Deerfield Academy Personal Statement


There are many reasons that I would be valuable to the Deerfield community. The main way in which I’ve grown in that past year is that I had my Bat Mitzvah. For my Bat Mitzvah I had to learn Hebrew. This language means that I had to remember the alphabet that I was taught in my earlier years of Hebrew school, (which was something my dad always said was “non-negotiable”) and then I had to sing the songs which are actually technically ancient prayers for people who believe in god, but my mom says are also fine to just sing as fun songs even if you don’t believe in anything. I don’t know how to talk or understand Hebrew, but luckily I have a refined ear and the unusual skill of creating my own hieroglyphic- sound logic, so I was able to memorize the songs and everyone in the audience was very impressed by my Hebrew. And reading from the Torah is like, really hard because it doesn’t have vowels, so there are less polka dots in between the lines. For my Bat Mitzvah I really developed as a person. I also played the guitar so that I could make the service my own, because unlike the other applicants who are competing for this same position to be a revered student at Deerfield, I am a pretty accomplished musician when it comes to strumming and basic chords. I play the piano also but haven’t practiced in a few years, but we can say I play the piano for the purposes of this application. At my Bat Mitzvah I sang some Bob Dylan songs, because he’s the best and everything he’s ever done is magic, and then my rabbi gave a speech about why I was so special, because we spent a lot of time really getting to know one another over the course of my rigorous Bat Mitzvah training. I didn’t know what his speech was going to be about until he read it in front of everybody but some of the details he included in his speech about me were things like that one time I intentionally shared my friend’s toothbrush when I knew she had strep throat. He thought this was a funny quirk that spoke a lot to my special personality. Honestly, the thing he didn’t get, is that the reason I used that toothbrush is because I don’t believe in the word contagious. I don’t think this is personality quirk as much as it is common sense that most people have forgotten. Ever since I first smoked pot I’ve known that we can only give our minds permission that allows our bodies to believe they can catch things that are contagious, so therefore I knew the toothbrush wouldn’t give me strep because I had already decided that I wasn’t going to catch strep in my mind. If you don’t believe in something it is impossible to catch it! It’s true! I don’t believe in softball even though they made me play it, so therefore I have never caught the ball, which is proof of what I am saying. People think things like the toothbrush mean I’m a risk taker but really I just understand things other people don’t because I have read a lot of Allen Ginsberg and get Eastern Philosophy. I also don’t believe in strep, it’s one of those things people are always saying they catch from one another but no one really knows about what strep is. People have all these weird myths that they think are science and I hope someday I can help change this because no one should ever have to be afraid of brushing their teeth, especially not with a toothbrush that belongs to a friend and especially not if that toothbrush belongs to your best friend after you’ve just practiced making out on each other. Also, I didn’t get strep throat (if you still think that strep is real) which further goes to prove that my theory about the word contagious is true. Contagious is just not a real thing, someone once made up the word and it just became a word that was contagious and now it’s an idea that we’ve all caught because it’s a sound that actually is sort of contagious to say and the idea of the word is one that is very contagious to think about. The next time you share a toothbrush I urge you to remember that the fear of contagious is what makes you susceptible to things like strep that just don’t otherwise exist! The other things my rabbi said about me were that I love Rodgers and Hammerstein, and that I once stopped being friends with a girl when she ate an entire stick of butter for lunch. Just a plain stick of butter, by itself, with a plastic spoon. I don’t know why on this one day, Abby turned disgusting, I just happened to be sitting across from her at lunch. While I am tolerant, as mystical beings on this planet sometimes we can only handle so much, which is the most important thing that I learned not only at lunch, but also in synagogue.

In conclusion, my Bat Mitzvah really taught me some very important lessons about myself, lessons that are probably very unique from the other Bat Mitzvah essays that you are receiving from everyone else who is applying and has had the life changing experience of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Another thing that makes me special is that I want to learn Chinese, which is very valuable right now at this moment in history. People who learn Chinese will definitely make a lot of money and have secure jobs because China is on trend. With Chinese I could go into business, do banking, or maybe be a translator for things that are in Chinese but need to be in English in order to be understood by people. Once I speak Chinese I could also work for the CIA in China, or in the US because there are Chinese speaking people here also, or maybe I could become the first bilingual president. Whenever I hear Mayor Bloomberg speak in Spanish I think of how important it is going to be for me to act like I can think in Chinese. Speaking Chinese will also make me look much better than I do now later on when I have to apply for college and do more of these applications in order to get in. It’s good to think forward. I think that maybe if I were able to learn Chinese at Deerfield and become a politician, the United States could get along with China better, because maybe the Chinese people just need to know that we will take the time to learn their very complicated language in order to start cooperating. Chinese is the most complicated language which is why I know I can learn it as one of my main passions is complicating things. Language can really be a barrier so I think knowing them is important.

I care about a lot of things. I really care about guitar, and surfing in Costa Rica where I spent a one week abroad doing a Spanish immersion. I can speak Spanish pretty good, but I can’t write in it which is why I did not check the box on the application as it indicated that you needed a writing sample in order for me to claim this fact which is frankly a little closed minded of you to be frank. But I thought I should mention that actually in the sense that I think matters I am fluent in Spanish. My idol is Jimi Hendrix because I like what he did to the star spangled banner in finding a song that was trash and turning it into something cool. Other things I like include art and photography. I do have a sensitive side, and can be very emotional, but don’t be fooled by my artistic hobbies, I fully intend to go into probably politics or business, something that will make me a very worthy alumni to have on your alumni list and I should be able to give at least decent enough donations later on if I still like Andover after I am done with it.

