GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

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recaldo
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GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Thu May 20, 2010 4:10 pm

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Last edited by recaldo on Sun May 23, 2010 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby kalvano » Thu May 20, 2010 4:27 pm

Jesus. A GPA addendum? It's more like a personal statement.

It needs to be about a paragraph. Skip the hyperbole.

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Janus
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby Janus » Thu May 20, 2010 4:36 pm

recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. Does the LSAT really show this? Either way, I think this sentence takes away from what you are saying and is distracting. You can't really say something like this without backing it up.It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained,[strike]examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood[/strike] in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past.I don't understand how you are an orphan? I can see how you are saying you are without a home. I don't know why you are saying you are without roots or a past. Between my Senior year of high school and my freshman year at college, a [strike]bread-winning[/strike]irrelevant adjective - Is it your mother? Just say your mother. member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violent. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! I'm confused about this sentence? Are you saying he's either your mother's or your father's child but you don't know which one?The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood. I think you can expand on this - so what he's not your blood, he's still your brother. Maybe you can say something about the affect this discovery had on you. It was yet another betrayal.

Despite having a low GPA, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off(the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flamesrevise this sentence for grammar; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. So you left home due to the abuse and got an aparment. I would expand and say something to the affect that you had created a new home and a new life.The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. You could say that your building was but one of the many things lost on 911 and along with the stone and mortar you lost the life you had been rebuilding since blah blah blahIt was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fighters, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, You have some details in her that are irrelevant, I think, to your story.I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.


You have a good story. I do think this needs a good bit of revising though. I think you can center this around the ideas of betrayal and also make it about rebuilding. I think it ends too abruptly. I think you need a final paragraph about what's happend in your life since 911 and how you have continued to rebuild and become a whole person (hopefully you have). My mother actually has a mental illness. I'm familiar with police being at the house, etc. Although, I was never subject to the extent of abuse you were subjected to, thankfully. I hope my comments are helpful. Any particular reason why this is a GPA addendum and not a personal statement? Is your personal statement more compelling that this?

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batgirl
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby batgirl » Fri May 21, 2010 3:59 pm

recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

[strike]My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained, examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.[/strike] This paragraph is weak compared to the rest of your statement, and it buries the lede a bit. For most of it, I don't know what you're talking about. Rewrite it, or better, cut it and incorporate anything you think is particularly important elsewhere.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past. Between my [strike]Senior[/strike] senior isn't a proper noun year of high school and my freshman year at college, a bread-winning member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violentAwkward phrasing. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. This looks like a good place for a paragraph break.School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood. I know this was probably a very important incident in your life, but it seems to be somewhat unrelated to your GPA and feels a little tacked on here. Also, the "my mother or my father" phrasing makes it kind of unclear what exactly happened. Is he your half brother or just unrelated, or what? Regardless, I think it might be best to cut this.

Despite having a low GPA awkward phrasing, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off (the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) Try to make this non-parenthetical--it doesn't work for me in the flow of the sentence. because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. Are some words missing here?CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flames; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. It was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fightersfirefighters is one word, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.


This reads more like a PS or diversity statement than an addendum. It's my understanding that an addendum should be about a paragraph, not a page. I'd consider making it my PS; it's emotionally very strong and says a lot about who you are.

You've got some interesting motifs going toward the end; you might want to try to develop the idea of the holes earlier in the essay and focus more on the reversal at the end.

I think you'll have a very strong essay after a few revisions, but I'm very sorry that you've had the experiences required to write this.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 4:01 pm

batgirl wrote:
recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

[strike]My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained, examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.[/strike] This paragraph is weak compared to the rest of your statement, and it buries the lede a bit. For most of it, I don't know what you're talking about. Rewrite it, or better, cut it and incorporate anything you think is particularly important elsewhere.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past. Between my [strike]Senior[/strike] senior isn't a proper noun year of high school and my freshman year at college, a bread-winning member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violentAwkward phrasing. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. This looks like a good place for a paragraph break.School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood. I know this was probably a very important incident in your life, but it seems to be somewhat unrelated to your GPA and feels a little tacked on here. Also, the "my mother or my father" phrasing makes it kind of unclear what exactly happened. Is he your half brother or just unrelated, or what? Regardless, I think it might be best to cut this.

