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How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay With early application deadlines upon us, guidance counselors, professors, and admissions consultants slipped Kathleen Kingsbury seven essays that helped get kids into top schools last year—and she examines exactly what they did right.09 7:08 PM ET Scoring the winning touchdown.Volunteering for blood drives or building houses The main concepts of the theory were developed in the 1950s and '60s, and in 1962 Shapley, with American economist David Gale (who died in 2008), published the results of a mathematical investigation into the problems of pairwise matching in the paper “College Admissions and the Stability of Marriage.” They found .Volunteering for blood drives or building houses.
What you learned about poverty on your $9,000 trip to Africa.These are a few topics on independent consultant Arun Ponnusamy’s list of what not to write about in your college application essay.
(A few more: Don't write about mom and dad's divorce, and no general philosophizing—you're 17, get over yourself.) Admissions season is under way, and with early applications deadlines starting November 1, you've only got a few more days to polish your make-or-break essay.Straight As and stellar SAT scores won't be enough nbd-dhofar.com/thesis-proposal/help-me-write-my-construction-trades-thesis-proposal-business-24-pages-6600-words-single-spaced-100-plagiarism-free.Straight As and stellar SAT scores won't be enough.In a year where 10 brilliant kids are vying for every one slot at your average Ivy League school (yes, that statistic is accurate), the personal essay has become a tipping point that can turn a deferral into an acceptance letter.
So The Daily Beast tracked down seven college admissions essays that did work—seven essays that helped get the kids who wrote them into one of the country's top schools.
The essays were slipped to us by college professors, high-school guidance counselors, independent admissions consultants, and even staffers at student newspapers.For confidentiality reasons, admissions officers can't talk about these essays expressly, so we chose essays that demonstrate the most salient principles to abide by when writing them.(Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.) You'll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever.For every kid who’s hung prayer flags on a mountain summit in Tibet, there are a dozen others who’ve studied a Bantu language in Rwanda, worked with Guatemalan orphans, cooked with a celebrity chef, or been on reality TV.
"To be honest," says Ponnusamy, "if you're thinking about the most selective of schools in the country and the most interesting thing in your life is your parents' divorce, you're not going to get in anyway.” But even if your life hasn't been filled with experiences worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, you can salvage an essay about a ho-hum subject by having a novelist's eye for detail.For Greg Roberts, the admissions dean at University of Virginia, one of the most memorable essays he read was about a single at-bat in a high-school baseball game.The applicant wasn’t the star of the team, Roberts remembers, and didn’t even like playing baseball much.“But he talked about being nervous and excited at the same time, about how the freshly cut grass reminded him of his grandfather,” Roberts says.
” Roberts worries that students tend to be too conservative with essays and are afraid to take risks.“There are no wrong answers here, and the last thing you want is a dry or boring essay,” he says.“We have 22,000 applications, so it’s easy to blend into the crowd.” • Kathleen Kingsbury: The Best College Food• Kathleen Kingsbury: How to Choose a College RoommateThis year that may mean students want to reconsider before giving their take on the recent financial meltdown or the national health-care debate.
At California’s Pomona College, the admissions staff anticipates an influx of essays on the economy, similar to what they saw post-September 11, 2001, when nearly half the applications essays dealt with the terrorist attacks.“But it’s a different story if you watched the towers collapse from science class at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School than if you live on a farm in Iowa,” Pomona’s admissions dean Bruce Poch says.“Families are going through hell right now, and it’s the very personal experiences that will resonate the most.” Then again, Poch adds, “Sympathy isn’t the only reason we let kids in.” Despite what admissions guidebooks tell you, there's no surefire formula to the college essay.
Poch confesses even a small error or two will not necessarily kill your chances of getting in—as long as it's not on purpose."I once heard one essay-writing professional brag about slipping in mistakes to throw off admissions officers," he says." Rule #1: When Tackling a Global Issue, Make it Personal Brown Freshman Nawal Traish could have chosen to write about U.relations with Libya or general unrest in the Muslim world.Instead, she speaks to her personal relationship with Libya, her father's homeland, and her own understanding of her Islamic faith."It's a mistake for students to think that they have to come up with any deep or life-altering topic," says University of Virginia's Greg Roberts, who expects to read essays this year on Afghanistan, health care, and other hot political issues.Instead, Roberts advises, "It's OK to take on serious topics, but tell us how it relates directly back to you.) Rule #2: Show That You Have Some Perspective Get The Beast In Your Inbox! Daily Digest Cheat Sheet A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).Subscribe Thank You! You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet.We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.Hallie Jordan knew not to pretend she'd had a hard-knock life with no options.If you're a white, middle-class kid, it never hurts to show that you realize how lucky you are—and that you sought out diversity.
"I remember in the days after Hurricane Katrina, I had an otherwise thoughtful and engaged kid sitting across from me bemoaning how the kids in New Orleans were 'going to have awesome essays,'" says Ponnusamy."This sense amongst upper-middle-class kids that 'nothing bad has ever happened to me' is always amusing.I don't care who it is, they all have 750 words of something compelling to say to an admissions officer." He adds, "They need to relax, think about what means a lot to them or gets them fired up, and then write about it.) Rule #3: Essays Succeed or Fail in the Details The "hand-cranked" ice cream.The baby clothes she cut up and made into a quilt.The essay that got Isabel Polon into Yale swells with appealing and insightful details that show her meticulous nature."If the essay mentions you going to dinner, I want to know what you were eating," says Ponnusamy.
Adds UVA's Roberts: "A standout essay starts with good writing.Be as descriptive as possible about the moment you're writing—we want to see it, smell it, touch it.) Rule #4: Make Sure You're the Hero of the Story By emphasizing her own personal challenges and then showing how she wouldn't allow them to subsume her, Hannah Edwards was able to make herself look good without bragging.
"It's fine to talk about your dad being a coke fiend or your stint in rehab with your favorite WB crush," Ponnusamy says, "but unless you end up as the 'hero' in the essay, you will have done nothing to help you and it's the one place you're guaranteed to have the opportunity to speak in the first-person.
) Rule #5: Make Your Intellectual Curiosity Clear Rahul Kishore wanted Cornell to know how obsessively devoted he was to science, and his essay describes in great detail his fascination."Talking about something meaningful can make you more likeable," says independent college consultant Stephen Friedfeld, "but it has to be executed to demonstrate your academic rigor.) Rule #6: Know Your Audience Morgan Doff wasn't applying to a Christian school or one in an area that might take offensive to her lack of interest in religion, so she put it right out there on the page.
"Students regularly conjure up who admissions officers are, what they look like and what they're interested in," says Pomona's Bruce Poch."We purposely have a diverse staff with a variety of interests and backgrounds." That said, had Morgan been applying to, say, a school in the Deep South, she might have chosen her words more carefully.) Rule #7: Don't Be Afraid to Show You're Not Perfect Abigail Hook was applying to Harvard—the one school you don't want to tilt your hand near.
And yet she chose to write her essay about giving up on ballet, rather than persevering once she'd tired of it."It's OK to let down your guard, not be safe and sanitized," says Poch."It can allow us to relate to you as a real human being.) Nawal Traish Brown University Class of 2013 One glance out the window, where palm trees swayed as cars sped by, and I could have been at LAX.
But when my gaze shifted to meet that of Muammar al Gadhafi behind his signature aviator sunglasses, I knew I was more than a few smoggy miles from Tinseltown.The larger-than-life portrait of the Libyan dictator sent chills down my spine, and I almost didn’t hear my older sister telling me to follow her through the customs line in her broken Arabic.Fumbling for a safety pin, I quickly converted my neck scarf into a traditional headscarf, unaware that my views on diversity would soon undergo a similar transformation as I assimilated into Libyan culture for two weeks.It was my first time entering the country my father fled thirty years before due to political upheaval involving the man staring at me from the wall, and while I had met my paternal relatives as a child, I was apprehensive about doing so in their own country now that I had matured into a very American teenage girl.My siblings and I were raised as Muslims, but we adhere selectively to the various practices—fasting during Ramadan but not praying five times a day, attending the mosque but not covering our heads in public, and I sometimes feel guilty about wanting to handpick from both worlds—an American lifestyle but Islamic beliefs—because they are often seen as irreconcilable.
