Personal Statements for an MFA in Creative Writing by Michael Molitch-Hou
So, here are some essays I wrote when trying to write my personal statement for grad schools. I’m trying to get a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. So, feel free to read these if you like. They’re kind of entertaining maybe. That’s why they’re not stories, this is classified as a blog on the site. “All the world’s a blog and all the men and women merely bloggers.”-William Blogosphere
Essay #1: From the Depths of the Reality™ Institute
Hi! I am Michael Molitch-Hou™ of the Reality™ Institute (http://therealityinstitute.net). Our parent company, Reality™ Incorporated Corporation, told me that I had to apply to graduate school so that I could further the needs of the company. So that is what I am doing.
You have asked me to tell you why I want to go to your school and be a part of your specific program and I wish I could tell you that it was out of my own volition, but I really cannot say that that is the case. In fact, I do not want to apply at all. I just want the benefits of going to school there- things like becoming a better writer, meeting and networking with other writers, sharing ideas, developing personally and professionally, and getting the credentials necessary to teach creative writing. If I could do that without going to school, I would do it. If these things could simply come to me over night or by wishing on a monkey’s paw, I would take that easy way out; however, the truth is that I have to apply to graduate school, be accepted, work diligently, and, with time, these things will come. There are pressures placed upon me by Reality™ Inc. Co. that are forcing me to take this more difficult route. They want me to become an educated man to satisfy their selfish desires. Their desires, when revealed, are terrifying.
They expect me to sell myself. I tell them that I cannot do it! I cannot sell myself! I was not meant to be sold! I am but a humble man who tries to enjoy a simple life, amusing himself with writing and making art, talking to people, learning about this crazy, mixed up world he was born into. I take pride in these things that I do and I try to be good at doing them. I certainly do not feel like convincing anyone else that I am a remarkable man or even worth half a damn, but, again, there are pressures from Reality™ Inc. Co. making me claim that I am worth more of a damn than anyone else. To them, I am nothing more than a Certified Reality™ Product to be stripped of all humanity, marketed, and used (Buy our Certified Reality™ Products today at http://therealityinstitute.net)!
So, I guess I am forced to say that I am better than all of the other applicants to your school. I am the freshest invention to hit the graduate school market with all of the capabilities that were lacking in the previous models. I am stronger, more durable, and easier to use! How does that feel to you? Does it ring true? I am great. Please believe me when I say that or I will face the harshest consequences. Please accept me or I may die. Strange men with briefcases lurk in the shadows behind me. They watch my every move. They smile and nod as I write this and cigarette smoke fills the air. Shhhh! I think I can hear them murmuring! No. I think that was the neighbor’s television set. He watches the Simpsons at full volume!
You have also asked me to provide my future goals. The nearest goal I have is to finish this application so that I may get back to my work! I have ideas that need to get onto paper before they fade out of existence. They may not be brilliant, but they want to be alive. They want to get out of the inside of my head and onto the outside of my head and I have no say in the matter. I am a man without say, willed about like a lost balloon in the wind. If it is not Reality™ Inc. Co. pushing me around, it is my own brain! And where do I come in? I just want to be at peace making things and living life with a nice woman to love, but Reality™ Inc. Co. demands that I support myself financially and make a way for myself in a dangerous world full of dollars and psychopaths. That being the case, they are telling me that I have aspirations of selling my work and teaching creative writing just so that I might have money to feed into their greedy appetites. And they can never get enough! I work to feed them and it only makes them hunger for more. It goes on forever! The figures behind such an insidious corporation – I have not seen their faces, but I can hear them smacking their lips.
The only research I can think of performing is to find an escape plan. I need a way out. I want out of from under their watchful eyes. I know that there are maps hidden in the symbols of ancient texts. I know that if I rummage through diagrams of deities and read religious documents in their original Sanskrit, there will be a way out. And what wisdom can be found in the gods of modern technology? There must be something on the Internet that can tell me how to escape Reality™ Inc. Co. There must be secrets lurking beneath the twisted online pornography, the parakeet-loving pet net communities, e-friends, e-fondlers, and other electric embracing. There must be space between the myspace and the yourspace that truly joins the spaces in ways that really mean something. There is research to be done on these new methods of communicating and connecting without connecting. There is certainly a new world of information on the Internet that will either elevate our communal mind to a level of unknown enlightenment, distort it beyond repair, or at least help us kill time until doomsday. Yes, I believe I will research this Internet. There is something there.
I wonder now if they are satisfied, the powers behind Reality™ Incorporated Corporation. Are they? I wish they would leave me alone. I just want to write and make things and try to enjoy this incomprehensible life, but they want everything to be theirs. They want to stamp a sticker and latch their logo onto everything I make. They want ultimate control of reality until everything is a Certified Reality™ Product. If they really do attain ultimate control, forcing the world to perceive life in any manner that they dictate, I can only pray that there is some ounce of humanity left in that congealed perception that allows freedom to leak through and reveal life for what it truly is: a bunch of beautiful nonsense. They are telling me to go now. Please remember me. Pray for Michael Daniels Molitch-Hou™. My fate is in your hands… and yours in mine.
