Re-Written Introduction- Thoughts?

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Anonymous User
Posts: 273382
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re-Written Introduction- Thoughts?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:09 pm

I thoroughly enjoy a good debate. A fierce battle of wits between opposing parties is an excellent tool in convincing those observing us to join one opinion or the other, although neither side typically changes the mind of their opponents. There is a time and place for debate, but until my freshman year at the University of Michigan- Flint, I did not use much discretion in determining the appropriate setting. Often times, my bullish insensitivity debating anything from politics and religion to insignificant topics such as favorite sports teams and taste in music resulted in hurt feelings, anger, and strained relationships. The fear of being debated and bullied resulted in the tendency for the people around me to keep their opinions to themselves, creating an environment in which I, in my own stubborn pride, was free from opposition. Controversial topics become taboo and were rarely discussed, despite their importance to society and the need for me to understand others’ perspectives. Rather than seeking out the opinions, experiences, and perspectives of people who are different from me, I tended to surround myself with like-minded people who came from similar backgrounds. Those who disagreed with me were often met with disrespect, anger and an inability to compromise. I defined and divided myself by my religion and political party, creating an environment of polarity around me and making it difficult to reach across to the other side.

During my freshman year of college, I was fortunate to take a class which strived to help people overcome their anxiety of boundaries. “Intergroup Dialogue,” taught by Dr. Hillary Heinze, Dr. Jeannette Stein, and Dr. Thomas Wrobel, focused on creating cohesive discussion between opposing groups, whether they be divided across gender, racial or religious lines. As a student in the course, I was placed in a race dialogue. The class was facilitated by previous students of the class, and in our dialogue, there was both a white and African-American peer facilitator who helped us discuss our different perspectives and experiences in American culture. At the end of the semester, we collaborated in a group research project, studying the effect of race on Christianity. The following year and this, my third and final year of college, I was asked to return to the class as a peer facilitator. It has provided me with an opportunity to have thoughtful, empathetic discussions with people I have not always agreed with; learn from wonderful students from a variety of backgrounds; and lead a group of my peers in discussions which lead to understanding, cohesion and friendships which otherwise may not have existed.

As someone tasked with leading other students in dialogue, I realized I needed to incorporate it into my discussions outside the classroom. When I joined the College Republicans on campus, I recognized within myself and the group a great deal of anger and negativity towards the Democratic Party. My experience peer facilitating Intergroup Dialogue, however, changed my attitude and goals for the group when I became president in the fall semester of 2012. I decided our club should aim to work with the College Democrats to create a peaceful political environment on campus in which conservative and liberal students can speak their minds without fear of retribution from the other party. I reached out to the president of the College Democrats and he agreed to hold recruitment events together. Shortly thereafter, we held a food drive together, collecting food items for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Towards the end of the winter semester, we held an event which reached the goal of creating a cohesive political environment. Calling it a public dialogue, rather than a debate, we discussed issues such as gun rights and restrictions, the federal budget deficit, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage. The rules were simple: we could state and support our own positions and ask questions regarding the other party’s positions, but we could not attack the other party’s arguments. To ensure it would not become a debate, I asked Dr. Wrobel, one of the professors of the Intergroup Dialogue course, to facilitate the dialogue. Thanks to the commitment each participant demonstrated to maintaining a respectful, friendly tone, the event was a resounding success, with the members of each club shaking the others’ hands and going out for pizza afterwards; this fall semester, we will be holding a dialogue series, with multiple events focused on singular subjects so as to focus on them more intently.

Although one dialogue event may seem small and unimportant, it was a significant achievement which would not have been possible without the contributions of many people with different perspectives and backgrounds. Without the professors, peer facilitators and students who helped mold me and my attitudes, I would not have been able to bring the fundamentals of dialogue into the political atmosphere to the University of Michigan- Flint. Without the president of the College Democrats being open to working together, no such event would have ever existed, and the two organizations would not have such a wonderful working relationship.

The leadership experience I have acquired in facilitating classes and bringing two opposing organizations together has given me the confidence that I can impact the environment around me in a positive way. I am certain the experiences I’ve had and the education I’ve received in dialogue will continue to serve me well as I pursue career in the legal field. Law school is filled with a diverse set of students, each of whom has a story to tell and a perspective to give; my experiences with dialogue will assist me in learning every lesson I can from each of them. As an attorney, I will represent clients with every imaginable background, and they will need me to listen to them, understand their issues and represent them to the fullest of my capabilities. Debate will continue to have a time and place: in the courtroom or at the negotiating table; but dialogue has become an important tool for me in my relationships and discussions, and it will continue to aid me in the future.

User avatar
Gradvocates Editing
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: Re-Written Introduction- Thoughts?

