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Messages - Dixon

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     I think that the fact that people have to ask a question like this demonstrates the utter senselessness of racial preferences.
     I mean, is there some sort of Nazi-esque racial purity test to determine who qualifies as a minority? Will they investigate your background if you apply as a black but appear to be white? What if your father is three-quarters white but considers himself to be fully black? Would you be half black (if your mother was white) or some other fraction?
     What happens if someone who has a black father and white mother (and identifies himself as black) is competing for a single position with someone with two black parents? Who wins, given everything else is equal?
     It won't be long before this country wakes up and realizes how stupid this whole thing is.

on: June 11, 2004, 07:51:16 AM    

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I have been preliminarily thinking about possible topics.  For my safety schools I will plan to write a conservative, ordinary personal statement.  But for my reach schools, I am thinking of ways to grab their attention.  I have an Alcohol Related arrest which has since been expunged.  But an explanation at some point will probably be necessary in the application, so I have thought of playing the recovering alcoholic card.  I believe I can justify things such as criminal history and meteocre grades while presenting an intriguing story.  Furthermore, I will be able to touch on my weaknesses without highlighting them.  So even though I may be an alcoholic, I am in no means recovering.  Admissions doesn't need to know this.  But nevertheless, it can make for an eye-catching PS.  But the question I have is, will admission look down upon alcoholism?  Or will they accept recovery and see it as a positive attribute to my character?  I would appreciate any input.
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I have thought about mentioning alcoholism in my statement too.  I was a raging alcoholic all through college and for a few years afterwards (I drank all day every day- no lie). I did well as an undergraduate until my senior year (when I just lost it) but I managed to graduate with a 2.8.

After I had suffered enough I got sober and decided to try graduate school. I did very well on my GRE but my grades were not good enough to get in. I scheduled a meeting with the Director of the program to try to see what I could do. When he asked about my grades I was vague about my past but said enough for him to infer what had happened. I got in and did well, earning a Masters.

Now I am thinking about law school and have considered going into detail about my past. I have decided against it .

For one, I am sure that you and I are not the only ones that have thought about doing this. I can just see the admissions committee reading my statement and saying "Oh God, another 12-stepper!" I'm sure it's nothing new to them.

Secondly, while being in recovery is admirable, being an alcoholic is not a good thing. It's an illness, but an illness that can be controlled. You should be proud of changing your life, (ok, I know that you are not but for the sake of aguement), but you should not have let it get out of control in the first place.

Third, law school is very stressful and it is common knowledge that stress can lead alcoholics to start drinking again. You do not want a law school to turn you down simply because they believe that admitting you would not be in your best interest.

And finaly, people that are really in recovery don't try to benefit from their illness. God forbid if the person reading your essay is a recovering alcoholic himself and sees right through you.

I know that in my statement I will allude to a less than glorious past but stress what I have accomplished.

Law School Admissions / Re: Snotty law schools
« on: June 15, 2004, 08:12:36 AM »
     I am from the South and believe that I can shed some light on the issue of why Yankees are percieved as being "snotty", or more commonly, "rude".
     I was born and raised in the city that fired the first shots of the War Between the States and grew up among true Southerners. In the last 10-15 years we have had a massive influx of Yankees as our economy has grown and the benefits of the Southern lifestyle become more widely known. Because of this I believe I am qualified to point out the attitudes/behaviors that stand is sharp contrast to our accepted social mores. (I can only point out the perceptions of Southerners as I have never lived in the midwest or west coast).
     1.Yankees tend to speak their minds. Such honesty is not considered a virtue in the South where we live and die by the maxim that one should say nothing at all unless it is positive.
     2.People from the north tend to not respect Southern institutions and traditions. We have a saying where we live that "Charlestonians are like the Chinese- we eat lots or rice and worship our ancestors". Giving an unsolicited northern perspective on controversial historical issues is generally not appreciated.
     3.Northerners are percieved to do things faster and louder than we do them. They are generally more impatient (or show their impatience), talk faster and louder, and are more assertive (agressive) then most Southerners.
     4. In the South hospitality is considered to be of paramount importance. This means saying hello to people with whom you have even minor interactions. It means saying "ma'am" and "sir" to those that are older or of greater rank. (Yes, the class system is very much alive and well in the South). It means making small talk to other people waiting in line and saying "please" and "thank you" to gas station clerks.
     5. Northern women have an even harder time fitting in then the men do. Southern women are taught to be gracious to a fault and to avoid conflict, especially with men. This means women that express strong opinions are generally not well accepted, even by the Southern women.
     6.What may be a "joke" to a Yankee is an insult to a Southerner. This is a big one. "Funny" observations about attire, accent, hairstyle, etc are only acceptable among close friends, and even then only to a certain degree. While making an offhand clever comment at the expense of a stranger or aquaintance may be permissible or even encouraged in the north, it is considered to be the epitome of rudeness in the south. (We had a Yankee transplant professor in grad school that thought he was only "making jokes" in class. After several complaints he apologized to the class for not understanding "this whole Southern thing".
     These are just a few of the major differences between Yankess and those from the south from one southerners perspective. Things are different in larger, New South Cities (Charlotte and Atlanta).
     I hope this addded to the discussion.

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