The University of Chicago is renown for their applications’ essay questions. This year one option is “So where is Waldo, really?”
Here are ten prompts from the past:
- Find X.
- How did you get caught?
- “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” (Miles Davis)
- What do pictures want?
- “The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.” (Susan Sontag)
- “I do not know which of us has written this page.” (Jorge Luis Borges)
- “The instructor said,
Go home and write
a page tonight
and let that page come out of you --
then it will be true." (Langston Hughes)
- How do you feel about Wednesday?
- “Mind that does not stick.” (Zen Master Shoitsu, 1202-80)
- Modern improvisational comedy had its start with the Compass Players, a group of University of Chicago students who later formed the Second City comedy troupe. Here is a chance to play along. Improvise a story, essay, or script that meets all of the following requirements:
- It must include the line “And yes I said yes I will Yes” (Ulysses, by James Joyce).
- Its characters may not have superpowers.
- Your work has to mention the University of Chicago, but please, no accounts of a high school student applying to the University—this is fiction, not autobiography.
- Your work must include at least four of the following elements: a paper airplane, a transformation, a shoe, the invisible hand, two doors, pointillism, a fanciful explanation of the Pythagorean Theorem, a ventriloquist or ventriloquism, the periodic table of the elements, the concept of jeong, number two pencils.