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Here's the essay I used to get into WPI
Note: This probably had little or no effect on my admittence. Check out this story about the truth behind many admissions offices to find out why.
By Paul Ingemi
Hundreds of marching soldiers forge across the burning sands in what they will remember as hell. Not of their own will but because they are ordered to do so to maintain the peace and prosperity of the homeland... so they cross the dark portal into this dark place. These are simple farmers. Undoubtedly they would rather be tending their fields, but they were commanded, and they must obey. They are under my command.
I think into the past. I am facing a wall of books and I hear a sound. It sounds like my name. I look around for a pair of moving lips. I see my mother. I am eight years old.
"Have you found a book yet?"
"Yes mom, I like this one"
"Ooh," gushed mom, glancing at the front cover embossed with the word BASIC, "that book looks interesting. Why don't you check it out at the front desk."
Twelve VTOL shuttles appeared suddenly out of the deep blue sky, kicking up brown dust as they touched the ground. Squadrons of men wearing full battle armor rushed towards the shuttles, marching inward. Sounds could be heard in the background, "Go go go!" I was about to launch an amphibious assault on an unsuspecting enemy base.
I think into the past. In front of me, the computer screen glows. A flag of asterisks appears. Just then a message interrupts the program.
"Dad, what does sintac error mean?"
"You misspelled 'print', see how the command becomes fatter when it is spelled correctly?"
"It works!" I exclaim, and it did work. My mind couldn't stop racing. I can make it do anything!
The shuttles launched almost as quickly as they had touched down. They seemed to sluggishly jump across the sky, as they were slaves of their own weight. If the marines and civilians inside were real, they would undoubtedly lose their lunch from excessive vertical maneuvers... better than losing their head to flak. All the same, this is one inaccuracy that is not going to be fixed, no one wants virtual backflow from virtual marines.
I think into the past. I am fourteen years old. My life involves one computer project after another. There are infinite possibilities with computers, but limited time and patience on my part. There are plenty of other things in life. Regardless, creating virtual worlds is a lure far too enticing to ignore. I like playing real time strategy war games against friends, and I can't help but think of writing my own.
The landers fired and the shuttles would have shaken vigorously if it had not been for the shock absorbers. More than one veteran trooper could remember those times, it was not a pleasant memory. "Go go go!" The troops marched through scarred ground, penetrated base defenses, and started demolishing the city from the inside out. "We're under attack!" I notice that my own base had been overrun by the enemy's troops. He dropped massive artillery units beyond the range of my guns and blasted my initial defenses, then rushed inside with his own men. The screen flashed DEFEAT. "Good game," I typed, "after I update the code you will find that strategy much harder."
"I look forward to the challenge, beating you at your own game ;-p" my nemesis responded. I logged offline and fell asleep. I think into the future.