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2020-143682

Date of Submission: 2019-11-08 10:31:34

Reference: 914524

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

The Faculty of Social Science offers a little bit of everything I expect from a psychology undergraduate program. I’m interested in the broad field of psychology, such as developmental psychology, characterology, and social psychology. However, I have not discovered my choice of specialization. Therefore, the psychology program offered by McMaster helps me explore the branch that fits me the best. Moreover, I’m fascinated by the application of the experiential education approach. I believe this approach is suitable and enriching for my learning here at McMaster. Hands-on experiences have always been helpful in consolidating my learning and I’m sure my undergraduate experience in McMaster will be a fulfilling one in this supportive learning environment. Although I haven’t had a clear plan for my future career, I expect myself to take jobs that require interpersonal skills. The psychology program will benefit me in this aspect as I get to learn more about people as a whole, such as their traits, personality, which helps me to develop ‘people skills’ and prepare myself for the job market. I believe that studying at McMaster will be an eye-opening experience and make myself a better person.



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

I would like to have Greta Thunberg from Sweden as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program. Thunberg is a young Swedish climate activist who began a solo climate protest by striking from school. She was soon joined by numerous secondary and university students in fighting for a change in international environmental policies. Her campaign also inspired the walkout staged by US students to demand stricter gun control. I’m amazed at how she campaigned garnered a huge amount of publicity. Although she’s a year younger than me, I admire her courage to voice her opinions out. Thunberg does not see ‘age’ as a barrier to express one’s views. Despite facing criticisms, she takes responsibility and pride for her words. I, like others, do care about my image and others’ impressions on me. Therefore, I couldn’t easily express my opinion as I’m afraid that I’ll receive immense backlash from others. I believe meeting and exchanging my views with Thunberg will allow me to break out from my shell. In addition, Thunberg is from Sweden – a country that has its own distinct culture. Living in Asia, I do not have the chance to get to know the Swedish culture. The closest I could get a taste of Swedish culture is small Swedish restaurants in Hong Kong. Therefore, I believe meeting Thunberg will allow me to get to know more of the Swedish culture and core ideals that the Swedish have. Although it is expected to have a cultural shock, this is part of the process of widening my horizons.



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

I find John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas impactful. The story was set in WWII and talks about the friendship between 2 boys, Bruno and Shmuel. Bruno is the son of a general from Nazi Germany who was in charge of a concentration camp in the outskirts of Germany; while Shmuel is a Jew who was sent to the camp managed by Bruno’s father. By highlighting the conversations between Shmuel and Bruno, it reflects on the coldness and ruthlessness of wars. The most interesting aspect of this book is its portrayal of war from a child’s perspective, which brings out the irony of wars. For instance, Bruno asked, “What exactly was the difference, and who decided to which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore uniforms?” It reflects on the irony that the ones who wore uniforms – the Germans, and the ones who wore pajamas – the Jews, are all human beings and should be treated equally. However, the castes were created by people. Bruno’s question brings us back to the essence of the differences between individuals. This quote allows me to reflect on the clique culture. It is human nature for people to form groups and stay with people they favor. However, the conflicts between groups could lead to a sense of superiority for the winners and subordination for the losers. If this situation continues, the conflict escalates and becomes something similar to WWII. As such, this novel allows me to return back to the essence of communication between individuals.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

After school, I usually find myself exploring the field of performing arts. I have joined different productions, such as Big: The Musical production in the summer musical school held by HKAPA in 2018. Besides, I also attended dance and vocal classes to improve my techniques and performing skills. I am able to unwind myself when I focus on improving a certain move or vocal technique. Although these processes could be stressful at times, I feel more energized and motivated to continue my school work afterward. On the other hand, I also participate in volunteer activities. In 2018 fall, I participated in a volunteering trip to Cambodia held by Camps International, targeting a Cambodian minority village. We helped produce different toilet compartments during the trip, such as cement rings, digging holes and laying bricks. It was a meaningful experience not only for the minorities but for myself as well. For the villagers, without toilets, they will have to do their business in the bushes or shallow holes only 1m deep which would be washed away eventually. The consequences of this can lead to diseases in the local community as bacteria will contaminate the nearby reservoir which villagers use for multiple purposes. Therefore, it was crucial for us to help build toilets and try our best to improve public health in that village. Although the work involved is physically tiring, I learned to persevere throughout the process for the better good of the villagers.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

