Pity Me Now, My Disciples!!!
2003-11-04 - 5:43 p.m.
So, I didn't get the Marshall Scholarship. I didn't even get asked for an interview for the Marshall Scholarship. all the time I spent frantically writing professors for recommendations and writing and rewriting my statement of purpose are all for naught.
Yeah, I'm disappointed.
The moment I found out that letters had been sent out, I knew I wasn't going to get a good letter. When I got home today and saw the dreaded small envelope, I knew I wasn't going to like what I read. When I read the letter, my face didn't even fall. I just sort of shrugged and threw the letter away.
But I'm writing about it now, so it must matter.
I know that a big part of why I didn't get it was because my fields are English literature and the arts. Such fields do not command the same respect as political science and molecular biology. People think that writing and art can be done by anyone, require no money, and are little more than something to entertain the politicians and biologists.
I think the right story can change the world. I think that every love story teaches us what it takes to earn love, and every time we see a beautiful princess get rescued by a handsome knight we reassess our ideas about what is beautiful or ugly, masculine or feminine, loveable or unattractive. I think the wrong story can teach someone that they are unworthy of love. I think that every story about a conquering hero on the battlefield that describes his slaughter of the enemy as something noble and courageous teaches us to praise brutality and to dehumanize anyone who is different from us. In everything from the works of Homer and Virgil to the comic books of Neil Gaiman, I have learned the danger of turning people into characters, because characters can be hurt, enslaved, or killed without remorse.
I think that politicians who study economic forecasts and military reconnaisance reports while neglecting the work of Euripides will forever doom the world to war after war, and I think that it is women like Mary Shelley who remind the biologists that at any moment, he could give life to a monster.
Maybe that's just me.
Of course, I might also be needlessly blaming the arts. It might just be that I didn't measure up. I had a feeling I wouldn't at the start of all this. I figured that I didn't have enough awards of presidencies of organizations to compare to the Maurens of the world. Part of me wanted someone to just come out and tell me I didn't have a shot in Hell. Instead, so many people told me I deserved this, that my mind was one that deserved the chance to touch the minds of people all over the world. It meant a lot to hear that from professors whom I respected, and from friends whom I love. I think that made everything worthwhile.
At the end of it all, I gave them as much of myself as I could. If that wasn't enough, then there's no more I can do. I'm glad I wrote essays that I was proud of, that showed of me at my strongest. I'm glad I didn't just say fizuck it, and I'm ready for the next application to become due.
And when my army of followers rises up from the streets and conquers the world in the name of all that is artsy, liberal, and fabulicious, the Marshall people will be first to go!
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