Round 2.. fight!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Round 2.. fight!!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:46 pm

Thanks in advance for anyone who is willing to spend the time to read this and offer advice.

It’s 5:13 in the morning, and although the harsh cold air is shocking as it seeps into my sleeping bag, there is also an odd comfort in the park’s peacefulness at this early hour. It had been busy last night, and finding a safe and secluded spot had taken until almost 1am, yet I feel decently refreshed given only 4 hours and change of sleep. For a few moments I take in my surroundings. A trio of ducks makes their way out onto the lake; a couple of early birds chirp in the trees overhead, and as the last minutes of darkness fade into dawn, the park is beautiful. My mind wanders a bit. Thoughts of past camping trips at Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, along with the warmth of my bag, slowly tempt me away from wakefulness. Its 5:15, I could just close my….”Eh?, 外国人ですか?ほんとですよ!どうしよおかな?” ( Gaikokujin desuka? Honto Desuyo!, Doushiyookana?). Reality is harsher than any Tokyo November air in my sleeping bag. Two hung-over Japanese men are making their way toward me, and I have no idea what they just said. I quickly unzip my bag and stand up. Their curiosity lingers, but after a few moments they seem to remember that their half empty bottle is more interesting. I quickly roll up my sleeping bag, grab my backpack, and head south out of Ueno Park towards the station. There is a cheap internet café where I can take a shower and change. I check the suit in my bag to make sure it still looks decent. Today is a big day. I have three interviews this afternoon, but the follow-up interview this morning is all I can think about. Mrs. Jun Tori had just opened up a new branch school when one of her teachers suddenly quit. She needed someone to start immediately. I had no experience teaching English to 3yr old children through music, but this was my best opportunity.

I had only been working in Japan for 3 months when my company, NOVA, decided to supernova. On paper, the company was fine. In the office, the stream of students was steady. However, when reality struck in early November that year, it stuck fast. October paychecks vanished and offices were locked. Evicted from their company sponsored apartments, 5,000 foreign English teachers were suddenly left jobless. The vast majority simply packed their bags and returned home. Many had already been teaching in Japan for quite some time. I on the other hand, had just started. Prior to completing my university, I had spent 5 years in the USMC using my language skills to monitor other countries. After graduating, I decided I wanted a first-hand experience of life abroad. That was why I had moved to Japan. I wasn’t about to let a corrupt company and a few nights in a public park deter me from my goal.

“Adapt and overcome.” That is what Marines do, and that is exactly what I did. As a linguist/intelligence analyst, I was often times the only filter between the raw intelligence and the boots on the ground. Timeliness and accuracy were paramount, but equally important was the flexibility to see and understand things from multiple angles. Soldiers needed both the big picture and the minutia at the same time. I was given neither and produced both. In Japan it was no different. Whether confronted by a room full of screaming toddlers and their eagle-eyed mothers, or just trying to pick up a package at the post office, the players changed but the game stayed the same. “Adapt and overcome.”

With my fourth language under my belt and 3 years’ experience in Japan, it was time for a new challenge. Boasting a diverse culture, Sharia Law combined with constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion , as well as a powerful affirmative action program for the super-majority, Malaysia was my next destination. I took a position, training public school teachers in ESL pedagogy. Upon arriving in Kuala Lumpur, I was met with a jewel of modernization. However, as the skyscrapers bid me farewell, the 600km trek to my posting quickly turned into somewhat of a search for Kurtz in my own Malaysian heart of darkness. I quickly realized the true scope of my job. I not only had to train the teachers, but I also had to be the bridges between two huge gaps. The first was the gap between the teachers who barely knew English and the students who, living in the most rural religiously conservative area of the country, had zero interest and zero exposure to English. In fact most students had never seen an “orang puteh” (white man) before. The second gap was between the teachers and the upper levels of Malaysia’s Ministry of Education. Each group had goals and expectations of the other groups, yet nothing was being accomplished because neither entity had a clear understanding of the other entity’s situation. I was back to being an analyst, only this time, I had to synthesize solutions between multiple parties and in multiple directions.

My 3 year contract in Malaysia expired last month, and I am very pleased with my accomplishments. I needed to almost completely restructure the English program in my school district, but the progress is now visible. Not only are the students happier and more engaged, but teachers and administrators also now have access to the information needed in order to continue their progress towards new and more realistic goals. It was a great team effort, yet without the critical thinking skills and leadership, without my experiences in the Marines and in Japan, this success would have never been possible. My sights are now set on a new challenge. I see law school not only as a stepping stone in my career, but more importantly as a whet stone, to sharpen and hone my ability to think. As my experiences a leader, teacher, mentor, and professional have helped me overcome challenges in the past, those same skills and experiences will always be the foundation for my success in the future. After all, I am a Marine, and Marines adapt and overcome.

User avatar
malleus discentium
Posts: 878
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 2:30 am

Re: Round 2.. fight!!

