3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
fiestaoffire
Posts: 18
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3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

Postby fiestaoffire » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:48 pm

Before you read it, is it "an eureka moment" or "a eureka moment?" The former just sounds funny to me, but should be grammatically sound. Anyway, a big thanks for the people in the previous draft topics who've given me some good concrete advice and motivation, it really means a lot!

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Grant Morrison, a prolific comic book writer, said that “We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.” I knew from the second I laid eyes on a comic book that I wanted to become a superhero. One who could shoot heat rays, run at the speed of light, and terrorize those who preyed on the powerless. People like my father.

When I was four years old I witnessed him savagely beating my mother. I instinctively grabbed his leg, desperately hoping that it would stop him. It did; he kicked me off and left us holding each other, crying. There was nothing else we could do. We were too poor to hire a divorce lawyer. Who really would go out of their way to help a penniless and friendless immigrant woman, unknowing of this country’s laws, free herself from her husband? Pity was an inadequate currency. All I had was the hope that one day I would have the superpowers to exact my retribution for the daily psychological and physical torments he inflicted upon us.

But I never got that cruel satisfaction. When I was nine, he left us. He was still married to my mother, but other than showcasing us to his family or friends, he did not support us financially, emotionally, or physically. My mother struggled to pay bills and feed two boys on her own. She had to start working late, so we were enrolled in an afterschool program where volunteers from a local college would come to tutor us and play with us during recess. Though most children complained about having to do homework, I gladly took that over staying home with nothing to do.

In college, I decided to become a tutor for an elementary school in downtown Oakland. I felt like I was paying back a debt I had incurred back when I was a child. Though their red sweater uniforms masked it initially, I realized that their parents were working class immigrants like mine, struggling to put food on the table. I, along with two to three other tutors, would normally teach a class of around twenty. The tutees would be switched around and put into new groups at the beginning of each school year. I normally would have around four to five of the same children from previous years. However, I had one particular student in my class every year. Though she was initially shy, Kelly quickly warmed up. She began to call specifically for me when she needed help on a question, ask that I accompany the students who finished early to play outside, and tell me more about her life.

During one of their recess breaks, she excitedly told me how her grandmother bought her a small jade bracelet. When we were working on fractions, she complained about how her mother put a lot of pressure on her to succeed academically so she could go to a better school. And, on the day I took my last final, she told me how she had tested into that school and would be going there next year. Before she left with her mother that night, she gave me a big hug, and thanked me for “being so cool.” I had never expected myself to be both so happy and so sad to hear a tutee tell me that.

Perhaps the epiphany didn’t come exactly at that hug. Maybe it was a gradual understanding instead of an eureka moment. But I knew by then that I didn’t idolize superheroes simply because they could fly or read minds. I idolized them because they always choose to act when they see an injustice, regardless of whether it is something calamitous, like fighting off an alien invasion, or something mundane, like rebuilding a damaged apartment complex. The essential nature of a superhero is not his powers, but his unfaltering dedication to helping his fellow man. And though, as Morrison’s said, it’s impossible to reach this ideal, I hope that my pursuit of it will be enough to help some of those who need it.

-----

Again, thanks to all that helped!

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honeybadger12
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Re: 3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

Postby honeybadger12 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:13 am

a eureka moment

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bernaldiaz
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Re: 3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

Postby bernaldiaz » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:29 am

fiestaoffire wrote:Before you read it, is it "an eureka moment" or "a eureka moment?" The former just sounds funny to me, but should be grammatically sound. Anyway, a big thanks for the people in the previous draft topics who've given me some good concrete advice and motivation, it really means a lot!

-----

Grant Morrison, a prolific comic book writer, said that “We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.” I knew from the second I laid eyes on a comic book that I wanted to become a superhero. One who could shoot heat rays, run at the speed of light, and terrorize those who preyed on the powerless. People like my father. ok so here it actually seems that you're saying that your dad is like a superhero, not someone who prays on the powerless. at best it is very unclear...

