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Messages - MachuPicchu

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Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: August 06, 2007, 04:58:15 PM »
Where did O'Dara get to?

I'm not sure I understand your question.

However, I think a rule of thumb for using personal anecdotes in PS is to Change the Name, irrespective of the degree of fame an individual in your anecdote enjoys. A professional essay reader of any kind--AdComm, non-fiction journal editor, etc.--should, in my opinion, assume that all names have been changed. If the person you describe is so easily identifiable even without a name, either change a few details to protect his/her privacy, or accept the fact that in changing a name, you've done the best you can.

LOL< I know LSDers love to joke about what AdComms are capable of, but I find it hard to believe they would be so unprofessional as to try to guess who your famous client might be and then contact said client to discuss what you said about him/her/.

I think you can feel free to spend almost the whole hour (say, 45 mins) on the PS. Now, PS are what I do best, so I would use my time in an entirely different fashion (career prospects from each school; choosing between schools once I had been admitted, etc.)

1. Go into the LSAC application site and systematically read through each electronic app (or, the hard copies mailed to you) to make note of the PS options for each school. Read through to the END of each app, and any "supporting documents" attached as PDFs at the end (you can miss some important instuctions that way; I did). Create a chart for yourself that lists this information E.G. Oklahoma State: PS (any topic--2pgs. max) and DS. Baylor: PS (choice of three topics X Y or Z and no page limit), etc.

2. Using your chart for reference, prepare and bring with you to the advisor three different PS (different in terms of main theme/topic or different in the anecdotes and supporting information you choose to use), plus diversity statements, addenda, and supplemental essays of the sort sometimes requested for specific programs.

Tips: Save your strongest material (i.e. overcoming tremendous odds; the way your unique academic or work experience would complement law study; the intellectual, cultural or ideological diversity you bring to the school., etc.) for the PS, because that is the required component, and the one all other applicants have written/against which you will be judged.

If you have a main theme that you think is very strong, do variations on it by having PS1-A start with a quote or line of dialogue, PS1-B with an expository anecdote, etc. or by varying the tone of each version.

If you have 2 or 3 stong themes, simply write each up in its own PS and let advisor note which theme is most compelling.

Try to stick to no more than two pages, 12 pt, double-spaced (unless otherwise requested).

2. See if you can pre-submit any of these so that the consultant can read them first before your hour begins and have notes ready (I'd be deeeply annoyed if this wasn't an option for at least one PS).

3. During your hour, solicit general impressions from adivsor (give her or him 5 minutes to blab on), then pin him or her down with targeted questions you have prepared on a list (perhaps provide a copy for the advisor). Questions can range from the broad("which theme or tone did you respond to most?") to the specific ("WHich info can I cut out of the first paragraph anecdote in PS1-A, and which is essential?")

4. When suggestions are made, test them out aloud and immediately to get feedback. So, if for example, the Advisor says "this section on your work at the Sexual Assault Hotline could use an anecdote," respond: "Okay, how about a paragraph about this one woman whose husband was abusive and how my counseling with her led to me to be interested in laws against domestic abuse?"

You need to wring every last drop out of this consultant . Good luck. 

On a related note, how much is an hour with a reputable consultant?

the service I want to use is worth $150 an hour. I think Anna Ivey charges more.  Test prep companies such as Kaplan/ TM? blueprint charge in the mid 100's also.

Do as much as you can on LSD and with peers. Before you spend any money on a consultant, do these things so you can make the most of your time together:

1) Register with LSDAS and submit your transcripts so you know what your LSDAS GPA is.
2) Line up recommenders.
3) Take the LSAT and settle with the score you are going to apply with.
4) Now that you have numbers, look at schools that fall in your range. Research them and come up with a list of about 25 that you would be interested in attending. Learn more about them. Got to an LSAC Forum if you can. Get their viewbooks. Talk to current students and alumni at the schools. Whittle down the list to between 6 and 9 schools that vary in terms of your chances of getting in. Look at and to see who got in where with your numbers last cycle. Have a reason for wanting to go to these schools, whether they are a safety or a target or a reach.
5) Read Anna Ivey's book and do her questionaiire at the end-- it is a great tool to help you find a PS topic that will work for you. Write a PS. Read it. Write it again. Take it as far as humanly possible and show it to a professor, peer or someone you regard as a good writer. Revise. Show it around on LSD for feedback. Revise. Revise. Revise. Take your PS as far as humanly possible. Repeat this exercise with your resume and any other essays required of your applications. Find a friend who will proof the actual applications.

