I love watching random things dance. I love how marble twists through the pulsating veins and rippling muscles of Michelangelo’s David. I love how billions of beautiful, boisterous stars silently burst in space like cosmic fireworks. I love how lights, voices, and ideas churn in big cities like tornados made of lottery tickets—fusing infinite collisions of cultural energy into profitable, stimulating, unique experiences.
But my favorite dancer is my right thumb. You should see it glide across my phone on a Friday night.
My great-grandfather, Ross Barnett, was Mississippi’s infamous governor amid the Civil Rights Movement; my parents lived on George W. Bush’s block for several years; and I myself live in the nationally infamous town of Highland Park, Dallas, Texas. With all due respect to my background, I personally am quite different than what it says about me, so when I danced beyond the socially constructed walls of this southern suburban Truman Show—ostracizing myself in the process—an iPhone became my portal to the rest of the world.
Upon excessive portal penetration, I realized this: My phone was a Middle Eastern civilian, and my oily thumb was the oil-loving NSA. Indeed, I witnessed countless drone strikes on something that peacefully lived on my upper right thigh. This bloodthirsty, Apple-hungry thumb went on any Safari trip it wanted—exploring articles about art (in every form), politics, cultures, religions, history, trivia, science, philosophy, and everything else our interconnected global matrix offers.
For years, my Safari addiction would burn, burn, burn through nights like scorching Ramen noodles in cold hands. It drove me so mad that I ended up applying to Baylor University while intoxicated; rather, I was “under the influence” of Matt Damon.
“Baylor is perfect,” I thought. “You’ll be in a stellar astrophysics program; you’ll receive a formidable scholarship; your brother is the head social chair and head rush chair of its ‘top fraternity’; you’ll make its men’s soccer team; you’ll live 90 minutes from home; you’ll uniquely shine as an ex-conservative, ex-Presbyterian progressive humanist who offers different perspectives but also listens to others; you’ll still have Radiohead blasting in your ears; you’ll still move to Madrid afterwards; and, with your tap-dancing thumb and its scintillating partner, you’ll be like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. You’ll have time for your real, personalized education.”
Indeed, I was insane—as manifested by my Algebra 2 scores bouncing from 80 to 55 to 98 to 99 (grades being consistently precise barometers of my mental health)—but also a very sane social commentator, thanks to the likes of Pink Floyd, Stanley Kubrick, and American Beauty.
So I made a blog.
At the end of a placid debut year, it garnered 20,000 views. But, boasting over 210,000 views in the following eight months, “neorenaissanceman.com” is gradually finding its luck.
The paralyzing desires I, despite my so-called existential insignificance, feel to influence humans—to help them dance with art, film, music, social issues, modern life, perspective, consciousness, the universe, etc.—are oozing into human heads from over 160 countries. These results helped me realize my dreams. But I remain an amateur.
And now an aspiring freelance author, blogger, journalist, movie critic, & even entrepreneur, I need another catalyst for my lofty dreams: a proper liberal arts education. Having dropped astrophysics, long worn the “Undeclared” nametag, and reluctantly switched to a double major in history & English, I accept that Baylor is tailored towards aspiring businessmen, scientists, and engineers.
I love my Baylor friends, but they play poker, and I am a joker. I am a card whose best fits lies elsewhere. I hate to briefly boast, but perhaps my perfect score on the ACT also vindicates this.
My explicit objectives are to live in a dynamic city, befriend its intellectually curious people, and wholeheartedly immerse myself in a very prestigious liberal arts environment. I would love to major in English, creative writing, history, art history, or even general studies. I prefer English, but it’s not like I won’t already have teachers in Hemingway, Poe, J.D. Salinger, James Joyce, and—my favorite—David Foster Wallace.
No longer slaves of our own, my thumb and I are ready to conjure new portals for the world. All we need is one little passport; let us know if you love watching random things dance.
“I Love Watching Random Things Dance” was my final Common Application essay after many revisions from late February through March (the prompt: “Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve”). It certainly provides enough free entertainment, anecdotal information, and purpose of why I write (and blog) for you readers to see—so I figured I’d post it! Besides, you deserve to experience what I sacrificed working on this blog for. Hope you liked it!
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