statement of purpose
I began college like many freshmen: nervous, anxious, naïve. Now, as I contemplate my academic future, I find that I am leaving college almost as I began: nervous and anxious, if a little more knowledgeable and worldly. The nerves and anxiety are common; few people experience the satisfaction of knowing exactly what they want to or how to accomplish their goals. I cannot claim to be in that minority, to have, with great certainty, knowledge of what I want to do. There is one thing of which I am certain. I want to continue searching, exploring, gaining knowledge from people more educated and experienced than me, searching for myself and my future in ever new endeavor. Though broad, my ideas evolved from my experiences as an undergraduate, both in and out of the classroom. They are reflections of what I know about myself.
My love for communication, oral as well as written, serves both as motivational tool—prompting me to pursue a career in professional writing—and philosophical instrument to explore my chosen epistemological paradigm: truth through reason. Since the first haiku I wrote in second grade, writing has been a significant part of my life. It always battled with music over what would become my main interest, but as I began seriously examining future careers, writing prevailed. My freshmen year in college, Dr. Brian Mihm, my first writing professor, helped me craft my ability not only through grammar and syntax but also by helping me shape the way I think. Writing became a way for me to communicate what I really wanted to say, a goal I tried to accomplish through music with meager success. The power of revision, the ability to perfect one’s statements, and the pure expression of self writers can add to their work attracted me to the art and profession of writing. My involvement with the school paper, the Decaturian, only bolstered my newfound obsession with communication. As the primary page designer, I became interested in presentation as well as writing, how the look of the paper influenced its content. This spawned research interests in the presentation of media to children, culminating in my research paper with Dr. Priscilla Meddaugh and my two year James Millikin Scholar project, “Drawing Conclusions: Framework, theory and research for a collegiate level course based on race portrayals in American animated cartoons.”
Journalism, as a form of writing based in empirical evidence, became another way for me to analyze myself and the philosophical world around me, but no matter what I write, I strive for my best, for my satisfaction. I want nothing more than personal fulfillment. If my audience enjoys the writing, all the better, but if not a single reader finds a thread of enjoyment in work, so be it. Knowing that my personal standards are met is the only reassurance I need that my time writing is well spent. The best public service anyone can perform in any given field of study or occupation is taking pride in one’s work. If the ego is satisfied, the job will almost assuredly be of high quality.
And now I find myself applying to Clemson University for the privilege of pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Communication, attempting to transfer my two main reasons for writing into a graduate writing program. I chose to apply to Clemson—after reading several pages on the Clemson web site regarding the MAPC program—based foremost on its commitment to practical education as well as theoretical. The words “client based projects” immediately caught my attention in the program description. Such projects were the highlight of my tenure at Millikin, and I look forward to even better experiences at the graduate level. Additionally, the commitment to the fusion between traditional writing skills and new media put Clemson at the top of my list of graduate schools. Specifically, Multimedia-Authoring, Teaching and Research Facility really caught my attention. On top of the research about Clemson I did on my own, Dr. Randy Brooks, chair of the English department at Millikin University, highly recommended the program, essentially assuring that I would apply to Clemson. I would be honored to have permission to pursue a Master of Arts in Professional Communication at Clemson University.
And now I have permission.