third draft, any feedback appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
rachelwang712
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:07 am

third draft, any feedback appreciated

Postby rachelwang712 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:03 am

I want to thank every one who commented on my first two drafts. I feel more confident now. This is my third draft. Please your feedback will be most helpful.

Studying as an exchange student in Tokyo when the March 11th earthquake hit Japan, I was entirely safe in my dorm. Fortunately, only briefly affected, Tokyo returned gradually to its normal order the very next day despite occasional aftershocks. However, it was the panic that people went into that frightened me most in the days after the earthquake. People began to flee as quickly as they could. By the end of the fifth day, all planes from Tokyo to Shanghai were fully booked and my friends even travelled desparately to Osaka to take a flight. The price of the tickets, needless to say, saw a ten-fold increase. It then struck me even more that the main culprit behind that mess is nothing but media and Internet. One of my friends was even too scared to leave his room as he saw a post from twitter that radioactivity was all over Tokyo, killing every living creature. Meanwhile efforts to explain away these rumors turned out futile.

Two weeks after the quake, I, as the leader for a volunteer team, went to the earthquake-struck area to help as a volunteer. Victims I got to know there were all frightened by the scaring stories in media. However, unable to leave the area, they were easily led to believe rumors that were all over the place then. I met a middle age woman who refused to eat government’s subsidized meal since the accident. Asked why, she repplied she heard that the government could not afford to waste food that have been polluted by radioactivity so it added it to victims’ relief meals.

To answer to these worries, my teammates and I spent much time searching Internet for information. We intentionally relied more on the IAEA and academic institutions than media or government. It was more difficult to explain to desparate victims these complicated figures and jargons. At that time, I was taking a seminar on law. Through the seminar I learned how representation of facts matters enormously. A brief look at any Supreme Court decision and a close reading of both majority and dissents would reveal that. I therefore proposed that we should focus on making these scientific facts interesting and understandable. On my suggestion, we made different slides for different age groups. Besides during our demonstrations, we used many charts and pictures to simplify so that ordinary people would not find it boring or too challenging. We all were relieved when these presentations worked and people were calmed. I was more glad when the woman, after attending our presentations, finally realized that the subsidized meals were not dangerous and agreed to eat. I was also proud that my ability to collect objective facts and demonstrate them in a palatable manner was of enormous use in our volunteer work.

However, this is not all about the situation. In addition to anxiety over daily needs, the victims’ anger added up when professional assistance such as medical service they received was doing little if any good to their situation. With much important document lost or destroyed, it was bothersome for people to claim compensation for their insured property. Meanwhile, for family of those deceased, how to attribute inheritance when a will was not available was also a big problem. When the victims knew that we were university students, they asked us several times whether they could and should sue the government and the Tokyo Electricity Power Company for the loss and how. These question were far beyond our ability but were, as I realize, vital for the victims to move on with new life. In fact, I was frustrated when all I could say to them is sorry I have no idea. I believe for them, verbal encouragement or explanation of current situation is not enough. It is professional assistance, law or medical, that offers practical guidance to cope with their situation. Seeing how desparate they were, more than ever I wanted to be involved in actual rebuilding and to make contributions in a professional way but I could not. e.

After we came back Tokyo, I was awarded for my volunteer work in these areas. However, from deep in my heart I know what I did is merely comfort and I could do much more if I had the expertise to help them as a legal professional. Half a year later I can still feel the mixed feeling of pride and helplessness I experienced the volunteer work. This, together with strong interest in law, has inspired me to pursue a long-term path of lawyer so that I can be of more assistance to people in need.

shmoo597
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:31 pm

Re: third draft, any feedback appreciated

Postby shmoo597 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:21 am

Are you not a native english speaker? I've noticed that non-native english speakers (especially chinese) have a major problem using the word "the."

For example, it should be:

"It then struck me even more that the main culprit behind that mess WAS nothing but THE media and THE Internet."

"To answer to these worries, my teammates and I spent much time searching THE Internet for information."

Also:

"Meanwhile efforts to explain away these rumors turned out TO BE futile."

My advice would be to have a native english speaker give it read through before you're done to catch all these small grammatical things.

rachelwang712
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:07 am

Re: third draft, any feedback appreciated

Postby rachelwang712 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:30 am

I am Chinese and you are right. I find it hard to make "the" right. I actually have sent this to my English teacher, who is Chinese as well. It seems I have to find some native speaker.
Thank you for pointing out.

Besides grammar, what do you think of the content and etc?

shmoo597 wrote:Are you not a native english speaker? I've noticed that non-native english speakers (especially chinese) have a major problem using the word "the."

For example, it should be:

"It then struck me even more that the main culprit behind that mess WAS nothing but THE media and THE Internet."

"To answer to these worries, my teammates and I spent much time searching THE Internet for information."

Also:

"Meanwhile efforts to explain away these rumors turned out TO BE futile."

My advice would be to have a native english speaker give it read through before you're done to catch all these small grammatical things.

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

Re: third draft, any feedback appreciated

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:04 pm

My take is that your point is catastrophic events raise many controversies that require more lawyers. An obvious truth. You saw this gap and want to fill it. However, I feel your weakness is that you explain your frustration in that you lack the knowledge or ability to function as a lawyer. A more insightful approach would be to describe how you used the skills you do have to help these people. Can you better explain what you did that won you the honor?

The third and fourth paragraph are really about the same problem. First, people need information in order to proceed, second, they need the advocacy to proceed properly. I would reframe this to say, you explained the issues in terms that they could operationalize and make decisions based on. Then, you helped them (albeit less effectively than you would have preferred because you are not a lawyer) find legal pathways to resolve their controversies. Explain the step you took, with your limited power, to help these people address their claims.




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