Personal Statement

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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:48 pm

Personal Statement

Postby ekl817 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:56 pm

I feel like its too jumbled and wanders off task. I know you guys are harsh, so maybe you can help a bit?

Thirty pairs of eyes stared at the front of the classroom, all focusing on me. I mentally ran through and critiqued, for the hundredth time that morning, all the reasons I had deemed this to be a good idea when I accepted the position months ago. Was I that confident to believe that I had the ability to guide these freshmen, all in their first semester of college, through one of the more difficult classes on campus? What if I failed? What if I had no advice to offer them? “All right, let’s begin,” I said as I found the small bit of confidence left in me after barely sleeping the night before; and so we began.
The bond I formed with my first class as an academic mentor for the Introduction to Criminal Justice class was unexpected. My initial goal was to get through the semester without my students discovering that I had no idea what I was doing. I quickly learned that they were as nervous as I was; many of them more so. They had questions about what professors to avoid, the best places to park, how to drop classes, and the best places in town to find good Italian food. Relief overcame me as I answered these questions the first day of class. This was in my comfort zone; I had been on campus long enough, made enough mistakes, and done well for myself.
The class period continued as we got to know each other while I tried to calm their nerves during their first class of their college career, and my nerves as settled into my position. Week after week I was challenged by my students. It seemed ages ago that I was a freshmen and I felt pride in having the chance to share the mistakes I had made over my college career and my knowledge of how to avoid those mistakes. I watched them change, settling into the new expectations put upon them in higher education, something some of them had not anticipated.
As the weeks flew by, they learned their court cases, the theories of crime, and the classifications of offenses in Indiana, while I gained skills that I had hoped to obtain through this position, and many I had not foreseen. I increased my patience, flexibility, and organizational skills. I was also able to see the importance of holding a role that balanced between being a peer and holding an authority position. The role I took by leading fellow students allowed me to work with them on a closer level, thereby increasing my interpersonal skills and challenging my ability to be an adaptive leader. With my mentoring role for criminal justice and my background in philosophy I had a unique opportunity to challenge the students to think critically, not only about the legal system, but also about the world around them. The connection between philosophy and the legal field became something obvious that I had been blindly overlooking. A chance to look at not only the law, but the foundations, purpose, and goal of the law I find more interesting than the practice itself and imperative to a full understanding of the legal field.
While I find the idea of practicing law stimulating, my end goal is to eventually combine my interest in law with my passion for teaching and philosophy. There are many similarities between the law and philosophy that easily complement each other. Both will challenge my ability to tear down, analyze and construct arguments. A dual degree program will allow me to use my dialectic and communication skills while also advancing my study of logic and clarity of arguments. The strong J.D./M.A. in Philosophy program at XXXXX University would rigorously prepare me for academia following graduation. The wide variety of legal philosophy classes would allow me to further develop my legal theory, while my strong philosophy background would bring an analytical and critical perspective to the classroom.

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