Advice on Risky PS

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amorphix
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Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:52 pm

So I've started drafting a few ideas for my PS for the upcoming cycle. But I'm having a really hard time here. In my mind, a PS is supposed to showcase something that is unique about you, something that shows your passion and energy and all that great stuff. And the thing that keeps popping back into my head, the thing I REALLY want to write about, that appeals to me more than any other topic by leagues, might be too controversial for a PS.

The thing I'm most passionate about in my life is veganism. I'm in the process of co-founding an organization for vegetarians/vegans/animal rights on my campus, I'm doing my senior research on the intersection between veganism and feminism, etc. It's something I'm hugely passionate about.

That said, judging by the way most people react when they find out I am vegan, I have this huge fear that adcoms are going to look at such a PS and write me off as a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

My original thought was to write a PS about how I used to feel that being intelligent was the best thing I could be, but how compassion is more important, talk about veganism, etc. Do you think I might be able to find a way to safely write about this, without being written off as a far-left nut job? Am I overestimating the level of problematic that this could be?

I guess I just need some perspective!

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breadbucket
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby breadbucket » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:02 pm

amorphix wrote: I am a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

I guess I just need some perspective!

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:04 pm

breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I am a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

I guess I just need some perspective!


Hey, cool. Except, you might want to reread, because I was actually looking for commentary on the PS, not on me as a person.

-5 for being an unwarranted jerk.

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breadbucket
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby breadbucket » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:05 pm

amorphix wrote: I was actually looking for commentary on the PS, not on me as a person.

-5 for being an unwarranted jerk.


So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.

+5

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Icculus
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby Icculus » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:07 pm

--LinkRemoved--

"As a woman, I can’t fight for women’s equality without also fighting for animal rights...Killing an animal as an assertion of dominance whether consciously or subconsciously makes discrimination against women as an assertion of dominance not only normal but commonplace."

Is this you?

I don't think veganism per se is a risky topic, I know plenty of vegans who are quite normal, all of whom have different reasons for it. That said, things like the above article are something to stay away from. And I personally think that quotation above completely undermines the feminist movement.

Plus what about that fact that in general bacon and steak taste good and have nothing to do with my attitude towards women.

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:11 pm

breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I am a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

I guess I just need some perspective!


breadbucket wrote:So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.


I find it odd that you felt compelled to make a snarky commentary about me in response to a simple question about a way in which I might be perceived by an adcom.

Go play in traffic.

---

Icculus wrote:http://www.tiedyefiles.com/2012/05/19/veganism-and-feminism-breaking-down-patriarchal-values/

"As a woman, I can’t fight for women’s equality without also fighting for animal rights...Killing an animal as an assertion of dominance whether consciously or subconsciously makes discrimination against women as an assertion of dominance not only normal but commonplace."

Is this you?

I don't think veganism per se is a risky topic, I know plenty of vegans who are quite normal, all of whom have different reasons for it. That said, things like the above article are something to stay away from. And I personally think that quotation above completely undermines the feminist movement.

Plus what about that fact that in general bacon and steak taste good and have nothing to do with my attitude towards women.


Nope, that's not me. There are many others who have contributed to the subject.

I'd really rather not get into a debate over the issue here, but I thank you for your input on the PS!

thederangedwang
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:12 pm

All depends on how you approach/structure the statement. The topic is ok, but it depends on how you write it.

Go ahead, write it, post it here, we'll tell you if it sucks (trust me, TLS is very good at communicating to you something that sucks)

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Icculus
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby Icculus » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:16 pm

amorphix wrote:
breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I am a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

I guess I just need some perspective!


breadbucket wrote:So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.


I find it odd that you felt compelled to make a snarky commentary about me in response to a simple question about a way in which I might be perceived by an adcom.

Go play in traffic.

---

Icculus wrote:http://www.tiedyefiles.com/2012/05/19/veganism-and-feminism-breaking-down-patriarchal-values/

"As a woman, I can’t fight for women’s equality without also fighting for animal rights...Killing an animal as an assertion of dominance whether consciously or subconsciously makes discrimination against women as an assertion of dominance not only normal but commonplace."

Is this you?

I don't think veganism per se is a risky topic, I know plenty of vegans who are quite normal, all of whom have different reasons for it. That said, things like the above article are something to stay away from. And I personally think that quotation above completely undermines the feminist movement.

Plus what about that fact that in general bacon and steak taste good and have nothing to do with my attitude towards women.


Nope, that's not me. There are many others who have contributed to the subject.

I'd really rather not get into a debate over the issue here, but I thank you for your input on the PS!