This year, I realized how target-oriented and strict on myself I’ve become. In the past, I’ve set goals for myself and I have achieved them largely. Therefore, I didn’t pressurize myself too much as I believe I can achieve my goals. However, as I started the IB curriculum and the transition between the local system to the IB system begins, my grades fell short. For the first time, I felt extremely angry and disappointed at myself. As such, I decided to push myself. Yet, my grades did not improve, so I decided to push myself further. This went on as a vicious cycle. Not only my grades did not improve, but the pressure also put a toll on my self-image. Looking back, I’ve realized that I pushed myself without reflecting on my mistakes, which is the reason I didn’t improve. Reflection is a critical step for improvement. It allows me to actually look at my mistakes objectively and work out the best way to let me improve without overworking myself in the process. For instance, I will not have realized that I did not understand certain concepts in biology or problems in my writing style without reflecting on my essay and the teachers’ comments. It’s important for me to push myself so I have the motivation to improve, but it’s crucial that I know the direction I’m supposed to head to and work hard to achieve that. I believe this test in life has made me a resilient person as a whole.





2020-143725

Date of Submission: 2019-11-11 15:43:56

Reference: 23147

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

I am applying to the Arts and Science program at McMaster University because I am a student with broad interests who is looking for a challenge. The diversity and intensity of this program is what I find most exciting. I am fascinated by science and mathematics, but I also have a great passion for the arts. Throughout high school, I have excelled in every science and mathematics course, as well as being an AP art student. I am also very heavily involved with my school’s music department. My interests align with the Arts and Science program at McMaster. My studies have taught me teamwork, cooperation, and creative skills. I hope that the Arts and Science Program will foster further development of these skills. I enjoy working with dedicated students who inspire learning. I believe that McMaster's Arts and Science Program will bridge artistic and scientific learning in an enriched environment. I hope to gain a rich and accurate understanding of the world around me through academic study and social engagement. I hope to develop personally by pushing my limits. I look forward to engaging myself in the student community at McMaster. I also plan to refine my passions to more specific subjects, so that I may continue to pursue my interests. In addition, my parents are McMaster alumni who moved to Saskatchewan for work. I look forward to studying closer to my extended family in Hamilton.



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

I would like to have Anne of Green Gables as my classmate in the Arts and Science Program at McMaster University. Anne Shirley is an interesting and creative person who always has an innovative way of looking at situations. Her unique perceptions of the world around her would prove quite intriguing. She is lively and well-spoken, and enjoys sharing her ideas with others. Anne’s creative mind would without doubt be a great asset in the Arts and Science Program. Her determination would make her a hard worker, and a dedicated student at McMaster University. Anne Shirley was always the top of her class. She is bright, quick-thinking, and clever. Anne Shirley was invested in uniting kindred spirits. She always knew when characters were meant to be with one another. Her sense of humour and honesty would bring the student body together. Anne Shirley would be an inspirational leader and a positive influence to the students in the Arts and Science Program.



