MIT Mektubuna Parodili Yanıt

Geçenlerde internette ilginç bir mektupla karşılaştım. Bildiğim kadarıyla ABD'de üniversitelere merkezi yerleştirme yapılmıyor. Öğrenciler ÖSS benzeri SAT denilen bir sınav ve lise notları başta olmak üzere çeşitli kriterler göz önüne alınarak öğrencinin başvurduğu her bir okulca ayrı ayrı değerlendiriliyorlar. Dolayısıyla bizdekinden farklı olarak, öğrencilerle üniversiteler arasında doğrudan bir diyalog oluyor. İşte, aşağıdaki metin MIT'nin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) başarılı bir öğrenci adayını kapmak için ona gönderdiği mektuptan alıntı:

Mr. John T. Mongan
123 Main Street
Smalltown, California 94123-4567
Dear John:
You've got the grades. You've certainly got the PSAT scores. And now you've got a letter from MIT. Maybe you're surprised. Most students would be.
But you're not most students. And that's exactly why I urge you to consider carefully one of the most selective universities in America.
The level of potential reflected in your performance is a powerful indicator that you mightwell be an excellent candidate for MIT. It certainly got my attention!
Engineering's not for you? No problem. It may surprise you to learn we offer more than 40 major fields of study, from architecture to brain and cognitive sciences, from economics (perhaps the best program in the country) to writing.
What? Of course, you don't want to be bored. Who does? Life here *is* tough *and* demanding, but it's also *fun*. MIT students are imaginative and creative - inside and outside the classroom.
You're interested in athletics? Great! MIT has more varsity teams - 39 - than almost any other university, and a tremendous intramural program so everybody can participate.
You think we're too expensive? Don't be too sure. We've got surprises for you there, too.
Why not send the enclosed Information Request to find out more about this unique institution? Why not do it right now?
Michael C. Benhke
Director of Admissions
P.S. If you'd like a copy of a fun-filled, fact-filled brochure, "Insight," just check the appropriate box on the form.
Ve bu da öğrencinin hayli ilginç ve komik yanıtı:
Michael C. Behnke
MIT Director of Admissions
Office of Admissions, Room 3-108
Cambridge MA 02139-4307
Dear Michael:
You've got the reputation. You've certainly got the pomposity. And now you've got a letter from John Mongan. Maybe you're surprised. Most universities would be.
But you're not most universities. And that's exactly why I urge you to carefully consider one of the most selective students in America, so selective that he will choose only *one*of the thousands of accredited universities in the country.
The level of pomposity and lack of tact reflected in your letter is a powerful indicator that your august institution might well be a possibility for John Mongan's future education. It certainly got my attention!
Don't want Bio-Chem students? No problem. It may surprise you to learn that my interests cover over 400 fields of study, from semantics to limnology, from object-oriented programming (perhaps one of the youngest professionals in the country) to classical piano.
What? Of course you don't want egotistical jerks. Who does? I *am* self-indulgent *and*over confident, but I'm also amusing. John Mongan is funny and amusing - whether you're laughing with him or at him.
You're interested in athletes? Great! John Mongan has played more sports - 47 - than almost any other student, including oddball favorites such as Orienteering.
You think I can pay for your school? Don't be too sure. I've got surprises for you there, too.
Why not send a guaranteed admission and full scholarship to increase your chance of being selected by John Mongan? Why not do it right now?
John Mongan
P.S. If you'd like a copy of a fun-filled, fact-filled brochure, "John Mongan: What a Guy!" just ask.

İlginç ve zekice bir parodi olmuş; ve tabi biraz da cesurca! John'un sonra hangi okulda okuduğunu bilmiyorum ama bu mektup internette epey yayılmış (Görüldüğü gibi, hala yayılıyor!). Bunun üzerine MIT öğrenci kabul bölümünden Grande Canine bir açıklama yapmış ve ilginç tanıtım mektuplarının geri dönüş yüzdesini arttırdığını ve dolayısıyla stratejilerinin işe yaradığını savunmuş. Aslında kendilerinin de klasik kolej tanıtım mektuplarını tiye aldıklarını anlatmış:

People have been getting a chuckle (aside from some MIT folks who have been getting fits) over an exchange posted on the WEB between MIT and a prospective student. The student, apparently, has the exchange on his WEB page, and it has spread from there. I'd like to give the student two cheers for a pretty good parody of our letter. In case you haven't seen the exchange, I'm adding it below. (I'm sending this message to those who inquire and who obviously have seen the exchange, but this message may be forwarded to others who haven't seen it.)

Our letter looks rather foolish to some taken out of context. The reason I'm only giving the student two cheers is that I don't know if he recognized our letter as a parody. Our tongue was planted firmly in our cheek with that letter. We've been trying to reflect in our publications and mailings some of the quirky humor at MIT. Since I came to MIT about ten years ago, I've admired the way people here poke fun at themselves. Witness the "Nerd Pride" buttons and hats, the strange cheers at football games, the "Nerd Crossing" sign, and various other "hacks." We've tried to inject some of that humor into our communications with students.

Some may not know why we mailed our letter. Most colleges participate in the Student Search Service. We buy names of high school students who have scored well on the PSAT and who have high grades. Colleges then mail these students letters and brochures to encourage them to look into the college in question. Top students can get ten of these a day. We thought that in this context, students would recognize our letter as being a bit of a parody of other letters.

The purpose of the letter was to get students' attention and provoke a dialogue through which students would learn more about MIT. In fact, the letter was very successful. The percentage of students asking for more information about MIT went up dramatically, and we ultimately enrolled one of the strongest classes in our history. Many students told us that the letter helped to dispel the image of MIT as a humorless, pompous, off-putting place. In spite of the fact that the response rate to this letter was the highest we have ever had, we have since switched to a more straightforward version which is getting almost as strong a response. We switched because we were concerned (justifiably, it turns out) about how the letter would look taken out of context.

If the student did recognize our letter as a parody, I give him two and half cheers. I won't give him three cheers, because if he did recognize it as a parody, it was sort of mean spirited to take it out of context and make us look foolish. But one could argue that we were doing a parody of other colleges' letters, so it serves us right. "Hoist with one's own petard." (Yes, we have a Shakespeare ensemble at MIT, and being in admissions, I can't let a message go out without a little promotion.) 

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