Throwing my PS to the wolves to rip it apart

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applepiecrust
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Throwing my PS to the wolves to rip it apart

Postby applepiecrust » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:53 pm

Please don't quote this!
____________________________________________
As soon as my flight landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, I removed the LGBT-related pins on my backpack before heading out to look for my parents. Hiding the telltale pins was the first of several changes I made over the course of my college summer vacations. Indeed, throughout my college years, I have lived two disparate lives – one during the academic year at Applebee University, and the other during my summers in India. As an eighteen-year-old living in Delhi, I craved escape from my constraining environment. I romanticized that attending college in the United States would offer greater independence and a wealth of new experiences. However, I never contemplated the impact that three months at home each year would have on me. While acclimation to college life in the United States was expected, the difficulty in having to perpetually readjust to my native environment was not.

Like most college students, I encounter relatively few constraints on my freedom and self-expression. While in India, however, I must conform to certain familial and social boundaries. When out in Delhi, I had to swap my sundresses and tank tops for covered-up salwar kameezes, even in the sweltering June heat. I also had an early curfew and I was not allowed to use public transportation alone in the city. As an eighteen year old who had just become accustomed to personal freedom, these rules were galling. After all, I could travel around the world on my own, but not around my hometown. However, it was only after encountering street harassment multiple times that I realized these constraints were imposed for my own safety and not to restrict me.

During my summer trips home, I also make sure to drop any traces of an American accent and “Americanisms” I may have picked up during the school year, to avoid being labeled a firangi (foreigner). This habit is diametrically opposed to my mindset during the school year when I ensure my v’s do not sound like w’s and my t’s are not too hard. Reinforcing these measures helps me to avoid hostile questions; if I am not conscientious at my fundraising job on campus, alums will sometimes ask me “Is Applebee outsourcing its alumni fundraising drives to India now?” Just as alums take offense to the idea that Applebee would outsource its fundraising efforts, my Indian peers found American inflections in my speech unacceptable. My colleagues in Delhi considered the Americanized accent a flagrant indication that I had adopted American values and abandoned Indian ones. I responded in fluent Hindi that I accepted both sets of values, just as I spoke both languages.

The necessity of retreating back into the metaphorical closet is still challenging and hurtful. Whereas at Applebee I have been significantly involved in LGBTQ activism, at home I have to keep up the pretense of being straight. Being out in a traditional society that values a suitable marriage as the most important goal of one’s life can yield adverse affects on not just me but also my family members. I learned it was best to amicably disregard my extended family’s offers to find me a nice, marriageable Hindu boy of my own caste, instead of picking a fight that could hurt my parents. I was able to redirect my frustrations with insincerity inherent to hiding into an outlet for LGBTQ activism in India. I collaborated with youth in similar situations to develop ways to address discrimination while still respecting cultural boundaries.

Though it is difficult to adjust periodically from one set of cultural expectations to another, I have learned to navigate them smoothly in my three years at college abroad. While I may have to sacrifice some perceived freedoms in India, I still assert my independence of thought and hold firm in my beliefs. The accents, the outfits, and the stories all form intrinsic parts of my multicultural, multinational college life; they change with the season, without changing who I am.
Last edited by applepiecrust on Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

lolol10
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Re: Please critique PS

Postby lolol10 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:24 pm

applebee's has a university? jokes...

wait is this a diversity statement or ps for why you want to go to law school? if its the later i am lost...

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applepiecrust
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Re: Please critique PS

Postby applepiecrust » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:29 pm

lolol10 wrote:applebee's has a university? jokes...

wait is this a diversity statement or ps for why you want to go to law school? if its the later i am lost...


Does a PS HAVE to talk about why you want to go to law school? My "Why X" essay for individual schools talks about it.
I'm going by the Anna Ivey guide recommendation that it doesn't need to.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Please critique PS

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:34 am

Bump?

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nataliejane38
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Re: Critique my PS, please?

Postby nataliejane38 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:59 am

I think it's great. If you are addressing why you want to go to law school in your Why X essays, I don't think any explanation is needed here. I assume though that you will not be writing a DS statement, or will you?

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applepiecrust
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Re: Critique my PS, please?

Postby applepiecrust » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:11 pm

nataliejane38 wrote:I think it's great. If you are addressing why you want to go to law school in your Why X essays, I don't think any explanation is needed here. I assume though that you will not be writing a DS statement, or will you?


Nope, no DS. I think my PS is DS-like enough for that not to be needed.




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