6) Call the admissions consultant. Armed with your numbers, your list of schools and a PS that is as strong as you can make it, you will make the most of your money with the hour you spend with the consultant. Yopu wil be confident, know what you want and the questions you want answered/the help you need. Let the consultant help bring out the best in your application by taking it as far as you can with the resources you have right now.

I did 1-5. I read admission literature, know what schools I want to go to, have 3 LOR's, got my transcript in.  The most help I need is my PS. There is so much I wish to talk about, but the space is s limited. 

Do you guys think it would be a good idea t have several versions of a PS sent in for review with adcoms?

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: August 01, 2007, 02:08:33 PM »
I am a dark skinned brother and my girlfriend is light. I often get negative comments from sistas (usually dark) who claim that I am with her because I only like light girls. Or they complain that all successful black men either date white women or the next best thing, mixed women.

I am sorry you have been subjected to this. It is the height of arrogance for people to comment on something about which they have no information other than what is visible to the eye.

Your response is very even-toned, although some in your position might (quite rightly, IMO) resent the commentators. I think it helps to think of things from their perspective, too, and realize that their over-reaction is a reaction to the many negative images of dark-skinned women in the media, throughout society, etc.

It's a shame that society has set people against each other to this degree, that a person cannot even walk down a street with somebody who looks different from him or her without setting tongues a-wagging.

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: August 01, 2007, 01:53:21 PM »
welcome to the board...
for clarification's sake though.. that isn't the issue.. the issue is men and women who choose to ONLY date light or dark skinned women or men...

The key word here is "choose."

Sadly, IMO, there are many of these people, in many nationalities and ethnic groups, and they are usually the most vocal and demonstrative in spreading their particular "preference Gospel" to the unconverted. The unfortunate side effect of this is that regular people like harlemnight--going about their business and dating/falling in love with a variety of people with different traits--get caught in the crossfire.

Yeah, you're right, I thought about writing "lower portion." Still, I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that U of MN was the only game in town so to speak, or at least the most prestigious one in the state. That doesn't offer a lot of comfort.   

You wouldn't be the first to make this decision and be happy with it (as evidenced by the almost-full-rides I've spoken to at GW and W&M.

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: BLACK LOVE
« on: July 31, 2007, 04:35:41 PM »
Saying that a certain feature is all you require might imply what you say. However, saying that a certain feature is a prerequisite does not mean that other characteristics/requirements do not matter.

Certainly, a man's height or fitness level may, to you, be necessary but not sufficient. You would, as you state, turn down a "broke, fit, ugly" man (although now we've left the realm of helpless "attraction" which you earlier defended so hotly). But not everyone is the same.

My response is based on hearing other people (in real world, not LSD) declare their preferences loudly and proudly, emphasizing light skintone/"good hair" (for African-derivative people of all nationality, Brazilian/PR/Cuban included); fair complexion (Indian); and eyes with more pronounced folds (East Asian; Taiwanese and Korean). In each case I'm thinking of, the proclaimer made sure to stress that those particular features were of number one importance for him or her (no, ladies, you are not exempt). Further, when some of these people's partners strolled into a room, it became plain as day that partners with the said desired attributes were..erm...lacking, shall we say, in many other areas of aesthetics and/or personality.

I cannot help but come to the conclusion--based mostly on some people's public statements--that lighter skin, looser hair, and more "rounded" eyes were in fact both necessary and sufficient in a partner. This is what I suggest is problematic, not your discriminating (in the original sense) tastes.