Postby Gradvocates Editing » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:42 pm

We don't mean offense, but the introduction is a bit boring. It does not draw the reader in and make him or her want to continue reading. Why not spice things up by using dialogue to demonstrate one of your debates? Instead of starting with "I thoroughly enjoy a good debate," you will immediately throw the reader into an interesting part of the debate, better demonstrating your point.

blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Re-Written Introduction- Thoughts?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:07 pm

Your writing style is problematic here. It's very stiff -- I picture the "scholar" meme when I read it. Try to rewrite it a little more naturally.

blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Re-Written Introduction- Thoughts?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:16 pm

Also, cut the intro way way down. The AdComs don't need to hear so much general expounding from you on the idea of dialogue and why people in society don't communicate well or all that vague stuff. Cut to the part of it that's about you sooner.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Re-Written Introduction- Thoughts?

Postby delusional » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I thoroughly enjoy a good debate. A fierce battle of wits between opposing parties is an excellent tool in convincing those observing us to join one opinion or the other, although neither side typically changes the mind of their opponents. There is a time and place for debate, but until my freshman year at the University of Michigan- Flint, I did not use much discretion in determining the appropriate setting. Often times, my bullish insensitivity debating anything from politics and religion to insignificant topics such as favorite sports teams and taste in music resulted in hurt feelings, anger, and strained relationships. The fear of being debated and bullied resulted in the tendency for the people around me to keep their opinions to themselves, creating an environment in which I, in my own stubborn pride, was free from opposition. Controversial topics become taboo and were rarely discussed, despite their importance to society and the need for me to understand others’ perspectives. Rather than seeking out the opinions, experiences, and perspectives of people who are different from me, I tended to surround myself with like-minded people who came from similar backgrounds. Those who disagreed with me were often met with disrespect, anger and an inability to compromise. I defined and divided myself by my religion and political party, creating an environment of polarity around me and making it difficult to reach across to the other side.

During my freshman year of college, I was fortunate to take a class which strived to help people overcome their anxiety of boundaries. “Intergroup Dialogue,” taught by Dr. Hillary Heinze, Dr. Jeannette Stein, and Dr. Thomas Wrobel, focused on creating cohesive discussion between opposing groups, whether they be divided across gender, racial or religious lines. As a student in the course, I was placed in a race dialogue. The class was facilitated by previous students of the class, and in our dialogue, there was both a white and African-American peer facilitator who helped us discuss our different perspectives and experiences in American culture. At the end of the semester, we collaborated in a group research project, studying the effect of race on Christianity. The following year and this, my third and final year of college, I was asked to return to the class as a peer facilitator. It has provided me with an opportunity to have thoughtful, empathetic discussions with people I have not always agreed with; learn from wonderful students from a variety of backgrounds; and lead a group of my peers in discussions which lead to understanding, cohesion and friendships which otherwise may not have existed.

As someone tasked with leading other students in dialogue, I realized I needed to incorporate it into my discussions outside the classroom. When I joined the College Republicans on campus, I recognized within myself and the group a great deal of anger and negativity towards the Democratic Party. My experience peer facilitating Intergroup Dialogue, however, changed my attitude and goals for the group when I became president in the fall semester of 2012. I decided our club should aim to work with the College Democrats to create a peaceful political environment on campus in which conservative and liberal students can speak their minds without fear of retribution from the other party. I reached out to the president of the College Democrats and he agreed to hold recruitment events together. Shortly thereafter, we held a food drive together, collecting food items for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Towards the end of the winter semester, we held an event which reached the goal of creating a cohesive political environment. Calling it a public dialogue, rather than a debate, we discussed issues such as gun rights and restrictions, the federal budget deficit, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage. The rules were simple: we could state and support our own positions and ask questions regarding the other party’s positions, but we could not attack the other party’s arguments. To ensure it would not become a debate, I asked Dr. Wrobel, one of the professors of the Intergroup Dialogue course, to facilitate the dialogue. Thanks to the commitment each participant demonstrated to maintaining a respectful, friendly tone, the event was a resounding success, with the members of each club shaking the others’ hands and going out for pizza afterwards; this fall semester, we will be holding a dialogue series, with multiple events focused on singular subjects so as to focus on them more intently.

Although one dialogue event may seem small and unimportant, it was a significant achievement which would not have been possible without the contributions of many people with different perspectives and backgrounds. Without the professors, peer facilitators and students who helped mold me and my attitudes, I would not have been able to bring the fundamentals of dialogue into the political atmosphere to the University of Michigan- Flint. Without the president of the College Democrats being open to working together, no such event would have ever existed, and the two organizations would not have such a wonderful working relationship.

The leadership experience I have acquired in facilitating classes and bringing two opposing organizations together has given me the confidence that I can impact the environment around me in a positive way. I am certain the experiences I’ve had and the education I’ve received in dialogue will continue to serve me well as I pursue career in the legal field. Law school is filled with a diverse set of students, each of whom has a story to tell and a perspective to give; my experiences with dialogue will assist me in learning every lesson I can from each of them. As an attorney, I will represent clients with every imaginable background, and they will need me to listen to them, understand their issues and represent them to the fullest of my capabilities. Debate will continue to have a time and place: in the courtroom or at the negotiating table; but dialogue has become an important tool for me in my relationships and discussions, and it will continue to aid me in the future.

Too self-focused, a lot of passive verbs, and the story is not particularly compelling. It's obviously meaningful to you, so don't hold back - figure out how to make it meaningful to readers.




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