pstatement -- looking for some feedbank - thanks

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
danparkuss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:07 pm

pstatement -- looking for some feedbank - thanks

Postby danparkuss » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:39 pm

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Last edited by danparkuss on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ixwad
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:54 pm

Re: pstatement -- looking for some feedbank - thanks

Postby ixwad » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:47 pm

Your writing in the first few lines is pretty informal. Probably will get mixed feedback on that. I'll read through more extensively in a bit.

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verklempt
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:59 pm

Re: pstatement -- looking for some feedbank - thanks

Postby verklempt » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:44 pm

This is one of the best PS I have read here, not that it doesn't need editing.

For starters, you can do without those first two paragraphs. You do want to work in the fact that your mother is an immigrant and that she worked 16 hours/day x 20 years, but you can slip that into the third paragraph. For example:

She remarked, “These hands carry a hope and they cannot rest until I die.” My mother, a South Korean immigrant, had spent the last twenty years working 16 hours a day to provide her children with a satisfactory lifestyle. I had always wondered what drove her to work every day with such pains in her small physical frame.

Third paragraph: I assume that "it was rougher" should be "they were rougher." And I'd delete that third line.

That paragraph ends with a line that suggests an epiphany is coming, but where is it? instead, paragraph 4 starts off vague and moralistic. Maybe you can replace the first three sentences there with a quick (but more personal) description of what caused you to examine your perspective and change.

The first sentences of paragraphs 5 and 6 are clunky and should be reworked. There are also some semantic/non-colloquial usage issues all over the PS -- when you get to your penultimate draft, you'll want someone with a critical eye to point those out. (For example, "lead into" should be "lead to.")

As for the faith element: I would not shy away from it. In fact, I think you would have a stronger PS if you leaned on it more. The reader sees that your faith is important to you but doesn't really understand how, or what that means to you. There are other places in your PS where you could also inject some more of yourself -- for example, where you mention growing up in two cultures. Don't be afraid to be personal in a personal statement. And make it easy for your reader to connect the dots.

All in all though, a really good draft.

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JazzOne
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Re: pstatement -- looking for some feedbank - thanks

Postby JazzOne » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:35 pm

Edits in red:

danparkuss wrote:“Tomorrow you are going to get up at five-thirty in the morning and go to work with me.” I remember thinking, well that’s new. I wasn’t accustomed to this kind of punishment. Getting up at five in the morning on a school day just so I could go to my parents’ dry cleaning business was not my idea of a good time. As a high school sophomore, I was not a rebellious son by any standard. However, my family espoused traditional Asian values, so low marks on my academic report constituted much more than an occasional slip-up. Taking me out of school for a week to teach me a lesson was a bit harsher than the beratings I would normally receive over grades, and it seemed rather counterintuitive. The “lessons” learned that week did not really translate well at that time, but as the old adage goes, hindsight is twenty-twenty.

My parents reminded me often of their sacrifices as immigrants in a foreign country with hardly any money. They had stuck it out for nearly twenty years, had three children while working sixteen hours a day, and afforded me a lifestyle that was far better than most of my peers in South Korea. I vividly remember my parents coming home each night exhausted, and I thought to myself that I should appreciate their sacrifices and do better in school. However, they aspired to elicit more from me than mere appreciation. They wanted to instill in me a value system that would be carried on not only in school, but through my entire life. They wished for me to understand my faith. To do this, I had to understand the idea of responsibility.

When my mom contracted rheumatoid arthritis at the relatively young age of thirty-eight, I would massage her joints to help ease her pain and swelling. One time, as I massaged her hands, I noticed that it was rougher than I had imagined. One would expect a mother’s touch to be tender, and it had always seemed so, but once the roles were reversed and I had to aid in her relief, it was just like any other laborer’s hand. She remarked, “These hands carry a hope and they cannot rest until I die.” I had always wondered what drove her to work every day with such pains in her small physical frame. It was her faith. This was not the kind of faith that idly waits and simply prays for good fortune to come, but one that bears the responsibility of her family and the people who count on her to do her work. She would always remind me that God did not simply give us blessings like a good education and other such freedoms to squander away. It was not until the middle of my college years that I slowly began to understand what my parents had meant all these years.

