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a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here. Describe something vestigial (real or imagined) and provide an explanation for its existence.In French, there is no difference between “conscience” and “consciousness.” In Japanese, there is a word that specifically refers to the splittable wooden chopsticks you get at restaurants.Something that is offered, presented, or given as a gift. Unusual presents, accidental presents, metaphorical presents, re-gifted presents, etc.—pick any present you have ever received and invent a past for it.
The German word “fremdschämen” encapsulates the feeling you get when you’re embarrassed on behalf of someone else.
All of these require explanation in order to properly communicate their meaning, and are, to varying degrees, untranslatable. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Create your own group of threes, and describe why and how they fit together.
We receive several hundred responses, many of which are eloquent, intriguing, or downright wacky.
As you can see from the attributions, the questions below were inspired by submissions from UChicago students and alumni.
What types of courses would be taught at this site?
What cultural experiences await students who study there? I liked some of the ones from previous years more than those made newly available for my year.Tell us the story of a street, path, road—real or imagined or metaphorical.University of Chicago alumna and renowned author/critic Susan Sontag said, “The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.” We all have heard serious questions, absurd questions, and seriously absurd questions, some of which cannot be answered without obliterating the very question. Superstring theory has revolutionized speculation about the physical world by suggesting that strings play a pivotal role in the universe.Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall?We’ve bought it, but it didn’t stop us from wondering about other things, like absurd eating contests, impulse buys, excess, unimagined uses for mustard, storage, preservatives, notions of bigness…and dozens of other ideas both silly and serious.Susan Sontag, AB’51, wrote that “[s]ilence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” Write about an issue or a situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend.The Aesthetics of Silence, 1967.“…I [was] eager to escape backward again, to be off to invent a past for the present.” —The Rose Rabbi by Daniel Stern Present: pres·ent 1.Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis (either real or imagined).PS: A picture is worth a thousand words.“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” –Oscar Wilde. Heisenberg claims that you cannot know both the position and momentum of an electron with total certainty.Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why it cannot (or should not) be translated from its original language. The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom.Human eyes have color receptors for three colors (red, green, and blue); the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain.