First draft - please critique!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
threecharacters
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:40 am

First draft - please critique!

Postby threecharacters » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:33 am

Hi folks. This is a first draft and I'm open to any and all constructive criticism. I'm a little concerned it's not really focused on why I want to go to law school, but I figured that question could be answered elsewhere in the application or with a "Why XX" addendum. Let me know your thoughts!

It was a warm Saturday afternoon in September and I was walking from door-to-door in a modest apartment community in Naples, Florida. Most young twenty-something’s would probably have much rather spent their weekends sunning on the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast, but I had resigned that something larger than myself was afoot and I wanted – nay, needed – to take part. After all, the beach would still be there in November. I looked at the next name on my walk sheet pondering the correct pronunciation of the individual’s first name (is that a long or short “e”?), strolled up to the door, knocked, and began the oft-repeated script: “Hi, my name is [name] and I am a volunteer with Obama for America. May I please speak with Renet?”
Naples is an old fishing village turned affluent retirement community situated in heavily Republican Collier County on the west coast of Florida. It seemed like the last place that would have a brick and mortar campaign office for Barack Obama. I had stumbled across the announcement of the grand opening in the Local Events section of the Naples Daily News and thought it would be a nice change to be surrounded by like-minded progressives. Having established myself in the infamously conservative banking industry, my beliefs and values were most often at odds with those of my fellow colleagues. For the most part I enjoyed my work and found it intellectually stimulating; however, I longed to do something more meaningful that would satisfy my hunger to be a force of change in my community. So when the opportunity arose at the grand opening celebration to sign up for a smaller, neighborhood-based organizational meeting, I answered the call.
At the neighborhood meeting, I looked around the reserved room in the community center and immediately realized there was a significant generational gap between myself and the other attendees. It shouldn’t have been a surprise given the demographics of our town, but I knew that if our neighborhood team was going to be successful we were going to need a leader with a lot of passion, drive, willingness and ability to devote the time needed in a hotly contested campaign, and just a little bit of technical know-how to keep everyone connected -- someone like me.
As a Neighborhood Team Leader turned official Campaign Intern, I was extremely proud of the work I was doing and impressed to learn I had skills I never knew I possessed. Having folks twice my age look up to me and seek my advice and approval was both foreign and gratifying; however, nothing was quite as satisfying as meeting Renet that fateful Saturday in September.
I shielded my eyes from the sun as I waited for her to come to the door. Once I introduced myself, her face immediately lit up like I’d just told her she won the lottery or I found a long-lost relative who she’d been dying to meet. Renet emigrated from Haiti and had recently become an American citizen. The 2008 presidential election was the first election in which she was eligible to vote and she was supporting Barack Obama. We made plans to meet a couple weeks later at the central library, the county’s official early vote location. Renet could hardly contain her excitement despite the long lines and missing her English as a Second Language class. We cast our ballots together, embraced to acknowledge and share the importance of the moment, and left with our “I Voted” stickers proudly displayed on the outside of our shirts.
On the evening of November 4, 2008, I was on my way to watch the election returns at a party hosted by the local Democratic club when I received a call from Renet. As soon as I answered she screamed into the phone, “They said we won! We won!” News outlets were reporting state-by-state election results but it was still early, the polls hadn’t closed in all of the states, and Florida was too close to call. Explaining to Renet the complexities of the US electoral system didn’t seem appropriate at the time so I simply replied “Not yet, but we’re almost there. Keep watching and get ready to celebrate.” Of course I didn’t know the end result nor could I predict the future but deep down, I knew that we had already won. My instincts were right and suddenly I realized I was more than excited, grateful, and hopeful of the future – I was satisfied.

horrorbusiness
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: First draft - please critique!

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:01 am

threecharacters wrote:Hi folks. This is a first draft and I'm open to any and all constructive criticism. I'm a little concerned it's not really focused on why I want to go to law school, but I figured that question could be answered elsewhere in the application or with a "Why XX" addendum. Let me know your thoughts!

