? 0_0
and does anyone know how i can delete a post?

anyhoo, I'm glad this essay is more relevant to the prompt
NeoGeo 5 / 11  
Dec 24, 2009   #8
I like your second revision a lot more as well, and think that the whole tie in with recycling is a good personal connection. Your essay would improve a lot though if you started that personal connection at the beginning of the essay, however, as I was kept guessing as to how your talk of Poe and the Stanford marshmallow experiment related to you. Other than that though, your essay looks very good.

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