I know, right? C'mon, Kato da naysayer, join in--we'll let you play. Otherwise we'll be reduced to flinging bits o' chalk in yor direction & whispering about the state of your socks.
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Messages - Burhop
heh...the "golly-gee-whizness" of Friedman makes me snort derisively, mirthfully, epic-ally. I hadn't even thought of Fukuyama! man, I thought that guy was a tool--his bioethics stuff had me scrambling up the wall, in any case.
heh...look at all the stuff this 250 spawned--fairly remarkable, really!
dani, feeling ad hominem at the mo'
(Oohh, I just remembered how hopped-up I got at Peter Singer...)
Well, you *can* be creative within that framework--it just depends on the power of the story and the quality of your narrative. I think if more people knew that 80% of people were starting with "when I was five..." or "as a grade schooler..." they'd re-think the strategy, if their intro story is more cute than compelling.
2) Complaining about parental influence. What's this about? I mean, I feel for anyone whose parents aren't supporting their educational decisions/helping pay--that sucks--but why belittle them directly in the statement? "My parents suck, see?" seems like a weird PS strategy to me.
I'd avoid using the word 'blame,' but an addendum explaining GPA as related to a parent's death would likely receive sympathy. It should be short and sweet, though--no need to give a blow-by-blow of personal devestation. The adcomms will surely know the loss of a parent will throw a student off their game--they don't need paragraphs of color commentary. When something truly sucks, it generally needs little explanation. And losing a parent...that's the worst, and I'm sure they know it.
I guess the childhood thing has been beat to death, so let me throw a few more on the fire:
Hee hee! Awesome--I've seen these, too. In such a short space, it's sometimes hard not to sound like a cariacature of oneself. That's why I advocate for choosing just 1-2 stories to focus on in the PS; getting the whole life story causes the 'leaps in logic,' as the quaint anecdote quantum leaps time and space to when the applicant is suddenly positive they want to lobby for elephant rights.
Your examples are hilarious, and I have read a few PS's that are just a hop-and-skip away from those gargantuan logic-leaps. The hardest thing about self-editing is having the realization that something that makes sense in your own head makes virtually no sense to anyone outside your head. Or, immediate family. ;-)
I've also noticed the pattern of "I went whale watching" or "hiked the appalachian trail" and now I want to be a lawyer schtick. If as many people helped saved frescos in Italy as have claimed in their PS's, then why would the still need saving?
...travel gives opportunity to be very colorful, but it also opens the door o' triteness. I find a lot of travel-based PS's sound either like shoddy travel-writing (i.e. this was beautiful, that was amazing, so much history here, the food was killer) or like an anthropologist taking notes (and then the natives did the most curious thing...).
Travel can also give way to powerful writing. I've seen it go both ways. Sometimes the tricky bit is getting that transformational feeling into words. Other times, travel might seem like the obvious thing to write about. Overall, I've found the travel-based PS's have a lot of room to work with.
« on: January 02, 2006, 03:20:45 AM »
When you first open Word, does it give you that window that allows you to choose document type? For me, it's Project Gallery--Home Essentials--resume. I have a Mac, tho. If you have Word open and look under File, check to see if Project Gallery is there. That's where my built-in resume formats are. I just chose one that wasn't too garish.
How about the generalized personalization for schools??
The personalization--if it's dropped in at the very end and seems fill-in-the-blank, it's probably a wash--doesn't help or hurt much. I wrote for a bit about SU's excellent legal writing program & my own belief in the craft; I like to believe I didn't sound like I was blowing smoke, because that is one of the main reasons I'm really down with the school. One can't help worrying that they sound gushy/insincere, I suppose.
You bring up an important point--the inclusion of storylines that "make an applicant who they are." These are the stories that are most important to our own self-definition, and inevitably rise up during the PS writing process. I personally felt like I was killing a child when I extracted the paragraphs in my GPA addendum about where I grew up, and how that strongly influenced the kind of student I was at the time. But ultimately, that was something I needed to get out of my system--adcomms didn't need to see all that garment-rending, nor did they need my whole bio.
So I guess my point is: because it is important to you does not mean it will be integral to getting you into law school. In fact, the more drama, the more distraction, I find. I realized after writing my "E-town lurve" paragraphs that an adcomm would surely say "wtf--why is she writing about high school? Get to the point!"
or, more succinctly, by way of Twain-Hemingway-King (Stephen!)--"Kill your darlings."