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

Over the summer I read a book titled I am Malala. It is an autobiography about a young Pakistani woman, and her experiences while standing up for women’s education in her country. I chose to read this book because I am a strong believer that both men and women should have the right to an education, no matter their background. When Malala was young, the Taliban took control of her region. What used to be a peaceful area in Pakistan was overrun by terrorism. During a time when women were not allowed an education, young Malala Yousafzai stood up for her beliefs. While riding the bus home from school on October 9th, 2012, Malala was shot in the head. Though the odds were stacked against her, she survived. Today, Malala Yousafzai is an international symbol of peaceful protest. Reading her story was a very eye-opening experience. I learned about life in Pakistan, and how it differs from Canadian life. I gained insight into the roles of men and women in other parts of the world. I found Malala’s resilience inspiring. As I move forward, I will continue to remember Malala’s strength. Her story has helped me find the courage to stand up for my beliefs.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

Outside of school I enjoy learning about music, being physically active, creating art, and spending time with my friends and family. Music is my biggest commitment outside of school. I work and rehearse with the Saskatoon Children’s Choir for six hours each week. I also take piano and voice lessons. My musical commitments challenge me intellectually and foster independent learning and dedication. I also enjoy playing team sports such as doubles badminton and soccer. I make an effort to stay active year-round. Being physically active and working with others helps me build teamwork skills, and helps me succeed in all other aspects of my life. I am an Advanced Placement art student at Marion Graham Collegiate. My design was selected by the Saskatoon Public School Division to be the new symbol of hope and reconciliation for Orange Shirt Day. I also enjoy creating art outside of school. I enjoy all different forms of art, particularly when it involves expressing meaning and creativity. My art helps me to discover more about myself and the world around me. Lastly, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I believe that investing time into your friends and family is infinitely important. Spending time with people in person helps to develop social skills that are often lacking in today’s society.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

I have realized that I cannot control all aspects of my life. I am a very organized person, but no matter how much I plan ahead, life can take unexpected turns. Two of my experiences have led to this realization. Firstly, Marion Graham’s music teacher took a personal leave. This teacher led every band, musical, vocal group, drumline, and school concert at Marion Graham. They are quite emotionally connected to the student body. I felt that I could not help my teacher overcome their difficulties. I realized that I did not have control over this issue, but I could still help the Music Department. While managing my commitments outside of school, I took the initiative to improve communication between the students and the new teacher. I have been running sectionals for the Vocal Jazz. I organized a group of students to perform at our school’s Remembrance Day Ceremony. I learned that solving problems in situations that I cannot control requires the courage to take a leadership position. Secondly, my boyfriend’s father has metastatic prostate cancer. I feel helpless. No matter how much I try to support his family, I cannot stop the cancer from progressing. I cannot end his pain, or the pain of his friends and family. I have learned that I need to accept the things I cannot control. I have learned that there will be times in my life where I will not be able to fix the problem. My experiences have taught me to be supportive in these situations.





2020-306526

Date of Submission: 2019-11-09 13:15:40

Reference: 620656

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

I am excited to be applying to McMaster’s Arts and Science course as I have always enjoyed balancing the discipline of the Sciences with the creativity of the Arts, firmly believing that one should not have to restrict themselves to purely one domain but instead be allowed to combine these subjects to purse to their interests. An example of this is my selection of Higher-Level English Literature alongside Higher-Level Biology and Chemistry, due to my fascination for all three categories. I am intrigued by this course as I believe it will allow me to expand my knowledge on a large variety of subjects, allowing me to obtain a much more holistic understanding of the world. This will play an extremely important role in my future academic achievements, as well as my personal development, as it will allow me to enhance my social engagement and global understanding. I am enticed by the possibility to combine this degree with other subjects, allowing me to pursue interests I have in Artificial Intelligence, Political Science and Neuroscience. Another aspect of this course that strongly appeals to me are the strong relations forged between the faculty members and the students due to the relatively smaller class sizes. I look forward to forging strong relationships between my peers and I and providing collaborating with those around me to further provide to the Arts and Science community.



