#### Essay Question:

What work of music, science, mathematics or literature has surprised or unsettled or challenged you, and in what way?

```The work of mathematics that has most surprised and unsettled me has been the
fundamental theorem of calculus.  When I was small, I was told that calculus was
all about finding the areas under curves, and I always was in awe of it.  I saw
pictures in calculus books, when I had learned algebra and knew all about
curves,
of little boxes being used to approximate integration.  And then I though that
calculus was stupid.

But the concept of using infinitely small and infinitely many boxes to
approximate a curve was a revolution, precisely because it doesnt use boxes at
all.  When a box is infinitely small, the box vanishes, but the abstract
relationship between length and width remains.  Differentiation and integration
are fundamentally opposite simply because multiplication and division undo each
other; slope is length over width, while area is length times width.  These
algebraic relations are crystallized in the formula for the curve, and the
beauty
of calculus is that the formalism introduces numbers in the large boxes, and
sweeps them into a formula before anybody has to use them.  Calculus isn't
stupid
anymore, it's elegant.

When infinite processes converge into finite numbers rather than spiral into a
nonsense of infinities, it is proof that there is a deep order in the universe.
The symmetry of inversion between multiplication and division underlies all the
operations of nature.```

#### Essay Question:

Look out any window in your home. What would you change about what you see?

```It's 1:10 AM and I'm looking outside of my window.  It's dark.  I can't do
anything in the dark, so my first tweak is moving the sun.  Now it's higher in
the sky, fixed at noon.  I can see the street from my bedroom window.  It's a
cold and bleak Tuesday afternoon.  I make it Saturday, and for good measure,
it's
now cherry blossom season.

But the neighborhood houses are starkly visible.  Their architecture lacks
inspiration.  With a bit more effort, I add flourishes.  Arches, stained glass
windows, gargoyles, and flying buttresses seamlessly snap into place, but they
look odd and foreign.  Frowning, I wipe them all away and replace them all with
solid, respectable Roman buildings.  Better.

My toga-clad neighbors walk from their atriums and marvel at the improvement.
They're confused, but I know they're secretly pleased.  They excitedly point up
at my window, impressed at my artistic sensibilities.  Yet they seem disturbed,
probably because my home is unchanged home is an eyesore to their perfect
planned
community.

So with a flourish of my hand, my home becomes a palace.  Corinthian and ionic
columns spurt up and cover the lawn.  But with a start, I realize that my
favorite holly bush is gone.  I turn the season back to winter to recover it,
but
now the mismatched columns are cracking, sagging under the snow bearing down on
them.  I pull the sun to 1:10 AM, push the Earth back into winter, and restore
the neighborhood, disappointed but relieved.```

#### Essay Question:

Essentially, talk about something important to you in 500 words. There were various permutations in the wording between Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Georgetown, and UVA, but this was my general "major" essay.

```Consider the Piet`, by Michelangelo.  Not his first Piet`, the masterpiece with
Mary forever youthful and mourning over the luminous Christ, finished at 23 and
enshrined in St. Peter's Basilica, but his afterthought.  Michelangelo said that
in sculpting, rather than imposing his will on the block, the statue is already
perfectly formed inside of the marble; he merely chips away the stone concealing
it.  His last Piet` Rondanini was left half-delivered on his death at age
ninety.

It is a coincidence of history that the Christ and Mary are frozen stepping
from
the marble, almost dripping off like water at their feet, and their torsos are
obscured by the rough grain stone.  Form and imagination meet in this Piet`, and
it proves that the artist's saw is not hubris, but his own deep sensibility of
form.

Michelangelo's renaissance sensibility is also modern.  Karl Popper's
epistemology of falsification is the enormous chisel that divides what we know
from what must be.  Science exalts and humbles its student, whose deepest
insight
is the removal of chaff.  There is truth in data obscured by the opacity of
ignorance, and so analysis is a chipping away.  Plodding sterility brooding over
the pure marble, the dispassionate scientific method has no taste for insight
unless it is reproducible.  Intuition and the chipping away become negative
images that meet in beauty, where science and art are the mind becoming one with
the external.

I learned this at the National Institute of Health.  My research involves data
from PET scans of sleeping patents, which we correlate with
electroencephalograms
to learn how brain metabolism is reflected in brain wave patterns.  One thing we
have noticed is that while it's commonly thought that brain activity decreases
generally across the brain as a person goes deeper into sleep, there are some
regions that actually decrease less.  This is exciting, and something which we
seek to explain, and yet, my work has also been extremely mundane.  I spent time
dividing the brain into 200-odd general anatomical regions for comparison among
subjects, and I spent long hours tweaking the mathematical form of the data.
Often, it would seem like meaningless numerology.

Yet, to find a conclusion in
one of these forms that relates back to the brain itself through all the
numerical and formal abstractions, to all the brains of our subjects, is a
moment
of beauty where insight illuminates a drab chain of logic and cuts off a chip of
marble that never truly belonged.```

#### Essay Question:

