PS draft- advice

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sternc
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:07 pm

PS draft- advice

Postby sternc » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:49 pm

Im not really sold on this PS, but I want to know what some other people think. Pro's/con's? Let me have it. Thanks.

After two weeks at Gilber’s home, I had learned Costa Rican roosters did not come with snooze buttons. It was an hour when reasonable people, and farm animals, were sleeping, yet that damn rooster wanted me up. There was no use trying to sleep through it, so I threw off my blankets, went outside, and jumped into the ice-cold shower. Maybe a minute later I was out, not very clean, but certainly awake. Still shivering, I dressed, making sure to check if any tarantulas (big enforcers of trespassing codes) had decided to make my boots home for the evening. After a quick breakfast, it was time for the day’s work.

The nature of the work was visible through Gilber’s hands. After many years, his once useful and vigorous tools had deteriorated into the fifty-year-old antiques hanging by his sides. They were calloused and cripplingly arthritic. The pain was obvious in his eyes whether he was picking coffee beans, repairing a neighbor’s shed, or butchering a sow, but his work never slowed. Not once did he complain. As I worked beside him, constantly reminding myself of my supposed youth and vigor, I was moved.

I vividly remember looking down at my own pair. Dirty from working outside, but below that initial layer of dirt lay smooth hands. I realized the closest thing I had to a callous was where my pen sat between my thumb and forefinger. I was ashamed. The more I watched and got to know Gilber, the more I realized his hands, old and tired as they were, were symbols of his all-around approach to life.

Yes, his hands were the physical manifestation of a passionate dedication to his work, but they also represented the similar steadfast approach he took in all aspects of his life, including family, God, and community. He approached his faith, being a husband, father, brother, friend, and neighbor the same way his hands approached another day in the field, determined, regardless of the pain and personal sacrifice, to do what needed to be done, do it to the best of his abilities, and to go about it the right way.

My mother and father have all the aforementioned values, and they worked to instill them in all of their children. While they succeeded to an extent, there was something about seeing another example of such complete and absolute dedication, up close and personal. Maybe it was being a few thousand miles away in a place as different culturally as Costa Rica, or maybe I had finally reached a level of maturity where I was able to comprehend and put into perspective the things my parents had always done. Whatever the case was, Gilber's hands and actions left an indelible mark on me. I know my hands will never look like Gilber's, but I can embrace the things he embraced, the things that his hands represented. He helped me realize how important it is to live a life full of passion, dedication, love, family, and faith.

I had got into the habit of keeping a journal of my days in Costa Rica, and any given entry might detail a day or two’s events over the course of a page or so. Looking for inspiration for this essay, I was recently flipping through the journal when I got to an entry dated February 14th, 2007. Squeezed between two much longer and detailed entries were two underlined words: “his hands”. Though I had forgotten about the journal entry, the message behind it remains a vital part of my character. I know I have shortcomings, but just a moment thinking about Gilber and all his hands represented gives me the inspiration to be the best person I can. When I left for Costa Rica I was skeptical that I would have the life changing moment that people describe after a trip abroad. I never had such a moment, but a man and his hands did impact me in ways I could never have imagined.

sckon
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:03 am

Re: PS draft- advice

Postby sckon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:10 pm

does not mention why you want to study law.....

Madi57
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:21 pm

Re: PS draft- advice

Postby Madi57 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:37 pm

Interesting and well written; however, completely irrelevant. This doesnt tell the admissions board any of the things they want to hear: why you want to study law, why you would make a good lawyer, why you will suceed in law school, what skills you have, what will you uniquely bring to the law school, what work/academic experience showcases your unique skillset, etc. It shows that you are compassionate, which is a positive quality, but it is not neccesarily suited to a legal professional.

I guess the best way to put it is that it fails the always pertinent "So what?" test. While reading I was waiting for you to connect your experience with the man's hands to your connection to the law, academics, etc. and it never got there. At the end I was just confused, and did not feel that an attempt was made to convince someone to let you into their law school.

Not trying to be rude, just honest. This clearly shows that you are creative and a good writer, but I think admissions boards want more substance and less narrative from the personal statement.

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sternc
Posts: 204
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Re: PS draft- advice

Postby sternc » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:46 pm

Both are good points and right on. I knew this but was basically just ignoring the fact and hoping it was ok. I am going to connect the narrative to the overall theme of being a lawyer and how I can use this stuff. Thanks for now.

