I am moving to Korea, taking up blogging, and pursuing my vision for learning as a rejected doctoral program applicant. I’ve set my learning goals, but need your help with writing my course syllabus. I hope to go live in summer 2011, and am now taking your ideas for readings, art, experiential assignments, and reflective questions.
Here is the rejected 500-word personal statement:
I am a Korean American adoptee who lives each day with an emerging sense of home. I hold patriarchy responsible for pushing me out of my motherland, and I believe it is White supremacy that has denied me a sense of place in the United States. I was a lonely child who did not understand my personal experience as one piece of systemic issues with racism, sexism, and capitalism. I had been loved, abandoned, displaced, erased, purchased, renamed, and claimed all by age two. I sensed the complexity of my experience as a Korean American adoptee and struggled to accept the simple story, “Your birth mother loved you very much, but God had a plan for you here”. I put forth my best efforts to assimilate as the almost white, Christian, able-bodied daughter for whom my adoptive parents had longed, though it came at the expense of love for my whole self. My adoptive parents struggled to practice love within this profoundly racist society that mislead them to believe color-blindness is synonymous with acceptance. Rather than examining our experience as an interracial family, my parents responded to my reports of ignorance and hate with verbal affirmations of my sameness. As a result, I felt isolated within my family, in addition to being marginalized by society.
I escaped my adoptive parents under the guise of going to college at the University of Wisconsin. Soon after, I started working with a student organization called the Multicultural Student Coalition. It was not until the age of 19 that I developed the language to articulate my experience as a target of racial discrimination for the past two decades. Through coursework and student leadership, I began to explore in earnest my identity as a person of color and came to understand my suffering and loss in the context of oppressive social policies and culturally incompetent practices. Moreover, I recognized my adoptive parents as part of a multiracial family that was victimized by racism, yet whose privilege blinded them to understand why their adopted daughter never returned home to them after leaving for college.
I return to Social Work in pursuit of my life’s work and in response to the call for social change. I am a queer woman of color who passionately believes in my worth despite being pushed to the margins of society by oppressive policies, practices, and beliefs. I am eager to transform my deepest hurt into energy that sustains me in my quest for peace and social justice. I am confident the joint doctoral program in XXXXXXXXX will push me to think critically about my experience as a Korean American adoptee in the context of systemic oppression. Furthermore, I will gain knowledge and skills to facilitate culturally competent policies and practices that aim to preserve and sustain interracial families created through international adoption. I humbly ask that you allow me the opportunity to study at the XXXXXXXX and continue my journey home.
You’re brilliant. I want to learn. Please help me get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and suggestions.