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2 Great UChicago Essay Examples
UChicago is famous —or shall we say infamous—for their highly-quirky essay prompts. In previous years, students have been tasked with mind-boggling questions like “Find X,” or “A hot dog might be a sandwich, and cereal might be a soup, but is a __ a __?”
These essays may seem silly, but they invite students to share their personalities and perspectives as fully as they wish. UChicago is looking for creative thinkers, and these essays help them distinguish the “kind” of applicant they want. After all, most applicants will have stellar grades and test scores, so these essays are your chance to stand out and beat the odds of the very low acceptance rate.
UChicago requires two essays—one that is a typical “ Why This College? ” prompt, and the other, your choice among seven zany prompts. The seventh option actually allows you to make your own prompt, or pick one from previous years.
In this post, we’ll go over some strong UChicago essay examples from real applicants and share what they did well and what could be improved.
Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized.
Read our UChicago essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.
Essay Example #1
Prompt: “There is no such thing as a new idea” – Mark Twain. Are any pieces of art, literature, philosophy, or technology truly original, or just a different combination of old ideas? Pick something, anything (besides yourself), and explain why it is, or is not, original.
As I entered the bare-walled room, I could see the sky was painted blue through the tinted windows. It was my first day in my new high school where I’d have to spend the next two years. I wanted to make new friends.
I started walking towards a boy, introduced myself and exchanged pleasantries. After a few minutes of conversation, the topic of music came up and I introduced him to my love for the iconic classical ambient hit ‘Clair de Lune’. He put on my headphones, the song started playing, and he was amazed by the music’s ethereal, mellow, and serene chords. Or so I thought.
You know that awkward feeling when you show a funny video to your friends and nobody laughs? It was equivalent to that.
As days passed, I started noticing everyone was only listening to the loud pounds of the bass, the buzz saw synths, the crispy hi-hats, and every other element found in Electronic Dance Music, also known as EDM. Realizing that people in my school didn’t like Clair de Lune because they were emotionally invested in only the EDM genre, I had an idea– “What if I create an EDM remix of Clair de Lune to reach out to the audience of both genres?”
I tried to understand what the composer was trying to express through his composition and attempted to create an impression of the classical piece. The main challenge was to add musical elements from relatively two of the most unconventional music genres– Classical and EDM. Incorporating the rich and sometimes heart-wrenching chord structure of Clair de Lune to the multiple layers of EDM saw synths, I adjusted the volume of my instruments to the intensities with which the notes needed to be played and panned the sound in different directions to set the appropriate ambiance.
A few weeks later, I uploaded my work to the various Discord music servers that I am a part of with shaky hands. Nervous of what people might interpret my work to be, I awaited the replies I would receive. The server was filled with users from North America, and since I was in India, I realized that most people weren’t active at midnight when I uploaded my mix. I called it a night and went to sleep. When I woke up, my inbox was flooded with a mix of appreciations and suggestions. The users from the server really liked my idea and it went on to become a weekly competition where everyone would try to incorporate multiple genres into one song. I also made my classmates listen to the mix and later made friends who were interested in music production.
Music has constantly been transcending and bridging different identities cross-culturally through the fusion of genres. The key lies in capturing the emotions and the structure linked to the song, but most importantly, working to understand diverse cultures.
This raises a critical question– are the genres we listen to now truly unique on their own or just a complex amalgam of countless genres throughout history? The answer is that it depends on how experienced an artist is at the art of impression. Honoring instead of degrading, studying instead of skimming, crediting instead of plagiarizing, and transforming instead of imitating will lead an artist to a remix instead of a rip-off. As an artist keeps repeating this process, they’ll make unique decisions– maybe they’ll add an inimitable form of reverb on the synth or include a cymbal crash in their alien music structure. Regardless, those small changes and preferences– in the long run– will amount to a magnitude of alteration in style and develop a completely new identity for an artist. This is when the art practically becomes original while bearing into itself countless unoriginal remixes and impressions of different songs, artists, and genres.
What This Essay Did Well
This essay is a great example of taking a prompt that seemingly has nothing to do with the student on the surface and turning it into an exposé of the student’s personality and interests. The point of every college essay is to reveal who you are, so even when the prompt asks for something unrelated like a piece of art or technology, the ability to tie that back to you is key.
The reader is taken on a journey from seeing the defeat this student felt when no one liked their music taste, to their determination to produce a remix, to the success and positive impact caused by their creativity. Having a well-defined beginning, middle, and end creates a good pace and makes it easy to follow.
Another positive aspect of this essay is the way the student describes music and their process. When you write about your hobbies or interests in an essay, your passion, as well as your expertise, should shine through. The reader can clearly tell this student cares about musical motifs and sound mixing through their description of classical and EDM music, but they also demonstrate their knowledge in this area by explaining the steps they took to produce a remix.
What Could Be Improved
While this student did a great job of turning this prompt into a story about themselves, a definitive answer to the prompt fell through the cracks. After an entire essay focused on them, the student generalized in the last paragraph in an attempt to answer the prompt. The result was an essay that ended on a good note, but didn’t leave the reader with a final impression of the student.
To make sure the ending was as strong as other parts of the essay and that there was a concrete answer to the prompt, this student should have tied the lessons they learned through their experience into their perspective on originality.
For example, they could have decided there’s no such thing as originality because even when they were developing their remix they relied on known aspects of music to recreate genres. On the flip side, they could have concluded that of course there are new ideas because even though they had influences, the comments on the Discord server said they had created something no one had ever seen before.
It’s okay to take a stance in a prompt like this one. You aren’t being evaluated on whether you picked the “right” answer because there is no right answer. The important part is to connect the answer back to the rest of the essay, and thus emphasize how the answer relates to you.
Essay Example #2
Prompt: Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History… a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here. —Inspired by Josh Kaufman, AB’18
When I shared the video of me eating fried insects in Thailand, my friends were seriously offended. Some stopped talking to me, while the rest thought I had lost my mind and recommended me the names of a few psychologists.
