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Word Count: 783
In answering the question why did I return to school it is as important to explore my original departure from academic life as my return Ultimately the exit and return were greatly influenced by two life events birth and death At the end of the summer of 1988 as I was preparing to enter my junior year at Columbia University while sleeping at home a family friend woke me with the news that my mother sleeping in the next bedroom was not moving Ironically I rarely slept at home even during the summer months preferring an on-campus apartment at Columbias Morningside Heights On this particularly unique occasion while enjoying my parents hospitality I bore witness to my mothers final moments Shortly thereafter my father suffered a stroke and following six months in the Intensive Care Unit at New York Hospital and a brief stay at a hospice he too died from what the family agreed was a broken heart Clearly loosing ones parents is an event which all children must anticipate however there is little if any way to prepare yourself for the back-to-back loss of your parents Death appears as another life requirement and the ways in which we adapt ultimately define the balance of our adulthood During my fathers illness I continued with my studies but with less enthusiasm and increasingly became concerned about things economic more than academic Unfortunately rather than taking an academic leave of absence I continued to muddle through my course work and when it appeared that I might suffer a grade of 30 or God forbid 25 thus irrevocably altering my hard earned GPA I would drop the course Page 2 By the middle of my senior year although I had completed much of the course work for my degree and undoubtedly could have found a way to complete the program albeit with a poor or near worthless GPA I chose
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