Despite having a low GPA awkward phrasing, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off (the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) Try to make this non-parenthetical--it doesn't work for me in the flow of the sentence. because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. Are some words missing here?CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flames; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. It was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fightersfirefighters is one word, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.


This reads more like a PS or diversity statement than an addendum. It's my understanding that an addendum should be about a paragraph, not a page. I'd consider making it my PS; it's emotionally very strong and says a lot about who you are.

You've got some interesting motifs going toward the end; you might want to try to develop the idea of the holes earlier in the essay and focus more on the reversal at the end.

I think you'll have a very strong essay after a few revisions, but I'm very sorry that you've had the experiences required to write this.



Thanks BatGirl. I will repost a new version. Great comments!

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Always Credited
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby Always Credited » Fri May 21, 2010 4:06 pm

--ImageRemoved--

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 4:11 pm

Always Credited wrote:--ImageRemoved--


or·phan (ôrfn)
n.
1.
a. A child whose parents are dead.
b. A child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted.
2. A young animal without a mother.
3. One that lacks support, supervision, or care: A lack of corporate interest has made the subsidiary an orphan.
4. An orphan technology or product.
5.
a. A line of type beginning a new paragraph at the bottom of a column or page.
b. A short line of type at the bottom of a paragraph, column, or page; a widow.
adj.
1. Deprived of parents.
2. Intended for orphans: an orphan home.
3. Lacking support, supervision, or care.
4. Not developed or marketed, especially on account of being commercially unprofitable: "an aggregation of every orphan technology at the Pentagon, stuff that's been around for years that nobody would buy" (Harper's).
tr.v. or·phaned, or·phan·ing, or·phans
To deprive (a child or young animal) of a parent or parents.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 4:12 pm

recaldo wrote:
Always Credited wrote:--ImageRemoved--


or·phan (ôrfn)
n.
1.
a. A child whose parents are dead.
b. A child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted.
2. A young animal without a mother.
3. One that lacks support, supervision, or care: A lack of corporate interest has made the subsidiary an orphan.
4. An orphan technology or product.
5.
a. A line of type beginning a new paragraph at the bottom of a column or page.
b. A short line of type at the bottom of a paragraph, column, or page; a widow.
adj.
1. Deprived of parents.
2. Intended for orphans: an orphan home.
3. Lacking support, supervision, or care.
4. Not developed or marketed, especially on account of being commercially unprofitable: "an aggregation of every orphan technology at the Pentagon, stuff that's been around for years that nobody would buy" (Harper's).
tr.v. or·phaned, or·phan·ing, or·phans
To deprive (a child or young animal) of a parent or parents.


ahahaha, you didn't look up teh definition before posting! LOL.

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Always Credited
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby Always Credited » Fri May 21, 2010 4:16 pm

I looked it up - I just don't see which one of the numerous definitions is parallel to not knowing ones own roots or past.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 4:18 pm

Always Credited wrote:I looked it up - I just don't see which one of the numerous definitions is parallel to not knowing ones own roots or past.


illogical comparison.

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Always Credited
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby Always Credited » Fri May 21, 2010 4:23 pm

recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained, examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past. Between my Senior year of high school and my freshman year at college, a bread-winning member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violent. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood.

Despite having a low GPA, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off(the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flames; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. It was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fighters, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 4:39 pm

Nice try.

To be a professional basketball player is to know how to dribble.

To be a mechanic is to know a lot about cars.

To be unemployed is to be seeking a job.

These statements are not definitions of a basketball player, a mechanic, or an unemployed person. They are statements describing some aspect of a basketball player, a mechanic, or an unemployed person. Would you describe a basketball player as someone who knows how to dribble? Absolutely not. A professional level basketball player is someone who engages in the sport we call basketball on a regular basis at a professional level. And they most surely know how to dribble.