Responsibility is a loaded term. It can mean something as light as having responsibility over your personal belongings, or it could be as heavy as someone else’s life. Like many other words, there is a depth in understanding responsibility. The same holds for faith. Oftentimes we equate faith with religious institutions such as church or a set of sacred doctrines, but when I began to understand it as something that is relevant to every being of my life, community, and culture, it took on another shape. It became holistic, culturally relevant, and perhaps most importantly, it made me become responsible. I began to see how selfish I had been with my life. Though I had proclaimed my Christian faith openly, in reality I found that I served neither God nor other people. I was self-centered, but it was from then on that I slowly progressed into a more goal-oriented, others-conscious individual. We cannot all just be idealists without action. In the same manner, I couldn’t just be a Christian only in name. This meant that I needed to do better in school at the cost of my leisure time. This meant that I had to be more responsible and more caring about my relationships with people other than my family. This meant that I had to realize that just as my parents endured difficult work for their children, I had to own up to my duties for my future.

Throughout my life, I have had the privilege of being sent by my mom to a dozen countries around the world to see what the world is like apart from the United States. At first I came back and thought, “I ought to be thankful for my food and belongings because others around the world do not share the same luxuries that I do.” However, as my understanding of my travels matured, I realized that if my gratitude does not lead into acts of charity from my own efforts, then it is gratitude unworthy of mention. The things I set out to study became an integral part of my responsibility to the people who I have met in the past and who I will meet in the future. A talk with an uncle in Korea who is the CEO of a medium-sized communications company made me realize that the differences in culture, socioeconomic status, and educational upbringing all undeniably impact on the amount of influence an individual will have on the lives of others. Enlightened by my studies of East Asian history, I realized that there will be no change in a corrupt business or justice system unless students educated at the highest level come in to reform the system. In addition, during my experiences abroad, through church missions or traveling for leisure, I have come to embrace the numerous cultures and with them, a broader worldview. My time in Kenya helped me realize not only the instability of many lesser-developed countries, but also the stability of my own back in America. As a student who grew up in an environment between two exceedingly different cultures, I have a hand in the future development of international relations between East Asia and the rest of the world. Though what we may do with our law degree ranges from small matters to larger things such as political leadership, we have a responsibility to the world in whatever way possible. There is an unquestionable value to a law degree from an elite institution such as _________, and it would empower me to aid those who seek justice in the international arena. As an American citizen who has been lucky enough to travel around the world, I want to use and expand the cultural experience I have gained to serve.

When all is said and done, I know my faith remains. And it is this unwavering faith that motivates me to enter the field of law. I wish to build relationships like the ones I have in my family, church, and workplace that are representative of the positive values that law embodies: commitment, integrity, and justice. I believe that my studies of the Chinese language and East Asian culture enable me to be a part of the process that creates bridges across cultural borders and promotes understanding between people of different languages and cultures. With my law degree, I understand that I would be responsible for not just my own reputation but for the countless people I will represent in the future. Thus, this is why I wish to attend _____. As a leading institution centered in ______, I believe that ____ will help me reach those areas where I am able to promote justice within the international setting. I hope through an education in _____, I can get to a place where I can fulfill the hopes of those I meet. This is my faith: a faith that works to benefit the community by bridging understandings across cultural borders, and a faith that demands that I act responsibly not only for myself but also the many people I will serve in the future through my studies.
___________________________
couple things to note:
I do realize that pstatements about faith may be iffy and borderline, but I felt that I could not omit the centerpiece of my life. i tried my best to not be overbearing with that religiousity.
It is exactly 3 pages -- TNR 11font, but I'm trying to make it in 2 pages --

Though any kind of feedback is nice and appreciated, it would be helpful if you could present feedback just with this question in mind : "what does this pstatement say about the writer?"

It reads like a personal narrative, maybe generic for some, but I tried to unite a theme (responsible faith) throughout it.

Once again, thank you for your feedback in advance!

A+ mayn. Well written.

This essay portrays an author who is a good writer, a hard worker, an ethical chap, and definitely law school material.

danparkuss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:07 pm

Re: pstatement -- looking for some feedbank - thanks

Postby danparkuss » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:26 pm

Thanks for your feedback, I will definitely make the aforementioned changes and post another draft soon (as our application deadline draws near).

Once again, thanks for your help! Writing this PS is both at times difficult but encouraging.




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