somewhat final draft: pls comment!!

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Komaliie
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somewhat final draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:06 pm

the limit is 500. i didn't put too much about my college experience b/c my resume says it all.
let me know what you guys think, any comment is much appreciated:

Born and raised in a small village in Northern Pakistan, I can recall my childhood years playing with dolls and toys that my mother sewed for me using old, worn-out clothes. Even more prominent than my memories of growing up in Pakistan, I remember the most momentous and life-altering change: leaving my Urdu-speaking country to start anew in Virginia. I cannot begin to understand how my parents came to such a life-altering decision without first considering their circumstances. My father worked at the only factory in the area, a flour distributing company, while my mother taught third grade. Growing up with five sisters, my father knew the lack of opportunities available for education women. Pakistan, to this day, is a very gender stereotypical country; all girls are either teachers or nurses. Having raised six girls, my father wanted us all to be something we wanted to be, not something society expected us to be. My parents recognized that a choice had to be made and shortly before my seventh birthday, they decided to leave everything they knew as home, in hope of building a new and better life.
After a month of living with my uncle, my father had earned enough money, working day and night as a taxi driver, for us to move into a small two-room apartment in Alexandria. There were two rooms and three beds to sleep on for the eight of us. While my parents worked, my father as a taxi and bus driver and my mother as a baby-sitter, I attended elementary school. I entered my third grade classroom with the excitement of a typical eight year old, but my anticipation quickly dissipated into fear. The language and cultural differences made it difficult for me to learn and communicate with other students. Determined to succeed, I began to learn as much as I could about the American culture and English grammar, focusing solely on the educational aspect of the school system. After changing two schools in the span of a year, I realized that although grades were important, being involved in the school was crucial. By participating in various organizations, such as becoming an editor for the yearbook and joining the Debate Club, I came to appreciate the intellectual value of objectivity while at the same time enhancing my ability to argue and research different sides of an issue. I believe all my experiences have contributed to shape my identity as a stronger and more secure individual.
After graduation I decided to attend George Mason University which further developed my interest in the study of law. Though my fascination with law undoubtedly dates back to high school, I never had the chance to fully develop this interest before college. Academically, I have taken classes that not only heighten my passion for becoming a lawyer but have also helped me find a connection between law and other areas of the criminal justice system. Interestingly, I think that I have learned as much about law through my participation in student organizations and jobs as I have through my classes.
My success so far is not only a testament to my intellectual ability, but also the strength of my determination. I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am today and I feel that my personal experiences will help me bring a distinctive perspective to X Law School.

another option for last paragraph:
My success so far is not only a testament to my intellectual ability, but also the strength of my determination. I understand fully the rigors associated with studying law, and I am prepared to dedicate as much time as it takes to understand its theories and practices. I believe that certain qualities distinguish a superior law school graduate: dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, the ability to argue and defend an opinion, and the ability to plan, research, and present a watertight case. These qualities are vital to law and can also reap extensive rewards in many other areas of life. I am ready, willing, and able to accept the challenges that I will face during law school, and I look forward to forging a successful career, both as a student and as an attorney. I look forward to law school as an opportunity to develop my most cherished personal characteristics. My analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills will help me become a competent attorney, and I am anxious to embark on this next stage of my career at X Law School.

im not sure how to combine this all in a few sentences. any suggestions?
Last edited by Komaliie on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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mbusch22
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby mbusch22 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:14 pm

Komaliie wrote:height my passion.


heighten my passion?

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:31 pm

mbusch22 wrote:
Komaliie wrote:height my passion.


heighten my passion?


Thanks for catching that! Heightened my passion, I'll change that asap.
Anything else you see?

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esq
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby esq » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:54 pm

I like it. It's like a good diversity statement and personal alll wrapped into one.

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billyez
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby billyez » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:56 pm

I'm supposing it's "To this day" rather than "Until this day".

I would advocate for developing a few ideas further, but 500 is a rather harsh limit. I think you've done well with the space you've been allocated.

chymali
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby chymali » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:00 pm

Your first two sentences are confusing. Your first sentence suggests that you will be talking about your childhood, while your second says you are actually going to write about moving to Virginia. I realize you are trying to do both eventually, but your first sentence has to be a clear introduction to the paragraph, and your second has to refer to the first in some way or it lacks flow.

You could start with growing up in Pakistan with it being a gender stereotypical country to this day and then how this led your dad to move the family to Virginia for better chances.

Otherwise, it's a good story. It just needs to flow smoothly.

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billyez
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby billyez » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:04 pm

I agree with the classification of the first two sentences by the previous post. It is a tad confusing. It owas one of those moments where I had to read them twice to see what you were trying to say and that is one singular sensation you don't want adcomm's to feel.

