2015 D’Arpino Essay Contest
Dr. Glenn Callaghan has won the 2015 D’Arpino Essay Contest. The contest asked participants, in one page or less, to answer the questions, “WHO and WHAT am I?”. Students and faculty in the Department of Psychology were eligible to submit essays and eight brave souls rose to the challenge. The anonymous essays were judged by Emilio “Chick” D’Arpino himself and, while all of the entries were excellent, Dr. Callaghan’s was judged best. Read the winning essay below.
Who and What Am I?
Essay Contest Response
I will offer a brief response and then elaborations to the two thought provoking questions.
Who am I? I am me.
What am I? A social being seeking to connect and find meaning.
Here are the elaborated answers.
Who am I?
I am me. I am the sum of an ontogenic history, a sense of self that has evolved over time and place to become the context of my own experience of thought and feeling, a self that both responds to, and narrates, my existence. I am both unique at the idiographic level of existence and also part of a collective whole at the larger epistemic level of evolution. The “me” that exists is ephemeral; it is a sense that accidently (or by design) accompanies a body made to survive and to adapt.
What am I?
I am a social being seeking to connect and find meaning. I am if nothing else a social primate, raised to interact and connect with others. That is part of my evolution at a genetic level. While some of us seek more contact, and others less, we are all social animals. Connection can be understood as a deeper form of contact, one that sustains an existence beyond survival. Finding meaning is what makes us truly human. I seek meaning and understanding – I seek answers to questions and reasons for why we do what we do.
Who am I? I am me, this me. What am I? One who seeks connection and meaning.