rough draft ps-be brutal

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jjones73
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:48 am

rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby jjones73 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:25 pm

my gpa isnt the greatest but my lsat is 4 points above the 75% range....so i need this to be good. not applying to T15 schools or anything, but I still wanna have a good chance of admission.

Manual Labor

Hard work is something that I learned at a very young age that cannot be underestimated. When I was in the third grade my family moved from an urban custom built home to realize my father's dream of owning a small farm. My father being the sole source of income for the family, we could not afford the best land. We moved onto a plot of land in a small town that at one time been a chicken farm. To say it was run-down would be an understatement. Most of the buildings on the land were not even safe to walk into without fear of them collapsing. According to my father, it was a "fixer-upper". He was a professional carpenter and assured my mother that he could mend the decrepit farm back to its original luster. The renovations began soon after we moved in and the purchase of livestock came next. Everyone in my family was expected to pull their own weight. For me, that meant waking up before school to feed animals, scoop manure, bust open frozen water buckets, and a plethora of other day-to-day tasks that raising animals required. Responsibility was a lesson that was suddenly thrust upon me. I was witness to my father spending his days working his hands to bone as a carpenter only to come home and do chores until dark. Work was a never-ending ritual.

Spending my summer breaks working in the blistering summer heat was not the life I had imagined for myself when I was ten years old. My father, a second generation carpenter, had insisted that I spend my free time learning the value of a hard day's work. I despised him for it. I should have been wasting the summer days away with my friends, swimming and playing mid-numbing video games for hours on end. Instead, I was waking up at 5am to work a ten hour day in the sticky midwestern summers. Three dollars and hour. That is the price that my father thought was fair to take away my escape from the monotiny of school. He needed someone to help the small tasks around the job sites so that he would not have to pay one of his full-time crew members to do menial tasks. I swept the floors, picked up scrap wood, moved seemingly never-ending piles of lumber, and eventually learned to drive a nail without painfully smashing a finger. The value of this work, my father told me, I would see later in life. At the time I did not believe him. I grew to resent the days that I had to wake up before the sun rose to go to work when my friends were busy having fun. "Stay in school," he repeated, "and you won't have to do this your whole life like me." He wanted better for me. Education was not taken lightly.

By the time I was fourteen, I had spent every break I had from school working with my father and his crew. My attitude toward what I once thought of as indentured servitude had changed. The knowledge that I was gaining was addictive. Soon, I had conquered the steep learning curve imposed by the construction industry. Menial tasks were still part of my job repetoire, but I had learned to manage my time so that I could help with more skilled tasks. I no longer hated the thought of working while everyone I knew was lackadaisically wasting their time away. My work ethic began to mirror that of my father. Now that I was older, my father expected more from me. After working long days on his construction crew, we would come home to work that had to be done on the farm. A "day off" was a term that was foreign in my family. The closest thing we had to a rest period was when my family enrolled in the local 4-H program. Every Monday night we would load the horses in our cramped two-horse trailer and make the 45 minute journey to the county fairgrounds. Once there, local experts on horsemanship and other members would give clinics in their area of expertise. I actively engaged the experts, asking questions so that I absorb the knowledge that they were conveying. I continuously practiced the new skills I learned and was soon hosting clinics under the direction of my club leader.

Becoming a Junior Leader two years later was a position I accepted with open arms. As a Junior Leader within the organization, I had the chance to become a mentor for younger members and have a voice in the operations of the club. I was assigned the responsibility of constructing a fund raising campaign for the club that would also help better the community. I worked diligently to execute a plan that even the youngest members of the organization could assist with. The difficulty of the task did not go underestimated, but I was determined to create a program that reflected my true abilities. Staring into the face of this daunting challenge, 4-H Trash Day was born. Trash Day was funded by approaching local business owners for donations. For each bag of trash picked up off the county roads the club received a donation from the business. This proved to be a vital fundraising campaign for the financially struggling club and each year more businesses were added to the donor list. Seeing the result of my efforts was emotionally rewarding, and within two years the club had accumulated enough capital to build a new barn on the fairgrounds. My father and I were in charge of the construction of the building. We worked with a local vocational school to complete the new facility in time for the county fair. Being a mentor to younger members was perhaps the most rewarding experience that I had during my time with 4-H. I was able to influence them to see a bigger picture of the world around them. The work ethic that I inherited from my father seemed to be contagious to the other members of the club. We worked as a club to improve the fairgrounds by repainting buildings, mowing grass, and insuring the upkeep of the property.

