Very Rough First Draft

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Gracchus
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Very Rough First Draft

Postby Gracchus » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:26 pm

Hey everybody! I just sat down and pounded this out. Any and all help or advice would be greatly appreciated. What comes across? Have your machete ready? Thank you!
(Edited out what I was going for)

Inertia got the ball rolling. I returned to my hometown of ¬¬¬¬_______in the summer of 2009 without cause or comfort. I was at a point where I was unsure of myself; what I was doing with my life and who I meant in talking about "myself." I was skimming through my life, much as I would a biology textbook, neither grasping hold of the material or the time being milked away.

I attained two jobs to build myself up and move ahead. One of the jobs was as a real estate assistant and the other was as a jack-of-all-trades at the local country club, providing the life for others that I wished to attain for myself. I threw myself into the job, I struggled through the nervous sweat of testing myself. One of the roles I performed was working in the golf shop. I went through every training manual, systematically going through every guide again and again, desperately trying to catch up, desperately trying to be competent. I built myself into an expert in the inventory system without even realizing it until one of my co-workers, "Mike", asked for my help on day. Mike had been employed by the club for over two years and was respected by the members and liked by the other employees. He had found that one of our co-workers had miscounted our inventory for the previous month, then updated the system and left us with no accurate information on the exact value of the store's inventory. Mike wanted to know if I had any ideas. I did. Calling on the knowledge I had frantically acquired, I navigated through the computer and overrode the inventory system. After that all the other workers in the golf shop came to me when they had questions on the inventory system. Then it became questions on all the different computer system. Then it became questions on everything and anything, until I became the person to go to when there was a problem, or even the potential of a problem. I have lead before, but I had never had that feeling of being looked to, that feeling of natural presence. Maybe I did know what I was doing. I went from not knowing the answers to being known as the one with the answers.

Like many, I grew up with a discomfort with public speaking. Being in the workplace allowed me to overcome this fear. There was no room for trepidation, only performance. I could not show any discomfort, whether I was giving a report on my activities to a realtor or directing a disorganized herd of golfers. Every week I stood before a group of club members to announce rules for a tournament and again to make club announcements, announce winners and distribute prizes. This allowed me to develop a sense of pace in my speaking. When I returned to school I found my former self in my classmates. I sensed the discomfort of others, only focused inwards on their own fear and trepidation. I found my sense of my surroundings and that the rhythm of the speaking I had been forced to develop translated easily to the classroom. This awareness of the self-focus of others, combined with an ease in seeing myself within the context of the room, gave me a great ease in classroom oration that I had never felt before.

I have been interested in the law for a long time, but I always struggled against it because it was expected that as a history major it would be a likely landing-place. From studying Supreme Court cases in school, to serving as the head of the Judicial Committee for my fraternity and writing its by-laws, I have always had a regard for the law, but it was only after maturing and becoming more relaxed about who I was, did it likewise become apparent to myself, as it had been to others, that I was destined to study the law.

The experience of being outside of school allowed me to become the person I had always thought myself capable of being; calm and certain, letting my natural abilities flourish. Being exposed to the real world, making out shift schedules, organizing and running events, all allowed me develop a relaxed confidence that I carried back into the school setting. Sitting down, reading books and writing a paper seemed relaxing compared to a long workday. What the other students around me complained about seemed trivial and I found my calmness in those situation self-perpetuating. My experiences have allowed me to become mature and capable. By combining my enthusiasm for the law with my capabilities, I will be able to lead both an informed and rewarding career in the law.
Last edited by Gracchus on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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billyez
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby billyez » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:50 pm

You've got some mistakes here that you need to fix ("one day" instead of "on day") but this is a rough draft, after all. Get those kinks worked out. Besides that, I think this is a good PS.

Gah, I hate it when I'm told what to look for before I read the statement - it colors my assessment - but I'll stop whining. I thought you weren't transitioning well when you switched from discussing your work at the country club to public speaking, but you explained why they were related quickly enough, in my mind.

Like many, I grew up with a discomfort with public speaking. Being in the workplace allowed me to overcome this fear. There was no room for trepidation, only performance. I could not show any discomfort, whether I was giving a report on my activities to a realtor or directing a disorganized herd of golfers. Every week I stood before a group of club members to announce rules for a tournament, and again to make club announcements, announce winners and distribute prizes. This allowed me to develop a sense of pace in my speaking. When I returned to school I found saw my former self in my classmates. I sensed the discomfort of others their discomfort, only focused inwards on their own fear and trepidation [replace - you just used this word a couple of sentences ago]. I found my sense of my surroundings and that the rhythm of the speaking I had been forced to develop translated easily to the classroom. This awareness of the self-focus of others, combined with an ease in seeing myself within the context of the room, gave me a great ease in classroom oration that I had never felt before.


"Sense of pace" - I don't know, it just seems like an awkward phrase. If what you're talking about it is gaining more confidence than just say that. If what you mean is you cadence or your "pace", well, then it's fine.

