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College Essay系列(三十四):芝大 爆款文书

(2023-11-04 19:56:45) 下一个

芝大 2018 爆款文书

 

这篇想说的不寻常,是2018年的招生政策变革的芝大。

 

在顶尖美本里,芝大率先Test Optional,就在那一年。那一年文书在申请中的位置大大提高,也因此在录取中涌现出了不少好文书。

 

朽石君在以前的一篇谈芝大supp的文章里,专门引用了一篇应题“What's You Armor”的文书Knocking Wood。想看的可以进入博客列表,从历史信息的目录里去寻找。

 

这一篇,我要讲讲另一篇今年才被从tiktok上爆款的文书,《Meep》。请大家先来读读这篇。

 

DISCUSS SOMETHING YOU LOVE BECAUSE ITS QUIRKS AND IMPERFECTION 

 

Meep

Anonymous, UChicago'22

 

When I was four years old, I fell entirely and inexplicably in love with a little carrot-nosed muppet by the name of Beaker. Perhaps it was the unruly nature of the bright orange fuzz on his head, or the courageous grace with which he took Dr. Bunsen's verbal abuse time and time again. but something about that muppet spoke to my Disney-worshiping, monster-fearing soul. My favorite thing about Beaker was his catchphrase, the monosyllable masterpiece "meep.”

 

Slowly but surely the phrase “meep" began to seep into my vocabulary. When my mother asked me if I had finished my broccoli and I didn't want to tell her that I had slipped it to the dog under the table, I answered “meep.” When my kindergarten teacher asked me if was the one who started that snowball fight, I answered ''meep." It was the perfectone-size-fits-all versatile phrase to cover all of my linguistic needs. While other staples of my childhood such as my Wizard Oz lunch box and American Girldolls eventually faded into memory, the word meep determinedly clung to my repertoire.

 

For those unfamiliar with the magic of meep, it might be easy to assume that it now retains a somewhat vestigial presence within my vernacular. Yet I can offer full assurance that the practice of meeping has much more use to me than my appendix the tip of my tailbone. Though my meeps may have evolved in what could be considered the early Cenozoic era of my life, they still retain a vital place within my daily dialect.

 

I can't help but mutter a meep when I'm on a paused chair lift near the top of the mountain, the wind swinging me back and forth like a loose tooth about to fall out. When I'm surrounded by grumpy, sleep-deprived friends during AP exam season, there is no better way to send everyone into fits of laughter than with a well-placed meep. In these moments I know that there is no form of human expression--no word. no gesticulation, no fake cough, no interpretive dance--that could better capture the feeling I wish to convey than meep.

 

For most of my life I have thought of meep as my own bizarre personal quirk. Then last year in AP physics I met a girl who “murps."  From the first moment we heard each other muller our meaningless mantras we became instant friends. Every day we would trade meeps and murps back and forth while working in class, our teacher shaking his head with bewildered amusement as we determinedly found a way to make our thirteen-step centripetal force problems subject to endless giggles.

 

It was thanks to this girl (the murper) that I began to delve deeper into the meep phenomenon. How is it that a word from my early childhood could retain such an important presence in my life today? How is it that a vestigial word can still be meaningful? After much reflection it became clear to me that the root of meep's potence transcends its four-letter existence. It retains its staying power because it is in fact a manifestation of a desire that is common to all humans.

 

Everyone wants to meep. On a hot day everyone wants to knock off their sweaty, toe-scrunching dress shoes and run barefoot through the grass. When no one else is on the sidewalk everyone looks over at the raised curb and longs to walk along it, heel to toe, arms out. and imagine they are traversing a tight rope. At the end of Thanksgiving dinner, after vowing several time that they will never eat again, everyone has the desire to flatten their leftover mashed potatoes with the heel of their spoon and drawn smiley face in the pristine blob.

 

These are the meep moments: The moments where though we relish the challenge, and empowerment of our adult lives, we long for the right of young children to live by the rules of nonsense. After a long exciting day of trading complicated words, about complicated ideas with complicated people, there is nothing more liberating than taking those words and peeling away their sophisticated sounding Greek and Latin roots. What is left is a word, that though excluded from the dictionary, holds enormous meaning.

 

 

这一篇,跟那篇《Knocking Wood》不同,能读出好感的人很多,能读出好处的人也不少。

 

这一篇从一个很个性化的象声词meep出发,讲出作者对它的obsession,并赋予它其他常用词汇的意义,当作者以meep发音而找到朋友,她发现了每个人都有属于自己的meep,把我们从那些人为的复杂生活里解脱出来,找到内心的一隅安逸。

 

能说出以上这些好处的人,是有一定欣赏水平的了。能写出这么一篇的人,就要说得出更多的好处。而能反复写多篇这样好文的人,又能说出什么样的好处呢?

 

首先,看这个meep的源头。它来自CBS电视台的知名节目《The Muppet Show》,是另一个更知名的scath comedy《芝麻街》的成人版。所有看着芝麻街长大的人,都会习惯于看那几个大嘴puppets继续演绎出仿佛《老友记》的故事情节。

 

谁是这样的人呢?如今25-35岁的人们大多如此。这正是今天的招生官主群体啊。

 

Meep的选题和2016年爆文《Costco》是异曲同工的妙。因为她们都选自一个招生官熟知的生活元素,属于潜意识认同。而且,在申请文书里写出这样主题的很少见。

 

于是,读到这种文书,招生官的潜意识感觉就是转角邂逅,冥冥注定,却又往往是前无古人后无来者的可遇不可求感。于是,阅遍千帆之后,记得住的肯定还是这么一篇meep。

 

其次,Meep这个象声词,声音里所牵带的含义,大概率也是招生官们此时的心境。读了成百上千篇的失败后克服困难而胜利、项目中带领别人去完成、或者假期里贡献自我而助人,招生官一定对优秀产生了审美疲劳。阶前候虫鸣唧唧,机上美人不成织了啊。

 

这时候,读一个本来也属于他们的故事,对于招生官是什么感觉?那个大嘴巴的Beaker,我闲的时候也喜欢看的哦。Meep,我也在记忆深处记得它。象声词的好处,就是它直通人类的潜意识,因为声音的分辨逻辑是我们的脑神经系统在进化中最早完善、潜藏最深,而且保持24*7的后台运算。一个小确幸的象声,必是勾起我们“大杓才添小器盈,啾啾唧唧似吹笙”的感觉。岂不妙哉!

 

最后,来看看文中的几个场景叙事,读到了有没有太熟悉呢。

 

在感恩节的用餐后,把剩下mash potato在盘子里抹得平得不能再平、并用手中的勺子作画笑脸的时候,你们一定是围炉在母亲的餐桌旁,听她讲那过去事情。

 

或者,就在读到这篇的时候,招生官肯定是刚被那些complicated people用他们的complicated words讲了一整天的complicated idea。来,正好一起meep一下,回归简单吧。

 

以这样的文字结尾,踩着别人成堆的失败走向自己成功。是谁说的来着?别人祸都是我们福之所依,或者他们失败就是我们成功之母。

 

反正到了这里招生官已经情不自已,直接手写一张贺卡,表达自己对这篇文书的赞许之情。

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