From the moment we touched down on Libyan sand, I saw that others didn’t have the same luxury of separating lifestyle from beliefs if they so wished.The call to prayer every morning at 4:30 left me sleep-deprived but more in awe at the homogeneity of the country’s devotion; the haunting Arabic wail penetrated the pre-dawn sky from minarets at every corner the same way McDonald’s jingles infiltrate American living rooms.The Mediterranean heat was oppressive under long-sleeve shirts and pants in early August, when I’m used to wearing shorts and T-shirts, but the fact that everyone else was donning the same conservative dress made me feel like I was part of something larger than myself and more important than the latest Pac-Sun fashions.However, as I constantly adjusted my head cover, I seriously questioned the rationale behind some of the cultural and religious practices I witnessed.
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I deeply admired the connection to their religion that my relatives showed, stopping to prostrate in prayer even at the beach, but also wondered whether the internal belief of five million Libyans could possibly be as parallel as their outward expressions of it.
Being in Libya impressed upon me that it is often such circumstantial, unchosen factors as place of birth that largely determine the paradigms by which we live our lives.As much as I enjoyed the exotic experience of being in North Africa and the not-so-exotic experience of reconnecting with my family, my time in Libya paradoxically strengthened the latter half of my Arab-American identity Best website to get a custom writing services paper human relationships American 134 pages / 36850 words A4 (British/European) Oxford.As much as I enjoyed the exotic experience of being in North Africa and the not-so-exotic experience of reconnecting with my family, my time in Libya paradoxically strengthened the latter half of my Arab-American identity.
I had taken for granted the fact that we are free to practice Islam the way we want here in the U.next to neighbors lighting menorahs and friends who are atheists, and upon my return to Boston I found myself immediately appreciating this diversity at a new level, starting with the group of strangers with whom we waited at baggage claim.
We all shared frustration and eyes peeled for our suitcases, but fortunately, not much else.As I pursue my passions of philosophy and theology as an undergraduate, I will approach with a more open mind the vast array of angles from which people view the world now that I have experienced life in a country so different from the one I call home, yet one that has inevitably shaped my own perspectives as I’ve grown up best website to buy custom engineering homework American Formatting Standard.As I pursue my passions of philosophy and theology as an undergraduate, I will approach with a more open mind the vast array of angles from which people view the world now that I have experienced life in a country so different from the one I call home, yet one that has inevitably shaped my own perspectives as I’ve grown up.Hallie Jordan Rice University Class of 2012 Standing on the second floor hall of my high school, I watch my fellow students swarm into the campus as the bell rings for the passing period.Leaning against the railing, observing, I reflect on how my life might be different had I chosen to attend a different high school.The scene below me feels like a little slice of the real world.
A couple walks by and my ear quickly notices that they speak in Korean.I spot my Ethiopian friend Ike, almost dancing, as he moves through the crowd on the floor below me; his real name is so long no one can pronounce it.Later, my best friend will present me with some homemade Mexican Christmas ponche full of sugarcane to chew on.I reluctantly stop people watching and proceed to class.It always nice to stop and imagine all the different cultures and backgrounds can be found at my small school of barely 2,000 people.
Everyone, I have realized, has their own distinct way of life defined by various situations from trying to succeed as a first generation immigrant to working to help their family make ends meet each month.There is nothing sheltered about Spring Woods High School.Unlike many of my friends, I am a “privileged child.I live in a neighborhood zoned, if only barely, to a school called Memorial High School—the shiny, rich abundant school of the district.From my early childhood my parents had planned on me attending this high school, as supposedly it provides one of the best public school educations in Houston.At the end of 8th grade, a pivotal moment presented itself: I had to decide between the touted Memorial High School with all its benefits and clout or the “ghetto” Spring Woods where most of my closest friends were going.After much debate I finally settled on Spring Woods.
Coming from a very small charter middle school, high school was rather shocking.
I did not like it, and I blamed my unhappiness on my school—I thought I had made the “wrong decision.” At the beginning of the second semester, I choose to switch to the school I was supposed to go to—feeling that I would receive a “better” education.On my first day I was astounded by the other kids.Almost all had the same clothing, hair styles, necklaces, flip-flops and backpacks with their names monographed on them.
Nearly all of them also had iPods, this was almost four years ago when it was not so common to see iPods everywhere.I was amazed at how they treated their iPods so carelessly, when I have a friend who carefully saved her lunch money for months just to be able to buy one.Needless to say, she is very protective of it.Sitting in the cafeteria, I felt like I was back in fifth grade.Everyone brought nice neat little lunches, packet perfectly in expensive lunch boxes.
Mothers stood at the lunch line selling cookies to raise money for various organizations, as stay at home moms they had nothing else to do with their time.Buying a school lunch, I found, was something only the “reject” kids did.Suddenly I missed everything from Spring Woods, even its “ghetto” identity.I missed the teachers who taught about ideas instead of forcing us to merely memorize.
I missed the general accepting feeling that comes from such a heterogeneous mixture of people.There are no “reject” kids at Spring Woods.Isabel Polon Yale Class of 2011 In kindergarten, I was the only kid who knew milk didn’t originate in the supermarket.This I attribute to my time at Emandal, a family-run farm that has opened its gates each summer since 1908 to those seeking an alternative vacation.
For the past 13 years my family has made the pilgrimage to Willits, California, to spend the second week of August at Emandal.What inspires a family to spend their hard-earned cash picking vegetables or milking cows while residing in prehistoric cabins without indoor plumbing? Well, only at Emandal can I husk corn at 5 p.to find it steaming on the dinner table at 6:30.Nowhere else do 13-year-old boys agree to square dance with their mothers or take the time to realize the solitude in knitting.
It’s the only place where the national college debate champion enjoys the company of his oldest friend, a videogame-dependent junior college student who subsists on red meat, Coca-Cola and Red Vines.It’s where Berkeley yuppies and working class Oaklanders bake Snickerdoddles while discussing who’s gotten pregnant or divorced since last summer.At Emandal there are no social boundaries, no class distinctions.Any cabin’s the same as the one next-door.It’s the satisfaction I came to associate with Emandal’s hands-on reality that inspired me to mark “agriculture” as my freshman PSAT preferred major.
Following months of bombardment with pamphlets from Iowa State, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to “live off the land.” Without a local bookstore, Pad-Thai or a Richard Serra installation, my life would definitely be lacking some favored flourishes.But even in LA, Emandal has developed into a sort of Jiminy Cricket I interplay with daily.At Emandal, if there’s extra milk we drink hot chocolate.If fried chicken remains from dinner last night, you can count on it mysteriously resurfacing as Chicken Curry at lunch.
My boyfriend refers to me as “the doggy-bag-date.” I print rough drafts on the reverse side of harp music from last year’s winter concert.When my mother threatened to give away my baby clothes, I cut them up and made my sister a quilt for her birthday.Emandal’s compost lifestyle has caused me to realize creative forms of recycling beyond cans and cereal boxes, and embrace resourcefulness in every pursuit.But the best part of Emandal is the food.
With fresh bread at every meal, heirloom tomatoes the size of my head, hand-cranked ice cream over pie made from Emandal’s wild blackberries, no one refrains from unbuttoning their pants after dinner.But it’s the ideology behind the menu that makes it all the more appealing: the tangible connection with the food you eat.Long before the farmer’s market fad, my family went religiously each Saturday.We exchange CDs with Joel the carrot guy and the Japanese greens lady saves us the last bag of cucumbers.It’s a unique satisfaction and an exceedingly rare connection to be able to shake the hand of the person who grows your food, and in effect, “grew you”.
