Thursday, July 07, 2005

Application Essay: first draft

I feel as if I am in my own little world. My world is not always a world of melancholy, but sometimes I am enclaved and ensconed by my own mind and actions. My mind questions and seeks for the answers, "What people make up my community?", "Whom do I respect?", "Whom do I wish to emulate?", "How do I fit in G-d's plan and what is my purpose?".
As a Jew, my comittment, association, passions, likes, needs, and wants are different than the average American, I so assume. How do I, or more importantly- can I, "mainstream" with the average "Joe" on the street if I am labeled a "weirdo"? Diverisity in American culture is projected as one of tolerance. How far does the average American tolerate Jews?
Why do I bother to pose or even think these questions? The questions mentioned above were inspired and encouraged by a seemingly insiduous, and influential variable that decided to enter my life and sphere of stimulation and motivation recently. This interactive stimulating variable is the application essay to Brooklyn College. My observation of my little world has changed perspective, from a small Yeshiva setting, to one of a more worldly, educative plane. The cause and effect syndrome and the corresponding relationship between the application essay and my new concentrative exposure to the world of "Who am I?" scares the living daylights out of me. The achievment of this remarkable result is to be credited to the intelligent and inquisitive people at the Application Center. (I hope you will accept my application based on this heaped kotowing of such wonderful people as yourself).

Finish later.


Blogger Daphna said...

OY! Do I remember those essays....

First, you are a good writer, so there is little doubt that whatever you want to say, you will say well.

Second, being forced to think about who/what you are and want is actually quite healthy-I do it every year at Rosh Hashana with my annual plan, and as needed with my blog. I look at writing as a sort of shrink--the act of expression and getting out emotions helps you focus and clarify and THINK.

Finally, don't look down on yourself. Look up! Here you are, with a wildly different experience than most of the entering freshman. Sell that! Not in a "I am better than those shallow peons coming from regular high school" way--of course. (I had that view...and no friends. Just not the way to win friends and influence people). Think about it--here are these application evaluators (also students) who probably went to regular high schools etc...reading essay after essay written by people just like them, most of them probably pretty much the same thing...and then all of a sudden they will be reading an extremely well-written essay composed by a pleasant, engaging, normal guy...who can give them a view into a world they have only seen from the outside and are doubtless quite curious about. You will make their day! You may very well end up being a very popular guy on campus. Not to mention, the type of guy Jews curious about Torah Judaism can ask questions of. Just remember to keep the judgemental thing on OFF position. No one likes to be judged.

This is really exciting! So what are the essay topics?

1:48 AM  
Blogger EN said...

Daphna- The essay posed:
Write an essay about an aspect of your neighborhood and the people in it, including, of course, yourself. For example, you can write about how your neighborhood and its distinctive qualites serve or do not serve well enough the lives of its people; about how it adds interest and vitality to Brooklyn or NYC as a whole; or about changes that have occurred or are occuring in your neighborhood.

The difficulty in writing such an essay is that I am in a yeshiva. I don't have a "neighborhood", I don't do comunity service. I focus on my friends and religious studies. I truthfully couldn't care less about the neigborhood. I believe in the axiom you don't bother me I dont bother you. I don't know what goes on in my neihborhood. I don't even know where to begin.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Malka said...

You need to think of your Yeshiva as a microsm of that neighborhood or community - really, once you look at it closely, that's exactly what it is.. I think the essay question is a very interesting one and I'd love to have a look at your essay before you send it off if you like.. I agree with Daphna that you no doubt can offer an interesting and refreshing perspective to this essay.. Get to work boy! ;-)


12:16 PM  
Blogger Daphna said...

I second Malky-your Yeshiva IS your neighborhood. You don't care about your neighborhood...does that mean that if one of your fellow students were ill, you would not care? You would do nothing? Of course not!

Do not apologize to the application committee. You have a different neighborhood than the average Joe, but "different" and "inferior" are not mutually inclusive. Look at it this way-why do you think people read your blog? B/c it describes a world many of us know nothing about, really. That is what makes it interesting.

Incidentally, what you write about your view on the outside world reminds me of the story of the great rabbi and his son-in-law (Rav Dov Ber?) The son-in-law, had unusual powers of concentration. One day while he was studying, his infant son who was sleeping in the same room fell out of his cradle and began to wail. The son-in-law was so absorbed that he heard nothing. The father-in-law on the floor above heard the cries, came downstairs, comforted the baby and put him back to bed. Later on, he chided his son-in-law: no matter how involved in Torah study you are, you must not fail to hear the cries of a child. Torah cannot be used as an excuse to ignore the needs of the world around you.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, since you asked when I planned to write more on the parshas, I did write about Hukat. I had an interesting idea and then found out that Sforno agreed with me, sorta, and just kinda went with it. (Though I deferred to Sforno and modified my original idea).


3:05 PM  
Blogger AMUS1 said...

"Why do I bother to pose or even think these questions?" Because your soul wants to know. "Who am I?" damn, everyone is trying to figure that out. It scares the hell out of some, and fascinates others. It's a wonderful thing to discover who you are because once you do, you can do amazing things with your G-d-given talents, knowing what you think you are suppose to do with them.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Shopaholic said...

great essay!

11:10 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn Wolf said...

Lighten up. We're talking about Bklyn College (CUNY) Everyone is accepted there.

1:43 AM  

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