One fear I do not have about Deerfield that was mentioned in this above question, is leaving my family. I am not worried about leaving them, they want me to have an experience. I know they want me to have an experience and I have never minded leaving my family as I know that that my family is here so that they can be left.

Right now I am living in a Vermont town with a bunch of soccer playing rednecks and cross country ski WASPS. I call them Nordic people since WASPs don’t always like being called what they are. Since I’m a teenage socialist Jew who intends on becoming a successful Chinese business woman, there is no place for me in soccer or in skiing with the Nordic people. They are just too different from me. They call me a flatlander because I am from New York, which is the best city in this entire planet, but the Nordic people and the rednecks don’t know that cuz they never go to NYC because they are busy liking being in nature. They push snow around and cut things down or sometimes some of them build stuff, none of which are things I want to do. The plus side of my experience living in this very difficult place, is that I will be able to get along easily with the many WASPs who go to Deerfield. I am very used to WASPY people so this will truly be no problem for me at all, whether they are Nordic WASPs or a different WASP variety. I am used to being around all different types of WASPs. To answer your question, I am really looking forward to the diversity that your school has to offer because before my parents moved me to the country I was only friends with black kids. Then suddenly I came up here and there are no black people up here at all, everyone is so white, it’s like, really, come on, make some diversity. It isn’t easy being the only diverse person! Below I have written the perfect example of what these white people are like up here:

Last summer I went to a karate camp and no one talked to me and it took me a few days to figure out why, as I’m not bitchy like all other girls. No one would say hi or eat lunch with me or anything which was strange because usually in new places at least the boy with a bad haircut develops a crush on me and eventually everyone else has to say hi because no boy with a bad haircut is going to come up and talk to me all by himself as his eyes are probably at my boob level and my boobs are seriously gigantic now and are hard to avoid looking at especially for short boys who have no choice other than to be at my boob level. But at karate camp this never happened! The silence went on, and I was avoided like some kind of monster! I learned later that it’s because my hair was black so they thought I was Japanese so they all thought that I was a karate expert because of my being Japanese. These people are literally so white that no one even has black hair! It is so horrible for me! The whole realm up here is just blindingly blonde! If I were going to make a metaphor about it, I would say it’s like being a black dot in the middle of a blank sheet of paper that is surrounded by infinity blank papers. There is nowhere to hide in this metaphor, and Jews do not like the feeling of nowhere to hide, which is another major thing I learned at synagogue. In the long run my Jewish white belt karate moves did not live up to their Japanese expectations of me, which was a hard personal moment, but one that really helped me grow to see how things like this might be hard for not only me, but also for an actual Japanese person. My point is that I am really glad I am a minority and feel better when I am around other ones.

My main fear which was not mentioned as one of the main fears in your prompt but is maybe a unique fear that I am having about going to Deerfield, is that I am afraid of the uniform requirement. It is a pretty WASPY looking uniform to put a jew in and my legs don’t look very good in skirts that length because I am at an awkward stage which I am okay with but I am not sure if I will be as okay with this stage if I am in that skirt. I could adapt to this uniform as it is a requirement if I hopefully get into your school as I am very flexible by nature, but because I really love fashion, (this is one of my main hobbies, fashion) so having to wear the same things as everyone else that might not look the best on me is an area of which I have some true, genuine fears. I am okay talking about my fears because you asked but also because one of my best qualities is that I am honest and brave. Because you suggested in the prompt that we should Be Honest., I would like to add that I don’t think that skirt length looks good on most people, it sort of cuts the leg up mid-shin, which is usually the fattest part of a leg so the legs start to look chunky, especially in tights when legs tend to get a little bit sausagey, but I see how having to wear this skirt is just part of being at Deerfield. I just wanted to let you know my opinion since I’m pretty smart about fashion so I hope my opinion is helpful. Also my dad says that if I do end up going to Deerfield I will have to cut off my dreadlocks which you didn’t see at my interview because I put them back in a bun because my mom suggested it might be smart in case the Deerfield people were as superficial and judgmental as she suspected. That is also why I wore that cardigan. If I have to cut off my dreadlocks and put on your uniform it will make it challenging for me to keep up my personal flare which creates my unique identity. I would definitely look forward to every first Friday of the month when uniforms aren’t required and am excited to get really properly dressed then, maybe even in costume, so my style won’t be completely lost for my whole youth. I’m sure I can find a way to make the uniform my own too, as I am really skilled in the areas of sewing and cutting things up and making changes in order make things more different like I am.

These are the reasons that I know that I would be a huge asset to your school. I am also very interested in singing, basket weaving, blues harmonica, cooking, acupuncture, Eastern philosophy, communist propaganda, obviously Bob Marley, singing rap hooks, bubble tea and my Jim Morrison poster.

Please consider me for your school, Andover is truly my #1 choice so I really hope that you will consider everything I am saying and know that my promises will hold true because one of my best qualities is that I never lie and keep my promises. Although I am applying to other boarding schools, Deerfield is truly my first choice.

Your hopeful pupil,

Leah


ps. I know you highly value familial relations as stated on the form and though I do not have any family members who have gone to Deerfield my 35-year-old half-sister (from my dad’s first practice marriage) has a friend whose husband’s cousin used to teach a one-time class at Deerfield 10 years ago. That old teacher has attached a personal letter of recommendation even though I’ve never met her which was very generous of her so I hope you will consider her recommendation in place of where my family should have been if they were people of actual value.  

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