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:02 pm

billyez wrote:I agree with the classification of the first two sentences by the previous post. It is a tad confusing. It owas one of those moments where I had to read them twice to see what you were trying to say and that is one singular sensation you don't want adcomm's to feel.


How about adding this as my first sentence:
Change has been the most influential learning experience of my life.

Does that seem to tie everything together?

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:07 pm

esq wrote:I like it. It's like a good diversity statement and personal alll wrapped into one.


Thank you. I was told to write a diversity statement and a PS that didn't talk about my background but I feel that you don't know who I am until you know where I came from. My transcript talks about my college experience but nothing shows my struggles and where I come from. I was hoping I could balance both aspects.
The 500 word limit for Mason is brutal though.

CanadianWolf
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:17 pm

Try "grades were important." Not "grades were an important factor."
"After graduation I decided to attend George Mason University." Or "After graduation I attended George Mason University." Delete the rest of this sentence.
"...and came to appreciate the intellectual value of partisanship." ? Since "objectivity" conflicts with your prior statement.
"My experiences have shaped my identity...".
"tangents" not "agents" of the criminal justice system.
"My success so far required intellectual ability and determination."
"My past shaped me...".
Delete "unique and".
I really like your first paragraph. Hopefully my suggestions read well & allow you to stay within the 500 word limit.

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billyez
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby billyez » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:41 pm

Personally, I think all you need is a subtle change in the introduction. I know that this word limit is brutal (one of the reasons why I didn't apply to Mason; I wasn't going to shrink my PS to 500 words) but can you add one short sentence recalling your childhood in Pakistan after your first sentence? I think this would not only tie things together, but it would also fill a hole in your essay - the fact that you talk about recalling your childhood years but then never recall it in your essay. I think if you then rework the part of second sentence before the comma into something like...well, I've been attempting to come up with a recommendation for something you can switch it out with but nothing really comes out right. This just feels a little awkward, you know?

Also, I'd take out the "As a 21 year old" bit. It doesn't really flow well with the rest of that sentence...it gave me the impression that you could recall your childhood years because you were a 21 year old or that this recollection was dependent on this. Does anyone agree or disagree with this particular recommendation/assessment?

chymali
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby chymali » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:46 am

billyez wrote:Personally, I think all you need is a subtle change in the introduction. I know that this word limit is brutal (one of the reasons why I didn't apply to Mason; I wasn't going to shrink my PS to 500 words) but can you add one short sentence recalling your childhood in Pakistan after your first sentence? I think this would not only tie things together, but it would also fill a hole in your essay - the fact that you talk about recalling your childhood years but then never recall it in your essay. I think if you then rework the part of second sentence before the comma into something like...well, I've been attempting to come up with a recommendation for something you can switch it out with but nothing really comes out right. This just feels a little awkward, you know?

Also, I'd take out the "As a 21 year old" bit. It doesn't really flow well with the rest of that sentence...it gave me the impression that you could recall your childhood years because you were a 21 year old or that this recollection was dependent on this. Does anyone agree or disagree with this particular recommendation/assessment?


I agree with the "As a 21 year old" part. The majority of people can recall their childhood, so by adding that piece of information, it gives the impression that you can only remember your childhood at 21 years old.

As for your first sentence, you could tie that the growing up in a gender-stereotypical country. For instance, "I grew up in a country where women could not..." (you get the idea). And then recall your childhood a little bit, and then go into your father moving you to Virginia. It would work out much better. There are other ways, but basically, you need it to flow.

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:06 pm

thank you to everyone who has commented, it has really helped me!
i made some changes, hopefully the first paragraph flows better now


I was born and raised in a small village in Northern Pakistan. I can recall my childhood years playing with dolls and toys that my mother sewed for me using old, worn-out clothes. Even more prominent than my memories of growing up in Pakistan, I remember the most momentous and life-altering change: leaving my Urdu-speaking country to start anew in Virginia. I cannot begin to understand how my parents came to such a life-altering decision without first considering their circumstances. My father worked at the only factory in the area, a flour distributing company, while my mother taught third grade. Growing up with five sisters, my father knew the lack of opportunities available for education women. Pakistan, to this day, is a very gender stereotypical country; all girls are either teachers or nurses. Having raised six girls, my father wanted us all to be something we wanted to be, not something society expected us to be. My parents recognized that a choice had to be made and shortly before my seventh birthday, they decided to leave everything they knew as home, in hope to build a new and better life.
After a month of living with my uncle, my father had earned enough money, working day and night as a taxi driver, for us to move into a small two-room apartment in Alexandria for the eight of us. While my parents worked, my father as a taxi and bus driver and my mother as a baby-sitter, I attended elementary school. I entered my third grade classroom with the excitement of a typical eight year old, but my anticipation quickly dissipated into fear. The language and cultural differences made it difficult for me to learn and communicate with other students. Determined to succeed, I began to learn as much as I could about the American culture and English grammar, focusing solely on the educational aspect of the school system. After changing two schools in the span of a year, I realized that although grades were important, being involved in the school was crucial. By participating in various organizations, such as joining the Debate Club in 10th grade which ultimately sparked my interest for law, I came to appreciate the intellectual value of objectivity while at the same time enhancing my ability to argue and research different sides of an issue. I believe all my experiences have contributed to shape my identity as a stronger and more secure individual.
After graduation, I decided to attend George Mason University with the understanding that it not be a pinnacle of my academic pursuits, but rather a stepping-stone to future opportunities. Though my fascination with law undoubtedly dates back to high school, I never had the chance to fully develop this interest before college. Academically, I have taken classes that not only heighten my passion for becoming a lawyer someday but have also helped me find a connection between law and other areas of the criminal justice system. Interestingly, I think that I have learned as much about law through my participation in student organizations and jobs as I have through my classes.
My success so far is not only a testament to my intellectual ability, but also the strength of my determination. I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am today and I feel that my personal experiences will help me bring a distinctive perspective to X Law School.

