Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

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rostovru
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Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby rostovru » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:07 am

Be harsh. I literally just finished typing this after a moment of inspiration, and need all the help I can get. As follows:

I never meant to kill someone.

It was only after the smoke dissolved into the cold Middle Eastern air that I realized my finger had been responsible for bringing 26 years of eating, loving, hating and pooping to an end for someone who, although aggressive and undeniably dangerous, was a person all the same. Questions over the legitimacy of my actions raced through my mind. Despite the clear evidence that the man had pushed forward with malicious intent into territory I was charged to defend, his life was gone. There would be a mother, and probably a girlfriend, missing him tonight. He could not take back his actions or decision to become a violent extremist, and I could not take back mine.

The incident brought an immediate swell of self-examination over my mind. For some reason, I remembered most my childhood – in Indiana of all places – and how I had been the kid who never got into fights. Instead, you could have found me reading a book or playing school with the girl who lived down the street. Other kids called me ‘f****t’ since I had a hard time pronouncing ‘s’ and walked with a limp wrist. It failed to matter now that they were right in my being gay; just an unlikely caveat to my newfound persona as a killer.

Never did a question exist, in official eyes at least, over the correctness of my pulling the trigger. I had moved to Israel a year before, and as part of being a citizen, I, too, needed to carry my weight by serving in our military. Israel’s neighbors, even those with which it holds an official peace, have no interest in allowing it to exist without a fight. Certain realities and contingent rules of engagement exist, and as a soldier, I understood that I first needed to yell in Arabic at the trespasser to halt and turn away, and second, to wait until the trespasser ignored my words and chose to proceed with gunfire or the equivalent aimed at me. After those two options had been exhausted respectively, the burden lied with me to make the ultimate call.

Something closely following that moment changed. I looked in the mirror and saw the face of a man enlisted to a life of discipline, process, and fearlessness. I had always been bold, but never unstoppable. It seemed nothing else mattered, that the rest of the world could wait for me to make my point, highlight an error, or take on a task that would cause most people to experience heightened blood pressure and a brow covered in sweat. I had experienced the deepest depths of self-introspection, and survived.

That confrontation led me to push further into life than I had ever imagined. It could have stemmed from a desire to live for the man I killed, regardless of his hate for me, that I fought for truth, justice, and the powers of the limelight. In that vein, I became a TV news anchor and correspondent on Israeli TV, in part to fulfill my desire to expose the grim realities of life in our country, but also to change the future for Israel. But instead, I found myself retelling what had happened in ‘just the facts, sir’ mode rather than offering real solutions for a better future. I reported the height of violence during the Second Gaza War, but no one really cared. Israelis are already well aware of the harshness that accompanies life in the Middle East: My voice added nothing not already existent. I was not the policy-maker, but instead the nag following policy-makers asking annoying questions likely to be ignored.

Yet, I cared too much about Israel to ignore my irrelevant position vis-à-vis those making decisions: I knew I needed to join decision-makers rather than trumpet their actions. Georgetown, through its International and National Security Law Program, offers the most comprehensive tools available to students and the legal profession as a whole to participate in matters of international law. Faculty offer the highest expertise in areas relevant to my sphere of interest, such as international dispute resolution, civil procedure and human rights law. It is in that context that I hope to continue my journey by developing a powerful legal mind with the guidance of Georgetown’s unique offerings.
Last edited by rostovru on Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:41 am, edited 4 times in total.

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$1.99
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Re: PS Draft from soldier pursuing justice

Postby $1.99 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:14 am

it all flows well and i liked it a lot. it seems very genuine and down to earth even with the "risky" topic. however, i would like to know more about how these experiences changed you positively or what you learned from them. good luck!

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby CGI Fridays » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:45 am

I would remove the mention of "the next world." Even though you clarify your uncertainty of its existence I think it's still unnecessary.

Also, there's arguably no necessity in stamping out lives of perpetrators with desires that, if fulfilled, might lead them to lay down arms. I realize that this may be impractical in many cases, but still I feel the use of "necessity" without more elaboration is very, very risky. Certainly off-putting to me. Ya lost me on this first paragraph.

rostovru
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby rostovru » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:14 am

CGI Fridays wrote:Certainly off-putting to me. Ya lost me on this first paragraph.


No worries. If I lost you through two references in an otherwise compelling start, then it's probably too charged a topic to reflect on in a personal statement.

I understood there was a substantial risk in approaching the statement from something so intimate, and anything involving military action both personally and generally can produce negative reactions regardless of content.

