Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Does this Diversity Statement work?

Yes, you are indeed a unique and special snowflake
4
44%
No, You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else
5
56%
 
Total votes: 9

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:08 pm

Please judge my diversity statement and give me any critiques. I will swap with PS or DS if anyone wants to. I really appreciate any advice and hope everybody has a great thanksgiving.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I was playing football the Tuesday afternoon when it happened. We were coming off a crushing defeat and our offensive coordinator had just started running us ragged for what he said was a lack of effort. The head coach quickly called us to huddle around and it was easy to see the concern in his eyes. “Everyone, the World Trade Center in New York has been hit by a plane. Information is still coming out, but right now it is 3:35 and the base will be locked down in twenty-five minutes. After that nobody will be allowed on or off for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. If your parents are not mission essential, you have to go now so you can get off. If your parents are mission essential, head to the gym and the school will find out where you are going next. Everyone know where they are going? Good, get moving.” An outsider witnessing the 40 teenagers scatter with eerie military precision might consider this scene odd, but this was the life of a child growing up on an American military base in Europe.

It has been years since I thought about that moment on the football field, however, when I think about how I create a more diverse student body, I cannot help but think about my life growing up in Germany. As the son of a Department of Defense civilian, my situation was different than that of many military children growing up abroad. I went to school on the military base and lived the life of a normal American teen; homework, tacky school dances, and football games; but every evening my mother and I would leave the base and drive twenty minutes to our home on the German economy. Here we led a different life; we spoke German with our neighbors, shopped in the local stores, and spent the weekends travelling to new destinations throughout Europe. Though no matter how hard my mother tried to give me this dual life, some days it was impossible to hide the fact that we were Americans living abroad in a sometimes hostile world.

For every great experience I had; walking in the Sistine Chapel, experiencing live European soccer matches, or skiing in the Alps; I have a sobering memory of life on the base; sitting with my friend after his father had been deployed, watching our car get checked for bombs every morning, or saying goodbye to a friend as his family moved halfway around the world. Learning how to adapt to this constantly evolving was the most difficult lesson for me growing up. Looking back now; however, I realize that this skill that I learned out of necessity has become one of my greatest strengths. It allows me to work well in hectic environments, quickly assess a difficult situation and act decisively, and alter my direction when the need arises. It is this quality in combination with my experiences gained throughout my childhood that has shape my unique view of the world and will allow me to foster a more diverse environment at “X” of Law.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:42 pm

Added a poll to get some responses. Dying for some opinions.

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Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby Tanicius » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:46 pm

I don't think you're a "special snowflake," but this is a good essay and your background does make you diverse. It's worth it to include this in your apps.

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DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:47 pm

i voted NO on the poll but it seems to be a different question than whether this is a good DS or not.

i like the DS. a few grammatical errors and a few places where it doesnt flow well due to the style/structure, but you've got the tough part down imo: the content. bolster the tie in at the end about how you work well in hectic situations a bit better. sure i see how you can quickly change your direction...but im not sure how, from reading your DS, you can work well in hectic environments or assess a difficult situation. make the tie in clearer (maybe slightly different examples). from the ones you gave, i just imagine you're good at adapting.

amorfati
Posts: 191
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:14 pm

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby amorfati » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:16 pm

In general, I think the content of this is good. However, you should probably cut down on the semi-colons... I would avoid using more than one in a sentence. And if you're going to use them, then use them in places where sentences would break naturally.

As for how they're used here, personally, I prefer using double hyphens, which are great for parenthetical or exemplary material. In particular, the first sentence in the last paragraph is a bit of a run-on. I might go with:

"For every great experience I had -- walking in the Sistine Chapel, experiencing live European soccer matches, or skiing in the Alps -- I have a sobering memory of life on the base, from watching our car get checked for bombs every morning to saying goodbye to a friend as his family moved halfway around the world."

Also, definitely no semi-colon after "looking back now," and maybe use the hyphen technique before and after "homework, tacky school dances, and football games" as well.

On a side note, though, I've heard that 9/11 memories and references are very, very heavily used. Not to say that they're never appropriate, but it might not always have the intended unique emotional effect.

