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PERSONAL ESSAY
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  (I did receive a $1000 scholarship after submitting this with my application but was unable to use the scholarship because we could not afford the rest of my student expenses and living expenses in Alaska. A full semester cost about $1600 with tuition fees and books.)                                                                                                                 

 

  January 28, 2005

 

Dear Scholarship Provider,

 

      My life seems like it has been an anthropological experiment. I say this because I am a little older than many students and have had the opportunity to live in many different parts of the country among many different cultures.  During my life I have had many experiences that have helped to equip me for a career in social science. I have lived on two Indian reservations and been a part of their respective cultures. I have lived in both very rural neighborhoods and in the inner city. I have normally immersed myself in the culture of the people and the places where I have lived.

       I have lived in a dozen different states all over the country, and among many different ethnic cultures as well. Rather than approach this as an outsider looking in, I have always adapted to the culture I find myself living in so that my view is that of an insider on the inside rather than an outsider looking in. I am able to identify with the multifaceted traditions that make up a particular culture and fit in to each, whether it's been the Italian or Hispanic cultures of Boston, the southern white culture of the southeast (where I was born) or the Native American cultures of the plains and Pacific Northwest.

      Seeking a degree in Sociology with a primary major in anthropology is honing skills I already have acquired over the years as I have interacted with and made myself part of different cultures and adapted different ways of life. Having such experience has allowed me to obtain a tremendous amount of inside knowledge about other cultures from their viewpoint. I personally feel that having this kind of experience would give me a genuine edge in a career in sociology and anthropology.

       I am presently married and my wife and I live on a boat in Douglas Harbor with very little living space. I do not have a personal computer at home. Due to my living arrangements I often spend most of my free time at the University in order to complete homework assignments and keep up with my studies. This includes weekends. Some of my fellow classmates have commented that it seems like I live at the college! I do not mind because I am willing to do what it takes in order to get the most out my educational pursuits so that I can prepare myself for the career I am seeking.

      There is certainly a financial need for me at this point in order that I continue my studies and obtain my degree. Taking into consideration my living arrangements and the fact much of my free time is devoted to studying at the University, I have not been employed since August, 2004. In the future I do plan on seeking part time employment at the University, but given my class and study schedule it would hardly meet tuition expenses. I am therefore hoping that I may be granted a scholarship so that I might continue my studies uninterrupted and be able to apply what I have accomplished to my career.