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Jul 7th 2008

With only a few more weeks to go, this week's prompt is being brought to us by Single Tear. Thanks, M’lady!



With regards to Pam recently being accepted into college, write her or any other Office character's college application essay.

Format: Writing

This is a writing challenge.


  • Single Tear has kindly upped the word limit to 350 words.

Judging Criteria

1) Overall impact
2) True to characters
3) Appropriate to challenge prompt
4) Creativity

Challenge Tips

Be creative!

Essay Tips: If you're applying to certain colleges, your essay often plays a very important role. Whether you're writing an autobiographical statement or an essay on a specific theme, take the opportunity to express your individuality in a way that sets you apart from other applicants.


  • Deadline for submitting entry #6 is 10 pm EST on Sunday, July 13.
  • Voting for challenge #6 begins Monday, July 14.
  • This thread is for challenge topic and entries only; please go to the general contest thread for questions/discussion.
  • Please remember to count the words in your entry. It is not fair for the CPC to allow some people to break the limit while others spend hours shaving perfectly wonderful lines from their entries.
  • No editing allowed on entries once submitted. Double-check your entry in the general contest thread before posting it in this thread.
  • Please review contest description for other details.

Good Luck, everyone! May your hats fly as high as your dreams!

Jul 9th 2008

"It's Business Time" by Ryan Howard

All of my life, I've felt like the little brother. The fourth Stooge. The third Amigo. But I’ve always excelled at business, where I’m my own man. Owning my own business is my dream, and an MBA from your illustrious program will further that goal.

There was a men's clothing store in town where I grew up. I was in awe of the owner. Always wearing black, his face bearded, he remains my picture of the successful businessman. The cash register bell would constantly ring as he kept making sales. I know that, given your MBA and my work ethic, I can be the most effective salesman—and businessman—the country has ever seen.

I honed my work ethic in college. As head of the Party Planning Team for my fraternity, I was in charge of our charitable events. For example, I organized and hosted a charity string cheese eating contest. After winning, I was honored to present $2,500 to a local homeless man. He was a guitarist in the 60s, but couldn’t even afford a refrigerator! He was so thankful he called me “Ace:” an ace, the highest card.

Even had the contest presented challenges, I have learned to deal with adversity with help from my mentor, who played in the Negro Leagues. He taught me that you can handle anything if it helps you get your dream job, whether that’s playing baseball or running a website.

Though I love Scranton, I would like to move to New York City one day. It’s the most exciting city in the world. My favorite movie is The Secret of My Success, where a plucky kid from the Midwest, like me, moves to New York and ends up taking over a large corporation. Much like Michael J. Fox, I can work my way to the top, but a degree from your school is a vital step.

Help me achieve my dream: I have most of the tools I need, but an MBA will get me out of Scranton’s shadows and into New York’s light.

Jul 10th 2008

Have you experienced a moment of epiphany, as if your eyes were opened to something you were previously blind to? Describe this moment and your percepts about it.

I am pleased to answer that I, Michael Gary Scott, have had more epiphanys than anyone I know. I will be sitting, reading the Wall Street Journal or a classic novel and Wham! A totally original thought will come to me. Something I am certain that no one has ever thought of before. I tell people my idea and they look at me with wonder. Like my unique approach to cooking morning bacon. And my patent-pending pet sock.

My latest epiphany has brought me here, and I will relay it to you now forthwith. I am a catch. I am good looking. I am kind to animals. I am a successful Regional Manager of a large paper company. I am hilarious. And yet… I am single. I have no lovely lady to share “me” with. And why? Wham! It came. (That is what she said.) I do not possess a college degree. I never got the pigskin. Always, I have known that I wanted to be a dad. For that to happen I first need a girlfriend who loves me for me, and that type of girl is apparently looking for a college graduate. So that is why I am applying for admission to Duke University, as well as several other quality colleges, because I feel I belong in an institution.

