That time of the year again, when I’m reading through lengthy applications, fun to do to see the quality of these Kazakhs' work. These hopefuls have to prove they can survive the rigors of study in an American university by what they write in their 1,000 word “Statement of Purpose.”
I always like to see the sayings or proverbs these writers use like this 28 year old single female wrote from Pavlodar: “If you want to change the world, change yourself.” Reminiscent of “You must be the change you want to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi. Also somewhat similar quote to what another single female from Almaty wrote: “Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.” By Madeline Bridges from Belmont University.
Motivational speaker Dr. Alan Zimmerman is credited with the following quote used by the same woman from Almaty: “Some people dream of accomplishments while others stay awake and do them.” She believes strongly that she along with others need to stand together to accomplish changes in her Kazakh society. Maybe analogous to the Russian proverb perhaps oft quoted during the Great Patriotic War: “One man cannot be a warrior on a battlefield.”
Since Kazakhstan did suffer much during the Second World War, the following quote used by a single 24 year old male in Pavlador seems applicable to the present reality Kazakhstan finds itself in: “Who has never tasted bitterness, knows not what sweetness is.” Another quote by a single 23 year old male from Zhambilskaya oblast was more hopeful about travelling abroad: “The world is a book, and the person who stays at home reads but one page.” This quote was either coined from Shakespeare or St. Augustine, I would guess the latter since he lived before Shakespeare did. Great quote in any case and I guess I have read several pages with my travels to different countries over the past 30 years.
Those quotes which concerned teaching and learning, a topic near and dear to my heart, is the famous one attributed to Socrates who admitted: “I know only that I know nothing.” Another by Joseph Joubert is: “To teach is to learn twice.” Finally, a 24 year old single female from Petropavlovsk wrote that to be a teacher, we are second mothers.
Stayed tuned to subsequent blog entries with more quotes from these Statements of Purpose that I’m reading through. I wish all Kazakhstani applicants would be able to go to the U.S. to study for two years, I’m thinking to accomplish this arduous application process should be rewarded somehow.