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Supplement: Cornell - 3


Leo Choi

I’m watching the film Inception. I see the actors enter the realm of dreams, and I feel that the dream manipulator is talking not to the dreamer, but to me.

You’re in a dream. The simplest test for you to prove that you’re dreaming is to try and remember anything about the way you arrived to this…

I first encountered stem cell in 8th grade, which was strummed to memory later in high school while I was playing guitar in front of deaf parents and their children at Gwangju Association of Deaf. The children smiled at the tunes and laughed at my mistakes; the parents smiled and laughed looking at their children. I dreamed that through stem cell therapy, the parents could hear my song and listen to their children’s laugh.

What do you remember before this dream?

I use to bring home a botanical case with a dozen cicadas all crawling and a bucket with grass, dirt, and a black mole wiggling inside when I was little. I dreamed of figuring out how cicadas can sing so loud, and how moles can dig so deep. I was madly in love with animals and insects.

You know all this, you just have to realize it…

The crumpled pages of the World Scholar’s Cup material helped me realize my subconscious love. A source 70 page long was provided to prepare for the biology section of the competition. A rat with human ears, an artificial heart, otoplasty, and Flavr Savr kept my eyes busy and inexhaustible, prompting me to read the source more than five times, to memorize everything…

The movie ends. And I think: after all these experiences, though subtly different, I had a common ground in my interests. I realized that biology is a part of my life. My fantasy, like the film Inception, lies within the realm of living things. Yet, the only experiences I had with biology were the school farming club, Bio-Mania experiment group, and the World Scholar’s Cup, all of which were focused not on depth of knowledge but on activities and passion. So the last thing I wanted in my dream university was the set guideline of the study that would discourage me from pursuing my activities and passions. Cornell had not only a strong foundation on biology but also vast research opportunities, the largest I’ve seen so far, which would enable me to become active and be my own, to follow my dreams. So in Cornell I will wake up every day, running to laboratories and countless Cornell institutes on biology, diving into my own favorite topics, and always recalling my half-remembered dream.

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