Second Try, Please tear it apart.

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

Second Try, Please tear it apart.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:43 am

Hello, thank you to anyone for feedback! It is amazingly appreciated.

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Tears stung my eyes as I shrugged off my heavy winter coat. My face was already raw from waiting an hour in the cold wind, and the wetness running down my cheeks only made the sting more real. Four weeks had passed since my father had picked my brother and me up for a visit. One short phone call later, my mother sat us down and broke the news to us. She herself was fighting back tears as she attempted to explain to a five-year-old and a seven-year-old that their father no longer wanted to see them.
From that moment on, the sweeping effect of my father’s abandonment slowly permeated every aspect of my life. Phone wars raged on between my parents; late at night I could hear my mother through the wall, screaming into the receiver. I would simply lie in bed and pull my pillow tightly over my head, hoping to smother out the wretched sounds that invaded my ears.
As the weeks crept by, my five-year-old brain worked its hardest to wrap itself around the situation. Like most kids do, I watched TV and movies and read children’s books. A constant parade of the perfect nuclear family passed before my eyes. Of course they had their issues, but in the end the dad would smile, grab his kids in a tight hug and tell them how much he loved them. Yet before he finally walked out, all my father seemed to do was drink himself into oblivion and leave both physical and emotional scars on my mother, my brother and me. It was not until years later that I truly appreciated how much pain she endured to ensure he would never lay a hand on us.
Why was my family so different from the perfect families that were presented throughout popular culture? Why would a father suddenly stop loving his children? Why did this lack of love leave me distanced from those who were still in my life? I needed to know the answers, to find some kind of reason. This search for a cause became a facet in my life. I began trying to find logic behind everything.
As I grew older, my journey towards full logical understanding never ceased. I poured over books on logical rules and fallacies, analyzed nearly every situation I found myself in, and always made it the end goal to understand why things turn out the way they do. I scrutinized every detail of my own life to the nth degree. Why was I planning to attend [University]? Why did I choose the specific people that I was closest with? Why did I make this good choice or this bad choice? Not a moment in my life was left unanalyzed. I began to read up on Logicians in search for those who struggled to search for sense as I did.
One particular Philosopher whose writings rang true to me was Bertrand Russell. As a founder of Analytic Philosophy, Russell strived to solidify a logical form behind every philosophical proposition laid forward. This ultimately was a search for a definitive answer to every question. The parallels to my personal search were uncanny, and only furthered my motiviation as a logical thinker.
To this day, I still struggle with a reason for why my childhood and life unfolded as they did. I credit the constant search to find an answer as the source of my seeking out the sense behind everything that happens. It, coupled with my insatiable need for logic, are the reasons I chose to become a Mathematics major at [University]. Numbers make sense; there are rules that dictate how they act and interact with each other. Everything happens with purpose and reason, and the drive to find that purpose has helped me to grow into the studious person I am today.
I will continue to use that drive as a means to learn the law at [Law School]. I will use every avenue possible to achieve the end goal I am seeking, and this will apply throughout the next three years of my life. Probing for a perfect definitive answer to every question will be what pushes me to learn the law, and perfect how I practice the craft. No stone shall be left unturned, and no question left unanswered.

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AnonymousAlterEgoC
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:13 am

Re: Second Try, Please tear it apart.

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:12 am

The intro (p1) might not resonate because it is a childhood event.

I wanted to hurt myself when I read three consecutive rhetorical questions (questions are necessarily this due to the reader's relationship to your PS)

Don't say "this good choice or this bad choice" when "this" is undefined. Say "some." But don't even use that sentence.

It's not clear how Russell's logical positivism (I presume this is what you are referring to) relates to you

Your final paragraph creeped me out a bit. Much of law consists of questions where even though the language used is logic there might not be a definitive answer, which would undermine the structure you present.

From this PS I have no clue who you are, but I will tell you what it tells me.

You are a calculating and logical person. Your logic is limited though because you do not recognize the need to connect Russell to you, a clear flaw. So you are calculating. I do not like merely calculating.

Sorry if this was too harsh. In general, your writing is what I would call "stilted." It doesn't seem original. It doesn't identify you as an individual. There is a huge disconnect between grieving five-year-old you and the you that is finally presented. I guess I don't see why failing to understand someone's emotional state (your father's) would lead directly to someone being logical. This could occur, but it doesn't seem necessary/inevitable. PM me your next draft if you choose.

Basically, try to write something cohesive that is all connected. This is a difficult PS to evaluate.