When I was four years old I witnessed him savagely beating my mother. ...which becomes a bug problem when you transition into this. I was like why is his dad a superhero if he did this?I instinctively grabbed his leg, desperately hoping that it would stop him. It did; he kicked me off and left us holding each other, crying. There was nothing else we could do. We were too poor to hire a divorce lawyer. Who really would go out of their way to help a penniless and friendless immigrant woman, unknowing of this country’s laws, free herself from her husband? Pity was an inadequate currency. I get what you're saying I just don't like the sentence. Just my opinonAll I had was the hope that one day I would have the superpowers to exact my retribution for the daily psychological and physical torments he inflicted upon us.

But I never got that cruel satisfaction.that's a fragment dawg When I was nine, he left us. He was still married to my mother, but other than showcasing us to his family or friends, he did not support us financially, emotionally, or physicallythis sentence needs to be rewritten. the first clause doesn't match with the second. My mother struggled to pay bills and feed two boys on her own. She had to start working late, so we were enrolled in an afterschool program where volunteers from a local college would come to tutor us and play with us during recess. Though most children complained about having to do homework, I gladly took that over staying home with nothing to do.

In college, I decided to become a tutor for an elementary school in downtown Oakland. I felt like I was paying back a debt I had incurred back when I was a child. Though their red sweater uniforms masked it initially, I realized that their parents were working class immigrants like mine, struggling to put food on the table. I, along with two to three other tutors, would normally teach a class of around twenty. The tutees i con't care if that is actually a word, still sounds ridiculous...why not just stay students would be switched around and put into new groups at the beginning of each school year. I normally would have around four to five of the same children from previous years. However, I had one particular student in my class every year. Though she was initially shy, Kelly quickly warmed up. She began to call specifically for me when she needed help on a question, ask that I accompany the students who finished early to play outside, and tell me more about her life.

During one of their recess breaks, she excitedly told me how her grandmother bought her a small jade bracelet. When we were working on fractions, she complained about how her mother put a lot of pressure on her to succeed academically so she could go to a better school. And, on the day I took my last final, she told me how she had tested into that school and would be going there next year. Before she left with her mother that night, she gave me a big hug, and thanked me for “being so cool.” I had never expected myself to be both so happy and so sad to hear a tutee seriously though tell me that.

Perhaps the epiphany didn’t come exactly at that hug. Maybe it was a gradual understanding instead of an eureka moment. But I knew by then that I didn’t idolize superheroes simply because they could fly or read minds. I idolized them because they always choose to act when they see an injustice, regardless of whether it is something calamitous, like fighting off an alien invasion, or something mundane, like rebuilding a damaged apartment complex. The essential nature of a superhero is not his powers, but his unfaltering dedication to helping his fellow man. And though, as Morrison’s said, it’s impossible to reach this ideal, I hope that my pursuit of it will be enough to help some of those who need it.

-----

Again, thanks to all that helped!



I like it- but it seems a little scattered. I'm not sure you need to really talk about your troubled childhood- as it isnt' really essential to the point that you are making. What purpose exactly are those paragraphs serving? It's like you had two different topics- your troubled childhood and then your tutoring experience- and they seemed a little disjointed. Maybe save the part about your tough life for a diversity statement and just focus on the tutoring in the PS?

fiestaoffire
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: 3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

Postby fiestaoffire » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:49 pm

BUMP

bernaldiaz wrote:I like it- but it seems a little scattered. I'm not sure you need to really talk about your troubled childhood- as it isnt' really essential to the point that you are making. What purpose exactly are those paragraphs serving? It's like you had two different topics- your troubled childhood and then your tutoring experience- and they seemed a little disjointed. Maybe save the part about your tough life for a diversity statement and just focus on the tutoring in the PS?


The troubled childhood was meant to set up for why I ended up going to a nonprofit afterschool program as well show that my conception of superheroes back then was fundamentally misguided -- essentially I wanted superpowers for the sake of revenge more than I wanted them for the sake of helping others. I'll see if I can clear that theme up.

