Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Diversity Statement in 680 characters

Stanford's graduate application requires a diversity statement of up to 700 characters long.  Crafting one was a challenge. Here's what I came up with (20 characters to spare):
As I entered the playground, my peers paused in the sandbox, shouting, "Gaijin!" Stranger, outsider: this was my identity in Japan from ages 4-10. At home I learned to read English; at school I fell behind, the sole non-native. When my family returned to California, ignorance of games and sensitivity about personal space branded me a foreigner still.
Today, my race and culture blend and shift: Korean/Caucasian, Californian/Japanese. With parents of two races & a husband from Turkey, diversity is home. Being white in Japan, Asian in Menlo Park, & female in computer science earned me empathy and communication skills vital in a diverse community. These I offer my classmates.

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