DS ROUGH Draft

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
cowgirl_bebop
Posts: 901
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:32 pm

DS ROUGH Draft

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:16 pm

This is super rough. I simply wrote down what came to me and did a brief pass over it to clean up some language. Basically I wanted to get my ideas down into a simple frame. Im going to go back and tweak it later. Here goes!:

The sound of my stomach grumbling is intensifying. The sight of the meager meal of beans, bread, and milk that awaits me is enough to temporarily lift my spirits, but the feeling will not last. My sister and I sit on the floor of the living room and quietly eat in front of the TV. Once again, there was not enough to feed three people, so my mother simply “enjoys” a cup of tea and a slice of bread with a bit of jam. The milk is gone. The bread is gone. Somehow she will have to find a way to make a meal the next day.

When my parents separated, my mother took my sister and I and moved to a small duplex the next county over. My father was in no position to provide for his family; his addiction had seen to that. He was more preoccupied with helping to keep his uncle’s drug ring running than with caring for his wife and 2 kids. Choosing a life as a single mother over a life surrounded by drugs and violence, my mother left her husband of 10 years and settled down in Louisa County, Virginia.

Raising two children on a nurse’s salary was challenging to say the least, and many times it was simply not enough. After the divorce, my father landed himself in federal prison, so he was not able to provide any financial support whatsoever. It was all she could do to give us the $.70 we each needed for reduced lunch at school. Our new clothes came from clothing banks. Our food came from food pantries. Sometimes she simply went without meals at night to make sure my sister and I were fed. But our clothes were always clean, our homework was always done, and we were always well behaved. One thing my mother refused to acknowledge was any excuses when it came to our schoolwork. “Being poor is not an excuse for falling behind in school,” she used to tell us.

My background may not have been the ideal situation, but it has taught me things that I have used time and time again to push myself to the next level, and for that I am thankful. I have learned that there is much more to a person than simply where they come from, that one’s background does not necessarily define them. It is what they do in spite of their background that makes them who they are. On paper, my life experiences may look like a handicap, but in reality it is anything but. I realize that what I can accomplish is in no way contingent upon how much money my parents had, where I lived, or the makeup of my household. I refuse to use any of these things as an excuse for failing to reach my true potential, academically or otherwise.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: DS ROUGH Draft

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:25 pm

Outstanding. Well written. Effective.

sly_lychee
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:23 am

Re: DS ROUGH Draft

Postby sly_lychee » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:52 pm

The story is engaging, but it is more your mother's story than it is your own. You have not shown the reader how YOU specifically dealt with these hardships. How did they make you feel? What did they make you do?

You state, "My background may not have been the ideal situation, but it has taught me things that I have used time and time again to push myself to the next level," but you don't give any concrete EXAMPLES.

You need to find balance in describing important events & obstacles you've encountered versus how you reacted to those obstacles. How did they make you stronger or different from your peers? It's difficult, I know. I have the same problem with my essays. But I guess that's what rewrites are for. =)

Rick471
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:51 pm

Re: DS ROUGH Draft

Postby Rick471 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:53 am

I think you have a good start. It, in my eyes, is just that. A start.

Now you should go into what you have done with your life becasue of how you were raised. How the way you were raised influenced your decisions in life and its educational path.

I want to hear about you. hth :D

cowgirl_bebop
Posts: 901
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: DS ROUGH Draft

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:23 pm

OK, thanks for the input everybody. Unfortunately, I sent this version to a couple of people already (I received some other input from outside sources and they liked it, so it went). However, I want to revise it before I send it out to anyone else. I added a few things, tweaked a few things, etc. I mainly added a bit more on how I first processed my situation and then how it motivated me to seek solace in school. I guess if I need to pare it down I will:

The sound of my stomach grumbling is intensifying. The sight of the meager meal of beans, bread, and milk that awaits me is enough to temporarily lift my spirits, but the feeling will not last. My sister and I sit on the floor of the living room and quietly eat in front of the TV. Once again, there is not enough to feed three people, so my mother simply “enjoys” a cup of tea and a slice of bread with a bit of jam. The milk is gone. The bread is gone. Somehow she will have to find a way to make a meal the next day.

When my parents separated, my mother took my sister and I and moved to a small duplex the next county over. My father was in no position to provide for his family; his addiction had seen to that. He was more preoccupied with helping to keep his uncle’s drug ring running than with caring for his wife and 2 kids. Choosing a life as a single mother over a life surrounded by drugs and violence, my mother left her husband of 10 years and settled down in Louisa County, Virginia.

Raising two children on a nurse’s salary was challenging to say the least, and many times it was simply not enough. After the divorce, my father landed himself in federal prison, so he was not able to provide any financial support whatsoever. It was all she could do to give us the $.70 we each needed for reduced lunch at school. Our new clothes came from clothing banks. Our food came from food pantries. Sometimes she simply went without meals at night to make sure my sister and I were fed. But our clothes were always clean, our homework was always done, and we were always well behaved. My mother refused to acknowledge any excuses when it came to our schoolwork. “Being poor is not an excuse for falling behind in school,” she used to tell us.

At first, I failed to understand her position. I saw so many other students in similar situations falling behind in their work. To me, it seemed natural that those without would be confined to the lowest ranks of the class. But as I grew older and my naiveté wore off, I realized that I had the potential to do things that I previously thought impossible. I began to use school as an escape from my situation at home. I may not have had the best clothes, the newest shoes, or the latest gadget, but I could have the best grades. I would soon realize that a good education was capable of opening up doors that money could not. My sights turned towards a college degree, and then, a law degree.

My background may not have been ideal, but it has taught me things that I have used time and time again to push myself to the next level, and for that I am thankful. I have learned that there is much more to a person than simply where they come from; simply put, one’s background does not necessarily define them. It is what they do in spite of the negative events in their background that makes them who they are. On paper, my life experiences may look like a handicap, but in reality it is anything but. I realize that what I can accomplish is in no way contingent upon how much money my parents had, where I lived, or the makeup of my household. I refuse to use any of these things as an excuse for failing to reach my true potential, academically or otherwise. I will soon realize my dream of attaining my bachelor’s degree, after which I will begin down the path to my next goal: a Juris Doctor.




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