Final draft (hopefully)

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Final draft (hopefully)

Postby Marie34 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:06 pm

I realize I still may have grammer/spelling/sentence structure mistakes that I need to fix, but other than that, I hope the overall structure and idea is ok. Any criticism would be appreciate :) Also, if you can find a place I can cut out a sentence or two, let me know, since I'm literally 3 lines onto the 3rd page.

During my global conflict class I took while studying abroad in Rome, Italy, it was common for my classmates and I to develop split personalities during our studies of genocide throughout history. We were future activists full of passion one minute, and then normal students worried only about our grade in the class the next. While we were brimming with sympathy during our discussions, any emotion was soon forgotten the minute we stepped foot out of the room. It was until our Professor assigned us a project that, not only solidified a permanent awareness in my mind, but also evoked a new motivation and perspective that completely shaped and defined my desire to practice law.

The project was planning, creating and filming a visual and audio documentary presenting the harsh discrimination of the Romani population in present-day Europe. We were to include historical research, perform interviews, and most important, witness the conditions of a “gypsy camp” which are government authorized campus on the outskirts of Italian cities run by Italian officials. The conditions of the camp were, to say the least, appalling and completely unlivable, and the residents of the camp were victims of harsh discrimination on a daily basis. This blatant discrimination served as a reality shock to my previous impassive attitude of these occurrences, which in turn, created a whole new outlook on how I viewed the field of international human rights.

Prior to my abroad experience, human rights activists were equivalent to Sisyphus, the character in the ancient Greek folklore who was doomed by his king to eternally push a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll right back down once he reached the top. Activists may succeed in stopping an atrocity in one place, but it’s never long where another country or group picks up the slack, as instances of massive bloodshed keep sprouting up on the pages of our world history. Given this, it wasn’t difficult for me to fatally condone international human rights as hopeless. I can still distinctly remember the look in the Italian officer’s eyes as he shot a discriminatory remark to an innocent Roma child. It showed the people in position of power, boosted with natural human tendencies of pride and greed, will lack any form of empathy and remorse. These tendencies are so strong, and so embedded. that no law, treaty or amendment to the Declaration of Human rights can ever remove them.

So, truthfully, the practice of international human rights is a perfect analogy to the folklore; the international human rights campaign may never reach the top of the hill, because there simply isn’t one. The Greeks taught us something important in that it will always be an endless battle with no ultimate victory, but, my first-hand experience taught me something more; the success solely lies within moving the boulder up the hill even just an inch. The “rolling back down of the boulder” may always be inevitable, but the fight toward human rights isn’t about changing the powerful, its about giving the powerless the necessary tools to push the boulder as far up the hill as they possibly can. Also in Italy, I got the opportunity to hear an American attorney discuss his employment with a small not for profit organization based in Italy. He explained his most
recent undertaking of working with Israeli courts and police forces in select cities to increase women’s legal protection in the courts. He stated himself that it will never completely halt the horrible acts of discrimination against the female population, but taking this step raises the level of awareness, and if one female victim can succeed in court against her perpetrator, then, while seemingly small, a noteworthy step was taken in the right direction.

So I now realize that, while they may seem trivial in the grand scheme, it’s these little victories that continually pump the life and optimism in the international campaign. Through obtaining my legal education which is based in a country whose legal system fully incorporates the concepts of human rights, fairness, and justice, I’ll be able to promote and initiate these values in places where it’s needed most in hope to ultimately add my own small triumph to the never ending list. So to all who have been struggling in pushing that boulder up the hill in what I previously thought were futile attempts, I soon wish to join in the eternal crusade. Because I learned it’s never about getting Sisyphus to the top; it’s about making the boulder a little bit lighter, the hill a little bit shorter, and Sisyphus a little bit stronger

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Re: Final draft (hopefully)

Postby thelawschoolproject » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:56 pm

A few thoughts:

1). Not sure if you want to use the phrase "develop split personalities." I'm sure there's a better way to phrase what you mean to say. And, is it normal for a student to only be concerned about a grade? I suppose that depends on what kind of undergrad you attended.

2). The way your PS begins it makes you look like a privileged American student who is too self-absorbed and unaware to care about different kinds of peoples. Now, this is just IMO, but I don't think that's the kind of tone you want to convey.

3). You mention that the blatant discrimination was a shock and it makes me wonder if you've never witnessed discrimination before?

4). IMO, you don't need to explain who Sisyphus is. Most academics know the story.

5). Not sure if you really want to come out and say that human rights is essentially pointless. I understand what you're trying to get at, but the tone of it is overly negative. You may be trying to position your view of it in positive light, but I believe there are ways you can do that more effectively.

6). I don't know anyone who would say our legal system "fully incorporates" fairness and justice, especially when most states don't allow same-sex marriage and some states have replaced segregationist laws with "zoning" laws.

7). I think the idea of using the Sisyphus story is interesting. It could be an effective thread to hold your PS together, and maybe your entire application together, especially if you have items on your resume that shows your involvement in this type of work.

8). Your PS seems to lack a certain amount of maturity. I read it and see a little girl hoping to change the world because she saw one type of injustice. I don't get the feeling that I'm looking into the eyes of an adult. This is a major problem.

9). At some points I found your PS difficult to follow. There are several lines where I honestly couldn't discern your intentions. Your prose needs to be cleaner and more specific. Grammar is definitely an issue, as is overall syntax. You want to be very direct and specific throughout your PS, but IMO this doesn't happen in paragraphs 3-4.

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