Am I doing better?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
iceiceman
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Am I doing better?

Postby iceiceman » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:59 pm

Please advise on the improvement I can make on my PS. Thanks!

Last week, I was sitting on the porch with my father. As the stars came out, I began to reflect on how our lives have changed since my parents first came to this great country. I looked down at my novel and smiled. The fact that I no longer needed my handy dictionary just to get through the opening paragraph was quite satisfying. My thoughts were interrupted as I glanced over at my father who was having a spirited argument with my neighbor. Not that long ago, this scene felt extremely unlikely to occur.

My parents emigrated from the former Soviet Union with very little money and even less English-speaking skills. We only spoke Russian at home. I hardly saw my father because he began his job at the local grocery store at 5 a.m. and sometimes would only get home by midnight. Though times were tough, my mother assured me that life would get better once I entered school.
When I entered elementary school, I did not speak any English. To make matters worse, the other boys mocked me. It is very difficult for anyone to be in this situation, especially a young boy. I went to my parents for guidance. My father told me that if I want to end their mocking, I must outwork all of them and rise to the top of my class. I was perplexed. How was I supposed to rise to the head of the class, if I did not even speak the language? My father allayed my fears. He told me how the first time he read the Wall Street Journal, he only understood a single word. The next day, he understood two words. He explained to me how the longer he read, the more he learned. Until finally, he could read through the entire newspaper. “You may not know how to speak English now,” he said, “but if you keep reading, you will learn to speak the language.” I took his message to heart. Every day after school, I would sit with my mother and practice my English skills. Though we had little money, my father spared no expense in purchasing reading materials for me. It was truly a testament to how far I had come when one of the bullies actually asked me, “Hey, can you help me out with the reading assignment?” At that moment, I knew that I had succeeded.

It’s incredible how what seemed to be a curse, was in fact, a blessing in disguise. I faced a tremendous language barrier. Forget the classroom assignments, it’s difficult to even have friends if they can't understand you. Yet, I persisted and pushed myself, until I was able to break down the obstacle which stood before me. I have tried to use this mentality throughout my life. If something isn’t working at first, then that is just a sign that I must redouble my efforts. I have learned to not fear adversity; it is much more productive to embrace it.

I first encountered the difficulties facing the Russian community when my father introduced me to Mr. Alexander Trochkalmik. Mr. Trochkalmik had some legal issues which he was trying to resolve with the help of his lawyer. Unfortunately for Alexander, his lawyer could hardly understand him. After several futile meetings with his lawyer, Mr. Trochkalmik decided to give up on his pursuit for justice. I’ll never forget the words which he told my father. “If I can’t get my lawyer to understand me, how can I expect anyone else to?”

There are thousands of Russian immigrants living in my community. Many do not speak English and few have any relatives that can help them. Because I speak both Russian and English, I can assist them in a variety of ways. I am able to read/write letters for them, fax documents, or even drive them to the supermarket. I know what it’s like to be in a country and feel helpless and misunderstood. I know that by going into law, I can help even more people. I feel that it is my duty to aid these people who face the very same issues that I once did.

My parents have been tremendous role models for me. It is from them do I get my aspirations for success. Whenever I am faced with a challenge, I consider the fact that my father had to sometimes wash floors for 20 hours a day, in order to provide for my family. “Whatever you do, just make sure to give your 110% effort into it,” he always tells me. Though times may get tough, I know that if I put in all my determination, I will succeed.

Because of my past experiences, along with my constant drive for perfection throughout the world of academia, I have come to the decision that the next stop on my journey is a law school. I believe that I am ready for the task ahead. I understand that at times, it will be daunting. There will be long days and even longer nights. Nevertheless, I am undeterred. I will not be refused. I will not stop until I am at the pinnacle of my profession. There is always room for growth, and I will never settle for anything short of my potential.

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francesfarmer
Posts: 1409
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:52 am

Re: Am I doing better?

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:09 pm

iceiceman wrote:Please advise on the improvement I can make on my PS. Thanks!

