GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Wednesday, February 1

Toot your own horn?


I am not a genius. This is not a shock to anyone who knows me. As much as I adore Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory or Zach Addy from Bones, there is very little possibility that I could match them in the intelligence arena. Not that I want to try... that is not what this post is about. This is also not an attempt to call myself stupid in any manner. For.....
I am not stupid. I might not be a 4.0 student but I get more A’s than B’s and that is good enough for me.... and apparently for the schools which I am applying to. :) I would also term myself as street smart. I might not be able to recite all of the battles in the civil war or all of the vice presidents and their terms, but I am able to understand and discuss the importance of historical events on current society. I can read and analyze a text, be it literature or historical, for the same reasons. In my world I like to study those things that have had an impact on a society, i don’t have to commit them to memory as long as I have the text and my subsequent notes available to review. 
There are many more things that I am not.... but I have veered from the path that this blog was supposed to take. One would think with my talents and experience writing a statement of purpose, or personal statement wouldn’t be difficult. (And yes, those are 2 different things) Yet here I sit, for day 2, trying to come up with something that makes me sound neither pompous nor moronic. I have the same problem typing up a CV or a Resume (again 2 different things). This idea that boasting about yourself or selling yourself is slightly repugnant to me. It is a part of me that I feel would fit more comfortably in the society that surrounded the Founding Fathers of the United States. Back in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century America, a man or woman’s good name should precede them. One wouldn’t have to talk about their good deeds because others would have already passed the information on. It was considered indelicate to campaign for a position or talk about yourself in that way. The humility that is preached in my religion also seems at odds with this need to boast to get a job or into a grad program. 
This is not to say that I never talk about myself....I often get really excited about things and I will call a friend who will think it  is cool or they might not and they suffer through my gushing....or well.... this blog is proof..... I have done plenty of boasting. But most of that is piddly stuff. I got excited when I got asked to help with the candidates that are coming to campus for interviews (I organized the students) or when I was invited to a recruiting dinner to talk to prospective students. But that is not stuff that you put on a resume or in a personal statement. Those are just perks for being so annoyingly persistent in my position as Editor-in-Chief of the History journal. I am now a face that is known around the department.  
So what do I say? 
and
how do I say it? 
Those are the big questions. 
Well at least the big questions for now.

1 comment:

Soarenth said...

There are many advantages to our society of convenience. But I agree with you, the side effect of everything having to be a sales pitch, even to boosting about yourself to schools and employees, in an unattractive downside.

The only way I've been able to make it work for me is to talk about the kind of difference I want to make, how that applies to the situation at hand, and what related skills I bring with me.

Good luck in discovering what works for you. I hope you'll share when you do!