Final Draft I changed the last paragraphs a little bit

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Final Draft I changed the last paragraphs a little bit

Postby Captain Muscles » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:44 pm

It was 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. I was sitting on the couch, surrounded by a frenzy of activity. I was about to play the biggest concert of my life. That night my band, ******, opened for Morbid Angel, a band whose music I greatly admired. I always dreamed to play with a well-respected band that had a worldwide following since I picked up the guitar at age 13. However, as I sat on the dusty, beat up couch in the green room, I was not practicing guitar. I was studying biology, feverishly looking through my notes I had prepared for my upcoming lab exam. This was my last semester at ***** and I really wanted to excel on the exam as I was transferring to ***** in the fall.

As we took the stage and proceeded to play our songs, the crowd came alive and cheered us on. I felt that my years of constantly practicing scales and carefully refining my technique were finally paying off. But while the energy of playing live music in the packed club was electrifying, a bittersweet sentiment swept upon me. I realized that this was going to be my last show with my band.

As I performed with my bandmates for the last time, I reflected on all the memories we had shared. We had been together for six years and these guys were my best friends. We played death metal, a highly orchestrated style of music that required precise technical execution. We worked very hard at perfecting our craft and we operated like a finely tuned machine. Having played shows with many of the top bands of our genre and having recorded an album together, the band was an immense source of personal pride.

Leaving my bandmates to go to school was one of the toughest decisions I had ever made, but I knew that attending **** provided me with an excellent opportunity to further my education in a dynamic and exciting environment. I realized that if I wanted to be happy at ****, I would have to channel all of the energy I had devoted to my band towards this new endeavor. I decided to dive head first into my studies and become the best student I could be. I soon developed a strong interest in politics, especially political theory.

Studying political theory provided me with many of the same satisfactions that I had enjoyed while creating music with my band. Just as I had enjoyed learning complicated musical techniques and incorporating them into the music that I wrote, I loved the challenge of having to decipher verbose texts and then applying the knowledge and theories into the papers I wrote. I studied everything from Plato’s Republic to Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault and the experience gained in solving each academic puzzle proved invaluable. The study of political theory, just like playing music, was a collaborative effort and I greatly benefited from the spirited and insightful conversations I had with my professors, fellow students and teaching assistants.

While my love for political theory was a big part of my life at *****, I never abandoned my interest in music. Although I no longer had my band, I remained committed to growing as a musician. I enrolled in music theory and jazz improvisation classes to further expand my knowledge base. Having developed a reputation as a talented musician on campus, I had the opportunity to perform with many interesting and talented musical personalities who ultimately helped me become a more well-rounded and diverse musician.

Naturally, I still missed my old bandmates, but the determination, critical thinking, and teamwork skills I learned collaborating musically and academically with my new friends allowed me to confidently create a new identity for myself in ****. I was beginning to realize how seemingly separate threads in my life were now coming together in ways I could not have predicted. As I constantly honed my craft on my instrument, I also developed a strong self-discipline in the classroom.

After graduating from *****, I returned to Southern California where I worked full time at my family business, a sports travel company specializing in group travel to Hawaii. The job entailed communicating effectively with clients, negotiating rates with airlines, hotels and other suppliers and attention to detail. Although my work provided me with a steady paycheck, I gradually realized that I was not meaningfully satisfied.

Shakespeare described human progress through life using these famous words: “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts” (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166). At this point in my life, I need a new venue in which to employ my skills and showcase my unique talents. While I can fondly look back on my time spent playing music and attending *****, I must now look to the future and prepare for the next performance in my life. It is time for a new entrance for me, too.

It is with this unique background and desire for intellectual growth that I am applying to the JD program at ******. An education from your university would open up many doors for me by giving me an excellent opportunity to develop my analytical and critical thinking skills in the study and practice of law. I strongly welcome the challenge from your institution’s experts on law and the academic atmosphere that your school of law provides.
Last edited by Captain Muscles on Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gochrisgo
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraph a little bit

Postby gochrisgo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:52 pm

_
Last edited by gochrisgo on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraph a little bit

Postby Captain Muscles » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:54 pm

So how about the rest of it?

