PS, I need help!

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erikordos
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:16 pm

PS, I need help!

Postby erikordos » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:40 pm

Alright, so my first one was a flop, second=crap, this is the third attempt.... Any advice or criticism will be greatly appreciated. I feel like I need to take out some things like the steps of building a computer, its drawn out and boring... But at the same time I feel like it's kind of important? And someone please tell me what more I can add to the end. That is the best I can come up with right now, should I be more specific about my concept of a foundation? and mention my legal studies coursework as an undergrad? Or is this another one for the trash?
Also my grammar could be better, so if you see anything please comment!
Thanks is advance, here it is.....

It was my introduction to Counter Strike, an online first person shooter game, by my closest friend Kevin eight years ago that started it all. I was already familiar with the world of online gaming prior, but Counter Strike enamored me and became an outlet for my social anxiety. The duality of Counterstrike is that it is a game as well as a social network, one that is comprised heavily of computer aficionados. As I engaged more with fellow gamers I learned that there were a large number of these enthusiasts that resided in my locality. Even more surprising to me was the fact that groups of these individuals would gather for events called LAN parties. LAN or local areas network parties are social gatherings were persons and their computers come together for an entire evening, into the early morning, and play an array of computer games.
Knowledge of these events sparked my curiosity vigorously; I wanted to attend one of these parties. Naturally I expressed the idea to Kevin who as it turned out had a work associate that attended monthly gatherings. Floored with excitement I insisted that we attend the next party. Abreast with my enthusiasm, Kevin had us added to the guest list of the following month’s party.
Driving to the party my nerves were shot, an all too familiar unsettled feeling churned my stomach. The party was being hosted by someone neither us had met before and our only former acquaintance would be Tom, Kevin's coworker. While I was animated about the new experience, I was uneasy at the idea of meeting so many new people.
We were the last two to arrive that night. As we walked through the sliding glass basement door everyone in the room seemed to rise at once to see the anticipated new comers. Immediately we were approached by two awkward looking characters. The shorter of the two barely amounted to five feet and had the physique of a starving third world child, the other was Tom, a morbidly obese character of averaged height and a head of poorly kept dreadlocks. "Welcome, glad you guys could make it. I'm Matt and this is my party," said the smaller of the two. Kevin and I smiled back awkwardly as we shook Matt's hand and thanked him for allowing us to attend. "Come with me I will introduce you around and show you were to set up at," said Matt. As we paraded around the room meeting the two dozen or so adolescent attendees, my attention was never fixed on the new face I was being introduced to. My focus was obscured by the computers sitting in front of each of them. I marveled at illuminated towers with windows that exposed their innards. One after another I studied them, each was unique, not one the same as the former; never before had I seen nor known that such computers existed. At the end of our tour, Matt led us to an open spot at the end of one of the twenty foot tables. "You can set up here, we have a server up for CS (Counter Strike), join in when you are ready," and with a smile, Matt turned and walked away.
While unloading our computers from Kevin's car a feeling of inadequacy fell over me as I carried my half-decade old Gateway towards the basement. No one seemed to pay attention to our second entrance and we set up unabated. Once set up, I logged on to the server that the entire room was already playing in. Immediately after joining the server, tensions began to flare in the room. "Why am I lagging? I'm lagging too. Me too." The voices rang out all throughout the room. "Someone must be slowing down the network," said a familiar voice, Matt's. "It must be the kid with that ancient Gateway," someone no more than ten feet away from me exclaimed. Matt walked over to me and asked me to exit out of the game and shut down my computer. Immediately afterwards statements of relief echoed to tout that the problem was alleviated. "Sorry but I can't let you keep your computer on the network, its slowing down everyone's connections," explained Matt. Confused and embarrassed I shook my head in acknowledgement.
I spent the next hour playing Counter Strike on Kevin's computer, alternating turns with him every ten minutes. Eventually he grew wary of sharing and insisted I find something else to do. By that time my embarrassment and subsequently my anxiety had subsided. Rather than sitting there watching Kevin play for the next several hours I decided to go converse with Matt. As I approached him he gave me the same gauche smile as before and utter "what's up?" Unable and not desiring to conceal my ignorance any longer I began to barrage him with computer related inquires. He chuckled and asked me to take seat in the empty chair next to him. For hours we conversed in depth about computers and their components. He explained the purpose of each component or piece of hardware and how different specifications enhanced performance. That night I learned that computer games are heavily dependent on these specifications. Essentially, as the quality of hardware rises, the types of games one is able to play increases as well as a game’s overall aesthetics. Matt also divulged that all of the computers that surrounded us were comprised of individually selected components and then assembled, usually by him or one of the owners. He even had a small business dedicated toward building gaming computers.
For the remainder of the party I sat and talked with Matt and others that were eager to brag about the different components that comprised their computers. There was a competitive nature about everyone as they spoke vibrantly about what processor, video card, or amount of memory their computer had. One individual even disassembled then reassembled his computer to show me that the process of putting together or "building" a computer was rather simplistic. Overall, that party was a learning experience I was not soon to forget.
In the months that followed, I was obsessed with the idea of building my own computer. I wanted to upgrade, assume a level of computer sophistication that the individuals at the party had. Matt and the others had given me the foundation that I need to begin and with it I began my research. Within a week I had selected the components that would one day come together and serve as my computer. It was only a matter of accumulating the resources necessary to make my purchase. The minimum wage job I worked on weekends and selling an assortment of personal belongings served as my engine. It would be many weeks before I finally reached my goal.
The day my package finally arrived I was beside myself with excitement. As my house came into view while walking home from school I saw a large box sitting on the front porch. I instantly knew it was my components. My slow paced stroll altered to a full out sprint. Frantically I rushed the box inside to my bedroom and proceeded to remove its contents. I laid out each of the components and with my screw driver in hand I carefully started assembling. After inserting the copper standoffs in their appropriate places within the tower, I delicately placed the motherboard on top and secured it with screws. The next step was to attach to central processing unit to the motherboard. Once in position, I added thermal compound to it and then attached the heat sink and fan. Next I added the ram and graphics card to the motherboard. My hard drive and compact disk drives where then added to the case along with the power supply. After connecting the power cords from the power supply to the hard drive, compact disk drives, and motherboard, I wired the hard drive and compact disc drives to the motherboard via IDE cables. Lastly, I attached fans to the front and back of the case and cold cathodes that illuminated red for visual appeal. With that I had fully assembled my first computer.
Nervously I attached the other peripherals (keyboard, mouse, and monitor) and power cords to an outlet. I pressed the power button not knowing what to expect. The red lights began to glow and on the monitor before me was MSI logo, the brand of my motherboard. After examining the bios, I found that the motherboard was recognizing every component I installed. I was overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment. The only thing left to do was format the hard drive and install the latest version of Windows, which was XP at the time. I had accomplished my goal of upgrading not only my computer but my status as a user. To this day I continue to build computers, not only for myself but also friends and occasionally various people for profit.
Like the LAN party, college was a learning experience. It was an opportunity for me to meet new insightful individuals whose knowledge far exceeded my own. Like Matt and the rest of the party goers that night, these individuals, my instructors, gave me a foundation in legal studies. Once again I am enamored, expect this time it is not a computer I seek to upgrade, it is myself. I want to assume a level of legal sophistication similar to that displaced by my college professors. Attending University of Baltimore School of Law is the means to accomplish my goal.

