Monday, October 01, 2007

Scholarship Essays

Essay #1:
Please write a brief biographical sketch about yourself.
Limit your response to 300 words.

Mom had four boys by the time she turned 24. Dad worked awful hours in the stench of a tannery to support us and put himself through nursing school. She had joined the LDS church while living in foster homes; he was the youngest son of a single Mexican immigrant mother. Both ignited in their children a love of learning and virtue. Dad rid the house of its television, insisted his boys say “yes” instead of “yeah,” and taught us the names of every bone in the body. Mom ran a daycare from the modest duplex, took the kids on weekly educational fieldtrips, and shopped at garage sales for the best surprise we knew of: armfuls of used books.

As the oldest of the boys, I was the first to finish high school and serve an LDS mission. I served in the frozen southern reaches of Chile, learned Spanish quickly (thanks to Mom’s grammar lessons and Dad’s sangre Mexicano), and spent my mission loving and teaching the Chilean people. When I returned, I attended community college in Napa, California, then moved to Utah to attend BYU. I went to the beginning of a semester of BYU, but found I was financially unprepared and dropped out to earn some money first. I became a waiter, determined to follow Dad’s example by working hard and supporting myself. Within a year I had worked my way to the top of the restaurant’s hierarchy as general manager over two restaurants and almost two hundred employees.

The restaurant job was enjoyable, but my parents’ emphasis on education still burned within like an ember. Hence, I am applying again to BYU, hoping to get my English Language degree so that I might stoke the flame of my education and share its light with future generations.

Essay #2:
Please describe your educational, professional, and other goals. Describe how BYU
will help you achieve them. Limit your response to 300 words.

I have a slightly out-of-focus vision of my future. I’ll describe it to you the best I can. Of course, anything I write here is subject to unforeseeable change, but for now I’m working vigorously toward this vision.

In my future, I will attend BYU and receive a bachelor’s degree in English Language. During my time there I will find a virtuous and patient woman who will consent to marry me in the temple. I will take the appropriate classes to make myself eligible for consideration as an employee for the Church Education System. I will proceed to teach seminary or high school and get my master’s degree in something Englishy. Then I’ll teach Institute, and eventually get my doctorate. Along the way, I plan to continue in my hobby of writing fiction and screenplays. I believe I can work happily for a time as a writer of uplifting, educational, and entertaining programming for television.

Meanwhile, my wife will be bearing (or adopting) many children, and she’ll stay home from the workplace to raise them. It will be a home with plenty of books and education and love. We will live somewhere between San Francisco and Seattle. My wife and I will both serve in a wide variety of church callings, and will dedicate ourselves to living the gospel and teaching it to our children. Eventually I will teach English or linguistics classes at a University. My wife and I will die happy and old. We will have made significant contributions to education. We will have built up the church in our area and raised happy, interesting children. We will not have forgotten that it was at BYU that we first met, and where we began our commitment to learning and higher education.

Or I could go to UVSC, marry a woman with a nose ring and pink hair, get my degree in waste management, and manage a dump in Nevada where I have to work Sundays and my wife has to get a job to supplement my meager income at a convenience store where she meets a flashy man with a motorcycle for whom she eventually leaves me.

(OK, I didn't really put in that last paragraph)

Essay #3:
Please list and/or describe your participation and leadership during the last three
years in extracurricular activities, including performance groups, athletics, cultural
and civic clubs, and church and community service. Limit your response to 300 words.

I am always involved in some project or other. Most recently, I have written, directed, and acted in a series of short films that my roommates and I have been working on, mostly for fun, but also to have in our portfolios. A few years ago, I was a writer for BYU’s Hundred Hour Board—an exclusive question and answer forum that provides answers to students’ questions and allows its answerers to write creatively and do important research—though I wasn’t yet an official BYU student. I enjoy projects where I can write and be creative.

I also find occasion to perform meaningful service through my church callings. During the past few years I have been able to serve as a Family Home Evening group leader, Family Home Evening committee chair, and Sunday School president. These callings have given me the opportunity to plan dinners and activities for groups of 150 students, to prepare spiritual lessons, and to work with and organize the efforts of a variety of different people. I have also used these opportunities to effect service for the greater community, by organizing canned food drives for the needy and starting an annual Christmas toy drive for the children at a local battered women’s shelter.

I love music, and have been a member of Latter-Day Sounds, a traveling fireside choir that shares its testimony through uplifting spiritual music. I was also a member of the choir that performed Rob Gardner’s Joseph Smith the Prophet in Salt Lake City last year.

My employment has given me the opportunity to work with many people who are immigrants from Latin-American countries, and I have made audiotapes and taught lessons to help these wonderful people become proficient in English and learn enough about U.S. history to be able to pass their citizenship tests.


iwonder said...

I'd totally give you a scholarship. That is way better than any of mine have ever been!

Janell said...

I'm torn between awarding you a scholarship for excellent humor and writing and sending recommending you to a psychiatrist.

BamaBeau said...

And I'm just here to say, " Oi! Tudo bem? Espero que seja. Me escreva ou ligue."

Weston said...

oh heck. The fact you didn't take the essay's seriously humors me. Or maybe you did... but either way, its blunt and too the point. so, it truly reflects life. I'd Imagen someone trying to hard in the essays and writing a flowing and meaningful point giver. again, very blunt, but thats why I liked it. I didn't have to cut through all the crap, and deal with contemplative reflecting. ha, you are a breath of fresh reality.

Remus said...

hey, i went to chile too! from what you said, i assume that you went to osorno. i was in the vina del mar mission.

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