I need help fixing this ONE sentence that has been driving me crazy- I really hope someone can help because I feel like it will give my whole PS a different tone. Feel free to skip down if you don't feel like reading the whole thing- basically, what I am trying to say in that one sentence is: The anecdote I am refering to didn't give me the idea of studying law. I've thought about it my whole life and really, the event was a catalyst to pushing me to do something that I'm qualified for and I've considered. Now, if only I could fit that information in one powerful topic sentence into the context of my essay and say it eloquently and in the same tone as the rest....Ahhhh! Can anyone help? (I've been looking at this essay for 2 weeks so maybe the solution is really simple, but it is driving me crazy)
When I was in kindergarten, the school principal told my mother I would have a wonderful career as a translator. She had overheard me talking to my grandmother and a friend’s father, arranging a playdate for myself. My grandmother, who was born in Afghanistan and didn’t speak English, often relied on me for her everyday tasks. On weekends, I accompanied her on trips to the grocery store and I translated the evening news into Farsi. From a young age, I’ve understood the power of words. I realized that an otherwise intelligent person can be susceptible to injustice due to their inability to grasp a particular language. Ultimately, my childhood exposure to this reality shaped me into the person that I am today.
After I graduated college, I worked as a magazine and copy editor, a freelance newspaper writer and a social media expert. I was applying my degree into developing the career I thought I wanted. It was working for my father, however, that revealed my interest in advocacy.
My father, an Afghan-American businessman, travels frequently to Afghanistan and communicates with officials in English between his trips. Despite the fact that he has lived in the United States for almost 25 years, he has elementary knowledge of the language. So, when I moved back home after college with a writing degree, I became my father’s unofficial secretary.
As the oldest of my parents’ five children, I had become their de facto ambassador to all things American early on. In high school, we learned what the SAT was together. Later, as the first member of my family to enter college, it was my job to convince my parents it was appropriate for an Afghan girl to move across the country for her education. When my younger sisters entered middle school, I started picking their classes with them. Later, working with my father, I created a hybrid job for myself and discovered unrealized strengths: I became a translator, writer, editor and champion for causes I hadn’t previously explored.
In the summer of 2010, en route to Afghanistan via Germany, my father called us during a layover. As we listened to my father, whose anger I had experienced many times but his embarrassment I’d never encountered, I tried to fight the wave of pity that engulfed me.
Despite the fact that my father had reserved seats near the front of the plane, the airline had inexplicably moved him to the very last row of seats. When he asked why, he was met with hostility and blatant racial discrimination: From mocking mispronunciations of his name to taunts at his spoken English, the airline had done everything they could to humiliate my father. They even warned him: “Sir, if you ask one more question, you will be thrown off this flight.”
As I fumed on the other end of the phone, my father asked me to call the airline the next day to find out what had happened.
“We need you to call because you don’t have an accent, so they will take you seriously,” he said.
Nineteen years after kindergarten, I was relearning the power of words. I called the airline the next day, a faceless woman with an uncontroversial name, speaking flawless English and somehow still expecting resistance. Over the next two hours, however, I received apologies from three heads of the airline, who sheepishly expressed their regret. Their apologies were shallow and did nothing to lessen the sheer injustice of the situation, or the little attention these unfortunately common incidents receive.
I won’t lie and say this is the only moment I considered becoming a lawyer. I have always excelled in and enjoyed the legal nuts and bolts: reading and writing. This, in addition to growing up in an Afghan community within American society, has consistently led me to consider human rights advocacy. Although my current career as a journalist has offered me the opportunity to learn more about people than I’d ever imagined, I would like to wield the power of words in a more meaningful way. As a human rights advocate, I want to change circumstances through the law on behalf of the mis- and under-represented in society.
As a lawyer, my work in human rights will draw on my own experiences as both an Afghan and an American. I am American in my belief that anyone can succeed, but I am Afghan in my stubbornness to prove my own success. I am American in my ability to sympathize with all types of people, but I’m Afghan in my deeper understanding of what it feels like to be sympathized with.
I know what it is like to work with people who are disadvantaged, whether that disadvantage manifests itself through social misunderstanding, a language discrepancy, or economic or political differences. While my interest in international relations reaches back to my college studies, I am more interested in the law as it relates to individuals. I am fluent in three languages (English, Farsi and Spanish) and I think this, with the addition of a law degree, will ultimately lead me to Amnesty International and The Center for Justice & Accountability.
In my life, I have witnessed myriad situations become muddled due to cross-language miscommunication. Justice, however, does not have to be lost in translation.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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