Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Things we do for higher education

Today I am attempting to do my sacred Asian duty of starting the college application process ahead of time. I thought I’d get UChicago’s uncommon application out of the way first, since it’s probably going to be the most agonizing and time-consuming. Here’s the essay, if you don’t believe me: “Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard.” Now, normally, I fancy myself to be a creative sort, but I’m having no shortage of trouble with this particular prompt. After throwing out clich├ęs like “make sandwiches for the homeless” and “sell it on eBay", I got nothin’. The problem is, I don’t know what I, personally, would do with a sizable amount of spicy spread. So for brainstorming purposes, and because I really like making lists, I’m trying to approach this as if I’ve already declared my major and am writing my essay based on that. So without further ado, I give you some condiment for thought:

Journalism – Do a human interest story on the mustard doing something like blocking traffic, or rescuing a cat from a tree. Snap pictures for The Sun, maybe end up in the “strange stories” section of a stuffier, more respectable news source.

Education – Have student teachers practice their lesson plans in front of mustard, since most inanimate objects probably have larger attention spans than the average high schooler. Also, you have to be a little insane to want to be a teacher, and talking to mustard would probably get you there.

Advertising – Go a couple miles off an exit ramp, unload the mustard, put some velvet ropes around it, and stick about a million billboards on the interstate promoting your new tourist trap. Don’t forget the “My ex-wife saw The Mustard and all I got was this shirt” shirts.

Pre-med – Make some kind of balm.

International Relations – Make some kind of bomb.

Religious Studies – Look to the scriptures. If there’s a parable on the seed, there must be one on the bottle too. Right?

Visual Arts – Photoshop it to create amusing pictures, a la Fafblog.

Ok, this list was supposed to be a lot longer, but I’ve been at it for a few hours and this is all I can come up with. ARGH. As always, audience participation is greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I was once burned by a mustard balm. Or maybe it was a plaster. "It's burning me" I said to my wife, who had applied the plaster to me. "No it's not, stop being a wimp" she said. "No, it's really burning me" I said. She looked and said, "well, it really was burning you. What do you know." Dangerous stuff, that mustard balm. Don't try to take it into an airport or court room, or to apply it to a judge.

Neil's Kid Sister said...

I'm sorry, that sounds awful! It builds my case for "Make some kind of bomb", though.

Matt said...

I went there. My essay was about a cat or something. I really think you should use this blog post. I mean it. They'll eat it up. Trust me. Make it a little longer if you need to fill extra space, but this is the kind of thing they'll flip over.

Neil's Kid Sister said...

Huh. Didn't think of that. Thanks :o)

Dennis said...

Knowing nothing of substance about Matt it's hard for me to say anything about his suggestion, but I would offer one small thought: "somehow inspired by super-huge mustard" doesn't necessarily have to involve super-huge mustard as a key element per se. It could be merely some sort of jumping-off point or unifying theme or something -- for instance, if you wanted to write about pro sports you could start with all the mustard they need for the hot dogs and then say whatever you pleased.

Regardless, Matt's probably right... the admissions process everywhere is a game with relatively well-defined goals and strategies, so I suspect you'd be well-advised to follow them.

Rachel Luxemburg said...

Don't ask me, I hate mustard.