I am in the midst of the gut wrenching process of applying to law school. I am now on the 23rd draft of my personal statement and about the 10th of my essay on diversity. I mean really- what am I supposed to say about diversity? All my life I have heard that I am ‘one of a kind,’ ‘unique,’ ‘I’ve never met anyone like you,’ and just flat out ‘you are weird.’ So how do I prove to law schools that there really is no one else like me. I thought about showing up to my interview completely naked, but then decided that this may be a more appropriate approach. Let’s hope they appreciate my unique qualities as many have told me I’m an acquired taste.
First glance. Male. Caucasian. 23 years old. Straight. Private education. Upper middle class family.
Second glance. Age 11. Joined a Junior Ambassador Program and traveled across Europe without family or friends. Stayed with German host family. Age 14. Spent my evenings with my dying grandfather. Taught to cook by his Jamaican caregiver. Age 15. Had a religious experience on a hiking trip through the Cascades. Became a devoted Christian. Age 16. Studied Samba under famous Brazilian composer Jovino Santos Neto. Age 17. Lived in a homeless shelter in Seattle with an ex-drug dealer named Jay and an ex-Microsoft programmer named Mike. Age 18. Studied classical saxophone under saxophone great Frederick Hemke. Used casino poker winnings to purchase new tenor saxophone. Age 19. Joined Buddhist prayer sessions, the Rangoli festival and parts of Ramadan. Age 20. Learned basic Tagalog while living in the slums of Manila. Age 21. Practiced proper child restraining techniques while working on a psychiatric ward for suicidal/homicidal children. Age 22. Watched in horror as 14-year old gang members surrounded my car and beat on each other with pipes and 2x4s. Age 23. Community group leader at one of the most diverse churches in Chicago with a congregation that speaks over 40 different first languages.
Present Day. Continue to push myself out of my comfort zone. Seek new experiences. Learn.