I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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FishOil
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I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby FishOil » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:48 pm

The restaurant is dim but not dark, lit by multi-colored bronzed lamps and table candles. It is slightly hazy from hookah smoke and there is a vibrant cultural music playing in the background. I am fourteen years old and am standing in the doorway of my aunt Jenn’s Hong Kong based Egyptian restaurant Habibi. During the day the restaurant is simple and quiet, but now the place is alive, lined with extravagant couches partially veiled for privacy; the music is loud and an olive skinned woman belly dances seductively. I turn and meet my aunt’s husband Hasni, undoubtedly the inspiration for Habibi, which means “beloved” in Egyptian. The stern look on his face tells me that I am not supposed to be here, but it melts into a broad smile and he claps me on the shoulder. After being overwhelmed with falafel, hummos, and a brief taste of the coarse hookah tobacco, he leads me back to the apartment that I have escaped from, promising a surprise in the morning.

The cool, crisp air hits my face and begins to stir me from my awkward dormant state, but it is the atmosphere that awakens me, the streets are breathing. Crates are being unloaded, fish is being prepared, merchants yell instructions and negotiate orders; the sun is just beginning to rise, Hasni and I spend it wading through Tai Po Market. I am fascinated by the market, the overspill of colors and blending of aromas envelop my senses. Hasni explains to me that the food comes from all over; olives from Cameroon, goat cheese flown from Italy, eggplant from Chinese farms. Fresh international ingredients that chef Jenn will turn into Halloumi and Mussaka. As he explains to me about commerce and trade a passion is born.

....... So I don't really know where I am going with this, would like a little help. Did you like the opening at least?

Extra information: This event is what led me to my studies of Business Economics and International Studies in Undergrad. I am looking at a law field that encompasses this (maybe trade law or something?) and am also interested at getting a joint JD/MA in Econ.

I have strong "free market" views and love FOOD :)..... please help lol

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FishOil
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby FishOil » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:38 pm

Bump :(

slg123
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby slg123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:03 pm

it kind of sets up like a diversity statement. If you're going to go with blending into an essay about the transition from business economics to law school then I would say to make the opening much shorter. If you keep it like this, you'll have to condense the meat of the essay instead.
I don't know if this helps, but I can't exactly tell you what to write :P

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FishOil
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby FishOil » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:09 pm

Yes that does help :) I see what you mean. Maybe I should cut out the whole restaurant scene and just start at the market?

slg123
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby slg123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:30 pm

that would probably work. I'm a big fan of just writing everything and then cutting, but I do foresee you cutting much of that, so you could just do it now.

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Flips88
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby Flips88 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:48 pm

Any one else find the tense chosen as awkward? You might consider rewriting it in the past tense. Also, isn't "habibi" Arabic? and are Egyptian and Arabic distinct languages?

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FishOil
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby FishOil » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:55 pm

Thanks SLG

Thanks Flips. You're right about habibi being Arabic. "Egyptian Arabic" is a variety of Arabic.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:10 pm

You're a good writer, but this feels more like a short story than a personal statement. It could make a decent intro, but it would have to be much shorter. Maybe cut the first paragraph entirely. When you do launch into your market-loving spiel, take care not to be too ideological.

eve2490
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:00 am

Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby eve2490 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:09 pm

FishOil wrote:The restaurant is dim but not dark, lit by multi-colored bronzed lamps and table candles. It is slightly hazy from hookah smoke and there is a vibrant cultural music playing in the background. I am fourteen years old and am standing in the doorway of my aunt Jenn’s Hong Kong based Egyptian Arabic restaurant, Habibi. During the day the restaurant is simple and quiet, but now the place is alive, lined with extravagant couches partially veiled for privacy; the music is loud and an olive skinned woman belly dances seductively. I turn and meet my aunt’s husband Hasni, undoubtedly the inspiration for Habibi, which means “beloved” in Egyptian. The stern look on his face tells me that I am not supposed to be here, but it melts into a broad smile and he claps me on the shoulder. After being overwhelmed with falafel, hummos, and a brief taste of the coarse hookah tobacco, he leads me back to the apartment that I have escaped from, promising a surprise in the morning.

The cool, crisp air hits my face and begins to stir me from my awkward dormant state, but it is the atmosphere that awakens me; the streets are breathing. Crates are being unloaded, fish is being prepared, merchants yell instructions and negotiate orders;. The sun is just beginning to rise as Hasni and I spend it wading wade through Tai Po Market. I am fascinated by the market, the overspill of colors, and the blending of aromas thatenvelop my senses. Hasni explains to me that the food comes from all over; olives from Cameroon, goat cheese flown from Italy, eggplant from Chinese farms. Fresh international ingredients that chef Jenn will turn into Halloumi and Mussaka Technically, this is kind of a fragment. As he explains to me about commerce and trade, a passion is born.-You better have something amazing and powerful to say to begin your next paragraph!

....... So I don't really know where I am going with this, would like a little help. Did you like the opening at least?

Extra information: This event is what led me to my studies of Business Economics and International Studies in Undergrad. I am looking at a law field that encompasses this (maybe trade law or something?) and am also interested at getting a joint JD/MA in Econ.

I have strong "free market" views and love FOOD :)..... please help lol




I think you are on the right path. Hmm maybe do away with the first paragraph but keep a few key sentences and then transition into that lovely morning. I like your use of imagery although I am not quite sure where you are going with it. Sit down and think about the things that happened over time after that convers. with Hasni. I think you have great potential to show how this experience led you to your future studies. You sound like you have direction (according to your comments) and let that reflect through your piece. You have the ability to trace this theme of food and world markets and business throughout the essay and I think that will make ur essay strong. Decide on what's worthwhile to talk about after introducing your newfound passion- your future studies in bus eco/int studies? did you go on to do something great in this sort of field or have you been able to get involved? and you should deff. be able to tie in to the concl. how you want to further explore international relations and business in your profession. But deff., the first pagraph is a little "forgettable" because although you paint the picture it's not something you're really going to revisit and what's really important is that Tai Po market! Do some research on how people incorporate law with the free market and blah blah. Maybe how you admire the WTO, jk =P

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crysmissmichelle
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Re: I don't know where I am going with this... PS Beginning

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:27 am

Does the "surprise" have anything to do with the market the next day? The imagery for the first paragraph is nice, but the 'voice' a bit strange. . .you'd have to maintain that throughout the essay or give it a reason for it to work.

But the imagery for the first paragraph sets the reader up for something big. . . so it is a good start if you can make it relate.




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