Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

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tx1987
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Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:44 am

Hey y'all! I didn't know scholarship deadlines were sooner than regular deadlines, so now I have to submit this thing by tonight. I don't want to make this sound like a sob story. Please tell me if it is and let me know if there is anything that needs to be changed about it! ANY feedback is appreciate...be brutal.




“You can do it,” she said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder, the one who was literally supposed to catch me should I fall, and said with mortification, “No, I can’t.”
After all, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help and certainly never asking for it. But now, I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.
Three months earlier, my mother was driving my sister and I back to our college after Thanksgiving break and, due to heavy rain and wet roads, our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all – both my legs were crushed and my mother didn’t survive the accident. For almost two months, I was immobile. I had to drop out of the rest of the semester and was on bed rest. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work. If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I would have to make do without it. And, worst of all, the girl who was previously a one-woman show had to rely almost completely on others. Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. After fighting long and hard with my father about the decision, I tried to go back to college the next semester. After a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my leg or circling my ankles were excruciating. I remember one particularly tough day I had when I realized that I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed to me. After about a month and a half in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another month and a half after that. The day I took my first step without any aid, my hand lingering over the couch should I need its support, was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. The one person I would have wanted to smile at in triumph most of all was not there, but I could almost feel see her looking down at me proudly.
Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but it seems like the people we truly need to be grateful to are the ones that are the last to know. I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance, simply because she knew we were capable of it. And, because of her certainty, my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less than that from ourselves. Not only was she proud of us, we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
And, I’m proud to say that despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me – I fully recovered physically from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, still graduated from college in four years. While recovering from my accident, I had made sure to catch up on the work I needed to do in order to get credit for the classes I had to leave. I also took a full load of summer school courses to make up for what I missed – I ended up over-compensating, which, in turn, led me to have a wonderfully peaceful last semester.
When I started thinking about my future, law school was the immediate and obvious answer. It had always been “the plan” – my mom had been a lawyer and I’ve always unconsciously followed in her footsteps. I finally asked myself why I want to practice law – was it only because of mom or only because it was “the plan?” To be honest, the answer was muddled – “the plan” was a big part of the reason, but mainly, it was because of my mom’s passion for the law and the things I learned from her because of it. She loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice. She loved doing right, even if she had to hammer it in. And she never stopped trying. She wasn’t trying to change the world, and neither am I, but we never ruled it out, either. Luckily, those footsteps I found easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk.

hartjen2
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby hartjen2 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:54 am

I did not think that it sounded too helpless. I would suggest a stronger finish relating to why you want to pursue law that is independent from your mother. Other than that, I think it looks pretty good, just a few grammar mistakes.

km23
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby km23 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:57 am

.
Last edited by km23 on Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dany
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:01 am

I really enjoyed reading that. And the last sentence is really good, in particular; it left me smiling. You make your story uplifting, not depressing, though it does demonstrate the hardships you went through. Make the grammatical edits that the previous poster suggested, and I think you're good to go.

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:01 am

hartjen2 wrote:I did not think that it sounded too helpless. I would suggest a stronger finish relating to why you want to pursue law that is independent from your mother. Other than that, I think it looks pretty good, just a few grammar mistakes.


I was wondering about the finish, too, but I'm really at a loss as to how to make it stronger. All the things I think so say sound ridiculously cliche in my head right now.

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:09 am

km23 wrote:
And she never stopped trying.

Never start a sentence with "and."

I think it is pretty good! I agree with the person above. Good luck.


First of all, thank you! Secondly, I don't the rule is to never start sentences with "and," but I've always found it to be really powerful. Is the general consensus to just nix it?

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beef wellington
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby beef wellington » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:10 am

I think there's a great PS in here, but plenty of room to trim it down to make it even more impactful. I value concision and I think most adcomms do as well, I hope you find these edits helpful.

tx1987 wrote:Hey y'all! I didn't know scholarship deadlines were sooner than regular deadlines, so now I have to submit this thing by tonight. I don't want to make this sound like a sob story. Please tell me if it is and let me know if there is anything that needs to be changed about it! ANY feedback is appreciate...be brutal.