A major in Gastrophysics at UChicago is not for the faint hearted. You have to have a stomach for it! I do hope I am accepted to it as it is the only University in the U.S. with this unique major. My passion for trying unique food such as fish eye has made me want to understand the complexities of how it affects our digestive system. I understand that Gastrophysics started with a big pang of food, which quickly expanded to famish. Bite years are used to measure the amount of food ingested. I look forward to asking, “How many bite years can the stomach hold?” and “How do different enzymes react with the farticles?”
Gastrophysics truly unravels the physics of food. At UChicago I will understand the intricacies of what time to eat, how to eat and how food will be digested. Do we need to take antiparticle acid if we feel acidity is becoming a matter of concern? At what angle should the mouth be, for the best possible tasting experience? When I tried crocodile meat, I found that at a 0 degree tilt, it tasted like fish and chicken at the same time. But the same tasted more like fish at a negative angle and like chicken at a positive angle. I want to unravel these mysteries in a class by Professor Daniel Holz in gravitational gastrophysics, understanding the unseen strong and weak forces at play which attract food to our stomachs.
I find that Gastrophysics is also important for fastronomy. I want to learn the physics of fasting. How should we fast? Hubble bubble is a good chewing gum; an appetite suppressant in case you feel pangs of hunger. I have read how the UChicago Fastronauts are stepping up to test uncharted territories. Intermittent fasting is a new method being researched, and UChicago offers the opportunity for furthering this research. Which is better: fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8, or fasting for 24 hours twice a week? It is just one of the problems that UChicago offers a chance to solve.
I can also study the new branch it offers that uses farticle physics. It is the science of tracking farticles and how they interact with each other and chemicals in the stomach space. It could give rise to supernovae explosions, turning people into gas giants. It would also teach about the best ways to expel gas and clean the system and prevent stomach space expansion.
I want to take Fluid dynamics 101, another important course in Gastrophysics; teaching about the importance of water and other fluids in the body, and the most important question: what happens if you try to drink superfluids?
I hope to do interdisciplinary courses with observational gastrophysicists and work with environmental science majors to track how much methane is given by the human and animal gastrointestinal tract in the atmosphere and how much it contributes to the global climate change. I believe, with the help of courses in date science, they have been able to keep a track of how much methane is entering each day, and they found that during Dec 24-Jan 3 period, a spike in the methane and ethane levels could be seen. Accordingly, algorithms are being programmed to predict the changes all year round. I would love to use my strong mathematical background to explore these algorithms.
These courses are specially designed by the distinguished faculty of UChicago. Doing interdisciplinary research in collaboration with biological science students to determine what aliens may eat, with fart historians to know more about the intestinal structure of medieval Italians, Japanese, Chinese, Swedish and French people to better their lives is what I look forward to. The Paris study abroad program is an immersion course into fastronomy, where I will have the opportunity to test my self-control with all the amazing French food and desserts around!
My stomach rumbles now, so I am going out to try out new food – hopefully it will be in Chicago a few months later.
What the Essay Did Well
This is a fun essay! This student’s voice is present and their goofy personality is especially evident. Not only did they change the name of their major, but this student incorporated word play throughout the essay to showcase their imagination. Phrases like “the big pang of food”, “bite years”, “fastronauts”, and “farticle physics” keep the tone lighthearted and amusing.
Beyond the humor and creativity that makes the reader chuckle—always a great way to stand out—this student still manages to incorporate aspects of their real intended major that fascinate them. While it might take a little extra connecting the dots to get from gastrophysic to astrophysics courses, the reader still understands what this student wants to study at UChicago and how they might use this knowledge.
While this essay definitely takes some risks, it’s safe to say that they paid off. They are able to delve into their love for astrophysics all while maintaining vivid, engaging language. The writing style is simultaneously playful and mad-scientist-esque. Truly “geeking out” about their interests makes for a great essay.
Even extremely creative essays like this one can always be made stronger. In this case, it would have been nice to get more background on what drew this student to astrophysics (not gastrophysics). We get a sense for their love of trying new foods, but the essay is lacking an explanation that relates to astrophysics.
Obviously, in an essay about gastrophysics, astrophysics would be out of place. But given this student’s level of creativity, they could have found a punny way to tie their interest in space into the essay. It doesn’t need to be too extensive, but since this effectively serves as UChicago’s “Why This Major?” essay, a strong essay should include more background on why the student wants to pursue their actual major (not the fake one).
Where to Get Your UChicago Essays Edited
Do you want feedback on your UChicago essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
UChicago Supplemental Essay Questions
The University of Chicago has long been renowned for our provocative essay questions. We think of them as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions. They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between.
Each year we email newly admitted and current College students and ask them for essay topics. We receive several hundred responses, many of which are eloquent, intriguing, or downright wacky.
As you can see from the attributions, the questions below were inspired by submissions from UChicago students and alumni.
2023-24 UChicago Supplement
Question 1 (required).
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 UChicago.
Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)
Essay option 1.
Exponents and square roots, pencils and erasers, beta decay and electron capture. Name two things that undo each other and explain why both are necessary. – Inspired by Emmett Cho, Class of 2027
Essay Option 2
“Where have all the flowers gone?” – Pete Seeger. Pick a question from a song title or lyric and give it your best answer. – Inspired by Ryan Murphy, AB’21
Essay Option 3
“Vlog,” “Labradoodle,” and “Fauxmage.” Language is filled with portmanteaus. Create a new portmanteau and explain why those two things are a “patch” (perfect match). – Inspired by Garrett Chalfin, Class of 2027
Essay Option 4
A jellyfish is not a fish. Cat burglars don’t burgle cats. Rhode Island is not an island. Write an essay about some other misnomer, and either come up with and defend a new name for it or explain why its inaccurate name should be kept. – Inspired by Sonia Chang, Class of 2025, and Mirabella Blair, Class of 2027
Essay Option 5
Despite their origins in the Gupta Empire of India or Ancient Egypt, games like chess or bowling remain widely enjoyed today. What modern game do you believe will withstand the test of time, and why? – Inspired by Adam Heiba, Class of 2027
Essay Option 6
There are unwritten rules that everyone follows or has heard at least once in their life. But of course, some rules should be broken or updated. What is an unwritten rule that you wish didn’t exist? (Our custom is to have five new prompts each year, but this year we decided to break with tradition. Enjoy!) – Inspired by Maryam Abdella, Class of 2026
Essay Option 7
And, as always… the classic choose your own adventure option! In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun!
