Second Draft- More Personal this Time

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alejandroRG
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:01 pm

Second Draft- More Personal this Time

Postby alejandroRG » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:04 am

Thank you for any comments or critiques. I really appreciate the feedback and will be happy to swap statements with anyone who wishes.

Thanks again!

SECOND DRAFT:

Forty-seven years ago, my grandfather, fleeing a socialist revolution in Cuba, uprooted his family and relocated to New York State. What was intended to be a temporary stay while the Leninists revolutionaries had their turn at governing the island turned into a half century long exile that would divide our family in two. Although politics separating families is not unheard of and sour relations between nations enduring for generations are not uncommon, “the struggle” as it has become known, to survive on the island and reunite with family in exile is unique to the Cuban people and Cuban families like my own. As happy as a reunion with family as they arrive in the United States for the first time can be, the process of acclimating the person with the realities of the outside world can be quite impactful.
As a child, whenever a relative would travel to Cuba a meal would always be planned around the time of their return. We would gather at my grandmother’s home to watch home movies recorded with greetings and well wishes for relatives here in Miami—including me, an unknown cousin or nephew. Today, reflecting back, I remember asking my father why they never vacationed here or why we never went to them and the answer would always be “maybe someday”—even the most inquisitive child knows when to stop asking “why” and that was usually my cue. Throughout childhood and even today a number of my relatives have been granted exit visas to emigrate to the United States—each one an eerie reminder of the world that exists only 90 miles from Florida.
Having lived here all my life, I cannot pretend to know about severe hardships, food shortages, or domestic isolation but have experienced firsthand those fortunate enough to gain exit from those very circumstances. I must have been either nine or ten when on a particular occasion when one of my cousins came from Cuba. My father was preparing a plate for him after a barbeque when I removed some aluminum foil from its box to wrap up the left overs. As I pulled the paper from its roll he stood up and asked “What are you doing wasting such beautiful paper on wrapping food?!” This was the first time that I realized how ignorant I was to the world that he came from. How do you explain to someone that aluminum paper is for wrapping food? I quickly realized that you can’t because no words were at the ready from either of us to help ease his concerns.
Recently, my eldest uncle was granted a tourist visa for three months. He is a man of few words, asking only occasional questions about things he did not recognize and simply sat attentively when I tried to show him what things like Bluetooth where for and always remarked “you Americans think of everything.” I thought his trip would be of little impact on me until a visit to a local electronics store. As we walked through the aisles of laptops, tablets, printers, and televisions he began to tear as he looked at all of the latest gadgets available. When I asked what was wrong the man of few words replied “You don’t understand; my grandchildren will most probably never see any of these things that you have.” In that moment the only response that I could muster was “maybe someday.”
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our Time by Jeffery Sachs was my classes’ “common read” during my freshman year of college. In his book, Sachs spent a good portion of his time discussing his role in the successful transition from communist planned markets to free market capitalism in countries like Poland and Russia. Sachs’ work, although may not have inspired me to study law, it demonstrated how through international cooperation and support people around the world can be brought out of poverty, and how it takes individuals with a dedication to improving people’s standard of living to impact those policy changes which most benefit the masses.
Poverty and shortages are defining characteristics of the Cuban lifestyle although they are situated next to the most affluent country in the world. I am perusing a law degree so that I may actively participate in those mechanisms and organizations that formulate and implement international law domestically and abroad. My aim as a lawyer would be to work with our government and governments abroad to create and rollout policies for the betterment of those most negatively affected by political differences such as the Cuban people are today. I also wish to work in those related bodies for the promotion of international cooperation so that we may call an end to disputes which separate millions of families just like my own and degrade the living conditions of people around the world. Home videos should not be the only connection that I am allowed to have with my own family entrapped in poverty by a political stalemate between neighboring countries only a short distance away—and this is the first step in my effort to correct that situation.

Cuneiform
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:11 am

Re: Second Draft- More Personal this Time

Postby Cuneiform » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:24 am

*pursuing a law degree

This one is better, but still more about your grandfather and family than about you. You mention "mechanisms and organizations." What kind of mechanisms and organizations? Do you have any other experience with them? We all know that poverty exists in the world. I'm more interesting in reading your opinions on action items we can actually take, and what your background is in that regard (not your family's background).

crisgcia
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Second Draft- More Personal this Time

Postby crisgcia » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:01 pm

NVM
Last edited by crisgcia on Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TheLawrax
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Second Draft- More Personal this Time