Also, I've never heard of something regarding death metal as being described as flowery.

yeff
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraph a little bit

Postby yeff » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:19 am

gochrisgo wrote:I'm guessing that adcoms have seen the beginning "It was blahblahblah" about a million times. I would just change it to "At 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, I was..."

I've read only a few PSs (about 50-80) and a bunch start this way. It's gotten so I don't even want to read essays that start with "It was..." "When I..." "On such-and-such day..." "I couldn't believe..."
And if I'm tired of seeing those weak, flowery beginnings after reading less than a hundred, how do the adcomms feel? I dunno -- you should always write the PS that you want to write. But I never even got to the last paragraph to see how you changed it...


+1 - but at this point, it is your story and you've probably just got to roll with it. Plus, schools love to tout the diversity of their classes with things like "professional death metal musician," right?

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm

The statement should avoid self-absorbed autobiography. What we need is something that doesn’t simply assert, a.k.a brag about, how qualified and impressive the applicant is, but rather demonstrates it through the substance of what is said in the personal statement. If it is going to be autobiographical, I for one would prefer it to generalize a bit; that is, instead of, 'How I changed as a result of this experience and now am so special,' it should talk about how and why such experiences can affect people.

“I felt the cold, sharp edge of a knife at my neck.” “ ‘You rich Americans are all alike,’ she screamed.” “I’ve never been so scared in my life.” “The child’s belly was swollen and scabbed.” You get the picture. Start the essay with a dramatic, unexplained sentence designed to grab the startled reader’s attention. (In fact, what it does to the reader is produce a dismayed feeling of, “Oh no, not another one of these.”). Continue this dramatic episode for a short paragraph without tipping off its relevance to the application. Begin the next paragraph by switching to expository style and informing us of what you were doing in this dire situation and how it was part of the background that makes you a special applicant to law school. Develop why you are so special in the rest of the statement. Conclude with a touching statement returning to the opening gambit, about how now, after law school, you can really help that little girl in rags.

It is very clear that many applicants have been coached by someone that this is how to write a compelling personal statement...This format is transparently manipulative, formulaic, and coached. Except for the occasional novelist we admit, none of our students or graduates is going to write in this style again; none, thank goodness, is going to begin a brief with, “He stood frozen in fear as the gunman appeared out of the darkness.” So, this artifice is irrelevant to law and counter-productive: Once it ceases to surprise – and it did so more than 10 years ago – it just becomes a cliché which really ought to be held against the writer. Not only using clichés, but also having been coached ought in an ideal world to discount an application. Needless to say, however, I did not hold these statements against the writers; you don’t feel you should do that. Often the bulk of the statement does report on impressive activities that are relevant to admission. [I]t is transparent when essay formulas have been coached, and we (should) strongly advise applicants to write in their own voice and style and without trying to dramatize what they have to say in order to attract our attention."

lawman335
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:15 pm

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraphs a little bit

Postby lawman335 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:20 am

this is fine u can submit , no probs.........

User avatar
CardinalRules
Posts: 2332
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:20 pm

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraphs a little bit

Postby CardinalRules » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:35 am

Captain Muscles wrote:It was 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. I was sitting on the couch, surrounded by a frenzy of activity. I was about to play the biggest concert of my life. That night my band, ******, opened for Morbid Angel, a band whose music I greatly admired. I always dreamed to play with a well-respected band that had a worldwide following since I picked up the guitar at age 13. However, as I sat on the dusty, beat up couch in the green room, I was not practicing guitar. I was studying biology, feverishly looking through my notes I had prepared for my upcoming lab exam. This was my last semester at ***** and I really wanted to excel on the exam as I was transferring to ***** in the fall.

As we took the stage and proceeded to play our songs, the crowd came alive and cheered us on. I felt that my years of constantly practicing scales and carefully refining my technique were finally paying off. But while the energy of playing live music in the packed club was electrifying, a bittersweet sentiment swept upon me. I realized that this was going to be my last show with my band.

