PS rough first draft -- is the theme ok?

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Anonymous User
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PS rough first draft -- is the theme ok?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:30 pm

Not edited for grammar spelling or style. would like to get some feedback on the general theme as a PS (not much talking about "why law") and its length etc. Thanks a lot!


The air kept getting thinner around me. Breathing was more difficult. I could hear myself panting with each step I took. This was a familiar feeling. With my heart busy pumping blood into my vessels, I felt more determined than ever to reach the peak of this black rock.

The Everest Base Camp in Nepal is at an altitude of 17,598 ft, but I was trying to reach a higher point. Kala Patthar, commonly called “the black rock” in Nepali and Hindi, is located 18,514 ft above sea level. I wasn’t there just for the astounding sunset view of the himalayan mountains. I was there to prove myself, that I was capable of reaching the summit of a high mountain.

That was October 2009. Two months before that, I was taken down by swine flu right before my Kilimanjaro summit. I was not a mountain climber; I was just a regular graduate student sitting in a computer lab most of the time. I booked the trek using money that I earned from Google Summer of Code project, out of the love for the mountains and for the challenge of stepping on top of the highest point in Africa. I knew I would be able to do it – with regular exercising and intensive Karate training for the past two years, I was physically ready to take the challenge. But maybe not with swine flu. I lied awake in bed past midnight, entire body aching with fever. At one point I got up and called the nurse line, asking what I could possibly do at that point. Not much, I was told. As a student, I would not be able to afford such a climb if I missed this one. I must get onto that flight. All I was able to do was to crawl back into my bed and hope that the fever would subside somehow.

And it did. After sweating in blankets for another five hours, the fever was gone and I was back to my normal temperature. Several hours later I was sitting on the flight to Amsterdam, then Kilimanjaro. Excitement surrounded me. ”Uhuru peak, here I come!” I silently yelled in my heart.

But I wasn’t able to reach the Uhuru peak in the end. On the summit night, the altitude sickness struck me. After I managed to reach Gilman’s point (18,638 ft), the next 980 feet of climb became extremely difficult. I puked every five minutes or so on my way up, my body shook vigorously due to the lack of oxygen, and the fever came back. Finally I had to give up, not knowing how much further the peak was away. My guide dragged me back down to the camp site and helped me lie down in my tent.

I cried in my tent. I couldn’t bring myself to admit that I failed. I was so close! I couldn’t afford a trip to Kilimanjaro again anytime soon to prove to myself that I could do this. I had to swallow this failure. That’s why two months later, when colleagues in Microsoft Shanghai office planned to hike the Everest Base Camp in Nepal, I signed up immediately. The Base Camp is not as high as the peak of Africa, but I wanted to show to myself that I could pick up from where I fell and succeed this time. When I finally reached the top of Kala Patthar, I felt emotional but unexpectedly calm at the same time. The view was indeed breathtaking, and I was just glad that I achieved something that I set my mind to, though in a different way the second time around.

I am an expecting mother now; mountain climbing has fallen a bit out of my current focus. However, just like big mountains, life doesn’t always offer us what we want. We can fail at the least expected places. The important thing is to have the courage to face the challenge squarely, and to persist when things don’t proceed as we planned to. I now face other challenges in my life. Law school, for example, has never entered my mind during my undergraduate and graduate studies. I was only drawn to the technical challenges of software development. However, my work experience in xxx made me realize the value of licensing business model. I filed my first technical invention not long after I established myself in my team. It didn’t go very well – I didn’t accurately grasp the core value in an invention and patent. However, this experience made me want to learn more about the law. After taking some XXX courses in legal area, I’m more than determined to pursue a law degree to expand my horizon.

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MrSparkle
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Re: PS rough first draft -- is the theme ok?

Postby MrSparkle » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:13 am

You could use it, but maybe use the mountain as a metaphor for how you tackle life as a software developer, mother, etc. Tacky, but perhaps workable. Right now it's kind of all over the place.

Also, it'd help if you were also physically disabled and wanted to climb mountains, but perhaps that'd be too cliche. As it stands, a normal person climbing a mountain one time doesn't strike me personally as a really memorable story. I don't have a real sense of who you are.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273329
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: PS rough first draft -- is the theme ok?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:14 am

Here's the second draft...any critiques would be highly appreciated!! Thanks!

