Is this DS appropriate?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
lisac
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:03 pm

Is this DS appropriate?

Postby lisac » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:20 pm

I posted this in the personal statements forum, but I wanted to get some feedback here too. I'm grateful for any feedback.


=================================


Checkmate.

In seven moves, my opponent had defeated me in my very first high school chess tournament game. My confidence was shaken at that moment, but it was thoroughly smashed by the end of the day, after I had lost every single game I played. Looking back, it was clear that I was not ready to compete effectively at that level.

I was placed on the team simply because I was the only girl in my entire school that showed any interest in the chess club. The team coach was probably not only excited to have a girl on display. He may have believed genuinely that he was helping me by exposing me so soon to intense tournament competition. For me, it backfired. After those humiliating defeats, I refused to represent my school in another tournament for the rest of that year, and the year that followed.

I didn’t withdraw from the chess club entirely; rather, I honed my skills by studying classic reference games, played countless games with stronger players in the group, and listened to successful tournament competitors. By my junior year, I was competent enough to return to tournament play, and by my senior year I was consistently ranked one of the top four players in my school.

Since high school I have created a life in which issues of diversity have concerned me greatly. I am the African-American wife of a Jewish man who is also a direct descendant of famed Confederate soldier Samuel Watkins. I am the stepmother of a homosexual man, and the mother of two biracial children. I am an atheist. Without doubt these roles and attributes have made me both knowledgeable of and sensitive to cultural mores of which I might have been otherwise unaware.

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse perspectives improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. But I do not wish to be admitted to law school merely to fill a quota, nor to add color to a marketing brochure. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

User avatar
JoeMo
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby JoeMo » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:29 pm

I really really like it. At first, I was like, where is this going? But then you took me there.

Then only thing:
But I do not wish to be admitted to law school merely to fill a quota, nor to add color to a marketing brochure. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I would remove that. You don't want the adcom to think that you're a "know it all" that seems to thinks he knows how the admissions game works. You also don't want to talk about "quotas" since "quotas" are not openly spoken about.

At the end of the day, you're not going to know if you got into Harvard to fill a quota or not, so who cares? There are always going to be people that think you got in because they had to fill a quota and there's always going to be you, that thinks you're in because you deserve to be there.

But seriously, take that out.

User avatar
BlakcMajikc
Posts: 763
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:05 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:28 pm

JoeMo wrote:I really really like it. At first, I was like, where is this going? But then you took me there.

Then only thing:
But I do not wish to be admitted to law school merely to fill a quota, nor to add color to a marketing brochure. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I would remove that. You don't want the adcom to think that you're a "know it all" that seems to thinks he knows how the admissions game works. You also don't want to talk about "quotas" since "quotas" are not openly spoken about.

At the end of the day, you're not going to know if you got into Harvard to fill a quota or not, so who cares? There are always going to be people that think you got in because they had to fill a quota and there's always going to be you, that thinks you're in because you deserve to be there.

But seriously, take that out.


+1 Change the tone of that paragraph so it seems less like a "know it all."

User avatar
lrslayer
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:38 am

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby lrslayer » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:32 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:
JoeMo wrote:I really really like it. At first, I was like, where is this going? But then you took me there.

Then only thing:
But I do not wish to be admitted to law school merely to fill a quota, nor to add color to a marketing brochure. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I would remove that. You don't want the adcom to think that you're a "know it all" that seems to thinks he knows how the admissions game works. You also don't want to talk about "quotas" since "quotas" are not openly spoken about.

At the end of the day, you're not going to know if you got into Harvard to fill a quota or not, so who cares? There are always going to be people that think you got in because they had to fill a quota and there's always going to be you, that thinks you're in because you deserve to be there.

But seriously, take that out.


+1 Change the tone of that paragraph so it seems less like a "know it all."

+2

horrorbusiness
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby horrorbusiness » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:39 am

lrslayer wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:
JoeMo wrote:I really really like it. At first, I was like, where is this going? But then you took me there.

Then only thing:
But I do not wish to be admitted to law school merely to fill a quota, nor to add color to a marketing brochure. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I would remove that. You don't want the adcom to think that you're a "know it all" that seems to thinks he knows how the admissions game works. You also don't want to talk about "quotas" since "quotas" are not openly spoken about.

At the end of the day, you're not going to know if you got into Harvard to fill a quota or not, so who cares? There are always going to be people that think you got in because they had to fill a quota and there's always going to be you, that thinks you're in because you deserve to be there.

But seriously, take that out.



+1 Change the tone of that paragraph so it seems less like a "know it all."

