PS - Would appreciate any input

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PS - Would appreciate any input

Postby just8250 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:45 am

This is a basic rough, rough draft of what I was thinking of submitting. I am just looking for content comments (although I will accept any advice) as I feel my PS is more of a narrative then a story. I did not want to invest much more time in correcting any grammatical errors or tightening up the sentence structure if my PS is not the direction I should be heading.

Personal Statement -

Lying on an uncomfortable bed staring up at the dim, lackluster lighting and ceiling tiles that showed signs of staining and water damage, all I could think to myself is why me. I nearly gave myself panic attacks and tried extremely hard not to cry or show any emotion as I did not know what to expect or what would happen next. Externally I was a rock, trying to be strong for my family not leading anyone on to any doubts that I may have had. I had to put myself into a different room, a different situation, and even a different life to cope with what was happening around me. Each time I tried to forget and get some much needed sleep, I would look to the left of me and see IV bags hanging full of antibiotics, pain medication, sometime red blood cells and almost always platelets to help with blood clotting.

As I laid in bed one wintery afternoon, I could see the faint shape of snowflakes and it appeared that the wind was blowing harder than usual but it was difficult to tell because most of the leaves on the trees sounding the complex had fallen off for the winter. I dug deep into my inner thoughts and asked why I was feeling sorry myself. After thinking about it all afternoon I could not select any particular reason why. It was then that I made the decision not to pretend any longer, not to imagine I was somewhere else, and not face the reality of the situation. I had decided that I was going to fight. I wanted to be strong not just for my family but also for myself, to prove to myself I could adapt and overcome. I was a strong hearted and strong willed man.
One of the toughest challenges I faced was physical and not mental. I had not been out of bed for nearly three weeks except to use the restroom. I felt as if a truck had run me over each day. There was no relief in sight but I was not going to quit. I had to force myself out of the bed daily to walk around, constantly having a tether from my chest to the IV pump I was pushing with my left hand like a ball and chain. At first, I struggled just getting out of bed and making a lap around the hallway. Then I was getting to where I could sit in the chair in my room, and make a lap a few times a day. Finally, I was strong enough to walk around the hallways making several laps, visiting with other patients, nurses, and Doctors.

In January 2012 I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, a cancer that is inside my bone marrow and directly affects my blood cells. In particular, it prohibits that maturation of white blood cells, called clusters. My body created white blood cells in the same manner as everyone else, however, in my case, the white blood cells did not mature into normal cells. Instead the immature white blood cells floated along in my bloodstream while remaining ineffective to fight infection but did take up mass; thus, preventing my body from creating more blood cells of any kind. I spent a total of five weeks in a hospital, with a few incredibly terrifying days in the Cardiac Intensive Care and the Medical Intensive Care Units. Afterwards, I spent an additional 4 months in outpatient chemotherapy. Luckily, now I am in remission.

I feel as that going through something of this nature people can harness what has happened and turn a negative into a positive or people can continue to feel sorry for oneself and never heal emotionally. I feel as if I was granted a unique opportunity and gift that most adults never get, the time and opportunity to reflect on myself and on my life. As a result, I have a new sense of purpose and drive. I have several accomplishments that I am extremely proud of, I have events in my life where I use extremely poor judgment and I am embarrassed to even admit to those, and I also feel that I am not done, I can do more, give more back to people and the community. Attending law school allows me to open a new chapter in my life and to help me continue to grow as a person.

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Re: PS - Would appreciate any input

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:11 am

Very moving topic. You have such a unique experience to draw from.

I do think you're dwelling too much on the negative. You have unnecessary details about the technicalities of the illness, and you lament how difficult it was, but this PS lacks the "triumph." I feel as if you just wrote about a sad event and you are now expecting law schools to let you in because you've been through something like this. Replace a few of the sad paragraphs with a story about how you rebounded, what you have been doing to gain new perspectives, and what exactly has changed in your outlook and belief systems that makes you more mature than the average person. Be specific and show law schools that going through this experience will make you a more competent law student than everyone else.

Also, the last paragraph doesn't sound genuine to me. It's a bit cliche and is not at all focused or specific. The second-to-last sentence, in particular, seems out-of-place and unclear. I would try to link your illness with why you want to do law. Perhaps you want to reform the medical system or deal with the law in the context of disability and hospital issues? Why has your experience specifically led you to law? How is law a logical progression from this trying time in your life? How will law be a proactive effort, on your part, to make your tragedy into an undeniable strength?

I wish you the best of luck. Please share your updated versions. I would love to read them. :)

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Re: PS - Would appreciate any input

Postby mmbt123 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:15 pm

I am so sorry that you had to go through this, and I hope you continue to stay in good health.

