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(People Magazine)   Here's the essay that got 17-year-old Kwasi Enin into all eight Ivy League schools. It isn't as action-packed as your own Big Bang fanfic attempt, nor does it finish with 'When I woke up, it was all a dream ... or was it?" but it's OK   (people.com) divider line 150
    More: Followup, Kwasi Enin, Ivy League, essays  
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7387 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Apr 2014 at 12:41 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-04 09:44:42 AM
It's gotta be a hoax. You can't start the third sentence of your essay with a conjunction and still get into Harvard, can you? They would have stopped reading right there.
 
2014-04-04 10:46:10 AM
Might be a bookmark for later
 
2014-04-04 10:48:03 AM
What is this a follow up to?
 
2014-04-04 10:59:02 AM
I thought there were only 4 Ivy league schools. Or is the story that they're called "Ivy league" because of IV Roman numerals just a lie I read somewhere on the internet?
 
2014-04-04 11:28:29 AM
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.

Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA.

I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid.

On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin.
I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.
 
2014-04-04 11:41:00 AM

ArkAngel: I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.

Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA.

I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I fr ...


*slow clap*
 
2014-04-04 12:09:40 PM
Inconsistent use of Oxford comma.  -5 points.
 
2014-04-04 12:10:15 PM
The details of my life are quite inconsequential ... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a 15-year-old French prostitute named Chloé with webbed feet. My father would womanize; he would drink; he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament ... My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon ... luge lessons ... In the spring, we'd make meat helmets ... When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of 12, I received my first scribe. At the age of 14, a Zoroastrian named Vilmer ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum - it's breathtaking ... I suggest you try it
 
2014-04-04 12:45:41 PM

Radak: Inconsistent use of Oxford comma.  -5 points.


Black violinist with an extremely "ethnic" name:  +30 points.
 
2014-04-04 12:48:34 PM

Alonjar: Radak: Inconsistent use of Oxford comma.  -5 points.

Black violinist with an extremely "ethnic" name:  +30 points.


You're off by several orders of magnitude.
 
2014-04-04 12:48:35 PM
Nice second page. Jeez.
 
2014-04-04 12:50:42 PM
Maybe it is just me, but I'm not.seeing anything special. The required life changing event, the token trumped up community work and the mandatory "still learning and grateful every day". Just what is so special about this letter?
 
2014-04-04 12:51:16 PM
tldr
 
2014-04-04 12:51:54 PM
I read the first paragraph. His writing skills clearly played no part in the admissions board screening process.

///Writing isn't everything, I suppose.
 
2014-04-04 12:52:09 PM

rumpelstiltskin: It's gotta be a hoax. You can't start the third sentence of your essay with a conjunction and still get into Harvard, can you? They would have stopped reading right there.


My 2nd grade teacher use to tell us we couldn't use a conjunction to start a sentence until we were published authors. I always felt that they were fine if the usage flowed well with the sentence. This guy has my vote.
 
2014-04-04 12:52:18 PM
Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

/not racist
 
2014-04-04 12:54:14 PM
I want to make a reference to "The Jerk," but I don't want my intentions to be misunderstood.  Therefore, you'll have to say the obvious line yourselves.
 
2014-04-04 12:54:32 PM
Is this the same kid who saved the government seventeen bazillion dollars by changing font sizes?

If there's anything that the current generation is better at than ours, it's self promotion.
 
2014-04-04 12:55:12 PM
Holy shiat he's a bad writer.
 
2014-04-04 12:55:18 PM

Alonjar: Radak: Inconsistent use of Oxford comma.  -5 points.

Black violinist with an extremely "ethnic" name:  +30 points.


Violist, not violinist, actually.

/guess what they say about black guys is true
 
2014-04-04 12:55:41 PM

redmid17: rumpelstiltskin: It's gotta be a hoax. You can't start the third sentence of your essay with a conjunction and still get into Harvard, can you? They would have stopped reading right there.

My 2nd grade teacher use to tell us we couldn't use a conjunction to start a sentence until we were published authors. I always felt that they were fine if the usage flowed well with the sentence. This guy has my vote.


I think the great Jack Sheldon put that problem to rest years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWBO9NAYm-U
 
2014-04-04 12:55:53 PM
Where the fark is that letter hosted?  It's blocked at my work.
 
2014-04-04 12:56:35 PM
In before

Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

/not racist


Or maybe not.
 
2014-04-04 12:56:43 PM

DerAppie: Maybe it is just me, but I'm not.seeing anything special. The required life changing event, the token trumped up community work and the mandatory "still learning and grateful every day". Just what is so special about this letter?


A few things actually.

1.  The fact that he is able to articulate, in English, the ways he can connect music with other academic disciplines would be impressive for anyone, let alone a 17 year old.

2.  There are no wasted words.  It's honest, and it's a person talking about what makes him tick.  That's what all college essays should be.  It successfully answers the question "Who are you?", it's polished, and it's to the point.