```I boarded the train at 9:17 and sat down.  I opened Camus.  The Stranger.
'Light reading for the summer?' said the man seated on my right.  I looked at
him.  'Yeah'. - Digging into my bag, I pulled out a garishly green, laminated
copy of World's Best Coin Tricks.  Grinning, we talked.  He works for the State
Department.  I was interning at the NIH and get off at the end of the red line.
He works setting up education exchange programs and I did neuroimaging on sleep
and language patient.  His major was national defense at the War College, and I
asked what he read.  'Modern writers and the classics, like Thucydides, and a
Prussian' he trailed off.  'Clausewitz?  On War?'  I offered.  'Yeah!' he said.
'I bet nobody else in this whole train has read On War.'  What else have you
like it,' and he asked me what I wanted to do for college.
'I'm really not sure now.  There are a few things.'  'Go on?' 'I either
want to
go into neurology, business or join the CIA.  I'm undecided, but until then I
want to major in economics or biochemistry.  I also want to join the Peace
Corps.'  'That's great!' he said, 'I was in the Peace Corps 20 years back.'
'Really?   That's awesome!  Where did you serve?' 'Afghanistan, in Kabul believe
it or not.'  'Do you speak Farsi?' I asked, remembering reading a snide letter
to the editor of the Washington Post deriding yet another professor's plan for
peace in Afghanistan of teaching US soldiers Arabic by pointing out that people
in Afghanistan don't speak Arabic.   'I did, but I'm out of practice now.'

Thinking of languages, I added, 'Would you believe that I don't speak my mother
tongue?'  He looked at me appraisingly. 'Yeah, sure. Maybe your parents wanted
you to assimilate?'  'Close,' I replied, 'My dad speaks his regional dialect,
while my mom's from elsewhere and speaks her own dialect.  They didn't share a
common, natural language and met in the US speaking English.'  'That's really
interesting,' he replied.  I asked, 'So what did you do in Afghanistan?' 'Oh, I
taught English to schoolchildren in Kabul, and since there wasn't much to do, I
kept a dream log.'  'Really?  That's unbelievable!'  I burrowed into my bag,
scooping from below my laptop a small, cloud gray book called A Little Course in
Dreams.  'I promise you, that's the last book I have in my bag, so no more
surprises.'

'Wow,' he replied, 'I haven't seen this book in a long time.'  Pulling out a
fountain pen and writing the title and author on a corner of newspaper, it was
his stop coming up.  So he asked for my phone number to continue the
conversation
later: I gave him mine, took his, shook hands.  Tucking the slip into page 73,
the Horizontal Vanish, of World's Best Coin Tricks, I leaned right and went to
sleep, bound for Medical Center.```

#### Essay Question:

This essay was a response to the open-ended question, "Do anything you want to a sheet of paper to persuade us to admit you."

```Dear Princeton Admissions Committee,

When I had to find a number for reading in my ranked list of activities, I had
trouble placing it.  I've always read, and I think that reading is something too
important to me for one line.  So, here is a list of the books I've read over
the last year that I can remember.  I hope that this can give you a sense of
where
I've been intellectually wandering outside of school.

Sincerely,

Ecrits, Jacques Lacan
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
American Constitutional Law, Laurence Tribe
The Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal editorial pages
daily.

Fiction
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Orestia, Fschylus
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
The Plague, Albert Camus
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Artemis Fowl (Trilogy), Eion Colfer
The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Great Cases of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
The Golden Bough (condensed volumes), Sir George Frazer
The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass
Folk and Fairy Tales, Martin Hallett
Mythology, Edith Hamilton
Magister Ludi, Herman Hesse
Ulysses, James Joyce
Collected Stories, Franz Kafka
Captain Courageous, Rudyard Kipling
The Man Who Would be King and Other Short Stories, Rudyard Kipling
Eden, Stanislaw Lem
Chronicles of the Vikings, R.I. Page
The Morphology of the Folk Tale, Vladimir Propp
The Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
Holes, Loius Sachar
A Series of Unfortunate Events Series (11 volumes), Lemony Snicket
The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth Speare
Huck Finn, Mark Twain
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
Non-fiction
Arabic in Three Months, Mohammed Asfour
The Complete Book of Abs, Kurt Brungardt
The Complete Book of Shoulders and Arms, Kurt
Brungardt
Libertarianism, A Primer, David Boaz
De Bello Gallico (The Gallic War), Julius Caesar
Alchemy : an illustrated A to Z, Fernando, Diana.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Frederick
Douglass
Caesar and Christ, Will Durant
The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman
The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
The Book of Survival, Anthony Greenback
Modern Times, Paul Johnson
Dreams, Carl Jung
Man and His Symbols, Carl Jung
Psyche and Symbol, Carl Jung
Worlds Best Coin Tricks, Bob Longe
The Discourses, Niccolo Machiavelli
History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy, Niccolo Machiavelli
Talk of the Devil: Encounters with Seven Dictators, Riccardo Orizio
Winning Table Tennis, Dan Seemiller
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, Barbara Tuchman
Ethics: Theory and Practice, Manuel Velasquez
The Middle East: Opposing Viewpoints, Mary Williams
Coaching Olympic Style Boxing, USA Boxing
The Evelyn Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program, Evelyn Wood

Poetry
The Waste Land and Other Poems, T.S Eliot
Never, Jorie Graham
Complete Works, Edgar Allan Poe
Collected Poems, George Seferis
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, J. R. R Tolkein
The Aeneid, Vergil```

#### Essay Question:

Describe a character in fictions, an historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