Postby malleus discentium » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:52 am

It’s 5:13 in the morning, and although the harsh cold air is shocking as it seeps into my sleeping bag, there is also an odd comfort in the park’s peacefulness at this early hour. It had been busy last night, and finding a safe and secluded spot had taken until almost 1am, yet I feel decently refreshed given only 4 hours and change of sleep. For a few moments I take in my surroundings. A trio of ducks makes their way out onto the lake; a couple of early birds chirp in the trees overhead, and as the last minutes of darkness fade into dawn, the park is beautiful. My mind wanders a bit. Thoughts of past camping trips at Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, along with the warmth of my bag, slowly tempt me away from wakefulness.Its 5:15, I could just close my….”Eh?, 外国人ですか?ほんとですよ!どうしよおかな?” ( Gaikokujin desuka? Honto Desuyo!, Doushiyookana?). Reality is harsher than any Tokyo November air in my sleeping bag. Two hung-over Japanese men are making their way toward me, and I have no idea what they just said. I quickly unzip my bag and stand up. Their curiosity lingers, but after a few moments they seem to remember that their half empty bottle is more interesting. I quickly roll up my sleeping bag, grab my backpack, and head south out of Ueno Park towards the station. There is a cheap internet café where I can take a shower and change. I check the suit in my bag to make sure it still looks decent. Today is a big day.I have three interviews this afternoon, but the follow-up interview this morning is all I can think about. Mrs. Jun Tori had just opened up a new branch school when one of her teachers suddenly quit. She needed someone to start immediately. I had no experience teaching English to 3yr old 3-year-old children through music, but this was my best opportunity.

I had only been working in Japan for 3 three months when my company, NOVA, decided to supernova. On paper, the company was fine. In the office, the stream of students was steady. However, when reality struck in early November that year, it struck fast. October paychecks vanished and offices were locked. Evicted from their company- sponsored apartments, 5,000 foreign English teachers were suddenly left jobless. The vast majority simply packed their bags and returned home. Many had already been teaching in Japan for quite some time. I on the other hand, had just started. Prior to completing my university studies, I had spent 5five years in the USMC Not an acronym everyone will know. using my language skills to monitor is monitor the best word here?other countries. After graduating, I decided I wanted a first-hand experience of life abroad. That was why I had moved to Japan. I wasn’t about to let a corrupt company and a few nights in a public park deter me from my goal.

“Adapt and overcome.” That is what Marines do, and that is exactly what I did. As a linguist/intelligence analyst, I was often times the only filter between the raw intelligence and the boots on the ground. Timeliness and accuracy were paramount, but equally important was the flexibility to see and understand things from multiple angles. Soldiers needed both the big picture and the minutiae at the same time. I was given neither and produced both. In Japan it was no different. Whether confronted by a room full of screaming toddlers and their eagle-eyed mothers, or just trying to pick up a package at the post office, the players changed but the game stayed the same. “Adapt and overcome.”

[With my fourth language under my belt and 3 three years’ experience in Japan, it was time for a new challenge.] The chronological jump here is jarring and unclear at first. Appending this sentence to the end of the previous paragraph would help, but it would still need to be clearer. Boasting a diverse culture, Sharia Law combined with constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, as well as a powerful affirmative action program for the super-majority, Affirmative action is, by definition, for minorities. I am unfamiliar with Malaysia so I don't know what you're trying to say with this. Malaysia was my next destination. I would omit all the prefatory description of Malaysia. It's interesting but ultimately irrelevant. I took a position, training public school teachers in ESL pedagogy. Upon arriving in Kuala Lumpur, I was met with a jewel of modernization. However, as But the skyscrapers bid me farewell as I began the 600km trek to my postingquickly turned into somewhat of a search for Kurtz in my own Malaysian heart of darkness. Unnecessary allusion. I quickly realized the true scope of my job. I not only had to train the teachers, but I also had to be the bridges between two huge gaps. Unclear metaphor. You bridge gaps, you don't bridge one gap to another. The first was the gap between the teachers who barely knew English and the students who, living in the most rural, religiously conservative area of the country, had zero interest in and zero exposure to English. In fact most students had never seen an “orang puteh” (white man) before. The second gap was between the teachers and the upper levels of Malaysia’s Ministry of Education. Each group had goals and expectations of the other groups, yet nothing was being accomplished because neither entity had a clear understanding of the otherentity’s situation. I was back to being an analyst, only this time, I had to synthesize solutions between multiple parties and in multiple directions.

My 3 year three-year contract in Malaysia expired last month, and I am very pleased with my accomplishments. I needed to almost completely restructure the English program in my school district, but the progress is now visible. Not only are the students happier and more engaged, but teachers and administrators also now have access to the information needed in order to continue their progress towards new and more realistic goals. It was a great team effort, yet but without the critical thinking skills and leadership, without I earned/got from/etc. my experiences in the Marines and in Japan, this success would have never been possible.

My sights are now set on a new challenge. I see law school not only as a stepping stone in my career, but more importantly as a whetstone, to sharpen and hone for my ability to think. As my experiences a leader, teacher, mentor, and professional have helped me overcome challenges in the past, those same skills and experiences will always be the foundation for my success in the future. After all, I am a Marine, and Marines adapt and overcome.

Some thoughts on content:
*There is a superfluity of detail here. Your writing is strong, and it shows in these details, but I think it comes at the expense of the narrative you're telling by making it unfocused and overlong. The personal statement is about you, not ducks or the collapse of a company or constitutional law in Malaysia. The first graf in particular is mostly irrelevant to the story you're trying to tell. I've struck what I think you can do without.
*I like this but it's lacking in concrete examples of stuff you did. You suggest you were essential to the success in Malaysia but give zero examples of what you actually did or why you were instrumental. Without those, or at least an indication of them, it comes across as arrogant. And it seems like you did interesting work—why gloss over it?
*I hate the last sentence.

Frammshamm
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:45 pm

Re: Round 2.. fight!!

Postby Frammshamm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:07 pm

thank you. Im currently revising for round 3 and will take much of your helpful feedback into consideration.




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