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

A well-known figure in the neuroscientist community that I would like to have as a classmate would be Brazilian scientist Miguel Nicolelis. My independent learning has led me to the discovery of his research. Nicolelis has made a vast amount of incredible discoveries relating brain-machine-brain interfaces and neuroscience. His research fascinates me as he was one of the first to present the possibility of intercepting motor signals from neurons, digitalising them and using these signal from the brain of a monkey to control a robotic arm therefore, showcasing the possibility for this to be done in humans as well. These discoveries caused him to conclude that our sense of self doesn’t end at our bodies, but rather extends to the last layer of which our brain can connect with. I would love to learn more about how he manages to take his ideas past the hypothetical stage and bring them to life, as many people have theorised that we would be able to accomplish what Nicolelis has accomplished, but very few have actually had the capabilities and determination to carry out these ideas. His innovative thinking has led to him to combine neuroscience, physics and computer science, leading to inventions that could help those with impairments in motor functions. His lack of fear in combining various disciplines, along with his ability to envision schemes thought to be impossible less than thirty years ago is what I would love to learn from this truly inspirational scientist.



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

Osamu Dazai’s ‘No Longer Human’ also known as ‘Ningen Shikaku’ in Japanese, is a novel that has had a life long lasting impact on me. Due to my involvement in Japanese culture through studying Japanese and spending two weeks in the summer with a Japanese host family in Tokyo, this book’s existence was made known to me from early on. Dazai Osamu’s novel, a semi-autobiographical novel about Oba Yozo’s life in post-World War II Japan, depicts a large variety of topics considered to be extremely controversial and taboo in Japanese society at that time, and presents views on matters such as depression and nihilism. The novel depicts the effects that a conformist society can have on a person’s mental health as well as, highlighted to me the importance of forming strong inter-personal relations with others since human connections are what makes life worth living. It provides first-hand evidence of how creating a façade to conform to social norms will only result in a life of misery and emphasises the importance of discovering and accepting yourself. The reason this novel left an impact on me is that it not only furthered my understanding of different cultural and temporal perspectives on life issues but, the author’s bravery of putting his own life on display in order to help others going through similar issues struck me, which is why I believe that this is a novel everyone should read at some point in their life.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a passion for dance. During my time in Ukraine I competed and qualified past the National Ukrainian Championship but as I was about to begin International competitions, my family moved to Northern Ireland. In Greece I’m continuing to pursue my passion alongside my studies through dedicating time this year to study for the IDTA Street/Freestyle Dance Professional Certificate, allowing me to eventually teach choreographies in these categories. I realised that through dedicating my time and efforts to an activity, I can turn it into something so much more than a hobby. I would never classify myself as someone with a talent for dance since day one, as I used to be extremely shy and somewhat stiff with my emotions and movement however, despite being told at various point that I should quit, I persevered and improved. This taught me an important lesson that even if you aren’t gifted with a talent for something from the beginning, if you truly enjoy it or you believe it will have a positive outcome in the end, you should never give up. I made the right decision because the impact it had on my life reached out far beyond the dance world. It showed me how to handle criticisms, gave me the confidence I needed to be more outgoing around others and taught me not to put myself in a box. I developed my interpersonal skills which I find extremely valuable as the people surrounding me are what make my life as colourful and vibrant as it is today.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

This year, due to the refugee crisis that is ongoing in Greece, I got involved with refugee organisations. I volunteered to take part of the ‘Holding Hands with Refugee Children’ scheme where I, along with twenty other volunteers, organised a two-day event for refugee families to socialise and enjoy themselves. The generosity of the refugee children, mirrored through their willingness to share anything they were given with the volunteers, and their openness to meeting and trusting new people forced me to rethink how I live my life. It made me realise the importance of appreciating everything as we never realise what moments we take for granted until they’re gone. It also showed me the beautiful connections that can be made between people when one opens themselves to accepting love from others. After further developing my leadership and teamworking skills through this event, I decided to take a proactive stance in the crisis and carry out more refugee supporting projects with a team. One project meant to fund Moria Refugee Camp in Lesvos through organising a school spring fair that raise 1000 euros, and another ongoing project at Eleonas Camp where we raise money to support renovations of the camp, carry out collections or volunteer directly at the camp. This year has been essential to my personal growth as it made me realise the importance of continuing to help with this humanitarian crisis in the future.