+2


*exercises extreme restraint and doesn't post "+3" since these guys already succinctly said what i wanted to say*

lisac
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby lisac » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:44 am

Thanks to all of you for your input. The line about quotas accurately reflects the lesson I learned from my experience, and I was hoping that the my directness would leave a favorable impression with adcomm members. But your unanimity is causing me to rethink this.

Does this work better?

==============

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse perspectives improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. But I do not wish to be admitted to law school in the same manner that I was thrust into competitive chess. I was unprepared for an opportunity that was likely given with the best of intentions, but with undue haste. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

===========

horrorbusiness
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby horrorbusiness » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:57 pm

lisac wrote:Thanks to all of you for your input. The line about quotas accurately reflects the lesson I learned from my experience, and I was hoping that the my directness would leave a favorable impression with adcomm members. But your unanimity is causing me to rethink this.

Does this work better?

==============

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse perspectives improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. But I do not wish to be admitted to law school in the same manner that I was thrust into competitive chess. I was unprepared for an opportunity that was likely given with the best of intentions, but with undue haste. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

===========


it's a bit wordy and doesn't flow to smoothly, tbh.

also, i think you should avoid potential misinterpretation, as this might leave the same sort of bad taste in the adcomm's mouth. are you implying they're the kind of people that might be hasty in their decisions? that make mistakes although they have good intentions?

you're the one sending THEM an application. doesn't seem right to say both "pleaseeee admit me" and "but you better do it for the right reasons"..

User avatar
BlakcMajikc
Posts: 763
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:05 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:26 pm

lisac wrote:Thanks to all of you for your input. The line about quotas accurately reflects the lesson I learned from my experience, and I was hoping that the my directness would leave a favorable impression with adcomm members. But your unanimity is causing me to rethink this.

Does this work better?

==============

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse perspectives improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. But I do not wish to be admitted to law school in the same manner that I was thrust into competitive chess. I was unprepared for an opportunity that was likely given with the best of intentions, but with undue haste. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

===========


hate it. still know it all. and confusing. I wouldn't try to make that point that you are trying to make... I would use it more of a perseverance and preparation themed type of ending...

lisac
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby lisac » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:57 am

Okay, thanks all. I'll rethink it.

User avatar
JoeMo
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby JoeMo » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:53 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:
lisac wrote:Thanks to all of you for your input. The line about quotas accurately reflects the lesson I learned from my experience, and I was hoping that the my directness would leave a favorable impression with adcomm members. But your unanimity is causing me to rethink this.

Does this work better?

==============

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse perspectives improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. But I do not wish to be admitted to law school in the same manner that I was thrust into competitive chess. I was unprepared for an opportunity that was likely given with the best of intentions, but with undue haste. I wish to be admitted for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

===========


hate it. still know it all. and confusing. I wouldn't try to make that point that you are trying to make... I would use it more of a perseverance and preparation themed type of ending...


I agree... just get rid of the idea that you're going to get admitted for the wrong reasons. Get rid of your perception of why you want to be admitted. As I said before... who cares if you get admitted to fill a quota? Your admissions package is not going to say "welcome to Harvard, please accept so we can meet our quota". Just do what everyone else does and be elated and honored that you're accepted to such a prestigious institution and make the best of your experience there.

I mean, seriously, do you think Condoleezza sits around wondering if she got into Notre Dame to fill a quota? No, she simply made the best of her experience and the opportunities that came with it and I strongly suggest you do the same.

lisac
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby lisac » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:47 am

Okay, how about this? I removed entirely the sentences that were causing problems. Also I worked in another paragraph in the middle, which focuses the essay more on problems and changes within myself, and not on someone else's actions. I'm now concerned that the conclusion doesn't flow as well with the body. All comments (even the harsh ones!) are appreciated.

===============


Checkmate.

In seven moves, my opponent had defeated me in my very first high school chess tournament game. My confidence was shaken at that moment, but it was thoroughly smashed by the end of the day, after I had lost every single game I played. Looking back, it was clear that I was not ready to compete effectively at that level.

I was placed on the team simply because I was the only girl in my entire school that showed any interest in the chess club. The team coach was probably not just excited to have a girl on display. He may have believed genuinely that he was helping me by exposing me so soon to intense tournament competition. For me, it backfired. After those humiliating defeats, I refused to represent my school in another tournament for the rest of that year, and the year that followed.

I didn’t withdraw from the chess club entirely; rather, I honed my skills by studying classic reference games, played countless games with stronger players in the group, and listened to the strategies of successful tournament competitors. By my junior year, I was competent enough to return to tournament play, and by my senior year I was consistently ranked one of the top four players in my school.

