I’m working on my grad school application again. I missed the deadline to be considered for the stipend due to work craziness, but I was a terribly long shot anyway. It is that damn statement of intent that is the real problem. I have been through four full drafts from scratch, and I’m not convinced that it is any better at all this time than it was the first. They are all equally awful. I know why, too.
If I were to be brutally honest with the selection committee, I’m not sure that I’ll complete this degree. I think there is a strong chance that I won’t. My economic situation is such that I have to have a full time job. Classes that start at 4:30 are classes I can’t take. Even if I could handle the higher work load of more classes, Chapman’s regular schedule limits me to about two classes a semester. Whether I can even handle more, though, is a big “if.” It will take me at least three years (and probably more) to get through the program as a part time student. Brian, who works at Chapman, is pondering a new job within the next few years. Without tuition remission, I can’t afford a Chapman education.
Even if all of the other things work out, I am turning 32 this year. If I don’t start having children soon, my expiration date will fly right by. Kids, full time jobs, and masters degrees don’t mesh. Pick two. I already know which two I choose, and it’s the masters degree that gets dumped. That is not a position that will get me admitted, I’m certain of it.
That’s why this statement of intent has been hard for me. My intents are nothing, not even to finish. I only intend to take as many classes as I’m able, and become a better writer. But how do you express that in three pages worth of words, a paper where most people want to talk about their hopes and dreams? I find myself unable to lie, and unable to pretend that I have bigger goals that I actually do. I’m not even sure what I can offer Chapman in return, except for a dedication to do well in class. This is probably where being a twenty one year old idealist with no bullshit filter comes in handy. That used to be me, but how the world does change us.
I’m making Brian read draft four tonight in hopes that he will be able to recognize how to save this Statement of Intent where I have failed. I’m not writing draft five from scratch. I refuse. Unless this one isn’t good enough…