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.
Something that is offered, presented, or given as a gift. Unusual presents, accidental presents, metaphorical presents, re-gifted presents, etc.—pick any present you have ever received and invent a past for it.
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.
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.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… UChicago has international campus centers around the world, but we don’t have any interplanetary, interstellar, or interdimensional campuses… Propose a spot in time or space, in this or any universe, for a new UChicago campus.Also, don’t worry about the ‘correct’ way to interpret a question.If there exists a correct way to interpret the prompt I chose, it certainly was not my answer.” In the spirit of adventurous inquiry (and with the encouragement of one of our current students! Don’t tell us about another world you’ve imagined, heard about, or created. Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about.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.Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard. Imagine you’ve struck a deal with the Dean of Admissions himself, Dean Nondorf.People often think of language as a connector, something that brings people together by helping them share experiences, feelings, ideas, etc. It goes as follows: you’re guaranteed admission to the University of Chicago regardless of any circumstances that arise.a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here. Describe something vestigial (real or imagined) and provide an explanation for its existence.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.