In my 13th year, when I had reached the stage where crucifixion was preferable to being seen with my parents, they asked whether I still wanted to go to Emandal.Thank goodness something inside of me was still smart enough to say yes.For it is there I have deduced what’s essential to harmonious living with our earth and all kinds of folks, erudition I can attribute only to Emandal.Hannah Edwards UC-Berkeley Class of 2013 “Beautiful.
” I’ve just spent 30 seconds agonizing over how to spell one of the more basic words in the English language and a good part of that time trying to remember how to write the letter b.That sequence is partially a flash back to a fourth grade spelling test, but honestly, it’s a thought process I will have to go through about a hundred times this year with equally basic words because I am, and always will be, dyslexic.I have never been able to spell, but it wasn’t until 4th grade that I found out the, ironically hard to spell, word for my condition.When everyone did realize what was going on and why it was that I got Cs in spelling, I was packed off to resource room (i.Special Ed) to learn how to write pretty.
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Resource room gave me an excuse not to do well in spelling, and it let me spend class time doing silly spelling exercises.It let me avoid my problem and at the same time pretend I was doing something to correct it, but in all honesty it was just a waste of time.I didn’t want to recognize its futility at first, but eventually I couldn’t ignore it and had to come to terms with the fact that resource room was aspirin for a broken arm: It made things seem a bit better, but it did nothing to fix the problem Online custom essays, term papers, research papers, reports, reviews and homeworks. High quality from custom writing service. Plagiarism free..
I didn’t want to recognize its futility at first, but eventually I couldn’t ignore it and had to come to terms with the fact that resource room was aspirin for a broken arm: It made things seem a bit better, but it did nothing to fix the problem.
When I came to terms with this I convinced my mother to take me out of resource room and that I could take responsibility for my own problem, and that is exactly what I did, and have done ever since.I was freed from resource room on the condition that I get A's on every other spelling test that year, which I did New York: Teachers College Press. Paper presented at the American Enterprise Institute Conference, Washington, DC, May 21, 2007. Gage Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance working paper. www.ksg.harvard.edu/ pepg/pdf/HoxbyChartersiDec2004.pdf (accessed December 12, 2007)..I was freed from resource room on the condition that I get A's on every other spelling test that year, which I did.Since then I have realized that I can never allow myself to live life in a metaphorical resource room.I must take accountability and responsibility for myself, and not accept special treatment where there is anyway I can avoid it.This philosophy was tested last year when I was signing up for the SAT.
My mother was handing over her credit card when she asked me if I thought extra time would be useful on the SAT.“Well, yeah,” I said smiling as I took her credit card, “that essay is insane, 25 minutes makes for some nasty results.” “Why don’t you apply to get some extra time? If it will help you should,” she suggested, “you’re eligible.It’s an artificial compensation that would only last as long as schools are forced to provide it; the real world can’t make those kind of concessions so I can’t take that crutch.
” My mother offered no resistance to my stance and I typed in her AmEx number while I reflected on the implications of my denial.I have spent a lot of time agonizing over how to spell the simplest words, and I doubt anyone has quite attained my level of red underlines in a word document, but that just means checking the dictionary and an age spent poring over SpellCheck.I have never taken extra time or other benefits on standardized tests and I never will, because that is not how I want to succeed.I want to sink or swim on my own and not use water wings to get through the world.I don’t want to do well for someone with dyslexia; I want to do well period.
At this point my inability to spell is more of a punchline to my friends’ jokes than a disability and I am determined to keep it that way, because I have worked too hard to let something so trivial in the grand scheme define me.Rahul Kishore Cornell University Class of 2012 Complexity.Life is complex all the way down to the atomic level.Organ systems comprised of bits of tissue, formed by cells, made up of organelles, formed by carbon compounds.Throughout high school, I have been fascinated by the complexity of life.
The relationships between micro organism and macro organism, and how nature, by trial and error, has created structures that allow us to hear, feel, and see.My freshman biology teacher inspired me to think of the human body not simply as a single structure, but rather the mesh of different systems, working together to produce life.The human body, I realized, is beautiful in its complexity and cohesiveness.An organism was no longer just an animal, it was a complex machine comprised of millions of parts.
I saw vivid pictures of organ systems neatly packed into organisms to meet their function.
I pursued my passion for science outside of textbooks.I shadowed the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, standing next to him as he performed a triple bypass.Most of the operating room was consumed by the heart and lung machine, a device designed to replace the body’s own heart and lungs during a surgery while both organs are temporarily shut down.The machine is infinitely larger than the actual organs, giving me a greater appreciation for how much each organ is expected to do.Since my experience in the operating room, I have volunteered at Stanford University Medical Center.
During my first summer, a pathologist showed me a seemingly empty petri dish, swabbed it with a QTip and made a slide and put it under the microscope.The images I saw were amazing—thousands of microscopic organisms, moving together in large colonies.I realized that life could be as simple and small as a bacterium or as large and complex as a human being.“Any Person, Any Study” is what I have been told by alumni from Cornell.The famous quote by Erza Cornell best describes the opportunities that Cornell provides.
But for me, “Any Person, Any Study” means something very different.Cornell University has a long academic tradition of teaching the young and hopeful minds of a new generation the beauty of education.Cornell graduates question, they analyze, they comprehend.Cornell for me is something more than just a university or an opportunity to further my understanding of Biology.Cornell is an opportunity to realize truths about the world, and about every field of learning.
I see Cornell as a chance to expand the horizons of my thought, to think about the world as a bigger place, to think about its problems in a logical way, and see life as an opportunity to understand the world around us.A Cornell education provides a basis in many things, the ability to draw conclusions from Locke, Kant, or Smith, and use these ideas in conjunction with an in depth knowledge of one topic to excel in a field.Cornell will provide me the opportunity to understand Biology in an uncommon way.Cornell is a place to discover a new way of thinking, and also a place to find passion for a study.I want to learn about Biology beyond a textbook.
I want to make those discoveries at Cornell.Morgan Doff Reed College Class of 2010 “Morgan, say it slower and pronounce each word.“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, / Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch, / If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you .” When I was 6 years old, I had a slight speech impediment that made me far too shy to read aloud in front of my peers.My father immediately decided the only way for me to overcome my fear would be to practice reading out loud.Every day, my father and I sat together, and I read to him.After a few days of children’s books, my father—sick of listening to fairytales—gave me a book of poems.
I read Kipling’s “If” over and over to him, and it become my favorite poem.I was incredibly grateful to him for not only helping me to overcome my fear of public reading but also for instilling in me a love of reading and words.This love was consuming and when I was 12, I saw another child wearing a bracelet that read, “WWJD.” Excited, I asked if it referred in some way to JD Salinger, and if so, did the bracelet pertain to one character in particular? Maybe Holden? Franny? The other child just looked at me baffled and said, “It means, ‘What Would Jesus Do.’” I turned away sheepishly, as apparently my knowledge of literature had surpassed my awareness of religious catchphrases.
However, occurrences like these didn’t deter me from a zealous approach to reading.The more I learned to appreciate the beauty in a beginning, middle, and end of a story, the more I felt a desire to create my own.Now, I’m a storyteller—a far departure from my days of near silence.I love knowing that everyone is listening to my story.
In my writing, I’m honest; I don’t hide anything; I don’t want it to be guarded.I want my stories to demonstrate imperfection, because I believe it makes my writing more realistic.When I read words with a similarly imperfect tone, I feel comforted, knowing that someone else has felt the same way I have.In my writing, I strive to infuse another kind of comfort as well—the reassuring feeling that comes when someone overhears what you are saying and agrees with you.I was once in a hotel elevator in France, complaining to my sister about how I had gotten lost earlier that day, and recounting wandering aimlessly in Paris and not speaking the native language.
I was shocked when suddenly, a beautiful woman on the elevator said, “Pas le bien-aim d’inqui tude, je me suis perdu une fois dans Am rique, je sais la sensation.” I began to cry, because I knew she was trying to be helpful, and at the sight of my tears, the woman quickly said in perfect English, “Don’t worry sweetheart, I once got lost in America.” To this day, I still clearly remember the feeling of relief that the stranger’s words gave me.
