The Uncomon Blog

If you’ve heard one example of the University of Chicago’s anything-goes atmosphere or offbeat student body, it was probably our world famous (and world’s largest) Scavenger Hunt, an annual tradition since 1987.

So, how do you feel about Wednesdays?

I’m betting that’s not a question you get asked frequently. It is, however, a past application essay question for the University of Chicago—one of many we’ve amassed in the years we’ve asked “uncommon” questions. Much like your feelings on Wednesdays, we bet you aren’t also often asked about your Ph, your thoughts on odd numbers, or why you’re here and not somewhere else. And, hint: that’s kind of why we’re asking you.

It was December, nearing the end of our first quarter at UChicago, when two of my best friends and I decided to go downtown on a Friday evening. I have to admit, though, I was taken aback when I realized one of my friends—a native of southern California—had never experienced one particular aspect of winter before we were standing on the Metra platform, waiting for the train to take us to the Loop.

When I first came to UChicago, “human rights” was an abstract concept that had been floating around in my mind for several years. I had heard the term mentioned once or twice in high school while discussing slavery or war crimes, but it had never been addressed as a stand-alone concept. This unsatisfying vagueness is part of what initially drew me to the Human Rights program at UChicago. The program provides a critical exploration of historical, theoretical, and comparative perspectives on human rights.

I left London as I entered it, in the hushed morning dark of a chilly Friday, the daily bustle just starting to build as I moved through the awakening streets. There was less wonderment this time. This city, once unknown, was now, if not completely, at least somewhat familiar. I learned London piecemeal, borough-by-borough, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, streets once disparate slowly beginning to weave together.

How’s it going everybody, Walker King here, office of Undergraduate Admissions “creative intern” and rising 3rd year in the college. Since I’ll be a recurring blogger over the summer, you should maybe know a little bit about me. I’m from Portland, Oregon, I write articles for the Chicago Shady Dealer (the University of Chicago’s only intentional humor publication), I’m a member of Hot Side Hot, the group that designs and judges the University of Chicago Scavenger hunt, and I’ll be studying abroad in India in the fall.

I manage the UChicago Admissions Tumblr (!) and recently came across a great question in our inbox from Amy W, a prospective student. Amy asks:

amy w question.png