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Messages - Captain Graybeard

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How has your course been? Are you relapsing/remitting or progressive?

I have relapsing/remitting MS.

(sure one or two programs might feel you're a risk, but do you really want to go to a school which is so unaccommodating?).

You are absolutely right, and that has been something I have thought a lot about.

You can really highlight the ways in which managing a frustrating and chronic disorder has influenced you positively, while (semi-subtly) showing that it has not, in the whole, slowed you down. Heck, you can probably link this to your relatively recent life changes (no more misdemeanors)/career direction changes, if you want.

They are directly related, so that is pretty much what I plan to do.

(As long as you are able to reassure them that you can handle the load, I really don't think it will hurt you. It is probably very useful that you are finishing school right now- clearly you are managing an academic workload without major exacerbations of your disease. That may be better than had you finished college at 22. If you have had an interest in health policy/ADA/etc sparked by your experience, I'm guessing they would love to hear it also.
Cynically speaking, look on the websites- they ALL love to point out their classes' diversity. Whether or not you will end up as a poster child, I would think your age, unusual career path, and medical difficulties will, in combination, be pretty attractive to a lot of schools.
Wow- that could really be a fantastic statement....
Best of luck to you, and keep us updated

Thanks, and I will.  I am at least a year and a half away from applying, assuming I try for ED, but have started working on the personal statement already.  Right now it is in the brainstorming phase, but I have some pretty good ideas that follow your line of reasoning, and I think I can write a pretty powerful statement.

seriously? i don't think any school would penalize you for MS. i doubt it's relevant, and it may well be illegal.

My situation may be irrelevant to the practice of law, and weighing it negatively in admissions decisions may be illegal, but discrimination is a fact, and I have been a victim of discrimination for having MS.

. . . on the other hand, it may well give you "overcoming adversity" points.

DO schools view "overcoming adversity" in a favorable light, for the most part?  Or do they, instead, view applicants who've overcome adversity as "damaged goods," even if the applicant is not at all damaged?

I ask this for myself and others I know.  I'm not saying anything about anyone else being damaged.  I've heard both sides of this argument and I don't know what to believe.  I put my adversity in the best light possible but one never knows.  Maybe admissions people aren't really as nice (i.e., understanding and accepting of people who've been though difficulties) as they say they are in their literature and on their web sites.

Great question!  Just a guess, but it probably depends on the school and the admissions official.

This issue is pretty important to me also, being that I have a checkered past, plus I have Multiple Sclerosis.  The past I will have to deal with, whether I like it or not.  The MS is another question.  It could make for a very powerful personal statement, but will admissions officials see me as having overcome a potentially debilitating disease, or will they see me as "damaged goods?"  Should I even bring it up?

Get a grip


Good luck at George Washington, and I sincerely hope you get into BC or BU.

It just sounds a little far fetched.

Ummm, okay.  I get off on tricking Internet strangers into thinking I'm smart.  ::)  I do that by telling them how much of a screw-up I used to be.  Then, I have optimistic expectations, and work my butt off to try to make them happen.  I am proud of the person I am today and the changes I have made in my life, so forgive me for being hopeful about the future.  I thought I was posting in a community of mature people, it being the non-traditional board, and figured I may as well be honest about who I am and what my hopes are.  Thanks for the warm welcome. :(

Anyone else have any actual input?

Uh okayyyy your ~skillzzzzzzz~

Do you have a problem with me or the fact that I choose not to be more specific?  ???

Oh, and take way more than one practice LSAT before you expect to score in the 170s on the real deal, just saying...

Unrealistic?  Probably.  Overconfident?  Absolutely! 

The truth is, my feelings on that are based on a lot more than one practice test.

what are they based on ?

Let's just say that my skills are perfectly suited to the types of questions that the LSAT covers and the format in which it is administered.  I have also taken a few more prep tests, and done well.

Oh, and take way more than one practice LSAT before you expect to score in the 170s on the real deal, just saying...

Unrealistic?  Probably.  Overconfident?  Absolutely! 

The truth is, my feelings on that are based on a lot more than one practice test.

I have two misdemeanors, and that is all.  The incidents are 6 years old, and the convictions are four years old.  They were the wake-up call that made me straighten out my life.

It's been simmering in the back of my mind for years.  When I was a teenager, I put it on the list of things I want to do before I die.  Then, I did a lot of stupid things.  A LOT of stupid things (nothing that resulted in any felonies, thank God).  I did start college at least, but dropped out after 34 hours.  Six years ago, I straightened out my life.  Last year, at 34, I started school again, and can graduate anytime between May '09 and May '10, depending on how hard I push it and whether or not I add a second major.  I have a 4.0 at my new school, and will keep it.  Combined with my previous work, that will give me a 3.75 (approximately) according to the LSDAS formula.  I test well, and based on the practice test I took the other day, expect to score in the 170's on the LSAT.  My past may trip me up, but I have this crazy idea that I'll get into a top tier school.  That's the goal anyway.  I guess I might be overcompensating for screwing it all up the first time around, but I'm okay with that.

Anyway, hi.

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