Beauty Queen's personal statement

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kmh504
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Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:27 pm

Personal Statement
*hid some details towards the en because it gives away my real identity :p but please critique away. This fits 2 with 4 sentences creeping to the 3rd page. I must be within 2 pgs in at least 11 pt. font as per the instructions, so any trimming ideas are welcome.

Critics and colleagues in my profession have embarked on a seemingly impossible wait for Superman. They are waiting on Superman because they have failed to recognize the Superwoman passing through their halls and lurking in their classrooms. She flies across the city of New York with the speed of a 10-car subway train so that children may inherit her most sought after power - knowledge. Her super strength allows her to compensate for schools characterized as under-funded and over-sized by extending her workday without pay. This power is so great, she is able to spend thousands of dollars to buy her own school supplies and still remain above the poverty line. Her impeccable vision allows her to see the potential that exists in all her students, compelling her to become a public advocate on their behalf. The only ‘kryptonite’ known to Superwoman is the dichotomy of ignorance in an institution of learning. Its presence crushes her spirits, cripples her will and challenges her faith.
I am Superwoman, and I began serving my community as a teacher two years ago. Before recognizing my power as a positive change agent, I was a first-year teacher. The day after graduation, I moved from a small town in Illinois to New York City in order to begin a teaching fellowship. I spent the first summer moving from house to house as I couldn’t afford a place to stay, all the while embarking upon my first semester as a graduate student. Over eight short weeks, I was taught the basics of special education law and was trained in the methods for teaching students with Autism.
My first few months as a teacher were a disaster. My classroom was a mix of students with Autism and Emotional Disturbance. I was only provided one of three required paraprofessionals for my classroom due to budget cuts. Teaching a student with Autism goes beyond reading and writing. It must also address their deficits in life skills and communication. I was not prepared to undertake the role of occupational and speech therapist, but somehow I found myself wearing both hats. While practicing sight words with one student, another was throwing himself on the floor. While teaching a group of students how to hold a pencil, another student was throwing chairs across the room. Instead of getting support from my principal, she told me I had until my next observation to ‘get it right’ or be transferred out.
When I got on the subway that same night, I cried. I cried until my head hurt. The tears came not out of self-pity but out of frustration that I couldn’t be the teacher my students deserved. It was the first time I realized that I was solely responsible for my students’ learning and solely in charge of doing what I had to do to make that happen. At that moment, a woman sitting next to me said, “Crying ain’t gonna change nothing but your mood.” She was right. If I was going to be a change agent, I had to make positive changes for my students.
I reached out to the Department of Education’s Autism Office for extra in-class training and support. Every day, I submitted an anecdotal to the office, documenting evidence towards the continued need for the missing support services in my classroom. After creating an extensive paper trail, my principal sent me a scathing e-mail informing me that it was a “parent’s job” to ensure that their child’s federally mandated services are received. I was faced with the dilemma of securing parental involvement in this matter when I could barely secure Open House attendance. Many of my parents worked three or more jobs and some were recent immigrants who could barely speak English. Since I was in control of my students’ learning, I had to find a way to go directly to the parents. Over the period of a few weeks, I made after-work house visits at my students’ homes to explain to parents how they could request services for their children. I even helped draft some of the letters for those who couldn’t write. When the Annual Review meetings came, I had perfect parent attendance. Seeing my parents mobilize in this way motivated me to continue my hard work and advocate on their behalf.
I became more involved with Autism Speaks and educational policy initiatives in general. I helped organize our school team for the Autism Walk and raised over 1,000 dollars for the cause. Being a public figure as Miss [my state pageant title here ] has allowed me to also serve as a celebrity advocate for the [my state]-area Autism Speaks organization. I am also working with the Autism Alliance and other Autism-related organizations. I believe no one should have to wait on services, Superwoman, or their own individual rights. In suit, cape, or crown, I am a change agent for students with Autism and the education field. I now want to be a change agent in the field of education law and continue my advocacy.