Some classic questions from previous years…
Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History... a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here . —Inspired by Josh Kaufman, AB'18
You are on an expedition to found a colony on Mars, when from a nearby crater, a group of Martians suddenly emerges. They seem eager to communicate, but they're the impatient kind and demand you represent the human race in one song, image, memory, proof, or other idea. What do you share with them to show that humanity is worth their time? —Inspired by Alexander Hastings, Class of 2023, and Olivia Okun-Dubitsky, Class of 2026
Who does Sally sell her seashells to? How much wood can a woodchuck really chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Pick a favorite tongue twister (either originally in English or translated from another language) and consider a resolution to its conundrum using the method of your choice. Math, philosophy, linguistics... it's all up to you (or your woodchuck). —Inspired by Blessing Nnate, Class of 2024
What can actually be divided by zero? —Inspired by Mai Vu, Class of 2024
The seven liberal arts in antiquity consisted of the Quadrivium — astronomy, mathematics, geometry, and music — and the Trivium — rhetoric, grammar, and logic. Describe your own take on the Quadrivium or the Trivium. What do you think is essential for everyone to know? —Inspired by Peter Wang, Class of 2022
Subway maps, evolutionary trees, Lewis diagrams. Each of these schematics tells the relationships and stories of their component parts. Reimagine a map, diagram, or chart. If your work is largely or exclusively visual, please include a cartographer's key of at least 300 words to help us best understand your creation. —Inspired by Maximilian Site, Class of 2020
"Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" - Eleanor Roosevelt. Misattribute a famous quote and explore the implications of doing so. —Inspired by Chris Davey, AB’13
Engineer George de Mestral got frustrated with burrs stuck to his dog’s fur and applied the same mechanic to create Velcro. Scientist Percy Lebaron Spencer found a melted chocolate bar in his magnetron lab and discovered microwave cooking. Dye-works owner Jean Baptiste Jolly found his tablecloth clean after a kerosene lamp was knocked over on it, consequently shaping the future of dry cleaning. Describe a creative or interesting solution, and then find the problem that it solves. —Inspired by Steve Berkowitz, AB’19, and Neeharika Venuturupalli, Class of 2024
Joan of Arkansas. Queen Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mash up a historical figure with a new time period, environment, location, or occupation, and tell us their story. —Inspired by Drew Donaldson, AB’16
Alice falls down the rabbit hole. Milo drives through the tollbooth. Dorothy is swept up in the tornado. Neo takes the red pill. Don’t tell us about another world you’ve imagined, heard about, or created. Rather, tell us about its portal. Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about. —Inspired by Raphael Hallerman, Class of 2020
What’s so odd about odd numbers? —Inspired by Mario Rosasco, AB’09
Vestigiality refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function, but have been retained during the process of evolution. In humans, for instance, the appendix is thought to be a vestigial structure. Describe something vestigial (real or imagined) and provide an explanation for its existence. —Inspired by Tiffany Kim, Class of 2020
In French, there is no difference between “conscience” and “consciousness.” In Japanese, there is a word that specifically refers to the splittable wooden chopsticks you get at restaurants. The German word “fremdschämen” encapsulates the feeling you get when you’re embarrassed on behalf of someone else. All of these require explanation in order to properly communicate their meaning, and are, to varying degrees, untranslatable. Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why it cannot (or should not) be translated from its original language. —Inspired by Emily Driscoll, Class of 2018
Little pigs, French hens, a family of bears. Blind mice, musketeers, the Fates. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Omne trium perfectum? Create your own group of threes, and describe why and how they fit together. —Inspired by Zilin Cui, Class of 2018
The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. Human eyes have color receptors for three colors (red, green, and blue); the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain. Seriously, how cool is the mantis shrimp: mantisshrimp.uchicago.edu What might they be able to see that we cannot? What are we missing? —Inspired by Tess Moran, AB’16
How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared? Possible answers involve, but are not limited to, statistics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, and philosophy. —Inspired by Florence Chan, AB’15
The ball is in your court—a penny for your thoughts, but say it, don’t spray it. So long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew, beat around the bush, or cut corners, writing this essay should be a piece of cake. Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. PS: A picture is worth a thousand words. —Inspired by April Bell, AB'17, and Maya Shaked, Class of 2018 (It takes two to tango.)
