All About Mel

"A man said to the Universe: 'Sir, I exist!'
'However,' replied the Universe, 'the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.'"

        -- Stephen Crane

**First Draft**: Statement of Purpose for admission to University of Michigan's Doctoral Program in Religious Studies - by Amelia Louise Lockwood, penitent.

Excerpted from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) for purposes of creating appropriate context.

Watch \Watch\ (w[o^]ch), n. [OE. wacche, AS. w[ae]cce, fr. wacian to wake; akin to D. wacht, waak, G. wacht, wache. [root]134. See {Wake}, v. i.] 1. The act of watching; forbearance of sleep; vigil; wakeful, vigilant, or constantly observant attention; close observation; guard; preservative or preventive vigilance; formerly, a watching or guarding by night.

Note: Watch was formerly distinguished from ward, the form signifying a watching or guarding by night, and the latter a watching, guarding, or protecting by day Hence, they were not infrequently used together, especially in the phrase to keep watch and ward, to denote continuous and uninterrupted vigilance or protection, or both watching and guarding. This distinction is now rarely recognized, watch being used to signify a watching or guarding both by night and by day, and ward, which is now rarely used, having simply the meaning of guard, or protection, without reference to time.

"Ward, guard, or custodia, is chiefly applied to the daytime, in order to apprehend rioters, and robbers on the highway . . . Watch, is properly applicable to the night only, . . . and it begins when ward ends, and ends when that begins." --Blackstone.

Watcher \Watch"er\ (-[~e]r), n.One who watches; one who sits up or continues; a diligent observer; specifically, one who attends upon the sick during the night.

In the next 500 words I am charged not with answering the ages-old question "Why am I here?", but the even more nebulous "Why should I be there?". It is arrogant to assume that I can state this in brief, but I'm not the one who made up these stupid application guidelines. I mean, come on, people. I can't even write a grocery list in under 500 words

But that's neither here nor there, so on with the show. I am twenty-five, single and some would say mentally unbalanced. They're all just jealous.

I received my Bachelor's degree in Classical Studies from Birbeck, University of London, and my Master's degrees in Social Anthropology (minor in Folklore) from the University of Oxford Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. I read Greek, Latin, and a smidge of ancient Sumerian. I speak and read French, Italian, German and Spanish. I have dual citizenship between the U.K. (mother) and the U.S. (father).

My research has been focused on examining modern trends in folklore (including urban legends) and the occult, and comparing them to historical trends of demon possession, manifestation and so forth in the context of religion, politics and culture.

The upshot is I spend a lot of time reading the Weekly World News looking for evidence of demons.

Why am I so interested in demons? My parents were eaten by demons when I was eight. This is not a figurative expression of some childhood trauma, despite what my therapist might think. It happened quite literally. I know. I was there.

I've been in therapy a lot.

I'm a member of an ancient secret society, the Watchers. So was my mother (there is a direct correlation between this and her demise. Dad fell prey (no pun intended) to the Innocent Bystander stigma). They, well, they watch. They watch young girls who may or may not become the Slayer, she who is Chosen to save the world from demons.

When you think about it, there really is something vaguely icky about the notion of a bunch of repressed older men in tweed obsessing over high school girls. Very Japanese anime, in a way, minus the big eyes, kicky little school uniforms and tentacles.

Wait. There are tentacles. Again with the icky.

I graduated from the Watcher's Academy concurrent with receiving my BA. I spent the two years while working on my MA "apprenticing", until they decided to send me off to the States to "further my education".

Apparently I ask too many questions and have to many "outrageous ideas". And I'm "insolent". Yay me.

I am sort of on probation with the Watcher's Council. They've not exactly said it, but well, they're British. Which should explain everything. They think I should "focus my efforts down more traditional scholarly avenues." I think they need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that their "traditional scholarly avenues" are limiting our ability to effectively do our job.

We're agreeing to disagree for the moment.

(note to self - wordcount okay (499). Maybe delete bit about demons eating parents? TMI?)