Addendum

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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aguaman13
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Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:34 pm

Any advice for this:

I ran into what can only be referred to as very bad luck (in regards to school) while traveling. My computer was irreparably water damaged on a flight to Israel during the 2008 Fall II term. The final essays for both classes were lost, and I had no time to complete them before grades were due to be turned in. I received grades of D and F, respectively in these courses. I retook them and received an A and B+.
The replacement for that computer and my backpack were stolen in Quito, Ecuador in October of 2009. In addition to the computer, I lost my external hard-drive, USB flash drive, and textbooks. While I already had turned in one of my finals for the Fall I term, I was unable to do so in another class and received an F. I received an “A” upon retaking this course. I also fell behind in my Fall II history class, which required extensive use of the textbooks that had been stolen. I made a furious attempt to catch-up upon returning from South America, but was too far behind to do any better than a “C”.
Excluding the four classes mentioned above, I maintained a 3.58 grade point average over my final 64 units, despite working an average of over 70 hours per week and beginning my time abroad.

sparty99
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Re: Addendum

Postby sparty99 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:53 pm

Too many excuses....Not succinct.

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LLB2JD
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Re: Addendum

Postby LLB2JD » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:56 pm

What is your overall GPA now? As per the addendum, I can see an Adcomm thinking that you should had learned your lesson the first time around, and thereby organized some sort of backup for your work.

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JazzOne
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Re: Addendum

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:59 pm

aguaman13 wrote:Any advice for this:

I ran into what can only be referred to as very bad luck (in regards to school) while traveling. My computer was irreparably water damaged on a flight to Israel during the 2008 Fall II term. The final essays for both classes were lost, and I had no time to complete them before grades were due to be turned in. I received grades of D and F, respectively in these courses. I retook them and received an A and B+.
The replacement for that computer and my backpack were stolen in Quito, Ecuador in October of 2009. In addition to the computer, I lost my external hard-drive, USB flash drive, and textbooks. While I already had turned in one of my finals for the Fall I term, I was unable to do so in another class and received an F. I received an “A” upon retaking this course. I also fell behind in my Fall II history class, which required extensive use of the textbooks that had been stolen. I made a furious attempt to catch-up upon returning from South America, but was too far behind to do any better than a “C”.
Excluding the four classes mentioned above, I maintained a 3.58 grade point average over my final 64 units, despite working an average of over 70 hours per week and beginning my time abroad.

The bold text is simply unbelievable. If you're going to make that claim, you better be able to back it up. I find it very hard to believe someone worked 70 hours every week and maintained a full-time course load. I'm sure it's possible, but it will raise eyebrows. If I read that in your addendum, the next thing I would do is scrutinize your resume and rec letters to verify that you are lying.

jeremysen
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Re: Addendum

Postby jeremysen » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:02 pm

JazzOne wrote:
aguaman13 wrote:Any advice for this:

I ran into what can only be referred to as very bad luck (in regards to school) while traveling. My computer was irreparably water damaged on a flight to Israel during the 2008 Fall II term. The final essays for both classes were lost, and I had no time to complete them before grades were due to be turned in. I received grades of D and F, respectively in these courses. I retook them and received an A and B+.
The replacement for that computer and my backpack were stolen in Quito, Ecuador in October of 2009. In addition to the computer, I lost my external hard-drive, USB flash drive, and textbooks. While I already had turned in one of my finals for the Fall I term, I was unable to do so in another class and received an F. I received an “A” upon retaking this course. I also fell behind in my Fall II history class, which required extensive use of the textbooks that had been stolen. I made a furious attempt to catch-up upon returning from South America, but was too far behind to do any better than a “C”.
Excluding the four classes mentioned above, I maintained a 3.58 grade point average over my final 64 units, despite working an average of over 70 hours per week and beginning my time abroad.

The bold text is simply unbelievable. If you're going to make that claim, you better be able to back it up. I find it very hard to believe someone worked 70 hours every week and maintained a full-time course load. I'm sure it's possible, but it will raise eyebrows. If I read that in your addendum, the next thing I would do is scrutinize your resume and rec letters to verify that you are lying.