If you are going to do it, I would make the following suggestions:

1. "I used to feel that being intelligent was the best thing I could be" - this sounds awfully pretentious and I'm not exactly sure what it means or how it fits in.
2. I would focus on veganism and its impact on you as a person rather than any political issues.
3. Compassion is a good theme, but remember most adcoms and people are more concerned about compassion toward other people.
4. I would have a back up idea since I think this may be tough to write.


amorphix wrote:Go ahead, write it, post it here, we'll tell you if it sucks (trust me, TLS is very good at communicating to you something that sucks)

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:18 pm

Icculus wrote:
amorphix wrote:
breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I am a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

I guess I just need some perspective!


breadbucket wrote:So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.


I find it odd that you felt compelled to make a snarky commentary about me in response to a simple question about a way in which I might be perceived by an adcom.

Go play in traffic.

---

Icculus wrote:http://www.tiedyefiles.com/2012/05/19/veganism-and-feminism-breaking-down-patriarchal-values/

"As a woman, I can’t fight for women’s equality without also fighting for animal rights...Killing an animal as an assertion of dominance whether consciously or subconsciously makes discrimination against women as an assertion of dominance not only normal but commonplace."

Is this you?

I don't think veganism per se is a risky topic, I know plenty of vegans who are quite normal, all of whom have different reasons for it. That said, things like the above article are something to stay away from. And I personally think that quotation above completely undermines the feminist movement.

Plus what about that fact that in general bacon and steak taste good and have nothing to do with my attitude towards women.


Nope, that's not me. There are many others who have contributed to the subject.

I'd really rather not get into a debate over the issue here, but I thank you for your input on the PS!


If you are going to do it, I would make the following suggestions:

1. "I used to feel that being intelligent was the best thing I could be" - this sounds awfully pretentious and I'm not exactly sure what it means or how it fits in.
2. I would focus on veganism and its impact on you as a person rather than any political issues.
3. Compassion is a good theme, but remember most adcoms and people are more concerned about compassion toward other people.
4. I would have a back up idea since I think this may be tough to write.


amorphix wrote:Go ahead, write it, post it here, we'll tell you if it sucks (trust me, TLS is very good at communicating to you something that sucks)


Thanks, I'm definitely working on a lot of back-ups, as I'm fully aware of how hard it's going to be to pull off. I guess I was mostly just asking to see if anyone thought there was ANY conceivable way to pull it off.

But I guess it doesn't take much to try to crank out a draft and see where it goes.

bmore
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby bmore » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:25 pm

Whatever you write about, it needs to convince the school that you will be a successful law student. I really don't think they care if you are a vegan or a carnivore. Also, isn't intelligence inherent but compassion a choice?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:28 pm

breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I was actually looking for commentary on the PS, not on me as a person.

-5 for being an unwarranted jerk.


So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.

+5



No, OP was right--you're post was nasty.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:31 pm

More directly on topic, OP I think controversial topics are usually best to be avoided, but if it is well-written and not too controversial--which I don't think veganism is, unless you are shoving your beliefs down others' throats--then I don't think it will hurt or help either way. Usually it really does come down to numbers, unless PS is exceptionally good (e.g. well-written and demonstrates great softs) or exceptionally bad (e.g. very poorly-written or sheds a really negative light on your character or maturity--which being vegan in itself does not).

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:37 pm

bmore wrote:Whatever you write about, it needs to convince the school that you will be a successful law student. I really don't think they care if you are a vegan or a carnivore. Also, isn't intelligence inherent but compassion a choice?


Arguable. In a more specific way, I wasn't referring to just intelligence, but also appearance of intelligence, into which you could factor hard work and other factors... and as to compassion, I guess you could equally argue that it's an inherent personality trait... but I digress. =P

--

Lawquacious wrote:
breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I was actually looking for commentary on the PS, not on me as a person.

-5 for being an unwarranted jerk.


So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.

+5



No, dude was right--you're post was nasty.


How was it even remotely nasty? I was just asking a question about possible perception of a PS, like everyone else in this particular board. Christ.

thederangedwang
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:39 pm

pretty sure lawquacious was referring to the other guy, not you

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kwais
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby kwais » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:39 pm

Definitely give it a shot, but I think it will be tough to pull off. I think it's less an issue of the "radical hippie" thing and more an issue of what it says about you that this is the most personal thing in your life. Everyone knew dozens of people in college who took some course or read some book and then all of a sudden the rounded, diverse person they were shriveled away in favor of this mouthpiece for a, perhaps noble, but ultimately narrow cause. Letting something like this define you can lead others to believe that you are impressionable or lack a sense of moderation.
That said, if you write it well, then it's not going to harm you, just as it will probably not substantially help you.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:40 pm

amorphix wrote:
bmore wrote:Whatever you write about, it needs to convince the school that you will be a successful law student. I really don't think they care if you are a vegan or a carnivore. Also, isn't intelligence inherent but compassion a choice?


