October 02, 2003


Via Joanne Jacobs comes this Peter Woods guide to writing bogus diversity essays so that you might impress college admissions officials. Sample opening lines:

"When I was six, I wanted more than anything to have braids like my friend Shareen."

"I was the only one at school who knew that my friend Phyllis was homeless. She lived with her mother at the Motel Six, but when we started work on the senior class play ..."

"I never thought that it would be Daryll, who has Down's Syndrome, who would teach me the most important lesson in life."

"I met Orlando when I was tutoring kids in math at Mandela School ..."

As Joanne writes: “Woods advises students to go for the small epiphany to show sensitivity to slightest hint of bias.” Let’s give it a try:

“The other dancers laughed at Jennifer, but I knew that when her epilepsy and Parkinson’s and peripheral neuropathic tremor kicked in she’d show them who had the best moves.”

“‘You can’t play baseball with us,’ the team told Scott, my quadruple amputee friend. They had to think again when they realised they’d left home plate back in the shed.”

“He was known around town as Eyeless Hobo Pete, but to me he was a blind alcoholic itinerant.”

And here’s an example from a professional:

“The first time I met Osama bin Laden inside Afghanistan, it was a hot, humid night in the summer of 1996.”

Posted by Tim Blair at October 2, 2003 01:20 AM

"I always thought that my friend George was like all the other kids. I first realised he was "special" when he refused to come to the anti-war rally with the rest of the kids. That's when I found out what a "conservative" was!"

Posted by: Yobbo at October 2, 2003 at 03:32 AM

"I always thought that my friend George was like all the other kids. I first realised he was "special" when he went to the anti-war rally to protest freeing the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children being tortured, raped, murdered, etc. by the scum that was in control in Iraq. That's when I found out what a "liberal" was!"

Posted by: K'tar Deaz at October 2, 2003 at 04:23 AM

"My best friend in high school, Katie, really made me more conscientious about how we use naturual resources. Especially when she adhered a "Recycle" bumper sticker to the back of the Mercedes SUV her parents bought her for her sixteenth birthday."

I've always strongly disliked the name "Katie."

Posted by: Anne at October 2, 2003 at 05:38 AM

Oops, I meant "natural." It pays to proofread. :-S

Posted by: Anne at October 2, 2003 at 05:40 AM

I think Joanne overdoes it. I just read a story on Slashdot about the guy who invented Ctrl+Alt+Del (a Windooze thing):

I once worked at a help desk. One call I remember is a man who, after my suggestion he should press "control alt del" went silent for a moment, then told me he only had one hand.

That's a great start for a geek and a nice little story every windooze user can relate to.

Posted by: Berend de Boer at October 2, 2003 at 08:14 AM

"I first met Kiko, Consuelo, and Shareen when I joined the mutlicultural cheerleading sqaud. But none of us understood each other's true needs until that hot day in June when a flat tire, a cool mountain lake, and a bottle of baby oil taught me the true meaning of diversity."

(And, not to wander off topic, but why is it necesssary to use two hands to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL? They're all present on the same side of the keyboard.)

Posted by: Bryan at October 2, 2003 at 10:03 AM

Well, I've been one-armed all week due to an elbow fracture and I can assure you that I find it damn near impossible to hit Ctrl-Alt-Del with one hand. They may all be on the same side of the keyboard, but they aren't close to each other. That's a good point; the keyboard should be arranged so that you can hit them one-handed if necessary.

Posted by: Alice at October 2, 2003 at 11:05 AM

The key combination was picked *because* the keys are not all that close together; you want to make it hard to accidentally hit them. Could prove to be annoying...

Posted by: steveh at October 2, 2003 at 12:37 PM

"I remember little Jenny, all the other bogans called her a two-dollar whore, but I always knew her as a low-cost service provider."

Posted by: Jake D at October 2, 2003 at 04:28 PM

"Early in life, I knew I wanted to be a drummer. And if Rick Allen could do it, what was holding me back?"

Posted by: Anne at October 3, 2003 at 04:16 AM

Until I met ABC, Pilger, Margot K. O'Dowd et al, I suffered the mistaken impression the quest for truth is a rational enterprise.

Posted by: d at October 3, 2003 at 09:50 AM