Picking my Columbia essay! Assistance requested!





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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: Picking my Columbia essay! Assistance requested!
By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 06:40 pm: Edit

This is an essay I've used for several schools already, but I read over it for Columbia, and I just don't know...I'm not very good at rating my own work.

And, since Columbia's my super-long-shot first choice, I want my essay to be good (but I have IB World Lit papers to write so I don't want to write a new one unless this one is just "ehh")...

Here it is. Thoughts? Suggestions?

When I was ten, I was relatively certain that I would be an architect. Well, not just any architect, but instead the most creative, most bold, most structurally eloquent architectural mastermind, designing the great steel-and-glass behemoths of the twenty-first century. But after six years of contemplation (and the reluctant concession that I still can’t color inside the lines), I’ve strayed away from architecture, journeying further and further into law, a field that increasingly intrigues me.

I first recognized an interest in and disposition toward law when my sophomore English class held a mock trial session for William Golding’s Lord of the Flies; I applied for an attorney position simply out of curiosity, but was assigned a witness role instead. Based on my work there, both my English teacher and a friend suggested I join Mock Trial.

The following year I joined, and relished the role of park ranger Dale Plotnik, a defense witness in the murder trial. In practices, my teammates and I interrogated each other, in order to sharpen our elocution and logic skills (however, when questioning began, everyone was far more occupied with improving their circumlocution). As the competition approached, I contributed to the team’s strength beyond the confines of my own role; sometimes I could be found suggesting a particular line of questioning or assisting in the fine-tuning of the crucial opening statement. Even though, as a first-year participant, I was not an attorney, I associated with and took notice of them and capitalized on the many opportunities to learn their techniques and skills.

Dale Plotnik’s part was seemingly minor, confirming that there were at least two people near the scene of the alleged crime. However, I thoroughly investigated his part as I helped my attorney formulate a productive direct examination. In one session, we finally determined that the seemingly insignificant park ranger actually made the case; he could confirm that there were persons present near the site of the victim’s death, but he could not determine whether these people were the defendant, his friend, the victim, or unrelated park visitors. In short, his testimony was a surfeit of reasonable doubt. Consequently, I became, in a way, the crux of the defense case; it was a rather pleasant responsibility.

Mock Trial wasn’t all legalism and loquacity, however. I expressed my innovative side with an unconventional defense strategy centered about Plotnik’s testimony. We formulated, just for fun, the Plotnik Defense, in which Ranger Plotnik is coerced into taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid confessing guilt for the crime. Of course, this involved substantial cooperation between attorney and witness and a disregard for the original intent of the case, but such a capricious twist would have carried enough force to demolish an opposing case with its logical imperviousness, had it ever been used.

All of this preparation and strategizing served us well in the competition, earning us third place. To my delight, one judge called my performance “magnificent,” which I believe is quite an accomplishment for one’s first experience with the judicial system. Further, and most importantly, I now have another path for my future available to me, should I wish to take it. I plan to serve as attorney this year, and perhaps even write a sequel to the Plotnik Defense.

While I remain uncomfortable defining a specific major or career, I know that I desire a field that is challenging and rewarding. Perhaps I will not be the next Le Corbusier of postmodernism, but rather a premier lawyer, diplomat, and statesman. Or, perhaps, the cultural and educational milieu of college will alter my plans again. Only my future college experiences can tell for sure.

By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 07:28 pm: Edit

Any thoughts at all? I have only a few hours left!

By Libsters (Libsters) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

This is a really good essay. It is being used for the general essay questions ( and not for the 4 lines that they give you for most meaningful activity, right?) .... If so, it is a really good essay. It shows that you have thought long and hard about what you want to do in your future, its humorous ( which the adcoms need after a day of truding through booooooring essays), and it shows that you are a winner who didn't let the assignemnt of a small role put him off of his task and perfect it. What did you write about as your most meaningful activity if not this? Hope you wrote your Why COlumbia already as well ... It's already 7:40 ... under 5 hours = ) Good Luck!

By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit

This is the last thing, actually. Everything else is done.

For my activity page I wrote a little blurb about the Croquet Club I founded at my school - it was pretty general fare since it was only for that small area.

Thanks for the feedback. Anyone else?

By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Libsters:

You wrote "essay questions" plural...isn't there only one big essay?

Or am I about to damage sheetrock with my head?

ATTENTION Others: I'd be willing to read your essay if you read mine. Be forewarned though that I'm a mean grader.

By Libsters (Libsters) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

There is only one = ) Sorry about that .. Didn't mean to scare you .. please step away from the sheetrock! Haha, I just sent in my app to avoid last minute traffic (which will happen at 10 - 12pm) Hope all goes well .. I'd assume all of the other people who are applying to Columbia are off doing their apps and not on College Confidential, and that why you aren't getting any responses ... but this will BUMP it up ... Good Luck = )

By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 08:33 pm: Edit

Are you feeling qualified for Columbia, Libsters? I'm not. My stats are enumerated under "Will I get in? You thoughts for an odd case" ("your" is misspelled correctly). What do you think (Assuming, of course, that you'll read this again)?
Thanks and such

By Libsters (Libsters) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Haha, I am not sure what I am qualified for ... It's all one big "?" this year for all top-notch schools. I do hope I get in though, although chances look slim for the whole pool. And Columbia's app is different in that it asks for INTERESTS ( the only schools I know of other than Columbia that does this is USC< and they don't ask a lot ... ), and it is less comprehensive than other apps b/c it leaves you little room to write anything .... I'll go and check out your other post now though = )

By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 09:30 pm: Edit

Bump.

