the one and only truly amazing katster (katster) wrote,
the one and only truly amazing katster

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Two things.

One, my mother is really trying my patience. I'm out there stapling the below personal statement to my application, and she says, "You waited until the last minute to get this done, didn't you?"

Aargh, I hate her at times. She finds the best way to bring my self-esteem crashing to the floor.

Two, personal statement for Berkeley is done. Here it is.

My name is Katrina Templeton and I want to go to graduate school.

This may seem innately obvious to the Admissions Committee, but to me it is an incredible experience. In my sophomore year of college I was diagnosed as being manic-depressive. This caused an understandable reshuffling of what I believed I was capable of achieving. However, I was able to triumph over adversity and graduate with a 3.2 GPA. Considering my GPA was just over a 3.0 at the end of my sophomore year, I believe I have shown strength and determination in achieving my goals despite any setbacks that may occur.

It is true that I have picked a non-traditional path to graduate school. I came home to attend the junior college in part because it was cheaper for me to pick up the last few units I needed for my undergraduate degree and in part because I needed to regain confidence in myself. Both goals were achieved, as can be verified by my letters of recommendation. I asked my junior college teachers to fill them out because they were able to know me better and have seen me as I have stabilized and regained confidence.

The second reason I took two years in junior college is that this last year my mother was diagnosed with leukemia. She is recovering nicely now, and it looks like my family has managed to be lucky. At the time, though, it was debatable whether she would ever recover - and my family needed me at home. Education is a laudable goal, but my family comes first.

I have decided that I wish to pursue a degree program in information management and systems because I am truly interested in the ways in which humans and computers interact. I became interested in this dichotomy when I took a staff job at the Open Computing Facility. By helping people with the machines, I discovered that my fellow history majors interacted with a Unix shell a lot differently than my friends who were in computer science or math. It has led to me finding interests in the way online communities work, the role of law in connection to the Internet, the inclusion of computers into the everyday life of society, and numerous other topics connected to this nexus.

I bring to the table some abilities that would make me a good fit for the department. I am the sort who can pull together ideas from all sorts of different fields quickly. Because of this ability, I ended up as the site manager (or chief systems administrator) at the Open Computing Facility. I was the first humanities major to hold the position in its ten years as an organization.

The other ability I have is the ability to separate wheat from chaff in terms of information. As a historian, one is called on to take large amounts of information and cull it into a smaller and more concise package so that somebody else can understand it. Part of this work involves identifying biases and misconceptions on the part of authors, as well as determining what is historical and what is not.

I wish to study information management and systems because there will always be a need for people who can correlate and integrate information quickly. There will always be a need for specialists in information flow through organization. These are things that I believe I will like doing. I am not sure whether my career path will take me into academics or some other area yet, but that is part of the reason I am only pursuing a master's degree at the moment.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you will think that I am as well suited to your program as I think I am.

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