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Why Reed; My high school experience and how it shaped my interest in Reed

zdoogy 1 / -  
Jan 11, 2013   #1
Zachary Dugan
Being defined is both comforting and limiting and I experienced this dichotomy first hand at Nevada Union High School. As a freshman, I relished the fact that all I had to do was expose my quirks to the masses to be socially accepted. Because I came from the eccentric charter school, Nevada City School of The Arts, people laughed with me and everybody came to know me as the quirky, humorous, art-school kid. I thrived in this role as everybody else was struggling to be "normal" while I was finding it easy to be unorthodox. However, my distinctive behavior came to define me as a person and everybody knew the peculiar Dugan, but not the everyday Zach who was intellectually curious, musically inclined, and engaged in manifold extracurricular activities.

Students in high school perceived me as the odd Dugan and relegated me to that role. My intellectual expression did not open interactive discussions, but were met with close-mindedness and comments such as, "Zach that's not funny". As my intellectual, creative, and musical contributions were limited to puns, rhymes, and jingles I longed for a culture in which I had the freedom to bounce my ideas around a room only to see them come back changed for the better. I strive to become apart of a school which encourages both individuality and intellectual expression, both quirks and creative thoughts, and fosters social connections between people who strive to be knowledgeable, well balanced individuals. One school feeds the culture I strive to be apart of, and that is Reed.

The path that Reed College took when penetrating my temporal lobe was brief and simple. (sounds pretentious opposed to about the applying knowledge to make quirky statements. Which one does do you see when you first read it). Within a 10 hour window, I received a postcard from Reed, talked with a former Reedie concerning his experience, and carted home several Reed magazines which I poured through. From that moment forward there was only one school to attend, Reed!

The non-conventional style of grading was what first allured me. I love learning because it expands thinking, not because it expands my appreciation for two letters out of 5 arbitrarily chosen letters. Letting my passion for thought roam free in the classroom without being labeled with a letter representing my worth as an intellectual is a system in which I will learn for personal gain, rather than to conform to a standard. This system of grading encourages a creative freedom within intellectuality that will allow me to grow in ways I could not if I was chasing letters.

Creative, intellectual, expression and growth in and out of the classroom is another facet of my reasoning for wanting to understand what it means to be a Reedie. In the classroom I will be challenged by professors to explore academia, my own mind, and perspectives across all ends of a multitude of spectrums. The interdisciplinary approach to learning is something that also thrills my intellectual curiosity. The interconnectedness of the Reed curriculum is how I started learning in my first nine years of schooling at Nevada City School of The Arts and how I study outside of school. Just the idea of combining philosophical arguments, mathematical theorems, and art projects elicits a type of joy that I feel the Reedie culture embraces. Outside of the classroom the culture encourages growth wherever one may find him/herself: whether in a beautiful canyon collecting samples for a biology course, in a dorm community connecting with housemates, in the fruitful city of Portland playing with fellow Reedies, or wherever one's spontaneous endeavors may lead them. This potential for growth and an enjoyable experience is something that strengthens my push for Reed.

Acceptance of individuality and the ability for one to be unlimited in their quest for knowledge is another aspect of my wish to become a Reedie. The notion that I have gathered in my research about Reed is that people within the school are well rounded individuals who are studious, creative, engaged, and have an amazing ability to find free time, amongst all of the work, to spend with friends. The quality of constantly being engaged in constructive activities, but smiling along the way is something that I both share with the Reed culture, and enjoy. I play multiple instruments (including the violin, mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo, and drums), I engage in several sports (including Waterpolo, Swimming, and Snowboarding), I study in school and outside of school for personal gain, and I spend the remaining time with my friends. The dynamic population of Reed is a culture that I want to laugh with, learn with, be engaged in, and contribute my thought to.

The idea that an entire school runs on an abstract notion that everybody should act in a civil manner speaks for the cultural integrity at Reed. Not only am I encouraged to grow as an individual, but I am allowed to decide where North, East, South, and West lie on a personalized moral compass. The amount of respect Reed shows its students by trusting the probity of the student body is awe-inspiring and unique to the school.

So, why Reed? Because Reed will aid a personal quest for knowledge that everybody around me will be venturing on as well; because Reed will further my creative intellectual expression; because Reed will encourage individuality and grant its students the liberties to expand upon their own individuality; and because Reed will expand my mind in directions nobody but a Reedie could dream of.

Any feedback is fine by me.
manjot 2 / 30  
Jan 11, 2013   #2
Definitely needs a stronger first sentence, do not start with Being

From that moment forward there was only one school to attend, Reed! ( this sentence should come later)

Needs more context, you should write about why you liked Reed from magazines/postcards and why you chose to apply.

This system of grading encourages a creative freedom within intellectuality that will allow me to grow in ways I could not if I was chasing letters.

Chasing letters ? Grades ?

Is your name Zachary Dugan, thats a cool name

Overall, this can be a much better essay, I did feel you were trying to be quirky with your essay but honestly your quirkiness doesn't shine through

What is the word limit ?, This is huge

Like my post if you find this helpful

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