I'm submitting in 20 minutes, so give me thoughts while you still can!

Help me improve my essay to improve my Columbia chances, or at least boost my rather low self-esteem...

By Isaman (Isaman) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 09:37 pm: Edit

honestly, i like this a lot. but i noticed that in ur introduction u said u would be not jsut any architect...maybe, u should use that same concept throughout the essay, and sya that you wont become jsut any lawyer. what you unique? what is your driving force to become a lawayer (i know u answered that already)? Other than that, great essay

By Isaman (Isaman) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit

ok man, i read urs, can u read mines? "CLICK HERE! you know you want to..."

By Wrinklefiber (Wrinklefiber) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:09 pm: Edit

Okay, I lied. Here's a revised copy. It incorporates, to some extent, what Isaman noted, I think.

When I was ten, I was relatively certain that I would be an architect. Well, not just any architect, but instead the most creative, most bold, most structurally eloquent architectural mastermind, designing the great steel-and-glass behemoths of the twenty-first century. But after six years of contemplation (and the reluctant concession that I still can’t color inside the lines), I’ve strayed away from architecture, journeying further and further into law, a field that increasingly intrigues me.

I first recognized an interest in and disposition toward law when my sophomore English class held a mock trial session for William Golding’s Lord of the Flies; I applied for an attorney position simply out of curiosity, but was assigned a witness role instead. Based on my work there, both my English teacher and a friend suggested I join Mock Trial.

The following year I joined, and relished the role of park ranger Dale Plotnik, a defense witness in the murder trial. In practices, my teammates and I interrogated each other, in order to sharpen our elocution and logic skills (however, when questioning began, everyone was far more occupied with improving circumlocution). As the competition approached, I contributed to the team’s strength beyond the confines of my own role; sometimes I could be found suggesting a particular line of questioning or assisting in the fine-tuning of the crucial opening statement. Even though, as a first-year participant, I was not an attorney, I associated with and took notice of them and capitalized on the many opportunities to learn their techniques and skills.

Dale Plotnik’s part was seemingly minor, confirming that there were at least two people near the scene of the alleged crime. However, I thoroughly investigated his part as I helped my attorney formulate a productive direct examination. In one session, we finally determined that the seemingly insignificant park ranger actually made the case; he could confirm that there were persons present near the site of the victim’s death, but he could not determine whether these people were the defendant, his friend, the victim, or unrelated park visitors. In short, his testimony was a surfeit of reasonable doubt. Consequently, I became, in a way, the crux of the defense case; it was a rather pleasant responsibility.

Mock Trial wasn’t all legalism and loquacity, however. I expressed my innovative side with an unconventional defense strategy centered about Plotnik’s testimony. We formulated, just for fun, the Plotnik Defense, in which Ranger Plotnik is coerced into taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid confessing guilt for the crime. Of course, this involved substantial cooperation between attorney and witness and a disregard for the original intent of the case, but such a capricious twist would have carried enough force to demolish an opposing case with its logical imperviousness, had it ever been used. The advisors said it would be best if we didn’t even use it at our scrimmages, for it might seem insulting – but after hearing our competitors’ cases, I and my compatriots felt assured (if just slightly elitist) that we had the necessary qualities to distinguish ourselves not just in this competition, but also in legal endeavors of the future.

All of this preparation and strategizing served us well in the competition, earning us third place. To my delight, one judge called my performance “magnificent,” which I believe is quite an accomplishment for one’s first experience with the judicial system. Further, and most importantly, I now have another path for my future available to me, should I wish to take it. For months after the competition’s end, I was still thinking of new defense strategies and improvements to my and others’ parts; this year’s new case will, with any luck, give me something new to turn over in my mind. I will serve as attorney this year, and perhaps even write a sequel to the Plotnik Defense.

While I remain uncomfortable defining a specific major or career, such as trial law, I know that I desire a field that is challenging and rewarding. And while my initial foray into law was ultimately distinguished only for its unconventional take on the ostensibly minor Ranger Plotnik, I resolve not to remain satisfied with my work (in whatever discipline or form) if it merely teeters between bullet-point obscurity and total oblivion. Perhaps I will not be the next Le Corbusier of postmodernism, but rather a premier lawyer, diplomat, and statesman. Or, something else entirely; perhaps the cultural and educational milieu of college will alter my plans again. Only my future college experiences can tell for sure.

By Stillwaters (Stillwaters) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:43 pm: Edit

It is very normal, but it's good. I would have called you pompous if it weren't for the last paragraph. I don't like the second to last paragraph- the part about the judge calling your performance magnificent.


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