My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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tristanlxboyd
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 1:44 am

My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

Postby tristanlxboyd » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:55 pm

The updated version is below. Please read that one!
Last edited by tristanlxboyd on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

7ED
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

Postby 7ED » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:03 pm

Cogent, erudite, and beautifully written - but theres a caveat.

Its too broad, too sweeping, and too much of an overview. In my opinion your message would be stronger if you focused on a single experience. At the moment its too diffuse to make a strong impression.

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tristanlxboyd
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Re: My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

Postby tristanlxboyd » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:13 pm

Thank you for your comments! It being too broad/sweeping was one of my fears. I'd appreciate any thoughts on how I could eliminate one or two experiences, or condense several into one, and still make the same impression.

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Shlonster
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Re: My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

Postby Shlonster » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:27 pm

I think it's well written and does a good show of showing, with examples, the things about you which would make you a good candidate; however, as mentioned above it's a bit broad - maybe the example of academic clubs can be left out. While the St. Nicholas paragraph is impressive, maybe drop it unless you are an over-privileged applicant. It seems like something you could easily cover in your resume and don't need to mention here. Plus, it seems to reiterate the point of you needing to make a lasting impression, which is demonstrated more clearly with jill's roof.

Or, pick a specific story from that experience instead of a general overview with stats. A story about how you helped little johnny would be more compelling, make the same point, and fit better with the more personal story about jill's roof.

Just my .02, feel free to ignore :)

The identity theft example is good, but brief, so maybe expand upon it so that the comments on technology in the conclusion don't seem so left field. If not expanded upon, then talk about technology in that paragraph, and then better relate the conclusion to your intro, which seems to be focused on making a lasting impression, not technological progress and adaptation of the law.

Word choice is good, grammar seems fine to me but i'm no expert. I'd say it's pretty good, just a little editing and you're donezo

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tristanlxboyd
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Re: My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

Postby tristanlxboyd » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:35 pm

Ok, I removed St. Nicholas. That is well documented in my resume. I also tried to connect Jill with the friend (put an alias in there for a better contrast which I tried to work out in the end. Please let me know whether it is cohesive and ends strongly!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

My audience was enraptured. "...Lewis thus offers a cogent, realist account of modal logic, but at too high a price." The attending students and faculty, now standing, honored me with a prolonged flutter of applause. Soon, several professors approached to compare my analysis of David Lewis' modal realism to their own scholarship. In a few minutes, however, the room had cleared, and that brief hour brought my senior thesis--a year's research into what gives statements of possibility and necessity their meaning--to an abrupt end.

As a twenty year old graduate, I had reason to be pleased. Celebrating that evening with my fiancée, however, I couldn't shake my discontent. Was my own intellectual satisfaction, and the momentary applause of an interested audience, the only fruit my research bore? I was denied even the security of mathematicians, who can rest easy upon proving a theorem, knowing that they have "erected a monument more lasting than bronze." My arguments, by contrast, would be inevitably lost, like so many others, in the maelstrom of metaphysical disagreement that has raged over millennia: "What is reality? And why can it be known?" are questions over which philosophers will never, perhaps, cease arguing.

Just a few months earlier I had volunteered to rebuild the roof of a neighbor's barn. A widow of small stature but great talent, Jill's meager income came solely from riding lessons. The project took time and care. But, after weeks of careful measurement, laying new rafters, and mounting the corrugated steel panels in the sweltering Florida sun, I thought I had finished. As I alighted, however, I discovered to my shock that the ridge of the structure was crooked. Remounting the roof, I undid my work, and began again. Though rebuilding that roof did not provide me with the keen pleasures of philosophy, it gave me a lasting satisfaction. I knew that what I had built would protect this woman's livelihood from wind and storm for years.

A love of learning, and the desire to bring that love to others, have shaped my life. These twin loves inspired me to form academic clubs in college and to teach young students Latin during school vacations. But the more I studied philosophy, the more distant I felt from accomplishing meaningful good for those around me. For much of my undergraduate career, I could see no way of reconciling the desires of my mind with the impulses of my heart.

I have grown and matured in an age of rapid technical progress. But a year ago, when Sarah Conklin approached me, weeping, I had not experienced personally how that progress renders us vulnerable to new kinds of attack. During a period of financial turmoil, my friend's identity had been stolen, her bank accounts depleted, and her credit left in shambles. Though I tried my best to aid her, even with the help of police we were unable to discover the offender. Without other recourse, charity and sympathy were all I could offer.

Progress brings with it previously unimagined forms of property, social interaction, and national as well as international conflicts of interest. As technology changes our lives, we require new laws, and a more nuanced understanding of existing laws, to protect these forms of life. Reflecting on this important role of the law, and Sarah's personal misfortune, I discovered that I could reconcile a life of the mind with promoting tangible justice for those around me. A legal career will allow me to exercise my mind, through research and practice, while laying the rafters and panels of justice. Doing so, I can help defend people's property and interests from new and emerging threats of injustice. In this way I hope to protect those who suffer like Sarah, in the same way I helped Jill

7ED
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: My real PS, Broad criticisms wanted

Postby 7ED » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:49 pm

Better. But the connection between your academics and jill/sarah is still tenuous.

Congratulations on the early graduation and your thesis. We are in the same boat, cept I think im a tad younger, since I won't be graduating till May of 2010.




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