PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
313D313
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm

PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:00 am

First draft. Feeling stuck and not sure if i need to add more. Be as harsh as you want. I will look at yours as well if you would like, just let me know.

Thank you.

“Who invented bad words?” My seven year old sister’s question jolted me back to reality. It was five p.m on this cold, snowy, Michigan afternoon. I had less than an hour to get my four siblings back home from school and make it in time for my evening class. No time for day dreaming. As traffic crept along slowly, I began to feel the ten hours of driving earlier for work taking a slow but tiring effect on my body.

“Oscar! You did not tell us who invented bad words!” It was the other seven year old. They were twins and knew how to work together as a team. “Let me think about it, and I will tell you when we get home”. My answer was sufficient to put the question to rest, at least for now. Kids have a great memory.

My twin sisters were born when I was sixteen years old. They joined a vibrant family of five children and two parents. Their addition gave me two more younger siblings, a ton of responsibility, infinite love, and invaluable lessons. With five younger siblings I learned from a young age what sacrifice meant. For many of my friends, having their first car meant trips to the ball park, late night adventures, dates, and freedom! I learned how far our home in the inner city was from the private school in the suburbs where my younger siblings attended school. I learned what time management meant. I began to understand from a young age why gas prices were a big deal.

From the minute I set foot on campus at the University of ………, I attended full time while also working on a full time basis. In addition to this, I was responsible for transporting my younger siblings to school and back on a daily basis. Our rides home together were more than long trips filled with congested traffic, news reports on the radio, and 3 different highways. We played “I spy”, learned multiplication, shared stories and so much more. I was their older brother, their source of endless knowledge and deep pockets. I was supposed to know the answer to “who invented bad words” for the seven year old twins while helping my 14 year old sister with her biology assignment and remembering to purchase their favorite candy whenever pumping gas.

My responsibility toward my twin sisters along with my love for them causes me to spend a great deal of time with them. As I have watched them grow I have grown along with them. Dealing with them on a daily basis has been an effective lesson in patience and negotiation skills. Many times it is harder to negotiate with a child then an adult. You have to be able to approach the situation from their perspective and convince them that they are benefiting from the exchange. It is a lot harder than it sounds.

Learning to balance my full schedule with the hectic lifestyle of a family of nine was a challenging task. I have always believed that family comes first, but my conviction would come under attack many times as I struggled to stay on track with my school work, work schedule, and family responsibilities. Mornings that began before the earliest rays of lights made it easier for the doubt to creep in to my heart. “You need to focus on yourself Oscar, you cannot do this anymore.” I heard this voice many times, quiet and in the back of my head.

Nevertheless, I kept that voice silent. My mother’s soothing voice and her early morning tea always strengthened my resolve. My father’s early rise to warm our cars and scrape the ice off the windshield reminded me of their struggle. My parents left their country and families with nothing but a dream of a better life for their children. A quick trip down memory lane reminds me of the various odd jobs my father held to feed the family and provide the best conditions so I could further my education. My parents have worked tirelessly to put me in the position I am today. They have done more than enough and the rest is on me.

While the responsibility of five younger siblings has taught me a great deal, so has my work experience. I began working when I was just 14 years old. By the time I was a senior in high school, 40 hour weeks were the norm. From a young age I understood I was the “oldest” and I was expected to carry my own weight. Nothing comes easy when you come from a family of nine. While it is easy to remember the long days and sleepless nights, the crammed planners and the two page to do lists, and the pressure of being the oldest. It is impossible to change who I have become or to forget the lessons: the journey can mean more; patience is priceless; organization is necessary, and communication is essential.

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:25 am

Anybody?

I will swap as well.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:59 am

Very good except for the last two "sentences". The second to last is not a complete sentence, while the final sentence constitutes a weak & disappointing ending.

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Very good except for the last two "sentences". The second to last is not a complete sentence, while the final sentence constitutes a weak & disappointing ending.



Thanks for the advice. I also feel like i need a much stronger conclusion. I am working on it.

