My Statement of Purpose

I said I’d let you all read my law school application’s statement of purpose once I’d sent it out and heard back from the schools. And that is true-mostly. As I write today, I have only heard from half of them, but I’ve got one no and one yes! No matter what, I’m off to law school in the fall. So I am here to provide you with my very own, one of a kind, successful SOP. I modified it for different schools by clarifying the programs and whatnot, but this is the one I got in on.

powerful-statement-of-purpose

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I’m an individual with opinions, aspirations and flaws, for which I offer no apology. Of the facets of my personality, fandom presents a unique outlet conducive to my lifestyle choices. What began as casual consumption of fictional realms and revolutionary ideas rapidly refocused into philosophical pondering over gender norms and fan theory. I am determined to spend my life as a crossover between Les Misérables, Supernatural and Daredevil.

Our country was set up with the ideals of justice and freedom at the core. I believe that to be true not just for the majorities, but for each of the minorities as well. I helped organize protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Columbus, Ohio because I see the actions of that company to be against the values of equality. Sacred and treaty lands are not something that should be impacted just because of business. I also have been quite vocal about justice for rape and sexual assault victims, engaging with others through petitions to government and protests against unjust rulings. Just as Enjolras in Les Misérables, I do not intend to remain silent at the injustices I see, especially when I have the capacity to enact change. I refuse to be silenced, my passion will only be raised.

Building lasting connections with people is not only how the human species has remained a persistent force on our planet, it’s how we find meaning in our work. I have a network of support at The Ohio State University which I find invaluable, who have aided me in narrowing the scope of projects, degrees and law schools to pursue my muses. These connections are vital in my work as a social justice writer, both in my blog, where the focus is on sexual assault survivor advocacy, and on my work through The Mighty, where I contribute writings about mental health and suicide. I started writing about these issues both out of personal experience, but also because of my growing appreciation of Supernatural. The show in and of itself is an extensive metaphor for mental illness, sexual assault and many other harrowing issues under the guise of demons and monsters. I know how important it is to always keep fighting for the greater good, and helping other people along in that journey. Dean Winchester, a main character, was saved from death with the understanding that he had work to do. So too, do I feel strongly convicted about my purpose in life.

Of all of the Marvel superheroes, Daredevil was my favorite male character-well before I knew I wanted to go to law school. Matt Murdock engaged his clients with a dedicated compassion, and not only did he stay dedicated to the need for law and order, the same level of tenacity he showed in his studies before his accident, he continued to maintain after he was blinded. In a proposal I gave to The Ohio State University, I chose to take a stand for victims of sexual assault by educating students about risks, but also by providing gender inclusive actions post-trauma. Instead of furthering the victim-blaming rape culture, I provided a course of action which refocused the blame onto the attackers and sought help for the victims. I will carry this project and it’s ideals with me to law school, where I will continue to work with administrators and educators to ensure a safer future for all people-regardless of demographic.

I take pride in being a well-rounded, open minded millennial member of several minorities. I voted in an election where there were two female candidates for President of the United States of America-something that just a hundred years ago would have been inconceivable. I spend my spare time officiating and planning weddings, amongst which I count the marriage of my brother to my new sister-in-law. I market myself as completely inclusive in thought, offering my services not only to the traditional couples but to anyone who wants to engage in a union with someone they love. I use my title to promote equality and unity, because that is something I believe is going to be an asset in the future of the world. Building on my ministerial duties and privileges, I am attending conferences about how to enter politics-something I had not even considered until I educated myself on the policies I voted for in the general election.

I’m going to use my law degree to become a district attorney. In my research of sexual assault, the numbers are overwhelmingly clear that the two demographics which need attention most are LGBT individuals and Native American women. The path to ending rape culture, for me, means that I graduate from law school with experience in criminal prosecution and social inequality, practice as a prosecuting attorney while I build my rapport with the people in the community and then further my reach as district attorney. In order to do this, I simply have to be myself and continue building on the foundation I laid in undergrad.

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So, class of 2020-here I come! And when I cross that stage to pick up my diploma, you can bet I’ve already got plans. Happy weekend everyone!

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My GISHWHES Adventure

Hello everyone!

This morning at 2AM Ohio time, GISHWHES (The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) came to an end. Which means I am officially allowed to show you all what we’ve been working on this week! It’s going to be an image-heavy post, there will be links to YouTube Videos and it’s going to be awesome. We find out who won in two months-ish.

First, you can find the complete list of items: GISHWHES 2016 List of Items. I invite you to take a peek around, read some of this massive to-do list. If you’re interested in what it is that we were doing this week, or if you might want to do it next year, this is a great place to start.

I’m going to try to make this organized. I’ll post the ones I did, with captions of what they were, then my favorites from my team, then links to the video items. That way it’ll at least represent some linear pattern.

I had to find a constellation in freckles. (Thanks honey!)

This one was to dress up in a flower crown and then fastforward time to “age” both me and the crown. I love my scarf-it’s SPN inspired.

I was raising awareness for My Hope Chest, which provides reconstructive surgeries for women with breast cancer. Excuse the sweat, it was 100 degrees outside! And yes, I was required to post it to my Twitter account during the week.

