"Circuit Boards" Supplemental Essay
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The second essay has three options this year. Click here to see all three options. Below, we've posted a few students' responses to the second option: Whether you've built circuit boards or written slam poetry, created a community event or designed mixed media installations, tell us: What have you designed, invented, engineered, or produced? Or what do you hope to?
Donovan Menard '23
Mountain Lakes, NJ
I briefly mentioned this in the additional information section, but I'd like to elaborate more on the talk show I created. It's called the Mustard Show, mainly because it heavily features mustard, as the name suggests. My friends and I film an episode every 1-2 months for each edition of our school's multimedia newspaper. For each one, we set up the show in a different inconvenient outdoor location and invite a couple guests, usually students, to discuss topics including theater, student government, journalism, exotic variants of mustard, and more. It's meant to be a satirical show that has a bit of a surreal element to it, but there have also been moments where we've discussed serious issues that I wanted to reach my audience. The show became very well received among the students, and what mattered most to me was that it could make people laugh and smile, which makes me want to continue the Mustard Show. Making this show has also developed my interest in using unconventional types of media to inform people on topics that they might otherwise not interest them. Political apathy is one of the biggest problems among young people today, and it would help to get people interested in political and environmental issues by explaining them from a more novel and engaging platform. Of course, I would also sprinkle in some humor to brighten things up. I think Tufts would be a fantastic place for me to allow this passion to develop into something more.
August Moore '21
Chapel Hill, NC
When people talk about building something, creating it, they most often mean something physical. Engineers, architects, and laborers, these are the professions that I think of as making things. I've never been much of a builder, I lack that particular understanding of the world that is required to envision what you will build, and have never been coordinated enough to make much of anything with my hands, but I can create. What I have made is not something you can hold or touch, it spans no gaps and holds no weight, and I can't even claim to have laid a single finger on its construction. My creation is a poem, or rather, poems. Series of letters symbolic of sounds strung together to make words, which are in turn collected into lines and stanzas, pieces of a whole. My poems cannot be touched, but they can touch you; though they won't form a bridge, they can cross a divide; and while you'll never be able to weigh them on a scale, the weight of the ideas they hold can be felt the moment you read them. So I may not be an engineer or an architect or a laborer, but I am a creator. I craft words into meaning, forge lines into rhymes, and sculpt imaginations. So even if I can't hold what I make, I can watch it take shape and see its impact on the world.
Yufeng (Eric) Wu ’21
In a summer design course, I pitched my idea for a glow-in-the-dark tennis court and set off to build a model. After selecting the material, I sawed, I sketched, and I painted. I excitedly tossed the brush into bucket, splashing water everywhere, and hastily snatched the Super Glue with my left hand, shaking the entire table.
I enjoy how objects feel in my hands because I can imbue my spirit into my creations just like an artist's signature on his work. As I tried to place the 2-millimeter-wide wood stick onto the model, I could sense my mental strength and hands' subtle motion converging into the model court.
I once asked Mr. Boone, my engineering teacher, whether my rough edges needed to be level. To my surprise, he said, "The roughness of the edge gives me a sense of intentional randomness, which I regard as the beauty of your work."
The practicality and the artistic elements in modeling are equally important. I had been hesitant to model my tennis court with sophisticated computer programs because they diminish the artistic elements involved with the construction. While building engineering projects, I would envision myself creating not just a robust model with precise parameters but also a beautiful work of art. While strict measurements allow us to replicate reliable products, the aesthetic appeal makes consumers want to engage with the products.
The careful composition of chemicals allows my court to glow in the dark, but people admire the glow for its beauty.