Be Brutal with this draft please

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anotherrube
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:10 am

Be Brutal with this draft please

Postby anotherrube » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:36 am

We pulled the plug on my grandfather on Christmas Morning. This was three days into an absurd hospital stay during which the staff couldn’t always be bothered to read the labels on the drugs they were pumping into him. Not that it would have mattered. He’d been brain-dead from a stroke the whole time and the hospital was mostly keeping him alive so that they could milk his insurance with every test they could flimsily justify. We were lucky. He’d prepared for the expenses at the end of his life. More than once during that period it occurred to me that the only thing that keeps a bad hospital in check is a good lawyer. I’d like to be that lawyer.
I took some time to find my path. I started taking college classes in high school and my interests were diverse. Even with scholarships, I was working my way through school; so on occasion the need to put food on the table conflicted with the need to keep my grades up. During that time I was more concerned with the learning than the grades anyway. Once I chose my majors, I got serious. I went to graduate school. I finished my Master’s degree at 25 with no debt. I even teach Humanities at Truckee Meadows Community College. I spend my days helping the hard-drinking, hard-headed people of Reno see the world in a more nuanced way. Petrarch would be proud, but there is only so much good I can do from the front of a classroom.
I do have a highly developed sense of justice. I studied Philosophy because I was concerned about the moral fabric of our culture. I wanted to make society a better place. My mantra was from the Tao Te Ching: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?” The Law presents an opportunity for me, as a philosopher, to make a concrete ethical difference in the way people live their lives. That’s the case whether I get a job as a less bloodthirsty District Attorney or if I end up advising some corporation to be less evil.
While I was getting my Master’s degree in philosophy I realized that I don’t have the makeup of a working philosopher in modern America. I don’t have the characteristic rabid devotion to some particularly esoteric aspect of Aesthetic theory or Metaphysics. I’m not invested enough in the dialectics of contemporary analytic philosophy to spend two years repeating the same tired arguments about, for example, how presentism solves or does not solve Mctaggart’s paradoxes of time. These theories are interesting to me, but I don’t have the loyalty to any of them that a Philosophy Ph. D. candidate needs. I mostly just enjoyed the arguing. I’d gladly take up the unpopular side of any given discussion just to see how well it could be defended. One might say my superpower is to see both sides of an argument and pick the best case either side might make. The idea is that as a lawyer I might use that skill more tangibly than in the classroom. Unfortunately, Nurses don’t respond to Socratic lines of questioning when they get medication wrong.
My philosophical background has given me a wonderful sense for the purity of a proper argument. I wouldn’t trade my time studying philosophy for anything. However, I feel that as a lawyer my general unwillingness to stick to just one side of an academic discussion would be more an asset than a liability. I’d no longer be just playing devil’s advocate in a room full of ideologues. I’d be arguing for a better world. At the end of the day, I feel my talents would be better used if they can help even one poor family find a decent place to live or keep one unlucky kid out of an overcrowded prison than if I were to show a whole room of kids the elegant way that Hegel’s argumentation mirrors his metaphysical theories.
I don’t theorize, I ask questions to see what about the theory holds water. Rather than create new worlds to fit my imagination, I work with the world that comes to me. I’d be in a better position to do that work with a law degree. This is where Law School X comes into the equation.

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

Re: Be Brutal with this draft please

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:58 am

I took some time to find my path. I started taking college classes in high school and my interests were diverse. Even with scholarships, I was working my way through school; so on occasion the need to put food on the table conflicted with the need to keep my grades up. During that time I was more concerned with the learning than the grades anyway.


This belongs in a GPA addendum.

I do have a highly developed sense of justice


I can pick out more than ten sentences like this, that are just poorly written. Why, for example, do you have the word "do" there? What does "highly developed" mean? Let me give you a hint: the phrase "highly developed sense of justice" is not concrete enough to be interpretable.

Philosophy


Unnecessary capitalization

My mantra was from the Tao Te Ching: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?”


You never bother to explain this

The Law presents an opportunity for me, as a philosopher,


Capitalization, perspective error. You said you want to be a lawyer. Now you want to be a philosopher in the legal field.

That’s the case whether I get a job as a less bloodthirsty District Attorney or if I end up advising some corporation to be less evil.


This is one of the worst sentences I've ever read in a PS. You want to make the world better, you say, but you make hasty generalizations rather than attempt to understand other perspectives. Also, capitalization.

I don’t have the characteristic rabid devotion to some particularly esoteric aspect of Aesthetic theory or Metaphysics.


