mmhome,now i know your response was not directed especially at me, but i will respond with my story since i started this thread.in high school i wasnt given anything and nothing was expected of me. i got a 4.0 because i was a proud and competetive bastard, but my parents never pushed me. i never got a prize for good grades. i got a pat on the back.likewise i had to get a job so i could rent a clarinet and pay for lessons myself, which i did. my folks didnt have the extra $$.by my senior year i was the top ranked high school clarinetist in california, and no one not a single person asked me to do it or pushed me to do it or helped me do it but me. i was on my own.so i went to a state school, got some $$$, but mostly had to take alot of the loans myself. my parents took what they could, but it wasnt like they bought my education for me.and i decided to go to law school on my own. no one expected it of me, suggested it to me, or hoped i would. i called my parents and told them i wanted to and they said "are you sure? you have to pay for it by yourself!"i dont even think my story is special. just cause a person is white doesnt mean they were born with a silver spoon in thier mouth...
As soon as all the rich kids stop benefitting from the contacts and help they get from THEIR fathers, I'll stop taking advantage of the almost non-existent help I might get because MY father is a URM.
I just want to interject that, well... life is not always fair. The goal of a just society is that the slights and frustrations are randomly distributed and balanced out by little bits of opportunity, also randomly distributed. Clearly, there are patterns of systematic oppression in the US so that challenges & opportunities are not randomly distributed. This needs to be addressed.But I don't think having to pay for your own college education or only getting a pat on the back when you get good grades is in the same category as systematic oppression. This, to me, is a challenge TBone had to overcome (as he did by finding other motivation for good grades & suceeding in music). It makes him a stronger person in the end. Some other kid might have had clarinet lessons and college paid for but had a father who abused him. Both situations show that life throws you random challenges, and strong people find ways to overcome those challenges. Both situations would make great personal statements. But I don't think either situation should be elevated to the level of systematic oppression and therefore neither situation should, in and of itself, give the applicant an edge in ls applications. What would make the person a stronger applicant is how s/he dealt with the challenge. If you can link your particular challenge to a pattern of systematic oppression which has lead to an underrepresentation of similarly challenged people in law school, well then, I think you have a case for receiving AA. If not, no dice. Just my $0.02.
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