Eager to receive your honest critiques!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Eager to receive your honest critiques!

Postby downing » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:53 pm

Still thinking of ways to conclude this statement... And is the length appropriate?

I want to go to law school, and I want to be a lawyer. It was during my last two years of college that I realized law school is a good fit for my abilities and personality. Moreover, having spent over two years as an English teacher in Korea, I’ve acquired enough academic and professional experience to stand out amongst the crowd as an accomplished individual, and equally as important: as an individual who has shown a vested interest in society. A few unique transitions in my life have assisted me in concluding that a legal education, amongst the sea of available possibilities, is the one I am most suited for.
When I was five my father decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest to pack up and begin living the life of a farm family, from that of an affluent existence in California. Until I turned eleven, we lived in relative poverty, tended to cattle, and raised and subsisted on much of our own food. We lived in a logging area called Ash Valley, and we dealt with conditions far from idyllic. In a place like Ash Valley, your neighbors are often separated by the space of several miles, and your livelihood is directly affected by unpredictable swings of weather. It’s a regular wilderness. Because I knew so few people, and was often left to come up with my forms of entertainment, I would spend most of my time outdoors exploring my immediate natural surroundings, or indoors reading. I became intensely curious about other people, and dreamt of having a group of friends, and going to a public school (I was home schooled) somewhere in the city. Even to this day I take a strong interest in the welfare of others.

My family was offered a fortuitous lifeline. The lifeline took the form of an offer to buy the farm for a remarkable price; a price that we agreed to. Selling the farm enabled all of us to return to California, and for my father to set up his private practice again. I thought that once we returned to California I’d be put into a public school, take normal classes, and finally be a part of the wonderful world of normal activities – anything but the notoriously rainy weather of Oregon, erratic cattle, and home school, would be fine and easy to deal with. My early preconceptions were quickly shattered.

Still in my formative years, and upon moving to California, my father along with the rest of my family converted to Judaism. Being put into a highly orthodox Jewish school, straight from living in a purely secular environment, was a formidable challenge; and it was a challenge I’d have to deal with on a daily basis until graduating from high school. Two of my qualities added to the difficulty of the challenge: the first is my being ethnically half Japanese and half white, in a predominately white and Middle Eastern setting. On the basic level of ethnicity, I was perceived of as different. Also, as a convert I was conferred special status. While it meant that others treated me with greater leniency regarding my observance of certain Jewish laws and precepts, it also added to my continuous feeling of social alienation. I was never treated in a hateful manner, but I knew, even in my atypical situation, I was considered an oddity. I intimately understood what was going on, but I took it in stride and maintained a healthy attitude through it all. During high school I spent my free time engaged in the study of art, Hebrew/Aramaic, Japanese, various religious texts (Torah, Chumash, and the Gemarah and its adjuncts), intense private violin lessons, and in learning the game of Go. I also acquired a lasting interest in physical fitness. What those pursuits required of me was a tangible capacity to focus what I considered my strongest feelings, whether positive or not, into productive and mindful disciplines.

I’ve now been living and teaching English in Korea for over two years. What I learned early in my life has been instrumental in assisting me in my academic studies in college, and in the workplace. What I learned were myriad ways in which to calibrate my hopes and feelings toward fruitful ends. As a salient example of this, I formed a teaching center with a friend of mine in Korea, and have been running it for several months now. What sets me apart here is how uncommon it is for American educators in Korea to be an integral part of a school’s formation. I started off like many others; I was contracted to work for a corporate after school academy. Eventually I became sure that I could do a better job running an academy than my superiors at the corporate academy, and the following ensued: I resigned from the corporate academy, teamed up with a small group of English teachers and Koreans interested in the project, and started my own school. While in the planning and creation process I put into play what I had learned as a child, as an adolescent, and as a young adult. What’s more is that I received ample opportunity to apply my analytical side and my social side to the task - indeed, both analysis and sociability were necessary to employ in various key respects: in discussing the progress of each child, and the direction our classes were going in, frequent teacher-parent meetings were necessary; and in putting everything on paper, selecting the right material, and quietly planning the development of each course, thoughtful analysis was necessary.

My experiences growing up, and those most recent, have made me confident that I’ll be able to positively contribute as a student and scholar of the Fordham University School of Law.

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Re: Eager to receive your honest critiques!

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:05 pm

Most everything that I've read about law school Ps's says you need to tell a story. They can see that you've taught English in Korea from your resume. . . tell them a story about something that happened there.

They may not know you grew up on a farm for a long time, maybe tell them a story about what happened there.

While you are supposed to talk up your strong points, listing them like this is not really the intent of the PS.

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Re: Eager to receive your honest critiques!

Postby Mike12188 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:33 pm

I stopped after reading that first sentence. Immediately get rid of it.

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