CanadianWolf
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:13 pm

"After graduation I decided to attend George Mason University which further developed my interest in the study of law. Academically, I have taken classes...."
"...in hope of building a new and better life."
"...for educated women."
"Born and raised in a small village in Northern Pakistan, I can recall...".

DELETE: "...with the understanding that it not be a pinnacle of my academic pursuits, but rather a stepping-stone to further opportunities. Though my fascination with law undoubtedly relates back to high school, I never had the chance to fully develop this interest before college."

DELETE: the word "someday" in the third paragraph.

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:39 pm

canadianwolf, you my friend, are pretty darn amazing!!
btw the rest of you who have read and commented are pretty awesome too!!
thanks for all your comments
i will post the edited edited version once its ready <:

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billyez
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby billyez » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:55 pm

Just wanted to say that I really like the new first couple of sentences. They flow significantly better.

Spykuh
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Spykuh » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:39 pm

I think that you should focus more on the hard work and determination it took for you to adjust to, and succeed in, American life. Also, maybe spend a little bit more time about how you are pursuing opportunities that would not have been available to you in Pakistan. You could use a sentence to discuss your parents' sacrifice, and how you view their work ethic as a model. You have a great diversity statement in the making here, but I think you waste some space by saying things like "I became interested in law in the 10th grade with debate club." Debate clubs rarely have anything to do law school and being a lawyer.

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:40 pm

billyez wrote:Just wanted to say that I really like the new first couple of sentences. They flow significantly better.


thanks!
does me last paragraph sound good? esp the last sentence

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billyez
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby billyez » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:39 pm

I agree with the function of the concluding sentence but I'm not a big fan of it's structure. If no one else has a problem with it, you should be able to keep it. It's the "I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am part" that I thought was a tad awkward, but if no one else thinks of it, then rest assured you should leave it be.

I can't find the "someday" that CanadianWolf suggested that you delete, but I concur with his opinion that the information that follows "George Mason University" should be excised from the passage.

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:31 pm

billyez wrote:I agree with the function of the concluding sentence but I'm not a big fan of it's structure. If no one else has a problem with it, you should be able to keep it. It's the "I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am part" that I thought was a tad awkward, but if no one else thinks of it, then rest assured you should leave it be.

I can't find the "someday" that CanadianWolf suggested that you delete, but I concur with his opinion that the information that follows "George Mason University" should be excised from the passage.


how about this as the last paragraph:
My success so far is not only a testament to my intellectual ability, but also the strength of my determination. I understand fully the rigors associated with studying law, and I am prepared to dedicate as much time as it takes to understand its theories and practices. I believe that certain qualities distinguish a superior law school graduate: dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, the ability to argue and defend an opinion, and the ability to plan, research, and present a watertight case. These qualities are vital to law and can also reap extensive rewards in many other areas of life. I am ready, willing, and able to accept the challenges that I will face during law school, and I look forward to forging a successful career, both as a student and as an attorney. I look forward to law school as an opportunity to develop my most cherished personal characteristics. My analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills will help me become a competent attorney, and I am anxious to embark on this next stage of my career at X Law School.

the 'someday' was :
heighten my passion for becoming a lawyer someday but

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billyez
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby billyez » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:36 pm

Well, to be clear, I was just advocating changing that specific sentence around. But this works fine too and I like it. I'm wondering if other folks are going to think it's necessary to make this paragraph longer rather than just reforming the last sentence...*nudges CanadianWolf*

Komaliie
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Re: second draft: pls comment!!

Postby Komaliie » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:10 pm

I just don't know how to say all that in a few sentences rather than what I have now. Any suggestions?




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