Legend has it that the following is something that really happened
at Southampton University.
What follows is a real, honest-to-god application from a student
received by Southampton University, who was given a place on the course.
ESSAY : In order for the admissions staff of our university 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 realised, that have helped
to define you as a person ?
> > ________________________________________
ANSWER from this "very individual student" :
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 Kenyan refugees, I write award-winning operas, and
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 had trials with Manchester
United, I am the subject of numerous documentaries.
When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my garden.
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 appeared on
Through the Keyhole and won the gold plaque. Last summer I
toured Eastern Europe with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration.
I run the 100m in 9.65 secs. 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 Dick, 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 some
vegetables and a Breville Toaster.
I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in Madrid,
cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and chess competitions 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 this University.