“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” –Oscar Wilde. Othello and Iago. Dorothy and the Wicked Witch. Autobots and Decepticons. History and art are full of heroes and their enemies. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis (either real or imagined). —Inspired by Martin Krzywy, AB’16
Heisenberg claims that you cannot know both the position and momentum of an electron with total certainty. Choose two other concepts that cannot be known simultaneously and discuss the implications. (Do not consider yourself limited to the field of physics). —Inspired by Doran Bennett, AB’07
Susan Sontag, AB’51, wrote that “[s]ilence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” Write about an issue or a situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend. The Aesthetics of Silence, 1967. —Anonymous Suggestion
“…I [was] eager to escape backward again, to be off to invent a past for the present.” —The Rose Rabbi by Daniel Stern Present: pres·ent 1. Something that is offered, presented, or given as a gift. Let’s stick with this definition. Unusual presents, accidental presents, metaphorical presents, re-gifted presents, etc.—pick any present you have ever received and invent a past for it. —Inspired by Jennifer Qin, AB’16
So where is Waldo, really? —Inspired by Robin Ye, AB’16
Find x. —Inspired by Benjamin Nuzzo, an admitted student from Eton College, UK
Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they? —Inspired by an anonymous alumna, AB'06
How did you get caught? (Or not caught, as the case may be.) —Inspired by Kelly Kennedy, AB’10
Chicago author Nelson Algren said, “A writer does well if in his whole life he can tell the story of one street.” Chicagoans, but not just Chicagoans, have always found something instructive, and pleasing, and profound in the stories of their block, of Main Street, of Highway 61, of a farm lane, of the Celestial Highway. Tell us the story of a street, path, road—real or imagined or metaphorical. —Anonymous Suggestion
UChicago professor W. J. T. Mitchell entitled his 2005 book What Do Pictures Want? Describe a picture, and explore what it wants. —Inspired by Anna Andel
“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.“—Miles Davis (1926–91) —Inspired by Jack Reeves
University of Chicago alumna and renowned author/critic Susan Sontag said, “The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.” We all have heard serious questions, absurd questions, and seriously absurd questions, some of which cannot be answered without obliterating the very question. Destroy a question with your answer. —Inspired by Aleksandra Ciric
“Mind that does not stick.” —Zen Master Shoitsu (1202–80)
Superstring theory has revolutionized speculation about the physical world by suggesting that strings play a pivotal role in the universe. Strings, however, always have explained or enriched our lives, from Theseus’s escape route from the Labyrinth, to kittens playing with balls of yarn, to the single hair that held the sword above Damocles, to the Old Norse tradition that one’s life is a thread woven into a tapestry of fate, to the beautiful sounds of the finely tuned string of a violin, to the children’s game of cat’s cradle, to the concept of stringing someone along. Use the power of string to explain the biggest or the smallest phenomenon. —Inspired by Adam Sobolweski
Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall? We’ve bought it, but it didn’t stop us from wondering about other things, like absurd eating contests, impulse buys, excess, unimagined uses for mustard, storage, preservatives, notions of bigness…and dozens of other ideas both silly and serious. Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard. —Inspired by Katherine Gold
People often think of language as a connector, something that brings people together by helping them share experiences, feelings, ideas, etc. We, however, are interested in how language sets people apart. Start with the peculiarities of your own personal language—the voice you use when speaking most intimately to yourself, the vocabulary that spills out when you’re startled, or special phrases and gestures that no one else seems to use or even understand—and tell us how your language makes you unique. You may want to think about subtle riffs or idiosyncrasies based on cadence, rhythm, rhyme, or (mis)pronunciation. —Inspired by Kimberly Traube
In 2015, the city of Melbourne, Australia created a "tree-mail" service, in which all of the trees in the city received an email address so that residents could report any tree-related issues. As an unexpected result, people began to email their favorite trees sweet and occasionally humorous letters. Imagine this has been expanded to any object (tree or otherwise) in the world, and share with us the letter you’d send to your favorite. -Inspired by Hannah Lu, Class of 2020
You’re on a voyage in the thirteenth century, sailing across the tempestuous seas. What if, suddenly, you fell off the edge of the Earth? -Inspired by Chandani Latey, AB'93
The word floccinaucinihilipilification is the act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant or of having no value. It originated in the mid-18th century from the Latin words "floccus," "naucum," "nihilum," and "pilus"—all words meaning “of little use.” Coin your own word using parts from any language you choose, tell us its meaning, and describe the plausible (if only to you) scenarios in which it would be most appropriately used. -Inspired by Ben Zhang, Class of 2022
Lost your keys? Alohomora. Noisy roommate? Quietus. Feel the need to shatter windows for some reason? Finestra. Create your own spell, charm, jinx, or other means for magical mayhem. How is it enacted? Is there an incantation? Does it involve a potion or other magical object? If so, what's in it or what is it? What does it do? -Inspired by Emma Sorkin, Class of 2021
Imagine you’ve struck a deal with the Dean of Admissions himself, Dean Nondorf. It goes as follows: you’re guaranteed admission to the University of Chicago regardless of any circumstances that arise. This bond is grounded on the condition that you’ll obtain a blank, 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, and draw, write, sketch, shade, stencil, paint etc., anything and everything you want on it; your only limitations will be the boundaries of both sides on the single page. Now the catch… your submission, for the rest of your life, will always be the first thing anyone you meet for the first time will see. Whether it’s at a job interview, a blind date, arrival at your first Humanities class, before you even say, “hey,” they’ll already have seen your page, and formulated that first impression. Show us your page. What’s on it, and why? If your piece is largely or exclusively visual, please make sure to share a creator's accompanying statement of at least 300 words, which we will happily allow to be on its own, separate page. PS: This is a creative thought experiment, and selecting this essay prompt does not guarantee your admission to UChicago. -Inspired by Amandeep Singh Ahluwalia, Class of 2022
Cats have nine lives, Pac-Man has three lives, and radioactive isotopes have half-lives. How many lives does something else—conceptual or actual—have, and why? -Inspired by Kendrick Shin, Class of 2019
If there’s a limited amount of matter in the universe, how can Olive Garden (along with other restaurants and their concepts of food infinity) offer truly unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks? Explain this using any method of analysis you wish—physics, biology, economics, history, theology… the options, as you can tell, are endless. -Inspired by Yoonseo Lee, Class of 2023
A hot dog might be a sandwich, and cereal might be a soup, but is a ______ a ______? -Inspired by Arya Muralidharan, Class of 2021 (and dozens of others who, this year and in past years, have submitted the question “Is a hot dog a sandwich,” to which we reply, “maybe”)
