PS 1st Draft, any help appreciated

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tomcox10
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:11 am

PS 1st Draft, any help appreciated

Postby tomcox10 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:19 pm

So I totally scrapped my first PS, and then wrote this one. If you can identify any trouble areas or stuff that just doesn't flow please let me know. This one is written specifically for Vandy.



I told her plainly that I didn’t see anything wrong with it. She stated that she knew there was nothing in the Bible to say that dating her was wrong, but insisted that it just didn’t seem right. I was speaking to my aunt about a newly formed interracial couple in the family. My cousin, Cory, was now dating a black girl. This simple statement was enough to incite a gasp and a contemptuous response from most people in the community, a community that had a long history of racism. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that we ended the tradition of a separate black and white homecoming court. I had abandoned this train of thought a long time ago but had never really had the bravado to express it. I grew up on a dirt road and was born and raised Baptist. Tradition was heavily ingrained into the family psyche. Breaking from it was no easy task. A few years before I would have remained silent while listening to my aunt’s tirade. Independent thinking combined with an outside perspective afforded me the ability to do otherwise.

My family was nervous when it came time for me to go off to college and understandably so. Prior to my brother, the last family member that had gone off to college came back home in a casket. It was my cousin Damon, lifeless at the age of 20 from overdosing on drugs. So you can imagine their fear when I announced I was planning a two month study abroad trip in Austria. The announcement didn’t sit well with them, and I was nervous too. Two months was a long time to be anywhere, and simply flying back if I didn’t like it wasn’t really an option.
Shortly upon arriving in Austria, I realized that I had separate goals from the group that I travelled with. Instead of focusing on the vast array of things a new culture had to offer them, my friends centered their energies upon the lack of responsibility they felt as a result of being in another country. Their goal in particular seemed to be the different amount of substances they could put into their bodies. The first few weeks, I was tolerant as I enjoyed the never ending beauty of Austria and the serenity that surrounded Innsbruck, but over time I became more frightened and alienated as I was surrounded by the same irresponsibility that had lead to a horrible tragedy in my family. Growing tired of this feeling, I began exploring and travelling on my own. I took my own planned trips on the weekends to Venice and Cologne, and during the week I took short hikes to various mountain huts in the area. Without the usual mob of Americans with me, I found that the people I ran into were more likely to open up to me. A cab driver lectured me for thirty minutes on how supporting Israel was the United States’ biggest mistake. I was able to sit down and enjoy a true German breakfast consisting of fresh brötchen and aufschnitt with a German girl in Cologne. A friendly Austria man cut e a piece of his Tiroler speck and talked to me about how sad he was that Michael Jackson had died. I learned exponentially more from these few weeks about the cultural differences between my home and Austria than I had in the weeks before. In doing so, I realized how deeply inset my preconceived notions were from not only growing up in a small town but also from simply growing up in America.

After coming back from Austria, my life took a new direction. Life back in America had seemed stale now, and I was ready to jump at any new experience thrown my way. Three months later when I was presented with the opportunity to intern at Terrapin Beer Company, I naturally jumped at it. Terrapin Beer was a young craft brewery that had exploded onto the market in 2002 and was synonomous with Athens, Ga. With the company’s laid-back attitude and innovative take on an old beverage, I was a natural fit into the company. At first, I was relegated to any basic task that needed doing. Terrapin, with the prospect of growing 30% in one year, could not hire employees fast enough which left much work to be done. I handled tasks that ranged from building beer carriers to organizing large excel sheets that kept track of distributors’ sales. I eventually became known around the office as the excel whiz and any excel questions were directed my way. When it came time for Terrapin to install new accounting software system, I was put in charge of organizing most of the data in Excel that needed to be entered into the new system. To this day, I am largely responsible for keeping track of all the malt and hops that are used in the beer and the barrels packaged from each batch of beer we make. Over my time at Terrapin, the company has expanded into 4 new states, sales growth has soared through the roof, and approximately 30,000 barrels of beer has been produced by the efforts of only 25 employees.

♦♦♦
Upon telling my aunt that Cory was completely innocent in his choice of girlfriend, she was somewhat shocked, but she realized where my point of view was coming from. She had spent her whole life in Dublin, and I realized that I would probably believe the same thing if I was in her shoes. I, luckily, never confined my capacity for independent thought by a limited perspective. I had chosen to open up my world by moving off and chasing the experiences I wanted. Likewise, I also want the experience of law school and the further breadth it will bring to my intellect. I want the experience of living in Nashville and that of a law school with a national reputation. I want the experience of smaller student body rather than that of 30,000 people. Mostly, I want a challenging experience and the professors that can provide it. With this in mind, I fully hope to have the opportunity of attending Vanderbilt University Law School.

weejonbu
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:48 pm

Re: PS 1st Draft, any help appreciated

Postby weejonbu » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:32 pm

tomcox10 wrote: I was able to sit down and enjoy a true German breakfast consisting of fresh brötchen and aufschnitt with a German girl in Cologne.


Dude, you should scrap the personal statement and just go off on this story... =)

weejonbu
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:48 pm

Re: PS 1st Draft, any help appreciated

Postby weejonbu » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:37 pm

Naw, but for real... it isn't bad, but it could be a lot sharper. We go from your conversation with your Aunt to Europe and then to a beer company and then back to the conversation with your Aunt. The "bookend" style PS isn't a bad schematic to use, but it could be done better in this instance. It's sort of abrupt here.

Also, when you're talking about yourself and your job at the company, it is probably better to speak more to what the job specifically taught you about people/work/responsibility than the fact that you were "an excel whiz." That's not a bad thing, and I don't mean to be negative, but it's the whole "show me, don't tell me" what you can do.

All in all, it's not bad, considering I made it through the whole thing, which I guess means it's interesting. Just got to tidy up, maybe strengthen the overall theme of seeing things differently after having been exposed to a larger world than the one you grew up knowing.

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3|ink
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: PS 1st Draft, any help appreciated

Postby 3|ink » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:16 pm

tomcox10 wrote:I told her plainly that I didn’t see anything wrong with it.


Starting out this way pretty much kills my interest. Without context, which you introduce later, this sentence doesn't do much to lure me in. Does anyone else feel the same way?

Then there's this:

tomcox10 wrote:She stated that she knew there was nothing in the Bible to say that dating her was wrong, but insisted that it just didn’t seem right.


We're suddenly introduced to a second party to this discussion. At this point I'm thinking "who is she and why should I care'? Then we find out that you two are talking about 'her'. It isn't until paragraph three that this starts to make sense. Needless to say, I think you should work on your opening. Luring your reader in is a wise strategy, but doing so by only giving them bits and pieces of information at a time will only annoy them (or at least a pain in the ass like me).

tomcox10 wrote:This simple statement was enough to incite a gasp and a contemptuous response from most people in the community, a community that had a long history of racism.

"This was quite the controversy for our traditionally bigoted community. "

The rest of your statement is a combination of an extrapolated resume and a bunch of random events that I’m not sure had any real meaning to you. You need to focus your writing on the specific events that lead you to a career in law.




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