“You can do it,” she said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder, the one who was [strike]literally[/strike]supposed to catch me should I fall, and said[strike]with mortification[/strike], “No, I can’t.”
[strike]After all, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help and certainly never asking for it. But now, I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.[/strike]Three months earlier, my mother was driving my sister and I [strike]back to our college after Thanksgiving break and, due to heavy rain and wet roads,[/strike] when our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all – both my legs were crushed and my mother didn’t survive the accident. For almost two months, I was immobile.[strike]I had to drop out of the rest of the semester and was on bed rest. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?[/strike]
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work.[strike]If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I would have to make do without it. And,[/strike]worst of all, [strike]the girl who was previously a one-woman show[/strike] I had to rely almost completely on others.[strike]Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. After fighting long and hard with my father about the decision, I tried to go back to college the next semester. After a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.[/strike]
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my leg or circling my ankles were excruciating. [strike]I remember one particularly tough day I had when I realized that[/strike] Initially, I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. [strike]Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed to me.[/strike] After about [strike]a month and a half[/strike] six weeks in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another [strike]month and a half[/strike] six weeks after that. The day I took my first step without any aid[strike], my hand lingering over the couch should I need its support,[/strike] was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. [strike]The one person I would have wanted to smile at in triumph most of all was not there, but I could almost feel see her looking down at me proudly.[/strike]
[strike]Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but it seems like the people we truly need to be grateful to are the ones that are the last to know.[/strike] I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance [strike]simply because she knew we were capable of it. And,[/strike] because of her [strike]certainty[/strike], my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less [strike]than that[/strike] from ourselves. [strike]Not only was she[/strike] She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
[strike]And[/strike], I’m proud to say [strike]that despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me[/strike] I physically recovered from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, I still graduated from college in four years. [strike]While recovering from my accident, I had made sure to catch up on the work I needed to do in order to get credit for the classes I had to leave. I also took a full load of summer school courses to make up for what I missed – I ended up over-compensating, which, in turn, led me to have a wonderfully peaceful last semester.[/strike]
[strike]When I started thinking about my future, law school was the immediate and obvious answer. It had always been “the plan” I had always planned to go to law school –[/strike] my mom [strike]had been[/strike] was a lawyer[strike]and I’ve always unconsciously followed in her footsteps[/strike]. [strike]I finally asked myself why I want to practice law – was it only because of mom or only because it was “the plan?” To be honest, the answer was muddled – “the plan” was a big part of the reason, but mainly, it was because of my mom’s passion for the law and the things I learned from her because of it.[/strike] She loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice. She loved doing right[strike], even if she had to hammer it in[/strike]. And she never stopped trying. She wasn’t trying to change the world, and neither am I, but she never ruled it out either, and neither will I. [strike]Luckily, those footsteps I found easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk.[/strike]

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Dany
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:47 pm

beef wellington wrote:I think there's a great PS in here, but plenty of room to trim it down to make it even more impactful. I value concision and I think most adcomms do as well, I hope you find these edits helpful.

tx1987 wrote:
“You can do it,” she said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder, the one who was [strike]literally[/strike]supposed to catch me should I fall, and said[strike]with mortification[/strike], “No, I can’t.”
[strike]After all, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help and certainly never asking for it. But now, I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.[/strike]Three months earlier, my mother was driving my sister and I [strike]back to our college after Thanksgiving break and, due to heavy rain and wet roads,[/strike] when our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all – both my legs were crushed and my mother didn’t survive the accident. For almost two months, I was immobile.[strike]I had to drop out of the rest of the semester and was on bed rest. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?[/strike]
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work.[strike]If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I would have to make do without it. And,[/strike]worst of all, [strike]the girl who was previously a one-woman show[/strike] I had to rely almost completely on others.[strike]Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. After fighting long and hard with my father about the decision, I tried to go back to college the next semester. After a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.[/strike]
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my leg or circling my ankles were excruciating. [strike]I remember one particularly tough day I had when I realized that[/strike] Initially, I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. [strike]Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed to me.[/strike] After about [strike]a month and a half[/strike] six weeks in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another [strike]month and a half[/strike] six weeks after that. The day I took my first step without any aid[strike], my hand lingering over the couch should I need its support,[/strike] was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. [strike]The one person I would have wanted to smile at in triumph most of all was not there, but I could almost feel see her looking down at me proudly.[/strike]
[strike]Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but it seems like the people we truly need to be grateful to are the ones that are the last to know.[/strike] I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance [strike]simply because she knew we were capable of it. And,[/strike] because of her [strike]certainty[/strike], my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less [strike]than that[/strike] from ourselves. [strike]Not only was she[/strike] She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
[strike]And[/strike], I’m proud to say [strike]that despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me[/strike] I physically recovered from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, I still graduated from college in four years. [strike]While recovering from my accident, I had made sure to catch up on the work I needed to do in order to get credit for the classes I had to leave. I also took a full load of summer school courses to make up for what I missed – I ended up over-compensating, which, in turn, led me to have a wonderfully peaceful last semester.[/strike]
[strike]When I started thinking about my future, law school was the immediate and obvious answer. It had always been “the plan” I had always planned to go to law school –[/strike] my mom [strike]had been[/strike] was a lawyer[strike]and I’ve always unconsciously followed in her footsteps[/strike]. [strike]I finally asked myself why I want to practice law – was it only because of mom or only because it was “the plan?” To be honest, the answer was muddled – “the plan” was a big part of the reason, but mainly, it was because of my mom’s passion for the law and the things I learned from her because of it.[/strike] She loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice. She loved doing right[strike], even if she had to hammer it in[/strike]. And she never stopped trying. She wasn’t trying to change the world, and neither am I, but she never ruled it out either, and neither will I. [strike]Luckily, those footsteps I found easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk.[/strike]


