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Author Topic: Short ass PS - any input?  (Read 3488 times)

mkagan

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Short ass PS - any input?
« on: August 23, 2004, 08:03:06 PM »
This is the one for yale - 250 words max...if you have a few minutes, let me know what you think. i would appreciate it. Its clearly not done, so remember that when you tear it apart.

     I was scared. As I struggled to suppress my anxiety, I suspected I had never truly felt fear until now. Perhaps I had never truly felt anything.
     In these situations you try to be strong; you have no choice. Without strength you lose optimism. She was three thousand miles away, the doctors spoke no English, and with her major stomach surgery severely complicated by Cystic Fibrosis (CF), I needed all the optimism I could muster.
     In the end, I knew everything would be fine. I kept reminding myself how tough she was - she could fight anything. And somehow, through her constant battle, she always manages a smile. She remains the happiest person I have ever met.
     As I struggled with my fear I realized a growth in myself. In the last year I have gained compassion, warmth, and selflessness. This growth has been exhibited not only in my relationship with her, but with everyone important in my life. I have become a more complete person.   
     She says she feels like she gave me her disease. At times, it does make life difficult, but through my love for her I have gained maturity and strength I would not have otherwise. My parents say they admire me for being strong enough to remain in such a doomed situation. Yet I don't deserve any admiration. I just try to smile like her.
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Freak

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2004, 08:12:44 PM »
It has all the right elements.  However, it's emphasizes creative writing a bit too much.  Law school is about being clear and getting to the point as fast as possible.  Donít make your reader infer anything.  A simple rearrangement may make your story wonderful.
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londongirl

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2004, 08:22:57 PM »
Ok, this is just my opinion, but...
I think we should find out who 'her' is at the end. It could just be me who isn't sure, so excuse my ignorance if I've missed something. At the moment I'm thinking it's your partner, but that wasn't obvious to me after a first reading. Again, maybe it is just me, but you don't want the adcoms to have to read through twice.
I'd change 'you have to be strong' to 'one has to be..'. 'A growth in yourself sounds like a cancer or something (God forbid). I realised I had grown / matured. Link your growth to your experiences with her. It could be unconnected with the experience you've just described. You don't need to waste precious words, just say something like 'supporting her/ worrying about her made me grow in XYZ way. I realised XYZ'.
Notice you repeat the word 'gain' in the fourth paragraph. Put yourself in the picture more: 'through my love for her I have matured and become stronger'. I think you can improve the last few sentences to show less consciousness: 'I'd be proud if I could just smile like her'.

Much  of this is subjective so ignore it if you disagree. The experience sounds incredibly profound and it's inspiring. I do hope it ends positively. I think for the purpose of the statement you can make more of it than you have.

You'll get there! Please tell me what you think. And very best wishes for the situation.

mkagan

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2004, 08:37:26 PM »
hey, thanks a lot for the input - i am glad you at least liked the idea, thats a start. concerning the mechanics you mentioned, i agree, i jsut havent gotten there yet. i have been debating how clearly i should describe who she is. you are right, she is my girlfriend. i have been trying to stick it in the more clearly, so i appreciate you advice and i will see what I can do with it. whew, i am just relieved people didnt think it was the dumbest topic ever. as for the growing/supporting, i had a line in there that i cut about me supporting her through the hours of treatment she has to do each day etc, so maybe i will put that back in. thanks again!



Ok, this is just my opinion, but...
I think we should find out who 'her' is at the end. It could just be me who isn't sure, so excuse my ignorance if I've missed something. At the moment I'm thinking it's your partner, but that wasn't obvious to me after a first reading. Again, maybe it is just me, but you don't want the adcoms to have to read through twice.
I'd change 'you have to be strong' to 'one has to be..'. 'A growth in yourself sounds like a cancer or something (God forbid). I realised I had grown / matured. Link your growth to your experiences with her. It could be unconnected with the experience you've just described. You don't need to waste precious words, just say something like 'supporting her/ worrying about her made me grow in XYZ way. I realised XYZ'.
Notice you repeat the word 'gain' in the fourth paragraph. Put yourself in the picture more: 'through my love for her I have matured and become stronger'. I think you can improve the last few sentences to show less consciousness: 'I'd be proud if I could just smile like her'.

