Traveling - Douchy?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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animalcrkrs
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby animalcrkrs » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Loving this thread right now.

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paratactical
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby paratactical » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:44 pm

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:45 pm

kayljsh wrote:I think having seen the monastery where Mendel did his initial research on peas I think adds an extra dimension to my knowledge.
Does this seem like a better PS?


Look into Sir R.A. Fisher's opinion on Mendelian genetics and then you may have a law school-esque essay, but if you haven't done any work in genetics, other than undergraduate coursework, being inspired by Mendel's monastery is at its best, pretty flimsy.

There will inevitably be other candidates with limited altruistic experience so it'll come down to how you write your statement and if you can capture the readers' interest. Sounds like you'll be well-suited to have MANY critical eyes take a look. Don't take the critiques personally - every bit of red pen is meant to help.

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animalcrkrs
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby animalcrkrs » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:49 pm

paratactical wrote:
animalcrkrs wrote:Loving this thread right now.


I find it kinda hilarious that this statement is coming from someone with a Warhol avatar.


Better than a pervy cat ;)

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paratactical
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby paratactical » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:50 pm

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kayljsh
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kayljsh » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:50 pm

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:
kayljsh wrote:I think having seen the monastery where Mendel did his initial research on peas I think adds an extra dimension to my knowledge.
Does this seem like a better PS?


Look into Sir R.A. Fisher's opinion on Mendelian genetics and then you may have a law school-esque essay, but if you haven't done any work in genetics, other than undergraduate coursework, being inspired by Mendel's monastery is at its best, pretty flimsy.

There will inevitably be other candidates with limited altruistic experience so it'll come down to how you write your statement and if you can capture the readers' interest. Sounds like you'll be well-suited to have MANY critical eyes take a look. Don't take the critiques personally - every bit of red pen is meant to help.


Thanks! I've read one of his articles on statistics, but that was for a biostatistics class quite a while ago, I don't think there was anything about Mendel in there. Any particular recommendation?

I definitely don't take any of this personally, but thanks for the support!

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holydonkey
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby holydonkey » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:52 pm

kayljsh wrote:To answer someone's question- no I've never had a paying job.
write a diversity statement about this.

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paratactical
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby paratactical » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:52 pm

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wakefield
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby wakefield » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:54 pm

kayljsh wrote:
wakefield wrote:
kayljsh wrote:Interesting, I'm totally not trying to be argumentative, but would you feel that way if I was an art history major and I was really excited to see all these paintings/sculptures/whatever that I'd studied for so long?
Again, thanks so much for everyone's opinions!


yup. that being said, you can write about pretty much anything you saw and make it work as long as you leave this out:
kayljsh wrote:you can understand things perfectly well having never left your hometown, but I think having seen the monastery where Mendel did his initial research on peas I think adds an extra dimension to my knowledge.


Okay, so what you're saying is that I should try to avoid frilly language about extra dimensions? In what way do you think I could express that same sentiment in a less entitled manor? Is there a way?


No, I mean your tone there. it comes off as kind of snobby, which you're obviously trying to avoid. just make sure tons of people read your PS to catch anything douchy and you'll be fine.

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bankruptedcasino
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby bankruptedcasino » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:56 pm

kayljsh wrote:Also I wasn't just lazing around the boat, I participated in several races, although my highest finish was second.


I found this to be the most interesting part of your traveling experience. My uncle participated in a race from San Francisco to Hawaii and said it was the hardest work he had ever done. If your racing experience is similar to this type of grueling activity, it would be a wonderful way to "stand out" from other applicants who've also climbed mountains (strangely, many have - or at least they claim to).

PS Some adcomms run afoul of applicants who advertise their wealth and priviledge in their PS. DeLoggio mentioned an adcomm bouncing someone with high numbers at a top school because they wrote, "Everyone should avail themselves the opportunity to see Europe" which this adcomm believed showed the applicant didn't appreciate/understand the plight of the poor. The moral of the story: reduce the douche as much as you can. Good luck!

kayljsh
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kayljsh » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:58 pm

paratactical wrote:kayljsh-

You seem pretty cool and pretty laid back about things. The trick is going to be making sure this comes across in your writing--no matter what you write about.