“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Jessamyn West -Inspired by Elizabeth Mansfield, Class of 2020
UChicago's Find x: The Missing Ingredient
ShadoPoig 11 / 36 Jan 3, 2011 #1 Thanks for dropping by here! This is my find x essay. Please, please, pleeease give me any critique you have. Short, long, terse, thorough. I'll reciprocate accordingly. NOTE: This is NOT complete. It's halfway done and I just want to know if the idea of finding a missing ingredient as "x" is clichéd. Is the "x" introduced too late? BZZT! The blaring noise of my apartment intercom startled me out of my seat. As I walked over to answer it, I wondered if I was supposed to be expecting someone. "Hello?" I asked. "Package for you." a raspy and tired voice spoke back. I invited the deliveryman up. Could this be the book I had ordered a few weeks ago? In a minute or two, the deliveryman arrived at my doorstep, handed me a heavy box, large as a microwave, and walked off with a grunt. "Don't I need to sign something?" I yelled across the hallway. Another grunt. Guess not. I hurriedly took the box to my room, where my dog seemed equally excited to see what was in store. I cut away the taped edges, opened the flaps and, to my shock, saw a steaming 3-course meal-plates, food intact, and all. I then did what any sane, hungry person would do: rush to the dining table and devour it immediately. This dish was the most delicious meal I had eaten in my life. Flavor exploded in my mouth. The heat of spices was doused by cool creaminess, and then ignited again. The myriad of colors on the plate-green, yellow, white, maroon-painted a picture in my eye. I hungered for more. Thankfully, in the box was included a detailed recipe scrawled on a scrap of paper. Yet, there were two thick blotches of ink where the final ingredient was to be. No matter; it wouldn't make a big difference. As a food junkie and amateur cook hoping to join a certain culinary club in college, I seized the opportunity to add this unparalleled dish to my repertoire. Shallots, vine tomatoes, olive oil: sauté. Portobello mushrooms, blitz and cook until dried out. After several minutes of chopping, frying, reducing, cooking, and caramelizing, the dish was dones. I took a spoonful to my mouth, excited. "Blech!" It was disgusting. This dish was the most foul meal I had eaten in my life. What had I done wrong? I cleaned the pots and pans hastily and tried again. I recooked the food as if I were undertaking a chemistry research project. The results infinitely dependent on my precision. Again, the meal was completely wrong. It was that missing ingredient. The blotched words. I had to know what they were. ---I was thinking of making my quest creative, going to Tibet and India and France, but never being able to find the missing ingredient. In the end, I realize that the secret ingredient can only be found after a lifetime of experimentation and improvement. The pursuit of the missing ingredient is what makes the dish so delicious. Once it's been found, there will be nothing interesting in the meal anymore. That part will be coming soon. Thoughts?
turntablespp 6 / 41 Jan 3, 2011 #2 wow! nicely done! I enjoyed reading this, and I do like this idea for this prompt. I can tell you that you are on the right track of answering the prompt, but I can't be too sure until it is finished. So post up the rest and i'll give it a read. But, this is definitely not a cliche topic to write about. I think it is rather fascinating! :)
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University of Chicago
Find x anonymous, it is a creative response to the famous "find x" question from uchicago. it is written from the point of view of x which is trying to figure out it's identity in different ways..
I’m the heart of a million questions in your math textbook. Universally cursed, universally appreciated. I’m immensely thankful to have the privilege of enjoying a timeless celebrity status -the king of the Hollywood of mathematics. Don’t roll your eyes or cringe. I’m not a black and white outdated guy. I have made it to Hollywood several times - for instance, Captain Jack Sparrow’s map. SpaceX , IphoneX, and countless big brands have embraced me, placing me at the forefront of technology.
I’m not pretentious, self exaggerating. I’m honest and open to my insecurities and vulnerabilities. I face an existential crisis. I’m notoriously famous for being something that is not there. The problem was easy if I could just be a vacuum. But no, I’m 2 or 3 or 0.6666 or maybe even 3.141 depending on the circumstances. I don’t change my colors. It’s just that I don’t have a true color. Who am I? Why do you want to find me? And even if you’ve found me, have you?
As if the invisible cloak on me wasn’t enough, I even have the power to cast an invisibility charm on the numbers on your report card if I appear- clothed in red, on your answer sheet. Although I know you do hate me for this, try not to. I’m the symbolic equivalent for “NO” and...
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UChicago Essay Examples (And Why They Worked)
The following essay examples were written by several different authors who were admitted to University of Chicago and are intended to provide examples of successful UChicago application essays. All names have been redacted for anonymity. Please note that CollegeAdvisor.com has shared these essays with admissions officers at University of Chicago in order to deter potential plagiarism.
For more help with your UChicago supplemental essays, check out our UChicago Essay Guide ! For more guidance on personal essays and the college application process in general, sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.
Question 1 (Required; Choose one) 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 UChicago.
When I visited UChicago, a friend invited me to step into her Comparative Literature class: Monstrosity and the Monstrous. Desperate for refuge from the cold (as a Bay Area resident, I hadn’t packed for the Chicago winter), I quickly obliged. I expected to silently observe, but when I mentioned that I’d read Antigone , her professor was thrilled–he immediately invited me into the discussion. For an hour and a half, we weighed the pros and cons of civil disobedience: did Antigone’s actions permanently destabilize Thebes, and in the modern day, when does protesting against a government cross the line? Was Antigone justified in interpreting the will of the gods? And, if so, would Sophocles support pardoning well-intentioned criminals? Beyond the enthralling analysis of the play, I was captivated by the spirit of UChicago: a campus that invites everyone (including a loitering high school student) to contribute and develop their ideas.
Now, it’s surreal to imagine taking “The Economics of Crime” from someone as renowned as Professor Levitt (I’ve been a fan since reading Freakonomics ) and staying after class to clarify the finer points of the latest Freakonomics podcast (I particularly enjoyed “Speak Softly and Carry Big Data,” on using data analysis to perfect foreign policy decisions). I hope to add to UChicago’s legacy of pushing the boundaries of our economic understanding by participating in undergraduate research, and perhaps put my findings to use through crafting social policy for the Harris School’s Public Policy Practicum. Prior to graduating, I’ll sample tastes of future careers through the Fried Public Policy and Service Program or the Trott Business Program. Simultaneously, as someone who enjoys conversing and respectfully challenging ideas, I look forward to immersing myself in the Core Curriculum and obtaining a strong foundation of knowledge. Above all, I appreciate that UChicago teaches students how to think, encourages dialogue, and prompts students to question norms.