```Sitting on a grassy hillside, Scipio Africanus stared down at the burning
remnant of Carthage. After three long years of fighting, Rome's mortal enemy was
defeated.  Scipio ordered his troops to salt the soil and cross the city's
foundation by plowshare so that it would never rise again.  Still, tears rolled
from his eyes and the words of Hector slipped from his lips: 'The day shall come
in which our sacred Troy and Priam, and the people over whom Spear-bearing Priam
rules, shall perish all.' Asked by a companion what he meant, Scipio replied,
'This is a glorious moment, Polybius; and yet I am seized with fear and
foreboding that some day the same fate will befall my own country.'

Many people who hear this story interpret it as a fable of humility, but pure
humility isn't what forged the story into accounts of the battle, or impacted
Romans so strongly that they whispered the tale as a bedtime story for their
children.  What speaks so powerfully to us is Scipio's gravitas, his sense of
the
importance of the matter at hand. Scipio Africanus didn't lament looted museums,
burned orphanages, or even the fate of the city.  In the dying embers of
Carthage, he saw Rome.

As heirs of the Roman Empire, our culture is steeped in classical thought and we
surround our judges and lawmakers in Corinthian columns, but gravitas is acutely
missing.  And there is no better example of this than our dealings with the
heirs
to the Carthaginian Empire, Libya.

Libya seeks to purchase an end to its pariah status by paying blood money for
its Lockerbie bombing.  Four million dollars dribble when the UN lifts sanctions
of Libya, then four more drip should the US lifts its own sanctions.  The final
two million trickle if the State Department removes Libya from its terror list.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page, probably one of the last confessed
bastions of Roman virtue, acridly expressed its sentiments by asking, 'Would the
US accept ten billion dollars from Osama Bin Laden and call it even?' But the
story goes deeper.

As a young nation, we lack the gravitas that Rome had.  We possess greater power
than Augustus ever wielded, but we lack earnestness in what we do.  In ancient
times, tribute was accepted in exchange for yielding your prerogative to wage
war.  Now, we place sanctions on North Korea, or Cuba, or Libya as their actions
compel us, and promise to lift them should conditions ever change.  Through
international law, we've given up the catharsis of forgiveness.  Rather than
forgiving and forgetting, we simply forget.

Scipio Africanus stared into the dying embers of Carthage and discerned the fall
of Rome.  We stare into the embers of Libya and see nothing.```

#### Essay Question:

Jot a note to your future college roommate relating a personal experience that reveals something about you.

```In my junior year of high school, I was thinking of what I could over summer.  I
had already applied to do research, but it would be months before I would hear
from them.  In the meantime, I was making other plans.  I desperately wanted to
travel, but I didn't know how I'd be able to.  I found a book on travel in the
library, and buried inside of it was a footnote on traveling by courier flights.

By agreeing to take the manifest of a cargo with you on a flight, courier
companies are able to speed their packages through custom faster than if the
cargo had been sent through as a package. Thus, for sensitive deliveries that
require quick custom clearance, it's necessary to buy an airline ticket.  Rather
than hire couriers to take packages across the world on short notice, the
companies let citizens accompany packages, and offer the ticket as a steeply
discounted incentive.  I realized it was possible to get a round trip flight
from
New York to London for \$50 dollars.  Other flights were free if you were
adventurous enough to leave with hours of notice.

I had an entire travel plan laid out, from keeping my bag permanently packet to
staying with family friends in various cities across the world.  At the last
moment in April, I heard from the research institute, putting a premature end to
my plan.  Traveling is still an option for my next summer, though.```

#### Essay Question:

Discuss an intellectual interest of yours.

```Whether politics is an endlessly various soap opera or the deepest expression of
our culture striving for itself, I'm totally captivated. I spend at least an
hour
a day over the newspaper, and read, from left to right, The New York Times, The
Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal editorial pages.

What captivates me is that politics is the ratio of all disciplines.  Biology
collides with business in Medicare, but the conflict centers on methodology, not
fact.  Making two opposed op-eds talk to each other is like squeezing water out
of rocks.  The dull language of policy is truer than any other because the
allocation of resources seeks to span the breadth experience. Ultimately, the
law
of conservation is the law of the universe, and policy can't deny all of it at
once, nor any of it forever.