If we are to avoid using criteria that will hurt others' self-esteems then doesn't that basically require us to be open to everyone? Because surely, any criterion will exclude someone and thus "negatively affect a person's self-esteem his or her whole life".

Can't speak for we, but *I* might do well to avoid:  making public one's views on potential partners' necessary and sufficient physical characteristics (I would stretch this to include ethnicities). This is primarily to avoid making oneself look like a clod with no social sense, not to spare others' feelings. 

I might do better to: examine critically and honestly my own preferences, determine what role--if any--social standards played in shaping my preferences, and see if they might be altered a bit, if only one time, and if only out of distaste over having my future preferences laid out for me at toddler-hood in my Disney videos and the comments of wrong-headed relations .

You ask "Why?" Because I act with circumspection, analysis, and a discerning mind in most other aspects of my existence, so why not in this, the most intimate factor in my life--my romantic partner?

Why is it that despite all criteria hurting someone's self-esteem, certain criteria are okay anyway while others are not okay? What makes historically charged criteria like skin color and hair type especially bad when their ultimate effect (hurting others self-esteems) is the same as any other criteria?

As my previous posts indicate, I never limited my objections to "historically-charged" criteria. I disagree with sweeping and otherwise undiscriminating (ironic) emphases on most in-born physical characteristics (yes, skin and hair, but also body type, male pattern baldness level, height, eye color, etc.) and on ancestry/nationality. These are facts people can't change about themselves. It's not damaging, on the other hand, to expect that a broke potential partner get a job, or to announce that you only date shy people, or flight attendants, or a-holes; those are things that apply equally to everybody and which a potential partner can change.

Now you're venturing into something different.

I think my posts and the supporting article I provided reveal that social and cultural dynamics that play out in the family room, board room, or movie theatre figure heavily in the bedroom, and one's choice of bed or life partner.

The toddler from blck_reign's scenario watches with wide eyes while Daddy extols his wife's skintone to the exlusion of all others...and maybe she will grow up to herself seek a light partner (because she is "just more attracted" to a light man/woman), or maybe she will peroxide her skin, or maybe she'll go all Black Pride and marry a dark Congolese person--dismissing all light potential partners with the same fell swoop as her father dismissed the dark ones--and maybe she'll feel an unhappiness inside her and ridicule any light-dark couple she sees in the street.

It is possible and, realistically, even common to be sexually indifferent to a feature while still seeing the beauty in that feature and in those who possess it.

LOL. There's nothing "indifferent" about "I don't care if he's not rich, how he treats his momma, or how he dresses--my future babies' father will have good hair."


"It's just prettier, that's all. It's what I like."

(real exchange with a Cape Verdean)

Personally, I'm glad for all the trolls/scary blogs... they really made me reevaluate where I stand on the rank v. $$$ debate.

What's the new verdict?

Law School Applications / Re: A unique question..
« on: July 31, 2007, 05:12:44 AM »
"Graduate Work: Addendum.

In 200_ I had the opportunity to pursue an M.A. in Economics at __________University in 'Japan.' I count it among the most educational experiences of my life, although perhaps not in the traditional sense. At the beginning of my second year, the program of study in which I was enrolled suffered from a large-scale leadership and personnel change.  The ensuing institution-wide decline in standards of scholarship, educational guidance, and appropriate grading practices led some students, including myself, to channel our academic and creative energies into independent research. I was fortunate enough to join _________ , at which I was able to, through employment as a journalist, continue my study of international economic systems and politics.

I believe my final graduate GPA does not adequately reflect the research, communication and analytic skills that, like those of my fellow students, were given short shrift during an unfortunate time of upheaval at _______University. My resume, however, offers insight into what I feel was the most intellectually challenging--and gratifying--period of my life.  I request that the members of the Committee consider my final graduate GPA in light of these unusual circumstances and in conjunction with my complementary employment experience.

Thank you very much."

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