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aspire2more
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:23 am

Re: PS, I need help!

Postby aspire2more » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:43 am

Some suggestions:

Read #8: http://www.deloggio.com/essays%20&%20ad ... 20bad.html

Read sample statements: http://www.deloggio.com/essays%20&%20ad ... 0lang.html

I would delete the part of your essay from the phrase "Like the LAN party, college..." to the end. I would not reword it, but just eliminate it entirely.

erikordos
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:16 pm

Re: PS, I need help!

Postby erikordos » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:08 pm

^^^Thanks, I know the ending is rough but I don't want to lose the analogy between upgrading myself and the computer, it was the basis for the whole statement.... I need more specific criticisms on how I should rework the ending. Also, I don't believe that I am using lengthy words in an attempt to sound intelligent.

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aspire2more
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:23 am

Re: PS, I need help!

Postby aspire2more » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:00 pm

erikordos wrote:^^^Thanks, I know the ending is rough but I don't want to lose the analogy between upgrading myself and the computer, it was the basis for the whole statement.... I need more specific criticisms on how I should rework the ending. Also, I don't believe that I am using lengthy words in an attempt to sound intelligent.


Read the sample again and you'll notice that the sample given does not use words any larger or more advanced that yours. They just are just awkwardly "formal" when simpler words would make the essay flow more smoothly. The point was not the number of syllables you're using, but the strange wording when a more conversational/informal tone would seem to be more appropriate. For example:

"large number of these enthusiasts that resided in my locality" - "Resided in my locality" may be grammatically accurate, but "lived in my area" is much less jarring to read.

"Abreast with my enthusiasm, Kevin had us added" - Again, "abreast"? This word is weird here and disrupts the flow of the story.

