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Author Topic: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS  (Read 2425 times)

TheDecline

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Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« on: July 03, 2004, 03:30:56 PM »
I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but would appreciate your insight.

I've been thinking about my personal statement for a while, but haven't actually started.  I haven't done any life changing volunteer work, so I've trying to decide what exactly to write about.  I've got 2 ideas and I am hoping that you guys could give me your thoughts on these topics. 

My first idea was to write about my summer job as an alligator handler, that I've had for the last 4 years at a tourist attraction.  Although not very prestigous, it is interesting and could set me apart in some way from others.  I suppose I could talk about my dedication to the job and how I get to interact with the alligators and people everyday.

My second option deals with a touchy subject for me.  Last year my grandma went in for routine surgery and because of a laundry list of obvious f-ups by the doctors and nurses she passed away after after a few weeks in intensive care.  We were very close(she lived next door).  The hospital has been total asses about the whole thing, even admitting FULL responsiblity for her death but never apologizing.  Additionally because of the new malpractice law where I live the hospital's penalty is REDUCED if they admit guilt.  I've learned a lot from this experience about society in general and that truth and righteousness dont always win, because of the way the law is.  This hasn't lit my fire to go into malpractice law, but it has opened my eyes in many respects.  This would be hard for me to write about and i dont want sympathy from the admissions, but it has been a life changing experience. 

The first would focus more on my accomplishments and what makes me unique, and the second option was a life changing experience, that in some I would almost feel guilty if I wrote about it and it helped me get in some where.  THanks for taking the time to read this post.  All thoughts are appreciated.   

jgruber

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2004, 03:33:47 PM »
I think the experience about your grandmother may not be a good subject.  You don't want to give ad comm's the idea that you're going into law with some idea of revenge. 

Ginatio

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2004, 03:37:56 PM »
definetly go with the story about your grandmother... it sounds like you could inject quite a bit of fire into it and express your interest in the law, whereas the alligator handler story is a bit "ok, what does this have to do with anything?"...

TheDecline

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2004, 03:39:43 PM »
I didnt mean to be vague.  Revenge isnt even a part of it.  I have always wanted to go into some type of business law and still do. If anything this experience has taught mean the importance of lawyers and how they can help people.  I would be careful if i write about this not to sound spiteful in any way.  I would try to write this more from the angle of trying to overcome a tragedy, rather than going to law school so i can get a JD and go headhunting.

jgruber

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2004, 03:41:51 PM »
If you can write it without sounding bitter, it could work for you.

I've encountered more than a couple people who saw LS as a chance to get back at people.  I've been told that is the worst reason in the world to go to LS.

I didnt mean to be vague.  Revenge isnt even a part of it.  I have always wanted to go into some type of business law and still do. If anything this experience has taught mean the importance of lawyers and how they can help people.  I would be careful if i write about this not to sound spiteful in any way.  I would try to write this more from the angle of trying to overcome a tragedy, rather than going to law school so i can get a JD and go headhunting.

Ginatio

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2004, 03:42:01 PM »
exactly. thats what i meant.  ;D

I didnt mean to be vague.  Revenge isnt even a part of it.  I have always wanted to go into some type of business law and still do. If anything this experience has taught mean the importance of lawyers and how they can help people.  I would be careful if i write about this not to sound spiteful in any way.  I would try to write this more from the angle of trying to overcome a tragedy, rather than going to law school so i can get a JD and go headhunting.

jgruber

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2004, 03:44:18 PM »
I think the alligator thing is interesting and probably starts a lot of conversations, but I don't think it would impress any committees, at least not as intellectuals.  Now if you brought an alligator to campus....

barchk

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2004, 10:31:33 PM »
I think you should write about your grandmother.  It sounds like it would be difficult to write about, but don't you think that you should write about a topic that you are seriously passionate about?  This is really your only chance to show the adcoms who you are and what you feel strongly about. 

superiorlobe

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2004, 12:53:14 AM »
I'm afraid I have to vote for the alligators.  Here's the deal though: the essay can't really be about alligators.  The alligators are just a window into life.  You have to come through with some profound insights and some humor.  On the surface the essay is about a job handling alligators, but the essay is really about your interesting take on life and your propensity for risk taking, and how the whole experience taught you something about girls.

Don't worry about tying it into law.  Just show some really freaking deep perception into the human condition, add a twinge of humor, and make it a damn good essay.

The grandmother thing is old news.  Everyone has a tough experience that they write about.  And a sick or dying relative is pretty blase as tough experiences go.  I would only write about overcoming adversity or learning through a tough experience if it was something incredibly unique: like being caught in the Rawandan holocaust or something.  I'm pretty sure Ad Comms read a couple thousand "tough experience" essays every year and read none about how handling alligators gave a guy insight into the female psyche.

Ginatio

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Re: Struggling between 2 ideas for PS
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2004, 12:28:34 PM »
and when you're done, make sure you share your insights with lobe... he's dying to learn *something* about girls...  :-*

... and how the whole experience taught you something about girls.