Last week, I was sitting on the porch with my father. As the stars came out, I began to reflect on how our lives have changed since my parents first came to this great country. I looked down at my novel and smiled. The fact that I no longer needed my handy dictionary just to get through the opening paragraph was quite satisfying. My thoughts were interrupted as I glanced over at my father who was having a spirited argument with my neighbor. Not that long ago, this scene felt extremely unlikely to occur.

My parents emigrated from the former Soviet Union with very little money and even less English-speaking skills. We only spoke Russian at home. I hardly saw my father because he began his job at the local grocery store at 5 a.m. and sometimes would only get home by midnight. Though times were tough, my mother assured me that life would get better once I entered school.
When I entered elementary school, I did not speak any English. To make matters worse, the other boys mocked me. It is very difficult for anyone to be in this situation, especially a young boy. I went to my parents for guidance. My father told me that if I want to end their mocking, I must outwork all of them and rise to the top of my class. I was perplexed. How was I supposed to rise to the head of the class, if I did not even speak the language? My father allayed my fears. He told me how the first time he read the Wall Street Journal, he only understood a single word. The next day, he understood two words. He explained to me how the longer he read, the more he learned. Until finally, he could read through the entire newspaper. “You may not know how to speak English now,” he said, “but if you keep reading, you will learn to speak the language.” I took his message to heart. Every day after school, I would sit with my mother and practice my English skills. Though we had little money, my father spared no expense in purchasing reading materials for me. It was truly a testament to how far I had come when one of the bullies actually asked me, “Hey, can you help me out with the reading assignment?” At that moment, I knew that I had succeeded.

It’s incredible how what seemed to be a curse, was in fact, a blessing in disguise. I faced a tremendous language barrier. Forget the classroom assignments, it’s difficult to even have friends if they can't understand you. Yet, I persisted and pushed myself, until I was able to break down the obstacle which stood before me. I have tried to use this mentality throughout my life. If something isn’t working at first, then that is just a sign that I must redouble my efforts. I have learned to not fear adversity; it is much more productive to embrace it.

I first encountered the difficulties facing the Russian community when my father introduced me to Mr. Alexander Trochkalmik. Mr. Trochkalmik had some legal issues which he was trying to resolve with the help of his lawyer. Unfortunately for Alexander, his lawyer could hardly understand him. After several futile meetings with his lawyer, Mr. Trochkalmik decided to give up on his pursuit for justice. I’ll never forget the words which he told my father. “If I can’t get my lawyer to understand me, how can I expect anyone else to?”

There are thousands of Russian immigrants living in my community. Many do not speak English and few have any relatives that can help them. Because I speak both Russian and English, I can assist them in a variety of ways. I am able to read/write letters for them, fax documents, or even drive them to the supermarket. I know what it’s like to be in a country and feel helpless and misunderstood. I know that by going into law, I can help even more people. I feel that it is my duty to aid these people who face the very same issues that I once did.

My parents have been tremendous role models for me. It is from them do I get my aspirations for success. Whenever I am faced with a challenge, I consider the fact that my father had to sometimes wash floors for 20 hours a day, in order to provide for my family. “Whatever you do, just make sure to give your 110% effort into it,” he always tells me. Though times may get tough, I know that if I put in all my determination, I will succeed.

Because of my past experiences, along with my constant drive for perfection throughout the world of academia, I have come to the decision that the next stop on my journey is a law school. I believe that I am ready for the task ahead. I understand that at times, it will be daunting. There will be long days and even longer nights. Nevertheless, I am undeterred. I will not be refused. I will not stop until I am at the pinnacle of my profession. There is always room for growth, and I will never settle for anything short of my potential.

The last paragraph is braggy, overzealous, and makes you look really naive. You're going to professional school, not off to war.

I think the rest is mostly OK. You use a lot of unnecessary commas. I would get rid of those.

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Am I doing better?

Postby Ramius » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:02 pm

This is a big improvement over your earlier drafts. I agree that the last paragraph is still a weakness and you still need to do some editing in your grammar/structure, but as a whole this is much, much better. Keep working and you'll get there!




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