Essay #2: My Benevolent Benefactors
Hi, I’m Michael Molitch-Hou™ from the Reality™ Institute (http://therealityinstitute.net). I have recently been directed to apply to graduate school by my parent company, Reality™ Incorporated Corporation.
First, you might be wondering what the Reality™ Institute is. About two years ago, I began receiving messages from Reality Inc. Co. via e-mail, telephone, and invisible ink on parchment explaining that this mysterious corporation would bequeath me with the Reality™ Institute. On the simplest level, the Institute is a venue for my friends and I to display our art, music, writing, and other work, as well as a way for me to explore the nature of reality. In exchange for my own institute, I would agree to follow the command of my generous benefactors, trust my entire future in their hands, and give ownership rights of everything I create over to them. On the most ontological level, I have no idea what the Reality™ Institute is.
One day, as I was reading the cartoon section of the newspaper, laughing at a particularly funny Cathy cartoon, I saw a skywriter flying past the window of my apartment. The plane carried the familiar “Certified Reality™ Product” marker on its tail and I knew at once that it was a message from Reality Inc. Co. Colored smoke trailed in the sky that read, “Mike, we feel that you really should obtain a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, but that’s really just our opinion and we are looking out for your best interests.” As the Corporation has never been wrong in the past and, in accord with the contract I held with them, I agreed to apply to graduate school.
I spent nights wondering why they would want me to apply. I reasoned that they saw in me some hidden faculty that I was unaware of – some dormant ability to become a brilliant writer, perhaps. Or maybe they wanted to cultivate the educator in me, guide me to become a creative writing teacher so that I may draw the talent out of young minds and give them the gift of storytelling. This could surely be the case because in a good graduate program, I could learn from fellow writers and really develop my own style. I could even learn the tricks of the publishing trade and publish my own body of work! Wouldn’t that be something, I thought, to be able to publish a book and have people all over see life from my point of view. And, maybe, somehow, I would contribute to the world in a positive way – somehow make someone’s life better by giving him or her something nice to read. As for becoming a creative writing teacher, I pictured myself as a gardener allowing for bright minds to grow and flourish and spread their beauty all over the Universe.
Was all of this what Reality Inc. Co. had in store for me? There really was no sure way to know. It all seemed very pleasant and if graduate school were the path to get me there then that is what I would do. I would find the greatest schools in the country that could bring out the best writing in me so that I could communicate with the world and, once that skill was well honed, I could teach others to do the same. The plan did not sound half bad, but really what mattered most to me was to do what I loved doing: to make things, to give my ideas life outside of my head where they could interact with the world. If I somehow made someone’s life better in the process, all the better. And, though my needs are simple, I knew that Reality Inc. Co. had something bigger in mind. I have not once attempted to ask them what their overarching goals are- I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth- but I do wonder at times. With that logo of theirs, are they attempting to attach it to everything, covering up Nike swooshes with their giant green seal? Are they planning to take ownership of all of reality? Is that even possible? And if that is their goal, are my benefactors evil in nature or are they truly benevolent? They had not once done me harm and, in fact, had given me a place where I could feel free to express whatever wild ideas I wanted to express.
If Reality Inc. Co. is benevolent, I reasoned, they might be trying to make life better for all those living it. There are people suffering in so many ways and that suffering seems pointless. Well, then, I might play a part in ending that pointless suffering. But how could that be possible? Surely research would be involved. I would have to understand life to the fullest extent possible, research religious texts that contain the very secrets to what this insane spectacle is. I would dissect every aspect of every nook and cranny of this thing and expose the true nature of reality behind it. I would speak to people; understand them and their views of reality. People from all walks of life! And what is this Internet that has somehow made life both easier and more complicated? And the knowledge that comes flooding over the broadband networks at breakneck speeds to people completely unaware of its influence – could it bring about a sort of enlightenment or is it more likely to cause widespread insanity the likes of which we have never known? Or, more likely, will it just cause people to sit around and watch YouTube videos over their dinner without realizing how amazing it is that they are even doing anything in the first place. Yes, if Reality Inc. Co. was going to use me to positive ends, researching modern communication, connecting with people, and discovering wisdom from the past would surely play a role.