Arguable. In a more specific way, I wasn't referring to just intelligence, but also appearance of intelligence, into which you could factor hard work and other factors... and as to compassion, I guess you could equally argue that it's an inherent personality trait... but I digress. =P

--

Lawquacious wrote:
breadbucket wrote:
amorphix wrote: I was actually looking for commentary on the PS, not on me as a person.

-5 for being an unwarranted jerk.


So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.

+5



No, dude was right--you're post was nasty.


How was it even remotely nasty? I was just asking a question about possible perception of a PS, like everyone else in this particular board. Christ.



Hahaha.... I almost clarified it, but I figured it was clear enough. I was talking about what they said not what you said. I'l edit it to make it clear.

I am kindddda wondering if you're a troll though now.. :?
Last edited by Lawquacious on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:42 pm

thederangedwang wrote:pretty sure lawquacious was referring to the other guy, not you


Oh, if that is the case, my apologies. I was somewhat overwhelmed to be on the receiving end of such an obnoxious initial response.

kwais wrote:Definitely give it a shot, but I think it will be tough to pull off. I think it's less an issue of the "radical hippie" thing and more an issue of what it says about you that this is the most personal thing in your life. Everyone knew dozens of people in college who took some course or read some book and then all of a sudden the rounded, diverse person they were shriveled away in favor of this mouthpiece for a, perhaps noble, but ultimately narrow cause. Letting something like this define you can lead others to believe that you are impressionable or lack a sense of moderation.
That said, if you write it well, then it's not going to harm you, just as it will probably not substantially help you.


Thank you! That helps, and I'll try to keep that perspective in mind while I'm writing it.

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:44 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
breadbucket wrote:So the PS is not on you as a person? That's odd.

+5



No, dude was right--you're post was nasty.


How was it even remotely nasty? I was just asking a question about possible perception of a PS, like everyone else in this particular board. Christ.[/quote]


Hahaha.... I almost clarified it, but I figured it was clear enough. I was talking about what they said not what you said. I'l edit it to make it clear.

I am kindddda wondering if you're a troll though now.. :?[/quote]

Nope, sorry. Again, I wasn't clear on who you were addressing. Not sure what about this sends a 'troll' red flag, but thanks for your response, nonetheless.

Edit: Totally messed up the quote tags on this... whoops. :roll:

bobbyh1919
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:53 pm

I don't think adcomms will judge you for being a "far-left hippie" as long as you write the PS rather safely as others have mentioned. The bigger issue here, and I'm sorry if you already laid this out and I missed it, is how does your decision to be a vegan directly impact your desire to be an attorney? I see time and time again on this board people decide to write about what they feel is their most interesting characteristic/most memorable experience and wind up with some awkward link in the concluding paragraph that ties their interest to their reason for attending law school. If you can clearly and genuinely lay out that link, I say go ahead and give it a shot. If not, I would go back to the drawing board for a new topic.

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:15 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:I don't think adcomms will judge you for being a "far-left hippie" as long as you write the PS rather safely as others have mentioned. The bigger issue here, and I'm sorry if you already laid this out and I missed it, is how does your decision to be a vegan directly impact your desire to be an attorney? I see time and time again on this board people decide to write about what they feel is their most interesting characteristic/most memorable experience and wind up with some awkward link in the concluding paragraph that ties their interest to their reason for attending law school. If you can clearly and genuinely lay out that link, I say go ahead and give it a shot. If not, I would go back to the drawing board for a new topic.


Oh, I thought I had read before that it was better to talk about something that made you appear interesting and human and yada yada yada without going into why you wanted to be an attorney? I was under the impression that it was a faux pas to try to wrangle out something about why you wanted to be a lawyer, because obviously everyone applying does, etc.?

Do you think that's the most important thing to emphasize in a personal statement? Why you want to be an attorney? If so, yeah, I could either write about compassion as a main theme (though I read one comment in another thread that suggested that this often comes across as disingenuous and that 'I want to help people' themes are a dime a dozen), or I'd end up scrapping the topic entirely for something more fitting.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:45 pm

amorphix wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:I don't think adcomms will judge you for being a "far-left hippie" as long as you write the PS rather safely as others have mentioned. The bigger issue here, and I'm sorry if you already laid this out and I missed it, is how does your decision to be a vegan directly impact your desire to be an attorney? I see time and time again on this board people decide to write about what they feel is their most interesting characteristic/most memorable experience and wind up with some awkward link in the concluding paragraph that ties their interest to their reason for attending law school. If you can clearly and genuinely lay out that link, I say go ahead and give it a shot. If not, I would go back to the drawing board for a new topic.


