PS input -- Journey of a Cook

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pahuber2
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:16 am

PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby pahuber2 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:51 am

Removed for now -- Next draft in process.
Last edited by pahuber2 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:11 pm

The writing style is decent, but this needs a lot of work, especially your structure (lack thereof). Here are my initial notes

- You inexplicably start off in present tense, then randomly shift to past tense in the first sentence of the second paragraph. Pick a tense and stick to it (I suggest past tense), this is a grade-school mistake:

It is my senior year of school, and I had come straight from my eight o’clock class to stage at a restaurant in Chicago.


- You're story is confusing and hard to follow. I don't understand whats going on. If it's your senior year (you don't specify high school/college/mime school, whatever) what are you doing driving around working at restaurants? I had to google this whole concept of "staging," which apparently means working for free in order to learn. You need to define this term as well as give a context in which to understand your pursuit of the culinary arts. As it stands this creates more questions about you than it answers.

One night, after learning about the breakdown of collagen, I took home a pound of beef short ribs. These are inexpensive cuts loaded with tough connective tissue and require hours of cooking to render them tender. The result is sublime, tender juicy meat gives way to an impossibly rich and velvety broth. Something inside of me knew this could not be the end of the journey. I needed to find out how much more I had yet to discover.


- Huh? First of all, what "journey?" Secondly, I would certainly hope that learning how to cook short ribs wouldn't be the end of this "journey," whatever that may be. You're randomly jumping around and because it's impossible to follow, your personal "insights" just seem silly.

I want to apply this attention to the study of law. By learning to love polishing copper pots, I developed courage with which to face the insurmountable. Just like on that morning drive to Chicago, I have no way of knowing the challenges I will face in the future. As an attorney, I will face obstacles that I cannot yet imagine. My experience as a cook, as a worker among workers, helped to develop an ethic which will allow me to recognize and meet the necessary. It is these skills with which I offer to the careful study and examination of the law.


Come on man. You're gonna spend the whole PS hammering on about the joys of cooking, learning about food, and loving the labor involved, then you just randomly come out and say "because I loved cooking and worked as a cook, I'm gonna be a great lawyer. Just look at how shiny these copper pots are!" You establish no connections to the law at all throughout your PS and then just try to tack it on at the end.

You need to seriously outline this and give it a more coherent direction. You can talk about cooking, you just need to tie everything together more, thus the outlining.

This PS makes me wonder: If you love being a cook so much, then why law?

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CorkBoard
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby CorkBoard » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:46 am

pahuber2 wrote:Looking for some input, I feel like the bones are there but I'm not happy with the flow. Any comments appreciated!

