First Lines From Personal Essays of Successful Freshman Applicants to Stanford

Niece G was a successful applicant to Stanford, son was not (in spite of the “legacy advantage” — ha ha ha!) G thinks it’s because son didn’t play up his ethnicity. Her essay was “hapa, hapa all the way.” Who knows? In the latest issue of Stanford Magazine is a helpful compilation of first lines from the personal essays of Stanford’s newest class. (Feel free to crib):

  • When I was 8 years old, I shocked my family and a local archaeologist by discovering artifacts dating back almost 3,500 years.
  • The spaghetti burbled and slushed around the pan, and as I stirred it, the noises it gave off began to sound increasingly like bodily functions.
  • I had never seen anyone get so excited about mitochondria.
  • I stand on the riverbank, surveying this rippled range like some riparian cowboy — instead of chaps, I wear vinyl, thigh-high waders and a lasso of measuring tape and twine is slung over my arm.
  • I have old hands.
  • I’ll never forget the day when my childhood nightmares about fighting gigantic trolls in the Lord of the Rings series became a reality.
  • As an Indian-American, I am forever bound to the hyphen.
  • On a hot Hollywood evening, I sat on a bike, sweltering in a winter coat and furry boots.
  • I change my name each time I place an order at Starbucks.

Quotes of the Day: From “102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers”

“About five floors up from the top . . . you have about fifty people with their faces pressed against the window trying to breathe.”

    — Yvonne Kelhetter, a helicopter pilot hovering off the North Tower, 9:30 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001 (The first plane had hit the North Tower at 8:46 a.m.).  There’s an unforgettable picture in the German magazine


    Here’s the


“I believe the building probably could sustain multiple impacts of jetliners because this structure is like the mosquito netting on your screen door, this intense grid . . . And the jet plane is just a pencil puncturing the screen netting. It really does nothing to the screen netting.”

    — Frank De Martini, whose job was to oversee World Trade Center renovations, in an interview on the History Channel, January 2001

Third Wednesday of September 2008

Dearest Mum, Dear Bro, and nephew are stopping over in Bangkok en route to Manila with Ying’s ashes. Her funeral is Sunday, 9 a.m., at the Santuario de San Antonio.

Self found two pictures of Ying, both taken with Dear Bro and Franco: In one of them, Franco seemed to be about seven. They were at a beautiful beach, perhaps in Palawan. The second was a studio shot: Franco appeared to be a year old. In both pictures, Ying is heart-stoppingly happy and beautiful.

Self also saw a movie: “Bangkok Dangerous.” It’s the last week that she’ll have any free afternoons: next week she starts teaching her fourth class, the one in xxxx community college. Half the time self was sniffling, remembering the first time Dear Bro introduced her to Ying: It was Read the rest of this entry »

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