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Announcing the Winner of the McMath Woods P.A. Fall 2021 Scholarship

Published on Aug 23, 2021 at 3:32 pm in Firm News.

We’re proud to continue the McMath Woods P.A.’s annual scholarship campaign aimed to help first-year undergraduate and graduate students. We were humbled by the amount of responses and applications we received. The quality of the essays was outstanding.

We’ve chosen a winner for Fall 2021!

Congratulations to Andrew Ballard of Georgia!

Andrew will be attending Bethlehem College and Seminary this fall.

This was the essay topic:

If aliens came down to earth today, what is the first thing you would show or tell them? Would it be a story, a song, a news article, a particular snack? Why would you pick that thing to show or tell them?

This was his winning essay:

A Taste of Humanity

Imagine it. You’re an alien. You’ve found this intriguing blue and green spinning little sphere of a planet, and you’re dying to figure out what it’s like. It looks warm, it looks cold, it looks wet, it looks dry. When one side rotates into the shadows, a billion pricks of light appear on its face, like a galaxy of stars painted onto the surface. Is there life on this mysterious globe? You’ve got to know. So, as you’re investigating from afar, you tune in all your communication equipment, looking for radio waves, sonar, anything, any evidence of life at all.

Finally, on your visual monitor, a moving picture develops. There’s a biped, with gleaming dark eyes that reflect the sun, white hair atop its head sticking straight up towards the sky. It’s moving gracefully, swiftly, in some sort of sleek, red vessel, drifting over the surface effortlessly. The first words from this incredible, novel species rings out like a majestic anthem, announcing to your spaceship the glorious existence of the human race:

“I’m Guy Fieri and we’re rolling out, looking for America’s greatest Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives!”

You’ve never seen or heard anything so wonderful.

Honestly. If I could be the ambassador of Earth to an alien visitor, the first thing that I would do is introduce them to Food Network star and show host, Guy Fieri. He’s the best of all of us.

My rationale is, if aliens came down to earth today, I would assume that they were either interested in anthropology (the study of mankind) or geography (the study of places). There are two things truly unique about this planet, among all the planets that we have discovered in the universe so far: the environments, and the life that inhabits them. And, when you look at the topography, if you really step back and think about it, you’ll notice that no species influences the appearance and form of our world so much as humankind. We illuminate the nightly sky with our brightened cities, and we darken the sun with our daytime pollution. We build cities and farms and dams. We raise oceans and level mountains.

How, in the midst of all this, does Guy Fieri make sense as the world’s curator? Well, he’s not just a super cool dude with a sweet hot rod of a ride. He’s one of the most wholesome personalities on American television, and through his TV shows he gives representation to an incredible number of cultures, just by following the thread of good, local food that’s woven throughout our cosmopolitan country.

By accompanying Guy Fieri in his blazing red sports car, you’d have the opportunity to travel all over the country, seeing diverse geography, cities, small towns, highways, rivers, mountains, beaches. You’d be able to meet people from all kinds of different countries, getting a taste not only of incredible cuisine, but also of their cultures and histories. You’d hear a thousand stories about what lives consist of and what is meaningful to people.

That’s what is really significant about humans, isn’t it?- our ability to mean. If you just wanted to understand me anatomically or biologically, put me on a slab and get out your bone saw. But that won’t tell you anything about who I am. What makes me human is my personhood- my ability to see a narrative weaved through my experiences, and my desire to share that narrative with other people and to be part of theirs too.

So, welcome to Earth, my extraterrestrial friends. Do you want to see the best of the human race? Do you want to know what makes us distinct and yet also unites us as people? Do you want to hear some stories of hope, and taste the joy in living? Well, prime your ears, roll up your sleeves, loosen your belt, and hop in. We’re rolling out, looking for America’s greatest Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives


Congratulations again, Andrew! May all your dreams come true.

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