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:50 pm

anyone else...?

manifresh
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby manifresh » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:07 pm

it's very good. I have a few suggestions. Try not to use too many words to describe simple things, at times it comes across as trying to hard
for example:
"Mornings that began before the earliest rays of lights made it easier for the doubt to creep in to my heart."

also the follow sentence doesnt really describe any struggle. I grew up in Canada and this was daily routine for the entire country:
"My father’s early rise to warm our cars and scrape the ice off the windshield reminded me of their struggle"

Also, I would discuss more about the ideas in your last paragraph regarding your long working hours in highschool

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:48 pm

manifresh wrote:it's very good. I have a few suggestions. Try not to use too many words to describe simple things, at times it comes across as trying to hard
for example:
"Mornings that began before the earliest rays of lights made it easier for the doubt to creep in to my heart."

also the follow sentence doesnt really describe any struggle. I grew up in Canada and this was daily routine for the entire country:
"My father’s early rise to warm our cars and scrape the ice off the windshield reminded me of their struggle"

Also, I would discuss more about the ideas in your last paragraph regarding your long working hours in highschool


Thank you

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:55 pm

Would love to hear from others. Please help, i will return the favor.

peterb0y
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby peterb0y » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:58 pm

reading now, will update with my comments... mind reading my why duke? just made the thread, thx

My initial thoughts:
Very well written. To be honest, the "story" you present is not nearly as interesting as many stories I've read on TLs, yet yours was more engaging than a good portion of these. I really like the first 2 paragraphs, they set a nice tone for the PS.

I was unclear as to why this responsibility of driving the siblings to school fell on you- maybe elaborate?

Also, you don't mention law school/ your ability to succeed there- maybe edit your final paragraph to include this?

You subtly throw in the fact that you are from the inner city; I think you should elaborate on this, in a way that would logically make sense for the themes you are trying to present in this work
Last edited by peterb0y on Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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2807
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 2807 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:06 pm

Nice. Good job.

George Carlin invented bad words. Look it up.

The second to last sentence:.... "two-page" (needs hyphen)

How about a last sentence that bookends the experience with the twins. That is a great theme in there. How about... "And when dealing with inquisitive twins, be prepared for anything"

Maybe too cute? but, it gives a nice vibe to your voice and your message....

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:08 pm

peterb0y wrote:reading now, will update with my comments... mind reading my why duke? just made the thread, thx

My initial thoughts:
Very well written. To be honest, the "story" you present is not nearly as interesting as many stories I've read on TLs, yet yours was more engaging than a good portion of these. I really like the first 2 paragraphs, they set a nice tone for the PS.

I was unclear as to why this responsibility of driving the siblings to school fell on you- maybe elaborate?

Also, you don't mention law school/ your ability to succeed there- maybe edit your final paragraph to include this?


Thank you for your input. I am currently working on a better conclusion and i am trying to tie my ablility to succed in law school into it. I will read your WHY Duke.

TexasGE
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby TexasGE » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:18 pm

I really like this, and I think it really showcases your potential succes as a law student. I think paragraph 7 is your strongest and it really catches your audiences attention. For some reason I feel like a lot of your sentences are 'short' - perhaps you are doing this to emphasize their meaning, to have the thought linger...?

I also agree regarding the last paragraph and conclusion.

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ads222
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby ads222 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:03 pm

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I don't think you need to include anything about why you want to go to law school, or why you'd be a good law student. (I didn't write about either of these things in my PS or DS, and I've had a lot of success so far.)

You sound like a competent (I mean this nicely, not like, in a patronizing way), hard-working person, and your essay is already cohesive. Sure, you have a few things you could remove (I'd either remove the last-paragraph mention of work or move it earlier in the essay, and I'd take out the "it's much harder than it sounds" thing), but you have a theme here, and it's nice. To add in some "this is why I want to go to law school" sentence would disrupt the flow and, I think, make it harder for you to improve your closing.

Saltqjibo
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby Saltqjibo » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:31 pm

Pretty good, but I will offer this criticism.

I didn't like the 'poor me' part at the beggining where you talk about how your friends were enjoying their freedom while you were burdened by having to drive you little sisters to private school. Think of how this might read right after an essay from someone growing up in real poverty.

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:23 pm

Saltqjibo wrote:Pretty good, but I will offer this criticism.

I didn't like the 'poor me' part at the beggining where you talk about how your friends were enjoying their freedom while you were burdened by having to drive you little sisters to private school. Think of how this might read right after an essay from someone growing up in real poverty.


Thank you for your input. I feared it would come off that way and i was trying to avoid that. I was trying to show a difference that really existed between me and my friends.

Any ideas on how to write it better without coming off like that?

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:02 am

2nd draft. Redid the conclusion.

Thoughts?


“Who invented bad words?” My seven year old sister’s question jolted me back to reality. It was five p.m on this cold, snowy, Michigan afternoon. I had less than an hour to get my four siblings back home from school and make it in time for my evening class. No time for day dreaming. As traffic crept along slowly, I began to feel the ten hours of driving earlier for work taking a slow but tiring effect on my body.