Sorry, but I don't agree with these edits AT ALL. In the first essay, the author had a likeable tone and writing style, and it seemed very personal. You cut out all of the phrasings that made it unique, and made it into a bare-bones shell of a PS.

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Dany
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:49 pm

tx1987 wrote:
km23 wrote:
And she never stopped trying.

Never start a sentence with "and."

I think it is pretty good! I agree with the person above. Good luck.


First of all, thank you! Secondly, I don't the rule is to never start sentences with "and," but I've always found it to be really powerful. Is the general consensus to just nix it?


I think you might want to nix it, just on the off-chance you get an adcomm member who thinks it is always grammatically incorrect and thinks you cannot write well. No sense in using a controversial writing technique if it can be avoided, which it can.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:50 pm

tx1987 wrote:
km23 wrote:
And she never stopped trying.

Never start a sentence with "and."

I think it is pretty good! I agree with the person above. Good luck.


First of all, thank you! Secondly, I don't the rule is to never start sentences with "and," but I've always found it to be really powerful. Is the general consensus to just nix it?


i like to have a sentence that starts w/ a conjunction, but it tends to be w/ "but" and not "and." i dont find "and" as powerful. not 100% sure on "and" but i know the debate on "but" is raging in the english academic world lol, so you could go either way.

JOThompson
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby JOThompson » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:53 pm

That was motivating. I don't think it came across as a "feel sorry for me" essay. It revealed a lot of your maturity and ambition. I would beef up the conclusion and further explain why *you* want to pursue a legal career. If you can tie that in with the first part of your essay, great.

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je_ne_regrette_rien
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby je_ne_regrette_rien » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:54 pm

Love love looove this essay... especially the last part about your mother. The essay made me cry. I'm so proud of you. And at the same time, I can never image what it must have felt like to lose your mom.

God bless you.

(P.S. Run through the essay and look for small grammatical mistakes... such as "my sister and I." I-->me.)

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daizee
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby daizee » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:36 pm

No...I don't sense any 'feel sorry for me.' This gave me chills...Nice work...Follow the previous comments.
AND, very helpful to read about the AND conundrum! Thank you!

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:05 pm

eskimo wrote:
beef wellington wrote:I think there's a great PS in here, but plenty of room to trim it down to make it even more impactful. I value concision and I think most adcomms do as well, I hope you find these edits helpful.