If I were in your shoes, I would try writing several personal statements about a variety of topics and then I would post the best 2 here and see how they come across. Not necessarily looking for edits, but just making sure that it doesn't come across douchtastic.


Thanks, I'm know that the first post seems kind of douchey, but given my time lurking around these boards, I'm definitely aware that those kinds of posts get more responses, even if they're kind of sarcastic.

I'll be back to post them when I've polished a bit more, clearly I'm having trouble walking the fine line between showing adcomms that my PS topic is relevant and not totally random, and laying it on too thick.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:59 pm

kayljsh wrote:
NonTradHealthLaw wrote:
kayljsh wrote:I think having seen the monastery where Mendel did his initial research on peas I think adds an extra dimension to my knowledge.
Does this seem like a better PS?


Look into Sir R.A. Fisher's opinion on Mendelian genetics and then you may have a law school-esque essay, but if you haven't done any work in genetics, other than undergraduate coursework, being inspired by Mendel's monastery is at its best, pretty flimsy.

There will inevitably be other candidates with limited altruistic experience so it'll come down to how you write your statement and if you can capture the readers' interest. Sounds like you'll be well-suited to have MANY critical eyes take a look. Don't take the critiques personally - every bit of red pen is meant to help.


Thanks! I've read one of his articles on statistics, but that was for a biostatistics class quite a while ago, I don't think there was anything about Mendel in there. Any particular recommendation?

I definitely don't take any of this personally, but thanks for the support!


No specific recommendations. I just found his opinions inspirational in my genetics research, and now from this perspective, very "lawyer-ly" in that he didn't accept Mendel's work at face value; he was willing to question popular opinion; he didn't back down in the face of adversity and as a result redefined biostatistics as we know it today. He's largely to thank for clinical trials requiring a placebo group to gain FDA approval...and therefore for a popular subject for LSAT flaw in the argument questions.

kayljsh
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kayljsh » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:02 pm

wakefield wrote:
kayljsh wrote:
wakefield wrote:
kayljsh wrote:Interesting, I'm totally not trying to be argumentative, but would you feel that way if I was an art history major and I was really excited to see all these paintings/sculptures/whatever that I'd studied for so long?
Again, thanks so much for everyone's opinions!


yup. that being said, you can write about pretty much anything you saw and make it work as long as you leave this out:
kayljsh wrote:you can understand things perfectly well having never left your hometown, but I think having seen the monastery where Mendel did his initial research on peas I think adds an extra dimension to my knowledge.


Okay, so what you're saying is that I should try to avoid frilly language about extra dimensions? In what way do you think I could express that same sentiment in a less entitled manor? Is there a way?


No, I mean your tone there. it comes off as kind of snobby, which you're obviously trying to avoid. just make sure tons of people read your PS to catch anything douchy and you'll be fine.


Ohhh, okay. So it's more the hometown thing? I would never say that in my PS. I think that goes along with what someone else just said about "everyone should avail themselves the opportunity to see Europe." I just wanted to make it clear to y'all that I didn't think you HAD to have seen/done things in order to be a great/smart person, just that I think it can add a little bit more to your understanding.

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kalvano
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:06 pm

Why not just have your parents donate a wing to Yale and thus eliminate the need to write a PS?

kayljsh
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kayljsh » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:10 pm

kalvano wrote:Why not just have your parents donate a wing to Yale and thus eliminate the need to write a PS?


That would make my life SO much easier... but despite the douchtasticness we don't have quite the resources for that and, I know, insanity, I don't want to go to Yale.

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neimanmarxist
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby neimanmarxist » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:11 pm

kayljsh wrote:Interesting, I'm totally not trying to be argumentative, but would you feel that way if I was an art history major and I was really excited to see all these paintings/sculptures/whatever that I'd studied for so long?
Again, thanks so much for everyone's opinions!


for the record, yes. Everyone thinks that stuff is amazing. It's not a reason to let them into law school.


(this is a riff off of the mountain climbing idea)
Can you write your essay on a particular theme - something you believe in or learned from or why you want to be a lawyer- (like 'cross-cultural understandings of justice' or 'i want to be a lawyer because I want to help people' .... or 'i am committed to gender equality' or something) and draw on your international experience to illustrate why you believe what you believe ?

I think that's probably your best bet. That way the travel isn't the centerpiece of your essay "I have travelled, and am a richer in spirit for it" but "I believe these things, and my beliefs have been informed by x, y and z fabulous experiences, and you see how bright and insightful I am because I can string these concepts together in these ways." Show, don't just say, that you have learned meaningful things from the experiences you were lucky enough to have.

And then ask lots of people to read it for you to ensure that you come across as bright and humble, not entitled or glib (I'm not saying that you sound that way, just that PSs like this walk that fine line.)

kayljsh
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kayljsh » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:24 pm

neimanmarxist wrote:
kayljsh wrote:Interesting, I'm totally not trying to be argumentative, but would you feel that way if I was an art history major and I was really excited to see all these paintings/sculptures/whatever that I'd studied for so long?
Again, thanks so much for everyone's opinions!


for the record, yes. Everyone thinks that stuff is amazing. It's not a reason to let them into law school.


(this is a riff off of the mountain climbing idea)
Can you write your essay on a particular theme - something you believe in or learned from or why you want to be a lawyer- (like 'cross-cultural understandings of justice' or 'i want to be a lawyer because I want to help people' .... or 'i am committed to gender equality' or something) and draw on your international experience to illustrate why you believe what you believe ?

I think that's probably your best bet. That way the travel isn't the centerpiece of your essay "I have travelled, and am a richer in spirit for it" but "I believe these things, and my beliefs have been informed by x, y and z fabulous experiences, and you see how bright and insightful I am because I can string these concepts together in these ways." Show, don't just say, that you have learned meaningful things from the experiences you were lucky enough to have.

And then ask lots of people to read it for you to ensure that you come across as bright and humble, not entitled or glib (I'm not saying that you sound that way, just that PSs like this walk that fine line.)


Thanks, that was really helpful. I definitely lean towards your suggestion rather than a mountain metaphor, because I think it would probably come off phony and insincere.

Hey-O
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby Hey-O » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:31 pm

You've never had a paying job? Wow. I can't imagine that.

Anyway, I think the dad son idea has some legs (would make a good intro) and the traveling could be interesting, but the key is to explain clearly why you want to go to law school. And to make it sound more than you just want to. If it is a good reason then tailor the PS to that.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:16 am

:)
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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northwood
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby northwood » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:27 am

dont talk anbout anything that makes you come off as well to do, rich, or entitled. Bragging about your vacation exploits should be reserved for twitter or facebook, not for personal statements. talk about what makes you awesome. SO you can climb mountains, and win sailing races... what does it take to be able to do these things ( other than a big bank account and the luxury of not knowing what its like to work a job or 2). How does sailing and traveling the world, climbing mountains make you a dedicated law student?

Or better yet, go volunteer somewhere for the rest of the summer and into the fall. jot down your observations, and feelings after each time you help the community. ( But keep your mouth shut, and do whatever you're told to do and dont act like a douche) In the beginning jot down how you viewed your community, and the people in it. After interacting with a bunch of people who have had unique expereiences, I bet you will have changed. Towards the time you finished, write about how you have changed your view on the community/ people/ or whatnot.

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Cosmo Kramer
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby Cosmo Kramer » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:49 am

Try to stay really focused on one topic if you talk about any part of your travels. If you talk about climbing mountains, talk about just ONE mountain, as if it was the only time you went. Don't say "On my boat trip around the world I decided to stop off at this mountain to climb before heading to the mediterranean" which highlights the fact that you just frolicked the world on your parents dime your whole life.

However, you'd write a much better ps if you got a legit, paying job. Work as a roofer for one summer. Working 5am-3pm every day for $7 an hour with guys who've done it and will do it for life will open you up to why you should bust your ass in law school.

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ec2xs
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby ec2xs » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:16 am

OP, I wrote my PS almost entirely about travel. It didn't focus on the exoticism of it, but rather just focused on a passion to explore unknown things and put myself in uncomfortable situations. It had anecdotes from various trips, but at no point did it seem silver spoon-ish. I think if you write it well, travel can be an asset.

williammmc
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby williammmc » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:51 am

I hate to say it, for my benefit and yours, but I've done everything you have done except for staying on a boat for 3 months. I went to Europe instead of that.

Read that sentence and tell me that doesn't sound like I made a douchey announcement. Fact of the matter is, it is true. Many people have shared the same experiences we have. 30,000+ people climbed Kilimanjaro in 2009.

The point is, whether or not you are rich (and I definitely am not) traveling ends up sounding cliche, douchey, and like you don't have anything else to say.

It really sounds like your interest in genetics and economics is a fascinating topic. How about instead of including your travel experiences, include what piqued your interest in such a focused area. By no means should you regurgitate your transcripts or resume, just talk about some academic/life experiences that have directed your focus thus far.

Traveling is awesome, I am sure both you and I are probably a little bit better for every different place we've seen. That doesn't make it interesting to anyone else though.

kayljsh
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby kayljsh » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:17 pm

Hey-O wrote:You've never had a paying job? Wow. I can't imagine that.

Anyway, I think the dad son idea has some legs (would make a good intro) and the traveling could be interesting, but the key is to explain clearly why you want to go to law school. And to make it sound more than you just want to. If it is a good reason then tailor the PS to that.


I'm glad that some people think this is an interesting intro. Not that it matters, but i'm a girl so it would be dad/daughter. With this topic I would try to tie it around to my desire to protect genetic information/ prevent discrimination based on genetics. I'm not sure that I would include any traveling in this PS.

ec2xs wrote:OP, I wrote my PS almost entirely about travel. It didn't focus on the exoticism of it, but rather just focused on a passion to explore unknown things and put myself in uncomfortable situations. It had anecdotes from various trips, but at no point did it seem silver spoon-ish. I think if you write it well, travel can be an asset.


Thanks, it's nice to know that some other people do this. I probably didn't make it clear enough in my original post, but I would obviously not simply list oh i've been here and here and done this and this. I would try to make it a more general topic about my desire to explore. I went to a very small high school and upon graduating, along with your diploma, everyone is awarded a book. The topic of the book, and a verb written on the inside cover, are supposed to kind of "capture" your years at the school. Mine verb was discover. I think my desire to experience/learn new things is a big part of who I am and why I love to travel so much.
williammmc wrote:I hate to say it, for my benefit and yours, but I've done everything you have done except for staying on a boat for 3 months. I went to Europe instead of that.

Read that sentence and tell me that doesn't sound like I made a douchey announcement. Fact of the matter is, it is true. Many people have shared the same experiences we have. 30,000+ people climbed Kilimanjaro in 2009.

The point is, whether or not you are rich (and I definitely am not) traveling ends up sounding cliche, douchey, and like you don't have anything else to say.

It really sounds like your interest in genetics and economics is a fascinating topic. How about instead of including your travel experiences, include what piqued your interest in such a focused area. By no means should you regurgitate your transcripts or resume, just talk about some academic/life experiences that have directed your focus thus far.

Traveling is awesome, I am sure both you and I are probably a little bit better for every different place we've seen. That doesn't make it interesting to anyone else though.


Thanks! It's helpful to hear this from someone who has done some similar things and probably shares a similar opinion about seeing the world. Given all the advice I've received I'm pretty sure I'll end up focusing on my interest in the intersection between genetics and economics.

Thanks again to everyone!

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Traveling - Douchy?

Postby bilbobaggins » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Why do you want to go to law school?

How long has it been since UG?




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