A Revolutionary Upbringing

Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university. Things to consider: How did your interest in your major develop? Do you have any experience related to your major outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, internships and employment, or participation in student organizations and activities? If you haven’t had experience in the field, consider including experience in the classroom. This may include working with faculty or doing research projects.

Reverberating voices. Flying spit. Clinking shot glasses. A gaggle of grandpas in furry trapper hats, perched on potato crates, pontificating about Soviet politics in a farm shed. They agreed, yet still managed to yell. As a routine observer of this ruckus, I knew everything there was for a seven-year-old to know about Gorbachev’s perestroika and the pitfalls of postcommunist democratization. Their passion was contagious. I wanted to understand their jargon, to be included in their discourse. Where I grew up, politics was unavoidable. My borough was called Kommunist and my daily Metro ride began at Proletarska station. I witnessed political uprisings sweep Kharkiv during the Orange Revolution. The optimism and solidarity were palpable. Thousands of orange rags dangled from tree branches throughout the city. I wanted to understand this, to be part of it.

My college political science classes were a feast for my interests. For my honors project in International Politics, I collaborated with my professor to research the benefits of refugee resettlement in San Diego communities and presented this work at the annual City College research symposium. I indulged my penchant for Soviet politics in my honors cultural anthropology class,...

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