It was a warm Saturday afternoon in September and I was walking from door-to-door in a modest apartment community in Naples, Florida. Most young twenty-something’s would probably have much rather spent their weekends sunning on the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast, but I had resigned that something larger than myself was afoot and I wanted – nay, needed – to take part. After all, the beach would still be there in November. I looked at the next name on my walk sheet pondering the correct pronunciation of the individual’s first name (is that a long or short “e”?), strolled up to the door, knocked, and began the oft-repeated script: “Hi, my name is [name] and I am a volunteer with Obama for America. May I please speak with Renet?”
Naples is an old fishing village turned affluent retirement community situated in heavily Republican Collier County on the west coast of Florida. It seemed like the last place that would have a brick and mortar campaign office for Barack Obama. I had stumbled across the announcement of the grand opening in the Local Events section of the Naples Daily News and thought it would be a nice change to be surrounded by like-minded progressives. Having established myself in the infamously conservative banking industry, my beliefs and values were most often at odds with those of my fellow colleagues. For the most part I enjoyed my work and found it intellectually stimulating; however, I longed to do something more meaningful that would satisfy my hunger to be a force of change in my community. So when the opportunity arose at the grand opening celebration to sign up for a smaller, neighborhood-based organizational meeting, I answered the call.
At the neighborhood meeting, I looked around the reserved room in the community center and immediately realized there was a significant generational gap between myself and the other attendees. It shouldn’t have been a surprise given the demographics of our town, but I knew that if our neighborhood team was going to be successful we were going to need a leader with a lot of passion, drive, willingness and ability to devote the time needed in a hotly contested campaign, and just a little bit of technical know-how to keep everyone connected -- someone like me.
As a Neighborhood Team Leader turned official Campaign Intern, I was extremely proud of the work I was doing and impressed to learn I had skills I never knew I possessed. Having folks twice my age look up to me and seek my advice and approval was both foreign and gratifying; however, nothing was quite as satisfying as meeting Renet that fateful Saturday in September.
I shielded my eyes from the sun as I waited for her to come to the door. Once I introduced myself, her face immediately lit up like I’d just told her she won the lottery or I found a long-lost relative who she’d been dying to meet. Renet emigrated from Haiti and had recently become an American citizen. The 2008 presidential election was the first election in which she was eligible to vote and she was supporting Barack Obama. We made plans to meet a couple weeks later at the central library, the county’s official early vote location. Renet could hardly contain her excitement despite the long lines and missing her English as a Second Language class. We cast our ballots together, embraced to acknowledge and share the importance of the moment, and left with our “I Voted” stickers proudly displayed on the outside of our shirts.
On the evening of November 4, 2008, I was on my way to watch the election returns at a party hosted by the local Democratic club when I received a call from Renet. As soon as I answered she screamed into the phone, “They said we won! We won!” News outlets were reporting state-by-state election results but it was still early, the polls hadn’t closed in all of the states, and Florida was too close to call. Explaining to Renet the complexities of the US electoral system didn’t seem appropriate at the time so I simply replied “Not yet, but we’re almost there. Keep watching and get ready to celebrate.” Of course I didn’t know the end result nor could I predict the future but deep down, I knew that we had already won. My instincts were right and suddenly I realized I was more than excited, grateful, and hopeful of the future – I was satisfied.


This has a lot of potential but the ending is garbage.

I wanted – nay, needed – to


this made me cringe a bit. the "nay" thing isn't really necessary..

Having established myself


establish yourself as what???

Explaining to Renet the complexities of the US electoral system didn’t seem appropriate at the time so I simply replied “Not yet, but we’re almost there. Keep watching and get ready to celebrate.”


this sounds incredibly condescending

My instincts were right and suddenly I realized I was more than excited, grateful, and hopeful of the future – I was satisfied.


this is a real nonsequitur of an ending. why satisfied? why should we care?? what the hell is going on in this ps!?!?

you really need to rewrite the ending with a purpose in mind. what does this have to do with law school at all???

you have good material though. just make the PS better.




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