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Supplement: Columbia - 4


Donian Chyong

A "Why Columbia" Essay

When I visited Columbia this past winter, I was immediately impressed by the Greco-Roman architecture commanding the central campus, replete with history’s famous ancient thinkers engraved in stone. In those names — Homer, Virgil, and others — I felt I could glimpse the connection between these individuals and Columbia’s Core Curriculum. My interest in these names is already keen from History Bowl — but Columbia offers the chance to explore their lives and work in far greater depth.

From Plato’s Symposium to Dante’s Inferno, Columbia’s Core is what most attracts me. I am eager to explore this classical, interdisciplinary education system, designed to instruct students in the ideas that led to the intellectual achievements of the modern world. In Literature Humanities, I can finally read and analyze the writings of Herodotus and Thucydides — writings that to an extent established the field of history. Rather than merely learning composers’ names from History Bowl clues, I can immerse myself in their musical work thanks to Masterpieces of Western Music. In Art Humanities I can study the work of one of my favorite artists — Francisco Goya — through Masterpieces of Western Art. The Core not only addresses my diverse interests but would expose new intersections and connected paths.

In addition, the vibrant student life at Columbia will allow me to continue my favorite activities with other passionate individuals — buzzing with the Columbia’s Quiz Bowl team and educating peers through the CSA Tutoring Service. I will also explore other organizations that pique my current interests, such as the Columbia Political Union and Columbia University Jazz Ensemble.

I am excited at the thought of becoming part of Columbia for all that it offers, but even more than this, I value Columbia’s educational DNA, and the lifelong effect it seeks to have on its students.

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