If accepted, I would bring the university all my talents and determination to succeed. As you can see, I am highly motivated. I plan to be very involved in extracurricular activities to further develop my areas of interest in magic and drama (specifically improvisation) and of course, join a fraternity. Toga!

Henceforth, I hope you see that I am a Duke man and though older than most undergraduate applicants, eager to expand my horizons. In the words of Mr. John Wayne, “Life is tough… but it's tougher when you’re stupid,” and who am I to argue with your college founder?

Jul 10th 2008

You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217. (University of Pennsylvania)

An excerpt from: “Singing My Way to the Top: How One Man Scaled Everest, Sailed Around the World, and Harmonized His Way Through Life”

…sunset over the Pacific, leaning back in my lounge chair on the deck of Harmony, my personal yacht, I reflected back on the amazing events that had transpired to lead me to this point. I had never imagined that going to college at the University of Pennsylvania would have such a drastic effect on my life. Had I not met Chas in the dorms, we would never have formed “Sons of Pitches,” the first contemporary acapella group to win multiple Grammys. And if we hadn’t been so successful my father would never have stopped calling me a pansy and demanding that I grow a pair. Well grow this, Dad!

Setting down my mai tai, I sighed in exasperation. Even now, Dad wants to ruin my moments of relaxation. It seems as if nothing has changed since high school. It’s just like that time I kept falling asleep in Ms. Pauly’s math class and he kept telling me that I needed to straighten myself out and ‘be serious’. It was right after lunch! Besides, nobody needs math anyway. That’s why Dad always has our accountants take care of everything. All the nerdy people have to find careers somewhere, right?

“Honey, are you ready to go to sleep? You need your rest, what with the speed boat competition tomorrow,” said Yasmine. She had appeared on deck wearing only a silk robe. I sat up, worried. There was a chill in the air and I could tell that she was cold.

“I’ll be right in,” I yelled. What a lucky guy, I thought. Who could have predicted that I, Andrew Bernard, would end up married to Yasmine Bleeth? And that most supermodels actually have preferences for musicians? Well, actually, musicians with gold medals. I took a year off from touring to train and compete in the 2000 summer Olympics, winning the gold in beach volleyball…

Jul 10th 2008

A^2 + B^2 = C^2

As I'm sure a bright individual such as yourself knows, the above equation is the Pythagorean Theorem. I learned it several years ago in math class. Normally it relates to triangles or something, but to me it stands for something else, namely: Andy + Bernard = Cornell.

I've always had my heart set on Cornell University, and in many ways I think it's my destiny. The fourteenth word I ever said was 'one,' which is an important part of Cornell, since without 'one,' Cornell would just be 'Crll.' After my recent campus visit, I have no doubt that Cornell is the one for me.

I've always taken education seriously, which is apparent from looking at my history. Not so much by looking at my grades or standardized test scores, obviously, but rather through other, less quantifiable ways. Unfortunately I don't have time to go into these here.

When not in the classroom, two of my favorite activities are Frisbee and golf. I passionately believe that if there was some hybrid sport that combined Frisbee and golf, Gobee it might be called, that that would be the perfect sport. Unless you disagree, in which case I could see your point and I would then reconsider my position. No doubt I would eventually be swayed by your logic, and after rethinking things I too think that it wouldn't be the perfect sport, but it would be good to a lesser degree, similar to what you think. Like they say, great minds think alike!

Additionally, I enjoy singing whenever I get a chance. You'll find enclosed a tape of me singing "Cornell Victorious" and the "New Cornell Fight Song." Feel free to make copies for your friends!

As you can tell, I have high hopes for attending Cornell next fall. But if for some inconceivable reason that doesn't happen, I hope you'll save a spot for me in next year's admission class to Columbia University. To be honest, it's not my first choice, but at least it's still a C-word university in New York, right? Ogay Ionslay!

Jul 10th 2008 edited

Note from the CPC: Unfortunately this entry is illegible for voting because the post was edited. If you already cast a vote for this entry, please submit an alternate vote to the CPC.

Topic: If you could be living anywhere you wanted, where would it be?

