I had no idea. I came to Princeton not knowing who Plato was.
I’ve always been attracted to things that make my brain itch. Philosophy made it itch the most.
I have yet to meet a Philosophy major I didn’t find at least interesting. Philosophy requires you to think deeply and rigorously about a singular issue. It requires you to follow your conclusion, no matter the conventional trend. I have found this type of focus applied to all areas of my life has brought about the most rewarding experiences, and I think Philosophy majors as a whole take pride in this type of living. I often find a kinship whenever I come across a Philosophy major.
I became a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. I was torn between the desire to travel and the desire to be near my family. Being a flight attendant allowed me to explore new lands and still have a home base.
I’m a lawyer. After flying I went to work at the National Congress of American Indians in their think tank the Policy Research Center. I then attended Stanford Law School. I clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court, for Justice Dana Fabe. I am now finishing a second clerkship for the Honorable William H. Walls in the Federal District Court of New Jersey. In the coming months I’ll be starting at WilmerHale, a litigation firm in Washington DC. I am a founding board member of the Native Amicus Briefing Project, a non-profit started with some of my law school friends. We provide amicus brief support for cases relating to Native American law. [This interview was conducted in August 2013]
I remember when I told my parents I was going to be a Philosophy major my Dad was baffled, and disappointed I didn’t choose a major like Economics. To him, Philosophy sounded obscure, misguided, and indulgent. But being a Philosophy major was the best choice I made at Princeton. Philosophy opened my eyes to an honest kind of thinking – no fluff, just analytics. I wasn’t the best student, or the most disciplined, but I have always appreciated my time spent grappling with meta-ethics. This deep thinking gives me confidence to try unorthodox paths, and gives me an assurance of authenticity when I choose common paths. My Dad has since come around to my kind of thinking, and I have found that Philosophy has opened more doors professionally than I could have imagined. Plus, it just sounds really cool at dinner parties.