rough draft of my PS. Feel free to destroy it. Not looking for grammatical errors just thematical
We were three hundred feet under the surface of the ocean when the nuclear reactor shut down. I pulled up on my steering wheel and headed for periscope depth. The emergency diesel of the USS Pasadena hummed to life and then abruptly fell silent as the operator made a wrong move. I, as the ship’s diesel petty officer, led my division through a thorough inspection of the engine to ensure that it was safe for continued operation. Failure to execute this inspection properly could have caused an explosion that would endanger the crew and damage equipment. This was only one day out of the four years that I served in the United States Navy.
The Navy challenged me to grow at every turn. While a machinist’s mate’s occupation is a dirty physical job it also calls for an extraordinary amount of paperwork. At first, I felt that the research and writing were unglamorous jobs but I discovered that without regulation and compliance mundane tasks could end disastrously. I flowered as a quality assurance inspector because it placed me in a position of authority and leadership. I came to love developing procedures and researching requirements. I followed this love of research into history when I left the military.
I entered the study of history with plans of being a military historian. Along the way, I discovered a passion for gender history. My most significant paper was on Loretta Velazquez, a woman who claimed to have disguised herself as a man to fight for the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War. She is not the only woman to have made such a claim but historians tend to doubt and criticize her account while validating others. I did not set out to prove that her story was true. Instead, I compared her account with those of her contemporaries in order to invalidate the criticisms of her work and create a framework for authenticity. This paper is important to me because there are no monographs on Velazquez. I hope to develop my paper into a larger work at some point in time.
Her critics attacked her work because she embellished every aspect of it. She also took her cross-dressing beyond a disguise and developed an amorous male persona to accompany it. Her use of this persona drew attention and criticism by her contemporaries and historians. I examined the literature of her time and discovered that while she may have stretched the truth, so did her contemporaries. Half-truths dominated this entire genre of the female warrior in the civil war. In a similar manner, her romantic exploits were an extension of the drive for fame that encompassed her genre. Her critics failed to see the whole picture but without their efforts, I could never have approached the subject. I hope that my contribution will allow other scholars to make the next step in understanding this event.
Another major work was my examination of Eleanor Raymond, a New England architect of the modern school in the early twentieth century. I refuted the only major analysis of her work, which insisted that she did not gain publicity because she had no cohesive style. I explained that her position as a woman necessitated her taking some out of character assignments, but that there were elements tying these productions to her most modern works. I decided that Raymond displayed a distinct style obvious to her clients and critics. What interested me most about this work was working against the competing scholar, Nancy Beth Gruskin. Her work was a PhD dissertation that became invaluable to me. It was a daunting task to attempt to disprove something that a gifted scholar spent years putting together. I found that we agreed on many points and the difference between our opinions lay in minute details and emphasis. The more time I spent on this project the closer I felt to Gruskin because we both utilized much of the same information. This project helped me understand how to maintain my own voice.
Leadership, teamwork, and dedication are common buzzwords on a resume or application. In my case, they are facts, not hyperbole. I have real world experience as a leader and as a team player. The dedication required to succeed on a submarine gave me the drive to succeed in any environment. While my contributions to history are important to me and perhaps a few other historians, they lack the impact and importance that my military actions had. I want to work in a field where my actions are life changing. I feel that I can find this in law. I know almost nothing about the law or the legal profession. I knew almost nothing about submarines or gender history before I embarked on them. Every time that I enter a new setting, I grow in unexpected directions. I cannot begin to know what direction this study will take me. All I ask for is a challenging environment that will allow me to grow and influence lives.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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