Name: Creed Bratton Age: 30 in November

If I could be living anywhere I wanted, it would be in a house. Houses are truly wonderful things. I remember one fine night in 1917. I was sleeping under the Transylvanian stars with my wife Norreen, or maybe her name was Dorreen. No it was Norreen. I was confused because we were married around the same time I married Dory too. But anyway, we were sleeping under the stars in a field in Transylvania and I was thinking, “Chinese words,” which in English means, “I wish I were sleeping in a house right now.” And just as these thoughts entered my head, I suddenly felt worried. This could have been because at this point in my life I had no job, no home, no money, or structure of any kind. No wait that wasn’t it. I was worried because I couldn’t for the life of me remember my own name. That was probably because of the marijuana. But, rest assured Crayon Brateed has been clean for 64 years. Or is it Crade Beedon? Oh dear, this happens from time to time.
I am reminded of another experience in my life. I had been spending some time in Hong Kong. A large Fisherman was damned near cutting my right hand off for biting into one of his raw cat fish and getting blood all over the fish stand, when I saw a very fat man take a key out of his back pack and use it to open the door of his home in the distance. I was so envious. I was so envious that I ended up spending a great deal of time sleeping under his back porch. I also had sex with his wife. In the rain.
Yes indeed, a house is a very special thing. Unfortunately I have a profound phobia of anything with four walls. I'vehad it since I was a boy. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have for toes. A man's home should never have as many walls as he has toes. That's not the way the lord intended it after all. It’s alright during the day but at night… No I prefer my current living situation. It has two walls, and a refrigerator. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Jul 10th 2008

Morehouse College: Who do you feel has served as the strongest Afro-American role model in this century and why?

I believe the strongest Afro-American role model in this century has been one fly mamma jamma named Mr. Sidney Poitier. I was amazed at the way he was able to come into those inner city white kid’s lives in To Sir with Love. The way he changed how they viewed their school and themselves was truly inspiring, which is the reason why I am applying to this school.

You might be thinking, “What is this crazy cracker doing applying to a predenominationally black school?” The answer is simple. Every morning, I look in the mirror and ask myself, “What can you do to change the world, Michael?” and last night while watching To Sir with Love, it hit me. I could be the Sidney to your high school, except it’s a college. I can come in as these kid’s equal and show them that there is a better life out there for them. I will show them that there is a world besides this little gang banging bubble they live in.

I hope to come in and soak in all the knowledge that is provided by the professors but also provide some knowledge for the other students. I plan to join a fraternity where instant friendships are made. I am excited to learn some of the dances that the fraternity brothers do. There is lots of stomping, slapping and yelling. I think I can contribute to this by making their dances much smoother. I would take out all the slapping of the legs, though. Why do they do all the slapping? That looks like it hurts.

By accepting me into your college, you will allow me to follow my dream of making the world a better place. In the future, when other students are answering their college application essay question of “Who do you feel has served as the strongest Afro-American role model in this century and why?”, they will respond by writing about Michael Gary Scott.

Jul 11th 2008

University of Scranton: What is your approach to life? Reveal your life philosophy, in 350 words or less.

The Slightly-Examined Life by James Halpert

I’m not a person that spends a lot of my time thinking about my life philosophy. But if forced to describe it, I would say it’s like this: Wherever you go, there you are. Okay, I stole that from my Grandpa Bert, but it’s definitely applicable to the way I approach life. I’m a very flexible person who tries to find humor in every situation; to me, there is no reason not to laugh everyday. Or at least make someone else laugh.

But in addition to my laid-back attitude, I also have a competitive streak. I’ve played basketball since I can remember, and was the captain of our varsity team this year. Winning is important to me, even in surprising ways. For example, we hold a fundraiser every year for our basketball program and for the last three years, I’ve been the top fundraiser, selling more magazine subscriptions than anyone else. Maybe I’ll have long and successful career in selling paper, right? Or not…I’d rather be a sportswriter. I love all sports, not just basketball, because of how much I like the competitive aspect of it. And since I know I’m not good enough to play sports professionally, I might as well pick a career that lets me be part of the action somehow.