My brother and I both read multiple newspapers, and for years we've played
tennis and talked through our opinions of the opinions.  We both love to rattle
off order of magnitude calculations.  An opinion in the Post on falling Chinese
aquifers brought us to calculate that the world's energy supply, including
metabolic, is about 50/50 biomass and oil.  Almost a gigaton of wheat is
harvested annually, nearly a quarter of all agricultural yields, and a gigaton
of
oil is burned, with four times starch's energy density.  Wherever I go to
college, I know I'll miss these conversations.```

#### Essay Question:

Of the activities, interests and experiences listed previously, which is the most meaningful to you, and why?

```I'm deeply interested in biology, so the activity most meaningful to me has been
my research.  I began last June when I was chosen as a summer biomedical
research
intern.  This senior year, I've continued my work through my school's selective
mentorship program.  It allows chosen seniors to leave school three days a week
at 10:00 AM for area labs.  I take the metro to the DC where I continue my work
as a volunteer and leave for home at the end of the work day.

My foray into research began when my chemistry teacher, suggested I apply to the
summer internship program.  I applied, and while waiting for a response, I
became
interested in the work of a researcher who was exploring the intersection of
neuroimaging methods and language.  Luckily, since I had studied neurobiology
and
had read some Noam Chomsky, both scientific and otherwise, he could find a place
for me.

Our project involves comparing differences in regional brain metabolism with EEG
brain wave patterns. Our data suggest that as a person falls deeper into sleep,
brain activity decreases less in certain area of the brain than commonly
supposed.  My role has ranged from analytical work to dividing the brain into
over 200 different anatomical regions for region to region comparison, and the
last half-year has been extremely exciting for me.```

#### Essay Question:

Write about anything important to you that will give us a sense of who you are in 500 words.

```'Tell me the causes, O Muse, why the Queen of heaven drove him, a man marked by
such devotion, to undergo so many perils, to endure so many toils. Can the minds
of heaven bear such malice?' (Aeneid, 1.15)

Water laps at my heels, and I realize with a start that high tide is washing in.
On salt caked soles, I walk back from the foot of the lighthouse, thinking over
a
classical question the Aeneid's opening raises: do the gods inflict suffering
from cruelty or apathy?

The year was 1911.  My grandfather coiled his hundred-year lease into a shallow
pocket of his thick dungarees.  The promised lush acres rolled down to the sandy
shores of the bay on the West rim of the island.  Age twenty, he rooted his
sugar-cane plantation under the bright-eyed lighthouse.  Planting by the bay, he
prepared his crop for the harvest of the fall.

Growing sugar cane is exacting work.  At harvest time, the towering Cane calls
you to the field, barbed and beckoning by serrated leaves.  The field is given
to
flame, cleansing it of dry leaves and releasing caramelized incense as it burns.

The stalks are hacked down by machete and bundled alongside the plantation
tracks.  Later, agents would appear at the junction to receive the burnt
offerings.

My grandfather fathered many children before my father was born.   But between
the first and the last, times changed.  Our family plantation was successful,
but
the tide of globalization eroded our prosperity.  Although our cane was less
expensive than Floridian cane, farm subsidies to Florida cane growers amounted
to
\$618 an acre, and Congress severely restricted sugar importation into the United
States.  As a result, Americans pay four times the international market price
for
sugar, while island growers are denied the right to compete.  Plantations
folded,
and the honorable and ennobling work gave way to the pursuit of tourist dollars.

My grandfather felt that tide lap at his heels as the agents granted less and
less for cane.  Soon, they stopped coming at all, and our plantation came to an
end.  Abel killed Cane and Globalization struck us from tillers into wanderers,
scattering us East of Eden.  We prospered in the United States, becoming
doctors,
teachers, and businessmen, but ultimately, we're still wandering.

Walking on salt-caked feet across the shoals that separate the lighthouse from
the plantation, I gaze over the worn fields.  The plantation lies fallow and its
fields are covered in low shrubs, tall grass, and dead leaves. On a corner of
the
property, our old tractor rests in a furrow, grizzled by tawny rust.  The air is
thin and cool, without a hint of the caramel of burning cane carried on ocean
breeze.  In the distance, a yacht slices across the bay under the bright-eyed
lighthouse's gaze: Carthaginian ruins blurring into Roman foundations.  Now, I
realize that the classical question of whether we've suffered from apathy or
malice doesn't matter.  Now, it's only my academic point.```

#### Essay Question:

Personal statement

```Black Band

E-V-I-L are the letters which label the black band that I wear on my left wrist.
That's rights Evil- bad, mean, harsh- but look at the word again.  Sideways,
front wards, upside down and even backwards, that's right backwards L-I-V-E.

So when seeing my bracelet from the eyes of others, you see the bold possibly
bitchy side of me; the me that takes control of life not allowing others to walk
on, nor over me.  I have to be mean at times: life isnt easy.  Everyday is a
task.  Everyday affects my future, and the future is my life.

My family is not the type with college educations, great jobs and nice cars.  My
family is the type that can't stand their jobs and have only high school
degrees.
My mother gets up everyday for a nine-hour shift in the produce section of a
grocery store.  She leaves when the sun's up and gets home after it has set.
She
walks through the door with a frown on her face and questions in her mind.  'Do
these people hate me so much to hold me back?'  She wants to quit but where will
she go?  How will she support me?  With only a high school degree there isn't
much else she can do.  For her this job is a blessing.  I feel sorry for her and
bad for her.  I don't want to be like her.

Now it's my turn to wear that cap and gown and step off the podium and decide if
I want that high or low road.  What makes this hard?  The people that care
nothing for me, the ones that put me down, or try to at least.  I push everyday
and every hour to hold a smile on my face, to say you can't hold me back.  What
do they see? 'Evil on my left arm, the darkness of my skin and the brightness of
my smile.'

That's what those careless people see, not what I see, nor what my loved ones
see.  I'm here to live out loud, as the saying goes, and to live is what life is
about.  So take another look at what the bracelet says or what it means.  Evil
is
only the front that I put on when it's time to defend myself, but to live is the
word that pushes me to my goals.```

#### Essay Question:

Tell us about who you are. Personal Statement

```EARLY ACTION
Essay One.