Oh, I thought I had read before that it was better to talk about something that made you appear interesting and human and yada yada yada without going into why you wanted to be an attorney? I was under the impression that it was a faux pas to try to wrangle out something about why you wanted to be a lawyer, because obviously everyone applying does, etc.?

Do you think that's the most important thing to emphasize in a personal statement? Why you want to be an attorney? If so, yeah, I could either write about compassion as a main theme (though I read one comment in another thread that suggested that this often comes across as disingenuous and that 'I want to help people' themes are a dime a dozen), or I'd end up scrapping the topic entirely for something more fitting.


I think you need to find a happy middle. The ideal PS (at least IMO) tells an interesting and compelling story that showcases the applicant's personality and then reasonably ties it to why they're applying to law school. As you mentioned, you should never write a PS with the theme "I want to be an attorney because....". You also need to avoid, however, writing a PS that goes on for 1.75 pages about your interest in veganism and then makes some flimsy or lazy tie to wanting to practice law in the final few sentences.

amorphix
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amorphix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:04 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:
amorphix wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:I don't think adcomms will judge you for being a "far-left hippie" as long as you write the PS rather safely as others have mentioned. The bigger issue here, and I'm sorry if you already laid this out and I missed it, is how does your decision to be a vegan directly impact your desire to be an attorney? I see time and time again on this board people decide to write about what they feel is their most interesting characteristic/most memorable experience and wind up with some awkward link in the concluding paragraph that ties their interest to their reason for attending law school. If you can clearly and genuinely lay out that link, I say go ahead and give it a shot. If not, I would go back to the drawing board for a new topic.


Oh, I thought I had read before that it was better to talk about something that made you appear interesting and human and yada yada yada without going into why you wanted to be an attorney? I was under the impression that it was a faux pas to try to wrangle out something about why you wanted to be a lawyer, because obviously everyone applying does, etc.?

Do you think that's the most important thing to emphasize in a personal statement? Why you want to be an attorney? If so, yeah, I could either write about compassion as a main theme (though I read one comment in another thread that suggested that this often comes across as disingenuous and that 'I want to help people' themes are a dime a dozen), or I'd end up scrapping the topic entirely for something more fitting.


I think you need to find a happy middle. The ideal PS (at least IMO) tells an interesting and compelling story that showcases the applicant's personality and then reasonably ties it to why they're applying to law school. As you mentioned, you should never write a PS with the theme "I want to be an attorney because....". You also need to avoid, however, writing a PS that goes on for 1.75 pages about your interest in veganism and then makes some flimsy or lazy tie to wanting to practice law in the final few sentences.


I see. I think I'll head on over to the example thread I guess and read through some to kind of get an idea for ratio then, I guess, of interesting stuff about applicant : I want to be an attorney, plz. Thanks!

amycompton
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby amycompton » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:14 am

Hey, cool. Except, you might want to reread, because I was actually looking for commentary on the PS, not on me as a person.

bbsg
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby bbsg » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:12 pm

amorphix wrote:So I've started drafting a few ideas for my PS for the upcoming cycle. But I'm having a really hard time here. In my mind, a PS is supposed to showcase something that is unique about you, something that shows your passion and energy and all that great stuff. And the thing that keeps popping back into my head, the thing I REALLY want to write about, that appeals to me more than any other topic by leagues, might be too controversial for a PS.

The thing I'm most passionate about in my life is veganism. I'm in the process of co-founding an organization for vegetarians/vegans/animal rights on my campus, I'm doing my senior research on the intersection between veganism and feminism, etc. It's something I'm hugely passionate about.

That said, judging by the way most people react when they find out I am vegan, I have this huge fear that adcoms are going to look at such a PS and write me off as a dirty, radical hippie or just in general someone that can't be taken seriously.

My original thought was to write a PS about how I used to feel that being intelligent was the best thing I could be, but how compassion is more important, talk about veganism, etc. Do you think I might be able to find a way to safely write about this, without being written off as a far-left nut job? Am I overestimating the level of problematic that this could be?

I guess I just need some perspective!


I'm not an expert or anything, but I think this could have legs honestly. Except I wouldn't implicitly state that "intelligence" and "compassion" were necessarily mutually exclusive. I'd sooner fold compassion into intelligence -- fuse them and discuss how your passion has lead to your interpretation. I think that's more truthful (you feel smarter when you act compassionately, I bet?), honestly. And the way you approach that would lead to you demonstrating, in a non-contrived context, your analytical ability and your evolution of character -- two wonderful things for a PS.

bbsg
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Re: Advice on Risky PS

Postby bbsg » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:14 pm

Also, if you haven't come across this: http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... ether.aspx




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