Seeking professional advice

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Anonymous User
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Seeking professional advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:39 am

When I was in elementary school I had a reading comprehension deficiency. I can remember staying up late with my mother on numerous occasions continually rereading the same story in preparation for the quiz the following day. I must have been in the 3rd grade. I would read the story. She would read the story. We went back and forth as I tried to remember all the details. Nothing clicked. I couldn’t remember the characters, the plot, the theme, or even the title. I thought I was stupid. I thought there was something wrong with me. I cried myself to sleep so many nights because of how inadequate I thought I was. It also didn’t help that my parents were going through a divorce roughly during this same time frame.

One day after school had ended I asked Mr. Woods for my grade in language arts. I was shown a D. The next day I challenged him to what my grade really was. Using the same math skills he taught me, I added up the sum of all my grades and divided by the amount of grades I had. I had showed him that my average was between 70-79 and I actually deserved a C. What I didn’t know then, but do know now, is that tests account for a higher percentage of ones grade than a quiz and the same relationship exists between quizzes and homework. For the last ten years this memory has never been too distant. I have so many questions for Mr. Woods. Was I actually correct in my findings and there was no weight scale? Was he simply impressed by my initiative or putting my math to practical use? Did he feel bad for me?

In total, I switched elementary schools four times partly because of the divorce. I remember Silver Palms the most. It was my first day of class as the new student. I remember looking around the classroom and feeling uneasy. I knew I wasn’t a gifted or bright pupil, but I knew as a fourth grader that school was something to take seriously. I wasn’t particularly interested in the aerodynamics of paper airplanes or the verbal jabbing that went on daily. One day I had learned that this class was for the students with the lowest level of academic achievement. It broke my ten-year-old heart. I acknowledged it as evidence that I actually was “slow” and that I may just never be able to understand anything I read. I wouldn’t accept it, however. I made up a fib and complained to my mother about how I wasn’t learning. By the end up the week I had a new teacher.

It wasn’t without being criticized or sarcastically joked about by the pervious one, however. “You got yourself a prodigy on his way,” I overheard. I may have been a fourth grader, but I knew enough about human interaction to know I wasn’t being talked about nicely. Later that day I opened up a dictionary and looked up the word prodigy. I was glad to no longer be in this mans class.

Immediately I noticed the difference between my old and new class. My new teacher was an older gentleman with greying hair and oval rimmed spectacles. My new classmates were energetic and eager to learn. They raised their hands and waited to be called on. I felt like I belonged here. I felt like this was the sort of education I deserved even if I wasn’t as smart as the rest of them. With time things became a lot better. I strived to be able to raise my hand and impress the teacher with what I knew. I wanted to believe that I belonged in the same class as my peers.

In the sixth grade I was introduced to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For the first time in my life I found something that I actually enjoyed reading. My comprehension of the material may not have been perfect, but I was developing strong reading habits. My grades were getting better and at times I was competitive to the point of wanting to score higher than all my peers on any given test. I did notice though that much progress was to be made. Just across the hall was a class full of all the most intelligent students. That’s where I wanted to be.

Despite showing a higher aptitude in mathematics all this time- stories and literature became something I desperately wanted to conquer and comprehend. In the eighth grade my teacher set forth a reading competition. For the competition all one had to do was read and write a summary of the text every ten pages. It was a basic requirement for every student to read ten pages a day for fifty pages by Friday. The competition really got me going and by the end of each week I had often turned in 200 to 300 pages read with complete summaries. At the end of the year my teacher announced that I was the winner of the reading competition. I was anticipating this moment all year long and it was the one-day I was home sick. The prize, a giant candy bar, was given to a “trusted” classmate. I hadn’t even learned I won until a few weeks later. It was the pinnacle of my education thus far and no benefits were to be reaped. It didn’t matter to me though. I enjoyed reading.

I’ve never contemplated this till now, but subconsciously, all these moments of feeling inadequate and wanting to be on par with my peers as a reader led me down the road I traveled. By the time I graduated from high school I was in an English honors class and in college as an English major I kept up on pushing the envelope further. This transformation from the kid who thought he was “stupid” to the college graduate with a degree in English has taught me a lot about the process of growing and being shaped academically.


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Re: Seeking professional advice

Postby Redfactor » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:58 am

Last edited by Redfactor on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seeking professional advice

Postby CFprez » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:32 am

So a couple of questions here. Your timelines confuse me as it seems like it jumps around. First, you are in third grade. Then you say mr woods and something about 10 years which confuses me because 3rd grade + 10 years = 19/18, then in the next sentence you are back in elementary school again moving around. My suggestion is you re order your timelines or eliminate it. Also were you diagnosed with a formal learning disability? You allude to it like you were but I am confused.

Second I am missing a tie in with law school here. You are an english major. Great so now what? You are applying to law school because you couldn't do anything else with your degree? Ha... just had to ask.

Also excuse the typos as this is on my phone.


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Re: Seeking professional advice

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:39 am

I think you focus too much on elementary school. The important part is how far you came because of your desire to learn. Also, don't say that" you had never contemplated this til now." Your statement should be well thought out.

You don't have to tie it into why you want to go to law school.

I think this can be a good statement.

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