A couple final notes: I've heard that the rule for numbers is to write out anything under ten, so you don't need to write out the higher numbers. Also, I'd probably suggest finding a different way of saying "on the German economy." ("on an economy" sounds a bit awkward.)

Again though, in general I think your content is interesting, and apart from a few grammatical/style things, you're in pretty good shape! :)

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:55 pm

I knew I was going to bit hitting a bit of a cliche by talking about 9/11, but I hoped to give a different spin to make it memorable. I appreciate the comment. Does anyone know that grammar rule for lists in the middle of a sentence? I know I relying far too much on semi-colons, but that it the only way I knew how to accomplish that.

mst
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby mst » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:06 am

I thought it was 6 or 7 out of 10. Decent. That said, have a grammar nazi friend go over it (it could flow a lot better, especially where the semi-colons come into play). The alps, and soccer matches thing came off could be summed up a bit, maybe stick to 2 examples if you're going to use it (we get the point that you had good experiences. you don't need to waste our time by bragging about a billion examples of your years of tourism, what's the point?). The word "german economy" to describe your neighborhood was very weird. More importantly, I think you spent way too much time going over the details and not enough time going over how it will translate over to law school. Why did you wait until the last sentence to cram it all in? Okay, that's all I have. Good luck.

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DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:12 am

mst wrote:I thought it was 6 or 7 out of 10. Decent. That said, have a grammar nazi friend go over it (it could flow a lot better, especially where the semi-colons come into play). The alps, and soccer matches thing came off could be summed up a bit, maybe stick to 2 examples if you're going to use it (we get the point that you had good experiences. you don't need to waste our time by bragging about a billion examples of your years of tourism, what's the point?). The word "german economy" to describe your neighborhood was very weird. More importantly, I think you spent way too much time going over the details and not enough time going over how it will translate over to law school. Why did you wait until the last sentence to cram it all in? Okay, that's all I have. Good luck.


mm i agree w/ most of this post, but prob not the end.

1) i dont think any of these things HAVE to show WHY you want to go to law school...you CAN, but just letting the adcomm get to know YOU as a person is really good enough

2) that being said, this isnt a PS anyways, but a DS, so it should just be about how you are diverse right?

Kaitlyn
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:06 pm

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby Kaitlyn » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:29 am

No vote to special snowflake, but yes vote to a solid DS. :wink: I enjoyed reading it; and like the others said, after getting rid of a few grammatical glitches, you'll be golden.

mst
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby mst » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:42 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
mst wrote:I thought it was 6 or 7 out of 10. Decent. That said, have a grammar nazi friend go over it (it could flow a lot better, especially where the semi-colons come into play). The alps, and soccer matches thing came off could be summed up a bit, maybe stick to 2 examples if you're going to use it (we get the point that you had good experiences. you don't need to waste our time by bragging about a billion examples of your years of tourism, what's the point?). The word "german economy" to describe your neighborhood was very weird. More importantly, I think you spent way too much time going over the details and not enough time going over how it will translate over to law school. Why did you wait until the last sentence to cram it all in? Okay, that's all I have. Good luck.


mm i agree w/ most of this post, but prob not the end.

1) i dont think any of these things HAVE to show WHY you want to go to law school...you CAN, but just letting the adcomm get to know YOU as a person is really good enough

2) that being said, this isnt a PS anyways, but a DS, so it should just be about how you are diverse right?



Just to clear up any confusion, I meant the end in regards to "how that diversity will benefit the academic and social and learning environment at the law school," not "Why it means you should go to law school." Generally, all the advisers and help I've received have said that's the most important part of any diversity statement. For example, somebody can talk about how they were born with 8 legs and attached at the hip to their twin sister, but this means absolutely nothing to a committee if the person doesn't explain how such a diverse history has affected the way they think, interact, make decisions, etc. and how such factors will make a positive difference at the school.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: Why I am a unique and special snowflake!

Postby Nailjohnj » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:47 am

[/quote]
mst wrote:For example, somebody can talk about how they were born with 8 legs and attached at the hip to their twin sister, but this means absolutely nothing to a committee if the person doesn't explain how such a diverse history has affected the way they think, interact, make decisions, etc. and how such factors will make a positive difference at the school.


I agree, I was going to go with this DS topic, but I couldn't find a way to bring it around ;-) I appreciate the help, everyone




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