I knew that I wasn’t the only person to ever feel overwhelmed in a foreign place or situation.
I strive to capture that feeling—the soothing sense of comfort that the stranger gave me—in my writing.
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I still sit and read aloud to my father.We sit on the same burgundy velvet sofa, my father on the left, and I as close to him as possible.The only differences are that now, he complains that I’m “too big to sit on his lap,” and that we no longer read fairytales or Kipling, but my stories instead Writing across the curriculum and the communications movement: Some lessons from the past. College Socioeconomic status and the relationship between the SAT and freshman GPA: An analysis of data from 41 colleges and universities (Report No. 2009–1). Harvard Educational Review, 80, 106–133. Schaie, K. W. .The only differences are that now, he complains that I’m “too big to sit on his lap,” and that we no longer read fairytales or Kipling, but my stories instead.
Abigail Hook Harvard University Class of 2013 This past summer I was poised to jump.
I had convinced not only myself, but everyone around me that I was done.Come end of summer, I would pack away hundreds of pointe shoes in dejected cardboard boxes and they would instantly transform into unwanted memorabilia, identified only by a careless scrawl of Sharpie.My sweat and dedication were to be laid aside.I was through with pain, through with foot surgeries and obsessions and disappointments, and saying goodbye to a lifelong pursuit of ballet would be no exception.
After the usual last six weeks of intensive summer training, my adieus were to be quick and painless; I would make sure of it.Having made up my mind, I loyally warded off anything that might jeopardize my decision.My usual passion and enthusiastic spark were gone, replaced by a deep longing to understand why exactly I had ever fallen in love with this painful profession and an intense need for stability when my world was moving out from beneath my sore feet.Serenade took the remains of me, a frustrated and tired dancer whose only instinct was to fight, and gently illuminated the silver lining in my painful disaster.
My first exposure to the piece came from the splintery wood cabinet in the corner of the studio.Growing up in an intensely musical family who preferred to sing the nightly prayer, recordings frustrated me.Tonight the ribbons on my pointe shoes were as frayed as my sanity, and I was trying desperately to get motivated.Ballet had taught me from an early age that pain is only in the mind, and motivation is only a matter of psychological tricks.
This ideology was working well for me, until I heard it.My sense of stoicism was instantly shattered.I had witnessed my fair share of beautiful music and never cried.Yet Serenade for Strings in C Major sounded nothing like the Nutcracker or everything I was feeling.
Serenade reminded me that beauty existed in the “why” of my pursuit of perfection; why I had done this—this crazy-overworked dream of a thing—and why I knew I would treasure it for the rest of my life.George Balanchine somehow has captured the ephemeral, tragic side of beauty that Serenade sang of and transformed it into living art, and for a few weeks, I was his medium.For the first time I could remember I was looking forward to rehearsal at the end of eight-hour days; to those first few measures of music in which 17 girls simply stood, each hand raised to heaven, eyes searching through divine stratosphere, their light blue tulle—angelic.
As the curtain rose opening night, the audience let out a murmur—a subtle appreciation for beauty in the raw.For weeks afterward I would enthusiastically lend my iPod to friends, brightly anticipating that they too would experience a revelation.For the most part they would smile sympathetically and say, “Oh yes, isn’t it beautiful?” and move on.But then I realized, amidst my confusion, that the reassurance, the hope that I hadn’t just wasted my childhood, was something I so uniquely needed.
Yes the music and choreography were genius, but Serenade’s magic lay in the ability it had to nudge me from frustrated to appreciative, from grief to celebration.Perhaps Balanchine had seen this doubt, this questioning in a student before.Or perhaps this is how art works: One will never understand the power it has for the individual but not his neighbor, for the dancer but not the audience member, for the mother but not the daughter.I do know the experience of becoming that music—what seemed my story this summer—was paramount in my understanding of the person ballet has made me, and even when it came time to hang up my pointe shoes in exchange for a college education, Serenade reminded me of the power of pursuing a dream and the gifts that come with saying goodbye.Kathleen Kingsbury covers education for The Daily Beast.
She also contributes to Time magazine, where she has covered business, health, and education since 2005.READ THIS LISTFrom Michelangelo’s fleshly angels on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel through to Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ (1987), art has never shied away from representing difficult subject matter – or from courting controversy.In the twentieth century, some critics even argued that art is only effective when it jolts us out of our customary ways of relating to the world, or when it makes explicit the structures of violence and oppression that operate invisibly.This course will begin by exploring works of art and literature by Michelangelo, Edouard Manet, and Charles Baudelaire that were considered transgressive in their time but which have since been incorporated into the canon of art history.Is an artwork deemed shocking because of its own intrinsic qualities, or because of the norms and values of its viewing culture? How did these creations and their controversies shape or redirect the course of art history? In our second unit, we will study some contemporary artists who understand “shock” to be an integral part of their aesthetic projects.
In looking at Damien Hirst’s pickled animal installations, or Tracey Emin’s own stained mattress set in the middle of the Tate Gallery, or Kara Walker’s provocative 75-foot-long sphinx made out of sugar, why do these artists want their audience to feel such alarm and unease? We will consider these artworks alongside readings by feminist critics, philosophers, and art theorists who defend art even at its most outrageous extremes.Can shock motivate moral or ethical reasoning? Is shock a particularly political feeling? And why are images or representations of the body so central to this genre of art? The third unit will investigate how institutions – like museums, the media, and even universities like Harvard – play a role in either canonizing transgressive art or else fanning the flames of public outrage.Students will have the opportunity to visit the Harvard Art Museum as they work on their final, individual research papers.BLACK AUTOBIOGRAPHYWhy is autobiography so key to the black literary tradition on both sides of the Atlantic? In this course we will search for answers by working our way through black autobiographies from a number of different genres.
We will begin in the United States by reading excerpts from the “narratives” of former slaves, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Solomon Northrup, whose memoir was the basis for the award-winning film Twelve Years A Slave.
What did the autobiographical truthfulness of these accounts accomplish? Why were they so important for the abolitionist movement? What do their popularity and political importance say about the nature of black suffering and its consumption as literature? We will then broaden the scope of our inquiry to consider narratives of blackness and suffering from elsewhere in the African diaspora.Our touchstone will be the Martinique-born philosopher Frantz Fanon, whose autobiographical engagement with racial trauma in Black Skin, White Masks remains one of the most important critical texts on blackness in the modern world.We will grapple with Fanon’s account of realizing – quite late in life – that he was black and what that meant.This will help illuminate the broader world of postcolonial African and Caribbean politics and literature, including the poetry of Aim C saire and the fiction of Ama Ata Aidoo.In the final section of the course, we will return to the United States to engage with the #blacklivesmatter movement and some of the provocative music, film, and prose in dialogue with it: Beyonc ’s Lemonade, Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.
What do these new black autobiographies have in common with their antecedents? How has the conversation about black life and black suffering changed? Or, has it changed at all? BREAKING THE RULESEveryone lives by rules, no matter how free they may feel.Some of these rules are written; others are unspoken.While we typically associate political rights with what it means to be “free,” the seemingly small social conventions of everyday life can limit our real or perceived liberties in powerful ways, too.The codes of conduct we follow when, for example, we use social media, when we go on dates, or when we work for a company all have the capacity to rein us in, and if we knowingly or unknowingly violate those norms, our freedom may be at the price of our membership in a community.This course will use literature and film to interrogate the relationship between social rules and individual freedom while considering the following questions: What does it really mean to be “free”? How does social obligation impact our access to personal freedom? Are we even aware of the ways that society controls our behavior, or are rules of social conduct largely invisible? As we seek the answers to these questions, we’ll start Unit 1 by performing close analysis of several short stories from both American and international authors—including Willa Cather, Flannery O’Connor and National Book Award winner Ha Jin—and discuss how they negotiate the relationship between individual desire and social expectation.