2020-568356

Date of Submission: 2019-10-16 06:25:21

Reference: 936368

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

McMasters is one of the best school in the world and it of passion to study as an art student in the institute.



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

I would love to have a serious minded fellow as a classmate because he or she will motivate my learnings process.



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. This book say more about my culture and motivates me to become a better person in the society.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

I would love to spend more time on research and further studies on fine arts.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

My name is Michael onyeukwu, am courageous, truthful, honest and creative. This year I have learnt never to give up but believe in God.





2020-145258

Date of Submission: 2019-11-02 13:53:46

Reference: 63692

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

Applying to the McMaster Arts and Science program was something that was second-nature to me immediately after researching the social science program website for future students. The motto, “bringing together the best and brightest minds in a spirit of openness, inclusiveness and collaboration,” is exactly the embodiment of the type of school I dream of attending for my undergraduate studies. The multi-disciplinary program will aid me in becoming the best I possibly can, and get me closer to what I ultimately live for: helping other people. Helping others is what pushes me forward to achieve and being granted admission to McMaster’s Social Science program would enable me to learn of all the best ways I can possibly make this world a better place. McMaster’s Social Science I program is unique in that it allows you to explore all of the disciplines available to make an informed decision on specialization, come second year. The wide breadth of courses that McMaster offers social science students allows me to feel confident knowing that I will receive the best possible education and preparation to move me one step closer to my goals. The idea of getting to go to school and enrol in programs like “Inquiry in Social Sciences” and “So You Think You Can Help? Introduction to Social Work I” is what makes me passionate about admission to McMaster’s Art and Science program.



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

If I were given the opportunity to have a historical figure as a classmate at McMaster, my choice would be Sigmund Freud. The field of social sciences would not be what it is today without Freud and his original gleanings. The psychological field is still highly influenced in the modern day by Freud’s observations on repression, infantilization, and the unconscious mind. Having a classmate like Freud would not only be of personal benefit, but a benefit to my peers as he would be a great person to learn from and collaborate on projects with. Having the opportunity to work alongside and share debates and discussions with the mind of someone so distinctive would encourage everyone in the vicinity to become greater researchers. I strongly believe that the opportunity to not only learn from Freud but also to gain a deep understanding of him as a person would allow for understanding leading to advancements in the psychological field. Understanding the source himself may answer many questions the social science community has on the topic of infantile sexualization and the Oedipus and Electra complexes, respectively. At the end of the day, I’d want to choose someone who I believe would add to the learning experience as well as benefit those I wish to help someday, and the greater society at large. Freud is the best choice because of how deeply influential he is, and how great of an impact he could make with today’s knowledge of social science.



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

A book that I read this past year with a significant impact on me is “A Mother’s Reckoning” by Sue Klebold. I chose to read this book due to my interest in the intersection of criminality and mental illness, with Klebold especially qualified to speak about as she is personally experienced in those topics after her son, Dylan Klebold, along with his friend and classmate, Eric Harris, committed the Columbine High School mass shooting in 1999. Before the homicides, Klebold was unaware of the impact of mental health (which she fastidiously refers to as “brain health”) on the life of her teenage son. Often, we look at the people responsible for committing tragedies like the Columbine massacre in a very black and white way, but reading this book forces you to open up to see in full colour. Humans are not simply black or white, good or bad. There are a variety of circumstances and choices that led Dylan and Eric to commit horrific acts, but the most overlooked one is simple: mental illness. It’s easy to cast off killers like Dylan as evil and one-dimensional but it’s a lot harder to look at them with compassion and understanding for the pain they suffered throughout the ordeal. Klebold’s book truly opened my heart to the dire need for mental health resources, especially at the secondary school level, which inspires me everyday to learn about the difference I can make. This book is what has led me to McMaster, to do what I can to be apart of the change for the greater good.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

