I started going to some classes at the University of Utah Institute of Religion last month. It’s a nice place. I just finished reading a short book about Muhammed that was cited in one of my world religions classes.
10 Mar 2009
Steven Tanner Foster
My AddressSalt Lake City UT 84124
The Admissions Committee is delighted to inform you that you have been admitted to Brigham Young University to begin Fall 2009. Through your preparation and personal achievements you have distinguished yourself from a very strong group of applicants. We believe you will make a positive contribution to the BYU community. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to our campus to pursue your educational goals.
Please click on the links below to find answers to frequently asked questions ranging from scholarships to housing. Please review the information carefully.
We look forward to having you on campus. We encourage you to maintain the standards outlined in the University Honor Code. Congratulations on your accomplishments!
R. Kirk Strong
Director of Admission Services
Part 7: Student Essay & Other Information
Instructions: Please respond to the topics listed below.
1. What sets you apart from other applicants, based on unique educational or life experiences, personal or family circumstances, obstacles overcome and/or achievements? (200 words or less)My education is unique in its duration: I’ve spent 3 full-time and 5 part-time semesters (and one summer term of each) earning an associate’s degree at LDSBC, generating roughly 50% more income for the school than the average student with only a negligible increase in marginal expenses. My life is unique in its location: I’ve spent two summers studying language (not for credit) and touring in East Asia, with a third coming this or next year, and these travels have made it far easier for me to view "strangers and foreigners" as my "fellowcitizens". I can’t predict exactly what, but I intend that my future work will have something to do with international involvement. My family is unique in its size: I was born with 21 blood-related aunts and uncles and now have over 100 first cousins; I think I know most of them. My obstacles and achievements have had more of an emotional aspect and I’m unable to say how unique they are. They may be unique in their intensity: I’ve survived at least two very saddening break-ups to finally regain some sense of direction, self-worth, and personal ambition, which I now hope to further at BYU.2. Describe why you want to attend an institution within the LDS Church Educational System and what value you will add to that institution. (200 words or less)Previously I wanted to go to BYU because of the spiritual environment — in other words, I couldn’t bear the alternative of learning about the universe at the hands of infidels who comprehended only the tiniest parts of it, or of being drowned out by the boisterousness and bawdiness of my so-called peers.Having seen some secular instruction and having watched several LDSBC cohorts come and go, I’ve been sobered by the following facts: (1) CES faculty are admirable but imperfect; (2) unchurched instructors can be charitable, skilled, and worthy of study; (3) lower-tuition CES students can be as noisy, self-absorbed, vacuous, and underdisciplined as they can possibly get away with being; and (4) students yet ignorant of God can be exemplary in their conduct.Obviously, BYU is still institutionally supportive of faith, but my reasons have changed: BYU is a top language school with a diverse international student body, and is affordable, beautiful, and familiar.There are surely many better students than me, but if I added any value to BYU, it would be the value of a wider perspective, independent thought, and a commitment to unpopular truth, even here. Above all, though, I would be another degree-earner.