"I found my sense of my surroundings" - Blah. I actually don't like this sentence overall, but I certainly don't like how it comes together at the beginning. I'm not being articulate about it right now. But maybe I'll analyze it further later.
Last edited by billyez on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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billyez
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby billyez » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:32 pm

I have been interested in the law for a long time, but I always struggled against it because it was expected that as a history major it would be a likely landing-place. From studying Supreme Court cases in school, to serving as the head of the Judicial Committee for my fraternity and writing its by-laws, I have always had a regard for the law, but it was only after maturing and becoming more relaxed about who I was, did it likewise become apparent to myself, as it had been to others, that I was destined to study the law.


This is the worst paragraph in your PS. It seems aimless and as a result it's very weak. The rest of your PS is focused on developing the narrative of maturity. This is not. In fact, I don't believe this paragraph needs to be here. It doesn't add much, or perhaps anything to the overall narrative, and you could just skip to the conclusion.

That second sentence is the worst sentence in your PS. It doesn't bother me that you re-tread your resume a bit here with the JC position. It bothers me that it goes on longer than it should and that you try to shoehorn the entire point of your statement into it. You have to "show" the reader that you've become mature. Here, you kind of just kind of assert it without going through the inferential steps that would convince the reader that this is the case. You have to give this another go. Break it apart or just simplify it.
Last edited by billyez on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Gracchus
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby Gracchus » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:41 pm

[/quote]
This is the worst paragraph in your PS. It seems aimless and as a result it's very weak. The rest of your PS is focused on developing the narrative of maturity. This is not. In fact, I don't believe this paragraph needs to be here. It doesn't add much, or perhaps anything to the overall narrative, and you could just skip to the conclusion.
[/quote]

It seems like all the personal statements are supposed to answer "Why the Law." How do I tie law and maturity together? Thank you for all your input-it is invaluable.

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billyez
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby billyez » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:44 pm

They don't have to and they shouldn't if doing so detracts or distracts from the overall narrative. It's very clear that you wrote that paragraph to introduce the "Why Law?" part of the statement. If you want to do that, then do so. But you have to do it in a better fashion than you did here.

I'm becoming more and more resolved in my belief that the paragraph in question is superfluous and should be excised. You mention the law in a way that connects it in a decent enough fashion in your conclusion to the overall theme of maturity. It's far less clumsily done in your conclusion than in the paragrpah I'm talking about.

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Gracchus
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby Gracchus » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:57 pm

Would it be weird if I mentioned that many club members were lawyers and we talked about being a lawyer, or would I come off as a gold digger?

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billyez
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby billyez » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:03 am

I don't know. This is a rough draft. Maybe if you mentioned those facts and weaved them into the narrative it wouldn't sound weird and it would add to the PS. Write it out. Try it out. Then we'll see. But I can't make assessments on how facts will look when brought into the PS unless I read them as they would be phrased; at least, that's what I try to do.

Just ask yourself, would adding that fact mean anything? You said you wanted this to be about your growing maturity, right? Does the fact that a number of these individuals were lawyers mean anything in that context?

sparty99
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby sparty99 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:31 am

I hated this essay. You have awkward phrases. For example, "I was at a point where I was unsure of myself; what I was doing with my life and who I meant in talking about "myself."

"I attained two jobs to build myself up and move ahead." Don't speak in metaphors. Be clear and concise. "I attained two jobs to develop a sense of maturity and purpose in my life."

"time being milked away" - "time passing by"

"nervous sweat of testing myself" - what the hell does this mean?

Incorrect usage: "one of the roles I performed was working in the golf shop."
Correct usage: "I worked in the golf shop" or "one of my duties was working in the golf shop."

"Calling on the knowledge I had frantically acquired" - melodramatic. Don't use the word frantically. You sound like a doofus who is all over the place and disorganized. Be confident. "Mike relied on my skills and knowledge to solve the issue." or "Since I worked hard to be recognized as an expert, Mike came to me for advice. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH."

"awareness of the self-focus of others" - say what?

All in all, I think this was a weak essay. You do a poor job transitioning and connecting paragraphs. Additionally, you do not stand out. This is your interview to the admissions committee. How do you want to be remembered? You can talk about the two jobs that you had, but you need to show how you really grew and stop speaking in metaphors. Saying you were lazy or lost does not make me want to admit you. I get the wrong impression. Admissions want people who know where they are going, have a record of accomplishment, and know why they are getting a law degree or how they will benefit from one. You did not achieve this objective. You can talk about how you developed yourself, but you must do a better job. Also, how will this transition into law school or in your legal field? This essay is underdeveloped and requires further thought.
Last edited by sparty99 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

OnceUponAMemo
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Re: Very Rough First Draft

Postby OnceUponAMemo » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:35 am

Gracchus wrote:Hey everybody! I just sat down and pounded this out. Any and all help or advice would be greatly appreciated. What comes across? Have your machete ready? Thank you!
(Edited out what I was going for)

Inertia got the ball rolling. I returned to my hometown of ¬¬¬¬_______in the summer of 2009 without cause [without cause? Isn't the cause being home for summer?] or comfort. I was at a point where I was unsure of myself; what I was doing with my life and who I meant in talking about "myself." I was skimming through my life, much as I would a biology textbook, neither grasping hold of the material or the time being milked away. [Were you a biology major? I would go a little bit more in depth about why you were struggling, give a very short anecdote about a public speaking problem to wrap the statement together a bit].