That would be the last project that I would complete with my father. Later that year he was killed in a tragic farming accident. He had been helping a cow give birth when the mother turned on him, pinning him against the wall of the barn on the same farm he had invested so much into. I was at a basketball game when my best friend's father came to me with tears in his eyes and told me that my father had been in an accident. He had been taken to hospital by Stat-flight. The ride the emergency room is still a blank in my mind. I rode in silence barely hearing the reassurances of the people around me. When I arrived at the hospital I was taken by my mother and sister to the room to see my father. My mother sat me down and told me that my father had passed away. Massive internal bleeding was listed as the cause of death. The cold pang of mortality took hold on me. Even in his death my father had taught me one last lesson: take nothing for granted.

Determined not the let the lessons learned from my father be in vein, I graduated high school with honors. I was determined to become the first in my family to graduate college. The financial burden imposed by being raised by a single, uneducated mother limited my options for gaining a college education. Without scholarship money the dream of pursuing a college degree was not a viable option. Exhausting every available resource, I worked diligently to apply for every scholarship that I qualified for. My perseverance and hard work paid off and I was soon attending [school] majoring in aviation. Though my scholarship money paid for tuition, flight fees and cost of living proved to be too much to handle. I took on a part-time job working up to 36 hours per week to pay for my expenses. Balancing my work schedule with studying proved to be a intricate process. It allowed me to perfect my time management skills. After spending my freshman year in cramped two-seater airplanes I realized that aviation was not my calling. The aviation industry was in a downward spiral and I felt the risk involved in continuing my education in that area was not the in my best interest. The next year I changed my major to business where I could build upon the knowledge that I received from my father. I graduated three years later while working a full time schedule.

In the three years since my experience in undergraduate course work, I have been working for a financial company underwriting loans. The pressure to perform in a sales based environment has given me thick skin. Hard work and the ability to surmount obstacles, to think through problems, and develop feasible solutions for customers are necessary. Being a loan officer in today’s environment is a bit of a tightrope walk. New policies are brought into effect every day and I must constantly be on guard. Last year, I was asked by my manager to create a new solicitation program in order to generate business from our current customer portfolio. Working in coordination with others in my office, I was able to develop a program that has increased the branch revenue while others continue to fall. Despite the challenges presented by my current position, I feel that my abilities are still underutilized. Law school would offer the challenge that I want while giving me valuable expertise needed to offer my services to those in need.

My interest in law was sparked when my mother informed me that a law suit had been placed against my father’s now defunct business. There was a problem with the foundation of the home which made the frame shift, appearing to be a structural problem. My mother had no financial means to pay for an attorney and the outlook was bleak. If the verdict proved against my father, we faced losing the property that we had come to call home. A family friend whom we had come to know through the 4-H program was an attorney and offered his services at no charge. The case against my family was dropped a short time later. My choice to attend law school was a direct result of this experience. I want to utilize my education in order to effectively help those who cannot afford the services of an attorney.

As I prepare to create the next chapter in my life, I look back without regret. Everything that I have accomplished to this point has taught me more about who I am. The challenges that I have overcome have been a constant uphill battle, but I continue to look to the future with the hope of rising to new levels of self-awareness. My experiences have crafted my into an individual that never balks in the face of diversity. The lessons that my father bestowed upon me have not withered away in time. I know that I am a strong, passionate, driven person. I do not have to wonder if I would make him proud; I know I would.
Last edited by jjones73 on Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby Cupidity » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:30 pm

Dude your first sentence sucks and is confusing to follow.


"Hard work is something that I learned at a very young age that cannot be underestimated." Are you trying to say that at a young age you learned how to be a hard worker and the adcoms shouldn't underestimate that? Are you saying that at a young age you learned hard work should not be underestimated? Either way its taken me too long to decipher. Fix this and I'll read the rest, you lost me on sentence 1, adcoms might feel the same way.

