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Throughout my secondary-school and college careers, I cultivated parallel analytical and creative interests. At Harvard, this led to my decision to double major in classics and studio art. In some cases, the pursuit of two such disparate disciplines might limit one's ability to explore either in depth. On the contrary, I found that maintaining a serious interest in each of these two areas made me a more successful student in both. My two successful honors theses, with interconnected themes, were evidence of this.
After graduating in 2001, I decided to focus on either an analytical or a creative course of action. As the path of graduate studies in Greek did not satisfy my need to interact with the world outside of an institution, I resolved to explore the implications of my painting thesis. Thus, I moved to San Francisco, where I joined several Harvard friends in a large live/work warehouse and set up a studio there.
My time in San Francisco was fruitful. I developed a strong body of work, which I showed in five exhibitions. I also produced a large art project for the Burning Man arts festival, which takes place in the Nevada desert each August. In order to supplement my income from painting sales, I worked for Sparknotes as a writer/editor and for CyberEdit as an Editor. These jobs allowed me to maintain and develop my analytical writing skills. I also tutored three high-school students in writing for one year.
After a year and a half in San Francisco, I yearned to return to the intensity of the East Coast. In early 2003, I moved to Brooklyn, where I painted at a far more advanced level than I had done before. However, while my immersion in the New York art world was a boon to the quality of my work, it also gave me pause as to the direction of my chosen career. Though I read feverishly as always, I found that I still lacked for adequate intellectual stimulation. Furthermore, outside events compelled me to look beyond my studio walls. I closely followed both the developments in Iraq and the domestic implications of the Patriot Act. The dissonance between my interests and my actions pushed me to a turning point: I decided to reconsider going to law school.
While my passion for painting has not lessened, I know that I cannot happily work away in my studio while such radical changes are taking place in this country. I have the intellectual acuity and analytical training to engage the field of constitutional law; I know that nothing else will satisfy my desire to actualize my potential in the world. After spending two years pursuing the non-academic path, I am keen to tear back into a rigorous course of study with far-reaching implications.