Unless OP has an unusually high metabolism for productivity :D - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Franco

"Franco reenrolled at UCLA in the fall of 2006 as an English major with a creative writing concentration. Having received permission to take as many as 62 course credits per quarter compared to the normal limit of 19[67] while continuing to act, he received his undergraduate degree in June 2008 with a GPA over 3.5.[67][1][68] For his degree, Franco prepared his departmental honors thesis as a novel under the supervision of Mona Simpson.[1][69] He moved to New York to simultaneously attend graduate school at Columbia University's MFA writing program, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for filmmaking,[70][71][72][73] and Brooklyn College for fiction writing,[67] while occasionally commuting to North Carolina's Warren Wilson College for poetry.[1] He received his MFA from Columbia in 2010.[74] Franco is a Ph.D. student in English at Yale University[75] and will also attend the Rhode Island School of Design."

sparty99
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Re: Addendum

Postby sparty99 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:31 pm

I also thought 70 hours sounded like bs as well. How can you work 70 hours and have time for class?! I worked in management consulting at 70-80 hours. I find your 70 hour claim to be an exaggeration to the 9th degree.

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:19 pm

sparty99 wrote:I also thought 70 hours sounded like bs as well. How can you work 70 hours and have time for class?! I worked in management consulting at 70-80 hours. I find your 70 hour claim to be an exaggeration to the 9th degree.


It should read that I worked between 40 and 80+ plus hours per week. 70 was the average during that period. I worked two jobs, which is supported by my resume. Both jobs included significant weekend hours, thus reducing the number of hours that i worked during the school week. As for how I did it with school, I took night classes. I loved what I was doing for work, and hardly considered it a job. The number is legitimate, but perhaps I can phrase it in a better way?

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:23 pm

LLB2JD wrote:What is your overall GPA now? As per the addendum, I can see an Adcomm thinking that you should had learned your lesson the first time around, and thereby organized some sort of backup for your work.



My GPA is low- 3.043. I underperformed at a JC, took about 4 years off to focus on work and then finished pretty strong. These grades really tarnish the work that I did once I went back to school. They were also successfully retaken. Should I not explain why these random grades were there?

I specifically mentioned back-up hard drive and flash drive being in the bag when it was stolen. How many backups should I have had?

Again, the stories are true, but I am worried about the level of criticism. Does anybody have suggestions regarding wording in order to make it more succint?

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Michaela
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Re: Addendum

Postby Michaela » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:35 pm

aguaman13 wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:What is your overall GPA now? As per the addendum, I can see an Adcomm thinking that you should had learned your lesson the first time around, and thereby organized some sort of backup for your work.



My GPA is low- 3.043. I underperformed at a JC, took about 4 years off to focus on work and then finished pretty strong. These grades really tarnish the work that I did once I went back to school. They were also successfully retaken. Should I not explain why these random grades were there?

I specifically mentioned back-up hard drive and flash drive being in the bag when it was stolen. How many backups should I have had?

Again, the stories are true, but I am worried about the level of criticism. Does anybody have suggestions regarding wording in order to make it more succint?


Well it probably would have helped if you didn't keep them ALL TOGETHER IN THE SAME PLACE but that's neither here nor there.

Your addendum is too long and adcomms probably aren't going to care about your excuses. I understand that the whole situation had to be very frustrating, but these claims really can't be verified and they probably won't care, bottom line.

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JazzOne
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Re: Addendum

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:45 pm

aguaman13 wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:What is your overall GPA now? As per the addendum, I can see an Adcomm thinking that you should had learned your lesson the first time around, and thereby organized some sort of backup for your work.



My GPA is low- 3.043. I underperformed at a JC, took about 4 years off to focus on work and then finished pretty strong. These grades really tarnish the work that I did once I went back to school. They were also successfully retaken. Should I not explain why these random grades were there?

I specifically mentioned back-up hard drive and flash drive being in the bag when it was stolen. How many backups should I have had?

Again, the stories are true, but I am worried about the level of criticism. Does anybody have suggestions regarding wording in order to make it more succint?

You didn't have access to email while you were traveling?

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:03 pm

Michaela wrote:
aguaman13 wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:What is your overall GPA now? As per the addendum, I can see an Adcomm thinking that you should had learned your lesson the first time around, and thereby organized some sort of backup for your work.



My GPA is low- 3.043. I underperformed at a JC, took about 4 years off to focus on work and then finished pretty strong. These grades really tarnish the work that I did once I went back to school. They were also successfully retaken. Should I not explain why these random grades were there?

I specifically mentioned back-up hard drive and flash drive being in the bag when it was stolen. How many backups should I have had?

Again, the stories are true, but I am worried about the level of criticism. Does anybody have suggestions regarding wording in order to make it more succint?


Well it probably would have helped if you didn't keep them ALL TOGETHER IN THE SAME PLACE but that's neither here nor there.