Those are just a couple that I remember from the beginning of the essay. There are quite a few other places though where I thought "why that particular word/phrasing"? If that's how you usually talk, then ignore my comments and just do you. However your later use of casual wording such as "...my nerves were shot" seems to suggest otherwise. IMO you're trying too hard to sound formal in some parts. I think you should either change everything to a more "casual" tone (preferable) or at the very least make the formal tone consistent throughout the entire essay.

Of course, you don't have to take my advice (or the advice of that guy I linked you to who makes a living out of helping people improve their applications), but hopefully that clears up what I was actually talking about.

As far as the ending, I linked you to that sample statement to show you that a great personal statement does not need to have an obvious analogy or tie-in to why you want to go to law school. Throwing that four-sentence paragraph in at the end didn't make sense to me. Nothing in your entire essay until those last four sentences has anything to do with why you want to go to law school. Therefore, the connection at the end is weak. It would be more convincing if you were saying that this experience is why you want to go into computer science.

I realize that you wanted it as a basis for your statement, but I hope you can see how the statement really doesn't need the analogy to work well. Keep it if you like, but I honestly think it detracts from the essay. Unless your application specifically states otherwise, your personal statement is really just to get a feel for who you are as a person. Your description of your passion is interesting enough without trying to tie it in to law at the last minute. I'd leave it out if you aren't required to discuss your reasons for wanting to be an attorney. If you are required, I'd cut down the original story a lot and expand on your reasons for pursuing law in greater specificity.

A couple of specific criticisms since you asked:

"Like Matt and the rest of the party goers that night, these individuals, my instructors, gave me a foundation in legal studies." - This sentence is grammatically weird. It basically states that Matt and the computer geeks gave you a foundation in legal studies. That's not what you mean, but that's what it says.

"Once again I am enamored, expect except this time it is not a computer I seek to upgrade; it is myself." - Why are you enamored? You took paragraph after paragraph to explain why you were enamored with computers. Two sentences here at the end are not enough to convince me that you feel the same way about the law.

"I want to assume a level of legal sophistication similar to that displaced by my college professors."

"Attending University of Baltimore School of Law is the means to accomplish my goal." - "University of Baltimore" here is completely interchangeable with any law school anywhere in the US. Unless you're writing a more convincing Why Baltimore statement in addition to this essay, you need to be more specific about your goals and why Baltimore is the one place to get you there.

HTH.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: PS, I need help!

Postby sparty99 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:13 pm

I read the first paragraph. This essay needs SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT. Your word usage is weak and clumsy which did not make me want to read further. I echo what the person above me stated.

In addition, the essay is long and verbose.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: PS, I need help!

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:26 pm

Cut the BS. Keep the intro short and get into more detail about you and building a better PC.


erikordos wrote:It was my introduction to Counter Strike, an online first person shooter game, by my closest friend Kevin eight years ago that started it all. I was already familiar with the world of online gaming prior, but Counter Strike enamored me and became an outlet for my social anxiety. The duality of Counterstrike is that it is a game as well as a social network, one that is comprised heavily of computer aficionados. As I engaged more with fellow gamers I learned that there were a large number of these enthusiasts that resided in my locality. Even more surprising to me was the fact that groups of these individuals would gather for events called LAN parties. LAN or local areas network parties are social gatherings were persons and their computers come together for an entire evening, into the early morning, and play an array of computer games.
Knowledge of these events sparked my curiosity vigorously; I wanted to attend one of these parties. Naturally I expressed the idea to Kevin who as it turned out had a work associate that attended monthly gatherings. Floored with excitement I insisted that we attend the next party. Abreast with my enthusiasm, Kevin had us added to the guest list of the following month’s party.


Driving to the party my nerves were shot, and an all too familiar unsettled unsettling feeling churned my stomach. The party was being hosted by someone neither us had met before and our only former acquaintance would be Tom, Kevin's coworker. --while I was animated about the new experience excited to try something new, I was uneasy at the idea of meeting so many new people.
We were the last two to arrive that night.As we entered walkedthrough the sliding glass basement door everyone in the room seemed to rise at once to see check out the anticipatednew comers. Immediately we were approached by two awkward looking characters. The shorter of the two barely amounted to five feet and had the physique of a starving third world child, the other was Tom, a morbidly obese character of averaged height and a head of poorly kept dreadlocks."Welcome, glad you guys could make it. I'm Matt and this is my party," said the host smaller of the two. , shaking Kevin's hand and then mine Ias we smiled back awkwardly as we shook Matt's hand and thanked him for allowing us to attend. "Come with meI will introduce you around and show you were to set up at," said Matt. ...




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