First draft on new PS, need help with direction

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Anonymous User
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First draft on new PS, need help with direction

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:30 pm

Let me know what you guys think. I completely changed the topic this time.



“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
-Carl Sagan

Curiosity is a powerful force. Agnostic are its virtues and unlimited are its destinations. It was the bedrock of the colonization of the New World and the driving force behind the mapping of the human genome. It penetrates every area of our consciousness and influences our every decision. Yet, despite its permeation, the effects of it are incredibly individualistic. The same question asked by one group of people could have substantially differing answers among them. It is in this chaotic arrangement that, early in my life, I came upon a revelation.

Looking up at the clear, starry night sky, one question in particular would not get out of my head. “What are stars?” It’s actually kind of humorous – a question so obvious, yet one that had never occurred to me to ask. We live with and see these twinkling points of light every night of our lives, and perhaps it was this familiarity that had blinded me to the mystery of it all. So I set about asking figures of authority in my life the very same question that had been plaguing me. My priest told me that stars were a part of God’s heavenly kingdom and that we would all travel to them when we die. My mom intimated that stars were just like our own sun and were very far away from us. Lastly, my teacher instructed me that those points of light did indeed contain objects just like our sun, and also other fantastic bodies – nebulas, planets, galaxies, even massive stars that could swallow our solar system whole.

I was a little perplexed by the disharmony in the answers I was given. If humanity had been exposed to stars since we existed, surely there would be a concrete and definitive explanation to what they are? It was in this context that I set out to find the answer for myself. Over the course of two weeks I had read more books on Astronomy, the universe, and space than I would care to admit, but I finally found a definitive answer. What my teacher told me was right, the night sky contains an incredibly diverse assortment of magnificent and beautiful celestial objects. Yet despite uncovering the answer to my nagging question, I walked away with even more. Why do stars exist? What are they made of? How far away are they? My simple and innocent glance at the night sky opened a Pandora’s Box of questions that would not only steer my life on a different course intellectually, but also give me an important lesson in self-reliance.

Today, I am an avid Astrophotographer. This hobby allows me to explore the night sky in detail, while sharing my discoveries and passions of the cosmos with my loved ones. What keeps me going, though, is my continuing quest to discover life’s greatest mysteries. Now when I look up at the night sky, visions of galactic arms orbiting around supermassive black holes and Earth-like planets getting lost among the silhouette of their titanic blue suns begin to swarm in my head. The questions I try to answer are not exactly as simple as when they started out, but I can safely say that I am better off for it and excited by the prospects.

Curiosity has inspired me to work harder and do things that I never thought I was capable of doing. It has driven me to an ethic of integrity and perseverance, while conditioning me to always keep asking “why?” It has taught me to always be skeptical and encouraged me to find my own truth. It has developed my imagination beyond anything I could have dreamed. I now explore for the sake of exploring and learn for the sake of learning. The point is not to solve every mystery or answer every question that life provides for me, the point is to try. This, above all else, will get me to my ultimate destination.

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AnonymousAlterEgoC
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Re: First draft on new PS, need help with direction

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:29 pm

I would care to admit,


I don't think this will come off well. You're trying to sound intelligent but don't want to sound intelligent?

life’s greatest mysteries


This is cliche/unsupported. Most adcoms will think that other mysteries are greater.

What exactly about photographing celestial objects allows progress in determining the answers to life's greatest mysteries/great mysteries? No offense, but what you're doing is most likely sharing pictures. If you're not just sharing pictures, clarify. If you're performing sophisticated measurements and actually tracking things, clarify. If you're taking pictures, then some of your claims come across as way too strong.

The questions I try to answer are not exactly as simple as when they started out


Don't shoot me, but I think this is antiscientific. Your initial questions were seemingly of the "why?" variety, some of which are questions without answer. Are those questions simple? I think most people would say no. Now, most likely, your questions are of the "hmm, what filter will make Venus/seven sisters/whatever look best?" or "where is that damn star?" Even a distinguished astronomer will most likely be doing calculations that are pretty narrow in scope rather than trying to answer the questions you started out with. Maybe I wouldn't get this impression if one of your questions, Why do stars exist?, couldn't be interpreted in so many ways.

find my own truth.


Sort of cliche/unsupported because you're relying on a lot of truths that others found to you. If I'm misreading this, then I would avoid the expression or explain it more.

Overall, this essay made me think that you are intelligent and curious. It did not necessarily make me think you should do law rather than something else. Maybe you should just stick to whatever part of astronomy you are currently in--that's the impression I got.

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Re: First draft on new PS, need help with direction

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:47 pm

camelthing wrote:
I would care to admit,


I don't think this will come off well. You're trying to sound intelligent but don't want to sound intelligent?

life’s greatest mysteries


This is cliche/unsupported. Most adcoms will think that other mysteries are greater.

What exactly about photographing celestial objects allows progress in determining the answers to life's greatest mysteries/great mysteries? No offense, but what you're doing is most likely sharing pictures. If you're not just sharing pictures, clarify. If you're performing sophisticated measurements and actually tracking things, clarify. If you're taking pictures, then some of your claims come across as way too strong.

The questions I try to answer are not exactly as simple as when they started out


Don't shoot me, but I think this is antiscientific. Your initial questions were seemingly of the "why?" variety, some of which are questions without answer. Are those questions simple? I think most people would say no. Now, most likely, your questions are of the "hmm, what filter will make Venus/seven sisters/whatever look best?" or "where is that damn star?" Even a distinguished astronomer will most likely be doing calculations that are pretty narrow in scope rather than trying to answer the questions you started out with. Maybe I wouldn't get this impression if one of your questions, Why do stars exist?, couldn't be interpreted in so many ways.

find my own truth.


Sort of cliche/unsupported because you're relying on a lot of truths that others found to you. If I'm misreading this, then I would avoid the expression or explain it more.

Overall, this essay made me think that you are intelligent and curious. It did not necessarily make me think you should do law rather than something else. Maybe you should just stick to whatever part of astronomy you are currently in--that's the impression I got.



Thanks for your input!

I do think a lot of your feedback is warranted. I worded some phrases pretty terribly looking back on it. I will correct them for the next draft.

Putting into context that I am a poli sci major and all areas of my resume point towards law, I was trying to highlight one area of my life that has been incredibly important, yet not one where I would want to turn it into a career. I framed it in a way that points to my inquisitiveness and my inclination to collect all of the facts before making a determination. Would you recommend that I just scrap this idea completely? I always figured a PS was meant to explore other areas of an applicant's life not dealing with the law.

Again, thank you for your help.

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AnonymousAlterEgoC
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Re: First draft on new PS, need help with direction

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Would you recommend that I just scrap this idea completely? I always figured a PS was meant to explore other areas of an applicant's life not dealing with the law.


I think your thought is wrong. A PS is meant to tell adcomms why you would be a strong student. If someone incorporates an area of his/her life not dealing with law, that area should convey what would make them a good law student. I don't think this idea is that bad, really. I do think you need to incorporate more than 'intelligent and curious.'

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Emma.
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Re: First draft on new PS, need help with direction

Postby Emma. » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:44 pm

Starting with an epigraph is a bad move, IMO. I'd also completely scrap the first paragraph. It is awful.

sparty99
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Re: First draft on new PS, need help with direction

Postby sparty99 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:24 pm

I hate this PS, especially the first paragraph. You use flowery prose and don't give the admissions officer an understanding as to why you should be accepted or what you bring to the classroom. You need to scrap the flowery prose and write in plain english.




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