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'Think, understand, integrate, and prove' - University: Why Chicago


amcgin 1 / 1  
Feb 28, 2010   #1
Here is the prompt and essay I have written. Please provide and feedback you have! The due date is March 1st so sorry about the constricting period..

Question 1. How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to Chicago

"The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort." ~Ayn Rand

I live my life logically and have in mind a specific type of learning, community, and future I want to experience. The above quote, said by philosopher and author Ayn Rand, thoroughly describes the purpose of education, as I see it. I need to develop my mind and general skills, while gaining an understanding of the whole world around me, then focus on a major area of study for my lifelong academic or career related endeavors. The best way to accomplish this is through a liberal education. The undergraduate experience at the University of Chicago will provide everything I want and need to seize my full potential.

The curriculum, people, and resources available make this place very special and appealing to me. Rigorous courses in broad subjects that are meticulously designed to teach the student important knowledge will truly encompass the true purpose of an education. Continued rigorous studies taught by highly acclaimed professors that are among the most critical in their fields will provide me with great knowledge. The students are serious about academics, intellectually free minded, supportive, and collaborative in and out of the class, which will make acquaintances for significant germination of knowledge. The beautiful campus: architecture and location, is a resource within itself offering inspiration and pride. In addition, greater resources like student clubs, (of which I hope to join the excellent debate team), CAP center, libraries and research, internships, and the city of Chicago's myriad of opportunities are phenomenal. Overall, the "study hard, learn hard" environment, culture, and pressure that lives at the University is exactly what I aspire to be in the middle of; Cooperation yet competition, living, learning, thinking, growing, are all a part of this University and I hope I can become a contributor. In the words of John Dewey, "Going to college is not the same as getting an education". However, going to The University of Chicago will allow me to attain the best education possible, as far as I know.
srandhawa 10 / 157  
Feb 28, 2010   #2
your trying to sound impressive with all these quotes, i would cut them out, they just come across as over the top, dont sound true to your natural voice, and really this whole idea about questioning what is education isnt a particuarly good college essay topic, even for a place like UChicago. The whole problem with your essay is if your quote at the beginning doesnt captivate the readers attention in the beginning, this essay really doesnt catch the readers attention or resonate which is what happened to me. But just in general as the essay progresses, it just seems bland and doesnt really say much of anything significant, its all so vague, i know you try to target this to uchicago, but in reality this essay could be used for alot of schools, you dont metnion anything specific about uchicago, just its seriousness, attitude towards learning(which i said before is a touch subject), and that it presents lots of opportunities, but you dont go into much depth about these opportunities. You make the common mistake of trying to do too much, you want to list a plethora of things about the school that will make it sound like its a good fit for you from the sheer volume of things that you like, but in reality this is one of the biggest errors, stick with one or two things, develop one or two ideas, maybe the seriousness and approach to education(provide specifics, departments, specific internship,s professors, anecdotes, experiences, classes etc) and something else you might like, it seems like you really like chicago's opportunities presented, describe them, list some of them, make this more personalized.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Mar 1, 2010   #3
Here is a place to trim away unnecessary details:
The above quote, said by philosopher and author Ayn Rand thoroughly describes the purpose...

I don't think you seize potential... how about "actualize potential."

I agree that the quotes seem to be "too much," but it is easy to fix. In order to support the use of a quote like the one you start with, you need to analze various parts of the quote throughout your essay. If you are not allowed to write more than a certain number of words, perhaps instead of discussing all aspects of the quote you can shorten the quote and give only part of it. or example:

"[The student] has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort." ~Ayn Rand

I live my life logically and have...

This way, the quote would not be to big for the essay.

:-)
OP amcgin 1 / 1  
Mar 1, 2010   #4
I agree with both of you about the quotes being too much. I am working on trimming them, making my essay more personal and less vague. Thanks for the good comments. I will repost my revised soon.
asymptote 1 / 4  
Mar 1, 2010   #5
Also keep in mind that the reviewer of your essay will most likely already be familiar with Ayn Rand; many people have strong feelings about her philosophies and you don't want to alienate anyone.


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