------

Air kept getting thinner around me; breathing was more difficult. I could hear myself panting with every step I took. With my heart busy pumping blood into vessels, I felt more determined than ever to reach the peak of this black rock, Kala Patthar, located 18,514 ft. above sea level near the Everest Base Camp. Many people came here for the astounding view of the Himalayas. I came here to prove myself, that I was capable of reaching the summit of a high mountain. That was October 2009. Two months before, I was on my way to climb the highest peak in Africa, Kilimanjaro, but was hit by swine flu. After six days of trekking, I managed to reach Gilman's point (18,638 ft.) on the summit night, but the next 980 feet of climb became extremely difficult. I puked every five minutes on my way up, my body shook vigorously due to lack of oxygen, and fever struck. Finally I had to give up and let my guide drag me down to a safer altitude, not knowing how close I got to the Uhuru peak. That's why when colleagues in Microsoft planned to hike the Everest Base Camp in Nepal two months later I signed up immediately. The Base Camp is not as high as the peak of Africa, but I wanted to show to myself that I could pick up from where I fell and succeed this time.

In a way, life is like mountain climbing. We keep setting bigger goals for ourselves, one higher mountain after another. But even when our goals lie straight ahead in front of our eyes, the paths leading to them can still be unclear and filled with unexpected turns. We could fail at various attempts; and when we fail, we must pick up ourselves with greater resolution. Growing up with an electric engineer father, I was drawn to computers early in my life and wanted to become an engineer too. It was disappointing to find out that many Chinese universities lack hands-on training in computer science curricula, so I chose a different path. After researching oversea undergraduate programs, I applied to University of XXX for its excellent reputation in math and engineering and its co-operative program that has earned nationwide recognition. Unfortunately I wasn't accepted to its top programs initially since international students were not admitted to XXX programs directly. I took the offer anyway, knowing that I would be able to find a better path leading to my goals once I started my studies there. After the first term, I approached Prof. J, the Dean of Software Engineering at the time, to seek out transfer opportunities. “Not many people want to transfer into the program. “ She commented after hearing my interest. “Many transferred out because they found it too demanding.” I smiled, knowing then it'd be the challenge that I'd always wanted. I was accepted into software engineering later that year. From then on I kept the momentum going for the rest of my undergraduate study, taking extra courses almost every term. I also spent my spare time working on computer graphics projects, an area that I found fascinating. By third year I had determined to apply for Master's program in graphics to dive deeper into the research world, and started taking extra graduate level courses. Of course things didn't always go smoothly. One graduate math course during my last term took me by surprise — I simply didn't possess the same math foundation as other graduate students in the class. I ended up doing poorly for that course, but there was no regret. After all, college isn't just about grades. It is about learning. This course was just a small turn that broadened my horizon.

After finishing graduate school, I again was faced with choices of paths. Instead of staying in Canada, I took a job in China to work on heterogeneous computing technology in XXX. My mind was set to explore compute capability of graphics chips on mobile system-on-chip designs, when life gave me another turn and brought me back to North America. A work opportunity in XXX showed up after I met and married my husband, so we moved to XXX together. Though the nature of my work stays the same — I still work on software development for graphics chips — I can see the vast difference between business models of the two companies. With its IP licensing model, XXX is able to successfully expand its graphics chip market, even though it was late in the game for graphics development. XXX, on the other end, makes very good chips but fails to take its products to get a bigger share in the mobile market. I started to question my narrow focus on technology and wanted to learn more about patent law. I took several courses in XXX extension to learn the basics of US legal system. I also filed my first invention after a year and half in my job. The initial filing wasn't successful, but through the process I understood more about what core values companies usually look for in a good patent. While my current job in engineering is rewarding, my long term career goal is to transition into XXX patent department to make use of both my engineering skills and patent knowledge.

Law school is the new challenge I set my mind to. It's the new mountain peak that I'm about to set my foot on. Law and engineering are two very different fields. The idea of law school is thrilling and daunting at the same time, but I'd want to challenge myself. Over the years I've learned how to overcome temporary obstacles to achieve bigger goals. The same skills will apply to law school as well. At this point in my life, I seek challenges in a field that could bring great changes to my career and personal growth. Pursuing a law degree would enable me to enter a profession that aligns my past work experience and my future career goal.




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