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From the Pillars of Civilization to the Pillars of Law

Satisfactory Essays
From the Pillars of Civilization to the Pillars of Law

As sweat dripped down my nose and mixed with the dirt, I yelled, "I found glass!" Glass is considered a rare find, and upon hearing my announcement the excavation team stopped digging. Later, as I sat under the overhang on the laboratory roof patiently brushing dirt off a pottery shard and reconstructing a pot from the shard, I realized that archeology parallels the process of producing a paper, piece by piece and note-card by note-card. I came to Mallorca, Spain because of my passion for Egyptology and archeology. I was determined to excavate, and although Mallorca is not Egypt, this was my opportunity to do so. I love solving puzzles - discovering pieces, analyzing their importance, uncovering relationships and then utilizing the information to produce a final work. An archeologist discovers an object; draws on knowledge of the culture, materials available, and history to analyze the object; deciphers its role and determines its value. Writing, research, legal study, and legal practice share this process with archeology. Instead of finding a pottery shard in soil, the discovery is information and requires research and analysis.

The challenge of researching and analyzing an unknown subject is the most enjoyable part of academic life. An honors thesis I wrote on Colombian environmental policy allowed me to study a topic about which I had been ignorant. I chose Colombian environmental policy because my Latin American Politics class did not cover Colombia, and I was interested, after writing about French and American environmental policy, in continuing my study of different countries' environmental policies. Colombia, however, presented a greater challenge than the other two countries due to the paucity of available material. After the Colombian consulate was unable to help me, I located one of the few experts in the field who directed me to relevant material. I threw myself into a provocative topic, formerly unknown to me, and transformed it into something about which I was knowledgeable. The process is like discovering a shard, or if lucky, a piece of glass.

The Colombian paper also stands out as one of my favorite projects because of the analysis and interpretation it required. The class analyzed events using a matrix comprised of political, social, international, and domestic factors. The environmental articles offered no obvious examples of reasons for the events; my analysis relied solely on my interpretation.
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