There is more to current research than aesthetic theory and metaphysics, so this comes off as another sweeping generalization.

One might say my superpower is to see both sides of an argument and pick the best case either side might make. The idea is that as a lawyer I might use that skill more tangibly than in the classroom. Unfortunately, Nurses don’t respond to Socratic lines of questioning when they get medication wrong.


I am not trying to be harsh, but this PS is pretty much a case study in "what not to do." How do "Socratic lines of questioning" (incorrect phrasing, as you know) even relate to arguing? This isn't clear. It's also cliche. It's also a little arrogant. Nurses are intelligent people.

The last couple paragraphs are more of the same. You show disregard for sentence-level mechanics and make claims that are too broad to be defended in a PS. I learn almost nothing about you from your PS. I learned that you enjoy arguing and would rather engage in sophism than find or pursue some philosophical truth. Of course, this is at odds with your "sense of justice": in citing this sense, you seemingly appeal to an intuitive sort of truth rather than something that can be debated. You at one point claim that debating allows you to see sides of an issue. Ideally, a law school candidate can see the sides of an issue before debating. This allows (or better allows) him/her to construct an organized and convincing argument. I'm not trying to be critical here, but I would scrap this PS entirely. I would strive to tell a story and show your positive qualities rather than telling them. I would strive to focus on sentence-level mechanics and ensure that you are not making horrible generalizations.

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

Re: Be Brutal with this draft please

Postby rutgers17 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:26 pm

camelthing wrote:
I took some time to find my path. I started taking college classes in high school and my interests were diverse. Even with scholarships, I was working my way through school; so on occasion the need to put food on the table conflicted with the need to keep my grades up. During that time I was more concerned with the learning than the grades anyway.


This belongs in a GPA addendum.

I do have a highly developed sense of justice


I can pick out more than ten sentences like this, that are just poorly written. Why, for example, do you have the word "do" there? What does "highly developed" mean? Let me give you a hint: the phrase "highly developed sense of justice" is not concrete enough to be interpretable.

Philosophy


Unnecessary capitalization

My mantra was from the Tao Te Ching: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?”


You never bother to explain this

The Law presents an opportunity for me, as a philosopher,


Capitalization, perspective error. You said you want to be a lawyer. Now you want to be a philosopher in the legal field.

That’s the case whether I get a job as a less bloodthirsty District Attorney or if I end up advising some corporation to be less evil.


This is one of the worst sentences I've ever read in a PS. You want to make the world better, you say, but you make hasty generalizations rather than attempt to understand other perspectives. Also, capitalization.

I don’t have the characteristic rabid devotion to some particularly esoteric aspect of Aesthetic theory or Metaphysics.


There is more to current research than aesthetic theory and metaphysics, so this comes off as another sweeping generalization.

One might say my superpower is to see both sides of an argument and pick the best case either side might make. The idea is that as a lawyer I might use that skill more tangibly than in the classroom. Unfortunately, Nurses don’t respond to Socratic lines of questioning when they get medication wrong.


I am not trying to be harsh, but this PS is pretty much a case study in "what not to do." How do "Socratic lines of questioning" (incorrect phrasing, as you know) even relate to arguing? This isn't clear. It's also cliche. It's also a little arrogant. Nurses are intelligent people.

The last couple paragraphs are more of the same. You show disregard for sentence-level mechanics and make claims that are too broad to be defended in a PS. I learn almost nothing about you from your PS. I learned that you enjoy arguing and would rather engage in sophism than find or pursue some philosophical truth. Of course, this is at odds with your "sense of justice": in citing this sense, you seemingly appeal to an intuitive sort of truth rather than something that can be debated. You at one point claim that debating allows you to see sides of an issue. Ideally, a law school candidate can see the sides of an issue before debating. This allows (or better allows) him/her to construct an organized and convincing argument. I'm not trying to be critical here, but I would scrap this PS entirely. I would strive to tell a story and show your positive qualities rather than telling them. I would strive to focus on sentence-level mechanics and ensure that you are not making horrible generalizations.


+1

Also, the first paragraph where you talk about how bad the hospital was and how they were milking him for insurance money made me immediately think you couldn't see multiple perspectives of a situation (even before you listed this as a strength of yours). Discussing the situation like that comes off as close minded (which I don't blame you for after losing your grandfather, but will certainly be a fault to an admissions board). Good luck!

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MistakenGenius
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Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:18 pm

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Postby MistakenGenius » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:45 pm

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