Outside of school I spend my time advocating for causes I’m passionate about because “I may not be able to do all of the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good I can do,” as Jana Stanfield once wisely said. LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms, gender-based discrimination and racial discrimination are three of the things I spend my free time researching and speaking about. I’ve volunteered at the Oakville Public Library for the past five years on a committee called the Teen Advisory Group which aims to tailor the space for teen needs. In doing so, I’ve brought to the attention of OPL issues such as expanding the teen collection to include sexually diverse authors and ensuring there are adequate mental health resources designed specifically for teens which are monetarily accessible. My work with the library led to the Town of Oakville nominating a group (Teen Tech Team) I spearheaded for a Community Spirit Award recognizing my work with the senior community. Mental health is another cause particularly close to my heart, which is why I volunteer at ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids) in a big-sister type program called “Youth Aiding Youth” in which I help a child struggling to fit in his or her community and provide them with a role model and confidant. For three hours a week every week, my buddy and I participate in activities to help boost her confidence and prepare her to take on life the best way possible with my support fully behind her.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

Something I learned about myself this year is that nothing brings me more joy in life than feeling like I’ve made a difference. After a car accident that changed my life in 2015, I felt incredibly lost. It took intense emotional and physical pain, and my own experience with the mental health system to find out what I’m truly destined to do and what brings me joy at the end of the day. People speak about magic very often in life, but I don’t think there’s anything closer to magic than being able to help someone. It can be in the smallest way, like telling a young child that he’s smart, or in a big way, like the way my therapist worked with me to realize the strength within myself, but either option leaves you feeling incredible. Fighting back on my own negative thoughts and battling a debilitating chronic illness has shown me that I can have my own struggles while still adding immense value to the lives of others. Nothing would thrill me more than knowing that I could go to school every day to study social sciences and eventually be able to help those in a similar position as I was these past four years.





2020-143110

Date of Submission: 2019-10-21 08:39:01

Reference: 018122

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

The Arts and Science program at McMaster includes a range of different subjects and areas for me to explore. I have always been interested in Arts, including both studio arts and researching arts, but I also have an interest in other subjects as well, such as political science and philosophy. Even though my interest is in the fields of visual arts, I would also like to explore other subject areas that interest me, the Arts and Science program at McMaster can allow me to explore a wide range of subjects that can broaden my world view and open up new opportunities for me to explore. In the Arts and Science program at McMaster, the wide ranges of subject areas intrigue me the most, I believe that I will be able to study in different areas that both interest me, such as art history and political science, allowing me to broaden my studies rather than just focusing on one specific area.



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

I would like to have the Dadaist artist Hannah Höch as a classmate in the Arts and Science program. Hannah Höch was a German Dadaist artist during the 20th century, she was considered a pioneer and creator of photomontages, she frequently incorporated political and social aspects of society in her work, mocking the political state of the time. Aside from being a rare female artist prominently practicing in the 20th century, she was also one of the few artists that survived the Nazi regime in German during World War 2. I was always intrigued by the use of colour and photos in her work, as well as the satirization of politicians in her work. Personally, I think that she can provide amazing views on how art and social issues are connected, as well as a unique view on gender roles in contemporary society. I think that if she was one of my classmates, I can have amazing conversations with her about my view on how art and politics are being increasingly intertwined.



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

One of the books that I have read in the last year is "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera. The book was a required book to read for my English Literature course, but it surprised me with how it dealt with the structure of the book and how it expresses the themes of human nature. Like its title, the book explores the relationship of lightness and weight in our lives, through the characters Sabina, Tomas, and Tereza, the book exposes that we can't live only under lightness nor weight. The character Sabina, in particular, resonated with me the most. In the novel, she tries to escape the judgements of other infringed upon her through her art, she expresses herself and creates subtle acts of rebellion through her art; this created meaning to me because I believe that Art is not just colour on a canvas but is integrated in our life so we can express ourselves truly and to the fullest extent, I also believe that art is connected with our social, cultural, and political background. The book allowed me to find meaning in what I create and allowed me to think about human nature and it's relation to how we think.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