Beyond an unparalleled education, UChicago boasts an incredible student body. Whether it’s over $1 milkshakes, at a desk beneath the stunning glass dome of the Mansueto library, or over a game of pick-up basketball, students at UChicago have a reputation for cultivating the most interesting conversations, both miscellaneous and profound. I hope that culture will only intensify within groups like the student government, Muslim Student Association, or the (undefeated) Model United Nations team. Though I look forward to Scav, the prospect of another scavenger hunt is even more enticing; over the next four years, my peers and I will discover the impact we intend to have on the world. Whether I end up delving into politics, finance, or the nonprofit sector, I know UChicago will guide me through that process–more importantly, as a member of a campus of visionaries, I hope to learn how I’ll change any field I enter. I look forward to four life-changing years–this time, with a warm winter coat.
Why this UChicago essay worked, from an ex-admissions officer
The author of this essay did a great job highlighting their familiarity with the faculty’s research and the university’s traditions. In doing so, admissions officers know that this student conducted the necessary research and is not solely interested in the university based on its rankings and reputation but rather the intangibles- the things that set UChicago apart, from other colleges/universities.
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of visiting UChicago’s campus. What I found was exactly what I’d hoped for: an absurdly specific and drawn-out debate over which poem was better, The Iliad, or The Odyssey.
It happened in a dorm. After my official tour, a good friend of mine, Lizzie, who I’d met two summers ago on a writer’s retreat offered to show me around campus. The insider tour: coveted by many, enjoyed by few. As we were leaving the common space on her floor in Max P., we were discussing our respective class schedules. We came to find that we were doing similar coursework with regard to Classical studies, and with a simple groan at my mention of the adventures of Achilles in Ilion, the battle began.
Quickly, I found myself drawing my spear—the initial jab: “The portrayal of Odysseus in The Odyssey is lackluster and inconsistent with prior descriptions at best.”
She dodged, “Maybe, but The Iliad is just a bunch of gore. I want a real story.” The phalanxes were starting to form; war cries echoing, bouncing off doors which held the empty beds of students wintering at Mansueto, I stopped.
“Listen,” I said, with a ring reminiscent of a sword being gloriously drawn from its sheath. “Homer may not have even been the mind behind much of The Odyssey . On top of that, how do you reconcile Odysseus’ supposed military genius spanning ten years with his seemingly cavalier attitude towards his men’s safety on the voyage home?” In turn, she threw her arms up with a sigh of exasperation—a shield, a deflection.
“Maybe, but Achilles’ melodramatic fits aren’t worth reading. If I wanted to witness overwrought pouting, I’d go find a four-year-old. Besides, an inconsistency doesn’t damn a story to the pits of inadequacy.”
Round and round we went, like Achilles and Hector around the city of Ilion, neither of us gaining an inch, and neither of us drawing nearer escape. But then, for us, escape wasn’t the point, was it? It was the chase. The Iliad would have been far less exciting had Achilles settled for glory, fought for Agamemnon, and killed Hector immediately. Likewise, The Odyssey is nothing but a story of a journey, and therefore wouldn’t have a leg to stand on without the chase. From my point of view, this is what UChicago is all about—the chase; the journey—the questions asked and examined, not only those answered. Lizzie and I never came to a conclusion about which poem is better (thankfully we could agree that The Aeneid was objectively well written, and well told), but we had a riveting, impassioned conversation on a dime. My favorite part of this? It happened on the way to her Physics discussion.
That’s why I love UChicago; this is what I crave. The perpetual hall pass to unapologetically geek out with fellow cats whom curiosity didn’t kill, but strengthened. To walk by the chapel, and hear the bells playing Kiss the Girl, to sit in the Reading Room and write, to marvel at the marketing genius behind the naming of Grounds of Being ; to have conversations with poetry nerds, language lovers, people who can rant about the beauty of the C7 chord or the curvature of a parabolic function. I can only see myself in a place that emphasizes interdisciplinary studies, that offers a slew of majors, minors, and career courses—that not just allows, but encourages exploration—that finds its students discussing Homer on the way to a physics class. I would not be able to function without the camaraderie that comes with the $1 shake, or the friendships born of mutual vitriol at the notion of their disappearance. This community is not tied, but melded together—one that challenges, one that nips stagnancy in the bud. So, paint me maroon and point me towards Axelrod; I’m ready to join this Odyssey-loving, manhole-cover-thieving, Royal Tenenbaum-esque family.
In this essay, the writer connected her seemingly random conversation with a friend to the interdisciplinary focus of the university and the ways in which, others challenge her views. Oftentimes, when we think of a college education- there is so much focus on the rankings, reputation, and major, career opportunities, return on investments, and salary– all of which, are very important; however, one could argue that that true purpose of college is to challenge yourself, to step outside of your comfort zone, meet new people and challenge others as well. This writer understands those values are paramount to an education at UChicago. The admissions officer reading this essay, knows this student will thrive at UChicago, but most importantly, this student will leave UChicago in a better place than where they found it by challenging those around them.
Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)
Editor’s Note: The UChicago supplemental essays change each year, as the University is known to reach out to newly admitted and current students for essay prompts. These are examples of previous successful approaches to essay prompts.
2017-2018 UChicago Essay Prompt
What’s your armor.
I won’t knock on wood for luck if the wood isn’t demonstrably pure as the waters of the Piscine Molitor. When I say I won’t, I don’t mean that I will knock on a table, or a bench occasionally through gritted teeth if I’m in dire need of cosmic intervention, no, I mean I will not, under any circumstance, on a train, a plane, or even in Spain, knock on anything other than natural, uncoated in any way, wood. I recognize the scientific irrationality, not just of superstitions, but of being picking nits within a particular superstition. I have my reasons.
