Fresh PS, please devour

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Backer2
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:37 am

Fresh PS, please devour

Postby Backer2 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:26 pm

Very rough, just wrote it up.

Scribbling half legible phrases on a carefully folded but hastily retrieved napkin, I watch two men willingly, excitedly, struggle to communicate. The one on my right, a shorter man with what seemed to be a permanent positive attitude to match his permanent five o clock shadow, was committing actions which arguably could be seen as hysteric. The one on my immediate left, his constant refusal to age almost visible in the half-evocated facial creases, seems to present his whole body, to fan it out as if he were planning on absorbing every ounce of movement, every clue – he held his body in a manner that represented a blank chalkboard, ready to make meaning of any combination of his subjects movements.

The apparently hysteric man to my right was the proud owner of a sports apparel retail store in Milwaukee. In his late forties, he and his family based their existence at that store, quite literally. This man ran his small business here in Wisconsin with only the slightest grasp of the English Language as he and his family were South Korean Immigrants. The urgent message that this man needed to convey was that the corporation responsible for providing him with what he rightfully bought, was woefully late. The man, turned tableau, to my left was my father; he was the one who taught me to carry a delicately folded IHOP napkin to every retail store visit.

The lessons that I learned following my father around the Midwest as a child shaped the person who I was to become. What I experienced so young was un-cut and raw communication and I learned quite quickly that a language barrier is almost never the most severe debilitation facing discourse between a subject and his or her representative. Technically my father represented a corporation, but what I experienced was quite the opposite: I experienced a man, whose complete attention was on understanding, empathizing, and advocating on behalf of business owners who were, in times like the one I depicted, fighting for their livelihoods.

Through my continuing education and experiences, I have found myself to be quite proficient and equally compelled to seek occurrences where someone is in need of a conduit, an understanding, an advocate. Thrown, though willingly, into American lifestyle, I met the most amazing and quite curious exchange students during the second year of my college experience. I shared this curiosity and listed myself as a sort of guide, an interpreter in certain circumstances, available to various immigrating students in times of need. During my time in La Crosse I helped students manage aspects of their American life from helping them to learn the postal service, acquire fair cell phone service, dispute parking violations, and even get fair housing contracts. The skills that I have cultivated were put to the test when I was forced to navigate situations on behalf of another when, unlike me, those I was helping weren’t able to apply for housing with the comfort of having close relatives vouch for their financial security, or when those for whom I advocated weren’t nearly as comfortable going to the hospital or the dentist for fear of what they might pay. I learned invaluable lessons of what sort of courage it takes to conquer the uncertainty these people faced daily at such a critical period in my life because of my involvement in these lives that were unequivocally more complicated than my own.

And that was then. As I would emphasize as the turning point of my young life, following the death of my Grandmother at the end of my 2009 school year, I have had an appetite for the complex. After transferring to the UW Madison I had an insatiable drive for crossing boundaries and still advocating, I found myself tutoring English to a 31 year old South Korean architect who needed a higher proficiency for his future career prospects. And while we worked on his prose he and I were able to have afternoon long discussions of differences in political and social systems. I yearned for these experiences, and soon set my sights on finishing school a semester early and teaching abroad. And while my original goal was slightly stunted, I will still be moving to Paris in 2011, attending to my final six credits online, and privately tutoring the English language to French students.

What makes me a strong candidate for your law program is that in conjunction with my uncurbed drive for complex ideas and relationships, I have an incredible desire to understand, be a function of, and ultimately represent those who would otherwise be unable.

Thanks for your help

Backer2
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:37 am

Re: Fresh PS, please devour

Postby Backer2 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:47 pm

Bump.

Even a quick reply regarding whether or not im onto a good trajectory would be appreciated!

Feel free to PM me to switch

Thanks again

User avatar
chrisnashville
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:46 am

Re: Fresh PS, please devour

Postby chrisnashville » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:31 pm

This is the first PS I've read on the forum. Just about to start my own PS, so I figure I'll jump right in.

Quick glance... I think your opening story is compelling on its own merits, but you over-do it with details. I understand your desire to allow the reader to visualize the first paragraph, but you have definitely gone overboard with the details - it's almost as you had a thesaurus and replaced each word you possibly could with something that sounded more eloquent. In the end, though, all you've accomplished is bombarding a simple story with unnecessary details. Stick to what's important, and cut the rest. Why did you have a napkin, again? I think that's an interesting detail - carrying a napkin around to each store with your father, but it's lost in the rest of the PS -- if I were you, I'd try to tie in that detail to the conclusion...

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Fresh PS, please devour

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:46 pm

chrisnashville wrote:This is the first PS I've read on the forum. Just about to start my own PS, so I figure I'll jump right in.

Quick glance... I think your opening story is compelling on its own merits, but you over-do it with details. I understand your desire to allow the reader to visualize the first paragraph, but you have definitely gone overboard with the details - it's almost as you had a thesaurus and replaced each word you possibly could with something that sounded more eloquent. In the end, though, all you've accomplished is bombarding a simple story with unnecessary details. Stick to what's important, and cut the rest. Why did you have a napkin, again? I think that's an interesting detail - carrying a napkin around to each store with your father, but it's lost in the rest of the PS -- if I were you, I'd try to tie in that detail to the conclusion...



Agreed. Why do people feel the need to use big words and sound eloquent in their PS?




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