Personal Statement Critique Request 2 (Edited) Thank You

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Personal Statement Critique Request 2 (Edited) Thank You

Postby fw22mk » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:55 pm

I received some good feedback initially, but I am hoping I can receive more now that this has been compressed a bit. Any feedback is appreciated. Send me yours as well. Best,

Ibyang. In Korean, this word means “adopted.” And every time I have ever met another Korean, when the fluency of my native tongue has failed me, that singular word has explained all that they need to know to make a judgment.
But what does adopted or adoptee mean? Generally, the positive response to such a word is sympathy or perhaps tukbyolhan, special. Of course, it also implies being a bastard, of having a spurious history, or no history. And for Koreans, this would appear to be particularly troublesome.
For me, it has always meant exclusion from the “in group.” Whether that is with Koreans or with Americans, I have always existed somewhere in the middle.
Even during middle school, during those formative years of self-awareness, I realized something was wrong, that someone had made a mistake. On the baseball field or at a restaurant, I was constantly harassed by the second looks of others. Some said I was being too sensitive, too emotional. But I was confronted with a barrage of words that seemed foreign to me but native and powerful to my classmates and strangers.
Words such as “chink” and “gook,” “adopted” and “different.” It was difficult to find solace with my family, for they could not grasp or respond well to my antagonists, nor did they have the capacity to understand or explain what was happening.
In high school the bullying culminated in me being spit on and forced to confront the question of why being called a “chink” or “gook” bothered me so much. I have to admit that at the time, it was a fair question. Being adopted, I was not exactly Asian, and yet my physicality betrayed my familiar ties with my adopted last name, X.
In college things did change, though I still did not have a firm grip on my identity. I delved into the Asian American community in various ways by taking courses, speaking on panels, writing an article for the Asian-American Journal, volunteering at camps, and ultimately majoring in Japanese.
However, none of these things or these associations made me any more comfortable or Asian. I was being pulled by both ends, seemingly being forced to pick a side. During my undergraduate years, I chose the Asian side exclusively.
Without any regrets and much to my adoptive mother’s dismay and worry and perhaps fear that I would never come back, I boarded a flight alone, headed for the land of the morning calm, for Korea. I was bound for a place that at times seemed so familiar and so utterly like a fairytale. It proved to be both.
What I came to learn from that trip was that I could never truly or wholly be Korean or American. It was not as simple as “rejecting” a side. I would be perpetually in the middle. But I also realized the unique perspective on life that I was granted.
I took notice when people stereotyped Asian or Asian-American people. I took offense when Asian or Asian-American people stereotyped Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics. I became acutely aware of how language and physicality, how the mere misunderstanding created unwarranted hostility.
My perspective is not the same as a Korean or Korean-American or American. I do not look anything like my Irish-German mother or my Caucasian relatives, my mixed-race second cousins. But we are a family. And that is the point. I do not see color or race; I do not pass judgment so hastily; I do not expect one word to divulge everything.
I am an older applicant, someone who is weathered, but someone who believes that past experiences cannot be marginalized or ignored if I am to foster a more positive and tolerant future. I understand that I cannot change the world quickly or even entirely, that life is not fair. I know that people sometimes define others with a single word, a mere glance.
If granted the opportunity to attend X, I will bring a profound and deep perspective on the modern American life and the relationships it entails. I will offer a thoughtful and meditative process to the study of law. And with that knowledge, I aspire to continue in the capacity as an educator, writer, and adoptee by showing that we are not defined by one word or label but through our relationships with one another.
Last edited by fw22mk on Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Personal Statement Critique Request 2 (Edited) Thank You

Postby 2807 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:19 pm

I think it is pretty good. I would re-read it and watch for the passive voice. You can change a lot of those experiences to declarative sentences instead of reflections of the past. Declarative sentences are very powerful.

There is a mistake or weird phrasing towards the end where you say "I became acutely aware of..." that sentence is awkward to me. AND passive! haha. Say, "I AM acutely aware of..."

Otherwise I think it is good. Your point is: Being adopted into a white family as an Asian child, you have experienced good and bad, and it makes you a more tolerant and aware person-- and that will help you in the practice of law.

That is what I got from it.

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