Monday, October 20, 2008

Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose
Erin Devlin

In the fall of 2003, I was enrolled in Praxis, and given the exact assignment I am now writing, my statement of purpose. I didn’t realize it then, but it is not a coincidence that I withdrew from the University that same semester. The following string of events, which at the time seemed random, started creating a pattern of which I began to realize was anything but arbitrary.

I headed to New Zealand for some time to myself. I stayed with a midwife in a small town in the North Island. At the time, I thought I was there to get away, not realizing I would take that trip with me for the rest of my life. What I have kept with me from that trip is seeing Jan, a midwife, a massage therapist, a nurse, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and an acupuncturist going about her day seeing patients with an abundance of knowledge, wisdom and the most humble demeanor. I also keep with me my journal of my time there, filled with sketches of views and sketches of ideas, homeopathic recipes, lines from the Tom Robbins books I read, and my thoughts. I didn’t know how much I kept with me from that trip until I looked back at that journal. Everything is so clearly written out, by me and for me but I still didn’t connect the dots.

I traveled a bit more in the States when I returned, but I mostly worked. I began remembering a lunch I had with my mother shortly after leaving Appalachian. She was telling me about a local massage school and asked if I would ever consider attending? I set up an interview and I remember walking in the front door, looking around, smelling lavender and eucalyptus and knowing instantly I would be enrolling. I fell in love with learning for the first time in my life there. The human body was so interesting to me and massage school sure did get me over a lot of my insecurities. I was learning a great deal about myself, and how I work as a person. I became interested in nursing school. I wanted to learn as much as I could so I could help others in any way I was able. I learned that you could only help other people if you at first help yourself. So I was ready to go back to Appalachian to finish my BA.

I was planning on declaring as a philosophy major when I returned, but one dinner with my parents changed that. I remember telling them that I was finally ready to go back and finish my degree. I told them about my plans of studying philosophy and they nodded. My dad then burst out as if he had been holding it in for years, why aren’t you going back to get your art degree? I was a bit taken off guard, but I said I would at least apply. I was accepted into the art department so that was that.

As I began to get deeper and deeper into my art classes I began to notice that art is how I deal with everything in my life. I have always used art as a way to explain and understand my experiences. It seemed so natural for me to be here, and studying something that I have always been interested in. I decided on a BA in studio art because I do not want art to be my main financial source, instead I want it as a tool to process my experiences. When I graduate I will receive my degree in Art with an IDS minor. I decided on an IDS minor because it made sense of all my decisions in life and in school. It gave me the vision to see life patterns and a guide to see in the grey areas. My art degree is something just for me. I wanted to learn and create more tools for myself to use, so in return, I can help other people. After graduation I plan on attending nursing school and without my degree in art and my minor in IDS, I would not have a grounding to stand on to continue on to nursing.

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