Korean-Spanish, that was how my American friends identified me. Unlike Korean,
my birth identity, or Spanish, my cultural identity, I did not know what to make
of my new identification. Korean-Spanish reflected my past and it seemed that
this new identification was my only possible one in America. Somehow my American
friends were fascinated by a 16-year-old Korean boy who came from Spain and
spoke
four languages fluently. Maybe Korean-Spanish was how I really identified
myself.
Or maybe I had already guessed that my new friends would hyphenate my
identification, just like African-American, or Japanese-American. (Pardon me if
I
am wrong, but to me, it seems as though most of the American identifications
include hyphens.)

In America, everyone seemed categorized and hyphenated. I read a number of
passages in the Critical Reading sections of the SAT I that began by citing
articles or books written by different hyphen-identified people. One
introductory
paragraph said: 'This passage is from a book written by a Chinese-American woman
about Chinese-American women writers.' Another stated: 'This passage is from a
book by an African-American woman who is a law professor.' I was confused: 'So,
is the author of the book African or American?' Hyphenation of identities was
perplexing and ambiguous to me. Why cant everyone with an American passport be
just American?

America has always been an eclectic society where much diversity in ethnicity
and race existed. In that sense, America is more than just a country; it is a
smaller representation of the world. However, Spain and Korea have always been,
and still are, countries mostly populated by people of single ethnicities. Spain
and Korea both want to maintain the country among their people and limit
opportunities for foreigners. They have to change.
I was blessed to be able to live in three different countries, on two different
continents. My intercontinental life has given me the ability to perceive the
world from a different point of view. Before I realized, the American culture
found its place in me and naturally became part of me. I no longer am just
Korean-Spanish, but Korean-Spanish-American. As I assimilated the diverse
cultures each continent represented, my international experiences helped me to
understand that underneath, people were very much the same regardless of their
ethnic backgrounds. Maybe that was why I felt that learning many languages
English, Spanish, and French was essential. I believe that foreign people and
cultures can only be truly understood through their own languages. Yet, I hold
onto my native language, Korean, for I know how important my roots are.

Ironically, even though the world is being globalized, ethnicity, race and
religion still cause friction among people. I hope, with my international
experience, I can help make the world change into one in which ethnicity and
race
are of little consequence. I am convinced that through understanding, tolerance,
and acceptance, we can make a difference in this world. It is time to begin a
journey towards the shaping of a truly globalized world, where I hope to act as
an unbreakable bond among different countries.```

#### Essay Question:

```If somebody were to ask me, 'What invention had the greatest impact in your
life?' I would not hesitate to say 'jigsaw puzzles.' The jigsaw puzzles had the
biggest impact on my life. Since the age of four I became the creator of many
things; from Mickey Mouse to Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao, Spain. As I matured,
the number of pieces needed for creation increased. When I was five, the number
of pieces were already exceeding one hundred. While I was struggling with a
thousand identical pre-created puzzle pieces, I learned many things, more than
just the names of my creations.

The puzzles taught me perseverance. Jigsaw puzzles require much concentration
and persistence. Beginning with the edges of the puzzle, piece by piece, I
created my own Mona Lisa and Bayr Alphen of Germany. I endeavored until the last
piece was in its right place for one misplaced piece could ruin the entire
creation. When it seemed that I had come to a dead end, I endured until I found
the piece that would lead me to the correct path again. I thank jigsaw puzzles
for teaching me endurance.

The puzzles also gave me motivation and inspiration. As the number of pieces in
a puzzle grew, I felt more and more inspired to conquer them. As I created many
works of art, I gained confidence, not only in the field of jigsaw puzzles, but
also in other activities. I came to believe that there was a solution to every
problem and did not hesitate to find an answer when struck by a difficult
question.

The jigsaw puzzles, in many ways, shaped me into who I am today. I am now
creating the most difficult and sophisticated jigsaw puzzle ever, the puzzle of
my life. I am molding my own life and building my own shape. I am just about to
place another piece in my puzzle of life, applying to the college where I will be
spending the next four years of my life. I look forward to finding many
interesting pieces I could place in my puzzle of life during the next four years.
I would like to think that the yet-to-be completed puzzle will become a whole,
made up of the colors and shapes of my heritage, my efforts, my accomplishments
and my dreams.```

#### Essay Question:

Minor essay

```When I first went to Spain my knowledge of foreign language was limited to mere
recitations of Alphabets. The first language I had to learn was English because
I
had entered an international school in Barcelona. I began to learn English, a
completely new language, in an ESL class, but I started taking regular courses
after just seven months  I could finally communicate with my peers and teachers
in English. I began to learn Spanish in a class for foreign students and after
one year, I was in a Spanish class with my Spanish friends. After two years of
studying Spanish, I began to learn yet another language, French.

