Y250 Total Crap?

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invisibleone
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Y250 Total Crap?

Postby invisibleone » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:16 pm

Hello. I'll be applying to Yale Law school this fall, for admission in 2018, and I am looking for a little feedback on my optional essay, the "Yale 250". I'm convinced it's pretty much crap, and my roommate seems to agree, but I was hoping there might be some redeeming value to the overall piece? If it sucks, don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings, since I'm pretty sure I have no shot at Yale Law School to begin with (at the LSAT and GPA medians, but I went to a "no-name" college for undergrad").

Anyway, here it is:

The first motorcycle I owned was a green Kawasaki Ninja 300. It had all the style of bonafide sport bikes without all the power (or danger) that accompanies them. I bought it new, right off the showroom floor. I worked hard to save enough money for the down payment, and although my dad graciously co-signed my loan, it was mine. I was proud. I had worked hard to be able to afford the monthly payments, and labored three weeks prior in a motorcycle safety class to earn the small “M” on my driver’s license, designating me as a legal rider. Despite having less than ten hours’ worth of riding experience, I considered myself an “official” rider the day my bike was delivered.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of a truism that seasoned riders know all too well: it’s not a matter of “if” you drop the bike, but “when”. I became acquainted with this principle quickly; the first time I rode my brand new, pristine Kawasaki Ninja 300 I crashed it, hard. Just like my new ride, my ego was scuffed. My crash back to reality taught me a valuable lesson about pretending to be something I am not, humility, and a little about actually riding a motorcycle (mind the front brake). Four years later I am still riding motorcycles, but now with the confidence and skill that four years’ worth of riding experience confers. Four years later I now know there is no such thing as an “official” rider.

damask_rain
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby damask_rain » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:48 pm

invisibleone wrote:Hello. I'll be applying to Yale Law school this fall, for admission in 2018, and I am looking for a little feedback on my optional essay, the "Yale 250". I'm convinced it's pretty much crap, and my roommate seems to agree, but I was hoping there might be some redeeming value to the overall piece? If it sucks, don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings, since I'm pretty sure I have no shot at Yale Law School to begin with (at the LSAT and GPA medians, but I went to a "no-name" college for undergrad").

Anyway, here it is:

The first motorcycle I owned was a green Kawasaki Ninja 300. It had all the style of bonafide sport bikes without all the power (or danger) that accompanies them. I bought it new, right off the showroom floor. I worked hard to save enough money for the down payment, and although my dad graciously co-signed my loan, it was mine. I was proud. I had worked hard to be able to afford the monthly payments, and labored three weeks prior in a motorcycle safety class to earn the small “M” on my driver’s license, designating me as a legal rider. Despite having less than ten hours’ worth of riding experience, I considered myself an “official” rider the day my bike was delivered.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of a truism that seasoned riders know all too well: it’s not a matter of “if” you drop the bike, but “when”. I became acquainted with this principle quickly; the first time I rode my brand new, pristine Kawasaki Ninja 300 I crashed it, hard. Just like my new ride, my ego was scuffed. My crash back to reality taught me a valuable lesson about pretending to be something I am not, humility, and a little about actually riding a motorcycle (mind the front brake). Four years later I am still riding motorcycles, but now with the confidence and skill that four years’ worth of riding experience confers. Four years later I now know there is no such thing as an “official” rider.


I am finding it hard to believe that you really didn't think of the "when." Haha

invisibleone
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby invisibleone » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:05 pm

damask_rain wrote:
I am finding it hard to believe that you really didn't think of the "when." Haha


Youthful arrogance, I suppose... :oops:

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Pneumonia
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Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:11 pm

I actually think this is ok. The wording needs work, but it reads sincere and isn't pretentious. That puts you ahead of most 250s I've see on here. But also, I didn't go to Yale.

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icechicken
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Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby icechicken » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:01 am

invisibleone wrote:The first motorcycle I owned was a green Kawasaki Ninja 300. It had all the style of bonafide sport bikes without all the power (or danger) that accompanies them. I bought it new, right off the showroom floor. I worked hard to save enough money for the down payment, and although my dad graciously co-signed my loan, it was mine. I was proud. I had worked hard to be able to afford the monthly payments, and labored three weeks prior in a motorcycle safety class to earn the small “M” on my driver’s license, designating me as a legal rider. Despite having less than ten hours’ worth of riding experience, I considered myself an “official” rider the day my bike was delivered.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of a truism that seasoned riders know all too well: it’s not a matter of “if” you drop the bike, but “when”. I became acquainted with this principle quickly; the first time I rode my brand new, pristine Kawasaki Ninja 300 I crashed it, hard. Just like my new ride, my ego was scuffed. My crash back to reality taught me a valuable lesson about pretending to be something I am not, humility, and a little about actually riding a motorcycle (mind the front brake). Four years later I am still riding motorcycles, but now with the confidence and skill that four years’ worth of riding experience confers. Four years later I now know there is no such thing as an “official” rider.