In Unit 2, we’ll turn to films like Mean Girls, The Social Network, and The Graduate as we read theories of individual and collective freedom, questioning how the socially constrained environments of high school and college impact individuals’ behavior and choices.Finally, we will conclude with a culminating research paper in which students will choose from novels, movies, or television series like Mad Men and Downton Abbey, in order to deconstruct the social pressures that impinge on us today.We will ask why these texts—produced in the last few years and yet rooted in historically constrained societies—have become popular ways of thinking through contemporary social predicaments.CLASS, RACE, AND SPACE IN BOSTON AND CAMBRIDGE Expos 224This course explores the interplay between the physical spaces of American cities and the class and racial identities of urban residents.We ask how spaces, from sidewalks to public housing to university campuses, shape residents’ images of themselves and their neighbors.
Course readings and assignments emphasize the contested nature of political decision-making processes, focusing on debates among politicians, courts, university officials, and neighborhood groups.We begin by examining a pioneering work in the field of urban studies: Jane Jacobs’sThe Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961).Jacobs vehemently critiqued programs for urban renewal and instead celebrated the vitality of social spaces found in older urban neighborhoods such as Boston’s North End and New York’s Greenwich Village.In the second unit, we compare academic and popular discussions of the role of the government in promoting residential segregation, examining portions of Richard Rothstein’s bestsellingThe Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017).We consider style and the use of evidence in different forms of non-fiction writing as we explore this controversial topic.
We build on the skills developed in the first two units in a final research paper that considers Harvard’s own history of class, race, and space.Students first explore scholarship regarding “town-gown” relations more generally and then conduct original research regarding a key episode in Harvard’s interactions with neighboring residents in Boston or Cambridge.DOCUMENTING LIVES In a long-forgotten short story published in 1958, an unloved businessman takes up photography as a hobby only to find himself obsessed by the nature of the medium.He comes to believe that the camera alone can capture and preserve the reality of things and people.“In order to really live,” he tells his friends, “you must photograph as much as you can, but to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographical every moment of your life.
” The story writer was inspired by a new fad in the postwar decades: middle-class amateurs taking candid snapshots of everyday life on portable cameras.More than a half-century later, in an age of Instagram and Snapchat, our networked devices go everywhere our bodies go, and we are accustomed to taking and sharing pictures of ourselves and others throughout the day.But what does it mean to document our lives and those of others through photographs? What kind of truth or reality can photographs reveal about ourselves and the world in which we live? And what about our ethical obligations? Do we have a moral responsibility as producers and viewers of photographs? Finally, given the rise of Photoshop and the digital image, how can we even trust what we see? We will pursue these questions through three case studies, beginning with controversy over Sally Mann’s family photographs, which set off a firestorm of criticism when they were exhibited in 1992.Through a close reading of Mann’s memoir, we will try to understand how and why her photographs tested the boundary between private life and public art.In the second unit, we will turn from photography-as-art to the rise of photojournalism, and in particular, to a ground-breaking series of photo-essays from Life magazine on racial segregation in the South.
In our final unit, we will grapple with the problem of proof and deception in the digital age by exploring the critical response to the JPEG files shared among soldiers inside the Abu Ghraib prison at the height of the Iraq war.
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DRUGS, MIND, AND WAR IN THE AMERICAS Expos 245, 246 Psychoactive substances have played an outsized role in the modern history of the Americas.As marijuana is being decriminalized, our class will ask how the Americas have been embroiled in a war on the habits of its peoples.In our first unit, we will consider how the coca leaf, one of the defining symbols of indigenous culture in the Andes, has been transformed into cocaine, an international villain Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 12, 687–718. Collins, P. H. (1989). The social construction of Black feminist thought. Signs, 14, 745–773. Elbow, P. (1973). Writing without teachers. London: Oxford University Press. Feldman, C. (1992). On reading Paley. Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Human .In our first unit, we will consider how the coca leaf, one of the defining symbols of indigenous culture in the Andes, has been transformed into cocaine, an international villain.
In the second unit, we will look at the ways in which traffickers adapted to the growing appetites of American consumers in the 1980s and 1990s.
Using Bandits, a book by the great 20 th century historian, Eric Hobsbawm, we will analyze the social role that drug traffickers have played in their societies 24 Aug 2017 - You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important If you are writing this essay completely from scratch for Harvard, an important guideline to use in framing your essay is that it should substantially differ from .Using Bandits, a book by the great 20 th century historian, Eric Hobsbawm, we will analyze the social role that drug traffickers have played in their societies.In our final unit, we will ask how the “War on Drugs” has changed the U.and Latin America, and consider whether we are currently at a historical watershed in the world’s relationship with drugs.As we refine our analytical and writing skills, we will also spend some time on meditation, with the goal of better understanding our own minds, and cultivating concentration and equanimity nbd-dhofar.com/research-proposal/order-a-mass-communication-research-proposal-premium-7-days-writing-from-scratch-plagiarism-free.
As we refine our analytical and writing skills, we will also spend some time on meditation, with the goal of better understanding our own minds, and cultivating concentration and equanimity.
A good risotto is a fine thing, but it isn't going to give you insight into other people, allow you to see the world in a new way, or force you to take inventory of your soul." So William Deresciewicz, in an opinion piece for the New York Times, dismisses our society's rising fascination with food over the last few decades, from the explosion of cookbooks, food blogs, and bestselling histories of cod, salt, and sugar, to the glut of cooking shows, many featuring contestants dueling in gladiatorial kitchens.
Like the ancient Romans, we have become obsessed with food.
But is Deresciewicz right to say that food won’t give us insight into ourselves? Is it not possible that by examining what scholars and commentators call “foodways”— the various forces involved in how different cultures produce, buy, sell, and consume food—we learn much about ourselves and the world? In this course we will be guided by the maxim of famous anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, “food is good to think,” as we contemplate various foodways from a number of illuminating perspectives.In our first unit we delve into what makes food "disgusting" or "natural.” How do we categorize edible material as polluting or pure? What even counts as food in different societies? In our second unit, we explore what we can learn about food and culture by looking at successful cooking shows produced in different countries, for instance, Top Chef, Iron Chef, and The Great British Bake Off.What do these shows as cultural artifacts tell us about the values that are celebrated or perpetuated through food? Our third unit will consider global trends of commodities, economics, and food ethics.For this unit students will conduct a research of food practice centered in some way on Annenberg.
Can we define what a dining hall does, or should do? How has the ritual and practice of dining changed over time at Harvard? Along the way, we will read classic works, from theories of food by anthropologists Mary Douglas, Jack Goody, and Michael Dietler, to ideas about food as a medium for relationships between people, including the relationships that make up a vast food economy of farms, factories, supermarkets, and our tables, as seen in the writing of novelists, essayists, and food journalists as diverse as Marcel Proust, David Foster Wallace, Wendell Berry, M.EXISTENTIALISM “Existence precedes essence.
” According to Jean-Paul Sartre’s slogan, we are not born with a purpose given to us by god, human nature, or society, but are instead “condemned to freedom,” to create ourselves through the choices we make.In our first unit, we will grapple with the idea that we create our own values, reading Sartre’s lecture “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” and consider a recent philosopher’s attempt to understand what it means to describe life as absurd.Concerned as they were with concrete situations, existentialists also produced a great deal of literature in addition to philosophy.In our second unit, we will look at the concept of being-for-others—the idea that we never exist as pure individuals—in Sartre’s play “No Exit” (bearer of the famous line “hell is other people”) and a short story by his lifelong intellectual partner Simone de Beauvoir.Finally, at the end of the course, students will write a research paper about an existentialist novel of their choice, examining themes like bad faith, dread, freedom, and authenticity in a classic text by Sartre, De Beauvoir, or Albert Camus, or in a more recent one influenced by that tradition, such as Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, Kobo Abe’s The Face of Another, Tom McCarthy’s Remainder, or Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation, among other possibilities.