Postby TheLawrax » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:22 pm

Forty-seven years ago, my grandfather fled socialist revolution in Cuba, uprooted his family and relocated to New York State. What was intended to be a temporary stay while the Leninists revolutionaries had their turn at governing the island turned into a half century long exile that would divide our family in two. Although politics separating families is not unheard of and sour relations between nations enduring for generations are not uncommon, “the struggle” as it has become known, to survive on the island and reunite with family in exile is unique to the Cuban people and Cuban families like my own. (awkward) As happy as a reunion with family as they arrive in the United States for the first time can be, the process of acclimating them with the realities of the outside world can be quite impactful. (have quite an impact?)
As a child, whenever a relative would travel to Cuba a meal would always be planned for their return. We would gather at my grandmother’s home to watch home movies recorded with greetings and well wishes for relatives here in Miami—including myself and sometimes an unknown cousin or nephew. Today, reflecting back, I remember asking my father why our Cuban relatives never vacationed here or why we never went to them and the answer would always be “maybe someday”—even the most inquisitive child knows when to stop asking “why” and that was usually my cue. Throughout childhood and even today a number of my relatives have been granted exit visas to emigrate to the United States—each one an eerie reminder of the world that exists only 90 miles from Florida.
Having lived here all my life, I cannot pretend to know about severe hardships, food shortages, or domestic isolation but have experienced firsthand those fortunate enough to gain exit from those very circumstances. I must have been either nine or ten when the first of my cousins came to visit from Cuba, (you need an intro for your anectdote about Primo Cubano: “it sure was different for him, and here’s an example” or something) My father was preparing a plate for him after a barbeque when I removed some aluminum foil from its box to wrap up the leftovers. As I pulled the paper from its roll my cousin stood up and asked “What are you doing wasting such beautiful paper on wrapping food?!” This was the first time that I realized how ignorant I was to the world that he came from. How do you explain to someone that aluminum paper is for wrapping food? I quickly realized that you can’t because no words were at the ready from either of us to help ease his concerns. (awkward—rephrase)
Recently, my eldest uncle (from where? Also consider putting “my father’s brother from Cuba” or something, might sound better) was granted a tourist visa for three months. He is/was(try to be consistent with tense) a man of few words, asking only occasional questions about things he did not recognize and simply sat attentively when I tried to show him what things like Bluetooth where for and always remarked “you Americans think of everything.”(good quote) At first I thought his trip would be of little impact on me , but that impression changed when we visited a local electronics store. As we walked through the aisles of laptops, tablets, printers, and televisions he began to tear up as he looked at all of the latest gadgets available. When I asked what was wrong the man of few words replied “You don’t understand; my grandchildren will most probably never see any of these things that you have.” In that moment the only response that I could muster was “maybe someday.”
during my freshman year of college The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our Time by Jeffery Sachs was my classes’ “common read”. In his book, Sachs spent a good portion of his time discussing his role in the successful transition from communist planned markets to free market capitalism in countries like Poland and Russia. although Sachs’ work may not have inspired me to study law, it demonstrated how international cooperation and support around the world can bring people (changed from passive to active voice) out of poverty, and how it takes individuals with a dedication to improving people’s standard of living to impact those policy changes which most benefit the masses. awkward--consider rewriting
Poverty and shortages are defining characteristics of the Cuban lifestyle although they are situated next to the [strike]most affluent[/strike] the wealthiest country in the world. I am perusing (use a different word) a law degree so that I may actively participate in those mechanisms and organizations that formulate and implement international law domestically and abroad.(awkward sentence. also, be careful when talking about international law unless you REALLY want to study international law) My aim as a lawyer would be to work with our government and governments abroad to create and rollout (unclear misuse—do you mean implement?) policies for the betterment (use a different word) of those most negatively affected by political differences such as the Cuban people are today (sentence too long—consider rewriting). I also wish to work in those related bodies (what related bodies?) for the promotion of international cooperation so that we may call an end to disputes which separate millions of families just like my own and degrade the living conditions of people around the world (unclear why being a lawyer would help with this). Home videos should not be the only connection that I am allowed to have with my own family trapped (misuse of entrapped) in poverty by a political stalemate between neighboring countries only a short distance away—and this is the first step in my effort to correct that situation (make sure you connect this to Cubans or Cuban-Americans in general)



I think you have a good story that tells something about who you are and what your view of the world is. You switch between two voices when writing: the first is you as a storyteller, the second is you trying to write using a lot of big, fancy, redundant words. I like the first voice better.

About language. Is english your first language? Are you bilingual? It can't hurt to clarify.

I would try to tighten up that last paragraph and clarify what exactly your goals are--do you want to write policy? enter politics? I would make sure you state why you think being a lawyer would help with that.

Good work--keep it up!




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