I am also a dedicated student, because I think performance in the classroom is just as importance as performance on the basketball court or football field. I take my studies seriously (but still like to make my teachers and fellow students laugh), and you can see that in my transcript, attached to this application.

So that’s me, James Halpert, in a brief essay. I’m really excited to attend U of Scranton in the fall and hope that you see in me the type of student you’re looking for.

Jul 12th 2008

Pam’s Portfolio can be found here

What piece of your own art most resembles you?

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have had the pleasure of pursuing my art for several years now. I began by just doodling and sketching at work. Now it has become a passion and pastime for me.

The photographs of the cats belong to a friend of mine, Angela and now hang in her living room (the pictures hang there, not the cats).
There are also copies of those same pictures at a nearby bed and breakfast at “Shrute Farms – Where the beets are Phat!”
My former coworker, Toby, owns the watercolor piece with the two boats. He purchased it on the internet from Costa Rica, where he now resides – he also paid extra to cover shipping costs and at the same time requested a “self-portrait (clothing optional)”. So my artwork has now become global, and I am getting global requests.
The other pieces are hanging either at my boyfriends house or my mother’s house. I don’t hang any of them at my own house because I feel that would just be conceited.

As far as what piece of art that I created am I lost like? I am like the coffee mug that sits alone on the table. It is warm and inviting and says to the viewer, “Come closer and see what’s inside me. I am much more than just clay and water.”

Enjoy my art. And please accept me into your art college today!


Pam Beesley, Artist

(*All the artwork is my own. They are not from a website or internet.)

Jul 13th 2008

my name is dwight k. schrute and i am interested in attending your university on full scholarship.

question: do i know that your university is not in the business of handing out full scholarships to just any joe blow off of the street?

answer: that is a ridiculous question. of course i know this and, of course, i am prepared to demonstrate the unique nature of the opportunity that i am presenting you.

while i could write an essay about any topic you might choose such as world peace or global warming, and the futile pursuit of either, instead i offer you a much clearer picture of my thought processes and just what i am capable of.

i have recently negotiated a business transaction with a graduate of your university, mr. andrew bernard. ever heard of him?

with superior business acumen and a hyper-developed wolf-like sense of weakness in an opponent, i soon had mr. bernard negotiated into a position from which there was no escape. this transaction yielded a net profit for me of $5,500.00 and a realization that your university may be experiencing a run of less than qualified applicants.

i see, here, a situation which may be mutually beneficial. you would get to point to a more-successful alumni at dunder-mifflin scranton. i would get to suppliment my considerable real-world business knowledge with a piece of paper for the wall of my office. or my desk drawer.

you may find out all you need to know about me at simply, log in as "masterbeeter8" when prompted and use the password "monkey." you will then find yourself face to face with an exact, fully-functioning copy of mr. dwight k. schrute. please note, to give you a more realistic picture, i have temporarily turned off the ability to fly. for transportation, you may use the camaro in the barn.

allowing you this sort of unlimited access to my parallel existence, i ask only two things. please do not change any of my settings and please do not try to contact andrea.

Jul 13th 2008

Heaven Knows you want me at your school.

Creed Bratton here. If I were to make a set of Midnight Confessions, it would be that I love to learn. Maybe this is one of those Things I Should Have Said years ago, but I was otherwise busy with Bella Linda. We were really Two Divided By Love, if you know what I mean. School just had to wait. The point is, I knew this was something that I wanted to do Sooner or Later.

I consider myself a fairly dependable person. I work at a paper company in the department of Quality Assurance, and no one has ever said to me "Where Were You When I Needed You?" At least to my face, anyway. In my free time, I play my guitar, grow organic foods in Toronto, and do freelance work for the government. I'm Lovin' Things as they are, but feel that I need something more in my life. Baby, Hold On - I think it's education that I need.