I attained two jobs to build myself up and move ahead. One of the jobs was as a real estate assistant and the other was as a jack-of-all-trades at the local country club, [helping] provideing the life for others that I wished to attain for myself. As I threw myself into the job, I struggled through the nervous sweat of testing myself [with ... long hours/challenging X, Y, and Z]. One of the roles I performed my many responsibilities was working in the golf shop. To demonstrate my capability, I went through every training manual. I systematically going went through every guide [what type of guides, I assume these are not how to run a golf shop, but more about how to run a business. Specificity helps here] again and again, desperately trying to catch up, desperately trying to be competent [competent is a weak word here. You may want to use something stronger]. I built myself into an expert in the inventory system without even realizing it until one of my co-workers, "Mike", asked for my help one day. Mike had been employed by the club for over two years and was respected by the members, and liked by the other employees and most importantly, trusted by management. He had found that one of our co-workers had miscounted our inventory for the previous month, then updated the system and left us with no accurate information on the exact value of the store's inventory. Mike wanted to know if I had any ideas [Another weak sentence, it makes it seem like he just asked you, hey dude, any clue what's going on. I would instead have a sentence that demonstrates something about you along the lines of: I was surprised, but ready, when Mike came to me first to see if I had any solutions. I did. Calling on the knowledge I had frantically acquired, I navigated through the computer and overrode the inventory system. Need a sentence here explaining why this was helpful/creative. After that this episode,all the other workers in the golf shop came to me I was the first one employees came to when they had questions on the inventory system. Then It then became questions on all the different computer systems. Then it became It soon evolved into questions on everything and anything, until I became the person to go to when there was a problem go-to staff problem solver, or even the potential of a problem. I have had some leadership experience lead before, but I had never had that feeling of being looked up to, that feeling of natural presence. For the first time in years, Maybe I felt I might know what I was doing after all. Due to my diligence, I went from not knowing the answers and lacking self-confidence to being known as the one with the answers.

Like many, I grew up with a discomfort with public speaking. Being Excelling in the workplace allowed me to overcome this fear. There was no room for trepidation, only performance. I could not show any discomfort, whether I was giving a report on my activities to a realtor or directing a disorganized herd of golfers. Every week I stood before a group of club members to announce rules for upcoming tournament and again to make club announcements, announce winners and distribute prizes. This allowed me to develop a sense of pace pride and comfort in when my speaking in front of others.

New paragraph When I returned to school, I found recognized my former self in my classmates. I sensed the discomfort of others, only focused inwards on their own fear and trepidation. I found reveled in my newly realized found sense comfort with of my surroundings and found that the rhythm of the speaking I had been forced to develop translated easily to the classroom. This awareness of the self-focus of others, combined with an ease in seeing myself within the context of the room a previously unknown classroom poise, gave me a great ease in classroom oration that I had never felt before and I was excited to keep pushing myself further with each passing class.

I have been interested in the law pursuing a legal education for a long time, but I always struggled against it this inclination because it was expected that as a history major it would be a likely landing-place such a cliche landing-place for history majors. Nonetheless, From I found myself genuinely excited when studying Supreme Court cases in school and I even wrote my fraternity's by-laws when serving as the head of the Judicial Committee. for my fraternity and writing its by-laws I have always had a regard for the law, but it was only after maturing and becoming more relaxed about who I was, did it likewise become apparent to myself, as it had been to others, that I was destined to study the law that I realized the law was more than a cliche to me. It was my passion.

These professional experiencez of being outside of school allowed pushed me to become the person I had always thought myself capable of someone I previously could only dream about being; calm and certain, letting my natural abilities flourish. Being exposed to the real world, making out shift schedules, organizing and running events, all allowed me develop a relaxed confidence that I carried back into the school setting now carry with me every day. Sitting down, reading books and writing a paper seemed relaxing compared to a long workday. What the other students around me complained about seemed trivial and I found my calmness in those situation self-perpetuating [This sentence is confusing. How was your calm state self-perpetuating?]. My experiences have allowed me to become mature and capable forced me to meet a challenge head on, realize my weaknesses and overcome an obstacle that at one point would leave me paralyzed with fear. By combining my enthusiasm for the law with my capabilitiesdedication and zeal, I will be able to lead both can finally say, to myself and others, that I look forward to leading an informed and rewarding career in the law.


Not a bad statement. A good amount of minor punctuation mistakes that you should look over. There are also a lot of grammar errors and sentence fragments. I think you downplay the process and challenge you underwent in overcoming this fear. You sound overly humble in this piece and in a personal statement that is a detriment. I know others who have had to overcome serious issues with public speaking and it is not an easy path. Make sure you demonstrate to admissions committees where you were, how you improved, and where you ended up. Also the realtor stuff does not add anything to this story without more narration about what you did there. It feels thrown in. I made a lot of comments, not sure if the formatting will work very well using TLS scripts, but feel free to send me a soft copy statement via pm and I can help some more. You do have a real story hear with merit, it just needs some work to become a high-quality personal statement. Good luck!




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