“Oscar! You did not tell us who invented bad words!” It was the other seven year old. They were twins and knew how to work together as a team. “Let me think about it, and I will tell you when we get home”. My answer was sufficient to put the question to rest, at least for now. Kids have a great memory.

My twin sisters were born when I was sixteen years old. They joined a vibrant family of five children and two parents. Their addition gave me two more younger siblings, a ton of responsibility, infinite love, and invaluable lessons. With five younger siblings I learned from a young age what sacrifice meant. For many of my friends, having their first car meant trips to the ball park, late night adventures, dates, and freedom! I learned how far our home in the inner city was from the private school in the suburbs where my younger siblings attended school. I learned what time management meant. I began to understand from a young age why gas prices were a big deal.

From the minute I set foot on campus at the University of Michigan Dearborn, I attended full time while also working on a full time basis. In addition to this, I was responsible for transporting my younger siblings to school and back on a daily basis. Our rides home together were more than long trips filled with congested traffic, news reports on the radio, and 3 different highways. We played “I spy”, learned multiplication, shared stories and so much more. I was their older brother, their source of endless knowledge and deep pockets. I was supposed to know the answer to “who invented bad words” for the seven year old twins while helping my 14 year old sister with her biology assignment and remembering to purchase their favorite candy whenever pumping gas.

My responsibility toward my twin sisters along with my love for them causes me to spend a great deal of time with them. As I have watched them grow I have grown along with them. Dealing with them on a daily basis has been an effective lesson in patience and negotiation skills. Many times it is harder to negotiate with a child then an adult. You have to be able to approach the situation from their perspective and convince them that they are benefiting from the exchange. It is a lot harder than it sounds.

Learning to balance my full schedule with the hectic lifestyle of a family of nine was a challenging task. I have always believed that family comes first, but my conviction would come under attack many times as I struggled to stay on track with my school work, work schedule, and family responsibilities. Mornings that began before the earliest rays of lights made it easier for the doubt to creep in to my heart. “You need to focus on yourself Oscar, you cannot do this anymore.” I heard this voice many times, quiet and in the back of my head.

Nevertheless, I kept that voice silent. My mother’s soothing voice and her early morning tea always strengthened my resolve. My father’s early rise to warm our cars and scrape the ice off the windshield reminded me of their struggle. My parents left their country and families with nothing but a dream of a better life for their children. A quick trip down memory lane reminds me of the various odd jobs my father held to feed the family and provide the best conditions so I could further my education. My parents have worked tirelessly to put me in the position I am today. They have done more than enough and the rest is on me.

While the responsibility of five younger siblings has taught me a great deal, so has my work experience. I began working when I was just 14 years old. By the time I was a senior in high school, 40 hour weeks were the norm. Working at such a young age provided with me with real world experience early on. At a young age I began to develop valuable interpersonal skills that I continue to hone and that will serve me well as a lawyer.

It will always be easy to remember the long days and the sleepless nights, the crammed planners, and the two-page to do lists. But it is impossible to change who I have become or to forget the lessons i learned along the way. I may not always have the answer to "who invented bad words?" or the million other questions the brilliant mind of a seven year old can conjure, but i know i will always be there for them.
Last edited by 313D313 on Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:51 am

Anybody??

Please help i will return the favor.

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:02 pm

somebody??

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2807
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 2807 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:40 pm

I like the other one better! ugh.

I really like the "nothing comes easy in a family of nine" that says a lot.

The other one is strong, just needs one more line or so to wrap it up and link it tightly to the paragraphs above it. You shifted the entire thing to you being there for the kids and away from your experiences at the very end. Not sure you want to leave the reader with that.

Maybe a hybrid of the two?

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:54 pm

2807 wrote:I like the other one better! ugh.

I really like the "nothing comes easy in a family of nine" that says a lot.

The other one is strong, just needs one more line or so to wrap it up and link it tightly to the paragraphs above it. You shifted the entire thing to you being there for the kids and away from your experiences at the very end. Not sure you want to leave the reader with that.

Maybe a hybrid of the two?


Thanks for your input. My sister said the same thing lol. ill try it again.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:55 pm

your name changed from Oscar to Yasser in the two essays.


make sure your punctuation marks are INSIDE the quotation marks.


313D313 wrote:They were twins and knew how to work together as a team. “Let me think about it, and I will tell you when we get home”.


imo, writing a law school ps with punctuation marks outside of quotations is the equivalent to walking around some posh event full of v important people with your fly open.

ie not a good look

i find your essay heartwarming, endearing even. dig your thesis. it's clear you love your fam. hardworking, dedicated. it works.