Your addendum is too long and adcomms probably aren't going to care about your excuses. I understand that the whole situation had to be very frustrating, but these claims really can't be verified and they probably won't care, bottom line.


So, you wouldn't include any explanation about why there are two F's, a D, and a C during a period of otherwise excellent academic performance? The claims actually could be verified with records indicating the water damage to the computer and insurance claims. I just felt that mentioning that would have made it even more convoluted.

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:05 pm

You didn't have access to email while you were traveling?


At times I did, but I'm not sure how that matters.

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JazzOne
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Re: Addendum

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:06 pm

aguaman13 wrote:
You didn't have access to email while you were traveling?


At times I did, but I'm not sure how that matters.

Because emailing documents to yourself is a far better method of backing up your data than putting all your storage devices in one bag.

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Michaela
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Re: Addendum

Postby Michaela » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:29 pm

aguaman13 wrote:
Michaela wrote:
aguaman13 wrote:
LLB2JD wrote:What is your overall GPA now? As per the addendum, I can see an Adcomm thinking that you should had learned your lesson the first time around, and thereby organized some sort of backup for your work.



My GPA is low- 3.043. I underperformed at a JC, took about 4 years off to focus on work and then finished pretty strong. These grades really tarnish the work that I did once I went back to school. They were also successfully retaken. Should I not explain why these random grades were there?

I specifically mentioned back-up hard drive and flash drive being in the bag when it was stolen. How many backups should I have had?

Again, the stories are true, but I am worried about the level of criticism. Does anybody have suggestions regarding wording in order to make it more succint?


Well it probably would have helped if you didn't keep them ALL TOGETHER IN THE SAME PLACE but that's neither here nor there.

Your addendum is too long and adcomms probably aren't going to care about your excuses. I understand that the whole situation had to be very frustrating, but these claims really can't be verified and they probably won't care, bottom line.


So, you wouldn't include any explanation about why there are two F's, a D, and a C during a period of otherwise excellent academic performance? The claims actually could be verified with records indicating the water damage to the computer and insurance claims. I just felt that mentioning that would have made it even more convoluted.


I mean you should but I don't know if it will really be taken into consideration the way you're hoping.

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:36 pm

I mean you should but I don't know if it will really be taken into consideration the way you're hoping.


I get that. There are some schools where I am above the 75th for LSAT, but below the 25th for GPA. I'm simply hoping to provide some context for the poor grades at the back-end of my transcript.

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:37 pm

JazzOne wrote:
aguaman13 wrote:
You didn't have access to email while you were traveling?


At times I did, but I'm not sure how that matters.

Because emailing documents to yourself is a far better method of backing up your data than putting all your storage devices in one bag.



Right. I was actually at the Internet cafe attempting to do that when the bag was stolen. Like I said, bad luck.

sparty99
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Re: Addendum

Postby sparty99 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:49 pm

You sound unorganized. Like the kid with the geeky glasses who trips and falls and papers fly all over the place.

You need to get to the point.

I would like to address my grades from Fall 2008 and Fall 2009 (12 credits). I feel these grades do not accurately reflect my academic performance. In Fall 2008 my computer was water damaged when I was traveling. All of my assignments were ruined and I was unable to turn in my papers. As a result, I received a D and F in the course. Knowing i can do better, I retook the course and scored an A.

Lastly, in Fall 2009 a gorilla stole my bag while studying abroad in Egypt. I scored a C in this course. I retook this course and scored an A.

Due to these academic abnormalities, LSAC calculated my gpa at 3.0. However, my official transcript from Harvard calculates my gpa at 3.6. I hope you consider this record as evidence that I can perform at your University. I have attached my insurance claim as evidence to my story. blah, blah.

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TheTopBloke
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Re: Addendum

Postby TheTopBloke » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:50 pm

You don't need an addendum.

YOU DON'T, NEED, AN, ADDENDUM.

sparty99
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Re: Addendum

Postby sparty99 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:53 pm

You definitely need an addendum. Otherwise, they will think you were lazy that you scored a D and F.

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:06 pm

Thanks for the input.

kublaikahn
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Re: Addendum

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:37 pm

aguaman13 wrote:Any advice for this:

I ran into what can only be referred to as very bad luck (in regards to school) while traveling. My computer was irreparably water damaged on a flight to Israel during the 2008 Fall II term. The final essays for both classes were lost, and I had no time to complete them before grades were due to be turned in. I received grades of D and F, respectively in these courses. I retook them and received an A and B+.
The replacement for that computer and my backpack were stolen in Quito, Ecuador in October of 2009. In addition to the computer, I lost my external hard-drive, USB flash drive, and textbooks. While I already had turned in one of my finals for the Fall I term, I was unable to do so in another class and received an F. I received an “A” upon retaking this course. I also fell behind in my Fall II history class, which required extensive use of the textbooks that had been stolen. I made a furious attempt to catch-up upon returning from South America, but was too far behind to do any better than a “C”.
Excluding the four classes mentioned above, I maintained a 3.58 grade point average over my final 64 units, despite working an average of over 70 hours per week and beginning my time abroad.


