My name is Katie Davis; I am 17 years old and currently residing in Central Georgia. I have been dual-enrolling full-time at Middle Georgia State University for the past two years. I also happen to be the founder/CEO of a local nonprofit that donates necessities to foster children and supports indigenous Guatemalan women (check it out at samestarscanvas.org!). I have chosen to apply for the Grant Law Office scholarship in hopes of easing the financial burden that even in-state tuition would be on my family. I hope to use this scholarship to help me study architecture, which I aim to eventually get
a PhD in. Thank you for the opportunity!
The shaggy-haired senior at the desk in front of me had his credit card and phone pulled out under his desk, not-so-discreetly ordering shoes online. My best friend at the desk beside me was doodling suns and cartoon pigs on her binder. It was the last day of school, but the documentary projected on the board as an afterthought by my tired Latin teacher made all the summer excitement fizzing in the room around me turn to static.
"Even if I set out to learn everything possible about just a single topic (say, crows, my favorite animal), there will never be enough time to read every book written on them."
- Katie D.
The broad and impossible arcs of the Coliseum, the perfect and effortless way they distributed unimaginable weights—it all seemed to make time stop for a moment. The three ancient architectural orders present struck me; a detail easily glossed over at first glance, but an aspect so pivotal it can’t be unseen even in the grainy light of a projector, victim of budget cuts. How could an ancient construction essentially made of just arches become so visually powerful and hold up such enormous weights?
The video slid to a new image, a rendering of Roman aqueducts. Again, it seemed impossible for the time. I imagined the dozens of miles of grassy plains that those precisely sloped structures traveled on. I thought of the bathhouses and fountains, hallmarks of Roman culture. None of it would be possible without architecture like this.
In that moment, more than anything, I wanted to create something just as impossible, just as beautiful. I want to be a part of earth's architecture. I want to contribute more beauty, purpose, and structure into the world, and celebrate the steady root it holds in culture.
One of my favorite lines of Shakespeare appears in As You like It: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
"The thing about education is that the further you get into it, the more you realize that you really do not know much at all about anything."
- Katie D.
The thing about education is that the further you get into it, the more you realize that you really do not know much at all about anything. After learning about fractions and division in 3rd-grade math, I was so sure that I knew every possible thing there was to learn about arithmetic. Almost a decade later, sitting in a college calculus class, I have never been more aware of just how little of mathematic theory I actually know. The other day, I was sitting in my local library and came to the heart-wrenching realization that even if I read every single one of the thousands of books in the building—which would literally take over a lifetime to do—I would only have been introduced to a practically nonexistent fraction of the knowledge there is to be discovered.
There would still be hundreds of thousands of libraries in the world filled with millions more books, including ones written in countless different languages that would take lifetimes to become proficient in. Even if I set out to learn everything possible about just a single topic (say, crows, my favorite animal), there will never be enough time to read every book written on them.
Though an initially discouraging thought to consider, it is also a humbling and thrilling one; no matter how many people you meet or experiences you’ve had or courses you’ve taken, there will always be even smarter people to learn from, more lessons to be discovered, and a further sense of understanding to capture. Knowledge will never run out for any of us, and that’s the most joyous fact of all.
We must not be third graders satisfied with knowing only a multiplication table. We must further our ventures in everything in hopes of reaching the point in which we fully realize that we know nothing. I am looking forward to furthering that realization through a collegiate study of architecture.
- Katie D.