PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mlorinczj
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:50 pm

PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby mlorinczj » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:05 pm

I feel like it kinda lacks focus, drifts a little near the end. Let me know what you guys think, and the elevator line is just a placeholder for now.

I vividly remember the glassy look in her eyes as she clutched the manila envelope between her hand and chest. It worried me; I wanted to know why I was sitting at that table, why my brother and sister were also sitting at that table, why my mother was physically forcing back tears, and what horrors that envelope contained. She opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, I still remember the pain in the words that never made it. When she finally did manage to mutter that first sentence, the only words that reached my ears were “acoustic neuroma”. The envelope reared back its ugly flap and produced an x-ray, laid gently upon the table. I suddenly couldn’t stop the “oh-my-god-this-elevator-is-falling-too-fast!” feeling from taking control of my insides as I realized: my mom has a brain tumor.
Thirty nine years old, and she was possibly staring her own mortality straight in the face. The doctors believed it was not malignant, but had yet to make a positive diagnosis. It was difficult to process what I’d just been given, almost as if I had ten pounds of emotions to stuff into a five pound sack. I felt a sadness wash over me, and a riptide of despair tug at my soul. I couldn’t lose her, not yet. More so, she couldn’t lose us. There was so much she had yet to see, to experience, to accomplish. So many years that she’d planned to spend with her family and friends, all put into jeopardy the moment she received that slightly transparent image showing a foreign mass near the inside of her right ear.
A few months later I found myself perched nervously upon the very edge of a neatly made hotel bed, watching the 2003 MLB playoffs. It was the very first time I’d ever watched a baseball game, I didn’t know what else to do. A typhoon of emotions swirled in my head; unsure of whether I should be scared, happy, or just numb, I settled for nervous. My mom’s surgery was scheduled for the next morning at the Cleveland Clinic. The tumor was in fact benign, and yet I couldn’t take solace knowing that my mom’s skull would be opened in the coming hours.
Throughout the previous months I couldn’t help but relate my mom’s situation to that of her own mother’s, who died of lung cancer at the age of 49. I was 7 years old, and to this day I feel as though I was cheated out of a grandparent. My mom and my grandma were both so young in my eyes; it was hard for me to accept how fragile a human life actually is. We all expect to grow old, get married, have kids, and retire, living the American dream along the way. But sometimes life has other things in store for us, things that we are helpless to control.
I wrestled with these thoughts as my mom recovered over the next few weeks. I watched as she desperately hoped that her hearing would return within a couple days of the surgery, and I was there for her when the realization that she’d be partially deaf for the rest of her life settled in. Due to the damage to her inner ear, her balance was severely compromised in the beginning. I’d help her move from room to room, as a literal shoulder to lean on, all the while thinking about how absolutely lucky she was. It sounds crazy to say out loud; that a partially deaf woman with a half shaven head and the balance of a one-legged surf boarder could be lucky. But she was alive.
It turned me upside down, like an hour glass. If life was short, then I was going to do whatever I wanted until it was over. I didn’t register for classes the following semester, took a part time job at the airport, and moved out on my own. Every day grains of sand slid slowly through the bottleneck, piling in a pointed heap at the bottom. But what I perceived as the time I had on earth running out was actually the time I had to do something significant with my life, lest I end up waving orange flashlight cones at 727’s on the midnight shift for the rest of my life. That hourglass feeling has never completely left me, only usurped by determination; the determination to do something meaningful with the time that I have instead of selfishly wasting it away. I want to carry that determination with me into law school, and out the other side; into a world in which I can help right the wrongs of society and create a safer environment for our children.
My mom’s ordeal resonated with me in a way that changed my direction in life, and eventually led me to think of time as a gift as opposed to a right. I now plan to use that gift in a way that will make my mom proud, and show her how what she’s gone through has unwittingly inspired me to be a better me. I hope that with law, I can someday inspire somebody else to be a better them.

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

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:20 pm

Have you taken a creative writing class recently ?
The final paragraph is very weak.
Overall this essay is unlikely to help your law school applications since there is very little about you.

mlorinczj
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:50 pm

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby mlorinczj » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:36 pm

Never taken creative writing. Suggestions as far as the last paragraph go? I guess i don't know how else to explain how this experience impacted me without sounding redundant.