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rutgers17
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:43 pm

Re: Second Try, Please tear it apart.

Postby rutgers17 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:12 pm

I like the narrative aspect of your story. I think I read somewhere that having the focal point as something that happened when you were a kid isn't the best method, but I don't mind it in your statement. It reads well and is interesting (and tells the reader something they didn't know about you).

Where I got lost is the transition to now. I think the not knowing why your dad left/logical connection is weak.It seems like the definition of logic in terms of finding out why your dad left is not the same as the meaning used later, so it comes off as forced. In that same paragraph, the Bertrand Russell reads kind of like a random name drop to me. You don't go into enough detail about any sort of connection for it to be meaningful. I think this paragraph is your weakest.

If you could find a stronger connection between the narrative at the beginning and your life now, you'd be in much better shape. I think there's a connection between the story in the beginning and your comment about studying math. The not finding answers leading you to liking concrete answers makes a lot of sense -- I think that using the whole logic thing in the middle actually just muddles that up. It seems like it could be better if you do a direct connection between those two ideas instead.

I also think you need a stronger conclusion. It's sort of run-of-the-mill. I'd do something a little more bold and memorable.

Sorry if this is harsh, I just know I'd want people's honest feedback. I'll be posting mine on here within the next couple weeks when I finish, so feel free to rip mine apart! Good luck!!

esther0123
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:40 am

Re: Second Try, Please tear it apart.

Postby esther0123 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:18 am

Hey,

I've quickly read your personal statement, and I also felt like the link between your childhood and your current studies was a bit of a stretch. You clearly have a great style, but during the narrative aspect, I felt it to be a bit too melodramatic, and I kind of felt a bit manipulated into feeling sorry for you -- probably not something you were intending.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second Try, Please tear it apart.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:10 pm

Alrighty, here is my next draft of the same PS. Thanks everyone!!
__________

Tears stung my eyes as I shrugged off my heavy winter coat. My face was already raw from waiting an hour in the cold wind, and the wetness running down my cheeks only made the sting more real. Four weeks had passed since my father had picked my brother and me up for a visit. One short phone call later, my mother sat us down and broke the news to us. She herself was fighting back tears as she attempted to explain to a five-year-old and a seven-year-old that their father no longer wanted to see them.
From that moment on, the sweeping effect of my father’s abandonment slowly permeated every aspect of my life. Phone wars raged on between my parents; late at night I could hear my mother through the wall, screaming into the receiver. I would simply lie in bed and pull my pillow tightly over my head, hoping to smother out the wretched sounds that invaded my ears.
As the weeks crept by, my five-year-old brain worked its hardest to wrap itself around the situation. Like most kids do, I watched TV and movies and read children’s books. A constant parade of the perfect nuclear family passed before my eyes. Of course they had their issues, but in the end the dad would smile, grab his kids in a tight hug and tell them how much he loved them. Yet before he finally walked out, all my father did was drink himself into oblivion and leave physical and emotional scars on my mother, my brother and me. It was not until years later that I truly appreciated how much pain she endured to ensure he would never lay a hand on us.
Why was my family so different from the perfect families that were presented throughout popular culture, and why would a father suddenly stop loving his children? I needed to know the answers, to find some kind of reason. This search for a cause became a facet in my life. There had to be some kind of concrete answer. It seemed impossible to me that these events could occur without any cause.
As I grew older my quest for answers never ceased. I poured over books by philosophers and mathematicians, analyzed nearly every situation I found myself in, and always made it the end goal to understand why things turned out the way they did. I slowly evolved from a child trying to answer a complex question about his abandonment into a teen who searched for answers not only in his own life, but in the decisions of others, and finally into an adult who began to realize that there simply would not be a definitive answer to every question.
To this day, I still often struggle to find a reason for why my childhood and life unfolded as they did. But I now also realize that sometimes there will not be one specific logical reason for everything. In the end, I credit this realization coupled with my lifelong journey for solid answers as the source of my seeking out the sense behind everything that happens. In fact, these are precisely why I chose to become a Mathematics major at the [University]. Numbers make sense; there are rules that dictate how they act and interact with each other. Everything happens with purpose and reason, and I was driven to be as studious as possible to understand every facet of the practice of mathematics.
I will continue to use that drive as a means to learn the law at the [Law School]. As I strived to perfect how I applied Mathematics, so will I strive to perfect how I both learn and practice Law. Even though I have come to terms with the fact that some questions will be axiomatically unanswerable, I will still constantly strive to work out the best reason, the soundest logic in every situation that I approach.




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