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AcademicGround >> respect my authoritah!


6/25/04 10:58 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 25-Jun-04 10:46 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2009
 
XxBen CloutierxX: so whats new in your life
in invisible ink: I just got a super sweet $30k fellowship for grad school
in invisible ink: http://www.cmu.edu/PR/releases04/040623_symantec.html
in invisible ink: respect my authoritah!
XxBen CloutierxX: He compares his quest to working in network security to taming the lawless wild West frontier.
XxBen CloutierxX: NICE
in invisible ink: :(
XxBen CloutierxX: you tame that frontier
in invisible ink: that's an excerpt from my essay
in invisible ink: you need to use that kind of florid prose
in invisible ink: to set your self apart
in invisible ink: from the 'durrr I am interested in this this and this' crowd
XxBen CloutierxX: indeed you do
XxBen CloutierxX: i just find it funny:-(
in invisible ink: it is
in invisible ink: it's embarassing, that part was for the fellowship committee only
XxBen CloutierxX: tee i love it
6/25/04 11:20 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 25-Jun-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2010
Seriously though, in my opinion, successful applications essays are all about IMAGERY. Before I wrote mine, I read a ton of successful essays. They all have very memorable imagery, usually at the beginning. Some examples are meeting a panda bear on a field trip, or seeing your Irish grandmother tell stories on stage, or getting cancer on Valentine's day. My lead paragraph was this: "My early interest in computer security occurred as I stared at what Windows users have come to term the “Blue Screen of Death,” a sign that the computer has crashed and needs to be rebooted. As I was playing an online game, another player had assaulted me with the popular WinNuke denial of service attack. After rebooting, I searched the Internet to discover what had happened and how I could stop future attacks from other gamers. At that point, I was hooked, and spent hours reading about the arcane art of safely moving ones and zeros from one host to another." This is (hopefully) emotionally evocative, which is my goal. Anyone who used Win95 knew the Blue Screen very well, and can easily remember the frustration it caused. And anyone can empathize with the pain of getting knocked offline by some 12 year old punk ass who can't even spell properly. I also didn't want to seem overly manipulative like some people(*cough*The Terminal). The Wild West/Great Wall stuff was definitely on the edge of being there. I had some other stuff setting it up earlier in the essay, so it wasn't as cringe-inducing. In the end I decided it was a better conclusion than just ending with something more standard. I think the best times for strong imagery are at the start and the end: the start will get them interested while the end will make it memorable.
6/26/04 5:01 PM
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RobRPM2222
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Edited: 26-Jun-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 16144
*adds Andrew to IM Bomb list* ;) seriously, do you mind if I drop your IM into my AIM and chat sometime?
6/26/04 11:16 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 26-Jun-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2011
Sure, go ahead. What's your AIM name?
6/27/04 9:32 PM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 27-Jun-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 520
lol Most of my applications to college inevitably had the essay on anything you wanted - I wrote mine on assuming the position of Rodin's thinker while on the toilet, which is where I did my best thinking. Obviously, the scatalogical associations were meant to be intentionally provocative ;-) I got accepted at places where I didn't think I had a prayer, and the admissions folks from Vanderbilt, Boston College, and Georgetown all wrote me back to say they thought my essay was one of the cleverest and funniest they'd read - it had made me stand out from teh crowd, which was all I could ever have asked from an essay. Go figure - I got the whole idea from one of the Jesuit priests who taught me in high school ;-P He said either to offend them or else make them laugh - any emotional reaction was better than a yawn. He suggested bathroom humor, and the legend was born :-)
8/3/04 4:52 PM
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Rox19
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Edited: 03-Aug-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 131
you have no authoritah :P
8/3/04 8:24 PM
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asdf
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Edited: 03-Aug-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 6104
lol, somebody find the Cartman clip. Seriously, congrats. 30k is some serious cash. The NSF and DOD fellowships pay like 2/3 of that.
8/3/04 9:13 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 03-Aug-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2137
Actually the NSF/DoD ones pay your tuition plus a little more. I'm talking about the ones specifically for infosec, the NSF one is called Scholarship for Service, the DoD one is called Information Assurance Scholarship Program. CMU tuition is brutal, let's just say significantly more than 30k for the full 2 year program.
8/3/04 9:23 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 03-Aug-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2138
Hey Rox, just sent you an email.

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