PS Draft 2 -Please critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
powerscore
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:14 am

PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby powerscore » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:16 pm

Ok, here is an edited draft based on your responses. Thank you so much to everyone who took their time to take a look at my draft! I will do my best to help others with theirs!

As I stared out of the unsteady plane window, hoping that we would land safely in the Miami airport, I watched the island of Cuba slowly disappear below me. I contemplated how just a week ago I had arrived in a completely different world. A world stuck in the past and stricken by poverty, yet beautiful in its own way. This was my parents’ world, where they grew up and lived for a substantial portion of their lives. They constantly remind me of the struggles and difficulties of living in Cuba, and they have strived to provide a better life for my brother and me.

After several visits to Cuba in the last few years, I have had eye opening experiences that have given me a better understanding of how my family lives and a greater sense of the everyday problems they encounter. Countless times during one of our stays, the police stopped us for seemingly no reason to check our papers and identification. This was just one of the ways that the government reminded the Cuban people that they were being watched, but most of all suppressed. The impact of a dictatorship is present in many ways throughout the small island; the laws are either non-existent or disregarded. Seeing the way that that style of government can destroy a country fuels my passion for the study of law and my desire to represent our freedoms.

The Cuban culture has likewise had a significant impact on me. As the first person in my family to attend college, I have come across a vast array of opportunities and challenges which my parents have never encountered. Yet, these opportunities have also been a recurring source of conflict in my efforts to reconcile my American and Cuban heritages. Unlike the American tradition of “cutting the ties” of child and parent upon entering college, my parents have always emphasized the importance of families staying together. This drastic difference was highlighted by the experience I had with my college roommate. During our first year at the University of Georgia I explained to her how my parents expected me to come home every weekend and spend time with my family. Although my parents did not like the idea of me moving away, I tried to explain to them that I needed to participate in “the college experience” and learn to be independent. My roommate’s parents on the other hand, established a rule that she could not come home very often, because they wanted her to learn to not depend on them. Since I am able to see things from different cultural perspectives I can see the benefits and drawbacks to both cultures. American culture is strongly individualistic; the Cuban customs, as I can attest, do not share this principle.

Although I have lived in the United States for the majority of my life, I always carry with me understandings of other cultures and ways of life. These understandings give me the power to see things from different perspectives, as well as the capacity to put myself in other people’s positions. My aptitude for learning languages and my ability to speak two languages fluently also opens many doors in terms of my capability to help others. With my understanding of both European and Latin backgrounds my goal is to use my JD degree to aid the Spanish speaking community through legal counsel.

By incorporating and reconciling the many divergent values and goals of my multicultural background, I am better equipped to approach an issue or problem from multiple perspectives, an ability that will aid me in entering into a fourth culture – that of the study of law and the legal profession. As a lawyer the ability to evaluate a legal matter from different perspectives is vital—taking into account the perspectives of both parties involved as well as the judge and jury. I live each day with this mandate as I examine and resolve personal issues from one or more of the cultural perspectives that shape my thinking. I know XXX College of Law prides itself on being diverse; I believe I will be able to add to that diversity in a positive and unique way.
Last edited by powerscore on Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Chief Littlebighead
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby Chief Littlebighead » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:21 pm

"As I stared out of the unsteady plane window, hoping that we would land safely in the Miami airport, I watched the island of Cuba slowly disappear below me. I contemplated how in a short thirty-five minute plane ride you could arrive in a completely different world. A world stuck in the past and stricken by poverty, yet beautiful in its own way"

The way it is currently worded, "A world stuck in the past and stricken by poverty, yet beautiful in its own way" makes it sound like you are talking about America.

A. On a plane, looking out the window.
B. Watching Cuba disappear, bye bye!
C. In a short plane ride I am arriving in a different world
D. A world stricken by poverty, yet beautiful.

Perhaps you were referring to America in the last sentence? If so, disregard this post.

powerscore
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:14 am

Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby powerscore » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:25 pm

I was actually trying to refer to Cuba. Sorry if that was a little confusing!

I contemplated how in a short thirty-five minute plane ride I had arrived in a completely different world. A world stuck in the past and stricken by poverty, yet beautiful in its own way.

do you think this fixes the problem? Or is it still confusing? I could also switch it like this:

As I stared out of the unsteady plane window, hoping that we would land safely in the Havana airport, I watched the city of Miami slowly disappear below me. I contemplated how in a short thirty-five minute plane ride I could arrive in a completely different world. A world stuck in the past and stricken by poverty, yet beautiful in its own way. This was my parents’ world, where they grew up and lived for a substantial portion of their lives. They constantly remind me of the struggles and difficulties of living in Cuba, and they have strived to provide a better life for my brother and me.

Which do you think works best?

kaidun
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:39 am

Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby kaidun » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:42 am

I just looked up your previous draft; this seems much better! Thanks for posting update, don't have time to critique now, but when I get home I will do my worst.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:05 am

I agree with ChiefLittleBigHead that your opening is confusing. Also, the first sentence of the second paragraph is poorly constructed. (CONSIDER: After several eye-opening visits to Cuba over the last few years, I now have a better understanding...").

Your use of the word "countless" is incorrect--I think that you mean "numerous".

DELETE: The word "ample".

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:13 am

Overall, your personal statement essay lacks fluidity & seems a bit awkward due to its paint-by-the-numbers construction.

powerscore
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby powerscore » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:14 pm

CanadianWolf,

Do you think that there is a way to make it more fluid, or is there any part I should take out to make it better?

Also, what do you think about the content itself?

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sumtimesuwonder
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby sumtimesuwonder » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:01 pm

I think that the ideas of the diversity of your experiences and the obstacles you overcame during your education are good topics, I just think that they dont have all that much to do with each other. I think that some fluidity could come from focusing more on one or the other, and just getting into more detail. I think it would make for a more coherent personal statement that ends up telling the reader more about who you are.

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paulshortys10
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby paulshortys10 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:03 pm

this could pass for a DS

powerscore
Posts: 28
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Re: PS Draft 2 -Please critique

Postby powerscore » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:22 am

"I think that the ideas of the diversity of your experiences and the obstacles you overcame during your education are good topics, I just think that they dont have all that much to do with each other. I think that some fluidity could come from focusing more on one or the other, and just getting into more detail. I think it would make for a more coherent personal statement that ends up telling the reader more about who you are."

Thanks, I think you are completely right. Which do you think would make for a more compelling statement? Overcoming obstacles, or diversity in experiences?




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