Language, in my opinion, is the most sophisticated and beautiful form of art.
Learning languages has always inspired me; learning new languages has always
surprised me because I found out that each language had its own unique, hidden
appeals. Maybe that is why I was so challenged when learning new languages,
challenged to find those beauties of each language.

It has been fascinating to learn new languages. I will not limit myself to the
languages I have already learned but will continue to pursue my desire to study
even more languages in the future.```

#### Essay Question:

```While I was in Spain, I applied for the Spanish perfection course at "La Escola
Oficial d'idiomas" during ninth grade summer vacation. The course offered at "La
Escola Oficial d'idiomas," a national language school, requires even the native
Spanish speakers to take a qualifying exam. I was qualified and was accepted.
The
course began at nine o'clock in the morning and ended at half past one in the
afternoon, Monday through Friday. At the end of the course, students had to take
and pass a rigorous exam in order to graduate and receive a diploma.
Fortunately,
I passed the exam and graduated from the Spanish perfection course at 'La Escola
Oficial d'idiomas' with the prestigious diploma and certificate.```

#### Essay Question:

What was your most meaningful activity?

```When I was in Spain I volunteered to teach Korean and English to underprivileged
Korean-Spanish children every Sunday at church. It was a small church with about
30 children who could not speak, write or read any Korean or English.
Spanish-Korean children, as a result of an absence of Korean language education,
had forgotten their native language, maybe even their roots. Their parents, who
were too busy to learn Spanish, couldn't even ask the children about their
school
lives. Thus, I offered to stay two hours after the service to teach these
children both Korean and English. I communicated with them in Spanish and
encouraged them to learn Korean and English.

When I began teaching them, I was
surprised at their eagerness, their thirst for knowledge. They wished to learn
their native language and were proud to display their knowledge in front of
their
parents. I helped them to find their own identity, to absorb their own language.
story for them, I had to read each page two or three times until they fully
understood. But after a year they could, though very slowly, read Korean and
English books by themselves. It was gratifying to see that I could be a bridge
between people of different cultural backgrounds through my language skills. It
was pleasing to see that my language skills were not used to only express my
thoughts, but those of others too. Even though they still talked in Spanish with
their peers, they tried to talk to their parents in Korean. It was an experience
that I will never forget.```

#### Essay Question:

Please describe a person of great influence in your life and explain how the person influenced you.

```A person of great influence

She was immobile. She stood up. She took a step. She runs. She, the definition
of perseverance and triumph.
It was in March 1999 when I first met her. I had newly moved to Castelldefels, a
suburban seaside town fifteen kilometres away from Barcelona. It was a nice
house
where you could see the Mediterranean Sea and the beach once you opened the
windows in the living room. About a week later, I went out to the beach at six
oclock in the morning to jog on the beach before school. Smelling the freshness
of the morning breeze, I began jogging towards the southern end of 'La
Playafels'. I saw a distant figure ahead of me. As I got closer to the figure, I
realised that the figure I had seen was a middle-aged woman trying to force
herself stand up from the wheelchair. As I approached her, she stopped and
stared
at my legs. I stopped. I said 'Buenos dmas!' and asked if I could be of any
help.
No reply, just the stare. So I continued my routine and when I looked back, I
saw
her still endeavouring to stand up. I pitied her for trying to achieve what
seemed impossible but at the same time, admired her courage to reach what seemed
unreachable. Every morning she tried to stand up, to be free.

Our continuous 6 o'clock rendezvous at the southern end of 'La Playafels' was
repetitious and unchanging. She, trying to lift herself up from the wheelchair
and I, stopping to greet her. Every night I prayed. I prayed for a miracle.
Every
morning I put my trainers on, wishing that there was a change in the way we met;
that it was the day she bore fruits of her efforts and faith.

It was on a Tuesday in October. I silently went out. The sun was just about to
rise. I began running as usual and could see her at a distance. First, it seemed
that she was with someone because there was a figure behind her wheelchair. But
as I approached her, I realised that the figure I had seen was actually her,
standing up against her wheelchair. Her emaciated legs were trembling. She took
a
step forward and sighed. She let her hands release the handles of the wheelchair
and took another step. She could not balance well and fell. I quickly went over
to her and lifted her. She looked at me. She smiled. She had done it.

Her legs gradually gained the strength she needed to walk. By the end of
February 2000, she was able to jog lightly. As Henry Ford said, 'Whether you
think you can or think you can't, you are right.' Her perseverance and her
strong
will brought her the glory she had always dreamed of. She was triumphant in the
battle against herself. She was right in thinking that one day she could, as
everybody around her did, stand up and freely move around on the beach early in
the morning.

Once she stood up and ran, there was nothing that could stop her. From my house
I could see her running on the beach, through bright sunshine, through rain, and
through fog. Sometimes we ran side by side towards the southern end of 'La
Playafels,' in silence.

In March of that miraculous year, my family and I decided to move to Pedralbes,
where my school was located. Castelldefels was a beautiful town to live in but
it
was difficult to commute to school and work everyday. Though I knew I was going
to miss her, I was happy to leave the town after seeing her achieve her goal.
The
morning I was going to leave Castelldefels, I went out to the beach at six
oclock. As I walked to the place where I had first met her, I could see her
running. She was coming towards me and once she recognised me, she waved. I said
'Buenos Dmas' as usual and she pointed the southern end of 'La Playafels,'
meaning, 'let's run.' I told her that I could not run because I was leaving the
town and that I admired her. I told her that I would never forget her, and that
I
learned much from her. Whether she understood that or not, she began to run
towards the southern end of 'La Playafels' alone. She did not look back nor
waved
at me.
This is what I believe: with perseverance, courage, and faith, there is nothing
a human cannot do. She was the curer of my weak mentality, mentor of my life.
When I first met her, I had felt sorry for her 'vain' efforts to walk, but as I
saw her undaunted will, I came to firmly believe that one day she would be able
to run just like me. If God gave people something special that other organisms
did not receive, it is the ability to make impossible things feasible.

I never met her since then, and a year after, I came to the States. I cannot
physically run with her but she will always be in me, running with me,
motivating
me, eradicating my fears, freeing me from all the wheelchairs in my life.```

#### Essay Question:

Please explain why you have chosen to apply to this school.