While Temptation Eyes try to convince me to do nothing, I feel like I have to be The Runaway and head in the direction of a quality education at your school. I know it won't be easy - The River Is Wide, but I feel that I'm ready to cross it. So Come On And Say It - you're willing to admit me. I don't think I can Wait A Million Years to start learning again. In short, I know with your help, I'll be Glory Bound.

Jul 13th 2008

My Active Lifestyle

Oscar Martinez

While I have excelled in my high school academics, the experiences I value most have been my extracurricular activities. These diverse opportunities have enriched my life and helped me explore who I truly am.

One of my favorite school clubs is Drama Club. I initially joined just to meet girls but quickly took a liking to the thrill of live performance. I had roles in several stage productions, including "Some Like It Hot" and "West Side Story" and have considered pursuing a career in musical theater.

I became interested in writing while working on the school newspaper. I wrote a monthly column reviewing classic literature and local art exhibits. I've always appreciated the finer things in life, and I enjoy sharing that appreciation with others. Our editor also had me writing articles about the Spanish Club and our soccer team, though I wasn't as fond of that. Overall, my work with the school paper was fulfilling, and I could see myself someday working in the paper business.

Other clubs experiences were less inspiring but still helped me learn more about myself. For example, I joined the Mathletes because I've always been good with numbers. However, when I thought about a future spent crunching numbers in some cubicle, I was bored to tears. I also spent some time on the Peer Mediation Board where I helped resolve conflicts between fellow students. From that experience I learned that I am tolerant and diplomatic, and I prefer to surround myself with others who are too.

Perhaps my most rewarding activity was mentoring a mentally handicapped boy. He spent most of his time making inappropriate jokes and stuffing his mouth with M&M's, but I helped him to become more accepted by the other kids. He really looked up to me, and it felt good to make a difference in somebody's life.

In conclusion, I feel that my extracurricular activities have helped me to examine myself and shape my future. An education from this university will help me achieve all of my goals and reach my full potential.

Jul 13th 2008

What Could Have Been, If This Letter Were Not Lost In The Mail. (And Stolen.)

I must say, I've put off this essay as long as possible. It is not that it is a hard question, but that it is so deceptively simple. Where does one start in describing themselves? How far back do I go? Which events in my life best exemplify who I am? However, in the end, I've decided to forgo most of that. Instead I feel what best describes me is where I would like to see my life go.

As the son of a preacher and a teacher, my parents have always valued education. My father was the first African American city counselor here and my mother runs the local Boys & Girls Club. They instilled a passion in me to seek and find truth, but to also share it with others. In such an environment, I grew up loving books, especially if they were about biology or philosophy.

That is why it was not a surprise to my parents when I decided to become a doctor. I do not know the speciality I wish to pursue, but I have always been intrigued with the brain. It is such an amazing organ that we know so little about. I really hope that through my studies I can work on the cutting edge of research.

Using my medical degree, I'd also like to travel to Africa and help the poor. It is important to me that I not only use my medical knowledge in my local community, but globally. Hopefully, during my undergraduate studies I can help organize fellow students to assist the less fortunate around the world.

So, while I'm not positive if I have described myself perfectly, I hope I have shown the type of person I strive be. One who strives for knowledge, not only to enrich my own life, but to also help others.

A Future Nittany Lion,
Creed Bratton

Jul 13th 2008

FROM: to on Fri 07/11/08 3:19 PM:

Hey Bob! How are you? Sorry to bother you with this right before the weekend but it seemed like something you might want to know about. See attached. It’s some guy’s application we received today. The whole thing’s disturbing but here’s where it gets really weird…

…and due to those experiences described above, that is how my deceased grandfather taught me how to cry, how to laugh, how to live and how to defend myself against wild boar.

The End

P.S. If I am correct (and I am) you’re now thinking that you have just read the best college essay you’ve ever read and you’re ready to accept me to your college with a full scholarship. FALSE! I am a professional criminal who will destroy your college from the inside out using the very tools that this college will have given me. Your college is dead and so are you. All because of your flimsy admitting practices.

