I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
my mother informed me today that i ‘needed’ a hat to protect me from the sun while we are in Italia this summer………
(so i’ll take the opportunity to swipe her credit card for my necessity) for this little Anthropologie number. #firsthat #excited
Common App: Why do you want to transfer?
His accent acted as the only reminder that we were from different worlds, as I listened to his explanations, he spoke of Yemen’s security, its citizen’s preference of leadership, the false view the international world seemed to have of his country; the topics were never-ending, and all strikingly relatable to. It fascinated me that in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, such dilemmas seen in countries directly affected by it were so similar to those themes of reform seen in my own country, one considered so “foreign” to that of Yemen.
In the moment I observed the Yemeni representative speak at his Washington D.C. embassy in 2011, I decided my future would have a place for International Relations in it. Since the realization I experienced that summer prior to entering my senior year of high school, my academic, and through affiliation, life, choices have heavily been based upon finding the express route towards creating a career in International Relations. Naturally, in applying to colleges, I looked at schools in the DC metropolitan area, the “epicenter” of International Affairs and American foreign policy. Upon receiving my offer of enrollment to the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, I thought there was nothing to lose, that this was my pass to the express lane I so desired.
In my search for a transfer school, I am not looking to abandon my passion that has only grown over the past years for International Relations. But in looking back on the Yemeni embassy experience and through the experiences I’ve had this past semester, with canvassing, and administering non-violent counseling, I have begun to think that in the clashing of different cultures maybe it is not so much the politics that necessarily intrigue me, but rather the socio-cultural aspect that does. I thus have begun to contemplate taking on a study of Anthropology. In searching for semester courses, I have come across an Existentialism class that sparks my interest, only to be told I cannot take it due to the boundaries of my school’s specialized curriculum. Limitations such as these have forced me to understand that I am looking for more of a liberal arts-based education than I originally sought.
Sometimes in taking the express route, you miss the side-roads that lead you to some essentials needed for the journey as well. Unquestionably, I aspire for a career in the field of International Affairs, however not at the expense of a true, well-rounded, undergraduate experience. An experience that encompasses a new home, where the students that surround me are individuals that inspire me constantly, where the education is the higher value than the networking alone, and where the faculty is more centralized and offers an open-door policy. I desire an experience where I have more room for exploration that will let me know: when I do one day enter that fast lane, I am on the right one, heading towards a career I know I will be able to whole-heartedly embrace.
Georgetown: Submit an essay, either personal or creative, that best describes you. Also, include why you wish to transfer.
I once took a philosophy class with a theme based upon contemplating the question of whether or not individuals each have an inner core. In brevity, an “inner core” essentially concerns the idea of a person being born with innate qualities that incline them to think what they think, and do what they do. Our teacher, Mr. Ross, gave us two visuals to describe the concept: that of an apple, which consists of a core and seeds for growth, and that of an onion, which consists of built-upon layers with no designated center. With the analogies provided to us as a class, we were forced to spend the course of the semester deciding: is human nature a reflection of an apple, or of an onion?
In the end, my group and I determined human nature to be more similar to the likes of a pomegranate. We concluded that a pomegranate is something unique in that it has no core; it instead has a compilation of layers that, most importantly, are made up of small seeds. We concluded that one is not born with an essential core, that each individual engages in life, and that in doing so creates experiences leading to the acquiring of new seeds. We concluded these each root themselves as the lessons one learns, that shape their current definition. We decided that we as humans are ever evolving, constantly building our layers with nurture from those already existing.
So when it comes down to it, it is not in my intention to write of the anatomies of fruit. But rather to explain that I have personally concluded my experiences are amongst my highest values. They are what distinguish me from everyone else; they are what compose this pomegranate that reflects human nature, and therefore, my character.
These seeds root themselves in all aspects of my life. In the moments before mounting the ice to perform in a skating competition, when my coach locks eyes with me, squares my shoulders, and reminds me that hard work and sacrifice are for getting you through critical instances such as these. They are formed in my foreign exchange program that teaches me lessons of cultural connectivity and value in relationship through moments of venturing the historical French countryside with my classmates; in moments of watching the excitement of our French correspondents as we teach them something as ridiculous as the Big Mac rap; in the moment I watch my exchange partner, Jade, and her mother, Danielle, kiss each other’s hands as they laugh with one another. While canvassing for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, a woman apologizes for not hearing my knock at the door, explaining she is holding a reception for her son’s funeral. She however continues to insist I stay and deliver my message, claiming that the future state of our nation is a greater issue than her own personal tragedy; in this moment of witnessing such sincerity, a seed is formed. I learn that venturing out of my comfort zone is not always important for personal benefit, but sometimes for a benefit of something much larger than just my own. My seeds are even planted in the simple moments of watching fellow Model United Nations peers laugh over a political joke no one else would understand, reminding me it is okay to be different, that I am in good company. Or in having Mehkai, the five-year-old boy at Little Friends for Peace (LFFP) I weekly mentor, grab my hand and remember my name for the first time. When I realize I do have a small place in his life, and that I have earned it by means of being a positive influence.
Of course there are also the seeds that root my desire to transfer from my current undergraduate institution. Unable to specify the multitude of them, I know they are those that have taught me the significance of an enriching educational environment. Perhaps they are those that have led me to believe such an environment to include a higher value on education rather than mere networking, a centralized faculty eager to teach outside the classroom as well as in it, a warm student body that inspires me on a daily basis, and an institution that prioritizes exploration in expansive course study, rather than limited specialization, to ensure a well chosen direction after graduation for its students.