tx1987 wrote:
“You can do it,” she said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder, the one who was [strike]literally[/strike]supposed to catch me should I fall, and said[strike]with mortification[/strike], “No, I can’t.”
[strike]After all, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help and certainly never asking for it. But now, I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.[/strike]Three months earlier, my mother was driving my sister and I [strike]back to our college after Thanksgiving break and, due to heavy rain and wet roads,[/strike] when our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all – both my legs were crushed and my mother didn’t survive the accident. For almost two months, I was immobile.[strike]I had to drop out of the rest of the semester and was on bed rest. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?[/strike]
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work.[strike]If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I would have to make do without it. And,[/strike]worst of all, [strike]the girl who was previously a one-woman show[/strike] I had to rely almost completely on others.[strike]Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. After fighting long and hard with my father about the decision, I tried to go back to college the next semester. After a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.[/strike]
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my leg or circling my ankles were excruciating. [strike]I remember one particularly tough day I had when I realized that[/strike] Initially, I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. [strike]Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed to me.[/strike] After about [strike]a month and a half[/strike] six weeks in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another [strike]month and a half[/strike] six weeks after that. The day I took my first step without any aid[strike], my hand lingering over the couch should I need its support,[/strike] was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. [strike]The one person I would have wanted to smile at in triumph most of all was not there, but I could almost feel see her looking down at me proudly.[/strike]
[strike]Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but it seems like the people we truly need to be grateful to are the ones that are the last to know.[/strike] I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance [strike]simply because she knew we were capable of it. And,[/strike] because of her [strike]certainty[/strike], my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less [strike]than that[/strike] from ourselves. [strike]Not only was she[/strike] She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
[strike]And[/strike], I’m proud to say [strike]that despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me[/strike] I physically recovered from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, I still graduated from college in four years. [strike]While recovering from my accident, I had made sure to catch up on the work I needed to do in order to get credit for the classes I had to leave. I also took a full load of summer school courses to make up for what I missed – I ended up over-compensating, which, in turn, led me to have a wonderfully peaceful last semester.[/strike]
[strike]When I started thinking about my future, law school was the immediate and obvious answer. It had always been “the plan” I had always planned to go to law school –[/strike] my mom [strike]had been[/strike] was a lawyer[strike]and I’ve always unconsciously followed in her footsteps[/strike]. [strike]I finally asked myself why I want to practice law – was it only because of mom or only because it was “the plan?” To be honest, the answer was muddled – “the plan” was a big part of the reason, but mainly, it was because of my mom’s passion for the law and the things I learned from her because of it.[/strike] She loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice. She loved doing right[strike], even if she had to hammer it in[/strike]. And she never stopped trying. She wasn’t trying to change the world, and neither am I, but she never ruled it out either, and neither will I. [strike]Luckily, those footsteps I found easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk.[/strike]


Sorry, but I don't agree with these edits AT ALL. In the first essay, the author had a likeable tone and writing style, and it seemed very personal. You cut out all of the phrasings that made it unique, and made it into a bare-bones shell of a PS.


Thank you! The editing did help me trim down the more verbose parts A LOT, but my first impression was the same of yours. I felt like the heart of my essay was cut out. It leaves me wondering if the adcomms frown down on "personality," if that makes any sense.

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:06 pm

eskimo wrote:
tx1987 wrote:
km23 wrote:
And she never stopped trying.

Never start a sentence with "and."

I think it is pretty good! I agree with the person above. Good luck.


First of all, thank you! Secondly, I don't the rule is to never start sentences with "and," but I've always found it to be really powerful. Is the general consensus to just nix it?


I think you might want to nix it, just on the off-chance you get an adcomm member who thinks it is always grammatically incorrect and thinks you cannot write well. No sense in using a controversial writing technique if it can be avoided, which it can.


Yeah, that's true. Gotta pick your battles, right? :)

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:08 pm

JOThompson wrote:That was motivating. I don't think it came across as a "feel sorry for me" essay. It revealed a lot of your maturity and ambition. I would beef up the conclusion and further explain why *you* want to pursue a legal career. If you can tie that in with the first part of your essay, great.


This is the part I'm struggling with the most.

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:09 pm

daizee wrote:No...I don't sense any 'feel sorry for me.' This gave me chills...Nice work...Follow the previous comments.
AND, very helpful to read about the AND conundrum! Thank you!



Haha, you rebel you!

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:10 pm

je_ne_regrette_rien wrote:Love love looove this essay... especially the last part about your mother. The essay made me cry. I'm so proud of you. And at the same time, I can never image what it must have felt like to lose your mom.

God bless you.

(P.S. Run through the essay and look for small grammatical mistakes... such as "my sister and I." I-->me.)


I've been riding on a high for the past hour because of this comment! Thanks!

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DrGuano
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby DrGuano » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:10 pm

subconsciously.

you're a tough gal. best of luck to you.

bjf
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby bjf » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:13 pm

I like the personality in the first version. IMO, it will make it more memorable to adcoms.

Good luck, OP. Congrats on all of your hard work and courage.

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:24 pm

DrGuano wrote:subconsciously.

you're a tough gal. best of luck to you.


