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"intellectual adventure design" - Colorado College Supplemental Essay

wilcerf 2 / -  
Jan 11, 2010   #1
This is my colorado college supplemental essay, I'm posting it on essay forum because it's by far my most obscure essay. I've gotten mixed reactions from friends and family as to weather it is too obscure and out there. I would love feedback and commentary, thank you. I was also thinking maybe of expanding and elaborating on the idea that understanding the nature of comedy could possibly be used as a means to promote global peace in areas of conflict.

The Block Plan at Colorado College has a tradition of innovation and flexibility. Please design your own three-and-a-half week intellectual adventure and describe what you would do. - Colorado College

There are a multitude of questions that have remained unanswered by humans since the dawn of our existence. Perhaps, one of the most baffling of them all is, what is it that makes us laugh. In other words, what is the essence of humor or to put it simply: what is it that tickles mankind's funny bone? As anyone who has seen a comedy sketch, a funny movie, or been witness to a class clown will tell you, there are some jokes that work and there are some jokes that flop. Likewise, some jokes receive positive feedback from one demographic while another demographic responds totally differently. This course is intent on finding the answer to just that. Through a variety of methods we will break down on an elemental level exactly what humor comprises of, with the intent of hopefully discovering universal "laws" of humor that can be applied unanimously in any multitude of situations.

For the first week of the three-week course the students will be making good use of the time machine (the university will have to invest in making this technology before the class will begin). As a class we will visit comedic greats throughout history whose comedy has withstood the test of time: Shakespeare, and Mark Twain, (subjects will vary from year to year as they'll get tired of being visited by students). When with them, we will talk about their methods of comedy and discuss exactly what worked and what didn't and how they knew certain things would have the public doubled over in laughter. The students will interview Shakespeare, arguably the first ever "King of Comedy," what with his constant references puns and wordplay. The class will probe Shakespeare and deduct exactly what parts of his plays proved to be effective and ultimately stood the test of time, what jokes fell to wayside, and what attempted jokes turned out to be total flops. We'll do a similar process with Mark Twain, focusing on what he thinks made all his witty dialogue so funny to the American people, and why, though many of the things he refers to in his books don't necessarily apply to phenomena that exists today, they are still as funny as ever. Through this the class will be able to get a good understanding of what universal laws of comedy remain constant regardless of the passage of time.

For the second week of the course, the class will ditch the time machine and follow big comedy acts of today. We will follow the guys from the Blue Collar Comedy, tag along on Dane Cook's tour, and watch the Letterman Show in person. The audience of these three comedy acts should represent most of the demographics in the U.S. While we are watching the acts, the class will take notes on which jokes work with some of the audience and which ones work with others. Through this the class we will hopefully be able to devise how a certain demographic will respond to certain type of joke. The class might discover per say that only younger people will respond to a joke about Facebook or MTV, while only the elderly will react to a joke referring to Carrey Grant or American Bandstand.

For the last week of the class we will bring together all of the extrapolated knowledge we have accumulated over the last two weeks. The class will then break up into groups. Each group will attempt to create a list of universal fail proof laws of comedy. Subsequently each group will come up with a scenario in which these laws can be applied. Due to comedy's direct and integral relationship to basic human disposition, this class is in a sense a study of human nature, ergo the "laws" extrapolated during the class will hopefully be able to be applied as a means of resolving seemingly irresolvable conflicts present in our modern world.
christiek 6 / 65  
Jan 12, 2010   #2
Perhaps, one of the most baffling of them all is, what is it that makes us laugh.

-> Is this really the most baffling? I mean I laugh because something is funny or something you know?
I think people/scientists or whoever can explain why we laugh...

what is the essence of humor or to put it simply:

-> Maybe you should start with this sentence instead of the one above.

what with his constant references

Through this the class

-> I feel like there should be a noun after "through this" Through this adventure or experience...

-Overall, I think that this

three-and-a-half week intellectual adventure

is pretty interesting.
-The conclusion needs to be worked on a little more in my opinion. It seems to end to abruptly for me.

s too obscure and out there.

-> I don't really get why this is so? haha..

We will follow the guys

-> Can these "guys" be referred to as actors or something?

salbazili 4 / 14  
Jan 12, 2010   #3
that's a great essay!

I am not an expert in writing and I don't really love to write. You also should know that I am an international student. So my following comment should not be necessarily considered, but since I am applying to the same college, I think it might be a bit helpful.

You devided your course into three parts, and each part is a week, what about the half week left?
I think you should leave the last paragraph for the half week and elaborate another paragraph preceding the last one. In this paragraph, you can write about why things that once were funny during the old times, but now they are not, and vice versa.

In the end, you know what's better, and I hope you do the best.
Good luck!
KingFire 1 / 12  
Jan 12, 2010   #4
I thought the reason behind laughing is already known.
If so, this concept ultimately fails, so the essay that's based on it.
fznfire 1 / 32  
Jan 13, 2010   #5
extrapolated knowledge

I do not think the word extrapolated fits well there.

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