I agree with the poster above. I think there is too much a focus on your physical feelings and the description of the illness without a thorough enough exploration of the lesson you learned from this experience. I think it would stronger if you beefed that section up.

Good luck!

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Re: PS - Would appreciate any input

Postby just8250 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:29 am

Thank you stuckinthemiddle and mmbt123 for your comments. I have implemented them into my new version. I think I'm heading in the right direction with this rough draft but feel I still need to tweak the content a bit. Wanted your opinion and anyone else who is willing to offer one. Again thanks for taking the time to read it.

“You have cancer” are three words that most people cringe to hear and no three words create such a vivid and negative association. Cancer is not divided by race or sex and has no boundaries. It is unpredictable and mysterious, it takes on multiple shapes, roles, and faces. People with cancer feel isolated and alone and feel as though no one understands what they are feeling or going through. Most people are terrified of cancer and do not know how to react when they know someone who is struggling to fight it. Many people simply assume it will not affect them, that they will be somehow skipped over. I once believed this too, until I was diagnosed with cancer.

In January, 2012, I awoke to my family Doctor calling and instructing me to go to the emergency room for antibiotics. As I listened I felt my stomach tighten and instantly began to feel anxious. Although I understood that I had did not have a choice but to go I was still reluctant. I slowly and apprehensively walked into the emergency room department, gave my information, and was whisked away to some bed in the back corner near the ambulance entrance. I was left lying on an uncomfortable bed staring up at the dim, lackluster lighting and ceiling tiles that showed signs of staining and water damage for what seemed like an eternity, becoming more inpatient and anxious with each passing minute. My heart was racing and I was sweating, I knew that something was wrong. I tried to pass the time in silence but all I could hear was the sirens of approaching ambulances, the load clattering sound when poorly maintained automatic door opens and closes violently, and faint talking with an occasional scream in the background. Several hours after arriving at the emergency room, the Doctor returned to my room and pulled up a chair, similar to what is shown in the hospital television shows, and informed me that a have a blood cancer, known as Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. After being admitted for the next five weeks in the hospital and an additional three months of outpatient chemotherapy, I am proud to write that I am in remission, I am a cancer survivor.

Life is full of challenges, some more complicated and pronounced, others more trivial. Many people become overwhelmed and daunted by life’s complications while others adapt and welcome them with willing purpose. I feel that going through this trial of life I was granted a unique viewpoint that most adults never get: the time to reflect on myself and on my life. I would like to believe that I am a cancer survivor for a reason and purpose. I truly understand what it is like to have blind faith in a person and a system. I understand the emotions that must be embraced to succeed. All of life’s challenges shape and mold a person. For me, Cancer has made me increasingly self-aware and instilled in me a renewed sense of purpose and drive. Cancer gave me a new perspective on my life and has taught me virtues that I could not learn in college or in a book and did not learn through my daily life experiences. I have learned about patience, personal growth and to embrace the things that are feared as well as cherish the small moments in life that most people disregard as ordinary and plain. Sure, I am still scared that one day the cancer will be back or a new cancer will develop. But I also know my determination to adapt and overcome and to thrive will always give me strength and support against any obstacles I face. No matter the situation or how bleak the odds, I know I will be able to look anything head on, accept the challenge before me, and triumph.

With a renewed sense of purpose and aspirations to have a meaningful second chance at life, I now view and value my educational and career choices with the eyes of a different person, a person who is more mature, has a greater grasp on reality, and views the world for what it is and could be. Until this event occurred in my life, I took life for granted. I settled because life got too busy. I no longer want to simply settle. I have been giving a second chance and I want to make the most of it. I wish to continue my education into a direction that combines my passion for engineering with the intellectual property field to further utilize the technical principles I have learned and applied over the last eight years of my professional career. I wish to gain a deep understanding and commitment into the laws that define, regulate, and protect technology and those who are responsible for the technology. Law is an expansive field that directly impacts technology as well as those involved in the development of technology. Similar to all significant challenges in life, law school is will be incredibly frightening and overwhelming but it is too simply a life challenge that can and will be overcame with determination and patience.

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Re: PS - Would appreciate any input

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:08 am

OP, have you submited this yet? There are a couple punctuation issues I would like to edit for you. I can't do it tonight, but I am happy to do it tomorrow.

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Re: PS - Would appreciate any input

Postby just8250 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:39 am

B90 wrote:OP, have you submited this yet? There are a couple punctuation issues I would like to edit for you. I can't do it tonight, but I am happy to do it tomorrow.

I have not submit it yet and would appreciate any help your willing to give. Thanks

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