Through my experiences on the chess team I recognized that my perseverance and hard work led to self-improvement. I also learned something disturbing about myself: how easily I could thoughtlessly slide into prejudice. Although I bristled when boys underestimated me, I slipped into thinking of girls as categorically weaker opponents. As an adult, I know that I came to this conclusion through logical flaws, sampling errors, and purely lazy thinking. But as a child, this seeped into my subconscious, and it has left me a bit of empathy for people who form wrongheaded ideas. Thoughtlessness can exist in any of us, and I understand how easy it is to react on the basis of unexamined presuppositions. I aspire to continually root out my own faulty beliefs, as they are illuminated by exposure to the beliefs of others.

Since high school I have created a life in which issues of diversity have concerned me greatly. I am the African-American wife of a Jewish man who is also a direct descendant of famed Confederate soldier Samuel Watkins. I am the stepmother of a homosexual man, and the mother of two biracial children. I am an atheist. Without doubt these roles and attributes have made me both knowledgeable of and sensitive to cultural mores of which I might have been otherwise unaware.

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse viewpoints improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. I wish to be admitted to law school for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

User avatar
GirlStop
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:49 am

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby GirlStop » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:09 pm

lisac wrote:
This is just my opinion: I like your personal statement but I honestly the last two paragraphs are the strongest because they get to the heart of what makes you unique. I see where you are trying to go with the checkmate idea but I would be much more interested in learning about what you discussed in the 5th and 6th paragraphs. Hope something I said proved to be helpful and I wish you the best of luck :-)

===============


Checkmate.

In seven moves, my opponent had defeated me in my very first high school chess tournament game. My confidence was shaken at that moment, but it was thoroughly smashed by the end of the day, after I had lost every single game I played. Looking back, it was clear that I was not ready to compete effectively at that level. I love this intro

I was placed on the team simply because I was the only girl in my entire school that showed any interest in the chess club. The team coach was probably not just excited to have a girl on display. He may have believed genuinely that he was helping me by exposing me so soon to intense tournament competition. Might just be me but those sentences read weird. May want to consider rewording it so it flows better For me, it backfired. After those humiliating defeats, I refused to represent my school in another tournament for the rest of that year, and the year that followed.You talk about perseverance later on, but this imo doesn't seem like a resilient spirit. Maybe take out "refused" and use the language below to show that rather than give up, you honed your skills..

I didn’t withdraw from the chess club entirely; rather, I honed my skills by studying classic reference games, played countless games with stronger players in the group, and listened to the strategies of successful tournament competitors. Here you start your list out with "by studying" and then the list continues on with"played", I think it may be better to either continue with by playing, and listening or to just use played, listened etc.. By my junior year, I was competent enough to return to tournament play, and by my senior year I was consistently ranked one of the top four players in my school.

Through my experiences on the chess team I recognized that my perseverance and hard work led to self-improvement. I also learned something disturbing about myself: how easily I could thoughtlessly slide into prejudice. Although I bristled when boys underestimated me, I slipped into thinking of girls as categorically weaker opponents. As an adult, I know that I came to this conclusion through logical flaws, sampling errors, and purely lazy thinking. But as a child, this seeped into my subconscious, and it has left me a bit of empathy for people who form wrongheaded ideas. Thoughtlessness can exist in any of us, and I understand how easy it is to react on the basis of unexamined presuppositions. I aspire to continually root out my own faulty beliefs, as they are illuminated by exposure to the beliefs of others. You haven't really discussed how you started to change your way of thinking, you just jumped into what you aspire to do. Perhaps a sentence or two about how you started to change would help make this paragraph flow better but right now imo it just seems like something you through in there because it's what you are suppose to say in a diversity statement

Since high school I have created a life in which issues of diversity have concerned me greatly. I am the African-American wife of a Jewish man who is also a direct descendant of famed Confederate soldier Samuel Watkins. I am the stepmother of a homosexual man, and the mother of two biracial children. I am an atheist. Without doubt these roles and attributes have made me both knowledgeable of and sensitive to cultural mores of which I might have been otherwise unaware.This is hands down your strongest paragraph, it paints a very vivid picture about who you are/what you believe in etc..definitely a keeper as I think this is what diversity statements intend to express

For twenty-plus years I have clearly seen that a range of diverse viewpoints improves the learning experience for everyone. The conflicts with which I have struggled enable me to bring a rich and distinctive perspective to classroom discussions, and to the practice of law. I wish to be admitted to law school for the same reasons that I was able to successfully rise to the top level chess team in my school.

I am ready, and my game is strong.

lisac
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: Is this DS appropriate?

Postby lisac » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:06 am

Thanks for your input, GirlStop. I'm reworking it...




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Back2California, Google Adsense [Bot], rararara111 and 1 guest