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

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:40 pm

Just delete the last paragraph & your essay will be improved.

mlorinczj
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:50 pm

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby mlorinczj » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:43 pm

i will literally do that

inmans
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:12 pm

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby inmans » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:43 pm

If any of admission committee members are fans of eastbound and down, then i'd say you're in...

TexasGE
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:06 pm

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby TexasGE » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:43 pm

I think you focus entirely too much on your Mom. What about YOU, what makes YOU a great potential law student?

Remove unnecessary information regarding watching the baseball game and waiting in the hotel room.

Elaborate much more on YOUR determination (like when you start to elaborate on not wanting to flash orange cones the rest of your life).

I also agree, delete the last paragraph.

Good Luck!

mlorinczj
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:50 pm

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby mlorinczj » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:12 pm

Thanks guys, i appreciate the help a lot. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

mlorinczj
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:50 pm

Re: PS first draft, let me know how bad it really is...

Postby mlorinczj » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:26 am

Here's a quick updated version, deleted 2 paragraphs and inserted slightly more about myself.


I vividly remember the glassy look in her eyes as she clutched the manila envelope between her hand and chest. It worried me; I wanted to know why I was sitting at that table, why my brother and sister were also sitting at that table, why my mother was physically forcing back tears, and what horrors that envelope contained. She opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, I still remember the pain in the words that never made it. When she finally did manage to mutter that first sentence, the only words that reached my ears were “acoustic neuroma”. The envelope reared back its ugly flap and produced an x-ray, laid gently upon the table. I suddenly couldn’t stop the “oh-my-god-this-elevator-is-falling-too-fast!” feeling from taking control of my insides as I realized: my mom has a brain tumor.
Thirty nine years old, and she was possibly staring her own mortality straight in the face. The doctors believed it was not malignant, but had yet to make a positive diagnosis. It was difficult to process what I’d just been given, almost as if I had ten pounds of emotions to stuff into a five pound sack. I felt a sadness wash over me, and a riptide of despair tug at my soul. I couldn’t lose her, not yet. More so, she couldn’t lose us. There was so much she had yet to see, to experience, to accomplish. So many years that she’d planned to spend with her family and friends, all put into jeopardy the moment she received that slightly transparent image showing a foreign mass near the inside of her right ear.
I couldn’t help but relate my mom’s situation to that of her own mother’s, who died of lung cancer at the age of 49. I was 7 years old, and to this day I feel as though I was cheated out of a grandparent. My mom and my grandma were both so young in my eyes; it was hard for me to accept how fragile a human life actually is. We all expect to grow old, get married, have kids, and retire, living the American dream along the way. But sometimes life has other things in store for us, things that we are helpless to control.
I wrestled with these thoughts while my mom recovered from the removal of her benign tumor. I watched as she desperately hoped that her hearing would return within a couple days of the surgery, and I was there for her when the realization that she’d be partially deaf for the rest of her life settled in. Due to the damage to her inner ear, her balance was severely compromised in the beginning. I’d help her move from room to room, as a literal shoulder to lean on, all the while thinking about how absolutely lucky she was. It sounds crazy to say out loud; that a partially deaf woman with a half shaven head and the balance of a one-legged surf boarder could be lucky, but she was alive.
It turned me upside down, like an hour glass. If life was short, then I was going to do whatever I wanted until it was over. I didn’t register for classes the following semester, took a part time job at the airport, and moved out on my own. Every day grains of sand slid slowly through the bottleneck, piling in a pointed heap at the bottom. But what I perceived as the time I had on earth running out was actually the time I had to do something significant with my life, lest I end up waving orange flashlight cones at 727’s on the midnight shift for the rest of my life. I wanted more, I was capable of more. The fact that there may never be a “later” drove me back into school, with a refound appreciation for the opportunities an education can award.
I have continued working throughout college to pay tuition, confidently knowing that my effort both in and out of school will eventually allow me to reach my goals. That hourglass feeling has never completely left me, only usurped by determination; the determination to do something meaningful with the time that I have instead of selfishly wasting it away. I want to carry that determination with me into law school, and out the other side; into a world in which I can help right the wrongs of society and create a safer environment for our children. As long as time allows, I have no doubt that I will succeed.




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