Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Statement of Purpose

For this week's project (one of two), I'm beginning once again the process of writing a statement of purpose for admission into a PhD program. The process is rather fun despite the difficulty along the way. The statement of purpose is the steeplechase of writing. Why do I want to do the thing I love most? Good question. Writing about writing is one of the easiest things to do if nobody's watching, if I'm not keeping an eye on myself, but getting the thing to be interesting—well.

But some days—this week, for instance—I can't picture myself leaving China, strange as that idea may seem. As I told my friend CQ yesterday, one thing you get used to is not understanding much. When you do understand something, it's quite marvelous, even if it's something very minor, like how to say "ice cream." What would it be like to live almost twenty-seven years in your own country and then live the rest of your life somewhere else? It's easy for me to imagine living here as a young man, but I can't picture myself here as an old person.