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UChicago supplement- So where is Waldo, really?


lindsey4114 1 / 1 1  
Sep 19, 2015   #1
This is just an idea that I had for this essay; I have no idea if I'll actually submit anything similar to this. Please just give your opinion on it!

P.S. for those of you who don't know, UChicago is allowing any past prompts to be used for their major supplemental essay this year in honor of their anniversary or something so I'm bringing this prompt back!

obsessed with being able to find Waldo



Waldo is sitting on the bank of the Seine, perusing a French newspaper. His red and white striped sweater makes him stand out against the native Parisians, dressed head-to-toe in monochrome. Instead of finishing his croissant, he gives it to the ravenous-looking pigeon that gobbles it up. Occasionally cleaning off his glasses with the hem of his sweater, he looks up just in time to see a tourist snap a picture of him and whisper to her friend, "Is that Waldo?"

Waldo is in the stands of a Texas Rangers baseball game. He flags down the hotdog man and smothers his meal in ketchup and mustard. Luckily for Waldo, his red and white striped sweater camouflages him well among the red clothing every loyal Rangers fan has donned. No one seems to notice that who is perhaps the world's most famous man is sitting in seat 21A.

Waldo is sprinting through the airport in Tokyo, Japan. Late for his flight, and unable to speak Japanese, he hopes he is going in the right direction. He is glad that he has swapped out his sweater for a red and white striped tee, because it is hot and stuffy. People's heads turn, necks craning to see the strange man running to catch his flight, wondering why he looks so familiar.

Waldo poses for a picture in front of the White House fence. He bends down to befriend the intrepid squirrel who has come near his foot. Gazing through the gaps in the fence, he wonders what it's like to be the leader of the free world. Little does he know many tourists will later look through the pictures on their cameras and see Waldo in the background, and they will wonder to themselves if it's the same guy from the stories.

Waldo steps off the enormous cruise ship and onto the icy ground of Antarctica. Where Waldo has managed to find a red and white striped parka, no one is really sure. The penguins huddle together, making strange penguin noises, and even though Waldo doesn't speak penguin, he feels as if they are talking about him.

Last week my friend swears she saw Waldo in the CVS by her house while she was picking up a prescription, but I'm not so sure. I thought I caught a glimpse of him once when I was in London, but he jumped onto the tube just as the doors were closing and that was the last of him. My brother texted me yesterday to say that he thought he saw him walking across the quad of his college before. Who is this man? Why is he everywhere? Why is everyone so obsessed with being able to *find* Waldo? What if Waldo is just trying to find himself?

vangiespen - / 4,140 1449  
Sep 19, 2015   #2
Lindsey, you accurately depicted the fictional life of Waldo that has led many people to wonder "Where is Waldo?". The rush of life, the various persona's, all the possibilities as to where and who Waldo might be are perfectly presented in your essay. I can't fault what you have written because it is really an interesting take on the given topic. However, I think that the prompt can be addressed in a more personal manner that still relates to "Waldo".

Have you ever considered that the prompt is asking you to find Waldo within yourself? Try to think back to the various times when you have wanted to escape from your regular life in search of adventure or more meaning. Isn't that what Waldo seems to be doing by traveling the world and allowing people to search for him? You said so yourself

What if Waldo is just trying to find himself?

My approach to this essay would be from this angle. However, I would place myself, or in this case, you, at the center of the adventure and describe a sense of self-discovery as personified by Waldo. Call yourself Waldo for this essay. Place yourself in the adventure and ask yourself, why would Waldo (you) be constantly running across the globe? What is he looking for? Can he find it? Assume that you have gone on the voyage of self-discovery and you have come to learn where Waldo is within you, end the essay on that note.

The strength of this essay should lie in the fact that you have found your personal "Waldo" and come to accept her. Why did Waldo have to go on the adventure? What did he discover along the way? Finally, where was "Waldo" finally found? These are questions or concepts that could liven up the essay and give it a fresh response coming from your end. It just may liven up the interest of a reviewer who is already jaded by the common responses that come with this prompt. Perhaps you would like to try writing this essay from a new perspective? This is an interesting topic that can be dealt with in numerous ways as an essay. Your approach was one and my suggestion is another one. Whatever way you choose to approach the prompt, I know you will write it in the manner that you feel best suits your needs.
OP lindsey4114 1 / 1 1  
Sep 19, 2015   #3
Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it! I definitely understand what you are saying about having a bit more about myself in the essay; I wanted to but was just struggling to find a way to do that. I think I'll probably add some more to the end that relates to me. I'm trying to steer clear of what seems to be the subject of most people's Waldo essays, which is like "the Waldo in all of us" but you have given me some great questions to answer! Thank you :)
justivy03 - / 2,367 607  
Sep 22, 2015   #4
- ...smothers his meal inwith ketchup and mustard.
- ...the red clothing that every loyal ...
- ... notice that who is perhaps the world's most...

- ...striped tee,( not necessary for a comma on this part ) because ...
- Little doesdid he know...
- that many tourists will...

Very fascinating, entertaining and yes, who is this man? Is he a product of our imagination or somehow manage to keep us intrigued and interested.

Regardless of who he is, we smile when we see him or if we thought we did and at the end of the day he leaves a question that will keep us following where he went and what he is up to.

I'm not sure if I catch your essay last time but you got me reading nonstop with your essay which is what most writers would wish for readers to do every time they publish an essay or a piece of writing. Well, I hope my remarks helped polish this very entertaining piece of writing.


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