Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Musings on Caltech :: Graduate Admissions Essays
Musings on Caltech My parents convinced me to have a picture taken a couple of months after I graduated from high school, back when I still thought I was pretty smart. Now, I only take the trouble to dress up when I'm back at home, where I can be pampered by my parents. Here at Caltech, I'm usually slightly emaciated (they don't bother with feeding Techers over weekends here) with a wearier complexion (Sleep? What is this "sleep"?). Also, I tend to be a little more shaggy-looking, since haircuts are rather rare for many Scurve Techers. I like other people to think that I'm part of a multifarious cultural elite. My life is a superfetation of high culture: I enjoy classical music that turns normal humans insane (Glass's Floe from Glassworks, for example); I'd be first in line to pay millions for the mindless doodles of a preschooler; I take my dates to those enigmatic European films which people go to for the sole purpose of looking cultured; and my spewing about the untapped potential of the information superhighway will bore even Al Gore. Of course, my crassness and boorish manners probably automatically disqualify me from any elitist group I crave to be a member of; but that, of course, just apodictically identifies me as a cultural poseur. It doesn't end there. Though I'm not really all that white, I'm still male, heterosexual, Christian (Protestant, even), pretty conservative, and non-vegetarian (notice all the wrong groups). Having been fairly thoroughly corrupted in submission to Western indoctrination (MTV, and all that), I've been properly excoriated for oppressing more than my fair share of under-represented cultures: women, atheists, liberals, gays.... I've probably oppressed you, too, if you happen to be in any way different from me. Or maybe I'm the victim. When someone reaches the point where he's willing to give up 5,000 years of cultural tradition just to listen to the insidious chortles of Beavis and Butthead, we really can't tell who's been victimized. Or at least, that's what we all claim. These things should bother me constantly (I'm the kind of guy who thinks more about how he should think/feel than how he really thinks/feels), but I cope with the ennui by numbing my senses with my opiate of choice: studying Physics as a sophomore at Caltech. (This is odd, since I notice I probably waste more energy messing around with computers.
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