Second draft: Immigration experience PS

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Lear22
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Second draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby Lear22 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:48 am

EDIT: Below in my last post of the thread I added my second draft after some great advice I got here. I welcome any critique or though.

Thanks!!



Hey to all. This is my very early rough draft. It took me a while to get here as I tried to tell a story but also bring my immigration experience to play. I'm unsure how I did but I welcome any comment. I also didn't fully proof this for grammar, punctuation and such so if some of you have remarks on that, I'd love to hear. This is a working progress but in general I am going to stick to this narrative as I like what I wrote and I think it's somewhat unique and compelling.
Last edited by Lear22 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bluepenguin
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Re: early first draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:18 pm

Ok, so I'm critiquing the wrong thing here, but it's "work in progress," not "working progress." That's like the third time I've seen that in the past week.

Anyhoo, you've got some grammatical and stylistic foibles. See the tense issues here:
The falafel was wonderful and I felt I am creating my own home away from home tradition.


Also I think the use of parentheses is *slightly* excessive, although most of them are well used. A couple could be removed, though.

Overall I think it's excellent. 8.5-9/10 for me, at least, once it's refined. I don't have time for a point by point on the writing today, but if you keep revising it either I or someone else will eventually be able to help you clean it up.

Lear22
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Re: early first draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby Lear22 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:33 pm

bluepenguin wrote:Ok, so I'm critiquing the wrong thing here, but it's "work in progress," not "working progress." That's like the third time I've seen that in the past week.

Anyhoo, you've got some grammatical and stylistic foibles. See the tense issues here:
The falafel was wonderful and I felt I am creating my own home away from home tradition.


Also I think the use of parentheses is *slightly* excessive, although most of them are well used. A couple could be removed, though.

Overall I think it's excellent. 8.5-9/10 for me, at least, once it's refined. I don't have time for a point by point on the writing today, but if you keep revising it either I or someone else will eventually be able to help you clean it up.


Thanks for this. I appreciate it! If you don't mind, I am really interested inn what you (and others ofcouese) thought while reading it and after you were done. How did it make you feel and what would you think about me, just from reading this. What I am trying to do here is create a narrative that (somewhat) unique and expose the reader to who I am, where I come from and an ancadote from my life. Thanks again.

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bluepenguin
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Re: early first draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:03 pm

Well, to be honest this was my reaction while reading it (half reading, half skimming):

Good writing, interesting story, stands out as one of the best I've read... But then just before the end I sort of began to wonder what the point was. After your conclusion (no idea what a "patch" is, btw) I sort of interpreted the whole thing as an explanation of how your background as an immigrant shapes you. And I personally think that's fine.

The conclusion is the weakest part of the whole thing. You probably improve there, both in the writing and in making your thesis clearer.

Lear22
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Re: early first draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby Lear22 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:42 pm

bluepenguin wrote:Well, to be honest this was my reaction while reading it (half reading, half skimming):

Good writing, interesting story, stands out as one of the best I've read... But then just before the end I sort of began to wonder what the point was. After your conclusion (no idea what a "patch" is, btw) I sort of interpreted the whole thing as an explanation of how your background as an immigrant shapes you. And I personally think that's fine.

The conclusion is the weakest part of the whole thing. You probably improve there, both in the writing and in making your thesis clearer.


Thank you for the compliments. I agree with you. I was (still am) struggling to find a good end that would encompass the narrative but will also be a good close to the work. Do you think continuing with the story or rather ending it there would be okay? It's also at around 860 words and ideally I would want to stay below 800, though perhaps this length is fine? I am unsure

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bluepenguin
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Re: early first draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:02 pm

800 (<2p.) is probably about right. You end it in a good spot, you just need a more fluid conclusion. I haven't looked it through but I can all but guarantee you that you can free up 2-3 or more sentences by trimming some fat in the body. That should give you some flexibility in the conclusion. It doesn't necessarily have to be longer, though. Just better, for lack of a better word.

Lear22
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Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Re: early first draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby Lear22 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:10 pm

bluepenguin wrote:800 (<2p.) is probably about right. You end it in a good spot, you just need a more fluid conclusion. I haven't looked it through but I can all but guarantee you that you can free up 2-3 or more sentences by trimming some fat in the body. That should give you some flexibility in the conclusion. It doesn't necessarily have to be longer, though. Just better, for lack of a better word.