This one was to personify a street sign. I thought it was genius.

A not-so-well-known social injustice. And you bet I definitely believe it. The caption (if you can’t read it) says “The real social injustice here is people drinking a decaffeinated caffeine beverage. It’s like going to a restaurant and asking for a glass of diet water to wash down the entire diet cake you just stuck in your mouth.”

This one was hard! I had to recreate an old childhood photo. I don’t care what you say, I was a cute kid lol And I did this without stretching so ha!

I had to paint Zachary Levi on a pair of Levi’s jeans.

I was the coupon fairy, leaving coupons at the items!

This one made me laugh so much. I think it’s great. Time will tell if it really is or not.

This one took me the longest. One of my teammates wrote a poem in binary and I had to create a pattern out of the poem. It took almost 5 hours. MC stands for MIsha Collins-who runs GISHWHES. The bottom right is a Boat.

I had to plant a tree-and I chose to plant maple keys.
Here are my favorites from my team:

The item was “Rainbow Teeth”

An icon made from candy.

Defending the panty aisle.

Visiting a nursing home (or Misha’s grandmother) dressed as a pirate.

Dining in a 50’s themed restaurant dressed as Jedis-bonus points for being served by a sith. My favorite thing about this video is the guy in the background eating and staring.
Here are the video links:

Sinscreen Commercial: Sinscreen

Human Transformer: Transformer

GISHWHES Jingle (I did this one): Jingle

Carry On My Wayward Son A Capella (I did this one): COMWS

Bob Ross Paint Along (I did this one, but will be redoing it for realsies later): Paint Along

THis isn’t a video, but it’s a link to the crowd rise for what I talk about next: CrowdRise

Along with all of this, we raised awareness for Breast Cancer, Strokes, Vanishing Habitats and raised (as a collective movement) $200K USD for FOUR refugee families. One of them was the family of a little girl (aged 12) who tried do kill herself so that her family would be better able to feed her siblings.

And the niftiest thing to happen to me? 


So as you can see, I’m now a dual-citizen AND I have my knighthood. That’s definitely going on my resume. 

Alrighty folks, this has been my week. I haven’t shared everything that we did, as there were over 100 items we completed! But the important take-aways from this are that I absolutely had a blast, I helped people, raised awareness, found a side of myself I hadn’t even known was there and discovered that I’m actually really competitive.

I have some pretty documented social anxiety, along with other stuff, and for this week, it wasn’t a problem almost at all. I mean, I went to a library AT MY COLLEGE-where people know me and work with me-and wore a bra on the outside of my shirt for crying out loud. If that isn’t doing something crazy, I don’t know what is. 

I sent a message to Misha Collins before GISHWHES started, telling him why I decided to sign up. Well, more like responded to one of his Facebook posts about why people might not be signing up for GISHWHES. And you know what? He responded to me.


I looked at that screenshot before I started GISHWHES last Saturday and I looked at it again when it ended. I’d love-LOVE to win the grand prize. I really, really would. But I can’t help but feel that I have won. I celebrated my 2 months free of self-harm during the hunt. And although I know I have a long journey ahead, I have the blessing of Misha Collins-who is one of my “heroes”. So when I say that GISHWHES has given me more than I gave it, I don’t think I’m exaggerating at all. I’m going to send him a thank you letter (snail mail) as soon as I recover from the week of all-nighters, paint and crafting.

Only 365 days until GISHWHES 2017. I can’t wait!

Interesting, I think…

I know people throw around “crazy” like it’s nothing, from the woman at the supermarket talking about prices to the potential democratic nominee Bernie Sanders about the opposing candidates. I know I do it too, and in doing so that probably makes me a little bit of a hypocrite. I have flaws, I’ll be the first to admit, and it is something that I actively try to work on each day. It’s interesting to me, though, that passion has become a sort of “allowed” crazy. That being delighted to do something, to be a part of something somehow makes you different in such a way that you should be warily avoided. We come to classify ourselves not on our passions and not passions, but on what we are and what others are not.

passion

The best example I can give of this is fandoms. A fandom, by definition is a group of people who are all a fan of something. Sports does count, but for today, I will not be talking about them. I think that being a sports fan is highly normalized. That is to say that it is socially acceptable to be a fan of a sports team and by openly expressive about it. I would know. I go to The Ohio State University (yes, the “The” is capitalized) and just to prove that I know here you go:

urban

This is the student section sporting the hashtag UrbanEra, which is the name of our football coach: Urban Meyer.

No one even bats an eye at the collective of sports fans. But when it is something a little more…creative, people start using “crazy”.

This post is a dedication and an analysis of “Crazy” in the context of “Fandoms”. I’m going to rule out a couple people right now though.

If you do not/have not dressed up(cosplayed) as a character at a midnight release party/convention/photoshoot or any other venue that is NOT Halloween, this post doesn’t really apply to you. If you do not have lengthy discussions about fan theory, au (alternate universe), crossovers or character development, this post probably doesn’t apply to you. If you don’t regularly quote something from your fandom, become artistic in a way which directly applies to your fandom or in other ways promote the dissemination of that fandom, this probably doesn’t apply to you.