I aspire to represent students and families who feel they have not been given due process within the education system or who feel their civil rights have been violated due to their disabilities. It is my hope that I will one day serve as an attorney for my agency, the Department of Education, due to my desire to see our school system represented fairly, and most importantly, to ensure that our students receive the services and treatment that they deserve. A law degree combined with the educational practice I’ve received in my graduate program, will equip me with the tools needed to address the education needs and challenges that exist within our school system.

*revision*
“You need to get it right, or you’ll be transferred.” I don’t remember the rest of what she said – the entire walk from my principal’s office to the subway was a blur. But there I was later that night, sitting on the subway crying. Crying until my head hurt. I knew that things weren’t perfect in my classroom. By most measures, it was a disaster. In fact, that’s why I approached my principal for support. You see, I wasn’t just teaching any students. My students either lay somewhere on the Autism spectrum or were severely emotionally disturbed. While practicing sight words with one student, another was throwing himself on the floor. While teaching a group of students how to hold a pencil, another student was throwing chairs across the room. On my worst day, I left school clutching a chunk of my hair that had been violently pulled from my scalp. My arm was bruised and bloody from the bite of a six-year-old because I asked him to raise his hand. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was really teaching or going into battle.
Not only were my students challenging, but I was a first-year teacher, fresh from college. The day after graduation, I moved from a small town in Illinois to New York City in order to begin a teaching fellowship. Over eight short weeks, I was taught the basics of special education law and was trained in the methods for teaching students with Autism. Eight weeks was enough to learn Development Education theory, but perhaps not long enough to know what to do when David is rocking in the corner and screaming at the top of his lungs. To make things worse, I was only provided one of three required paraprofessionals for my classroom due to budget cuts and a long list of school supplies that needed to be purchased out of my own budget.
Teaching a student with Autism goes beyond reading and writing. It must also address their deficits in life skills and communication. I was not prepared to undertake the role of occupational and speech therapist, but somehow I found myself wearing both hats. All of this was weighing on my mind when I came to my principal for help. But none was coming. And the tears came. It was just so frustrating that I couldn’t be the teacher my students deserved. Those lonely moments in that subway car were the first time I realized that I was solely responsible for my students’ education, the only one who could fight for the resources they needed. At that moment, a woman sitting next to me said, “Crying ain’t gonna change nothing but your mood.” And with that, something inside me changed. She was right; crying wasn’t going to give my students more opportunities. I resolved to do something, anything, to fight for my students.
I reached out to the Department of Education’s Autism office for extra in-class training and support. I submitted a report every day documenting evidence of the continued need for support services in my classroom. After creating an extensive paper trail, my principal became aware of my reports and was less than pleased. She felt it was the parent’s responsibility to fight for resources that were already federally mandated. I persevered. If the principal wanted the parents to request the services, then I was going to let the parents know what they had a right to. This was a challenge in itself - I could barely secure Open House attendance. Many of my parents worked three or more jobs and some were recent immigrants who could barely speak English. But I knew I had to find a way to go directly to the parents.
Over the period of a few weeks, I made after-work house visits at my students’ homes to explain to parents how they could request services for their children. I even helped draft some of the letters for those who couldn’t write. While visiting David’s house, I began to understand his screams and cries. He was the middle child of seven in a two-bedroom, dilapidated Bronx apartment. His mother passed away, so his 16-year-old sister raised him when his father was not home. His father works 18 hours per day. I was surprised David’s father sacrificed his lunch period three times in one week to meet with me, but this seemed like his last cry for help. I was almost brought to tears when he asked if I could not only help him write the letter but also write his name. His struggle and unconditional love for his child was not the exception, but rather the norm for all the parents I visited. In our education system, some of the individuals most in need are the ones less likely to receive it because they don’t know how to fight. I didn’t know much about the education system at the time myself, but I was ready to step in the ring on their behalf. When the Annual Review meetings came, I had perfect parent attendance. The look of surprise on my principal’s face as five parents crowded her office ready with questions was priceless and encouraging. Seeing my students ‘parents mobilize in this way motivated me to continue my hard work and advocate on their behalf.
I aspire to represent students and families who feel they have not been given due process within the education system or who feel their civil rights have been violated due to their disabilities. It is my hope that I will one day serve as an attorney for my agency, the Department of Education, due to my desire to see our school system represented fairly, and most importantly, to ensure that our students receive the services and treatment that they deserve. A law degree combined with the educational practice I’ve received in my graduate program, will equip me with the tools needed to address the education needs and challenges that exist within our school system.
My principal was right after all, I was “transferred out.” My school’s administration moved me to the main site for the current school year where I serve as a mentor to first-year teachers and help assist in Autism trainings. My commitment to my students doesn’t end at 2:30 in the afternoon with the school bell. I have become more involved with Autism Speaks and educational policy initiatives in general. I helped organize our school team for the Autism Walk and raised over 1,000 dollars for the cause. Being a public figure as Miss Black Arkansas has allowed me to also serve as a celebrity advocate for the Arkansas-area Autism Speaks organization. I am also working with the Autism Alliance and other Autism-related organizations. I am a change agent for students with Autism and the education field. I now want to be a change agent in the field of education law and continue my advocacy.
Last edited by kmh504 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