Thus, to be an orphan is to not know one's roots or past. Is that the definition of an orphan? Absolutely not. It's a description of the characteristics of an orphan. An orphan is someone who(in this case and as the definition says) is "a child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted." And just like a basketball player who knows how to dribble, it is someone who knows not his roots of past.




Always Credited wrote:
recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained, examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past. Between my Senior year of high school and my freshman year at college, a bread-winning member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violent. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood.

Despite having a low GPA, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off(the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flames; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. It was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fighters, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.

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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby hotdog123 » Fri May 21, 2010 4:46 pm

--ImageRemoved--

EzraStiles
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby EzraStiles » Fri May 21, 2010 4:49 pm

Your addendum, while entertaining and insightful, spends very little time talking about academics. This reads far more like a personal statement than a gpa addendum; I recommend you start over and focus directly on your schoolwork, referencing the anecdotes in your personal statement in support rather than as the focus. At the end I understood your personal struggles, but how these affected you academically were only implied, when they should have been the focus.

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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby clintonius » Fri May 21, 2010 4:52 pm

DonnyMost wrote:--ImageRemoved--
By far the best "enjoy the show" image I've seen. What's that from?

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hotdog123
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby hotdog123 » Fri May 21, 2010 4:52 pm

recaldo wrote:Nice try.

To be a professional basketball player is to know how to dribble.

To be a mechanic is to know a lot about cars.

To be unemployed is to be seeking a job.

These statements are not definitions of a basketball player, a mechanic, or an unemployed person. They are statements describing some aspect of a basketball player, a mechanic, or an unemployed person. Would you describe a basketball player as someone who knows how to dribble? Absolutely not. A professional level basketball player is someone who engages in the sport we call basketball on a regular basis at a professional level. And they most surely know how to dribble.

Thus, to be an orphan is to not know one's roots or past. Is that the definition of an orphan? Absolutely not. It's a description of the characteristics of an orphan. An orphan is someone who(in this case and as the definition says) is "a child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted." And just like a basketball player who knows how to dribble, it is someone who knows not his roots of past.




Always Credited wrote:
recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained, examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past. Between my Senior year of high school and my freshman year at college, a bread-winning member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violent. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood.

Despite having a low GPA, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off(the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flames; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. It was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fighters, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.


I'm not seeing how, even by the definition you posted, being an orphan necessitates not knowing one's roots or past.

You can be an orphan and know who your parents are, or where you came from, etc.

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holydonkey
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby holydonkey » Fri May 21, 2010 4:54 pm

The orphan line doesn't fit, I'd cut it. The statement is compelling.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 4:55 pm

EzraStiles wrote:Your addendum, while entertaining and insightful, spends very little time talking about academics. This reads far more like a personal statement than a gpa addendum; I recommend you start over and focus directly on your schoolwork, referencing the anecdotes in your personal statement in support rather than as the focus. At the end I understood your personal struggles, but how these affected you academically were only implied, when they should have been the focus.


ok thanks.

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Pisto3
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby Pisto3 » Fri May 21, 2010 4:58 pm

Bajeezus. If you are going to ignore everyone's comments in the first thread (including my own good ones), why start a new one. I feel badly that I put time and effort into reading and critiquing your first thread just to have you completely ignore me and post again.

On second thought, I think you should just submit what you have and see what happens since you seem insistent on using it.

Edit: Why are you working on this now, anyways? It's either way too late or way to early in the cycle to even be thinking about this. Go get a suntan, mack on some gals, or hold it down at your job for goodness sakes. IT'S GODDAMN SUMMER!
Last edited by Pisto3 on Fri May 21, 2010 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 5:00 pm

DonnyMost wrote:
recaldo wrote:Nice try.

To be a professional basketball player is to know how to dribble.

To be a mechanic is to know a lot about cars.

To be unemployed is to be seeking a job.