Two years ago, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I stumbled across a disconcerting “fact” that probably wasn’t a fact . The post asserted that more than ninety-percent of all wooden tables, benches, chairs, etc are not, in fact, strictly wooden. Rather, they are a mix of synthetic materials and wood. Granted, in most cases, the synthetic is likely just a coat of protective varnish, but you see, that tarnishes the product for the superstitious. It was a moment of earth-shattering ramifications. In a matter of three seconds, I questioned every bit of trust I’d ever placed in the universe. It all seemed futile, meaningless. Now, I’m not knocking on wood, I’m knocking on wood that has been coated once, twice, ninety-six times with preservative varnish. At that point, it’s just a synthetic graveyard with a foundation of wood. There is no luck to be found in an ungodly cemetery of bones like that. I might as well knock on glass, or grass, or a plastic container. It surpasses trivial in the scheme of things, but imagine I were to have something especially important looming, something that has the potential to frame the context of the rest of my life, something like college applications. Why would I take a chance on something that merely resembles pure wood for luck? I wouldn’t. I’d run straight outside, find the nearest tree (the only real guarantee), and knock until my knuckles resembled shredded calf-liver. It’s really not worth the risk.
Why does it even matter, though? Who, and/or what enforces frivolous matters like outdated pseudo-religious compulsions? I like to imagine that there is a being in charge of each superstition, both the common and obscure. The Being of Repetition would oversee all attempts to cheat one’s destiny by uttering a word thirty-seven times, the Being of Self-Induced Discomfort would superintend those who hold their breath while they cross bridges or drive past cemeteries, and the Being of Sylvan Knocks would assure that not a single soul who bops their knuckles on a tarnished, synthetic-wood abomination receives their prize of favor. This being watches and keeps tabs on those foolish enough to put their faith in the preternatural equivalent of fool’s gold, and shames them by leaving their worlds deservedly unaltered. However, those who are devoted enough to search out the nearest tree and give it a few raps for good measure, will find magnificent rewards from their generous karmic sugar daddy. Call me a purist, call me ridiculous, but I’m convinced that this is the indisputable truth.
So convinced, in fact, that those closest to me have picked up on my idiosyncratic neurosis. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the friendship of observant souls, one of whom, named Jack, happens to be a skilled woodworker. Upon confessing to him my cognitive dissonance of being vehemently non-superstitious, while also controlled like a marionette by this irrational belief, he took it upon himself to, at the very least, ease the inconvenience of finding a tree in my panic. He gave me a teardrop-shaped, knuckle-sized piece of pure wood. Not just that, but he put a small hole in it so that it would fit on my keychain. I carry it everywhere. I give it a little knock every now and then just for the extra luck. Knowing that no matter the place, no matter the scenario, I’m always in the good graces of the Being of Sylvan Knocks means that I never again have to add “find a tree” to my mental to-do list. It means release—means freedom.
Maybe one day I’ll get over my manneristic malady, but until that day comes, I’ll keep carrying my teardrop everywhere I go, and hope that Jack never tells me that my charm is anything less than Piscine pure, unadulterated luck. Knock on wood, right?
2013-2014 UChicago Essay Prompt:
The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. human eyes have color receptors for three colors (red, green, and blue); the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain. seriously, how cool is the mantis shrimp: mantisshrimp.uchicago.edu . what might they be able to see that we cannot what are we missing.
The red and purple hues of the sunset warm the chilly summer evening; the soft pastels blend perfectly under my fingers to emanate the photograph; each Van Gogh and Renoir mesmerize me as I creep through the brightly lit museum. Photographs and paintings capture the beauty that we see with our eyes. Our almighty sense of sight allows us to be immersed by the extraordinary, but at the same time, it hinders us.
Although breath-taking to witness, the mantis shrimp, majestic as a unicorn or narwhal from the outside, relates more closely to a soul-sucking dementor. Its mighty claws enable it to chomp nearby prey instantaneously. Is it possible that the violent behavior of a mantis shrimp is related in someway to its heightened abilities of sight?
Segregation, discrimination, isolation; so many “tion”s can be attributed to our sense of vision. In elementary school, the concept of being popular is already engrained in our minds. As a first grader, I got my first glimpse of this when a girl was forced to tell her best friend that they couldn’t hang out anymore because she “wasn’t cool enough.” And what deems someone to be popular? Of course, attitude and self-confidence are key, but popularity is equally derived from having the newest backpack and sparkly shoes that light up with each step. In the 1940s, having “the look” meant blonde hair and blue eyes with the emanating threat of concentration camps and execution. America, the land of the free, cannot forget its very own history of segregation that nearly split the nation in two. People were belittled and harassed due to the color of their skin. Throughout history, mankind has associated superiority with skin color and race. Our sense of sight has limited us oftentimes to fixate on seeing instead of understanding.
The kaleidoscopic exoskeleton of the mantis shrimp indicates its very own evolutionary emphasis on beauty. Why else would one attempt to look so radiant if not to mate and produce heirs? I would probably be pretty picky too if I had such a powerful pair of eyes—fixating on each segment, each tentacle, each antenna. Over the centuries, the selectivity of the mantis shrimp possibly eliminated less attractive members from the gene pool. It never thought “Oh well, maybe she has a nice personality and a good sense of humor.” In a world of plastic Barbie dolls and glossy magazine covers, I would hate to see an even greater emphasis on aesthetics.