Wow...holy crap, I am glad you caught that! And best of luck to you, too.

tx1987
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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby tx1987 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:07 pm

Hey y'all - here's my second draft. I'm also going to post it as a new topic. I'm having a lot of trouble with the last paragraph, mainly b/c I'm not sure whether I'm giving enough reasons to be a lawyer that are independent of my mother (this is really hard b/c my reasons are intertwined with hers and the way she raised me) and because I really, really want the last line to be the one about following in her footsteps even when I couldn't walk. So, I've included two alternate ending paragraphs with this. Also, do we have to title our personal statement and put our name and lsat account number on the top? Seems like a waste of lines...anyway, here goes:



“You can do it,” she said. “Just put one foot in front of the other.”
I looked down at the tiny woman who barely cleared my shoulder, the one who was literally supposed to catch me should I fall, and said with mortification, “No, I can’t.”
After all, I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had forgotten how to walk. Me - the girl who prided herself on rarely needing help and certainly never asking for it. But now, I was relying on a 5 foot, 100-pound physical therapist to make sure my face didn’t acquaint itself with the floor.
Three months earlier, my mother was driving my sister and I back to college when our car hydroplaned and flipped over. My sister walked away with a few scratches. My mother and I didn’t walk away at all – both my legs were crushed and my mother didn’t survive the accident. For almost two months, I was immobile. I had to drop out of the rest of the semester and was on bed rest. I was appalled that life went on for the rest of the world. How could it? How dare it?
I was stuck in bed, alone in the house for long hours until someone came home from work. If I needed something that wasn’t within arm’s reach, I would have to make do without it. Worst of all, I had to rely almost completely on others. Not only did I hate my dependency, I hated the stress it put on my family. I tried to go back to college the next semester, but after a physically and mentally exhausting week back, I realized my body just wasn’t strong enough yet. I needed to heal.
My physical therapy courses were grueling. Even simple things like lifting my leg or circling my ankles were excruciating. Initially, I was unable to bend my knees or even curl my toes without crying from the pain of it. Walking was a whole different story – a distant dream, it seemed to me. After about six weeks in a wheelchair, I graduated to a walker. I wasn’t strong enough for crutches for another six weeks. The day I took my first step without any aid was a quiet, bittersweet victory for me. The one person I would have wanted to walk towards was not there, but I could almost feel her looking down at me with pride.
Most people say thank you to their waiters, their baristas, and their doormen without thinking twice about it, but it seems like the people we truly need to be grateful to are the ones that are the last to know. I wish I had thanked my mother for raising me the way she did. She demanded excellence and perseverance, simply because she knew we were capable of it. And, because of her faith, my sister and I grew up accepting nothing less than that from ourselves. She was proud of us, and we have grown to be proud of ourselves.
Now, I’m proud to say that despite how hard it was – seemingly impossible to me – I fully recovered physically from the accident and, despite taking a semester off, still graduated from college in four years. From this experience, I’ve learned that it truly is the size of the fight in the dog that matters, and that I have a fair bit of fight in me. I’ve also learned humility – now I know that it doesn’t make a person smaller if they need help. In fact, I’ve gained more of an appreciation for mankind because of how freely people gave their assistance. I fiercely wanted to give something back, in any way I could.
For me, law school had always been “the plan” – my mom was a lawyer and I’ve always subconsciously followed in her footsteps. My mom loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice – and she passed that trait, among many more, on to me. To be honest, my mom’s passion for the law and my passion for doing right, as idealistic as that sounds, were equally important to me in deciding to go ahead with “the plan.” She, being who she was, shaped me into who I am. My conscience and my desire for fairness in the world push me towards this path in my life. Even though my mom wasn’t trying to change the world and neither am I, we definitely haven’t ruled it out, either. Luckily, I’ve always found her footsteps easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk.




ALTERNATE LAST PARAGRAPH - different sentence order:

For me, law school had always been “the plan” – my mom was a lawyer and I’ve always subconsciously followed in her footsteps. Luckily, I’ve always found her footsteps easy to follow – even when I couldn’t walk. To be honest, my mom’s passion for the law and my passion for doing right, as idealistic as that sounds, were equally important to me in deciding to go ahead with “the plan.” My mom loved speaking for those who didn’t have a voice – and she passed that trait, among many more, on to me. She, being who she was, shaped me into who I am. My conscience and my desire for fairness in the world push me towards this path in my life. Even though my mom wasn’t trying to change the world and neither am I, we definitely haven’t ruled it out, either.

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Re: Wanting to submit tonight...is this too "feel sorry for me?"

Postby neimanmarxist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:27 pm

Alternate last paragraph is very good.
What an amazing story. Best of luck to you.




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