Outside of school, I like to watch movies and documentaries, as well as paint and play volleyball. I try to keep my lifestyle as balanced as possible, and I do activities that help me maintain balance and relax. Volleyball helps me be active and connect with my friends, although I also participate in my school's varsity volleyball team, I don't stop playing volleyball after school when the season is over; to me, volleyball is a way for me to relieve my stress and take a break from electronic devices that we use in school. Painting is a kind of meditation for me, I like to paint what I feel like painting at that moment, and it helps me take my mind off of stressful things. I love to watch movies and documentaries in my free time because it can provide new information or new angles of thinking that may not be taught in school.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

I have always thought that I knew what I wanted in life, I thought that I just wanted to become a jewelry designer and work in a studio, but I have learned that that's not the case. Because my family is not an artist family, I have always been the odd one, I want to pursue in the fields of arts because no one in my family has ever tried, but I learned that I am interested in so much more than just arts and design, I am also interested in the relation of politics, social issues, and philosophy. Both of my parents are Taiwanese, but I was born in South Africa and immigrated to Canada at a young age, throughout my childhood, I have always felt a disconnect between me and my Taiwanese roots, and I never felt that I "belonged" in a certain culture, but this year I learned to embrace my Taiwanese culture and embrace my multi-cultural thoughts and put them into my artworks and my thought process.





2020-012233

Date of Submission: 2019-11-10 13:30:29

Reference: 530569

1. Why have you decided to apply to the Arts & Science Program at McMaster? What specifically about the Program resonates with your hopes for your undergraduate education?

Here's my dilemma. I am currently working on an album, poetry collection, comic series, short story, theater production, and more! The one thing that I have never gotten tired of is expressing myself through art. At the same time, I have always found the world we live in to be magical (Scientifically, that is). The idea that unfathomable creatures once walked this land or that there are planets where it rains diamonds is something that amazes me constantly. A lot of inspirations for art are pulled from the scientific essence of the world and plenty of scientific advancements have only spurred into existence because of an artistic mind. These two subjects are directly connected in my eyes and the opportunity to work with both of them is ideal for my future career. But beyond the name, "Arts & Science", the other objectives listed for the course heavily appeal to me as well. For instance, I appreciate that "foster[ing] the art of scholarly inquiry into issues of public concern" is an objective of the program. A program that will allow our society to thoughtfully act upon modern issues is something that can pave the way for youth leaders to inspire positive change. My goal is to become one of those leaders through passion, resolve, and a good university program. One day, this world will be a better place. But it's going to take leadership from all walks of life to achieve this. It's going to take contemplation and craftiness. In other words—It's going to take "Arts & Science"!



2. Think of a well-known figure—fictional, historical, or contemporary—you imagine you would like to have as a classmate in the Arts & Science Program and describe why this is so.

The current figure I have in mind is Elon Musk. I would love to learn alongside somebody who has demonstrated their entrepreneurial leadership in the world of business, science, and entertainment. Musk has made huge strides to help our planet, something I believe is a great deal of importance to humanity. Somebody who has paid to plant a million trees, and created electrical cars would have an environemental perspective that I could not miss out on listening to. Musk is also an icon of the internet, beloved by communities on huge social platforms such as Reddit and Youtube. He demonstrates that a nonchalant way of tackling some of the hardest-hitting topics can sometimes lead to the best solutions, or at least better spread the concern. He changed his Twitter username to "Treelon Musk" to get people to donate to environmental causes. The fact that a huge figure in science would use a silly pun shows me a sense of relatability, making me feel as though I could reach the same level of influence one day. As much as I would love to meet so many other figures (Harry Potter, The Rock, Malala Yousafzai, etc.), I only look up to them as representations of values or interests that I share. They are symbols that I resonate with, but I have no idea how they would appear in everyday life. The only figure I can guarantee that I could look up to, while seeing eye to eye as a classmate with is the Tesla owner himself: Elon Musk. He also seems like a good study buddy!



