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Romancing the Reader. Kenneth Qin Saline High School 2011 Stanford University 2015. Why Am I Here?. Because I got into Stanford Not because I’m especially good at speaking Or particularly romantic Nothing can guarantee college acceptance Show your best and hope for the best. Education.

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romancing the reader

Romancing the Reader

Kenneth Qin

Saline High School 2011

Stanford University 2015

why am i here
Why Am I Here?
  • Because I got into Stanford
  • Not because I’m especially good at speaking
  • Or particularly romantic
  • Nothing can guarantee college acceptance
  • Show your best and hope for the best
  • GPA: 4.0
  • SAT: 2270
  • ACT: 35
  • AP Tests:
    • 10th – U.S. History, Chemistry
    • 11th – Calculus BC, Biology, English
    • 12th – Physics (Mechanics), Psychology, Statistics, Music Theory
  • College offers: Stanford University, Yale University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan
activities and leadership
Activities and Leadership
  • Marching Band/ Wind Ensemble/Jazz Band (grades 9-12): Drumline section leader in Marching Band, percussion section leader in Wind Ensemble, solo vibraphonist in Jazz Band, composer
  • Michigan Youth Ensembles, Band and Orchestra (grades 10-12)
  • Cross Country, Track & Field (grades 10-12): Mentor
  • Science Olympiad (grades 10-12): State competition contender
  • Future Problem Solving Club (grades 10-11): Treasurer, State Bowl contender
  • National Honors Society (grades 10-12): Treasurer
  • Going Homeless: Piano, synth, backup vocals
awards and recognition
Awards and Recognition
  • 2011 MSBOA All-State Honors Band: First-chair percussionist
  • AP Scholar with Distinction (now National AP Scholar)
  • Michigan Science Olympiad Award
  • National Merit Finalist
  • Michigan Math Prize Competition Finalist
  • Solo & Ensemble medals for solos, ensembles, and accompaniment
  • Southeastern Conference All-Academic Scholar
  • School awards: Outstanding Musicianship Award, Jazz Award, English Department Award, Most All-Around Talented Award
volunteer work
Volunteer Work
  • Never kept track of hours– odd jobs
  • National Honors Society: canned food drives, flower sales, blood drives, craft shows
  • Break-A-Thon for Cystic Fibrosis
  • Christmas caroling
  • Ann Arbor Art Fair
  • Benefit concerts
how d i get in
How’d I Get In?

Hint: Definitely wouldn’t have succeeded if I had lived in China.

be romantic
  • You must seduce her
  • Yes, of course, but how?
  • Well,
    • You could serenade her!
    • You could write her love letters!
serenade her
Serenade Her?
  • Many colleges accept an Arts Supplement
  • If you are dedicated to any art form, this is your chance to prove it!
    • Music performance
    • Music composition
    • Dance
    • Painting
    • Drawing
    • 3-D Art
    • Drama
    • Other? Whatever impresses the lady.
love letters
Love Letters?
  • Lovely letters. About yourself.
  • To make them fall in love with you.
  • (I know nothing about girls.)
  • Letters can take any form, but here’s what all of them must have:
    • Voice
    • Shameless bragging
    • Relevance
  • First of three Stanford supplemental essays:

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate - and us - know you better.

1 voice
1. Voice

It isn’t the paper speaking; it’s you.

My toilet flushes in F-sharp. My thermos rings in C. And last summer, when a series of tornadoes threatened my city, the sirens that wailed every night were in A. In hopes of creating reliable pitch cues, I double-check the frequency of each familiar tone to make sure it hasn't changed. I hope, dear roommate, that you possess perfect pitch—the rare inborn ability to identify such notes automatically—because I do not. But if the lack of perfect pitch is a disability, then I'm the Paralympic athlete who uses all his resources—both material and motivational—to sprint to the finish.

2 shameless bragging
2. Shameless Bragging

“Real life doesn’t live up to writing about it.” – Jeffrey Eugenides

My secret lies in these pitch cues. I may recognize every interval in a song, but I won't know any note names until—ding!—some well-placed cue reveals the key. This pseudo-perfect pitch certainly does the job. I've arranged two a cappella pieces for Saline's Senior Singers, written a mini-musical for the marching band, and entertained countless audience members by taking requests on the piano—anything from Katy Perry to Super Mario Bros. On occasion, I even have the nerve to challenge a fellow percussionist with perfect pitch to a timpani-tuning race.

3 relevance
3. Relevance

Relevance to you, or relevance to the college.

Musicianship is my ultimate goal, but the simplest way for me to continue my training is by identifying new cues. Countless hums, dings, and beeps await me at Stanford, just begging to be added to my database. So if disaster strikes and the sirens begin blaring, you can find me in the bathroom, cross-referencing pitches.