Early life of Kirill Sakharov in his own words.
There are many socially created circumstances when a person may be called upon to present an autobiographical account. In these circumstances the autobiographical accounts presented are dictated by the social situation. The accounts are selective by nature, that is, they include only what the person giving them wants to say. Autobiographical accounts also function as regular accounts, since they are usually used to align with organizations, groups and other people. In general autobiographical accounts are shaped more by society than most realize.
A recent autobiographical account I had to present works as a good example. During the college application process, Columbia College scheduled a mandatory college interview with one of Columbia’s alumni. Thus, the call to the account was all set up and the formalities laid out. The circumstances required for me to give my autobiographical account were set up a week before I gave it.
The interview began with her asking me many general questions, such as if I could point out any outstanding qualities that could contribute to Columbia. I thought of saying that I was funny, charismatic, and social, but thought better of it since that would not be an account that was appropriate for the interview. Instead I plunged into a more formal and reference-able account of being a varsity soccer MVP and being the founder of my former school computer club. Those were things I would never bring up in any other autobiographical account, but since this particular account required more formal information of me as a person I chose those two things.
After the general stages, the interview moved forward to academic relevancies. As my interviewer asked me questions I answered with autobiographical accounts the content of which I would never utter outside of conversation with my teachers or parents. I described why I came to like math so much, and then I described why my inclinations had started to lean in the direction of social sciences. I spent several minutes describing why I decided to focus on certain areas of academic studies. My past focused mostly on my coming to the United States from Russia and being very strongly mathematically based due to that, and later reading Isaac Asimov and becoming interested in social sciences and how they can be more precise if more integrated in numbers. My autobiographical account was much more formal and academically based than a usual account. I did not mention many things that I might have otherwise bragged about to new acquaintance, like how rebellious some of my past acts were. The fact that I immigrated to this country from Russia, only thing that is usually used by me in my autobiographical accounts, was used for a completely different purpose: to illustrate my academic background.
Initially Ssubmitted at Oct. 27, 2005; 19:05
Nov. 17, 2017; 16:11 EST