FAKING IT TO MAKE IT ( Between 2002 and 2005, serial impostor Esther Reed took classes in the Harvard Extension School and participated in the university’s debate team under the name Natalie Bowman.She later posed as an honors student at Columbia University.A similar deception took place at Princeton in the early 1990s when Alexi Indris-Santana, track team and Ivy Club member, was revealed to be a 31-year-old impostor named James Hogue.Reed’s and Hogue’s ability to pass as students at prestigious universities raises questions about the relationship between lying, success, and cultural standards.How do lies inform the ways we think about ourselves? What is the appeal of living one’s life as a masquerade or performance? In a world where technology increasingly blurs the lines between life and fiction, is deception ever justified? This course examines the ways deception impacts our lives and shapes our sense of self at a time when notions of what is real and what is fake are increasingly being called into question.
We begin by analyzing the role of rumors and storytelling inThe Great Gatsby, where F.Scott Fitzgerald reshapes our understanding of the confidence man by turning him into a cultural icon.Then, we examine the ethics and morality of deception by testing Friedrich Nietzsche’s and Sigmund Freud’s notions of truth against films such asChicago,Quiz Show, andThe Prestige.In our final unit, students will have the opportunity to research an instance of imposture in contemporary culture or fiction and make an argument that interprets and assesses its significance.Sample topics include hoaxes such as Orson Welles’The War of the Worlds broadcast, the creation of fake online identities for “catfishing” the unsuspecting, and race, class, and gender passing.
The femme fatale--the attractive, seductive woman who brings about the downfall of any man she encounters—has fascinated us through the ages, from Biblical figures like Eve, Delilah, and Salome and Ancient Egypt’s Cleopatra to Catwoman, or even Nicki Minaj’s media persona.In most stories, the femme fatale’s dangerous actions empower her, but she ultimately must also submit to the idea that her empowerment renders her a villain.How does this contradiction in the femme fatale’s character reflect tensions in our own evolving understanding of gender? How can the femme fatale character help us untangle the real gender problems that modern women and men face? This course will begin to explore these and other related questions by studying accounts of femme fatales in literature and film.In our first unit, we’ll explore 1920s and 1930s pulp fiction as a source of the modern fatale archetype, with special focus on James M.In our second unit, we’ll move to a fictional account of a more powerful femme fatale published in the 1970’s post-feminist movement, and examine Stephen King’s novel Carrie alongside the updated film adaptation, Brian de Palma’s eponymous cult classic.Finally, in our third unit, students will research a modern day femme fatale, either real or fictional, and argue why the modern version is recognizable as a femme fatale, but also represents some evolution of, or twist on, the classic archetype.Here students will be challenged not only to apply broad theories and ideas from the course, but also to reach a greater understanding of what makes some modern women seem so dangerous.GOD AND GOVERNMENTThe separation of church and state is often considered to be a cornerstone of modern democracy, but this idea has nevertheless been a difficult concept to put into practice.Must the state completely avoid any entanglement with religious groups, or merely act in a non-preferential manner toward them? How does a state determine whether a given belief or practice is religious (and thus deserving of legal protection) or simply ethical or cultural in nature? Is the ideal of a neutral political secularism even possible or desirable? And what should we think of the many global actors, from Latin America to the Middle East to Sub-Saharan Africa, who reject this ideal entirely? This course will consider the many questions and challenges raised by religious diversity for the modern state.
We begin in the first unit by considering two influential early accounts of the proper relationship of governments to religiously diverse populations, James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s On Civil Religion.In the second unit, we will consider several judicial decisions from the U.Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, which highlight the contentious legal landscape over the concept of “religious freedom.” Our final unit turns to the international stage to examine several case studies from Brazil, Palestine, Nigeria, and India, to see how religious diversity is shaping contemporary global conflict.
GOTHIC FICTIONHorror, madness, monstrosity, death, disease, terror, evil, and weird sexuality: these preoccupations, according to a recent critic, have animated Gothic fiction ever since it emerged in the mid-1700s.We will contemplate these preoccupations as we examine a range of Gothic texts from eighteenth-century Gothic fragments to stories by Edgar Allan Poe and Isabel Allende.And we will ask these questions about those texts: What makes Gothic fiction “Gothic”? How do we account for its immense popularity? Why have high-minded readers and writers always tended to scorn it? (What are they so worried about?) And what have modern Gothic writers and readers made of the genre they’ve inherited? We’ll develop a working definition of the Gothic in our first segment, which will take a group of short stories—of various centuries and nations—as its primary texts.Next, we’ll read Jane Austen’s Gothic spoof, Northanger Abbey, in the context of both the popular fiction Austen parodies and the heated eighteenth-century debates about what young women should read.Our third segment will focus on Edgar Allan Poe and his tales of paranoia, insanity, and incest.
This segment will extend the course’s focus from the Gothic mansion (and the Gothic monster) to the Gothic mind.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights has thirty articles, among them the more familiar — “life, liberty, and security of person” — and the less familiar — the right to a family, to cultural life, to rest and leisure.
We often presume that human rights need no justification or explanation.
But what are human rights? Are they really universal? We begin our course by looking at the “strange triumph of human rights” in the aftermath of the violence of the Second World War.After analyzing the development of this idea over time, we’ll think about how human rights are (or are not) protected.We’ll draw on A Problem from Hell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by former U.Samantha Power, who argues that powerful countries have a moral responsibility to prevent genocide.Power addresses examples such as the Rwandan genocide (where the U.failed to intervene) and the Balkan Wars (where NATO did intervene).
But other experts say that intervention just makes suffering worse.How do we understand this debate in a historical context? In the final unit, we will dig into several ongoing and highly contested issues in human rights, like the “right to be forgotten,” which would force Google to erase certain unwelcome search results; the race-, religion-, and gender-infused debate over whether Muslim women should be allowed to wear headscarves in public spaces in France; Ta-Nehisi Coates’s argument in The Atlantic for reparations to the descendants of black American slaves; the growing debates over transgender rights and restroom access; the role of the Nuremberg legacy in the success (or failure) of trying war crimes today; and even Harvard’s own complicated relationship to slavery in the United States.HUMANS, NATURE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT Expos 218, 219Deforestation, overpopulation, pesticide use, toxic oceans, endangered species, global warming.How are we to make sense of the many environmental problems facing the Earth today? Although the sciences provide a factual account of environmental threats and ways of countering them, scientific facts seem not to be enough, since artists, writers, filmmakers, and even scientists find themselves turning again and again to their imaginations to respond to the environmental predicaments of industrial society.They may be doing what English Romantic poet Percy Shelley powerfully described 200 years ago as an essentially human and creative impulse: “to imagine that which we know.
” How, then, have creative minds imagined – in essays, books, and movies – the very idea of nature, the place of humans in it, and their power to change the environment? In this course, we will consider both the possibilities and the problems that writers and filmmakers have imagined about human interactions with the natural world.We begin with the nineteenth century, when Romantic writers were urgently contemplating the meaning of nature in an age of increasing industrialization.In the first unit we interpret “Walking” (1862), the naturalist Henry David Thoreau’s seminal nature essay that imaginatively explores the concept of wildness.In the second unit we will critically compare the literary approaches of two popular books by scientists – Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), and James Lovelock’s The Revenge of Gaia (2006).Through shocking critiques that draw upon the power of the imagination, both writers, in different ways, have tried to inform the public of the harm being done to nature in the hope that this harm can be averted.
And in the final unit we will examine the techniques of documentary movies about relationships between humans and animals – Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man (2005) in which the filmmaker takes issue with the self-proclaimed environmentalist Timothy Treadwell who strove to protect bears in the Alaskan wilderness, and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish (2013) in which she delivers a brilliant polemic against the Sea World corporation and its treatment of captive killer whales.INVENTING THE WILD WEST TTh 12 A bow-legged cowboy, a man in a black hat, a quick gunfight, and frontier justice: we all think we know what the Wild West was.But what was the American West actually like, and how did we get these ideas? The cowboy has occupied a central place in the American imagination for three centuries, but the truth of the West has often been at odds with its written history.
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Chinese massacres, Indian boarding schools, and struggling homesteaders were as much a part of the historical West as horses and cattle.We will begin the course by lifting the veil of myth about the West: we will read first-hand accounts of the 19th century West from the people who lived there, focusing on those who are often left out of Wild West stories.