As I performed with my bandmates for the last time, I reflected on all the memories we had shared. We had been together for six years and these guys were my best friends. We played death metal, a highly orchestrated style of music that required precise technical execution. We worked very hard at perfecting our craft and we operated like a finely tuned machine. Having played shows with many of the top bands of our genre and having recorded an album together, the band was an immense source of personal pride.

Leaving my bandmates to go to school was one of the toughest decisions I had ever made, but I knew that attending **** provided me with an excellent opportunity to further my education in a dynamic and exciting environment. I realized that if I wanted to be happy at ****, I would have to channel all of the energy I had devoted to my band towards this new endeavor. I decided to dive head first into my studies and become the best student I could be. I soon developed a strong interest in politics, especially political theory.

Studying political theory provided me with many of the same satisfactions that I had enjoyed while creating music with my band. Just as I had enjoyed learning complicated musical techniques and incorporating them into the music that I wrote, I loved the challenge of having to decipher verbose texts and then applying the knowledge and theories into the papers I wrote. I studied everything from Plato’s Republic to Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault and the experience gained in solving each academic puzzle proved invaluable. The study of political theory, just like playing music, was a collaborative effort and I greatly benefited from the spirited and insightful conversations I had with my professors, fellow students and teaching assistants.

While my love for political theory was a big part of my life at *****, I never abandoned my interest in music. Although I no longer had my band, I remained committed to growing as a musician. I enrolled in music theory and jazz improvisation classes to further expand my knowledge base. Having developed a reputation as a talented musician on campus, I had the opportunity to perform with many interesting and talented musical personalities who ultimately helped me become a more well-rounded and diverse musician.

Naturally, I still missed my old bandmates, but the determination, critical thinking, and teamwork skills I learned collaborating musically and academically with my new friends allowed me to confidently create a new identity for myself in ****. I was beginning to realize how seemingly separate threads in my life were now coming together in ways I could not have predicted. As I constantly honed my craft on my instrument, I also developed a strong self-discipline in the classroom.

After graduating from *****, I returned to Southern California where I worked full time at my family business, a sports travel company specializing in group travel to Hawaii. The job entailed communicating effectively with clients, negotiating rates with airlines, hotels and other suppliers and attention to detail. Although my work provided me with a steady paycheck, I gradually realized that I was not meaningfully satisfied.

Shakespeare described human progress through life using these famous words: “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts” (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166). At this point in my life, I need a new venue in which to employ my skills and showcase my unique talents. While I can fondly look back on my time spent playing music and attending *****, I must now look to the future and prepare for the next performance in my life. It is time for a new entrance for me, too.

It is with this unique background and desire for intellectual growth that I am applying to the JD program at ******. An education from your university would open up many doors for me by giving me an excellent opportunity to develop my analytical and critical thinking skills in the study and practice of law. I strongly welcome the challenge from your institution’s experts on law and the academic atmosphere that your school of law provides.


The Shakespeare citation can't be 27 lines long, and you don't state the play from which you're taking it.

EzraStiles
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:52 pm

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraphs a little bit

Postby EzraStiles » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:39 am

And As You Like It sucks anyway. Find a line from the Merry Wives of Windsor if you don't want to sound contrived.

EDIT: I realize how unhelpful that was. The only thing I can say is that it really does come off as incredibly contrived and unnecessary when you have to validate yourself through a Shakespeare quote, especially because I'd argue against the quote in question fitting the purpose you provide for it. And yeah, your citation needs some work.

User avatar
CardinalRules
Posts: 2332
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:20 pm

Re: Final Draft I changed the last paragraphs a little bit

Postby CardinalRules » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:48 am

EzraStiles wrote:And As You Like It sucks anyway. Find a line from the Merry Wives of Windsor if you don't want to sound contrived.

EDIT: I realize how unhelpful that was. The only thing I can say is that it really does come off as incredibly contrived and unnecessary when you have to validate yourself through a Shakespeare quote, especially because I'd argue against the quote in question fitting the purpose you provide for it. And yeah, your citation needs some work.


I don't really like the idea of quoting Shakespeare in the first place, either. Everyone and their mother does it, so you don't stand out at all by doing it.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.