P.P.S. Relax. You’re not really dead. This has been a test and you failed miserably.

My name is Dwight K. Schrute, former Lackawanna County Volunteer Sheriff's deputy and co-assistant to the assistant regional manager of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. Next time, I advise you to perform background checks on all prospective students before accepting them into your school. Also, try interrogating them first. I advise you to do this on paper before they ever set foot in your office. Ask them to tell you about their childhood or describe their long term goals. Get them to really open up about themselves that way you can weed out all of the crazies. Had I been an actual crazy person, you’d be in for a world of hurt right now and no amount of martial art skills could help you. Except the amount that I have, which is considerable. Consider yourself lucky and consider yourself warned. That is all.

Real nutcase if you ask me. Thought maybe you’d want to keep an eye on him.


Thomas C. Bratton
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Jul 13th 2008

I am not shy about admitting that I am in this for the money. I know that sounds crass. I should be of a higher minded ideal such as philanthropy and the betterment of mankind. That, however, is exactly my aim and the goal I will be aided in achieving with an education from Ivyleague University. I am in it for the money because I am of little use to my fellow citizens until I make full productive use of my faculties and talents in a way that sates my personal ambitions while contributing to the turning of the gears of industry and capital growth.

At a turning point in my secondary education I was confronted with a choice. Burdened with a full course load of advanced study subjects and an extracurricular schedule of athletic and creative pursuits, a childhood friend with whom I'd studied Basic Physical Principals at Prodigies Summer Camp contacted me with a business proposition. He sought to distribute a product that was in high demand. Eager to tackle a pet project in the field of economics and supply chain dynamics, I outlined a business plan that accounted for required capital input, logistical management and contingency planning. Suffice to say that when I learned my friend’s "in-demand product" was of a narcotic nature I withdrew my support but not my friendship as I am a principled believer in the law but also a loyal friend.

My friend employed my advice on his own and went on to become the leading West Coast distributor of Red Devil Green (a spin on a generic marketing suggestion I'd conceived) and a minority owner in the largest distributorship of adult films in the world. He sent me a parcel that arrived today in thanks for my assistance. At this writing I have just opened that parcel and admittedly have sampled a bit of my friend's wares.

Despite this dalliance, I am more convinced than ever that my ambition, drive and dedication to capital pursuits will make me the most focused student you've known. I shan't be deterred.

Jul 13th 2008

Dear Registrar:

Please consider this letter an application to the University of Scranton's Continuing Education program. My goal is to earn an Associates degree in Business so I can help my husband, Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration, run his business. As a member of the greater Scranton community, I'm sure you've heard of Bob Vance and Vance Refrigeration. After all, Vance Refrigeration is the third highest producer of refrigerators and freezers in Lackawanna County.

Currently I am working in Sales for the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin, a publicly run office supply company with headquarters in New York City. I have been very successful in this position, as I have ranked no worse than fifth place in branch sales every year I have been with the company. But while I enjoy my job and most of my co-workers, I am looking to make a career change. Once I earn my Associates degree from your fine institution, I will retire from Dunder-Mifflin to become the office manager and co-owner of Vance Refrigeration along side my husband Bob Vance, the founder of Vance Refrigeration.

Thank you for taking the time to review my credentials. If you accept me into your program, you will be doing a local company a great service. I will thank you, and Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration will thank you.


Phyllis Vance

Jul 13th 2008

Tell us why you are pursuing a college degree, and what goals you have after you complete your education.

I am pursuing a degree so that I can get a decent paying job. I would like to be able to afford to own a house with a jacuzzi tub, a relatively decent car and some children. My goal after college is to get a job with as much salary as possible for as little responsibility as possible so I can work until my hopefully early retirement. That said, why do you even require an essay submission? We both know you have an African American quota to reach. Besides that, this is a community college. Do you turn anyone down? Are you even going to read this? I doubt it. See you in the fall.

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