Some of the green is probably unavoidable, but you gotta vary your word choice in such a short piece. Agree with Pneumonia that the overall direction seems good for a 250.

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slurp
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Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby slurp » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:27 am

I've been a lurker on this forum since ~2011-12 and this is one of the best 250s I've read. I have no idea what Yale is looking for - hell, never even applied - but as a previous poster said, it's genuine and unpretentious. I think it still needs work, but it'll be the grunt work of trying to get it as close to perfect as possible.

also, I don't think the 250 is total crap. Yale is in a league of its own in terms of yield and selectivity, so they have the luxury of picking the creams of the crop. Assuming you have good recs and a compelling personal statement (possibly DS), well, i still don't know if you have a chance of getting in.. i mean bruh, it's Yale.

good luck!

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rpupkin
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Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:34 am

It's not bad. Like most law school applicants, you overwrite a bit. A few suggested edits below:

invisibleone wrote:The My first motorcycle I owned was a green Kawasaki Ninja 300. It had all the style of a bonafide sport bikes without all the power (or danger)that accompanies them. I bought it new, right off the showroom floor. I worked hard to save enough money for the down payment, and although my dad graciously co-signed my loan, it was mine. I was proud. I had worked hard to be able to afford the monthly payments, and labored three weeks prior in had taken a motorcycle safety class to earn the small “M” on my driver’s license, designating me as a legal rider. Despite having less than ten hours’ worth of riding experience, I considered myself an “official” rider the day my bike was delivered.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of a truism that seasoned riders know all too well: it’s not a matter of “if” you drop the bike, but “when”. I became acquainted with this principle quickly;: the first time I rode my brand new, pristine Kawasaki Ninja 300 I crashed it, hard. Just like my new ride, my ego was scuffed. My crash back to reality taught me a valuable lesson about pretending to be something I am not, humility, and a little about actually riding a motorcycle (mind the front brake). Four years later I am still riding motorcycles, but now with the confidence and skill that gained from four years’ worth of riding experience confers. Four years later I now know there is no such thing as an “official” rider.


Also, I'm not sure I like the "official rider" theme. I'd consider concluding with something like: "I now understand that one needs more than a license to ride a motorcycle."

invisibleone
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby invisibleone » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:50 pm

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the feedback. I'll definitely attempt to incorporate all the constructive criticism. Picking a topic for this essay has been much harder than I originally anticipated, so I'm glad to hear the general consensus is that it is probably a viable approach (to the extent anyone actually knows what Yale looks for in these essays).

Thanks again!

invisibleone
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby invisibleone » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:38 pm

So I rewrote this 250, and I'm wondering if this draft is any better. Any feed back, good or bad, would be highly appreciated:

Before I first threw a leg over my motorcycle, my dad, once a rider himself, gave me some prescient advice: “Remember, it is not a matter of if you drop the bike, but when”. His message, reinforced by the scar that marred his upper lip – the evidence of his own experience, didn’t resonate; I was too excited. My brand-new Kawasaki Ninja 300, a testament to months of hard work and penny-pinching, beckoned to me from the driveway. With my gear on and freshly minted license in hand, I was ready to ride. My dad’s melodrama would have to wait.

As I started the motorcycle for the first time, I recalled everything I had learned in safety class weeks before: release the clutch slowly, go easy on the throttle, and above all else, mind the front brake. Nervously, I down-shifted into first gear, letting the bike roll down the driveway and into the street. I made it six feet before I panicked and grabbed the front brake. The bike jerked; I lost my balance; and the bike fell unceremoniously onto its side. In less than ten minutes I had successfully turned my dad into a prophet.

Initiated by the smack of the pavement, I now understand the nuance of my dad’s advice: the fall is inevitable; getting up and trying again is optional. I still ride motorcycles, ever cautious of the next fall, but confident that when it happens I’ll have the courage to stand up and ride again.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:44 pm

I think your first one was better. This one has too many ten-dollar words, too many commas, and too many semicolons.

I like the "prophet" line, but I'm not sure it's worth the setup.

I think you could write something pithy about how you accepted your dad's cosignature, but not his advice.

invisibleone
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Re: Y250 Total Crap?

Postby invisibleone » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:20 pm

Pneumonia wrote:I think your first one was better. This one has too many ten-dollar words, too many commas, and too many semicolons.

I like the "prophet" line, but I'm not sure it's worth the setup.

I think you could write something pithy about how you accepted your dad's cosignature, but not his advice.


Thank you for the feedback. I cleaned up the language in the first one a bit, but wanted to test the waters with another draft. I think I'll probably end up going with my revised first draft, since it feels much more natural.




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