Can I get a definition, please?

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to Chicago.


When I first met my friend’s brother, she accented my introduction of myself with her own comment: “She’s a science geek.” Her impish smile assured me that “science geek” was meant to hold positive rather than negative connotations, so I laughed and added, “Yeah, that’s true.” I still felt oddly ambivalent about her categorization of me, though. “Emily is a science nerd” sounds so taxonomic; an organism can’t be both a Phoenicopterus ruber and a Giraffa camelopardalis, so does that mean that I can’t be both a science nerd and a Francophile?

The University of Chicago answered that question with a definitive “No!” When I visited UChicago, I found a community of hybrids. If UChicago could fiddle with evolution, flamingiraffes would be a common sight. Instead, though, there are students like my tour guide, who majors in political science… and performs in the circus. I want to attend a school where experimentation is encouraged, and where taking a class simply due to genuine curiosity isn’t an anomaly.

Some believe that the Core restricts this freedom of learning; I think that the Core encourages it. The Core supports learning for the sake of learning, a practice that has become endangered. Students at other schools seemed...

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