With a better grasp of the historical West, we will try to untangle the roots of the American fascination with cowboy stories Help me do my college paper human relationships for me American double spaced Harvard 139 pages / 38225 words.With a better grasp of the historical West, we will try to untangle the roots of the American fascination with cowboy stories.
At the turn of the 20th century, Americans built a powerful mythology around Western life.Looking to 19th century ideas of manhood, race and urban living, we will ask why the Wild West was invented, and for whom? Who read and spread stories of the cowboy? Finally, we will investigate the cowboy’s legacy by analyzing Western films Best websites to order a custom human relationships paper plagiarism-free Business single spaced American US Letter Size.Looking to 19th century ideas of manhood, race and urban living, we will ask why the Wild West was invented, and for whom? Who read and spread stories of the cowboy? Finally, we will investigate the cowboy’s legacy by analyzing Western films.Cowboy myths cast a long shadow over the 20th and 21st centuries, but their interpretation has changed over time.By watching classic and modern Westerns, we will explore why Americans, when looking for answer to difficult questions, still go West order an liberal arts thesis single spaced 39 pages / 10725 words Business.
By watching classic and modern Westerns, we will explore why Americans, when looking for answer to difficult questions, still go West.
Evoking President Kennedy’s famous speech to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, on October 11, 2016, President Obama called for the United States to launch humans to Mars by 2030 and to one day settle there.The quest to achieve this goal has dominated recent headlines from NASA’s landing of the Curiosity Rover to Hollywood’s renewed fascination with the red planet.Mars has become the next great frontier in human conquest and exploration.Why Mars? What is at stake in our efforts to reach Mars? What does it say about life here on Earth? Over the semester, we will look at a range of scholarly literature on Mars as well as films, science fiction, and virtual reality simulations to examine some possible futures in which humans have colonized outer space and become a multi-planetary species.Our launch will be a close analysis of the film The Martian to discover key themes and topics in media representations of Mars.
We will next chart a path through Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles to explore connections between science, technology, and art in our imagination of human life and the experience of difference on Mars.The course will conclude with a broader inquiry of Mars as the next frontier of human entrepreneurship that critically engages with the science and ethics of proposed future Mars missions (Mars One, SpaceX, UAE’s Mars 2117, among others).Students will write a final research paper on a topic of their choice that builds on course readings, activities, and discussion.PARADOX IN PUBLIC HEALTHWhat happens when public health efforts to improve the wellbeing of a population undermine the wellbeing of individuals in that population? Can this outcome be avoided? Public health is characterized by the implications of this fundamental paradox: the health needs of a population are often at odds with the health needs of the very individuals who comprise that population.How does this larger paradox play out across various public health campaigns? In this class, we will use scientific articles to consider potential paradoxes in public health, both historical and contemporary.
In Unit 1, we will wrestle with issues of current vaccination requirements, and consider the intersection of personal choice versus societal responsibility using current MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines.In Unit 2, students will debate the nature of public health motivation and practice—who decides what existing public health needs are? Two case studies will guide this discussion: goiter—a successfully eliminated (but now reemerging!) disease of micronutrient deficiency—and ongoing tobacco-control efforts.In Unit 3, students will conduct their own research on a controversial modern public health issue of their choice, and consider how the larger tension between the individual and the population is manifested in the student’s particular selected public health controversy.PRIVACY AND SURVEILLANCEMost of us are vaguely aware that our online activities are extensively monitored by corporations in search of profits and that the government may be watching or listening to some of our communications in the name of national security.It is easy to decry this state of affairs as Orwellian, or, on the other hand, to reassure ourselves that surveillance only harms those with something to hide.
In this course we will seek to move beyond these simplistic responses by considering the rights underlying privacy claims and by closely examining how surveillance operates in practice.In the first unit, we will explore the powerful, but surprisingly elusive, concept of privacy.Are we concerned only about the possibility that information gathered about us will be abused? Or is there something more fundamentally troubling in the government reading people's emails, or in corporations having records of our internet browsing histories? In the second unit, we will consider government surveillance, specifically the National Security Agency’s power to monitor the content of calls and emails originating from non-American citizens who are outside the United States.Do these non-citizens have any privacy rights vis- -vis the U.
government? Are there adequate legal protections for American citizens whose communications—both dangerous and innocent—are swept up in surveillance that is targeted at foreigners? In the final unit we will turn to the issue of privacy rights against corporations.Do we have a right to be forgotten online, or should truthful information about private citizens be available via internet search engines indefinitely? Can internet users be regarded as having given meaningful consent to privacy agreements that they have not read and would in any case likely not fully understand? For this unit, students will write a research paper about the appropriate limits on the power that private entities have over our online lives.THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE Expos 216, 217Who gets ahead in America? Why do some succeed while others fail? Given knowledge of someone’s background or personal characteristics, can we predict if she will become successful? How do we account for the influence of various complex factors, including personality, family, and community? In this course, we will examine questions of success, failure, achievement, and identity viewed through the lens of current theories in psychology.We will begin by examining individual-level, person-centered theories of success with readings on grit, the growth mindset, and multipotentiality.Next, we will read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success alongside a longitudinal, ethnographic study of 12 American children and a seminal treatise on the role of race in the American classroom.
As part of our broader inquiry into the environmental factors that impact success, we will explore how race, class, and familial wealth and resources affect children’s lived experiences of childhood and, later, their chances of successfully getting into college.In the final unit of the course, students will answer the question, “What does it take to be successful at Harvard?” Students will select their own pop-science book on a self-help topic like willpower, motivation, happiness, or creativity, research the relevant academic literature, and create a written proposal with an accompanying short presentation to disseminate their findings.Throughout the course, we will use psychological theory to motivate questions and answers about human behavior in a society where the demand for success can be tantalizingly high and the fear of failure devastatingly relentless.RELIGIOUS PLURALISM IN THE UNITED STATES Expos 204, Expos 205The United States is arguably the most religiously diverse nation in the world.Americans possess a dizzying array of religious beliefs and behavior.
And despite predictions to the contrary, levels of devout religious belief remain high, evidenced by recent controversies over a proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, as well as Supreme Court rulings on female access to contraception and same-sex marriage.How do people—including nonbelievers—experience this religious multiplicity? How are these vast religious differences negotiated socially, culturally, politically, and legally? Moving beyond theology, this course will explore the broad concept of lived religion in the United States.Through readings in fiction, law, history, and sociology, we’ll tackle these fundamental issues.In Unit One, we’ll read Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, to explore how religion affects intimate relationships among spouses, friends, and co-workers.In the second unit, we’ll wade into the constitutional quandary surrounding the First Amendment, dissecting legal scholars’ arguments over the limits of religious freedom.
Through a series of case studies involving snake handling, home schooling, and drug use, we’ll examine the frequent tension that emerges from a Bill of Rights that both guarantees the free exercise of religion and requires some degree of secularism.Finally, in Unit 3, students will focus on a religious topic of their choosing, design a research proposal, examine both primary and secondary sources, and write a substantial research paper.RESPECTABLE LADIES, REBELLIOUS WOMENModern Americans typically view the idea of being “ladylike”—a notion of womanhood as bound up in respectability—as something restrictive, even demeaning.For a woman to be "ladylike," after all, often means she is relegated to a corner where she will not be assertive and empowered.But for centuries, women fought and died to be allowed that reputation.
Being a “respectable” woman meant being fully human – and fully protected—and then over time that identity became a shackle to break free of.This course will examine the curious history of “respectable” womanhood to see what happened to those women who battled to be valued, sometimes for the most fundamental human status, and sometimes for the right to cross the bounds of propriety.What were the real risks of walking the line of respectable and unladylike and the dangers of stepping outside the lines? While modern feminism fights against restrictive stereotypes, why did some women fight to keep them? This course consists of three units, each focusing on a different moment in American history.We will begin with women who lost their lives when their neighbors began to question whether they really were “women” at all – the Salem witches.Using close reading skills we will sift through historical documents to understand just how the people of Salem were willing to decide some of their own daughters were not really human after all.
