Thursday, August 16, 2007

Megan's Thougths

Notes: OK, that wasn't my last post. If you may know from the Openers piece, Megan happened to be in Cedar Point yesterday during all the excitement. When she got back, she wrote up her thoughts on the matter and sent them to a couple of her blogosphere friends. We've agreed to post her side.

Maybe it’s because I’m humble. Maybe it’s because I’m still a bit na├»ve. Or maybe it’s just because I’m human. I never thought that I would garner such attention in one day. I went to Cedar Point on Wednesday for a relaxing day (you oughta ride the Top Thrill Dragster!) and when I returned to check my phone, I found that I had messages from several people talking about my personal story on the blogosphere. It was kind of odd to see how many people were commenting on my situation.

Let me first say, I am a proud Democrat. I have been a registered Democrat since I was 18. I have worked for numerous candidates and elected officials of the Democratic Party for the past seven years. Through my position at The Ohio Democratic Party, I intended to forward the very cause that means the most to me - the participation of all citizens in the electoral process, specifically women and minorities.

The letter I wrote to The Lantern when I was a freshman was not respectful on many levels. It is because of the diverse Ohio State University that I have become the person I am today. I have come to appreciate not only the contributions, but the value of all people, regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

The foolish words of an 18-year-old girl should not overshadow the hard work of a passionate, devoted 25-year-old woman. George Bernard Shaw once said, "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton-you may as well make it dance." For the past seven years, I've danced a delicate Texas two-step with my skeleton, before it dropped its clumsy left foot on me recently. As an inexperienced college freshman, I wrote an op-ed that attempted to minimize the value of diversity on the OSU campus. However, I ultimately succeeded only in publicly demonstrating my own inexperience and shallow world view.

At 18, none of us really have much clarity on the real issues that affect people. We see the world through a different lens; often a skewed one that doesn’t represent who we will become. It is impossible to look into the future and know where we will go or what we will do. It is only through our personal life experiences that we grow, change, and evolve. Yet, that growth and evolution is often stunted because of the mistakes and missteps of our youth. Today, millions of high school and college students post pictures, blogs, and messages on MySpace and Facebook with little regard for the future. My mistake, printed seven years ago, will hopefully serve as a message to others to consider carefully the consequences of such actions.

I appreciate the measures that increase the diversity of the student body and faculty at OSU, not only because every qualified and driven student should have equal access to higher education, but because the University is enriched by the diversity of its students and faculty.

My own experience and growth are a direct result of this fact. It is precisely because of my experiences at The Ohio State University and beyond that an essay written about race by Megan Pappada, senior in Political Science would have been 180 degrees divergent from Megan Pappada, freshman in Political Science.

I’ve never been much of a dancer myself, and I knew eventually either the skeleton or I would make a scene. Now that I’ve started dancing, though, I do not intend to sit the next dance out. My past, although very different from my present and future, is still mine. That past will always be a part of me, but now that that past has been brought to light, I hope a new beginning lies ahead.

Megan Pappada 08.16.07


FamineHorse said...

Wow. What an incredible letter. Keep dancing Megan--you will go far.

Jeff Hess said...

Shalom Megan,

Don't let the asses get you down.

There is hope for the Democratic party in Ohio.



Anonymous said...

I didn't think there was anything wrong with what she said then, others may differ. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with her changing her mind later about it.

My point, including my joking about Megan joining the GOP, was that no one is perfect. More importantly, being young is about exploring views and making mistakes and we shouldn't be automatically excluded from jobs later on because of those mistakes.

I'm actually much more worried about the companies, small and large that would automatically exclude someone because they wrote something or made a mistake at 18. Companies, political parties, and even government need risk takers, not just stepford clones.

Anonymous said...

and now this story can officially be put to bed, as the prefectly sublime has been reached, with scott pullins pretending to be a human being and offering support. the only thing missing now is hickmania.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim, can you all get through a day or two without attacking me? Shouldn't you be out looking for kiddie porn or something?

Anonymous said...

Tim, but the point is, should a person be forbidden from doing anything meaningful again in their lives because they made a mistake? Should you?

I believe you should be given a second chance and the benefit of the doubt. And I don't think that is playing human.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I believe everyone deserves to be judged on who they are today and not who they were years ago. While our past is a part of how we have become who we are now, in situations like this one with Megan, I don't think what she wrote at 18 was that horrible to have created her not being able to do the job.