I just finished my DS and would appreciate any feedback.

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

I just finished my DS and would appreciate any feedback.

Postby solo » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:55 pm

The classroom was huge. I remember looking at the white walls surrounding me and feeling strangely inadequate. Of course, such feelings are probably natural for a student starting the first day in the ninth grade. My class that day was Advanced Placement European History. I was sure I would enjoy this class but I couldn’t shake the feeling of loneliness in the room. “Hey how are you ___?” one of my friends asked as he passed by my chair. I gave an approving smile and swallowed my anxiety. Seeing my friend in the class gave me comfort but I couldn’t fight the feeling of panic as I noticed that I was the only black student in the classroom.

I do not know why it mattered, but it did. Most of my youth prior to that moment had been the same. I was usually the only ‘black’ kid in all my classes or in my school or in my neighborhood. As a child, I didn’t truly understand what the implications of this were but sitting there in AP European History was different. For the first time, I was old enough to notice the reality of my situation and to think about what it meant. As the only black male in my environment, I had to struggle to grasp my own identity.

It was hard to be myself. I couldn’t define what a black male should be because I had been raised around a predominantly white culture. To further this problem, my parents got divorced when I was young and my Dad left. I knew that if I were to find any answers, it would be through my own means. I would need to figure out how I was to define myself and my ethnicity.

I was now in my senior year and I was starting to feel alienated from my peers. Suddenly stereotypes were emerging from everywhere. Why was I always the first person picked to be on a team for basketball, even though I had no particular skill in the game? Why was my opinion always needed when any conversation of rap music began, even though I listened to rock music and jazz? Should I be a good basketball player? Should I know about rap? My life was becoming confusing. I found myself at a point where I had a lot more questions than answers.

I gained some perspective from a Black Studies class during college. I realized that my struggle was trying to understand my racial identity within a larger culture of a different race. I understood that my “twoness”, as W.E.B Du Bois stated, was a result of the conflict I felt from two opposing sides. On the one side was my culture and environment. On the other side was my ethnic identity. I was a black male and was struggling to come to terms with what that meant. I learned that although these sides of my being were separate, they were not in conflict with one another.

My race became important to me because I learned the legacy of those who came before me, nameless heroes who also had to reconcile their ‘twoness’ to achieve great things. Being a black male wasn’t so much a label or role I had to acquire, as it was an undeniable part of who I was by nature. The answer I needed to define what I black male is and should be is the same answer that I would need to define who I am as a person. I learned that all my differences made me no less black than others who grew up in predominantly black neighborhoods or schools. Knowing this, I found peace with myself.

Every journey has a genesis and a revelation. My genesis occurred that day, many years ago, in my Advanced Placement European History class. That day sparked my personal journey to identify myself within my environmental culture. My revelation is what I bring with me to law school. Namely, you cannot let the outside world identify who you are as an individual but instead we must all try to foster and reconcile our own identities through our achievements and deeds.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: I just finished my DS and would appreciate any feedback.

Postby solo » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:13 am

I know it is still rough around the edges and needs to be cleaned up a bit, but does anyone have any thoughts or comments about the content or structure of the statement? Does it provide a compelling story or does it need to be totally revised? My personal statement is on a wholly different issue and is also posted on this site. I wanted to write my diversity statement about something that has burdened me throughout my life and something that was fundamentally different than my personal statement. Any thoughts? Any feedback at all would be appreciated. Please be brutally honest, so I can make this statement better.

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

Re: I just finished my DS and would appreciate any feedback.

Postby Rick471 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:07 am

Feeling opinionated today! You're in luck!

I read you DS and when I finished it, I just said, "So, what?"

I think you have a much better story to tell. I am a minority, but not AA. I want to hear your story and how if affected your decisions throughout your life. Tell me what its like to be a black male in a non-black male world. Tell me why you think you would be any different from a non-minority applicant.

When I read your story I felt as though you were holding back. Just giving the reader a small taste and not the whold story. I would get more detailed. If you were in AP classes you obviously did well in school. I would indicate that as well.

Your grammar is very good. You are a good writer. I would just focus on the content now. hth! :D




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