Palms sweaty and tired from a lack of sleep, I pull into a gas station to ready myself for the next leg of the journey. I feel uneasy; my stomach has a million little butterflies exploring its insides. I buy a pack of M&Ms, hopefully this will help. Put all the verbs in past tense. It's also pretty vague and doesn't contribute much to the remainder of the PS
It is my senior year of school, and I had come straight from my eight o’clock class to stage what does that mean? I'm not familiar with the term at a restaurant in Chicago. I had taken a Meat Science class the previous semester at school and was floored at how little I knew about food. One night, after learning about the breakdown of collagen, I took home a pound of beef short ribs. These are inexpensive cuts loaded with tough connective tissue and require hours of cooking to render them tender. The result is sublime, tender juicy meat gives way to an impossibly rich and velvety broth. Something inside of me knew this could not be the end of the journey. I needed to find out how much more I had yet to discover. Ehrm, weird example thrown in there.
The initial stage at Old Town Social what is this?proved successful. I was offered a job what job?, making barely above minimum wage. I started on the fry station at what would be the busiest month for the restaurant. The world cup, Stanley Cup playoffs, and NBA finals all competed for air time as I feverishly slung corn dogs and fries in an effort to keep up. Eventually, I had the opportunity to rotate throughout the kitchen, working every station. I even worked the highly coveted charcuterie station, where whole hogs are turned into more than thirty house-made selections.
While I had progressed quite a bit as a cook, I realized the possibility of growing stagnant. On my days off I would learn about the city’s restaurants by staging . [s]This was a great way to experience a restaurant’s cuisine on my meager budget. One such stage brought me to Charlie Trotter’s, a now-closed bastion of fine-dining that rested in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.[/s]
Upon entering the kitchen I was in awe. Everything was polished to a high shine, like a kitchen one might see in a movie. The chefs worked in silence onexpensive wooden cutting boards, donning custom tailored chef’s uniforms. I worked next to a cook who was kneading pasta dough by hand. ‘Why?’ why is he kneading pasta dough by hand? I asked him, there were stand mixers in clear sight. He responded that he likes to feel closer to the dough, and liked to bemore in control of the process. I smiled, realizing I was in a very special place. LAME ending to the paragraph
That day was the longest I had ever worked. I stayed until one-thirty in the morning; the last three hours were spent washing dishes and polishing the restaurant’s ninety-three copper pots (a daily task). The pots would need work, they said. I even re-polished a few, so that they were completely blemish-free.
Towards the end of my stage they must have realized I was having a good time. The sous chef asked, “Do you want a job”? I would need to prove myself once more before they could make a decision, he said. He told me to show up on Saturday for another round. I arrived at three o’clock, after working a very busy brunch service. That day would become the longest day I had ever worked.
I learned innumerable lessons in my twelve months at Charlie Trotter’s. Guests would often tour the kitchen and proclaim how their cooking ability paled in comparison. My favorite thing to remind them of was that every chef in the kitchen has cooked a lot of bad food. It takes a lot of bad food to make good food. None of us were born with a chinoise in hand. There was never a moment in our youth where we could make soufflés rise by simply gracing them with our presence. We worked, returning to the stove after breaking a sauce, learning the proper method as well as what went wrong. We responded to and paid attention to the outcome; whether good or bad.
I want to apply this attention to the study of law. By learning to love polishing copper pots, I developed courage with which to face the insurmountable. Just like on that morning drive to Chicago, I have no way of knowing the challenges I will face in the future. As an attorney, I will face obstacles that I cannot yet imagine. My experience as a cook, as a worker among workers, helped to develop an ethic which will allow me to recognize and meet the necessary. It is these skills with which I offer to the careful study and examination of the law.



Hm, okay. You have a cool background, but this PS is ALL over the place. What is it you're trying to say? What story are you trying to tell us? I am not really sure what it is you're talking about at points because this PS is not put together very well and has huge gaps and leaps from one thing to the next. I would disagree with the previous poster and say that the writing style is almost incoherent at points.

TBH, this needs a lot of editing. You may want to scrap it entirely and start over.

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:57 am

I would disagree with the previous poster and say that the writing style is almost incoherent at points.


I was trying to start of polite, so OP would be more receptive to the critiques that followed, rather than immediately getting defensive. Yes, it's incoherent but it's also nice to give people some hope, right?

patentlybored
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby patentlybored » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:00 am

I'm guessing the op's reach is a t2 in which case the PS is just fine

pahuber2
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby pahuber2 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:02 am

Thanks very much for your thoughtful responses. I am going to sit down and dedicate some time to finding a structure that will convey my story well. It can be hard to separate oneself from one's own story, thank you for giving me some invaluable perspective. :)

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CorkBoard
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby CorkBoard » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:04 am

WhiskeynCoke wrote:
I would disagree with the previous poster and say that the writing style is almost incoherent at points.


I was trying to start of polite, so OP would be more receptive to the critiques that followed, rather than immediately getting defensive. Yes, it's incoherent but it's also nice to give people some hope, right?

I'd rather have somebody be honest and tell me my statement was SPS and needed to be rewritten than have somebody sugar coat it so it didn't hurt my feelings.

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:44 pm

I'd rather have somebody be honest and tell me my statement was SPS and needed to be rewritten than have somebody sugar coat it so it didn't hurt my feelings.


You could hardly argue that because I used the word "decent" once, all of my comments qualify as sugar coating. Read in context, I go on to firmly state that his PS is incoherent, lacks structure, and desperately needs to be rewritten. Basically, exactly what you told him.

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CorkBoard
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Re: PS input -- Journey of a Cook

Postby CorkBoard » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:56 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:
I'd rather have somebody be honest and tell me my statement was SPS and needed to be rewritten than have somebody sugar coat it so it didn't hurt my feelings.


You could hardly argue that because I used the word "decent" once, all of my comments qualify as sugar coating. Read in context, I go on to firmly state that his PS is incoherent, lacks structure, and desperately needs to be rewritten. Basically, exactly what you told him.

Who cares? STFU.




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