Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Onto the University of Washington, Bothell!

Though I've committed to keeping up with blogging, I swore I would not make another blog post until my personal statement for UW Bothell was completed.
` It's taken so long, partly because most of the time I hadn't had the money to apply and so focused more on school work and library books. Now that the pressure is off, I am back to blogging, and showering, more regularly.

Since I still haven't finished the post I had been working on, I'll show you what I've finally come up with instead.

My passion for science has always been an immense source of motivation, as it is a triumph of human understanding, yet it is widely misunderstood. With my skills in the visual and musical arts, video editing, acting and writing, I am determined to find a career in engaging the general public in scientific understanding.
` I’ve long been honing my skills through blogging, which has generally gotten positive feedback from professionals, and I am now working on a website for the public understanding, and use of, science and critical thinking.
` There is more to this than fostering a sense of curiosity and wonder: Understanding the critical basis of how science works, and why, can teach people how to ask questions for themselves and to solve puzzles in their own lives.
` With such talent and determination, one might assume that I was raised by loving parents who nurtured my mind from the beginning, but the truth is that I've been fighting every step of the way. If I hadn’t been as curious as I am, or learned the art of critical thinking, I shudder to think of the consequences.
` Starting out, I had been severely abused and isolated, with scarcely any formal education or notion of the outside world. My worldview had been based on my father’s delusions that I was trying to kill him, and the fact that I was unaware of this was proof that I wasn’t conscious of reality. Instead, my thoughts and experiences were mere illusions, and I was crazy to even think that severe injuries caused me any pain at all.
` The only thing I had to live for was learning about the latest scientific discoveries, from genetics to exoplanets, because they gave me hope that something could be considered real by someone. I didn’t really understand how scientific evidence worked, since bringing my dad an object he insisted wasn’t real only made him look away and fly into a rage.
` I didn’t give up hope: For five years, I wrote down my experiences, as accurately as I could, so that perhaps some scientist could be the judge of whether or not I was a real person. When I was eighteen, however, my dad stole every scrap of this evidence on his way out of my life.
` I was just able to cope with this by telling myself that I would discover something so amazing that my life would become worthwhile. To my surprise, I did. It was a book on epistemology and critical thinking, in which I learned that there actually is a real world where evidence matters, and that proper reasoning is the opposite of my dad’s version. Shakily, I accepted this alien concept, and gradually came to realize that most of my worldview was not based on real evidence or logic -- so, what was?
` My quest for coherent understanding fell flat when I ran into trauma far worse than my dad, and for many years the only professional advice I could get was, “give up, you’re hopeless.” I could use my critical abilities to become aware of what was going on in my head, and figure out how to improve myself, but others kept telling me to stop, insisting that it was impossible.
` I had to set out on my own, and almost immediately I met my now-fiance, who encouraged me to attend Everett Community College -- my first real school! Despite serious setbacks from adverse living conditions, my mental capacities began to skyrocket, and my grades weren‘t bad, either.
` Now that I‘m about to earn my transfer degree, I’ve become convinced of my realness. Indeed, the skills for solving problems and expanding my world have had such a tremendous impact on my life that I’ve dedicated the rest of it to teaching their importance to others, and I look forward to continuing toward my goal at the University of Washington.

Well, it's original. I wonder what they'll make of that?


Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but I would re-work this essay entirely. Though I believe you are a good writer, in my opinion, this particular essay is too focused on the past, and you come across as having a martyr complex and a lot of baggage (and a touch of paranoia), which is probably not what you should emphasize to people who are making admissions decisions. In other words, I would tone it down and paint a picture of yourself as more of a "late bloomer" rather than a victim of a vast conspiracy.

S E E Quine said...

Hey, thanks. Indeed, that was my feeling too, hence my apprehension on my blog post.
` That's why I asked an expert in wording things for maximum effect, and he had different suggestions, which really surprised me.
` Oh well, if they think I'm a nut, then I'll just have to keep applying until they accept me.

KB said...

Glad to hear you're showering again :)

S E E Quine said...

Thanks! Indeed, I was starting to smell a little strange.