I have to get through the next four years of graduate education in order to achieve my lifelong dream of teaching Comparative Religion at the college level. However, I am both destitute and disabled. So, I am seeking out and praying for angel-donors who see my cause as worthy and my future as bright. Anybody who knows me knows that I'm capable of reaching this goal and thriving, if only I can secure the financial wherewithal.
Extensive background in foreign languages and travel; professional experience as a program coordinator for the Central European University; a relevant education, including a BA (highest honors) in Russian Literature from UC Berkeley and a diploma in Arabic from DLI; an abundance of experience with language education, having taught ESL and American culture in Eastern Europe; and a formidable knowledge of the literature, history, and culture of the Mediterranean, have all laid the groundwork for my success in this program. Moreover, I have spent the last decade pondering, discussing, and teaching subjects directly related to the study of religion at a college preparatory academy in San Francisco, where I served at the Head Teacher, and later the Principal, for over a decade.
A lifelong struggle with the physical disability of Ankylosing Spondylitis, while not an impenetrable barrier, has often served as a significant challenge to me in reaching my highest potential. Moreover, economic necessity has forced me to delay making the final stroke to achieving my MA in Literature, as I entered the workforce as a teacher before I was able to have my finished MA Project approved, though the rest of my performance at Humboldt State University was stellar.
My interest in pursuing the PhD in Mediterranean religions comes from an intense desire to gain the kind of deeply intimate but critical knowledge of the essence of consciousness in this area. Having designed and taught High School level courses in "Age of Faith" (Late Antiquity), Western Civilization, and Eastern Orthodox Ethic, I have dealt extensively with material that is directly related to the critical study of Mediterranean religions. This desire to learn as much as possible about the Abrahamic faiths is not only personal, but also professional. After graduation, I would like to carry my doctoral level understanding of comparative Mediterranean religions back into the educational field. Such a degree would not only allow me to raise my qualifications as a teacher and adminstrator, but would empower me to continue teaching the often overlooked but vitally important comparative religion to young people in communities that have traditionally been deprived of contact with other cultures and alternative ways of thinking and believing.
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