3. What book, read in the last year or two, has had a significant impact on you? Please provide the author and title, tell us why you chose to read the book, and explain why you have found it meaningful.

A few months ago I picked up a copy of the esteemed poetry book, "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur. As an avid fan, creator, and performer of poetry, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about this book. When I finally got a hold of it, I read it quickly and my reaction was: "Meh". The insignificant feeling I got from such a highly renowned book was almost shocking. And I love poetry! Fast forward three months, and I had just gotten broken up with from a long-term relationship. As I was sitting sadly on my bed, my eyes were drawn to the book. The cover gave me a feeling of relation, almost as if the book held similar experiences to me. I decided to give it another chance and I was shocked again—this time for the opposite reason. It was almost as if the book changed in quality! The ideas that once seemed like flaws in structure now seemed like stylistic choices. What once felt like scattered fragments of the author's brain, now linked as a coherent story being told. As an artist, this taught me a valuable lesson: that perspective can morph art. So before I take harsh criticisms to heart, I try to understand the view of my audience now. This works in reverse as well, as knowing the perspective of the beholder can change how I pose different thoughts and motifs in my art to greater effect. Though I once took "Milk and Honey" as a dull, overrated book of mediocre poetry, I now take it to be a meaningful book that changed how I view art, perspective, and expression.



4. Outside of school, how do you like to spend your time and why?

I enjoy getting lost in my thoughts often. You know how people talk about how their brain is turned on the most at 3:00 AM? Or how they have the best thoughts in the shower? I feel like our brains never turn off, and that we have plenty of amazing thoughts pass through our heads at every moment. Most of my free time is spent in regards to these thoughts, whether that means pondering about them, or creating art off of them. I seriously believe that every little thought has loads of value in it. Because of this, I try to write down every thought that stands out to me, so that I can access it in the future. Some of my thoughts turn into the concept of a superhero, others have developed into a slam poem. It all culminates to the act of creation in performing and visual arts. I have made hobbies of drawing, playing guitar, and writing, which all help me to express thoughts that I feel would not be listened to otherwise. Art has always been my go-to way to escape from reality. But I do sometimes stay in reality! I try to surround myself with friends that will have thought-provoking conversation with me. Listening to another person's perspective about abstract ideas can keep me entertained for hours. I love discussing life, love, and aspirations, as it all inspires me to come up with ideas to better the world and push myself to be the best I can be. I also always try to manage my free time well, so that I can have a healthy sleep schedule and energy to spend time to its fullest.



5. Tell us more about yourself and, in particular, please tell us something you learned about yourself this year.

Okay, time for the origin story. As a child, I began as a timid little boy, who was too afraid to ask the lady at the McDonald's counter for a different Happy Meal Toy. I vividly remember looking around during fourth grade recess thinking: "Huh. I have no friends", and living life as the quiet kid. A few years ago, I was able to overcome my social anxiety and finally submerge myself into society. Now, I find socializing to be a blast and have met friends in all corners of my life. My efforts allowed me to break out of my shell—and I REALLY broke out of that shell. I have begun taking initiatives that I previously thought to be absolutely frightening. I managed to become the highest scoring contestant in my school board's slam poetry competition; I have spoken at Quest, an international conference designed for student success and improvement; and I performed in front of EVERY superintendent and principal in my school board, as I was invited to perform a poem for them earlier this year. This is not me gloating about my achievements, this is me reminiscing about how far I have come. But I learned this year that I have not finished evolving. Recently, something possessed me to want to express myself to the world around me, to show shy kids hiding in corners (like me) that their thoughts have value too. I used to just want to better myself, but recent developments caused me to wish to better the world around me. I want to spread my messages, and I have the power to do it.