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The Requirements: 1 essay of 300 words
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why
*Note: The Williams Writing Supplement is entirely optional.
This is a thinly veiled version of “who would you have over as a dinner guest, alive or dead?” However, there is a big difference: rather than choosing someone who would be entertaining or make a great party guest, you’re going to choose someone who will challenge and enlighten you academically. Who has expertise in what you want to learn? And sure, there are obvious choices, like Van Gogh for an art major, or RBG if you’re pre-law. But what about someone who can enrich your learning from a different field? Could an English major choose Einstein? Yes. Could a Physics major choose Edgar Allen Poe? Yup. Try to come at this question from a new angle and show them that you’ve thought this through–do some research and give them receipts by proving why your person would be the best partner.
This one is fun. It’s a chance for you to grab the mic at The Moth Story Hour. Details, details, details. Even though we don’t normally think of these essays as being “entertaining” per se, this one is an opportunity to flex your writing muscles and get creative with your delivery. Clocking in at 300 words, you don’t have much room to write, so one option is to start in the middle of things (or in medias res, for those who love Homer). Something has just happened and you are going to regale us with the fallout: bad news just hit and you can’t believe that things are about to get worse; your family has arrived at the campsite, but you forgot to bring the tent. What happens next? We don’t need a lot of preamble; we want action, reaction, and lessons learned.
Upon first glance, this reads like a community essay, but it’s actually a bit more specific. They want to know less about what you do and more about who you are. Sure, you teach kids piano, but why do you do it? What do you love about the act of teaching, or why do you think music has healing power? What do you bring to the conversation that will open the minds of your peers? Maybe you grew up with seven brothers and sisters and conflict mediation fascinates you. Maybe you helped out on your family’s farm and learned how much water a cow consumes in its lifetime, leading you to become a vegetarian. Or, if you’re like us, you love to read and can recite Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 42” by heart. Your collective life experiences have made you who you are, and you will add a unique facet to the community of your Entry. Dig deep, and maybe even ask your family and friends for their opinions to find out what you contribute to those around you.