4th draft (but 1st draft of new direction) Tear - it - up!

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cyclebanana
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4th draft (but 1st draft of new direction) Tear - it - up!

Postby cyclebanana » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:57 pm

I had been warned, and so I had come armed with a sandwich and coffee. My father greeted me at the door and invited me to his kitchen table. After I had followed him as he staggered upstairs and sat, I suggested he eat something and have some coffee. He acquiesced as he happily noted that I had traveled from California to the east coast to see him. I watched his shaking hands as they groped and grasped at the sandwich, like a child trying to hold a handful of sand. He moved in swaying yet shaky motions, a physical expression of binge drinking, not only did his body shake from its withdrawal from far higher levels of alcohol, it also was completely uncoordinated because he was drop dead drunk.

He had been drinking for over a week and yet despite the seriousness of the situation, I momentarily basked in our reunion, over the kitchen table that had remained unmoved since my childhood. It stood in the same spot on the same unfinished floor, surrounded by the same unfinished walls, in a round house he had built for his family thirty years ago and in which I had not lived at in over twenty years. However, that good feeling only lasted until I demanded that the vodka be poured out. After that the alcohol started to leave his blood, but the shakes remained and neither one of us slept for three days.

This last summer after my dad returned to what could only be called grouchy sobriety, I convinced him to return with me to California. Right before our departure his wife told me that the last time few times he detoxed she had to hide his not only his keys, but his clothes, so he wouldn’t go out to get alcohol when she was at work. I realized my role was going to have to much more assertive than I expected. The hardest part of which was asking my dad for his wallet when I went to work so I wouldn’t have to worry if he would sneak out to buy a drink. So after a few weeks, part of me was relieved when my brother and sister took my dad to their house to continue his detox. Nevertheless, after two weeks there he decided to drive home and he was gone before anyone knew he had started drinking again.

I spent a lot time thinking about why my father drinks. I know he is proud that he lives on the land he was born on, so proud he says he plans on dying there. He is proud that he drinks like his father drank and proud he remembers his father’s stories. I see that he has chosen this life, and sticks to it with an intense willfulness. A willfulness that I can only gauge by the amount of self-inflected pain he suffers every couple months when he goes cold turkey after a week or weeks of drinking, suffering a withdrawal that can kill and only one considered worse than the withdrawal from heroin.

The paradox of being my father’s son, not only did he predispose me to dependency, I inherited his willfulness, which in his life has caused so much pain yet in mine has allowed me to overcome many barriers. In part, because of this willfulness I am also the first in my family to graduate from college and more importantly, I have avoided the chemical dependency and the co-dependence that has run in my family for at least four generations, and which my sister and brother have been afflicted.

This one example of one influence in my life does not fully explain my desire to become a lawyer, but it does hint at the circumstance that not only formed my persona, but also fostered my sense of fairness and responsibility, which grew because I felt I lacked them in my childhood. And after reconnecting this summer with my father, I can see that my sense of fairness over the years ignited my interest for environmental issues. And it has been this interest that has driven my choice of study and employment for the last twelve years.

After studying and working in the field of biology for 7 years and then for the past 5 years I have worked at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), an organization founded more than 20 years ago with common interests of both the environmental and renewable energy communities, my interest in environmental issues has grown. I spent time at CEERT working to find agreement on locations to develop renewable energy facilities that are viable both economically and environmentally, in both the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) and the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). And on this issue I have seen lawsuits get filed over projects and not getting filed over projects, I have learned that while solution can be resolved through direct conflict, legal or political, which is sometimes necessary, it is quicker and less costly to find solutions before a fight begins, which does not mean easier.

Being in a group of talented engaged professionals trying to build this type of an agreement, it is apparent that it is not easy. Profoundly, I learned that building a common understanding of the problems is the most essential and often overlooked step in allowing solutions to arise. And this community learning is something I think will greatly benefit my own law study, law class, and future ventures. And it is under that filter that I saw my family sharing my father’s detox as a success, as we all have a shared knowledge and while he is currently drinking, it may allow a solution to arise.

My recent work has included building consensus around a numerical value for environmental and economic cost of projects, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), policy, and regulatory analysis, to managing stakeholder relationships, internally and externally to Federal, State and local agencies. And while my work has spanned a wide variety of skill and technical levels, I lack a deeper understanding of workings of law, which has been a critical part of all the discussions I have participated. I hope to study law at______ to give myself the understanding of law that will help me address these problems more fully. And while I may miss part of the larger discussion while at school, looking to the future, there will always be a conversation between what a society’s use and protection of the environment for me to participate.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: 4th draft (but 1st draft of new direction) Tear - it - up!

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:14 am

You start with an interesting and touching story about your relationship to your father. After an awful segue, you then recite some items from your resume and talk a little about them, relating them back to your father's story in a way that seems forced.

If I were you, I would find a way to turn the story about your father into a PS on its own. You could add a more developed positive twist by talking more about what your learnt from your father, and how that experience has helped you to be a better person. You write well, and obviously have the ability to do that.

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Force J.D.'s
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Re: 4th draft (but 1st draft of new direction) Tear - it - up!

Postby Force J.D.'s » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:06 pm

cyclebanana wrote:

This one example of one influence in my life does not fully explain my desire to become a lawyer, but it does hint at the circumstance that not only formed my persona, but also fostered my sense of fairness and responsibility, which grew because I felt I lacked them in my childhood. And after reconnecting this summer with my father, I can see that my sense of fairness over the years ignited my interest for environmental issues. And it has been this interest that has driven my choice of study and employment for the last twelve years.



This paragraph really seems to serve as the bridge between your experiences with your father, and your interests and experiences with environmental issues. Unfortunately, the bridge feels very forced and weak at the same time. So I am focusing on it because I can tell how much it serves in your PS.

1. The entire first sentence feels like a run on.

2. but it does hint at the circumstance that not only formed my persona = awkward and kinda funky language for you yourself to literally "hint" in your writing, when this is your chance to deliberately tell through experiences.

3. The fairness you are referring to seems like an idea that was introduced in this paragraph but is assumed to have been present all throughout your experiences with your father. Maybe be more clear about understanding fairness.

4. Hearing you say "environmental issues" at the end of that paragraph really threw me off as a "where did this come from??" **was your father into environmental issues?

4. I would follow advice above and focus on father...or...more cohesively intertwine environmental fairness throughout the statement

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cyclebanana
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Re: 4th draft (but 1st draft of new direction) Tear - it - up!

Postby cyclebanana » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:08 pm

Thanks both of you for the feed back. I know I am trying to force something that is hard to link; both life long spanning personal story with a professional goal, but going to keep trying to get it there and make it work better. Will look forward to sharing round 2, with you.




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