If my parent company is malevolent… I cannot begin to fathom the extent to which they could control this beautiful place I call home and what they would do with us once they had us bending to their every whim, distorting our perceptions, and draining us of every last ounce of humanity. But… oh well! There really is no sure way to know, now is there? And, in stipulation with my contract with Reality Inc. Co., I have to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing or I will lose my precious Reality™ Institute, one of the few places I can really be myself. So, to those of you reading my application essay, consider this: if I am accepted to your program, life as we know it may change profoundly, either bringing about a bleak, Orwellian future or ultimate and everlasting peace and harmony. In the case of the former, you can at least say that you gave it a shot and try to enjoy the government mandated mood stabilizers as best you can. If my acceptance to your school somehow creates permanent tranquility, the worst thing we have to look forward to is the most fabulous boredom. In the meantime, it would be great if you could give me the means to survive doing what I love to do most, to give life to my ideas out in the real world.
Essay #3: Life Ain’t Nothin’ But Bitches
Ladies and gentlemen of the application committee, I hereby insert to you my application for a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Somehow I am supposed to show you that I am worthy of the program, stand out as an individual, but also write an essay that is formal enough for an application. This is a difficult thing to do. I have to be able to be myself in a format that I generally do not feel that I can be myself in: a formal essay. That being said, here is my personal statement:
They say that life doesn’t start until you lose your virginity. I hope to do that at your school. I tried in college, but because I hadn’t figured out my “gimmick” yet, I had no luck. Now, I think I’m really starting to nail it down. I’m going to be a “writer”. By being one of those, I think that girls will think that I’m intelligent and interesting.
I have started to wear write-ier clothing: tight, formal pants, a collared shirt, a cardigan, eccentric glasses, and a pipe. I won’t be wearing the pipe; I will be carrying it and smoking it. The pipe is an accessory. When girls see me looking like this in their classes, they will know instantly that I am the type of person that they will want to bed. They will naturally assume that I am a good lover and want to have sex with me. I will most likely be bad the first time in bed, which may or may not become gossip that spreads to the other girls, but it won’t matter to me because I will have lost my virginity.
I have also cultivated a way of speaking when I am around women so that, if my outfit does not immediately give it away, they might assume that I am a writer based on the way I talk. I dramatically roll my r’s whenever a girl is present and speak in low tones as though everything that I am saying is very important. This is also beneficial because then the girl has to lean in close when I talk and then I can smell her shampoo.
I also have an opinion about everything and usually hate the same things that everyone else likes just so that I seem different. I only talk about God and the meaning of life when I have control of a conversation. All other topics are trivial and, therefore, meaningless and un-writerly.
Basically the only reason I want to go to your school is so that I can get laid for the first time. Please accept me to your school or I will never have sex. If I don’t lose my virginity soon, I will kill myself.
Essay #4: Personal Statement.
Introduction. People words connect work connect everyone. Words think people think words. Me people words connect people think. Me write fun think happy. Happy fun read write think people happy work everyone everything connect happy fun think. Words things. Things connect. World connect words think connect fun happy everyone.
MFA. MFA words think fun write happy connect everyone. Me MFA better happy think connect students professor better think me better teacher writer think write feel happy everyone. Teach everyone teach me think better happy fun me everyone.
Research. Research think words everything every time every place history think communicate time place everyone everything happy fun read write everyone think better happy connect everyone think happy happy everyone everything. People think groups think culture think belief think system think connect everyone words. Communism capitalism State religion ideology family friends TV Internet magazines books understand think words connect everyone think free connect everything.
Conclusion. MFA me words study research better writer thinker helper write people connect teach people connect think better help connect words everyone everything better. Me happy fun you happy fun happy fun everyone.
Essay #5: Dumb Boat Metaphor (What’s a meta for? For pooping silly.)
This message is to any expert sailboats that have the ability to receive and decode this message:
I am a sailboat named Michael Molitch-Hou. I am in a confusing sea filled with other sailboats and their own navigation systems. The waters can be rough or calm, but with all of these other sailboats I find it hard to get them to make room for me. Some sailboats travel in packs and use roughly the same navigation system. Some of those navigation systems call for rape and pillage, while others call for mass conversion to a single, universal navigation system. Either way, I find myself ill at ease and unable to enjoy the gentle breeze.
I am looking for other experienced sailboats that might help me out. I want to compare my navigation system to yours so that you might give me advice on how to modify mine in order to sail peacefully. It may be best to first find other sailboats with similar navigation systems so that the modifications I need to make might not be too drastic and require a total overhaul of my sailboat.
I may have to research various navigation systems to compare to my own as well as general weather patterns. I will then understand the waters better and what others have used to sail them. This will surely make navigation easier.
When I can, I too will aid other sailboats like me. Maybe I can teach sailing classes. I can show them how to modify their navigation systems so that they can sail peacefully while giving them the tools to do the same for other sailboats. Hopefully, this will lead to a generally safer sailing space and freedom for all sailboats to navigate in the way that they so wish.
Come in. Calling all expert sailboats out there. Does anybody read me?
Come in! Come in!
S.O.S. Do you read me over?