kmh504
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:31 pm

Thank you!

thederangedwang
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:09 am

I stopped reading after you said "I am superwoman".

It's probably not a good idea to call yourself super anything. I am supersmart, please admit me...I am supertalented in this, please admit me...it reeks of arrogance.

I should mention however, I think the topic of your PS is strong. Rewrite this and get rid of the metaphor
Last edited by thederangedwang on Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:13 am

The Superwoman...metaphor, theme, whatever you want to call it, is incredibly heavy-handed. No one in their right mind calls themselves 'Superwoman' with a straight face. I cringed.

The second half is better, telling what you actually did.

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Veyron
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby Veyron » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:28 am

Agreed, the superwoman thing is awful.

That being said, this has the potential to be a really good personal statement but it feels as if you rushed the ending. It should really end on a high note explaining how you overcame these difficulties, not just oh ... btw ... I joined X. The perfect parent attendance is a good start but more is needed. Take out the superwoman shit and you should have space for that.

062914123
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby 062914123 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:04 am

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Last edited by 062914123 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Guchster
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby Guchster » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:13 am

Superwoman metaphor made me cringe IRL, as did the multiple times you said "change agent"

I get what you're trying to say--but I was distracted by the awkwardness.

The Super crap is unnecessary and should be cut. The opening does not help you at all. I'd use the extra space to flesh out how your interesting story relates more to the law and what your next move is--and why you need it to do something you simply can't do as of now.

I was also confused by 'dichotomy of ignorance'--what's bifurcating here..."knowing/not knowing"? That's a lot of words to waste if you're trying to call the haters ignorant.

Also, quick Q, why is the subject Beauty Queen's PS? I'm just curious. Excuse me if I'm missing something obvious.
Last edited by Guchster on Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

lnz103
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby lnz103 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:14 am

how can you embark on waiting?

kmh504
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:49 am

I wasn't being cocky with the use of the word "superwoman" lol I was just making it known that I was the person I was talking about - one of the mannnny superwomen that exist in the education system :) I hope everyone understands the connection between Superman and that (IMO) horrible film, "Waiting for Superman." Thanks for comments thus far!

kmh504
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:51 am

Guchster wrote: Also, quick Q, why is the subject Beauty Queen's PS? I'm just curious. Excuse me if I'm missing something obvious.


Reread last paragraph :) And don't sound like such a negativity nancy! lol

kmh504
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:53 am

Veyron wrote:Agreed, the superwoman thing is awful.

