Friday, September 30, 2005

Autobiographical essay

I had to write a one thousand word autobiographical essay citing the reasons why I should be allowed to study next year; put basically, a one thousand word masturbatory exercise. I'm just keeping it here for posterity, so I would advise people not to bother reading it as the content is far from interesting, and it hardly gives any gritty facts about my life.

But I may contemplate writing a no-holes-barred account one day soon...


The education of - - - - -

Some of my first – and only – recollections of early childhood are of my father reading the paper to me, and of my mother, sitting by my bedside, inventing all sorts of wondrous tales; stories of a magical candy machine, dragons and other mystical creatures. It was these stories that lead me towards an avid interest in reading from an early age; an interest that would later become an insatiable appetite for literature of all kinds: history texts, novels, poetry, classics; the daily newspaper and, more recently, online journals called ‘blogs’. The logical result of all my reading was that I’d end up wanting to create something of my own; and I did, writing short stories in school, and keeping a journal containing poetry, my insights and any other clumps of wordage that came forth from the recesses of my mind. More recently, I’ve kept an online journal of my own, and in it I write about the lunacy prevalent in modern day politics, the breathtaking and sometimes horrid events of Russian history and various other issues that catch my attention.

One could reasonably deduce that a propensity towards writing, combined with the massive consumption of literature that I’ve undertaken to digest would have lead me into the upper echelons of academic success, but, alas (and I guess I take a risk admitting this to a course selections officer, however I subscribe to the belief that ‘honesty is the best policy’), as an adolescent my mind was less than focused on scholastic excellence, in fact I think that I was not mature enough to understand the value of a developed education. This is not to say that I allowed my mind to become inactive or dull, it is just that my intellectual pursuits were exercised outside of school hours. As we shall see, events and actions in my early twenties and continuing up to the present day would instil in me a burning desire to learn formally about the history of this world, the techniques for communicating observations on the same, and, perhaps, a method of enhancing my understanding of all those great books that I’ve spent so much time reading.

I think that completion of an Arts course would be a fantastic grounding for a later career in journalism or communications. The vast territory of knowledge that such a course appears to offer, combined with the polishing of one’s requisite skills in communications, is, I believe, exactly what I need for further development in the aforementioned careers. It would be a pleasure, not a chore, to study subjects like History, English, Politics, Legal studies, Philosophy, Media and Linguistics, and I can only hope that this essay is enough to capture the reader’s attention, thus allowing me this great opportunity.

So, I talked earlier about my early twenties being the catalyst for my current desire to challenge myself by completing a degree; what then, you may ask, transpired in those years that has lead me to this point? Whence did this drive come from to better myself at the age of 26?

Enter Tabcorp:

For five years I’ve worked for a company named Tabcorp. Tabcorp – an entertainment enterprise – has provided me with a breadth of opportunity to exercise my written and verbal communication skills. My position, that of a Customer Support Representative and VIP Customer Coordinator, has involved several tasks relevant to undertaking an arts course: deciphering both verbal and written customer complaints, and claims for financial remuneration; responding to the aforementioned claims/complaints either via telephone or, via a carefully worded letter of response; editing letters and internal memorandum composed by my manager and, finally, making payment decisions based on a set of legal and ethical guidelines. Given my intention is to undertake study in the Arts or Communications fields I believe my time served interpreting a myriad range of writing styles, legalistic edicts, complex ethical problems, and composing sensitive responses to customers has kept my mind sharp and practiced.

My age, and my time spent working are the things that I think will put me in good stead to succeed in this course. The fast paced world of business has taught me the value of a hard, consistent work ethic. My experiences and my developed maturity have allowed me to value education. My maturity has given me a sense of responsibility and structure,
allowing me to plug away at whatever I’m working on without giving up easily.
I’ve developed new perspectives combined with unique critical thinking and observational skills due to my time spent in the 'real world', and yet I’ve managed to 'educate' myself through reading and pursuing various curiosities and interests, whilst at the same time staying cognizant of current events. I’ve learnt to prioritise, deal with people of all walks of life, and I know exactly what I want out of my education.

My experience – though valuable – of working in the corporate sector has also shown me that it isn’t the right employment for me. I’ve found, particularly in the industry that I’m employed in, that a company’s aim is, more often than not, to garner as much money as is humanly possible for their own ends exclusively – without contributing much to society at all. I’m hoping that my intended studies will lead me into a field that sees me doing service to society; and this is one of the main reasons that I’m determined to take an educational pathway.

5 comments:

some girl said...

Impressive.

Don Quixote said...

Keep your fingers crossed for me, that the course selections body thinks the same way.

lividia said...

okay, so, being employed as an editor, I was kind of avoiding reading this... my instinct is to la-la-la-rip-rip-change-burn-whee! livi the person thinks the content is great, and hopes you get in. yay! livi the editor thinks the content is great (yay!!), but oh, divorce yourself from those run-on sentences before they exhaust you!

Don Quixote said...

Ugh! Comma splices? This is the problem that I face having never completed a day of formal education in my life: I'm winging it. Can you point out where I've 'run-on' so I can cut it out of my sentences?

Sometimes I feel like I'm caught in an Educating Rita scenario except that unlike Rita I don't have a Michael Cain figure showing me the ropes.

If the essay denies me entry to the course then it probably means I'm not suitable in the first place. In that event I'll probably book a flight and travel the world intensely for two years. Eventually I'll wash up on some distant beach, dead, but content to have seen all that I can. Either that or I'll accept my fate and start looking for jobs in the janitorial field.

lividia said...

oh don't panic, i think it's most definitely an entry-worthy essay - i highly doubt they have a big red stamp that says "DENIED ENTRY DUE TO LACK OF APPROPRIATE TEXT BREAKS" :P

although geez, i'd never turn down the chance to travel for a couple of years, so it looks win-win to me :P

if you genuinely want an editorial zip-through, email it to me and i'll give you some tips (though i'm going away for a few days, and i'm generally one of those old-school paper-and-red-pen types anyway).

they key thing i learned however is to read it like you're speaking it, and if you sense that you're just all "blah blah blah" then make a break somewhere :P