Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On a slightly more serious note...

While the Wonderful World of Clutter is typically filled with jovial musings on the world around us, every once in a while, it serves me well to approach something more critical. So for once, I plan to get escape beyond the "Clutter" voice and present some outside writing by presenting a brief answer to an essay question for a nursing school application.

At this point I firmly put one foot on a soapbox and loudly shout...

Application essays such as these fall firmly into the realm of ephemera in my mind. Lost pieces of text, scraps of paper that will be shuffled, collated, and eventually discarded. Sometimes these remnants will be held as unique examples of writing. Most become boilerplate responses tailored for an intended audience.

Race and social injustice are a difficult subject to tackle--And to ask someone how they were a shining beacon of righteous behavior is not only naive, it is ignorant and often it asks an individual to be dishonest about their own actions. I can only hope that my expression of indignity toward this question was firmly expressed in a respectful way, a  way that critiques and forces more introspection instead of the faulty finger pointing that frays relations instead of fostering some form of raised awareness.

Stepping off soapbox....

5.  Handling systemic challenges:  Describe your experiences facing or witnessing discrimination or an injustice. Tell us how you responded and what you learned from those experiences and how they have prepared you to contribute to the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx School of Nursing.

There is an inherent flaw to this question, because almost all people will respond that they stood up against a wrong, that they were bold in the face of adversity, that they protected the weak. But in reality, as a minority who has been on the receiving end of bias, discrimination, bigotry, or whatever term you want to use, when faced with such a challenged I only want to maintain my dignity through the process. Each time I travel, I am shuffled off to the side to be frisked, have my bags unpacked and swabbed down, and given more attention than the average traveler because I have dark complexion, I have to endure the process. Do I protest and say this is unjust? While I would like to, I can’t. I don’t have the power to. But I can maintain my dignity, go through the ordeal, and eventually air my grievance until enough people will listen. While my experience may be different from others, I can empathize with those who have been shunned, who have been called outcasts, and who have been targeted. I am not na├»ve to the existence of racism in today’s society and can lend a sympathetic and empathetic ear to those who have experienced whatever wrong they faced. If I can help them maintain their dignity in the process then there is some success. 

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