Sylwia Urbanska

Professor Alvarez

English 110

17 May 2012

Personal Statement

Since I excelled in German language in high school, I naturally pursued this path in my higher education. However, I discovered in the meantime a more passionate interest in psychology, and my Master’s dissertation, entitled “’Hunger Artist’ and other short stories of Kafka – a presentation of deviation as a fin de siècle aftermath” was largely an exploration of Kafka’s truly impressive insights in psychological abnormalities. My education primarily prepared me as a German language teacher but for two reasons I did not pursue this path in U.S. First, not having attended high school here, I didn’t feel capable of establishing a successful connection with local youth. Second, although I am fluent in German, having learned the language as an adult, I can’t compete with native speakers who reside in N.Y.

Despite the fact that I have never worked in my learned profession, I do not consider years spent at the University as wasted. Higher levels of education present challenges and unique opportunities for self exploration in many ways. High GPA, scholarships and awards, I might credit to my competitive drive and ambition but the ability to achieve it, was possible only through discipline, accountability, focus and resilience fostered by demands and expectations set by the University. These traits are now part of my personality and serve me well when presented with challenges, especially those of the academic nature.

A significant contribution to my personal development was presented in my third year of studying in form of achievement scholarship awarded to only five students per year for outstanding academic accomplishments. The scholarship, called Tempus, was sponsored by the European Union and for our Department offered studying at the Sheffield University in Sheffield, England and at the Justus-Liebig-Universitat in Giessen, Germany. It was a unique experience to be exposed to very different then Polish systems of higher education and multicultural environment not common in Poland. I had the opportunity for the first time to test my English as well as German outside of the classroom.

This experience has prepared me well for my emigration to the U.S.A. to join my parents who were living here. Although the struggle to find my place in a society with such different ways of functioning, was inevitable, I had a taste of the life away from home.

In the pursuit to adjust and establish myself in a new reality, the interest in psychological aspects of functioning took on a new meaning. I wasn’t now just interested in some theoretical cases presented in scientific materials, I became a case myself afflicted with anxiety, depression, lack of confidence and energy. The search for answers, until then just a hobby, became a necessity and has led to extensive readings in the dynamically developing field of psychology. The awareness that I can turn this passion into profession and possibly help others, has motivated me to re-enter college and continue my research in scientific settings with proper guidance.

My scope of interest entails in particularly the application of brain waves to reach higher levels of effectiveness, an area that is being vigorously researched and still has many questions waiting to be addressed. The current level of knowledge has resulted in techniques such as the Silva method, SITA language system and Alphalearning to name a few. These methods mainly focus on utilizing alpha level, which is the first stage of relaxation for enhanced learning capacity, they are mainly directed at improving the intellectual potential. However, the research is relatively scarce in relation to using brain waves for emotional enhancement. The ways in which deeper states of consciousness can be employed to overcome emotional barriers has become the focal point of my scientific interest. What makes such research feasible are continuing advances in modern technology resulting, for example, in development of binaural beats which is a sound technique designed to assist in reaching the alpha state but also theta and delta with relatively little time and practice. What was until recently perceived as the sole domain of monks and spiritual gurus has become more easily attainable by an average person, which provides a tremendous opportunity to be used repeatedly and in controlled settings.

My practical experience to date in this area includes taking courses in the Silva method, the Shakti Gwain method, neuro-linguistic programming, and seminars offered by the Monroe Institute, one of the leading authorities in binaural beats, called “Metamusic”, production. To gain a deeper understanding of brain functioning, I have taken courses in neuroscience. Moreover, I am exploring the possibility of training in EEG.

I feel that I have encountered the most promising field of exploration in my quest for a better understanding of human nature, and am eager to begin my post-graduate journey.


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