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sternc
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:07 pm

Re: PS draft- advice

Postby sternc » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:06 pm

In light of the above comments what do yall think of this go around?


After two weeks at Gilber’s home, I had learned Costa Rican roosters did not come with snooze buttons. It was an hour when reasonable people, and farm animals, were sleeping, yet that damn rooster wanted me up.  There was no use trying to sleep through it, so I threw off my blankets, went outside, and jumped into the ice-cold shower. Maybe a minute later I was out, not very clean, but certainly awake. Still shivering, I dressed, making sure to check if any tarantulas (big enforcers of trespassing codes) had decided to make my boots home for the evening. After a quick breakfast, it was time for the day’s work.
The nature of the work was visible through Gilber’s hands. After many years, his once useful and vigorous tools had deteriorated into the fifty-year-old antiques hanging by his sides. They were calloused and cripplingly arthritic. The pain was obvious in his eyes whether he was picking coffee beans, repairing a neighbor’s shed, or butchering a sow, but his work never slowed. Not once did he complain. As I worked beside him, constantly reminding myself of my supposed youth and vigor, I was moved. 
            I vividly remember looking down at my own pair. Dirty from working outside, but below that initial layer of dirt lay smooth hands. I realized the closest thing I had to a callous was where my pen sat between my thumb and forefinger. I was ashamed. The more I watched and got to know Gilber, the more I realized his hands, old and tired as they were, were symbols of his all-around approach to life. Yes, his hands were the physical manifestation of a passionate dedication to his work, but they also represented the similar steadfast approach he took in all aspects of his life, including family, God, and community. He approached his faith, being a husband, father, brother, friend, and neighbor the same way his hands approached another day in the field, determined, regardless of the pain and personal sacrifice, to do what needed to be done, do it to the best of his abilities, and to go about it the right way.
            I know my hands will never look like Gilber's, but as a lawyer I will use the same tireless approach to achieve similar results. I will employ the strengths his hands represented, absolute dedication, relentlessness, and sacrifice, and use them to become the best, most dedicated, and involved lawyer possible. Before I even knew what a lawyer really did or anything about the practice of law, I wanted to attend law school and become a lawyer. Beginning in high school, I have talked to and questioned successful lawyers I came into contact with, kept up with happenings within the world of law, and actively pursued a greater understanding of what it took to become the best lawyer possible. After talking to all these people, reading so many articles, and thinking about what it took to be a great lawyer, I thought I had it pretty much figured out. Everything changed when I saw Gilber and his hands working in the field. It came as a total shock to find that a man thousands of miles away would teach me more about succeeding and being the best lawyer possible than any of the likely sources. With absolutely no concept of American law school or the American judicial system, Gilber taught me lessons that will take me as far as any legal specific study I enter in over the next three years. There will be days when I am overcome by exhaustion and am at wits end about how to solve a crucial problem. In essence, my world will take the form of Gilber's crippled hands, hanging exhausted at his waist. But regardless of the pain, I will approach law school and being a lawyer the same way he and his hands approached another difficult day of work. I will feel as crippled and lame, but his example taught me to depend on my more powerful passion, dedication, and faith to finish the day's task. He showed me how to embrace all aspects of the job you love, do it to the best of your ability, and apply those same principles to all aspects of your life.
             I had got into the habit of keeping a journal of my days in Costa Rica, and any given entry might detail a day or two’s events over the course of a page or so. Looking for inspiration for this essay, I was recently flipping through the journal when I got to an entry dated February 14th, 2007. Squeezed between two much longer and detailed entries were two underlined words: “his hands”. Though I had forgotten about the journal entry, the message behind it remains a vital part of my character and will be crucial to my future success as a lawyer. When I left for Costa Rica I was skeptical that I would have the life changing moment that people describe after a trip abroad, especially one that would help me become the great lawyer I have always yearned to be. I never had such a moment, but a man and his hands did impact me in ways I could never have imagined.

MDPSteve
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:46 pm

Re: PS draft- advice

Postby MDPSteve » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:33 pm

If you don't get the feedback you're looking for try posting in the Personal Statement thread to get more responses.

d-cannon
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:52 am

Re: PS draft- advice

Postby d-cannon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:38 pm

It took you two weeks to learn roosters don't have snooze buttons?

I am not trying to bust your chops, but I wonder if the adcomms would have this question pop into their mind and distract them as they go through the rest of the essay.

sckon
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:03 am

Re: PS draft- advice

Postby sckon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:56 pm

Its not gripping or moving enough for me. Then again, I do have high standards.




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