DS Critique Request: Lessons from Dumbledore

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:27 pm

DS Critique Request: Lessons from Dumbledore

Postby sawyerthecat » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:01 pm

This DS is for a school I am reapplying to. I've already discussed major life events in detail in my previous DS so I am hoping this new DS will tie in with my interests, background in 350 words without overlap. I have work experience as a children's book writer and translator so I am hoping this Harry Potter frame will tie in my personal and work experience. But I am starting to doubt the clarity and impact of this frame. Any advice would be extremely appreciated!


I was eight when I read my first “Harry Potter” book, despite my parents’ explicit ban on the series. The feeling of being so intensely consumed by a book was new, and the guilt that followed was just as nerve-racking. Since then, I’ve reread the series every now and then, hoping it was as good as I remembered.

My most recent visit to the “Harry Potter” series was in 2015, when I first started to experience extreme eye pain and spasms. An effect, my doctor explains, of the multiple surgeries I’ve had in the past to fix my left eye since a car accident permanently damaged my left eye when I was twelve. I was spending days in the dark, missing school and unwilling to get out of bed; I was exhausted and bitter. I turned to the audiobook series of “Harry Potter” on Amazon, in hopes that it will be a good distraction.

But what I had gained in return was a stark realization. Dumbledore’s words—“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”— catapulted beyond the reach of my denial and struck me to the core. I cried, finally understanding the futility of my bitterness and realizing that pain—and all the baggage that came with it—did not need to lead my reality.

The fact that I—an arguably mature adult—cried listening to “Harry Potter” may attest to my geekiness. But to me, it reflects the potential children’s books can have on peoples’ lives. I persevered through that semester and learned that the space between pain and happiness is only as large as I allow it to be. The endless ways Mrs. Rowling’s story continued to speak to me made me appreciate her mastery as a storyteller and showed me how children’s books are a source of power, a reminder of what it’s like young and lost. Childhood taught me that life can get darker and more complicated. But it also taught me that the only way to move is forward.


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Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Re: DS Critique Request: Lessons from Dumbledore

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:51 pm

Considering that quote isn't actually in the third book and is only in the movie, I wouldn't.

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