Chinese girl falls in love with the perfect wrong man

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Why do I want to attend Columbia? I have a pretty good imagination, but it fails me when I try to tell a lie. On the other hand, as you may have heard, we Chinese are big on filial piety. My parents are great people, don’t get me wrong, but they’re real snobs when it comes to higher education. I really can’t bring myself to defy them directly, so let me just say why I want to go to college in general. Then I’ll let you convince my parents why the Rutgers Honors Program won’t give me the same quality education at a much lower cost.

Speaking of money, I admit my parents can afford to pay the bill. As you can see from the application forms, Dad is an actuary and computer programmer, while Mom is a gastroenterologist. You probably also saw that Dad is a CC graduate, and I’m pretty sure he’s greased some palms on your side. I have no plans to continue this particular family tradition. I want to major in art history, but if by some fluke I ever make a lot of money, you won’t see a thin dime of it.

Why do I want to go to college? It’s not to make the world a better place. It’s not to find self-fulfillment. It’s not to get a job. It isn’t even because I can’t think what else to do. It’s because I actually want to become a scholar, or at least learn from real scholars how to look scholarly. I’m sorry I was born too late to study with Meyer Schapiro and Rudolf Wittkower. If the current art history department is too feminist and/or queer to let me study art, I can always switch to economics.

I recognize that I won’t add much to the diversity of your student body. You aren’t in desperate need of Chinese-Americans with perfect SAT scores. Well, that’s OK, because diversity doesn’t mean a damn thing to me. My education will come from professors, textbooks, reading assignments and term papers. I plan to learn as little as possible from my fellow students. I already know how to drink, although I’ll never be very good at it, and Mom, MD scared me out of taking any drugs. Plenty of kids learn all about sex with just a high school degree. Just so you’ll check the right box, I’m heterosexual, but rest assured: if anyone could make me change my mind, it would be a Columbia man. I’m a serious Christian and as soon as I turn 18, I plan to vote Republican. Is that the kind of diversity you’re looking for?

Just to be entirely fair to my parents, whom I do love dearly, snob appeal isn’t the only reason they want me to go to your school. They also want me to meet lots of nice Chinese boys. Mom saw a bunch of these paragons on our campus tour, and she still thinks I want to meet them. My parents don’t seem to learn. They sent my older sister to Berkeley and Harvard Medical School, and now she’s shacked up with a Jew, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I admit Sis is a hard case, being five foot ten in stocking feet. She literally looked down on all the nice Chinese boys, but then ended up with a five-foot-eight-inch Jewish resident. Go figure. Hey, I meant no offense—his parents don’t like it any better than mine.

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