Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College

Transfer Applicant Writing Supplement

Essay Length and Formatting

Two essays are required. Each essay should be 500–1000 words in length (about two to four pages). Show us how you think, what you think about, and your personality. Please do check for grammar, spelling, and word usage. You may upload your essays below (PDF or Word format) or use the text boxes provided. If you decide to upload, please put both essays in one document. If you decide to use the below form to write your essay, your work will be stored in your browser's memory. This means that if you log off before completing your essay, your work should reappear when you log back in. That said, we do recommend that you keep a copy of your draft on your computer as a precaution.

Why Here, Why Now?

What goals, ambitions, and motivations have led you to apply for admission to Bard College at Simon's Rock? Are there particular experiences, either academic or personal, that have contributed to your desire to transfer? How does the particular kind of education and community that Simon's Rock offers fit your own desires for intellectual and personal growth? How will your presence affect the academic and social environments at Simon's Rock? (500 to 1000 words)

 

Critical Analysis

W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois [1868–1963] was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and author. Born in Great Barrington, where Simon's Rock is located, Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. Du Bois published The Souls of Black Folk in 1903, was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, and edited its monthly magazine, The Crisis.

For the Critical Analysis essay, choose one of the following options:

1. Write a 500-1000 word essay interpreting the following excerpt and discussing its implications for education, inclusion, and democratic society.

“[T]he hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing. It leads some of the best of the critics to unfortunate silence and paralysis of effort, and others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners. Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,— criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led,—this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society.”

2. In the following excerpt, Du Bois describes the experience of African Americans pursuing an education in post-Emancipation America. Write a 500-1000 word essay interpreting the excerpt and discussing how it might speak to the present day pursuit of knowledge, self-awareness, and authenticity.

“It was weary work...If, however, the vistas disclosed as yet no goal, no resting-place, little but flattery and criticism, the journey at least gave leisure for reflection and self-examination; it changed the child of Emancipation to the youth with dawning self-consciousness, self-realization, self-respect. In those sombre forests of his striving his own soul rose before him, and he saw himself, – darkly as through a veil; and yet he saw in himself some faint revelation of his power, of his mission. He began to have a dim feeling that, to attain his place in the world, he must be himself, and not another.”

 
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