I think it may be wise to shift topics, although I'm struggling to come up with an alternative that would hit key points of my background in an interesting and readable way.

I'm sure adcoms will be sick and tired of hearing about the 1000th person who found the answer to life's pursuits while doing Habitat for Humanity. It's a great cause, but you have to have something that gets adcoms' attention.

What do you think? Any suggestions for another approach that would eliminate objectionable premises?

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby CGI Fridays » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:38 am

It had nothing to do with the topic.
I was clear about my reasons for being put off.

rostovru
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby rostovru » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:44 am

rostovru wrote:
CGI Fridays wrote:Certainly off-putting to me. Ya lost me on this first paragraph.


If I lost you through two references in an otherwise compelling start, then it's probably too charged a topic to reflect on in a personal statement.

I understood there was a substantial risk in approaching the statement from something so intimate, and anything involving military action both personally and generally can produce negative reactions regardless of content.

I think it may be wise to shift topics, although I'm struggling to come up with an alternative that would hit key points of my background in an interesting and readable way.

I'm sure adcoms will be sick and tired of hearing about the 1000th person who found the answer to life's pursuits while doing Habitat for Humanity. It's a great cause, but you have to have something that gets adcoms' attention.

What do you think? Any suggestions for another approach that would eliminate objectionable premises?


You were indeed clear. I lost you on two references. Thanks for pointing out the destructive nature of those references, though. I certainly wouldn't want to keep them and run the risk of making an adcom not finish more than three lines.

***correction - one reference and one word usage***

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby CGI Fridays » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:53 am

I'm not sure why you're highlighting "two references."
I was just saying that those two references aren't necessarily tied to the topic, & thus you don't have to take my reaction as cause to change topics.

rostovru
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby rostovru » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:05 am

CGI Fridays wrote:I'm not sure why you're highlighting "two references."
I was just saying that those two references aren't necessarily tied to the topic, & thus you don't have to take my reaction as cause to change topics.


I'm rather asking you how I can get you to read further.

I'm making the assumption that the reference and word usage inspired a negative reaction strong enough to make you not proceed beyond the first paragraph. That's valuable feedback.

The willingness to abandon so quickly also brings into question whether it was just a reference and word usage that caused you to leave early on. Did the topic, and where you predicted I was going with it, play a secondary role?

The reason I ask is that 'in the next world' is a reference I hadn't even noticed until you pointed it out, and although I didn't mean it to be religious, it certainly comes across that way on a second read. The usage of necessity may indeed require further explanation; however, further explanation would hinge on an argument pertaining to the overall validity of rules of engagement rather than how my actions serve to illustrate a defining moment to the adcom.

I'm debating this issue as I, like anyone else, have no interest putting forth an essay that demobilizes my application based on the context of an experience. Should I cut the military section, although it makes up the majority of the statement, out? Is it too risky?

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby CGI Fridays » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:14 am

rostovru wrote:The willingness to abandon so quickly also brings into question whether it was just a reference and word usage that caused you to leave early on. Did the topic, and where you predicted I was going with it, play a secondary role?


No.

rostovru
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby rostovru » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:25 am

CGI Fridays wrote:
rostovru wrote:The willingness to abandon so quickly also brings into question whether it was just a reference and word usage that caused you to leave early on. Did the topic, and where you predicted I was going with it, play a secondary role?


No.


Ok. Do you typically not read beyond a disagreeable reference and/or word usage?

I'm looking for constructive advice, and trying to isolate the problem. It concerns me that the reference and word were so off-putting that you stopped reading almost immediately. It usually takes more than that for such a strong reaction.

Overall feedback?

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bringbackfirefly
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby bringbackfirefly » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:33 am

Really quickly, in the first paragraph I would remove everything after the first sentence. That makes the opening much more powerful, and you discuss the ethical dilemma in the next paragraph, so I'm not sure you need to stress your ambivalence in the first paragraph.

rostovru
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby rostovru » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:34 am

bringbackfirefly wrote:Really quickly, in the first paragraph I would remove everything after the first sentence. That makes the opening much more powerful, and you discuss the ethical dilemma in the next paragraph, so I'm not sure you need to stress your ambivalence in the first paragraph.


You're right. That totally works wonders... Changing it now....

Thanks.

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bringbackfirefly
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Re: Soldier pursuing justice, PS draft

Postby bringbackfirefly » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:42 am

rostovru wrote:
You're right. That totally works wonders... Changing it now....

Thanks.


No problem. Good luck, dude.




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