Friday, October 06, 2006

A cool SOP!

If anyone would like to know how hard it is to write about yourself in a manner that is professional, please ask me. I've been doing, or rather starting on SOPs(for the part of population that is blissfully unaware of this three letter word, it is the Statement of Purpose. Had you had any of your friends applying for their Masters/Ph.D in foreign universities, you can check with them the woes related to writing a professional, cool, friendly, non-bombastic, one with inference and not direct statements,a slight touch of humor and so on and so forth... well, my experiences with it would be in another post.), writing a part of it, deleting it out later, writing more, deleting again..... this seems endless... I was checking out some old mails when I accidentally saw a mail from one of the yahoo groups. One of my friends, Sudipta had sent a really cool SOP which he had come across somewhere. Here it is:

This is an actual essay written by a college applicant. The author, Hugh Gallagher, was admitted to NYU. Or so the legend goes .
In order for the admissions staff of our college to get to know you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following question: Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realized, that have helped to define you as a person?

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer, I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby d_, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair.

While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago, I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I
have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.

Kudos to the author!!!
Though I wouldn't dare to send such a SOP, it is refreshing change from the ones I'm used to reading at... and certainly better than the result of the last attempt I made at writing my own!


harsha said...

i don't believe somebody who is genuinely interested in dropping application would resort to this kind of SOPs.

but i come across some funny and humorous ones that are posted sometime in harvard's crimson magazine. try your luck.

does SOP change fortunes?

alpine path said...

Don't know if SOP changes fortunes... I'm yet to find out! Also, whether a person who would be serious about apping would give in a SOP like that or not, it is an interesting change to read such an SOP. If someone actually sends in something like this, they should be either very bold or have too much money to throw around.