Personal Statement.

I have come to a nice stopping point in my homework, and I have 10 minutes to fill, before I have to leave for work.

I really don’t want to go to work. I really just want to go home and sleep. I decided that sleeping for 8 hours was integral to my recovery from the world’s longest panic attack. So, I lay in bed for 8 hours this morning/afternoon…I slept for a nonconsecutive 3.5 of those 8 hours. I miss sleep.

Anyway. Time to kill. What to do? Blog, of course. I wrote this…thing…as a final for one of my classes. It’s supposed to be a personal statement to get into a pretend grad program. I changed the names and such, for the blogosphere. Here you go:

“Money is only a metaphor,” I said to my uncle. “Pass the artichoke dip, please.” The Taylor Lunch Bunch was at Applebee’s, doing their best work: eating and arguing. My uncle’s shoulders stiffened. My grandfather let out a frustrated sigh. My grandmother rolled her eyes. “The world cannot function without money,” Grandma retorted. “You’re not going to make a very good politician if you don’t believe in money.” That’s fine, I thought. I don’t want to be a politician, anyway. “I’m changing my major,” I blurted out. “I may quite possibly kill myself if I continue in Political Science. I am going to study literature. Are we going for dessert?” I took a sudden interest in origami, folding and unfolding my napkin in my lap. I felt the shock fill our booth as the other Lunch Bunch members tried to grasp what I had just told them. “So…you want to be unemployed the rest of your life,” Grandma said, breaking the silence. “I thought we could go for an ice cream.”

The Lunch Bunch dropped me off at the curb of the Liberal Arts building, after our weekly lunch excursion was over. I slung my bag over my shoulder and felt a sense of peace settle over me. I am going to study literature, I told myself again. That sense of peace drove me through the next four years, as I committed myself to being an English person. Literature is not merely a field of study. Studying literature requires us to reorient ourselves to the world and to reevaluate every principle we accepted as being true; to navigate again through our own identities and construct ourselves as more attentive human beings, in tune with the half-truths and artifices that comprise our world.

In a writing conference, Dr. K—— told me to “find [my] tribe,” or the people to whom I belong. Among the students and faculty of HV University’s English & Literature department, I have found my tribe. I want to continue my studies in this department at the graduate level, because it is with my tribe that I will cultivate the skills and the confidence necessary to teach literary criticism. My aim is to seek out a professorship within the English discipline, once I have completed my graduate studies. I have had the opportunity of working closely with both Dr. B—— and Dr. N——- as an undergraduate, and look forward to their mentorship on the graduate level as I hone a specialty in the critical field of Gender and Queer theory.

In fifteen years, when I have completed my graduate education and have spent time working as an academic, I hope a Political Science student decides to take my introductory survey of literature. I hope to provide an environment in which that student can connect to the texts, and find a home amongst literary critics the way that I have. I will encourage each of my students to “find your tribe,” and will remember how my education at HV University laid the ground work for my career as an academic. If accepted to the graduate program of the English & Literature department, I will not only be an asset as a student, but will commit myself to becoming the type of academic whose work will reflect well on HV University.


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