Law School Discussion

please critique opening paragraphs

please critique opening paragraphs
« on: October 12, 2009, 09:42:29 AM »
I know the wording, punctuation and structure need some revising, but just wanted to see what others thought about my start.  I know the topic should be interesting and show what makes you unique among the rest.  Working on the rest of it but still unsure about exact direction I want to take from the intro.  Thanks in advance for the help. 

“We need to amputate his right arm to save his life.”  Through the excruciating pain, mangled mess most would call the upper torso and an inability to gasp enough air,  I managed to say, “Mom, don't let them cut my arm off.”  I remember waking up about a day and a half later.  With a sense of panic, I looked to my left, all limbs were visible and in tact, then I looked to my right, I didn't see my arm, but I saw several apparatus going through unbelievable amounts of gauze, casting and bandaging which took shape of an arm.  I was exalted, at first, from knowing my arm was somewhere in there but fear quickly replaced that excitement as the question of what condition is it in ensued very shortly after.  I was 18 at the time, just graduated from a highly regarded college prep high school in St. Louis, MO, was playing junior hockey, looking forward to attending college, playing collegiate hockey and pursuing my academic interests.  Hard work, a very competitive attitude to be the best and a desire to succeed had been the foundation to my success in adolescence.  I realize now that these attributes of my character are the reasons for my success through the long and burdensome recovery process from my very near fatal motorcycle accident and continue to be the foundation for my successes throughout all aspects of my life.

And.........still thinking of the direction.....


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Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2009, 10:17:18 AM »
I like it, I curoise to see how it goes. The only thing I don't like is " just graduated from a highly regarded college prep high school in St. Louis, MO" sounds too pretunious, just say grauted from a rigious high school or something. good start

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 01:42:13 PM »
Thank you for the feedback.....I really appreciate it.  I can see how it could come off like that.  I deleted it since and should have a rough draft of the rest (at least for now) here shortly.  Thanks again and dont hold back on saying what you truly think!  Not sure if you are in the same situation as me but if you need someone to read your PS i'd be more than happy to. 

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 08:17:08 PM »
I would recommend rephrasing "Hard work, a very competitive attitude to be the best and a desire to succeed had been the foundation to my success in adolescence."

You don't want to emphasize too much about pre-college.

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 01:21:25 AM »
Show, don't tell.

instead of "Through the excruciating pain" somethin like "As the stabbing pains shot up my arm, "

instead of "With a sense of panic" somethin like " I felt a pit in my stomach" or "I felt a cold sweat..."

instead of "I was excited" somethin like "My throat relaxed and I could breathe normally again.."

Of course this type of writing will make your PS longer, so don't over do it, but I think it makes it easier for the reader to imagine what is happening and get 'into' the story more. I'm not a writer though, just giving my two cents; take it for what it's worth.

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 10:17:49 AM »
Hello.....sorry for the long delay and thank you all for the feedback.  It is greatly appreciated.  I have been through about 20 different drafts since then and have one I finally like. 
I would once again appreciate any feedback (let me have it if you think its terrible) as I am about to send out applications.

Here it is:
   I wake up in a groggy, medicated haze, unsure of the events that have landed me in the emergency room, where my parents and doctors now gather anxiously.  Horrifying pain sets in almost instantly and I struggle to comprehend the doctor as he relays his diagnosis to my mother: “We need to amputate his arm to save his life.”
   Only hours before, I was cruising carefree on my motorcycle with my older brother and his friends on Highway 21 outside St. Louis.  In an instant, an old Buick town car turned in front of me; I smashed into it and was catapulted into a roadside oak tree 60 feet away, tearing my right arm and chest almost completely away from my torso.
   Now, lying helpless and broken in a hospital bed, I search for the strength to sputter, “Mom, Don’t let them cut off my arm,” unaware of the consequences that would arise from this statement.
   At 18, I had been preparing to leave home for college, to be out on my own for the first time, but my injuries left me unable to even shower without help.  I was devastated that I had worked so hard nearly my entire life to earn a spot on a college hockey team, and now, with years of physical therapy ahead of me and little hope of any positive results, my goals had changed.  “Your body can withstand most anything, it's your mind you have to convince,” are words that I lived by during these trying times and are inspiration to this day.
   I have always welcomed challenges, as I thrive on competition and self-discipline, so when doctors told me I would most likely never regain full use of my right arm, I viewed their pessimism as a test of my own will. Through multiple reconstructive surgeries, an experimental nerve transplant, and painful daily therapy, I pushed myself mentally and physically to overcome their negative diagnosis.  Against my parents’ advice, I chose to attend college only a few months after the accident and left for University of Denver with no use of my arm.  I was persistent in attending physical therapy every day, and eventually, I was able to carry my books to class, type my homework on a computer without voice recognition software, and best of all, I was finally skating at the campus ice rink.
   While regaining use of my arm has been an enormous feat, I have accomplished much more in my life since then.  As I worked toward graduating college with a degree in International Business and Legal Studies, I also established my own business teaching private hockey lessons and have gained a loyal client base.  After graduating, I have continued building this business while working full-time in sales, customer service and management positions.  My experience in the work force has been invaluable, yet I look forward to new, long-lasting challenges and opportunities afforded by law school.
   My current goal is a career in international law.  After nearly losing my life as a teenager, I realize that I have been given a unique opportunity to make a difference in the world and have chosen to do so by bringing justice and order to a global community.  By learning the customs and laws of other cultures, I will not only enhance my own character, but will take on the ongoing challenge of bringing together differing nations to achieve a common goal.
   My unfaltering drive, devotion to success, and competitive spirit make me an asset to the “SCHOOL School of Law” student body. For three years, I worked relentlessly to regain the use of my arm, and I understand and appreciate the significance of taking on such an incredible personal trial.  Enduring the challenges of law school will require sacrifice and hard work, but the rewards of such a challenge are always worth the undertaking.

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 07:54:11 PM »
That second to last paragraph seems a bit too lofty. Maybe take it down a notch?

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 10:36:28 AM »
Hi brocklanders12.  Thank you for the feedback.  Are you specifically talking about the second sentence of that paragraph?  I agree with what you are saying and sounds like I am being too that right?  Thanks again and if you don't mind, what do you think about the rest?

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2009, 10:43:31 AM »
I thought it was good. I am still writing mine, so I'm not an expert or anything. But the second and third sentences sound like you're in the running for the Nobel!  ;) And it may be as simple as just saying you will do your small part to help bring justice and order to the global community.

Re: please critique opening paragraphs
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2009, 11:37:01 AM »
Hey buddy,

Cool....I appreciate it.  I think you are right and am now changing.  Let me know if you want me to look yours over when it is finished.  From what I heard, they are giving those things (Nobel) away like candy these days...thought I was a front runner for the next one...LOL. :D

Thanks again and i look forward to seeing your PS....and good luck!