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PolarBear
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby PolarBear » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:08 am

I tend to agree the period belongs inside the quote, and I don't know what your intentions are and which schools you are applying to, but I do know that Asha from Yale explicitly wrote a long passage about putting the period inside; apparently she is extremely in favor of the period inside the quote method. Of course, Asha is only one Adcom, but I tend to believe this is a universal rule held, and you can't go wrong by placing the period inside the quotation, but can irritate some by placing the period on the outside of the quotation.

Here's the link if you'd like to take a look yourself. Her other articles are quite interesting and informative as well if you find some downtime!
http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... users.aspx

Other than that, I really liked the personal statement and wish you the best of luck on your cycle when you choose to apply!

313D313
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Re: PS...TLS wisdom needed!!

Postby 313D313 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:55 am

Everybody has been super helpful. Hoping this is my final draft.


“Who invented bad words?” My seven year old sister’s question jolted me back to reality. It was five p.m on this cold, snowy, Michigan evening. I had less than an hour to drive my four siblings home from school and make it in time for my evening class. No time for day dreaming. As traffic crept along slowly, I felt the ten hours incurred earlier at work slowly taking a toll on my body.

“Oscar! You did not tell us who invented bad words!” It was my other seven year old sister. As twins, they knew very well how to work in tandem. “Let me think about it, and I will tell you when we get home.” My answer was sufficient to put the question to rest, at least for now. Kids have a great memory.

My twin sisters were born when I was sixteen years old. They joined a vibrant family of five children and two parents. Along with the endless love and joy that only children can bring, came invaluable lessons in responsibility and sacrifice. Growing up in a family of nine requires one to learn the value of altruism at an early age. As a senior in high school, I was to choose between family and my goal of playing college basketball. I can still hear my father’s words “It is your decision Oscar. Just remember- your family needs you.” I chose family.

At the University of XXXX, I was enrolled as a full time student while maintaining a full time job. In addition to this, I assumed the responsibility of transporting my younger siblings to school and back on a daily basis. Our rides together were not just long trips navigating three different highways, congested traffic, and news reports on the radio. We played “I spy”, learned multiplication, and shared stories. I was their older brother, their source of endless knowledge and deep pockets. I was expected to know who invented bad words, help my 14 year old sister with her biology assignment, and most importantly, remember to purchase everybody’s favorite candy whenever pumping gas.

My responsibility towards my twin sisters along with my love for them causes me to spend a great deal of time with them. Dealing with them on a daily basis has been an effective lesson in patience and negotiation skills. Many times it is more difficult to negotiate with a child then an adult. One must be able to approach the situation from their perspective and convince them that they are benefiting from the exchange. It is a lot harder than it sounds, and it seldom worked during bedtime.

While the responsibility of five younger siblings has taught me much, my experience working from a young age has been valuable as well. I began working at the age of 14 and as a senior in high school forty weeks had become the norm. Early on, I understood I was the oldest and was expected to carry my own weight. Nothing comes easy when you come from a family of nine.

Learning to balance my full schedule with the hectic lifestyle of a family of nine was a challenging task. I have always believed that family comes first, but my conviction would come under attack many times as I struggled to stay on track with school, work, and family responsibilities. Mornings that began before the earliest rays of lights made it easier for the doubt to creep in to my heart. “You need to focus on yourself Oscar, you cannot do this anymore.” I heard this voice many times, quiet and in the back of my head.

Nevertheless, I kept that voice silent. My mother’s soothing voice and her early morning tea always strengthened my resolve. My father’s early rise to warm our cars and scrape the ice off the windshield reminded me of their struggle. My parents left their country and families behind with nothing but a dream of a better life for their children. A quick trip down memory lane reminds me of the various odd jobs my parents held to feed the family and provide the best conditions so I could further my education.

As I continue my parent’s struggle, the journey takes on a different dimension. It will always be a goal of mine to support the family as they are a great source of my energy and motivation. For the moment, my time has arrived. I am both excited and appreciative of the opportunity to fully apply myself to the study of law. As I prepare myself to enter a world of outlines and briefs, I carry with me each lesson I have learned. Organization will keep me afloat amidst the demanding rigors, communication will keep me connected, and patience will guide me through. I did not always have the answer to who invented bad words or the million other questions a brilliant mind of a seven year old can conjure, but I always gave it my all. I have devoted innumerable hours and energy to my family, but the return on my investment far outweighs that. The value of self discovery is forever priceless and the lessons are worth a lifetime.




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