I’ve been looking forward to writing you to share the components and building-blocks of my social science background. This semester is my first foray into Social Science academics, and I am excited to see what lies ahead. Transferring over from Economics, a relatively technical major, was a welcome change. I am sure I will feel right at home as a Social Scientist and a Political Science major. The following paragraphs are intended to illustrate experiences in my life and their significance to me. I feel as though these three events brought forth the molding of my identity and key attributes of myself as an active citizen of the world. I’ve always enjoyed reading fiction novels; in fact, I have early memories of reading novels like “Harry Potter,” and “The Lightening Thief.” I don’t recall detailed interpretations of the stories; but what I can remember is the feeling of excitement I felt alongside the characters. Somehow, I felt I embodied these characters in my own life and adapted to their strengths. Though I didn’t make this connection at the time, I see the empowerment I obtained from my favorite novels as what I needed to get myself through challenging times of my childhood, such as my parent’s divorce. Today, I can only look back and be thankful that everything turned out the way it did. Those quiet evenings with a good book brought me to love fantasy fiction and reading. But most of all, it gave me confidence and self-reliance. Reading is excellent; but one must, of course, look up from the pages from time to time. The Prior family relocated way too often for that to be an issue. Since I the time I was born until I graduated high school, I had moved over ten times. It can be very challenging to move that often – especially for a child. The benefits of moving aren’t always clear or immediately welcoming. But I did meet many different people and learned valuable lessons. The time we spent living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was by far the most influential. I became fluent in Brazilian Portuguese with the help of my relatives in the country and became imbedded into the culture and society. I adapted and developed to the Brazilians way of life, which I found to be kind and carefree to everyone. I also find understanding a second language brings forth a lot of opportunities and cognitive benefits, especially in the social sciences. So far, I explored aspects of my life that have shaped who I’ve become from a Social Science background. I showed how stories and literature impacted me, with confidence, autonomy, and self-perseverance. I also showed how living abroad gave me the perspective of Prof. Elisabeth von Uhl, page 2 another language and culture. But like the Triangle diagram we went over in class, three ends make the shape or, in this case, the person. My father has been an Anthony Robbins Trainer since 2006. Anthony Robbins is a life coach and philanthropist who has reached worldwide success. He holds seminars in major cities worldwide and has a hundred or so Trainers distributed around the globe. I’ve attended two seminars in recent years. As a participant, I’ve learned many skills including rapport building, goal setting, and other strategies and tools for success in business, academics and relationships. I believe this is an important aspect of my Social Science background because Robbins delved deep into the human psyche, which is the source of behaviors and how we respond to situations in life. The various strategies he taught were synergistic to my understanding and communicative skills, and also compliment my other traits. In conclusion, it is clear growth does not necessarily come with age, but rather with experiences and taking positive meaning and value from them. Once a person can grasp his or her identity, that person will finally be able to truly understand the footprint he or she makes on the world. I’ve worked hard to develop my confidence, understanding, appreciation, and rapport building skills, individually and collectively. As a result, I feel I’m able to engage in meaningful “Problem Posing” concepts. I very much look forward to engaging in meaningful discussion this semester in your class. I am excited to learning more about myself, others and the Social Sciences in the process, to the improvement of the Greater Good.
Very truly yours,
Donald M. Prior, III