Next we will move forward two centuries to read the fascinating memoir of anti-lynching crusader Ida B Wells, a woman who once travelled for two days to protect her reputation against slander.We will learn about race and womanhood in the late 19th century to understand why in order to be a reformer, Wells had to be a lady first.Finally, we will take on a research project on iconic 20 th-century figures from Civil Rights lawyer Pauli Murray to Hillary Clinton, women who found themselves caught between being ladies and being leaders.Throughout we will examine how racial and sexual stereotypes posed not only challenges but also unexpected opportunities for rebels and reformers.What power does being a lady hold, and what boundaries does it create? What does it mean, both yesterday and today, to be not just female, but a woman? SOCIETY AND THE WITCHRiding broomsticks and dancing in the woods at night, witches are often imagined to be outside society.
But in these representations may be keys to understanding social norms, norms that get articulated through the witch’s very violation of them.In this seminar, we ask what discourses about witches tell us about the societies that produce them.We begin by examining anthropologists’ depictions of witchcraft among people who come to find magic believable: how do we understand the seemingly irrational idea that magic is real? Closely considering evidence from classic ethnographic accounts, we critically examine other scholars’ answers to questions such as this one by thinking across competing approaches to the study of magic.Next, we analyze the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the television sitcom Bewitched, bringing these pop-cultural phenomena into conversation with Mary Douglas’s treatise on Purity and Danger and Pierre Bourdieu’s critique of Masculine Domination.These theories help us examine, for example, how fictional representations of witches speak to political struggles over class and gender.
For the research paper, each student chooses an example of witchcraft on which to conduct independent research.Sample topics include fairy tales, the Salem witch trials, neo-paganism, and the Broadway musical Wicked.What will unite our diverse inquiries is a common interest in the social significance of this seemingly marginal figure: the witch.TERRORISM OR FREEDOM FIGHTERThe saying “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” long ago entered the realm of clich ’, but given that it persists, what does it really mean? How does the international community define terrorism? Does everyone agree on a definition? What causes terrorism? Is religion to blame? How can terrorism be successfully addressed via policy? This course will investigate terrorism through a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods and social science fields.We will begin by discussing the case of the Vietnam War to see how it affects our thinking about one definition of terrorism in circulation today from a recent UN Security Council Resolution.
We’ll consider the complex evidence of primary sources from the era, including a speech by Martin Luther King Jr.and a documentary from the 1960s with original war footage.Then, we will compare various theories that seek to explain the motivations of terrorists and terrorist organizations.Drawing on ideas from leading scholars in political science, sociology, and psychology, we will weigh in on the debate over whether terrorists are motivated by their “hearts” versus their “brains” as we examine the case of the Islamic State (ISIS).Finally, students will apply what they have learned in the previous units to a specific case that students choose to make an argument about the motivations of, the international response to, and the categorization of a violent political organization.
Students will have an opportunity to derive specific policy recommendations based on their argument and findings, thinking through precisely how their research might impact the world around them.THE UNDERWORLD Inferno notPurgatorio orParadiso, and that Milton, a Christian believer, got so carried away in describing Satan and hell that he ended up being “of the Devil’s party without knowing it” (Blake).
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And the world today may be more secular than in past generations, but hell is doing just fine.Harvard presents its own interesting case: Currier House’s annual “Heaven and Hell” party has situated “Hell” in a room that can hold about 500 people whereas “Heaven” can fit only about 50.
(This past year heaven was eliminated entirely 25 Oct 2009 - These are a few topics on independent consultant Arun Ponnusamy's list of what not to write about in your college application essay. (A few more: Don't write about mom and dad's divorce, and no general philosophizing—you're 17, get over yourself.) Admissions season is under way, and with early .
(This past year heaven was eliminated entirely.
) But what are the components of hell – what archetypes or depictions of hell and the underworld helped to cement their importance in culture? And why is hell so alive in secular culture? Why do those people who don’t believe that hell is real want to keep imagining it again and again (inSupernatural, inSouth Park, inBuffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)? In our first unit, we will examine famous underworld themes and archetypes as we look at short excerpts fromGilgamesh, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, Jonathan Edwards, the story of Persephone, and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice .)? In our first unit, we will examine famous underworld themes and archetypes as we look at short excerpts fromGilgamesh, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, Jonathan Edwards, the story of Persephone, and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.In our second unit, we’ll consider how these themes and archetypes are taken up by recent secular texts such as a Stephen King short story, the filmPan’s Labyrinth, and aNew Yorker article by Harvard Professor Danielle Allen about her cousin’s experience in the American prison system.Finally, in our third unit, students will select and research a contemporary depiction of hell, and make an argument about how that hell works as a metaphor for a real-world issue or fear (such as the sleaziness of Hollywood, or bickering families, or mental illness, or the vastness of outer space).Throughout, we will try to better understand the curious attraction of hell, and why its 4,000-year-old story shows no sign of ending.
Our news feeds today present a panorama of struggles over power, from elections and peaceful protests to riots, revolutions, and civil wars.In each case, those who hold power cling to it at all costs, while those who feel oppressed or excluded fight to attain some power of their own.In most societies, power is concentrated in the hands of a select few, and even in the world's democracies, many citizens continue to feel powerless—the playthings of some distant and shadowy elite, or of grand political and economic forces beyond their control.In this course, we will consider some of the fundamental questions regarding the nature of power: Does power always have to be "power-over," with one group dominating the rest? Or is it possible for groups of people to generate "power-with," empowering themselves to act in pursuit of shared goals? Is power ultimately synonymous with violence, or wealth, or political authority? Is it possible to exercise power over culture and ideas in addition to people and resources? As the course progresses, we will converse with the dissident writers who confronted the totalitarian regimes of the 20 th century, examine the student-led movements that toppled dictatorships in the 21 st, and consider what these episodes can teach us about the techniques of domination and resistance in democratic societies like our own.To that end, we’ll conclude the course by testing our theories of power against some recent and acclaimed documentaries, from films like Jehane Noujaim’s The Squareand Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour, which give us front row seats to history-making acts of revolution and civil disobedience, to polemical works like Ava DuVernay’s 13 th and Craig Ferguson’s Inside Job, which aim to expose the workings of power in relation to racial and economic inequality.
WHY SHAKESPEARE? Shakespeare, we have all been told, is extremely important.You might agree or disagree with this pronouncement, but do you know why Shakespeare matters to so many people? Why does every high school in America assign Shakespeare? Why did the world erupt with jubilation on his 450th birthday in April 2014? Why did the British government pay $2.4 million to have Shakespeare translated into Mandarin? Does Shakespeare deserve all this fuss, or is he really overrated? In this section, Shakespeare lovers and haters alike are invited to consider the question of Shakespeare’s popularity by looking into the relationship between his methods of artistic creation and the values of the modern world.We’ll begin with a reading of the most famous artwork of the past millennium, Hamlet, a play about a bad philosopher trying to avenge his father’s murder.Then we’ll read one of Shakespeare’s least popular plays, Henry VI (about feuding English families during a bloody civil war), alongside one of the most popular TV shows right now, Game of Thrones (which, like Henry VI, was based on the Wars of the Roses).
We’ll also read Henry VI in light of some controversial recent computer-based scholarship arguing that Shakespeare actually didn’t write much of the play.Finally, we’ll ask, “Why Shakespeare?” and entertain answers ranging from the cynical (Shakespeare is a dead, white male that other dead, white males have used to promote the values of dead, white males) to the euphoric (Shakespeare is universal; Shakespeare invented the human) WIZARDS AND WILD THINGS 11 Dec 2017 My friends recommended this company to me, although I was afraid to pay in advance.But I`m more than satisfied with the results.My assignment is done following all my instructions.Thank you, I will surely use your service once more or even twice or more "Metaphor" 11 Dec 2017 Thanks for a nice job, guys! You saved my time and my reputation.
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