The openning paragraph

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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ocean
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:58 pm

The openning paragraph

Postby ocean » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:29 pm

This used to be close to the end, but I am thinking about opening the PS with it, any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time.

"I was born three yeas after the Culture Revolution ended. Most the kids of my age were safeguarded from the aftershock but I was not one of them. After ten years’ of hard laboring and “re-education” in the rural areas, majority of the young men and women were reassigned with new jobs and back to their home city. My mother was left behind in the small town and only given an accountant job in a newly built shoe factory. My father went to medical school and they lived away from each other for the next fifteen years until I was thirteen. I spent the first six years of my life living with my mother in a tiny apartment separated from a storage room for rubber soles, where I learned to walk, run, speak and take care of my mother as much as I can. The factory was like an extended family, a very close-knit collective of simple and happy people. I grew up being their mascot and acquired the easiness with people since then. To receive a more promising education, I moved to my father’s city when I was seven and started living with him. He was a young doctor and living an irregular residency schedule. I cooked many meals for both of us, spent countless nights doing homework alone and waiting for dad to return from work. During dinner he would entertain me with the diagnostic logic behind interesting cases, which remains a major topic of our conversation till today. It was during those late night dinners, the passion for science and logical thinking was planted. I realized very early on that this dichotomic childhood has shaped the two main facets of my personality: I am quick at developing rapport and eager to take good care of people while at the same time I treat solitude with strong senses of self-discipline and eagerness to be productive. "

hijodehombre
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: The openning paragraph

Postby hijodehombre » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:48 pm

I was born three yeas after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Unlike most kids my age, I was not safeguarded from the aftershock that was to follow. After ten years of hard labor and "re-education" in rural areas, the majority of young men and women returned to their home cities with their families to work and study. My parents, however, were forced to live apart. My father went to medical school in the city while my mother stayed behind in the small town to work as an accountant in a newly built shoe factory. They would remain apart for the next fifteen years until I turned thirteen. I lived the first six years of my life with my mother in a tiny apartment next to a storage room for rubber soles. Here, I learned to walk, talk, run and play, but most importantly, to take care of my mother as best I could. The factory was like an extended family, a very close-knit collective of simple(!) and happy people. I grew up being like their mascot(!) and since then I have acquired an easiness with people. When I turned seven, I went to live with my father in order to obtain a more promising education. He was a young doctor living in the city and working an irregular residency schedule. I cooked most of our meals and spent countless evenings alone doing homework and waiting him to return from work. At dinner he would entertain me with the diagnostic logic behind interesting cases that today remains a major topic of our conversations. It was during those late night dinners when I developed a passion for science and logical thinking. Early on I realized that my dichotomous childhood has shaped the two main facets of my personality: I am quick at developing rapport and eager to take good care of people and yet at the same time I treat solitude with a strong sense of self-discipline and an eagerness to be productive.

你是中國人嗎?

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ocean
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:58 pm

Re: The openning paragraph

Postby ocean » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:46 am

hijodehombre wrote:I was born three yeas after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Unlike most kids my age, I was not safeguarded from the aftershock that was to follow. After ten years of hard labor and "re-education" in rural areas, the majority of young men and women returned to their home cities with their families to work and study. My parents, however, were forced to live apart. My father went to medical school in the city while my mother stayed behind in the small town to work as an accountant in a newly built shoe factory. They would remain apart for the next fifteen years until I turned thirteen. I lived the first six years of my life with my mother in a tiny apartment next to a storage room for rubber soles. Here, I learned to walk, talk, run and play, but most importantly, to take care of my mother as best I could. The factory was like an extended family, a very close-knit collective of simple(!) and happy people. I grew up being like their mascot(!) and since then I have acquired an easiness with people. When I turned seven, I went to live with my father in order to obtain a more promising education. He was a young doctor living in the city and working an irregular residency schedule. I cooked most of our meals and spent countless evenings alone doing homework and waiting him to return from work. At dinner he would entertain me with the diagnostic logic behind interesting cases that today remains a major topic of our conversations. It was during those late night dinners when I developed a passion for science and logical thinking. Early on I realized that my dichotomous childhood has shaped the two main facets of my personality: I am quick at developing rapport and eager to take good care of people and yet at the same time I treat solitude with a strong sense of self-discipline and an eagerness to be productive.

你是中國人嗎?


Thank you so much, it reads much better and yes, I came to US for Graduate School after college.

sly_lychee
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:23 am

Re: The openning paragraph

Postby sly_lychee » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:34 pm

CulturAL Revolution, not Culture Revolution. Overall, I think the opening definitely hints at a good story. However, I think more imagery and storytelling in the beginning is better to capture the readers attention and sympathy. Right now it reads like a summary about someone's life, but more description will make it YOUR story. How YOU remember it. Think five senses: a specific picture (the factory, the apartment, the people), a smell, a sound, a touch, a taste. Even one example will do.

Secondly, I think you can spell some things out. Like what is the "aftershock" and "safeguarding" you speak of. Although, the adcoms are well-education, not everyone will know what you are specifically referring to - I was a Chinese history major and I don't.

Thirdly, I hope you will follow with examples on how you take care of people. How did you do it as a child and how that quality carry in to adulthood? I keep coming across one error in the PS I read and when I was writing my own. Because people are talking about themselves, they assert certain things without giving any evidence. For example, one might state "My family tragedy inspired me to work harder and to learn as much as possible." So the reader knows about his tragedy and how that changed his outlook, but not how he applied it to his life. What did he do differently before and after the tragedy? I'm not saying you will make this mistake, but please be aware. I see it so often. I think supporting claims with evidence comes much more instinctively when writing an academic paper, but not so much when writing about yourself.

Good luck. Keep at it. I think you are working towards something good.

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ocean
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:58 pm

Re: The openning paragraph

Postby ocean » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:49 pm

sly_lychee wrote:CulturAL Revolution, not Culture Revolution. Overall, I think the opening definitely hints at a good story. However, I think more imagery and storytelling in the beginning is better to capture the readers attention and sympathy. Right now it reads like a summary about someone's life, but more description will make it YOUR story. How YOU remember it. Think five senses: a specific picture (the factory, the apartment, the people), a smell, a sound, a touch, a taste. Even one example will do.

Secondly, I think you can spell some things out. Like what is the "aftershock" and "safeguarding" you speak of. Although, the adcoms are well-education, not everyone will know what you are specifically referring to - I was a Chinese history major and I don't.

Thirdly, I hope you will follow with examples on how you take care of people. How did you do it as a child and how that quality carry in to adulthood? I keep coming across one error in the PS I read and when I was writing my own. Because people are talking about themselves, they assert certain things without giving any evidence. For example, one might state "My family tragedy inspired me to work harder and to learn as much as possible." So the reader knows about his tragedy and how that changed his outlook, but not how he applied it to his life. What did he do differently before and after the tragedy? I'm not saying you will make this mistake, but please be aware. I see it so often. I think supporting claims with evidence comes much more instinctively when writing an academic paper, but not so much when writing about yourself.

Good luck. Keep at it. I think you are working towards something good.


Wow, these are awesome advices, thank you so much, Lychee.




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