It won't work. Your GPA matches your LSAT, you are not a splitter. Maybe if your LSAT was high 160's-170's you could try "the dog ate my homework".

I would say, "I had a passion for travel, and when the opportunity arose I had to ask my professors for extra time to complete assignments. Some granted it and some didn't, but I don't regret having traveled the globe." That's my humble opinion.

rose711
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Re: Addendum

Postby rose711 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:53 pm

Your story, while I am not doubting its veracity, sounds like a lie. I would simply note that you retook a few courses (specify the courses and the final grade) because of difficulties you encountered while traveling to Isreal and Ecuador. I would also mention IN ONE SENTENCE OR LESS, why you were traveling then. And then throw in why those travels make you a better law student than the next guy.

FYI when reading: The first thing I thought was - how is he doing all this traveling when he is supposed to be in school??
And then - why is he so careless? Just don't even mention all the stupid stuff you did that got you in the mess, just say how you fixed it.

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aguaman13
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Re: Addendum

Postby aguaman13 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:52 am

For those who don't believe that an addendum is unnecessary, here is a second attempt at this. A couple of points. I'm well aware of where my LSAT and GPA place me in terms of likely acceptance. The "best" schools (Miami, Hawaii) that fit my profile and interests place me high in terms of LSAT and low in GPA. My research tells me that between the number of hours that I worked and my URM status I may be able to slide into a slightly better school if I can get them to more strongly consider the final 64 units, excluding the ones that I am addressing.


I would like to address two terms of my undergraduate work: Fall II 2008 and Fall I 2009. I was traveling abroad during both of these terms. A broken computer did not allow me to turn in my finals causing me to receive a D and F in my 2008 Fall II courses. I retook them and earned an A and B+. During the Fall of 2009 my computer was stolen and I again was not able to turn in my final assignments. One instructor granted me a short extension, the other did not and I received an F. I retook that class and received an A. Excluding those courses, I earned a 3.50 GPA over my final 67 units.

Excellent opportunities to travel and volunteer abroad led me to begin my travels before I graduated. As I said in my personal statement, the experiences that I have gained while abroad have been of immense value. While I wish that my grades would not have been been adversely affected, I do not regret having taken the opportunities that were presented to me.

Master Tofu
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Re: Addendum

Postby Master Tofu » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:06 am

Law schools consider trend anyways. Its not like they don't know how to read a transcript. Your grades are what they are. If submitting something will make you feel better, then do it but this has the potential to raise more questions than it answers.

kublaikahn
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Re: Addendum

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:35 am

aguaman13 wrote:For those who don't believe that an addendum is unnecessary, here is a second attempt at this. A couple of points. I'm well aware of where my LSAT and GPA place me in terms of likely acceptance. The "best" schools (Miami, Hawaii) that fit my profile and interests place me high in terms of LSAT and low in GPA. My research tells me that between the number of hours that I worked and my URM status I may be able to slide into a slightly better school if I can get them to more strongly consider the final 64 units, excluding the ones that I am addressing.


I would like to address two terms of my undergraduate work: Fall II 2008 and Fall I 2009. I was traveling abroad during both of these terms. A broken computer did not allow me to turn in my finals causing me to receive a D and F in my 2008 Fall II courses. I retook them and earned an A and B+. During the Fall of 2009 my computer was stolen and I again was not able to turn in my final assignments. One instructor granted me a short extension, the other did not and I received an F. I retook that class and received an A. Excluding those courses, I earned a 3.50 GPA over my final 67 units.

Excellent opportunities to travel and volunteer abroad led me to begin my travels before I graduated. As I said in my personal statement, the experiences that I have gained while abroad have been of immense value. While I wish that my grades would not have been been adversely affected, I do not regret having taken the opportunities that were presented to me.


Okay, go for it. I'm not an AdCom so I can't say how they will respond.

Personally, I believed your stories about the laptops and still my gut feeling was, so what? You know how your professors didnt give you "more time", neither will the AdComs. If I were you I would take ownership of your situation. The AdCom may find that refreshing.




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