In reanalyzing, perhaps some of these standards have grown from seeds like those that stem from the likes of Mr. Ross’s twelfth grade philosophy class. In the experiences that teach me the importance of collecting my seeds, and in the experiences that remind me to continue planting new ones, so that I am always building and bettering my own pomegranate.
Bucknell: What makes you uncommon and uniquely you? In your responses, be bold and have some fun—really!…What are the three most important things Bucknell’s faculty and students should know about you?
1. I am an avid believer in method acting. Having taken part in acting for six years of my adolescence, I have witnessed that true and thorough learning takes place through the process of immersion. I think that by completely immersing yourself in an environment that you wish to learn something from is the only way in which you can fully appreciate what you gain or take away from it. Apart from artistically acting, I have applied this process of immersion in other aspects of life, such as my home-stay French exchange program, to gauge cultural understanding. I applied it in taking on Washington, DC in experiencing its speakers, embassies, and campaigns, so to gauge the nuances of American politics. I now recognize the need to use such immersion in a centralized liberal arts environment, such as the one Bucknell embodies. At this point in my life, I see an importance of finding a community devoted to academia and its exploration, to aid me in modifying and filtering my now excessive interests in international affairs, anthropology, and philosophy. In addition to a united effort to engage in the town and culture that surrounds it, I seek a student and faculty body that aligns in having one spirit, strong drive, and open minds eager for exchange. This, so that upon graduation I am well equipped to taking on my next piece, or place of immersion.
2. I have a habit of talking to strangers. Perhaps it is derived from a rebellious tendency to, in some small way, defy what my mom always warned me against. Nonetheless, I have recently taken an appreciation to the stories of people I encounter from all walks of life. Often times, my friends will tell me I am the person they go to in moments of needed console. Explaining they do not know how I articulate what they need to hear when it is most needed to be heard. Honestly, I think my ability to lend advice comes along with my ability to keep my ears open for it. When the former Wall Street exec sitting next to me on a train explains his abandonment of corporate America to pursue a career of purpose rather than prestige, I, in the midst of formulating my own career, take his words as a warning. When a hippie I encounter at a street fair in Salem tells me to go forth and wear the cardigan she has sold to me “with love,” I make an effort do so because it is evident such a simple philosophy has brought happiness to her own life. Each of these strangers hold the potential to become mentors if listened to properly. So I collect advice; I think it is what fuels progress, as well as the curiosity that stimulates such progress. I find that I approach my academic studies much in the same way; I am always curious, and always pushing forward to learn more.
3. My favorite philosophical question is as follows: Does human nature reflect that of an apple or an onion? First brought to my attention senior year, I refer to the question on almost a daily basis. I have however concluded that neither the answer of an apple or an onion is appropriate. I think that human nature reflects that of a pomegranate. A pomegranate is unique in that it has no core; it is structured by layers of small seeds that in turn nurture growth of new ones from those already existing. Thus, pomegranates are ever evolving, as is an individual’s nature. I see seeds as experiences; none go unforgotten, all have a part in shaping the overall definition and character of the individual. Constantly, I put effort into rooting these seeds by simply participating in life. Participation can be exemplified in teaching CCD, canvassing for the presidential campaign, mentoring at Little Friends for Peace, my officer role and membership in Model UN clubs, or in “talking to strangers.” Participation can be as small as maintaining my obsession with film to learn of adventures I want to one day take, or my personal blog that is a collection of quotes, photos, and tidbits I want to ensure are not forgotten. Participation even includes taking a philosophy class that I am reminded of frequently still, because it furthered and bettered my own pomegranate.
“We shall not cease exploration. And the end of exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.”
I heard a man on television last night recite this, but he tweaked it to say: “We shall not cease exploration. But the end of our exploring will be to have arrived where we ourselves are from, our place of origin..and know it for the first time.”
Everyone wonders: what is life about? And sometimes the realization that all of it is spent asking this question gives me discomfort. That we spend all of this time living this thing we call life maybe to only find answers to our omnipresent question. It’s like we generate a reason to live and then live in order to abide by the reason. We make ourselves busy with tasks and adventures that will lead to answers. But the kicker is that those answers always lead to knew inquiry that again redirects us to pose the meaning of our actions, that one question: what is life about?
So life is just all self generated?
That can’t be, because every single human being has been and is faced with that same question, (like a ‘Call to Action,’ but one that is continuous throughout life) whether aware or unawarely..and if every life is just manifested on the pursuit to answer a self-generated question, then life itself could be nothing without the existence of such a question. But everyone asks it, everyone creates a journey to explore it.
So since we all ask the same question, is there a same answer for all of us? For me, I really couldn’t tell you the meaning of life, because like everyone else, I’m just a dog chasing its tail. But what I have concluded, and I think will always believe, is that the point to life is taking those endeavors in pursuit of figuring out what its about, to make stories; perhaps, the meaning of life is to just experience it. I think Eliot and that guy on the television last night can both agree that the way we know our attempts to answer the question were worth while, is when we are standing back at the place we originally asked it. Standing there, with a book worth of stories to attest that we tried to answer the call, we explored, we realize that this book is the result that shows what made our life worth while. We know that this place of origin is the breading ground for what set up a story uniquely ours, that it posed the self-generated question, and this self-generated book of experience is all we could have done to answer it. Like every other human that came before us, lived with us, and is to come. And this will give us fulfillment as all stories do to some extent or another.
That’s why I think life is about making beautiful stories; no two are the same, and there is evidently no one answer to a timeless question. Hence the need for, and existence of, all the stories.
why do signs point ways that are just nonexistent?
I really am beginning to think there are no such things as signs.
&this is perhaps one of my saddest realizations…it’s comparable to learning there is no Santa Clause.