That being said, this has the potential to be a really good personal statement but it feels as if you rushed the ending. It should really end on a high note explaining how you overcame these difficulties, not just oh ... btw ... I joined X. The perfect parent attendance is a good start but more is needed. Take out the superwoman shit and you should have space for that.


It's not 'shit' and excellent point - I've added the following:


I aspire to represent students and families who feel they have not been given due process within the education system or who feel their civil rights have been violated due to their disabilities. It is my hope that I will one day serve as an attorney for my agency, the Department of Education, due to my desire to see our school system represented fairly, and most importantly, to ensure that our students receive the services and treatment that they deserve. A law degree combined with the educational practice I’ve received in my graduate program, will equip me with the tools needed to address the education needs and challenges that exist within our school system.

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Flips88
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby Flips88 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:58 am

But seriously, ditch the Superwoman bit. It will likely only hurt you.

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Guchster
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby Guchster » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:53 am

kmh504 wrote:
Guchster wrote: Also, quick Q, why is the subject Beauty Queen's PS? I'm just curious. Excuse me if I'm missing something obvious.


Reread last paragraph :) And don't sound like such a negativity nancy! lol


Ahh, found it. I saw the brackets and ignored the sentence--this was just randomly interesting to me.

IMHO this is a fine PS--not really a make or break type of story or statement. numbers and gpa will play their part. I saw Waiting for Superman so I got the metaphor, but I think it's safe to say that a good number of adcoms will have not--and the metaphor really does not add anything to push your PS up a notch; it won't compensate for any part of the application--the only thing it will possibly do is make potential readers think you are awkward and arrogant (when in reality you probably are neither). Seriously, change it.

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NYC Law
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby NYC Law » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:00 am

If everyone that reads it thinks the superwoman bit should go, then that's a good sign it's an unjustifiable risk to leave it.

thederangedwang
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:18 am

NYC Law wrote:If everyone that reads it thinks the superwoman bit should go, then that's a good sign it's an unjustifiable risk to leave it.

+1. This is the bottom line.

delusional
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby delusional » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:51 am

Good PS except for the superwoman bit. I didn't know that beauty queens were real.

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sunynp
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby sunynp » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:02 pm

I agree that the Superwoman should go. Also "change agent" sounds like education-speak or maybe a chemical reaction.

I'm not sure that throwing in the mention of being a beauty queen is relevant without saying more specifically what you did. But I give you credit for not writing just about the pageant circuit which is what I thought it would be from the thread title. (something like - I took what i learned when I returned home for the summer and used my position as the past year's Miss [state] to start these programs...]

I haven't seen Waiting for Superman and I watch a lot of movies. You are mistaken to rely on it.

Don't stay wedded to this metaphor just because you like it and think it is clever. I hope you take this advice, because the story of what you went through with the kids, the lack of support from the principal and the administration, going to the student's houses is a really good statement. The story of perseverance is a good one and I liked the moment of change you felt on the subway.

Please don't lose the power of what you did by sticky to a tedious idea.

kmh504
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:34 pm

delusional wrote:Good PS except for the superwoman bit. I didn't know that beauty queens were real.


They're real if you believe :) lol

kmh504
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby kmh504 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:35 pm

Thanks so much - y'all are great! I added a final paragraph to my original post.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:51 pm

Image
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rinkrat19
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:53 pm

kmh504 wrote:Thanks so much - y'all are great! I added a final paragraph to my original post.
It still has the superwoman stuff, which has been universally panned. Lose it.

llachans
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby llachans » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:06 am

rinkrat19 wrote: It still has the superwoman stuff, which has been universally panned. Lose it.


+1

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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby llachans » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:08 am

Your entire opening wastes space that could be used to better demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for law school.

Seriously consider taking out all of that Superwoman/Superman crap.

nsbane
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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby nsbane » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:36 am

*edit*
Last edited by nsbane on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beauty Queen's personal statement

Postby nsbane » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:39 am

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Last edited by nsbane on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.




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