Final Draft...hopefully? Critiques much appreciated!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
fiestaoffire
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:14 pm

Final Draft...hopefully? Critiques much appreciated!

Postby fiestaoffire » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:24 am

It's been a while since I've worked on this, kinda busy with the LSAT. I tried making some bigger changes, cut down the fat on some stuff, replaced some anecdotes with other ones in the hopes that they'd jive better. I think I need advice with the conclusion, especially the last sentence (which isn't the greatest attempt at tying my conclusion back to me). Thanks in advance!

----
In second grade, we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. One said he wanted to be a firefighter. Another said she wanted to be a professional cellist. I said that I wanted to be a superhero. One who could shoot heat rays, run at the speed of light, and punish villains who preyed on the powerless. Villains like my father.
My father was an abusive man. He would blame my mother and me for his lack of success. Sometimes he would even hit us. All we could do was take it. There was nothing else we could do. We were too poor to hire a divorce lawyer or call the police. Who really would go out of their way to protect a penniless immigrant woman, unknowing of this country’s laws, free herself from her abusive husband? Pity alone was insufficient. All I had was the hope that one day I would have the superpowers to exact my retribution for the torments he inflicted upon us.

Unfortunately, I never got that cruel satisfaction. When I was nine, his business began to profit and he left us. He was still married to my mother, occasionally showcasing us to his family and friends. He did not support us financially or physically. My mother had to start working late to pay the bills, so she enrolled me into an afterschool program where local college students would volunteer their time to tutor and play with us. Initially, I was upset that I had to stay at school while most of my peers left for home. However, after playing with the tutors and having them help me with homework, I gladly chose them over staying home by myself.

In college, I decided to become a tutor for an elementary school in downtown Oakland. I felt like I was paying back for the help I had gotten as a child. I, along with two to three other tutors, would normally teach a class of around twenty children. The students would be put into new groups at the beginning of each school year. I usually would have around four to five of the same children from previous years. However, I had one particular student in my class every year. Initially, Kelly seemed bratty. She absolutely refused to let me help her with classwork and was hesitant to talk to me at all. After half a semester of me trying to befriend her, she finally warmed up. She began to call for me when she needed help, ask that I accompany the students who finished early to play outside, and talk to me more as a friend than a teacher.

During one of their recess breaks, she excitedly told me how her grandmother bought her a small jade bracelet for her birthday. 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 transfer to a better school. Once, she asked for me to bring her books that I read at home and the next week I showed her some of my textbooks and a few comics. She asked why I had comics as an adult and I jokingly told her that I still wanted to be a superhero. She told me that if I ever did, I should name myself “Tutorman” or “The Poophead.” On my last day before I went home for summer break, she told me how she had tested into that better school and would be going there next year. Before she left that night, she gave me a big hug and thanked me tutoring her and for “being so cool.” I thought I had steeled myself for this moment, but I couldn’t help feeling a mix of joy, pride, and sadness as I said my final goodbyes to her.

Perhaps the epiphany didn’t come exactly at that hug. Maybe it was a gradual understanding instead of a 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 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. Though I may not be able to fly, I know at least one student who considered me to be one of her heroes.

GGforLSAT
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:59 pm

Re: Final Draft...hopefully? Critiques much appreciated!

Postby GGforLSAT » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:34 am

fiestaoffire wrote:Who really would go out of their way to protect a penniless immigrant woman, unknowing of this country’s laws, free herself from her abusive husband?


Something seems wrong with this sentence. Maybe "... and free her from her abusive husband?"

fiestaoffire wrote:He did not support us financially or physically.


I don't know what physical support would be besides sex, and maybe that is a fault of mine. But, emotional support sounds better to me.

Overall, I like it.

But I have one worry: You say early in the PS that you want to be a superhero to get revenge on your father, but at the end you have the epiphany that superpowers can be used for good and help people. This is good, I think, but you leave it open as to how you can help people. I don't see much to suggest that you would rather go into law and help people rather than tutor little kids and make their lives happier. Maybe emphasize that you want to help people get 'justice' or help the less fortunate in difficult situations when they can't afford to help themselves. For example, after saying that a superhero has unfaltering dedication to helping his fellow man, say that you want to be the superhero for families in situations like you were in.

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

Re: Final Draft...hopefully? Critiques much appreciated!

Postby fiestaoffire » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:10 am

thanks for the input. bump.




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