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In French, there is no difference between “conscience” and “consciousness.” In Japanese, there is a word that specifically refers to the splittable wooden chopsticks you get at restaurants.The German word “fremdschämen” encapsulates the feeling you get when you’re embarrassed on behalf of someone else.
Chicago author Nelson Algren said, “A writer does well if in his whole life he can tell the story of one street.” Chicagoans, but not just Chicagoans, have always found something instructive, and pleasing, and profound in the stories of their block, of Main Street, of Highway 61, of a farm lane, of the Celestial Highway.
Tell us the story of a street, path, road—real or imagined or metaphorical.
As you can see from the attributions, the questions below were inspired by submissions from UChicago students and alumni.
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future?
(Do not consider yourself limited to the field of physics).
Susan Sontag, AB’51, wrote that “[s]ilence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” Write about an issue or a situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend.University of Chicago alumna and renowned author/critic Susan Sontag said, “The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.” We all have heard serious questions, absurd questions, and seriously absurd questions, some of which cannot be answered without obliterating the very question. Superstring theory has revolutionized speculation about the physical world by suggesting that strings play a pivotal role in the universe.Strings, however, always have explained or enriched our lives, from Theseus’s escape route from the Labyrinth, to kittens playing with balls of yarn, to the single hair that held the sword above Damocles, to the Old Norse tradition that one’s life is a thread woven into a tapestry of fate, to the beautiful sounds of the finely tuned string of a violin, to the children’s game of cat’s cradle, to the concept of stringing someone along.Therefore, as you prepare your application, spend time on these components of the application and don't be afraid to have family, teachers, or counselors weigh in and provide feedback.The University of Chicago has long been renowned for our provocative essay questions.What cultural experiences await students who study there? I liked some of the ones from previous years more than those made newly available for my year.Also, don’t worry about the ‘correct’ way to interpret a question.So long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew, beat around the bush, or cut corners, writing this essay should be a piece of cake. History and art are full of heroes and their enemies.Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis (either real or imagined).All of these require explanation in order to properly communicate their meaning, and are, to varying degrees, untranslatable. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Create your own group of threes, and describe why and how they fit together.Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why it cannot (or should not) be translated from its original language. The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom.