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JHU Supplement Essay (50 majors across the Art and Sciences schools)


paranormale 4 / 32  
Dec 25, 2009   #1
The topic is as follows:

Johns Hopkins offers 50 majors across the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering. On this supplement, we ask you to identify one or two that you might like to pursue here. Why did you choose the way you did? If you are undecided, why didn't you choose? (If any past courses or academic experiences influenced your decision, you may include them in your essay.)

In 1975 the British comedy troupe, Monty Python, came out the ageless movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. About twenty-six minutes into the movie, the protagonist, King Arthur, comes across a castle filled with Frenchmen. After some fruitless negotiation for supplies the French proceed to ferociously taunt King Arthur and his knights.

"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough whopper! I fart in your general direction! You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!!"

I have always been somewhat of an analyst. Thus when I saw this movie for the first few times I wasn't thinking of projectile farts and hamster mothers. Rather, I had a multitude of questions.

"Why were the French hording their supplies?"
"Were the English too demanding in their negotiation policies?"
"Was it smart for the French to have later launched a pre-emptive attack on the knights without consent from their leader?"
And the ever-lingering question of: "What were the French doing in England?"
I chose international relations as my intended major because; I wanted to know the answer to those questions and possibly resolve the conflict. (In a real world setting of course.)

Ever since I was in grade school the concept of being able to question has always fascinated me. I wanted answers not just to small inquiries like "Where did the last cookie go?" but the to the big questions like "Where did we come from?" "Why are we here?" The process of connecting the dots and coming up with a holistic conclusion wasn't just a process. It was fun. In eight-grade geography I discovered my passion for countries. All we really did in that class was colour maps. But while colouring those maps I saw world capitals, disputed boarders, countries I had never even heard of. I took those multicoloured maps and studied them. I studied their geography, their cultures, their governments, and I was hooked.

Everyday, governments and people across the globe are interacting with each other and exchanging multitudes of resources and ideas. I wish to understand these exchanges in order to help maintain peace between countries for the betterment of humanity. I hope to see every facet of major international issues to understand the entire story. And above all I want to help those in caught between the conflicts of nations, warfare, poverty or natural disasters. I believe that by majoring in international relations I can become someone knowledgeable enough to achieve these goals. True, these are huge aspirations and probably won't be accomplished by the likes of one person, but at the very least I want to be a part of the solution. I want to study international relations, not only to be of service the world but also to continue my passions. And maybe, in the course of my studies, I'll find my own holy grail as well.

(Rip it apart. Please and thank you!!)
anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 25, 2009   #2
In 1975 , the british comedy troupe Monty Python...
the commas were wrong. its okay to have some grammatical errors but the first sentence is the one that should be the best for the admissions officers

i like how you used your experiences and the monty python thing to show how you became interested in international relations in the first place.

i also like how you humbled your ambitions in the last paragraph. the last thing admissions officers want to see is a student with lofty, boastful aspirations

the last paragrah does need some tweaking though. i'm sure what yet but it seems as though its not nearly as strong as it could be
Mel77 3 / 9  
Dec 25, 2009   #3
it's actually really good! i love how you started it off with a Mony Python scene (i would have never thought about that), which catches the readers eye immediately. i think that overall you answer the question very well, and i really think that i know the exact reasons whay you chose your major and what you want to do with it, which is what you want.

i'm sorry i don't really have any suggestions to make - i really liked it! :)

GOOD LUCK!
OP paranormale 4 / 32  
Dec 25, 2009   #4
Thank you both very much. :D

anhammod: When you say the last paragraph needs some tweaking do you mean grammatically or substance wise?
anhammond 3 / 28  
Dec 26, 2009   #5
i think structurally if you tweak the focus of the last paragraph the essay will be really powerful.

you mentioned earlier "the real world setting"
i think if you tie in different aspects of the questions you asked about the movie into a real context it will nicely wrap up the point of your essay

for example, In the real world, governments and people across the globe are interacting with each other and exchanging multitudes of resources and ideas. These interactions may not be as comical as Monty Python, but...

keep your last sentence. it really brings your voice into the essay and provides that needed connection between international relations and monty python
kenzo_kun 2 / 6  
Dec 26, 2009   #6
Hey! Johns Hopkins! I just posted mine up too if you'd like to take a look and give me some advice.

I love the opening paragraph! It really grabs the attention of the reader. I found myself saying, ok how is she going tie this in? That's great! Not to mention that Monty Python is hilarious.

There was one sentence that was a little iffy to me though:

"I wanted answers not just to small inquiries like..."

It sounds off grammatically. Maybe you should change it to something like:

"I didn't want the answers to small inquiries like" ... "but to the big questions such as" ...

It was very to the point, which I thought was good. A little shorter than some that I have seen, but that's not really a bad thing.

Good luck!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 28, 2009   #7
Every day is two words when used the way you used it. Everyday as one word is an adjective. :-)

And Above all, I want to help those in caught in conflicts among nations, warfare , poverty, and or natural disasters.
poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 28, 2009   #8
(In a real world setting of course.) - I don't know how useful this is, considering that the ones who read your essay already know that. If you have written it just to sound relaxed and laid-back, its ok, otherwise it doesn't have any function.

Apart from that...Interesting essay and fun to read! Well done!
Could you help me on my JHU essay too? Thanks :)


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