As a child, I read A Wrinkle in Time and journeyed to the planet Ixchel where Madeline L’Engle’s fictional character Meg tries to explain the concept of seeing to a creature with no eyes. In response the beast states, “We do not know what things look like, as you say… We know what things are like. It must be a very limiting thing, this seeing.” As a child, I pondered the difficultly of explaining sight to someone incapable of it and all the words that a person wouldn’t understand—light, dark, colors, shades. When I initially read this prompt about the mantis shrimp, I was reminded of this passage. The difficulty of imagining all that the mantis shrimp can see is possibly just as difficult as it is for someone who is blind to imagine the red of a robin’s belly, the illustrious light blue sky, or the shades of skin tones. I was originally perplexed by the idea that seeing can be “a very limiting thing.” Over half a decade later, as I reread Madeline L’Engle’s words, I find the truth in this phrase. We do not need sight. It is convenient being able to color coordinate files and match shoes with shirts, but the ability to see can often overpower our other senses. We judge and make first impressions by the way a person dresses, often neglecting what that person says or thinks or knows.
Perhaps the mantis shrimp’s eyes allow it to see further than our color spectrum, into infrared, ultraviolet, or radio waves. Maybe this allows it to see its predators inching closer before they devise an attack. The shrimp’s vision could possibly replace its sense of feeling and hearing—observing sound waves in the wavy, salty sea or having thermal imaging abilities. However, the extent to its abilities is far greater than we can perceive. It would be impossible to imagine the full capabilities of the mantis shrimp without having a “Freaky Friday” moment and switching brains. As humans, we have become too accustomed to our perception of superiority that it is difficult to imagine abilities greater than our own. What we lack, we attempt to compensate for with technology and scientific advancements. We have escaped the mentality of our cavemen and cavewomen ancestors—scavenging for food and hiding from predators. Machine guns and others weapons of mass destruction have given humans the mindset that we are on the top of the food chain.
The short novel Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott was enforced upon my Geometry class over spring break. Although initially a lesson about the multiple dimensions, Flatland also explores the challenge of explaining higher realms to those who cannot experience it. The king of Pointland is so narrow-minded and insular that he refuses to believe that there are objects larger than he is. When confronted with a square, all he sees is another point. As humans, our abilities are limited as well. We do not have the innate skills of the mantis shrimp with its sixteen receptors; however, centuries of innovation have made us inept to fully perceive the skills we are incapable of.
The mantis shrimp can see a greater spectrum of rays and waves and possibly some great unknown, but perhaps, it is better that its abilities remain a mystery. At this time, we are probably not ready for such visual capabilities; our current ones have already proven to be overbearing. Maybe the best things in life are not meant to be seen because they must be felt or understood.
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- Nov 4, 2018
This is a creative essay, part of my 2017 college application to UChicago. Essay topic inspired by Benjamin Nuzzo, an admitted student from Eton College, UK.
Sure. Let's find it.
So, Where do we start? Since this is strictly an unilateral conversation I am taking the liberty to set the bases from where we are going to find it.
First we need to deconstruct the idea of “X”, so we agree on what we are really looking for, or more appropriate, what we are not looking for. “X” is unknown to almost all math problems, since not all math problems are the same (because how boring would that be?), “X” is always changing to fit whatever amount is required from it in order to make the problem true. Because of this we cannot totally find “X” using size, value, length, power, or anything using quantitative properties.
Ok, now we are advancing, “X” is also a letter from a latin-script alphabet, it is number 24 in the english alphabet (Curiously it is the 25th in the spanish alphabet, because “Ñ”). 24 and 25 both in a way mean “X”. 10 is also the numerical value of “X” according to our good and smart friends The Romans. Although, We have a problem here, cardinal numbers are by essence quantitative, and as we agreed in the previous paragraph, quantitative answers are incomplete.
Quickly, just to get it out of the way as well, since “X” appears in many, many, many languages (English, Spanish, Nahuatl, Latin, Apache, Polish… well, you get the idea) we also can´t use its phonetics as a base.
Moving forward to square one, then.
Since quantitative approaches are out of the picture, and qualitatives properties doesn't seem right, at least to me, but again this is an unilateral discussion, so qualitative approaches are out of the picture as well.
Let's find a philosophical answer, then. Although I love philosophy, and I find inspiration in philosophical dilemmas, I have no authority on the subject. This goes without saying, it totally should be taken with a grain of salt.
“X” in math represents something that is unknown, uncertain, that in any conceivable way one would need to work to know what is unknown, the amount of work is relative to the problem, therefore, it is irrelevant here. It, in a case or two (or one million cases, you know) also represents a constant, meaning whatever it means is unchangeable, it can't ever be touched as long as that little universe (yes, universes are infinite, but thanks to Cantor we know the sizes of infinities can vary) where the problem is true exists.
“X” phonetics as “Ex”, as a former paramore represents chaos, sadness, sorrow, pain and so on.
Hold on a second, I am finding that “X” means all of those things while it doesn't. Everything I have written from the first line on to the previous one, operates assuming “X” means something, anything, but it doesn't. Every single thing mentioned here: math, phonetics, philosophy, and even love are human-made concepts; well of course they are, I am using language, a human-made tool to find a human-made concept. We believe that “X” can be found because we decided that “X” could be found.
What if we decide that “X” can´t be found? Is that a valid answer? Could that provide resolution the same way the fact that “X” means something, where at the same time it doesn't makes sense to us?
One last time, strictly unilateral conversation. So, yes. “X”, just like names, things, and concepts in our universe, is an axiom. I can decide that it means whatever I want, the same way math shapes its value from problem to problem to satisfy its needs and make the line of math true. And I can decide it not because any authority I hold, just because of my position as a rational being. Whatever I decide is not absolute, much less a law, but it is not less true than calling a “chair” a chair, or a “cup of coffee” a cup of coffee.
I just found the nature of “X” as an axiom, hence I just found “X”.
Yes, just because I say it.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — a review.
Book Reviews - February 19´
How to avoid getting depressed by our inevitable oblivion?
Let's get right to it. What oblivion am I talking about? Thermodynamic Equilibrium of the Universe, or if you feel like romanticizing it, “The Heat Death of the Universe.” The name of the game is Entr