```I was lucky to live on two different continents, in three countries. As a
result, I gained an international experience and learned to quickly assimilate
the cultures different people represented. The cultural diversity that exists at
Duke is what attracts me to Duke. I believe that I could perform well, both in
academics and extracurricular activities, by joining the huge pool of diversity
at Duke.

Also, during my 11th grade February break, I visited Duke University and stayed
on the campus for four days with a close friend of mine who was currently a
senior majoring in English. During my stay, I visited many places to get to know
Duke thoroughly; I read books on campus, I dined with Duke University students,
and I attended many classes. While doing so, I felt a strong affection towards
Duke: I imagined myself living on the campus, studying and interacting with
different people. I met many friends of my host and they helped me gather
extremely appealing facts about Duke. I hope I could become a successful member
of the Duke student body.```

#### Essay Question:

If you were given ten dollars, where and how would you spend it?

```Before I realized, I was on a white, feeble horse walking by a man on a mule. I
was wearing a heavy armor with a lance in my hand. We were riding towards the
horizon of endless fields where there were many windmills turning slowly. I
the man next to me, 'excuse me sir, where are we now?' The man said, 'We are
still in La Mancha, don Quixote, but I am getting a little hungry now. Would you
like a potato too mi amo?' A potato? La Mancha? Why is he calling me don
Quixote?
The man gave me a potato and kept on calling me either don Quixote or 'mi amo,'
meaning 'my master' in Spanish. I must be in a play, acting as don Quixote, I
told myself and decided to act well.

A while later we saw a massive windmill in front of us. I remembered that I was
supposed to destroy this windmill, thinking that it is a giant trying to hinder
my path. So I lifted the heavy lance up and courageously charged against it.
'Princess Dulciane, this is for you!' I screamed and pierced the windmill. The
result was that I got utterly destroyed and was defeated by the 'giant.'

When I woke up, I was lying on a bed made of straw. The armor, fortunately, was
taken off from me. I stood up and looked outside the window, where clouds of
smoke were rising. I saw my father dressed up as a priest, my mother as a maid,
and my sister as don Quixote's niece. They were, as planned, burning most of my
books or giving them out to others. While they were busy doing that, I had to
sneak out, wear that heavy armor again, get on my horse and go to Sancho Panza
to
depart again for the unfinished adventure. The priest, the maid and Quixote's
niece was going to deliberately ignore me while I snuck out. But no, they began
ruining the whole play by obstructing my path, and hiding my armor and lance.
What were they doing? They laid me down on the straw bed again and my sister,
Quixotes niece guarded me. I was lost. I did not know what to do next. I was
not
prepared to act impromptu. So I stayed there and waited, pretending I was
asleep.
Well& I really did fall into a deep sleep.

I opened my eyes. Quixote's niece was gone! I looked at the clock across the
room. It was four o'clock in the afternoon. I must have slept a bit too long. It
was time to leave again. I looked around the room to see if the armor was there.
The room had changed since the last time I looked around. In the place of piles
of hay, there was a computer. In the place of farm tools, there was a DVD
player.
In disbelief I got up from what was no longer a straw bed, but a comfortable
bed.
As I got up something fell on my feet. It was a book. I picked it up and looked
at it: Don Quixote de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, \$10.00.```

#### Essay Question:

Please describe a book you have read in the past and explain how it influenced you.

```'La Isla Soqada is all about an adventure I would have wanted to live' - says
Fernando Martmnez Gil, the author of La Isla Soqada (The Dreamed Island). In
fact, that is what everybody who reads the book would think.

