Review revised "rural kid" essay?

<p>Son appreciates comments on his draft rural kid essay; but he doesn't want to revise it to be completely about growing up in the country and end up looking like a rural hick. So this is his second draft as a compromise. Comments? Thanks. </p>

<p>"Listening to advice and going after opportunities has been in my family's blood for generations. My great-great-great grandfather immigrated to the United States to settle in the west and homestead a farm. He was given advice to look for land where the badger holes did not show any alkaline, white soil. The badger (a burrowing mammal) digs holes over six feet deep bringing up the soil and giving a view of what lies beneath. When there is good dark soil coming out of the badger hole then that is a good place for growing crops. He selected great land, homesteading in north central Oregon in 1882. This land is still productive today and we see this every year at harvest time. </p>

<p>Growing up on this family farm, I was responsible for chores such as feeding livestock, hauling hay, and fixing fence. Working alongside my dad and grandpa, I learned the lessons of listening to recommendations that are given by caring family and friends. This environment has built my self-confidence and maturity, plus given me the common sense to listen to advice. When I began talking about being a lawyer for my future career, my family suggested that I investigate the field of law. So I began to seek out opportunities to learn about being a lawyer. </p>

<p>One experience was to attend a summer program put on by the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington DC. The session, entitled "Law and Advocacy," gave me a chance to participate in a mock trial with other students from around the US. I got a chance to learn from law professionals, prepare my case, present it in front of a judge, and listen to guest speakers. One guest speaker was a liberal animal rights activist who seemed to be the exact opposite of me, since I have grown up in a conservative, agricultural environment. </p>

<p>He started to talk about the "rights animals have to happiness and a long life" when I stood up in front of the whole group of over 150 people and spoke my mind. I told him that animals, especially cattle, were walking meat lockers that were put on this earth to provide for our consumption. I got a chance to speak out for what I believe and debate my side with a professional for the first time. Later, when I was doing closing arguments during the mock trial, these experiences strengthened my career leanings toward law, debate and arguing my side of a case. </p>

<p>Heeding advice and making good decisions have been family values for generations and I have taken advantage of some of the opportunities that have come my way. Researching a case, being part a mock trial, and an internship at the District Attorney's office have opened up my mind to the possibilities of a career as a lawyer. If you asked, my great-great-great grandfather would be proud of me for listening to advice and taking advantage of opportunities."</p>

<p>I respect your child's intention, so I will limit myself to suggesting that the transition from his (and his grandfather's) experience working the land to wanting to be a lawyer is too abrupt. Could he explain what made him want to go from working on a farm to wanting to be a lawyer? Did anything specific lead up to it? I would also suggest that he underscore how having first-hand experience working with animals helped him in his debate. It's implied; he should make it more explicit. </p>

<p>In the third paragraph, "plus" is too colloquial. He should replace it with another word after a semi-colon.</p>