Can you please critique my first PS draft?

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androidhu
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:49 pm

Can you please critique my first PS draft?

Postby androidhu » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:53 pm

Hi guys. I am really lost. I managed to write the first draft (below) but I feel like it sounds super cliche and needs to be improved greatly but I don't know how to. :(
Also, my English is very poor (non-native) and I am sure I made numerous grammatical errors so please comment on them too if you see any.

Thanks in advance!

Navigating my way through the shabby and quaint corners within Chinatown in XYZ city, I arrive at a humble, but solemn looking building of XYZ Charter School. At the school, children in navy uniforms, mostly coming from immigrant families with diverse ethnicities greet me with excitement, and I smile back. Being a part of Chinatown tutoring program in my college years was a rewarding experience. Particularly, as an events coordinator, I was deeply involved in the program; with other board members, I was in charge of running the program throughout the semester by recruiting student tutors from campus and coordinating the logistics of the program. At the end, I cherished the moment when I saw how an intimate and collective relation developed between the student tutors and Chinatown children partially through my efforts. Being a first generation Korean-American myself, I had a tremendous sense of giving back to the immigrant community that I was a part of.
I was raised in Korea, spending my childhood during the one of the darkest times of Korean economy as the biggest economic recession swiped the 1990’s. My family was not as badly affected as others were, but I was surrounded by the pervasive sense of frustration and the collective feeling of injustice that something fundamentally went wrong. At this tumultuous time, I sought comfort in a Christian framework; being raised in a Protestant family, I was deeply immersed in the religious language of grace and salvation. While I was not fully satisfied, I was deeply fascinated by how a religion provides a shield and comfort to the hardships of the secular world. This fascination continued when I moved to America to attend the college in which I majored in religious studies. I deeply loved the process of gaining intellectual insight into how people’s desire for the ultimate, their religiosity, manifests itself in dynamic forms according to different socio-cultural circumstances. As a native Korean, I had to face a language barrier, but I excelled in the rigorous courses as I worked studiously and diligently. I wrote papers which my professors highly commended, and they particularly highly thought of my ability to think and articulate critically. With their encouragement, I began to harbor a dream to become a scholar specializing in studying religious studies, and particularly, Buddhism.
However, after finishing up my master’s degree in religious studies at XYZ University, I came to realize that I was one-sidedly steered toward the sacred side of life at the expense of the secular dimension. As I studied Buddhism in depth, I began to see a clearer answer to the question of salvation and ultimate meaning of life. Within Buddhism, one strives to become enlightened. For the most of my life, I have been primarily striving to achieve this sense of enlightenment by seeking to become a scholar in pursuit of truth. However, I realized that the true enlightenment cannot be attained through an intellectual approach alone. Buddhism teaches that when one realizes the ultimate wisdom that one is not an independently existing being, he or she becomes fully empathetic and compassionate toward the beings around him or her. The true wisdom is nothing but compassion. I have always delighted in reading and studying the abstract discourses of the socio-cultural and philosophical manifestations of religious traditions. Yet, I have been too caught up in my own intellectual pursuit of religious studies to acknowledge the real sufferings at large. I missed working as a student coordinator for XYZ Charter School back in college during which I had an immense sense of reward and involvement. My desire to engage more with the real world of suffering on a more tangible level fueled my interest in the field of law. From [name of the school] I hope to take a next step to seek engagement with the real world and to shape the lives of the actual people.

PKozi
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:29 pm

Re: Can you please critique my first PS draft?

Postby PKozi » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:12 pm

I would say you probably ought be more focused. The narrative you present is kind of disjointed. Were you to focus in more detail on one of the many experiences you enumerate it may be more useful for you.

Also, make sure you use the past tense to talk about things that happened in the past.

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androidhu
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:49 pm

Re: Can you please critique my first PS draft?

Postby androidhu » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:43 pm

Hey, thanks for the feed-back! That was helpful. :)
I'll definitely work on making it more focused...thinking about keeping my academic endeavor in religion and separating the whole chinatown stuff into a separate diversity essay.
Anyways, thanks!

dani_burhop
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Can you please critique my first PS draft?

Postby dani_burhop » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:57 pm

Try outlining to gain focus, and think about what you want the core message to be, Ex: are you a teacher, a scholar, a hero? The details of the story you choose should speak to a personal quality that you want the adcomms to understand about you - a quality they wouldn't be able to glean from another part of your application.

Best, Dani




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