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Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / In at Northwestern!
« on: January 07, 2005, 10:30:23 AM »
This is my first "big" acceptance!  I lived in Chicago for 4 years, so going back is something I'd look forward to.  I also read my acceptance letter from UF yesterday (born and raised in Florida) since I've been out of town for 3 weeks.


Hooray for all!

General Off-Topic Board / To Hell with Values
« on: December 09, 2004, 05:26:50 PM »
I posted this in another post, but thought others might like it as well.  Here's the link,1,7117164.column?coll=la-util-op-ed, but since I think you have to set up an account to read it that way, here's the text.

Los Angeles Times, Sunday, November 28, 2004, Opinion; Editorial Pages Desk

Commentary; MICHAEL KINSLEY; To Hell With Values

It's been less than a month since the gods decreed that, due to the election results, American political life henceforth must be all about something called "values." And I gave it my best. Honest. But I'm sick of talking about values, sick of pretending I have them or care more about them than I really do. Sick of bending and twisting the political causes I do care about to make them qualify as "values." News stories about values-mongers caught with their values down used to make my day. Now, the tale of Bill O'Reilly and phone sex induces barely a flicker of schadenfreude.

Why does an ideological position become sacrosanct just because it gets labeled as a "value"? There are serious arguments and sincere passions on both sides of the gay marriage debate. For some reason, the views of those who feel that marriage requires a man and a woman are considered to be a "value," while the views of those who believe that gay relationships deserve the same legal standing as straight ones barely qualifies as an opinion.

Those labels don't confer any logical advantage. But they confer two big advantages in the propaganda war. First, a value just seems inherently more compelling than a mere opinion. That's a big head start. Second, the holder of a value is automatically more sensitive to slights than the holder of an opinion. An opinion can't just slug away at a value. It must be solicitous and understanding. A value may tackle an opinion, meanwhile, with no such constraint.

No doubt there are strategists all over Washington busily reconfiguring their issues to look like values. Highway construction funds? Needed to help people get to Grandma's house for Christmas. You got something against family values, buddy? Or Christmas?

Especially humiliating are efforts by liberals to reposition the issues they care about as conservative and therefore, we hope, transform them into values. Welfare? It (like nearly everything else) is about families, of course. And affirmative action is about work and opportunity. Liberals' actual motivation -- the instinct that a prosperous society ought to mitigate the unfairness of life to some reasonable extent -- isn't considered a value. So let's keep that one among ourselves.

Why should anyone care, or care so much, whether the people running the government have good values? Shouldn't we prefer a bit of competence, if forced to choose? For example, suppose we had a government that was capable of assuring enough flu vaccine to go around, like the governments of every other developed country in the world. Wouldn't that be nice? And if we could have that kind of government, would anyone really mind if a few more of its leaders secretly enjoyed Janet Jackson's halftime show at the Super Bowl?

The Republican congressional leadership says a clause giving congressional committee chairmen the power to examine anybody's tax returns just slipped into a big spending bill by accident. Whoops! OK, it's the holiday season: I'll buy that. Maybe. But if so -- and call me a valueless heathen, if you must -- I would like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist from now on to read the laws he intends to impose on the nation, even if he does it on Sunday mornings and has to miss church as a result.

It's not just a question of values getting in the way of more pressing or relevant matters. It's also a question of how much you want the government to be worrying about your values. My answer: not very much. My values are my own business. True, they are influenced by private and public institutions and by the culture at large -- no doubt in unhealthy ways, very often. But I don't relish the idea of government getting involved to rectify that. And I thought most conservatives would agree. But politicians elected because of their values will probably see values as part of their mandate. That's ominous.

Values have a wonderful quality not shared by other political issues that are more reality-based, such as the war in Iraq or the growing national debt: They can be nearly cost-free. This is often true in the simple economic sense that practical problems cost money whereas spiritual problems, even if real, usually don't. It's also true in the political sense that value-based issues usually don't require much of a trade-off on the part of voters. You can be as pro-family as you want, without concern that you're giving up valuable anti-family values.

A country whose political dialogue is all about values is either a country with no serious problems or a country hiding from its serious problems. When I want values, I go to Wal-Mart.

Law School Admissions / Emailed Columbia, now I'm complete
« on: December 08, 2004, 01:48:54 PM »
Thought this may be useful to those of us who are waiting on being "complete."  Yesterday I emailed Columbia because I never got a confirmation that they even received my application, which I sent in mid-November.  My final LSAC report was sent 11/22.  Just wanted to know my status (and make sure they received my app), and today they emailed back saying it was received and that they'll send me an email when I'm complete.  About 4 hours later, I got that email.  I obviously can't be sure if it was my prodding that sped up the process, but who knows! 

General Off-Topic Board / Recommendations for 20th-century history book
« on: November 17, 2004, 11:55:16 AM »
My younger sister needs to choose a history book to review for one of her classes, and she's chosen the 20th century.  She asked me for recommendations of a good one, but I couldn't really tell her anything.  I realize that a LOT happened in the 20th century, but she's still not specific to any country or war.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  It will be greatly appreciated!

General Off-Topic Board / Scott Peterson Guilty!!
« on: November 12, 2004, 01:16:09 PM »
Finally some justice for Laci and her baby.

Law School Admissions / GPAs on Resume -- use LSAC GPA or GPA from school?
« on: November 10, 2004, 04:39:48 PM »
The difference between my LSAC GPA and the GPA from my school is so negligible, just .01 difference, but I was just wondering -- for those of you whose GPAs are different, which one are you putting on your resume? 

Law School Admissions / LSAC processing stuff from Oct. 15
« on: October 29, 2004, 08:40:54 AM »
I just called LSAC and thought everyone might like to know that they are now working on transcripts and letters received October 15.  Things that have come in much more recently, however, they are trying to do right away, I guess so they don't get behind again.

Law School Admissions / Another Grammar Question
« on: October 20, 2004, 03:32:11 PM »
I want to say "both on and offstage."  Is the proper way to do this to say "both on- and offstage," or "both on and offstage," or "both on and off stage."  I think that technically, the first option is correct since "onstage" is one word.  Do you agree??

Though I am technically a member of NSCS, I've never been to a meeting or done anything with them.  I don't know anything about them except that they send me emails all the time.  I think, my freshman year, they sent the invitation to my parents' house, my mom opened it and thought it was a huge honor and signed me up without asking me.  My school didn't have Phi Beta Kappa, so should I list this on my resume and app or not?  What I'm asking is, is this organization a huge joke among adcomms and will it look bad if I list it or will it just be neutral or possibly good? 

Law School Admissions / Passive Voice - Is Essay Edge editor right?
« on: October 14, 2004, 05:38:15 PM »
I had my PS edited at Essay Edge, and I'm sort of having an argument with my editor right now about what constitutes passive voice.  I could be completely wrong, but in that case, every teacher I've ever had is also completely wrong.  I say that passive voice is anything that involves the verb "to be."  Here's what my editor said:

Actually, passive voice has nothing to do with the very "to be." In the
active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the
subject is a be-er or a do-er and the verb moves the sentence along. In
the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is neither a do-er or a
be-er, but is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed.  So
for instance, "I poured the milk" is in active voice, while "The milk was
poured" is in passive voice.

My original question to him was that he recommended I replace one of my sentences with something like "It did not matter, as long as it was the same thing" blah blah blah.  I said that was PV.  He disagreed. 

What do you all think?

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