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Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby Cupidity » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:34 pm

Yeah ok, I figured it out. It is a run-on, you mean to say "Hard work, something that I learned at a very young age, cannot be underestimated." Which I think might be better said as I learned at a very young age that hard work cannot be underestimated.

Also, you might consider using the word should--normative and all.

I briefly glanced over the PS, you can write...I'll read it in depth l8r.

jjones73
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:48 am

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby jjones73 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:51 pm

thx for the quick response...i know its not perfect...like i said, it's a 1st draft. I just wanted to make sure it was ok content wise....i will fix that first sentence to have a better impact when i revise. thanks.

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holydonkey
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Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby holydonkey » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:00 pm

Not bad. Here's what I would edit the first paragraph to:

"I learned the importance of hard work at a young age. When I was in third grade my family moved from the city to realize my father's dream of owning a farm. As the sole source of income for our family, my father could not afford expensive land so we ended up on a small plot that had once been a chicken farm. To say it was run-down would be an understatement. Most of the buildings on the land were old and unstable. According to my dad, it was a "fixer-upper".

Although she was skeptical, my father assured my mother that he could mend the decrepit farm back to its original luster. The renovations began immediately after we finalized the purchase of the land. Within weeks we had purchased livestock.

To build a successful farm from the ground up, everyone in my family had to contribute to the effort. This was not a choice; this was necessary if we wanted dinner. For me, this meant waking up before school to feed animals, scoop manure, bust open frozen water buckets, and the plethora of other day-to-day tasks that raising animals required. As hard as I worked, my father worked harder. After spending his days working his hands to bone as a carpenter, he would spend his nights doing chores on the farm. Work was a never-ending ritual."

/needs spelling grammar check.

jjones73
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:48 am

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby jjones73 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:44 am

thanks...keep em coming

jjones73
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:48 am

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby jjones73 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:41 pm

no one else???

umichgrad
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:53 am

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby umichgrad » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:28 pm

i'm sorry for your loss. you wrote a very good story overall. you sell yourself well, though it's way too long. needs major spelling and grammar revisions, adcomms won't put up with mistakes and most TLS-ers won't either.

EX: "bust open frozen water buckets" - not 'bust'. it's just not a real word.

"three dollars and hour" - an

"my escape from the monotiny of school" - monotony

"He needed someone to help the small tasks around the job sites so that he would not have to pay one of his full-time crew members to do menial tasks" - tasks is repetitive and 'help' should be 'help complete' or something

"painfully smashing a finger" - painfully smashing is redundant

" I worked diligently to execute a plan that even the youngest members of the organization could assist with." This is called ending the sentence with a preposition. In formal English, you cant do it. You have to put the 'with' where it belongs- "I worked diligently to execute a plan with which even the youngest members of the organization could assist"

"insuring the upkeep of the property." - ensuring is a more correct word. "insuring" usually refers to securing something, while ensuring refers to making sure something happens.

"same farm he had invested so much into"- another prepositional ending- it needs to say 'in which he had invested so much'.

"my father be in vein" - vain

"individual that never balks in the face of diversity." - adversity!!!! not diversity.

good luck!!

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Island Girl
Posts: 175
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:09 pm

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby Island Girl » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:15 pm

Hi jjones. Here are my two cents. Your PS is good. Watch out for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Sorry to hear about your father. That must have been difficult. I can totally relate.... My one suggestion regarding the content is that there's too much going on. It's easy to get lost in all of the details. Try focusing on two (maybe three) significant events and expand upon those. Discuss more about how your experiences have shaped you and not necessarily detail everything about six or seven events. This will make you more memorable to adcomms.

Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!

Good luck!

Best,
is.g

jjones73
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:48 am

Re: rough draft ps-be brutal

Postby jjones73 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:40 pm

thanks for the replys! i wrote this rough draft in about a half an hour while on my lunch break at work in notepad, so i wasn't even looking at the grammer, etc. i have cut back quite a bit on this ps and actually have cut back on the content before reading the post. I will post my final draft this weekend to be looked over.




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