So, now that we’ve got that taken care of, let’s discuss, shall we? According to The Daily Dot, some of the biggest fandoms (they said most important, I said biggest) are: Star Wars, Naruto, Hannibal, Suicide Squad, and Marvel. I’m going to go ahead and add in some of my own, by the names with which they call themselves. Disnerds, Oncers, SuperWhoLockIns, Potter Head, Shadowhunters, Trekkies, Pokemaniacs, Lunars and there are PLENTY more.

At some point in my life, I have been a part of all of the ones that I listed plus I was a “Jedi” and a “Twihard”, and I even took a trip through Wonderland with my lovely author friend A.G. Howard. But the thing is, I never felt ashamed of any of them, or felt I had a reason to be until about the time Twilight came out.

I LOVED Twilight. I read the entire series in 2 days. I didn’t sleep, didn’t eat and had a book in my hand the entire 48 hour window. That wasn’t my first dose of fandom (my dad is the one who started this with his Star Wars/Star Trek collection) but it was the first dose of my OWN. My sister much later brought The Mortal Instruments to me and I was delighted to find a similar thing. But for some reason, it was not socially acceptable to be a fan of Twilight. And I understand a little, I mean I had problems with the book too! But I loved it for what it was: a story. Even now, I have the boxed set, the 10th anniversary edition duo-book and I enjoy it. As an author, I completely love Stephanie’s story, and I relate.

twilight

Fast-forward a little. I am now in my early 20s and I live with my husband. Thanks to Netflix, I now have basically unlimited access to any fandom I want. I picked up Sherlock (BBC) and LOVED it. I love reading fan theory, I love making my own. I even included Molly Hooper in my post about women role models.I got into Doctor Who because of a friend, and my brother is a big fan of Merlin. I decided to fulfill the nomer and jump into Supernatural. (SuperWhoLockIn is a multi-level fandom in which members enjoy any combination-or all-of SUPERnatural, Doctor WHO, SherLOCK and MerlIN). And may I just say, I adore SPN. It’s delightful. It’s a real shame, though, that more people don’t also look at Merlin. It’s incredibly hard to find something with all 4 of them, because most people just get into the first three. Sad, really.

SuperWhoLockIn.jpg

I live on quotes and coffee. (That may be a blog in and of itself soon.) If the words that come out of your mouth are song lyrics, I will follow up with the next line of the song (and I’ll be singing it). So it is completely natural to me to make references and quotes. (My husband didn’t know that I used a scene from Walk the Line on him when we first started dating. He much later watched the movie and gave me the eye for it. We laughed.)

A lot of people don’t get the Sherlock ones. The dialogue does sound pretty routine, and I usually have to “do” an accent for people to pick up on it.

Most people don’t get the Merlin ones. (That’s because I’ve only just started.)

Some people get the Doctor Who ones. It’s like I’m malfunctioning. I usually get lots of people with songs, I expected more from the Doctor.

And then there’s Supernatural.

The moment I announce I watch Supernatural, or mention it briefly in conversation or someone sees me looking on tumblr or Pinterest, I automatically get characterised as “crazy”. I was talking to a roommate and mentioned that I’m like Dean and my husband is like Sam: I get all of the pop culture references, but he gets all of the “textbook-y” ones. And the response I got was

“Oh god. You’re turning into one of them, aren’t you?”

I found that a little weird. And then I looked back at my own pre-SPN experiences. Sure, I knew people who watched it since the original air date. But the thing is, I knew people on both sides of the spectrum: the loud, boisterous consumers of the series who were very in-your-face about it and I knew the “Oh man, that’s such an awesome show” side too.

The only thing separating them is how vocal they are about their support. But the ones who are most vocal brand the rest of the fandom as being that way. You only get seen by the most “radical”. And that’s true of fandoms, of religions, of skin colors. Interesting, no?

But what you do not see are the people who are adamant fans but less “up-front”. The ones who get on twitter and talk to the other (and oftentimes newer) fans about ideas, and the ones who set up fan groups with the purpose of creating a support system for other fans. The religious factions who protect other factions while they pray, the vigils held by people of a variety of skin pigments for a lost life.

I may not have been part of the Supernatural fandom for long, but I know that I have plenty of people to talk to about my ideas. And sometimes, the actors themselves! But that brings me to my hidden point today: the actors.

In Supernatural specifically, there are a host of people brought together by more than just a TV series. Misha, Jared and Jensen all actively participate in programs for depression. YANA, AKF and LYF are all supported by these three. (You Are Not Alone, Always Keep Fighting and Love Yourself First). Jared recently did a Represent campaign for AKF and LYF. Here are the shirts:

AKF.png

You can bet I bought a shirt AND a sweatshirt. Not because I want to be a “fangirl” but because I support the message. And when someone asks me about my shirt, I will proudly tell them it’s from Jared Padalecki from Supernatural to support charitable organizations like; To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), St Jude Children’s Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, Random Acts – as well as SPN Family Crisis Support Network.

Because being passionate about something is a great thing-even if it’s just entertainment. It opens up doors to be a good person. And that is far from “crazy”.