Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Magical Moment 209, "Applications"

A few months ago, I took the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) thinking I might want to become a lawyer some day. It had actually been at the back of my mind for several years and four months ago, I decided to take the first step and sign up for the LSAT exam. Despite what Legally Blond would have you believe, there is much more to the application process than making a cute home video. First I attended a demanding preparation course which entailed about a month of excruciating studying. In the end, my score was average, nothing to brag about, but enough for me to continue on with the next step of actually applying to some law schools. After scrounging up my five year old college transcripts and hunting down three different people to write me letters of recommendation (thank you, sirs!), today was the first day that I could submit applications for the fall 2011 semester. 

One important part of the application process is submitting a personal statement. Of course, I had no idea how to write one, so I spent the day googling examples and was forced to really contemplate and neatly summarize how I came to this complex point in my life. All the "how-to" articles say to brag about yourself a bit, so I feel a little weird sharing this with everyone. Then again, this blog has been sort of an open book about me as it is. So here you go, a rough draft of my law school application personal statement. Suggestions welcome. I plan to submit tomorrow or Friday at the latest.

As a child I recall visiting a World War II Museum in North Platte, NE, three hours from where I was born and raised. I remember staring in absolute awe at a black and white photo of Rosie the Riveter, working tirelessly and confidently for a purpose greater than her own. Even at that young age, my heart swelled with pride and I knew that she was something special and strong. In Nebraska, we don’t have much to brag about, only a college football team and the home of Twitter’s inventor. I guess we also have a fantastic marching band. I grew up thinking that I would be as plain and utterly unremarkable as a sheet of paper, although there was always something whispering inside me, like that day I first saw Rosie, that maybe I could be more.

What made Rosie the Riveter exceptional was her undying sense of duty to her country and I learned that I too possessed that calling. My duty was not to only support the military, but be a part of it. I enrolled in college, and to me and my family’s surprise and delight, earned an ROTC scholarship paying for 75% of my education. I was the first out of my parents, grandparents, and two older siblings to graduate college. The pride in my father’s eyes the day of my graduation and commissioning propelled me to dream even bigger.

In my four years of active duty service, I earned several achievements beginning with the words, “first female to…” When my service came to an end, I moved to the next chapter in my life with motivation and determination. I relocated to the New York City area to pursue a full time music career. As an accomplished pianist and an award winning songwriter, I dove in with full force breaking my way into this difficult industry. With music as much a part of me as my own flesh, I know that it will always be an important aspect in my life.

The voice continued to nag at me, prodding me to completely fill my potential. I realized how much I’ve grown and changed since those days in Nebraska and that all my gained experiences and knowledge have made me passionate about issues of equality. I find myself outraged to see and hear about discrimination and lack of respect. I firmly believe that every issue has two sides. Both sides are not always correct, but both sides deserve to be equally presented and heard.

And with this growing plight, I began the process of applying to law school. I sat in the LSAT preparation course, after a five-year classroom absence, nervous and anxiously anticipating the task I was undertaking. But I recognize the feeling now. It’s the same emotion as when I first learned of Rosie, entered the Army, parachuted from military aircraft, and moved to New York City, a place as different as night and day from my home cornfields of Nebraska. It’s the feeling of ambition, passion for what is right, determination, and hard work.

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