It's not a damn thesis, and it's not supposed to be.  But any college that read this would immediately want him as a student.
 
2014-04-04 12:56:48 PM

Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.


It isn't just Affirmative Action.
 
2014-04-04 12:57:41 PM
That essay wasn't the reason Kwasi was accepted by all 8 Ivy League schools.
 
2014-04-04 12:58:31 PM
I liked the part where he talks about loosing his virginity to a prostitue on his 14th birthday.
 
2014-04-04 12:59:45 PM
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-04 01:00:12 PM

Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

/not racist


A former marine who can't use commas right.
 
2014-04-04 01:00:32 PM

MrKevvy: Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

It isn't just Affirmative Action.


+1,000!
 
2014-04-04 01:00:51 PM

DerAppie: Just what is so special about this letter?


Those two words there at the very top.
 
2014-04-04 01:01:22 PM

andyofne: Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

/not racist

A former marine who can't use commas right.


They don't teach you that in the Core.
 
2014-04-04 01:02:48 PM

MrKevvy: Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

It isn't just Affirmative Action.


Yes, it is.
 
2014-04-04 01:03:14 PM

Attention Whore of Babylon: I want to make a reference to "The Jerk," but I don't want my intentions to be misunderstood.  Therefore, you'll have to say the obvious line yourselves.


www.gaeastore.com

He hates these cans?
 
2014-04-04 01:03:20 PM
"I also now take music in my life."

Can someone explain what this "articulate" 17 year old meant when he strung these words together?
 
2014-04-04 01:03:33 PM

jso2897: They don't teach you that in the Core.


But they do teach you that it's Corps.
(Pronounced like "core" not "corpse" unless you want to make someone very angry.)
 
2014-04-04 01:03:50 PM
He would have written a longer letter, but he had to be at the gym in 26 minutes.
 
2014-04-04 01:04:55 PM

Slaxl: I thought there were only 4 Ivy league schools. Or is the story that they're called "Ivy league" because of IV Roman numerals just a lie I read somewhere on the internet?


ih0.redbubble.net
 
2014-04-04 01:05:05 PM

jso2897: andyofne: Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

/not racist

A former marine who can't use commas right.

They don't teach you that in the Core.


Also... a real Marine wouldn't use the description "marine soldier".

I served with real Marines and they typically got annoyed when someone referred to marines as soldiers.
 
2014-04-04 01:05:43 PM

MJMaloney187: Yes, it is.


I meant what was keeping the OP out of Ivy League wasn't Affirmative Action, not that it was what got the essay writer in.
 
2014-04-04 01:06:34 PM
What, is he too good for plumber's school?
 
2014-04-04 01:06:54 PM
Pffft, I wrote my national merit essay on bass fishing.
 
2014-04-04 01:06:58 PM

jso2897: andyofne: Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: Affirmative Action in all it's Glory

As a former US Marine soldier, I cannot help to feel that its unfair, to allow this guy to get in into an Ivy school, when I fought for his freedom, in the Middle East.

/not racist

A former marine who can't use commas right.

They don't teach you that in the Core.


I suspect that this is a case of wifely typing. Or maybe Jodiely typing.  But I don't know, I never carried a gun for the leather jar-necks. Hoo-ah.
 
2014-04-04 01:07:01 PM
and he apparently drinks Dos Equis (when he drinks beer).
 
2014-04-04 01:07:17 PM

MJMaloney187: That essay wasn't the reason Kwasi was accepted by all 8 Ivy League schools.


True, but I have to wonder if we agree on that for the same reasons.

Agnes Gonxha's Confidant: As a former US Marine soldier


Uh-huh, yeah.   Proud member of the USMC Core, are you?
 
2014-04-04 01:07:52 PM
Good for him.  I hope he goes on to do something great.
 
2014-04-04 01:08:32 PM
That letter was terrible.  The reason I think so may have more to do with my mentor scribbling read ink all over my manuscripts and writing in the margins "this is literally the worst thing I have ever read."  He was really good at criticism.  None of us caught on to his motivational technique until we started comparing notes.  Apparently we're all brain dead morons who can't remain coherent long enough to write a short phrase, no less an entire paragraph.

/still terrible
 
2014-04-04 01:08:35 PM
He's not the most eloquent writer, but he knows how to write to an audience. This was meant for Ivy League admissions, remember. All you're supposed to do is play yourself up in the shortest amount of time possible*.

upload.wikimedia.org

*applies to any college admissions, really
 
2014-04-04 01:08:36 PM

MrKevvy: jso2897: They don't teach you that in the Core.

But they do teach you that it's Corps.
(Pronounced like "core" not "corpse" unless you want to make someone very angry.)


encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com
 
2014-04-04 01:09:59 PM

MJMaloney187: Yes, it is.


Well, there's my answer.  And not it's not.
 
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