K is the girlfriend of my oldest brother for the past year or so. Actually, I don't know that, but I'm going to make the assumption. In reality, it's possible that they have a different label, or no label at all. Who needs labels anyway? But I'm confident that they do live together in a California neighborhood that laughs at outsiders who dare visit while driving a lowly Chevrolet Impala. Well, even with that, I'm not completely confident that they share a residence. Ultimately, I spent two nights at K's home and never saw my brother, except via FaceTime, so I guess it could all be an elaborate ruse.
Ok, so what do I actually know about K with 100% certainty? I know that she takes a better picture than I do (scroll up for proof). I know that she's my Facebook friend and that, up until I slept on her floor for a couple of nights, I'd never met her. I know that, during those 36 hours, she was kind and welcoming to me, a rather strange stranger. I know that she speaks more languages than I do, though I assume that I'm tons smarter than her because I'm better at pronouncing "rhinoceros," "aluminum," and other words that seem normal to Idahoans-turned-Minnesotans but abnormal to just about everybody else. And I know that, if I were the head of a household, I would not invite her over to my Festivus celebration, for fear that she would dominate the feats of strength portion of the blessed holiday.
There is more that I know about K, but I think that the above-mentioned things provide a good overview. As with just about everybody that I'm meeting with during this journey, I didn't make a best friend out of my time with K. But I did make a significant, and necessary, first step toward something. What that something turns out to be is anybody's guess, but I'm glad that it happened, glad that K was open to it, and glad that I can be weird about it.
I put a decent amount of effort into my personal statement and was rather proud of the end product. And I think IU was correct, in that it did help set me apart from other applicants. Additionally, it assisted me in finding a school that was a good fit for me. After all, I didn't want to go to just any school. Rather, I wanted to go to a school that wanted the type of person that I was, and my personal statement allowed me to, perhaps obviously, state what kind of a person I believed myself to be.
Looking back on it though, my personal statement is a bit comical, a bit embarrassing. It was quite the idealistic piece of writing. Perhaps I was like most law school applicants, though, and wanted to change the world, or at least feel good about myself for writing about wanting that change. Four years later though, I probably have not improved the world even a fraction of what pre-law school Mikel had envisioned and written about. So my personal statement is not something that I share willingly, and it's certainly not something that I'd feel comfortable reading to an audience.
H and I were in the same grade and went to the same elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools in Tinytown. She was an awesome overachiever. Eighth grade graduation really could've been renamed "A Celebration for H," since she received awards for being both the best female student and the best female athlete. She still is awesome, actually, though now I may be able to beat her in a foot race. Emphasis on maybe. H's intellectual prowess continued through high school and, eventually, she was a co-valedictorian of her graduating class, which would've been my graduating class, too, except that I left Tinytown and its high school after our junior year. Conse-quently, I missed out on graduating with a group of people that I'd been with for ten years, and I also missed out on H's speech at graduation.
At some point during the evening, between eating elk at her sister's family's home and eating ice cream on H's couch, I mentioned to H that I'd really like to hear her graduation speech. I said it only half-heartedly since, although I whole-heartedly wanted to hear it, I estimated that there was just a 50% chance that she'd read it to me. If the roles were reversed, if I were the academic standout with a 18 year-old graduation speech saved in a box somewhere in a dark closet, I doubt I'd go dig it out for a Facebook friend and read it to her, especially when considering how timid I am in regard to the content of my personal statement. H, though, did go dig it out.
She didn't stop with a simple reading of it, even. To me, it seemed more like a performance, a reenactment perhaps, than just a recitation of the letters and words that were on the paper. I might not have graduated with her, but this gave me a glimpse of how it might have been and how it might have felt. Just a small, insignificant-to-everybody-but-me, wonderful glimpse. Listening to her, and seeing her turn to address an imaginary class of 1996 caused in me one of those emotional experiences where I'm always thiiiiiiiiis close to making a terrible, guttural, snortling noise out of my mouth/nose/mucus membrane area. But just as some noise was about to escape from some place on or around my face, the speech was over, and H, the consumate professional, acted like it was no big deal. Meanwhile, I sat speechless for a bit. I may have missed H's graduation speech from Tinytown high school in 1996, but I was lucky enough to be at H's Friday night, San Diego kitchen speech in 2014. And to me, that was a very big deal.