As for your first red comment, I understand it's confusing and I initially had it as "scum like my father" rather than "someone like my father" for that exact reason. However, other posters told me I sounded too angry about it still. I'll try to find another word that's not so loaded, possibly something like "victimizer."

I'll also make changes to fix the grammar.


Thanks so far!

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CorkBoard
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: 3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

Postby CorkBoard » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:34 pm

I still hate that this starts with a quote.

Anyway--

fiestaoffire wrote: Grant Morrison, a prolific comic book writer, said that “We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.” I knew from the second I laid eyes on a comic book that I wanted to become a superhero. One who could shoot heat rays, run at the speed of light, and terrorize those who preyed on the powerless. People like my father. Agree with the previous poster about this sounding like you're talking about your dad shooting heat rays or w/e. Very unclear writing wise.

When I was four years, old I witnessed him who? savagely beating my mother. I instinctively grabbed his leg, desperately hoping that it would stop him. It did; he kicked me off and left us holding each other you and your mom? or you and your dad?, crying. There was nothing else we could do. We were too poor to hire a divorce lawyer. Who really would go out of their way to help a penniless and friendless immigrant woman, unknowing of this country’s laws, free herself from her husband? Pity was an inadequate currency. All I had was the hope that one day I would have the superpowers to exact my retribution for the daily psychological and physical torments he inflicted upon us.

But I never got that cruel satisfaction. When I was nine, he left us. He was still married to my mother, but other than showcasing us to his family or friends, he did not support us financially, emotionally, or physically. My mother struggled to pay bills and feed two boys on her own. She had to start working late, so we were enrolled in an afterschool program where volunteers from a local college would come to tutor us and play with us during recess. Though most children complained about having to do homework, I gladly took thatchose homework over staying home with nothing to do.

In college, I decided to become a tutor for an elementary school in downtown Oakland. I felt like I was paying back a debt I had incurred back when I was a child what debt?. Though their red sweater uniforms masked it initially, I realized that their parents were working class immigrants like mine, struggling to put food on the table. I, along with two to three other tutors, would normally teach a class of around twenty Students? Ants? What are you talking about?. The tutees would be switched around and put into new groups at the beginning of each school year. I normally wouldwould normally have around four to five of the same children from previous years. However, I had one particular student in my class every year for how many years in a row?. Though she was initially shy, Kelly quickly warmed up. She began to call specifically for me when she needed help on a question, ask that I accompany the students who finished early to play outside, and tell me more about her life. Your transition into this student topic is really abrupt.

During one of their recess breaks, she excitedly told me how her grandmother bought her a small jade bracelet. When we were working on fractions, she complained about how her mother put a lot of pressure on her to succeed academically so she could go to a better school. And, on the day I took my last final, she told me how she had tested into that school the school in Oakland? and would be going there next year. Before she left with her mother that night, she gave me a big hug, and thanked me for “being so cool.” I had never expected myself to be both so happy and so sad to hear a tutee tell me that. Okay. Cool. What about it?

Perhaps the epiphany didn’t come exactly at that hug. Maybe it was a gradual understanding instead of an eureka moment. But I knew by then that I didn’t idolize superheroes simply because they could fly or read minds. I idolized them because they always choose to act when they see an injustice, regardless of whether it is something calamitous, like fighting off an alien invasion, or something mundane, like rebuilding a damaged apartment complex. The essential nature of a superhero is not his powers, but his unfaltering dedication to helping his fellow man like what you did? Maybe you should mention your service as a tutor in this paragraph to tie it all together. And though, as Morrison’s said, it’s impossible to reach this ideal, I hope that my pursuit of it will be enough to help some of those who need it.


-----

Again, thanks to all that helped!

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Zensack
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: 3rd Draft! ~ Critique please

Postby Zensack » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:03 pm

One way you could fix the issue at the beginning where it sounds like you're calling your father a superhero (I initially read it that way as well) would be to refer to him as a villain. This would mesh very well with the superhero theme.




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