Much  of this is subjective so ignore it if you disagree. The experience sounds incredibly profound and it's inspiring. I do hope it ends positively. I think for the purpose of the statement you can make more of it than you have.

You'll get there! Please tell me what you think. And very best wishes for the situation.
I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill...

nonobvious

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2004, 10:25:04 PM »
Actually my first instinct is rearrangement: "She says she feels like she gave me her disease" was the line I found most striking, and unique-- Why not start with that? Saying "I was scared" and anxious is much too played-out as an opener. Though I do like "I suspected I had never truly felt fear until now. Perhaps I had never truly felt anything." Perhaps with a small tweaking you could go directly to those two sentences.

Other comments: don't let generalizations and hindsight analysis of what the situation taught you overwhelm letting a picture of the situation come through. I would save most of the I felt/I learned type commentary till the end, and just concentrate on making the rendition of the facts of the situation compact and powerful enough to evoke a response by themselves.  Most of the emotions and pep-talking associated with that kind of situation are kind of obviously implicit.  Of course you need to include some of that, just don't get trapped trying to document every nuance; it bogs things down. 

Example: "In these situations you try to be strong; you have no choice." This sort of drenches the writing in generic commentary before you know what the situation is about.  You already had the vague teaser in the first paragraph, better to continue that energy and get into the situation right away. Also it would be better to separate "She was three thousand miles away, the doctors spoke no English, and with her major stomach surgery severely complicated by Cystic Fibrosis (CF)" into two sentences-- sometimes it's good to put things all together for impact, but here the flow of the sentence starts feeling long and involved just at the most powerful factual relevation about the whole situation.

  Then, *after* establishing the seriousness of the situation, take the moment to reflect on what it took to get through. 
 
  Small note: It's better to avoid using "you" in an essay, sometimes it works but often it comes off awkwardly.  "I" statements or impersonal constructions flow better. Maybe try instead: "There is no choice but to try to be strong in these kinds of situations."

  Overall though, very powerful. You and your gf are amazing people, now just tweak it a bit to help the adcoms see that too!
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swifty

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2004, 03:28:35 AM »
If English is your second language, disregard.

Total rewrite.  Use words with more syllables.

You are writing at an 8th grade level.
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londongirl

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2004, 05:55:55 AM »
No probs, please send in your revision when you've made it - I'll be really interested to read it. Again, it's a really powerful topic. I know a teenage girl with Cystic Fibrosis - I know what it means and how difficult daily life is quite apart from when complication such as surgery arise. Your strength really is awe inspiring.

mkagan

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2004, 09:31:18 AM »
why do some people have to be bitches on this site? i mean seriously - the piece does not need big words to be powerful. i am not writing a f-ing thesis. when writing about yourself it sounds pretentious to try and sound too smart. you just want something that flows...so, to put it blankly, @#!* you. if you dont have anything constructive, dont be a female dog to make yourself feel good. ass.

If English is your second language, disregard.

Total rewrite.  Use words with more syllables.

You are writing at an 8th grade level.
I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill...

SNUGGLE

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2004, 10:16:54 AM »
Make all of the above your first two paragraphs.  Inform the audience who "her" or "she" is.  Then do the most important part.  Add another 600 words relating all that crap to law school.  This is a law school application.
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mkagan

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Re: Short ass PS - any input?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2004, 02:21:45 PM »
read the top - this is not my personal statement, it is a 250 word essay for yale...250 max, not 900


Make all of the above your first two paragraphs.  Inform the audience who "her" or "she" is.  Then do the most important part.  Add another 600 words relating all that crap to law school.  This is a law school application.
I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill...