Is this funny??

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mrwarre85
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Is this funny??

Postby mrwarre85 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:56 pm

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Last edited by mrwarre85 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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St.Remy
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby St.Remy » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:01 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:Hey guys this is the start of my PS as it now stands. I'm a tad (significantly) under numbers for this school so I thought I needed to take a chance and start off with a joke. This of course can be risky because its hard for some of us to be funny in writing without the use of body language and tone of voice. That said, humor can be a good play with the adcoms if what I've read in all the interviews is correct.

So... is this funny? After I include the first paragraph to kinda show where I'm trying to go with this.

(True story by the way)

%%%%%%%%
LSAC #
Personal Statement

A few weeks ago I walked into the University of %%%%% office of Admissions to inquire about my potential candidacy. After speaking about my grades and LSAT scores, I asked her if she had any particular advice for my situation. She responded, “Pray.”


Rather than getting caught up on whether or not her smiling kindly as she told me this was good or bad news, I focused myself on the things that could maximize my chance of being accepted. This I can control. The fact is, eventually I will practice law. I know this because I have the talent and the necessary motivation to achieve this goal. I know this despite the fact that I never maximized my potential on the Analytical Reasoning section of the LSAT. I know this in spite the fact that my time both as a student and practitioner of law will be very challenging. I believe in myself. The question on my mind now is where I will be attending Law school, not why or how. I do not know the answer to that question but I have an overwhelming preference.


The joke might get a laugh. Then they will reject you. I suppose this is better than them just jumping to step 2.

12262010
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby 12262010 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:06 pm

I think it's a bad idea.

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hncsarge34
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby hncsarge34 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:08 pm

The PS is a place to discuss your strengths. Whether you're sending an essay to Cooley or Yale, it's never helpful to self deprecate and call out your own weaknesses.

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beachbum
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby beachbum » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:09 pm

hncsarge34 wrote:The PS is a place to discuss your strengths. Whether you're sending an essay to Cooley or Yale, it's never helpful to self deprecate and call out your own weaknesses.


+7.

mrwarre85
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby mrwarre85 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:00 pm

Thanks for the input so far. I get it I'm just a few points under (164, Texas resident trying for UT) and I'm trying to stand out. I read everyone's personal statements and they are all very good, but very similar. I figure being similar and being under will definitely lead to a reject. I guess I can always consider another approach to in the effort to "stand out."

I'll apply early in a couple weeks.

firemed
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby firemed » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:31 pm

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Last edited by firemed on Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

firemed
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby firemed » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:32 pm

hncsarge34 wrote:The PS is a place to discuss your strengths. Whether you're sending an essay to Cooley or Yale, it's never helpful to self deprecate and call out your own weaknesses.


I have a question... because I was thinking about doing something similar...

First paragraph of a rough draft:


I knew, as a fact, that I had the courage to run into a burning building. The question on my mind that day, however, was if I could walk into (Public Interest Law Firm) and take up my duties as an intern there. I wondered if it would have helped if their office had been on fire, and decided it might. My worry stemmed not from a fear that I would not be up to the tasks allotted to me, but rather...

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blurbz
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby blurbz » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:43 pm

You have to do what you think is best. If you want to be funny and you aren't capable of being funny without pointing out that you are a numerically low candidate, then you need to assess the risk/reward of that strategy. My recommendation, though, is to skip the cheap jokes and just write a personal statement that showcases the best of your writing ability and focuses on things that will actually be important to someone reviewing your application.

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hncsarge34
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby hncsarge34 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:10 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:
hncsarge34 wrote:The PS is a place to discuss your strengths. Whether you're sending an essay to Cooley or Yale, it's never helpful to self deprecate and call out your own weaknesses.


I have a question... because I was thinking about doing something similar...

First paragraph of a rough draft:


I knew, as a fact, that I had the courage to run into a burning building. The question on my mind that day, however, was if I could walk into (Public Interest Law Firm) and take up my duties as an intern there. I wondered if it would have helped if their office had been on fire, and decided it might. My worry stemmed not from a fear that I would not be up to the tasks allotted to me, but rather...


It would help to see a little more of the first paragraph, but you're not making the same kind of error. You're talking about being reluctant on the first day of an internship, and I assume the rest of the essay discusses how you successfully grew into the role. The OP is using the PS to acknowledge that his/her numbers are apparently well below the school's medians, and that's just going to further sink the application.

As for your first paragraph, I get the joke but I think you should word it a little differently. Burning buildings aren't something you should wish for. I would just be more straight forward. You're comfortable being a hero and saving people from fires, so it's funny that you're nervous about starting this internship. Sounds like a good start.

revolution724
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby revolution724 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:11 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:

I knew, as a fact, that I had the courage to run into a burning building. The question on my mind that day, however, was if I could walk into (Public Interest Law Firm) and take up my duties as an intern there. I wondered if it would have helped if their office had been on fire, and decided it might. My worry stemmed not from a fear that I would not be up to the tasks allotted to me, but rather...


But rather, not knowing yet that there isn't a lot of difference between the public interest law firm and a burning building, because there's sure as hell a lot of fires to put out in either case?

firemed
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby firemed » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:14 pm

revolution724 wrote:
firemedicprelaw wrote:

I knew, as a fact, that I had the courage to run into a burning building. The question on my mind that day, however, was if I could walk into (Public Interest Law Firm) and take up my duties as an intern there. I wondered if it would have helped if their office had been on fire, and decided it might. My worry stemmed not from a fear that I would not be up to the tasks allotted to me, but rather...


But rather, not knowing yet that there isn't a lot of difference between the public interest law firm and a burning building, because there's sure as hell a lot of fires to put out in either case?


:lol:

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bgdddymtty
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby bgdddymtty » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:16 pm

Allow me to dissent. If your numbers are below average or there is some other deficiency, the PS is a place to show that you have something special to offer the school that makes up for that deficiency. Personality is one of those elements, and one demonstration of that is humor. Your joke is quick, tasteful, funny, and leads to a jumping-off point for the rest of the piece.

Having said that, I think you should make the joke and move on. Your second paragraph belabors the LSAT and grades points, making a separate excuse (not even an excuse, really; more like a dismissal) for each. It also makes it sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. I'd rework the thesis of your PS from (as far as I can tell) "I'm gonna go to law school somewhere; might as well be here" to some sort of explanation of what you bring to the table that should convince the adcomms to admit you despite your numbers.

firemed
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby firemed » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:16 pm

hncsarge34 wrote:
It would help to see a little more of the first paragraph, but you're not making the same kind of error. You're talking about being reluctant on the first day of an internship, and I assume the rest of the essay discusses how you successfully grew into the role. The OP is using the PS to acknowledge that his/her numbers are apparently well below the school's medians, and that's just going to further sink the application.

As for your first paragraph, I get the joke but I think you should word it a little differently. Burning buildings aren't something you should wish for. I would just be more straight forward. You're comfortable being a hero and saving people from fires, so it's funny that you're nervous about starting this internship. Sounds like a good start.


That is where I am going... I grew into it sort of thing.

I will see if there is a better way to make the joke....

Thanks for the advice.

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sophia.olive
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby sophia.olive » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:25 pm

I think if you are going to point out your numbers it has to be followed by a flawless case for why they should except you anyways, which is nearly impossibly. If you can use a weak area to show how ridiculously cool you are and how you should be accepted anyways thats ok, but don't try to lessen its impact by bringing it to light. Bring it to light and then laugh at it because it only makes you human where the rest of you ps would have made them think otherwise.

Though I don't think that was the biggest weakness in your ps. I know this repeated three times at the beginning of your sentences drove me bonkers....

12262010
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby 12262010 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:38 pm

OP, do you have a high GPA?

sarahh
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby sarahh » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:02 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:Allow me to dissent. If your numbers are below average or there is some other deficiency, the PS is a place to show that you have something special to offer the school that makes up for that deficiency. Personality is one of those elements, and one demonstration of that is humor. Your joke is quick, tasteful, funny, and leads to a jumping-off point for the rest of the piece.

Having said that, I think you should make the joke and move on. Your second paragraph belabors the LSAT and grades points, making a separate excuse (not even an excuse, really; more like a dismissal) for each. It also makes it sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. I'd rework the thesis of your PS from (as far as I can tell) "I'm gonna go to law school somewhere; might as well be here" to some sort of explanation of what you bring to the table that should convince the adcomms to admit you despite your numbers.


I agree with bgdddymtty. I think the first paragraph is funny, and your numbers are no secret. However, after that, you have to talk about your strengths and why they should admit you despite your low numbers.

WayBryson
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby WayBryson » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:11 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:Allow me to dissent. If your numbers are below average or there is some other deficiency, the PS is a place to show that you have something special to offer the school that makes up for that deficiency. Personality is one of those elements, and one demonstration of that is humor. Your joke is quick, tasteful, funny, and leads to a jumping-off point for the rest of the piece.

Having said that, I think you should make the joke and move on. Your second paragraph belabors the LSAT and grades points, making a separate excuse (not even an excuse, really; more like a dismissal) for each. It also makes it sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. I'd rework the thesis of your PS from (as far as I can tell) "I'm gonna go to law school somewhere; might as well be here" to some sort of explanation of what you bring to the table that should convince the adcomms to admit you despite your numbers.


+2 I completely agree.

Action Jackson
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Re: Is this funny??

Postby Action Jackson » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:41 pm

Rule of thumb is never, ever try to be funny unless you are very confident that you are, in fact, very funny.




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