first draft PS - pls critique, will be of equal help!

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haha456
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:23 pm

first draft PS - pls critique, will be of equal help!

Postby haha456 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:31 pm

I would greatly appreciate anyone reading this and relaying their thoughts. Obviously I would be more than happy to return the favor! Brutal honesty is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you!
_______________________________________________________________________________

In my heart I will always be a Moreno, but I was once uncomfortable with being a Moreno, with being Mexican. I have always been different from the rest of my family in that I have been focused on education and my studies for most of my life. My success has been the result of hard work and perseverance, and while this seems only natural it is absolutely anomalous in the Moreno family. My internal strain stemmed from a belief that I would be defined by my ethnicity and that this would somehow limit my opportunities and make it more difficult to fit in with what I considered the successful portion of society. I diffidently struggled with my identity as an intellectual and minority, trying to reconcile these two fundamental yet, in my opinion, seemingly opposite components. The journey to inhabit both worlds while refusing to be defined by either has shaped who I am today and set me on the path to law school.

My family has lived in San Bernardino County of California for over 100 years. It is one of the largest counties in the state and close to half of the population is Hispanic. My family is a large one considering my father has eleven siblings, yet I am only the second in my family to graduate college and only a second-generation Mexican-American. Many people hold certain negative views towards Hispanics in general, often using “Mexican” as an umbrella term for every Latino in America. Teenage pregnancy, drugs, gang violence, poverty, laziness, gardening, and domestic work have invaded the popular image and idea of the Hispanic. I never wanted to be put into that box of stereotypes; I did not want to be defined by the color of my skin. I suppose this was the root of my fear, that a kind, shy and hardworking female would be looked upon as nothing more than a future mother of nine, a future alcoholic, or a future paid domestic.

I understood that Hispanics were able to be successful and that these generalizations did not apply to everyone, but in the Moreno family there is a shortage on success. What I knew and what I witnessed each day were two separate and different things. In the past 5 years upwards of 13 children have been born into my family, many of my family receive some type of government aid, and few have pursued education after high school. While I did not necessarily fit into the category of drug dealer or pregnant teen, I felt trapped by the misconceptions towards Hispanics that pervaded American society.

When I went away to college I was wary of what others thought of me and of Mexican-Americans. For some I was the first Mexican-American they had ever encountered, others were minorities like me who were trying to find their way. It was in one of my very first American History classes that I was able to confront and transform my fear into understanding. My professor gave a brief lecture on American immigration trends, and afterward began calling on students to share their families’ personal history in America. When my name was called I related the story of my grandparents as some of the first Californians, adding as an afterthought that my grandfather was illegal until the day he died some 10 years ago. Others were instantly intrigued and with probing looks began to ask questions such as, “How was he allowed to stay here?” and “What sort of work did he do?” or “Were you ever afraid he’d be deported?” I had never considered these things, because truthfully there are many migrants in the county and many migrant children that attended my high school; I considered my grandfather’s story very common because in truth it is common. Yet I answered their questions by describing how he had made a family in the United States, how his children and grandchildren contributed to society by fighting in multiple wars, how the Morenos were more than just illegal immigrants.

It was in this moment that I understood the only way that I was ever going to be defined by a stereotype or a generalization was if I let others do so. This seems like such an obvious realization, something that is taught to everyone as a child, but for me there was a divide between understanding this principle and living by it. Conquering this separation has been instrumental in discerning my identity, because now I see that people rarely fit into any one world or characterization; we as people are complex and so much more than what we initially seem. I am so much more than my race and my education, and my family like many others, are more than the stereotypes that they seem to embody. I believe that what is truly important is that my internal struggle to reconcile my worlds has allowed me to create and live in my own.

I want to take this perspective and ally myself with the law. I love the law because it combats misconceptions by creating an even ground to defend oneself and others; it creates a fair system in which the only concern is justice. The idea that the law has no preconceived notions and no prejudices appeals to my sense of humanity and honesty; it is a system in which everyone is equal and entitled to the same rights and resources. I know what it is like to feel alienated, to feel like the entire world is against you and I can think of nothing nobler than to spend my career as an exponent for others that have felt limited or reduced to cruel and unfair ideas; I am ready to stand beside my client, against whatever world we face next.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: first draft PS - pls critique, will be of equal help!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:40 pm

Very sincere. Well written. It should work to help your law school applications.

jjlaw
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:43 pm

Re: first draft PS - pls critique, will be of equal help!

Postby jjlaw » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:43 pm

I really enjoyed reading this. You did a good job letting the reader get into your mind and learn about how you think. I think the last paragraph is a little on the corny side, but I don't think it hurts the overall essay. Good job!

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ShuckingNotJiving
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:24 am

Re: first draft PS - pls critique, will be of equal help!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:04 pm

So this reads well and is written well. No grammar issues or akward words. If I were to just skim cursorily, I would think "oh, how nice," and move on.

However, there are several extremely awkward ideas that make your thesis seem less convincing.

haha456 wrote:I diffidently struggled with my identity as an intellectual and minority, trying to reconcile these two fundamental yet, in my opinion, seemingly opposite components. The journey to inhabit both worlds while refusing to be defined by either has shaped who I am today and set me on the path to law school.


What on earth are you saying there? Being an intellectual and a minority are opposite components? WUT?? Perhaps you've let the negative stereotypes affect your mindset a little. Or maybe you just didn't use the right language. Whatever the case, work it out.

haha456 wrote:It was in this moment that I understood the only way that I was ever going to be defined by a stereotype or a generalization was if I let others do so. This seems like such an obvious realization, something that is taught to everyone as a child, but for me there was a divide between understanding this principle and living by it. Conquering this separation has been instrumental in discerning my identity, because now I see that people rarely fit into any one world or characterization; we as people are complex and so much more than what we initially seem. I am so much more than my race and my education, and my family like many others, are more than the stereotypes that they seem to embody. I believe that what is truly important is that my internal struggle to reconcile my worlds has allowed me to create and live in my own.



I feel as though this long paragraph could have been said in three sentences. The PS seems a little long as it is. I would cut this in half. And, I mean, c'mon the moment when you had these huge epiphianies about your IDENTITY came when your classmates asked you asinine questions about your uncle? That just seems forced and not genuine.



Again, you write wonderfully, your use of language is to be commended. But, since you've allowed me to be brutally honest: this PS is a bit of a Monet.




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