These statements are not definitions of a basketball player, a mechanic, or an unemployed person. They are statements describing some aspect of a basketball player, a mechanic, or an unemployed person. Would you describe a basketball player as someone who knows how to dribble? Absolutely not. A professional level basketball player is someone who engages in the sport we call basketball on a regular basis at a professional level. And they most surely know how to dribble.

Thus, to be an orphan is to not know one's roots or past. Is that the definition of an orphan? Absolutely not. It's a description of the characteristics of an orphan. An orphan is someone who(in this case and as the definition says) is "a child who has been deprived of parental care and has not been adopted." And just like a basketball player who knows how to dribble, it is someone who knows not his roots of past.




Always Credited wrote:
recaldo wrote:Hi everyone. I would like some critiques and criticisms on this first draft GPA Addenum. Let me know if you can feel the wound.

My poor undergraduate performance was something of my own making and I take full responsibility for the bad academic choices I made while at <top 10 school>. As the LSAT shows, there is a distinction between correlation and causation and, as far as I know, we are still working on the causes of human behavior. It has taken over four years of deep self-reflection, eights years of temporal distance from events, and an everlasting, if naïve, belief that terrible events can be explained, examined, and can lead to a conclusion about one’s personhood in order to write this GPA Addendum. This is my best explanation of the circumstances surrounding my academic performance. It is not meant as an excuse. I offer it to the Admissions Committee for use as a partial explanation for my trajectory.

To be an orphan is to not know one’s roots or past. Between my Senior year of high school and my freshman year at college, a bread-winning member of my family developed a severe psychiatric disorder where she became violent. I was routinely abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. Police were present at my house often in response to violent acts. I was sometimes locked out of my house and forced to live outside during cold winters in makeshift bedding that I constructed myself. Other times, I was imprisoned, or handcuffed, for days at a time. School counselors and advisors, well-informed of a destabilized family situation due to the smallish nature of <small town> advised me not to attend college, rather they suggested that I “take a year off,” presumably because they knew I was too damaged to perform at <top 10 school>. I responded, “and stay where?” I was homeless in many ways – I could not count on shelter, on stability, or support. I could, however, count on violence, verbal explosions, and barbarism. Adding to the trauma, it was revealed that my brother, <name>, who never really looked like me, was not the product of my mother and my father, but rather my mother or my father! The intense fighting brought out the truth sixteen years after his birth, long after he was assumed to be of my blood.

Despite having a low GPA, <top 10 school> never asked me to leave and never asked me to take time off(the traditional method of dealing with low GPA students) because they were aware of the situation. I was, frankly, screwed up. But within two and half years I was already recovering. I received much higher grades between my _ and _ years, led student groups, and obtained competitive internships where I was offered full-time jobs.

But then, unfortunately, there was more trauma. CNN to see my apartment building in New York City in flames; the very apartment building I returned to between my years at <top 10 school>. The place I now called home. My refuge. A plane had crashed into <address in nyc>; right into the apartment where my father had moved to escape the same broken home I had escaped only years prior. It was a direct hit As I watched flames shoot out of the building on CNN, the camera panning to gawking pedestrians and desperate fire fighters, a sinking feeling came over me: I was homeless again. When I eventually returned to the building after the accident in which two people died and one was severely burned, I stood on the precipice of the gigantic hole the plane and explosion had formed on the <floor #> of the <building official title>, wind whipping in my hair, and the lights of the New York City skyline closer than ever before and realized that it was no different than any other time in my recent memory. I was living in a vacuum. The hole in the building was the hole I had felt since high school, the hole in my family life. The hole in my entire life.
This was the day when things turned. I had nothing but myself now and my experiences. I was a wounded orphan. But I’m over it.


I'm not seeing how, even by the definition you posted, being an orphan necessitates not knowing one's roots or past.

You can be an orphan and know who your parents are, or where you came from, etc.