Agreed. I also sent you a PM.
If others read the PS I would love to hear any comment or thought. Thanks in advanced :-)


Edit: I'll also love to hear recommendations for a service that proof reads. I have one name but looking to compare

Lear22
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Second draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby Lear22 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:01 am

Here is my second draft:

I trimmed some, reducing it from 850 some words to 788 and worked on the grammar issues I found, although I am sure there are more, probably tense problems.

I welcome any critique. Thanks!!

EDIT: I would also love to find out if I should at tis point invest almost $100 in a grammar and tense edit. Thanks

My mother makes the most wonderful falafel. Nutty and herby, crispy and golden brown outside yet extremely moist inside. Living away from my family in Israel, it is the food I miss most. Every Chanukah, when it is accustomed to serve fried foods to remember the oil tin which lasted eight nights, my parents hold a holiday party. There, my mother serves homemade falafel and tahini, paired with a classic Israeli-style chopped vegetable salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions, to which she adds grated radishes “to give a peppery punch”, seasoned with salt, oregano and a dash of olive oil. All this is served family style with fresh pita bread pockets.
This past Chanukah I could not shake thoughts of my mother’s falafel from my mind. I could smell our kitchen and longed for the taste of her falafel and for the feeling of togetherness. A lover of the culinary arts and bringing people together, I decided to hold a dinner party, serving my mother’s falafel and side dishes.
Confidently, I began by sending an email invitation to my closest Seattleite friends. Unaware of the magnitude of their love for (free) food, I received a total of fourteen RSVPs. Next (perhaps mistakenly second) I fetched for the recipe and instructions over a trans-atlantic phone call, in which my mother delivered the recipe using quantities such as “a palm size of parsley” (mine? hers?) while I attempted to translate the remaining list of ingredients she recited in Hebrew. All this meant I must take her shopping with me. Thankful for free Wi-Fi, courtesy of my local supermarket and my smartphone's video chat application, we shopped trough the aisles and looked for chickpeas, a perfectly green parsley bunch and a brand of soda water that is apparently not sold in the continental U.S. I returned to my apartment hopeful and excited but also felt a new sense of camaraderie with my mother, who through the small screen of my phone seemed just as excited.
The next day I realized this cannot be left to chance. Working from my mother’s recipe, I ground the chickpeas and parsley to which I added the remaining ingredients. However, at the end of this “dry run” I wondered what went wrong, since the mixture did not hold in the hot oil. I spent the remainder of the week learning about different frying techniques, the importance of a kitchen thermometer and bought a deeper and heavier frying pan which, according to reviews, will assist in keeping the oil temperature leveled.
The following week I spent countless hours on the phone with my mother, conversing more than ever before. We discussed the correct method of grinding chickpeas (to a consistent but not too smooth texture) and the importance of adding only one large egg (mainly to keep from wasting two small ones). Between advice, my mother reminisced on the first time my parents and sisters came to visit me in boot camp, when all I wanted was a falafel sandwich, although the base’s canteen serve them regularly. Through food, we came together as if there wasn’t an ocean between us. Encouraged by my attempts in frying using a kitchen thermometer, the new pan and my mother by my side, I was closer to a result that pleased me.
By the day of the party I felt I mastered the task. However, I decided to pay it forward. When my friends arrived I greeted them with aprons. Together, we ground chickpeas and parsley as I explained about each process and the history of falafel in Israeli cuisine. We chopped vegetables and grated radishes. I taught them how to make tahini and why it needs to be thin, but not too thin (so it won’t soften and puncture the pita bread). The falafel was wonderful and I felt I created a own home away from home tradition. At the end of the night, each left with the recipe and leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. I also took pictures which I sent to my mother. She was extremely proud.
The story of the immigrant is as old as time. It is unique, life altering and made of experiences that connect you not only with where you came to and from, but also with yourself. It forces an adaptation to change that takes what you brought with you and with it build a new life. What I learned is not just how to make my mother's falafel. I also found a way to bridge what I long for most in Israel with my life here. Although I will always miss many aspects of my life there, I am hopeful, excited and welcome the new experiences that lay ahead.

Lear22
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 am

Re: Second draft: Immigration experience PS

Postby Lear22 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:21 am

I need to decide based on the second draft if to use a proof reading service for grammar and technical errors. Was hoping to get some advice if to invest $100 in this or not.

Thanks to anyone who can help or give remarks on my PS.




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