I received La Isla Soqada as a gift from one of my friends in Spain when I was
leaving Spain to come to the United States. This book addressed a meaningful
question in me because at first I could not decide whether I agree to the
Juan, the protagonist, has during his journey to find a nonexistent island (or
rather, an island in his dreams) that he believes it to be 'the Heaven of the
Earth.' Gil praises the courage and eagerness of Juan, who embarks on a journey
full of unknown and obscurity. Gil commends Juan's zealous pursuit of his dreams
but at the same time, criticizes Juan for disregarding the reality and living in
his dreams.
While reading this in the airplane heading to the United States, I applied
Juans journey to mine. When I was nine I embarked on a dreamlike journey to
Europe without any knowledge about how Europe would be like. After eight years
of
life in Spain, I decided that Spain was not the destination of my dreams and
left
for the United States. It seems that Gil would reprimand my traveling to so many
different places in pursuit of my dreams.

I, however, hesitated to agree to Gil. I could not decide whether Gil's
criticism was a valid one of the lives of people with dreams. Gil seemed to
censure their lives for impracticality but I have always believed that going on
an adventure to seek one's dreams was worth a try. There was so much to learn,
so
much to experience during the pursuit of the dreams. I know that my departing
from South Korea to go to Europe was not a futile choice for I learned so much
in
Europe, even the things I could not have in Korea. I came to the United States

In the end, after arguing about Gil's criticism with myself, I was convinced
that the people with dreams do not live a vain life in pursuit. They accomplish
their dreams while pursuing them. La Isla Soqada is a book that anybody with
dreams should read because it is never too late to embark on a journey of dreams.```

#### Essay Question:

What was your biggest challenge in life and what did you learn from it?

```A Day in the Life

'Go to the door!  All right, are you ready to jump?'
'Sir, yes, SIR!'
'Speak up!  Are you sure?'

Psychologists say that of all heights, people most fear falling from 11.3 meters
above the ground - about the height of a four-story building.  The Korean army
exploits this fact in its 11.3-meter tall Mak training towers, reasoning that if
a soldier can conquer his or her fear of jumping from that height, he or she can
jump from any.

That my own memories of the Mak tower persist so intensely stands in stark
contrast to my recollections of the other trials of life in the 701 Regiment of
the Special Assault Commando Unit.  Despite its foreboding moniker, the 701
Regiment was less a training ground for elite special forces than it was an
army-operated camp for over-stimulated adolescent boys.  This is not to say
'military life' was devoid of challenges - indeed, survival in the 701 Regiment
involved precisely the kind of tribulations I as a twelve-year-old boy was ill
prepared to contend with.  The food was tasteless and underdone, and access to
television and junk food was strictly prohibited.  The instructors kept us under
constant surveillance, filling our days with drills and exercises.  Today, I
feel
gratitude for the discipline the instructors labored to instill in us, and a
bemused nostalgia for the twelve-year-old boy whose most profound grief arose
from losing two Saturdays' worth of soccer with his friends.  But the emotions
stirred by these recollections remain dulled, muted by the hazy expanse of time.

Not so with the Mak tower.

Early the morning of our second day, we assembled at the base of the tall
mountain overlooking the camp, our first exercise of the day.  The ascent was
steep and our only relief was the cooling breeze blowing down from the summit.
Twenty minutes into the hike, we came to a rocky plateau dug into the side of
the
mountain where the instructors ordered us to halt.  There, we saw a half-dozen
soldiers poised on top of a tall wooden tower.  A cry rang out from the tower,
and without a moment's deliberation, the men leapt from their perches,
restrained
from certain death by only four impossibly-thin ropes attached to a cable.  I
was
terrified.

Our instructors turned to their silent regiment.
'No one has to do it.  If you don't want to do it, you can leave.'

Several of my fellows immediately fell out of the group and headed back to camp.
My fear, bolstered by reason, urged me to go with them, but a peculiar resolve
compelled me to stay.  Even now, I struggle to account for this alien resolve
that carried me up the four flights of wooden stairs and steadied my hands as I
fastened the safety gear around me.  I do not think it was bravery, for I was
very much afraid, and had I perceived a choice in the matter, I may not have
been
able to do it.  Rather, I think it was a sense of purpose that guided me.

Five years have passed since the afternoon I stood atop the Mak tower, but to
this day I can feel the echoes of the adrenaline that coursed through my veins
as
I stepped to the edge of the precipice, and the mere recall of the ground 11.3
meters and some unfathomable distance below still shoots an icy jangliness
through my shoulders and into the back of my skull.  The wind blew fiercely as I
readied myself, drowning out the barking of the drill instructor, pressing me
back into the security of the tower's bulwarks.  A ripple of indecision rolled
through me and then in an instant, was gone, carried away in the slipstream.
With my eyes wide and fixed on the horizon, I pushed off.

The beginnings of change for me occurred that afternoon on the mountain.  Though
my friends watching from below would later insist that I passed only through
open
air, moments after I leapt, I felt myself crossing a threshold.  Hurtling toward
the earth, strapped into a confining safety vest, I tasted a kind of freedom
previously unknown to me, the freedom of a world unbounded by ones fears.  The
process of disentangling myself from them has been gradual.  Five years later, I
am still all too often distanced from life by a wall of my anxieties.  But the
freedom I came to know just a little that afternoon provided me a glimpse of the
riches that lie behind it.```