That's exactly the point. You can be a mechanic and not know about cars. You can be unemployed and not seeking work. It does not necessitate that you are a mechanic b/c you know a lot about cars and it does not necessitate that you are unemployed because you are seeking work. You can be mechanic and not know about cars. You can be unemployed and not seeking work. These are descriptive qualities....and case-specific descriptive qualities. In my case, the descriptive qualities are accurate.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 5:02 pm

Pisto3 wrote:Bajeezus. If you are going to ignore everyone's comments in the first thread (including my own good ones), why start a new one. I feel badly that I put time and effort into reading and critiquing your first thread just to have you completely ignore me and post again.

On second thought, I think you should just submit what you have and see what happens since you seem insistent on using it.

Edit: Why are you working on this now, anyways? It's either way too late or way to early in the cycle to even be thinking about this. Go get a suntan, mack on some gals, or hold it down at your job for goodness sakes. IT'S GODDAMN SUMMER!


I am not intent on using at all. I am making changes. dont know where you got this idea. stop torturing urself with it - its aint true.

Thanks.

recaldo
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby recaldo » Fri May 21, 2010 5:02 pm

EzraStiles wrote:Your addendum, while entertaining and insightful, spends very little time talking about academics. This reads far more like a personal statement than a gpa addendum; I recommend you start over and focus directly on your schoolwork, referencing the anecdotes in your personal statement in support rather than as the focus. At the end I understood your personal struggles, but how these affected you academically were only implied, when they should have been the focus.


totally agree.

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hotdog123
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby hotdog123 » Fri May 21, 2010 5:09 pm

recaldo wrote:
That's exactly the point. You can be a mechanic and not know about cars. You can be unemployed and not seeking work. It does not necessitate that you are a mechanic b/c you know a lot about cars and it does not necessitate that you are unemployed because you are seeking work. You can be mechanic and not know about cars. You can be unemployed and not seeking work. These are descriptive qualities....and case-specific descriptive qualities. In my case, the descriptive qualities are accurate.


Image

Your statement is logically structured such that: if you are an orphan --> then you do not know your past/roots.

You have a necessary/sufficient reasoning problem there, since being an orphan does not necessitate that.

You are drawing an inference which is incorrect according to the definition you posted.

I agree with the other posters, even without getting into the incorrect inference thing, it doesn't really fit in the statement well.

(Edit: if you say "yeah, I know it isn't a valid inference, but I don't give a shit since i'm not shooting for 100% spot-on must-be-true-all-the-time accuracy, and I'm speaking more in general terms" then yeah, I can let that go... but you could word it in a way that still kept that point and yet was valid, etc... I know it's *super* nitpicky... but hey, law school, y'know?)

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kalvano
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby kalvano » Fri May 21, 2010 5:25 pm

recaldo wrote:That's exactly the point. You can be a mechanic and not know about cars. You can be unemployed and not seeking work. It does not necessitate that you are a mechanic b/c you know a lot about cars and it does not necessitate that you are unemployed because you are seeking work. You can be mechanic and not know about cars. You can be unemployed and not seeking work. These are descriptive qualities....and case-specific descriptive qualities. In my case, the descriptive qualities are accurate.



Apparently, you can also be a top-10 UG student and not know how to form a sentence or use logic, as well.

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Rikkugrrl
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Re: GPA Addendum - Please Critique!

Postby Rikkugrrl » Fri May 21, 2010 5:44 pm

I think I can clear this up...maybe?

What happens if your parents died at a very young age, but you have ample information available on their lives, background, and heritage through diaries etc? Let's say these sources also include information on your life when your parents were still with you. Then you know your roots and your background, but by OP's definition, you're not an orphan, since "to be an orphan is to not know one's roots or background." That wouldn't make sense since it's generally understood that if both your parents died at a young age, you're an orphan. That's why not knowing your roots doesn't label you as an orphan. In fact, lots of lazy kids these days don't know or care about their roots. Does that make them all orphans?

I hope that clears it up, and if it doesn't...orphan is not a great word to use, even if you did qualify as one. I'm not sure why this has turned into such a big deal. Just delete it and move on.




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