Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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domino
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby domino » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:40 am

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Last edited by domino on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

eyfl
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby eyfl » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:23 pm

GPA: Above Average (international transcript)
LSAT: 172
Decision: Deny (now I know why - everyone's 250s are infinitely better :roll: )


Palms on the knees. Hook in place.
“Alright!” – thumb up.
“One, two, three – get ready!”
Our group of three is slowly striding towards the open door as the air rushes in. Straps are rubbing against shoulders, but it’s tolerable. On earth, when we were packing and adjusting our parachutes, the backpack seemed completely unbearable. But nothing’s the same from a bird’s eye view.
I’m the second. It’s even worse than being first; the pioneer has a chance to glance at the abyss he’s going to dive in. I look over his shoulder, knees shaking. Whatever comes to my mind right now, there’s no turning back – the instructor will push me out in any case. Maybe that’s for the best – sometimes we all need a good kick to overcome last minute doubts.
“Go!” – I hear the instructor’s voice through the wind and fall into nowhere.
The first seconds are filled with fear and excitement – I guess a child feels something like that when exits the womb. I take my first breath and desperately try to untangle the lines. Finally, it’s done. Suddenly I feel no fear at all. I’m floating in complete harmony of inner and outer space. There’s no apprehension in weightlessness, like the world starts now and from this point.
“Where are you flying, you idiot! Pull the left one!” – comes the awakening from my headphones.
Now I’m terrified, but it’s late to pull so I trust my body, taking the position for landing on concrete... It’s suddenly soft.

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vividviolin
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby vividviolin » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:41 pm

GPA: 3.89
LSAT: 164/180
Yale Decision: Waitlist

I studied in Syria less than a year before the Arab spring blossomed across the Middle East. In July, I noticed that my host family’s daughter had posted pictures of a protest march on Facebook. I perused the album and was surprised to see banners that prominently displayed pro-government slogans and the face of President Assad. In the U.S., news coverage of the Arab spring focused on democracy. The story of the oppressed throwing off their shackles and seizing democracy seductively mirrors our own narrative and hopes, but representative government was not the only thing at stake.

I remember sitting on the balcony, catching the night breeze while my host mother told stories of the intimidation and harassment she received as a Christian child in a small Muslim town. Syria is a predominantly Sunni Muslim Arab country, but it has sizable minority populations (Christians, Alawites, Druze, Kurds, and Armenians). Many, including my hosts, saw the Alawite Assad regime as protection from the majority. Discrimination against Coptic Christians in Egypt and neighboring Lebanon’s uneasy balance of power provided instructive examples of more democratic governments. Syrians like my host family preferred to keep the devil they knew, rather than usher in the devil they suspected would be worse.

Protests became massacres became civil war. Recently, my host mom Facebook messaged me: jobs and food are scarce, and her daughter can no longer attend school. Of her husband, she says nothing. I suspect he has donned a uniform; I too say nothing.

hdivine
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby hdivine » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:01 pm

vividviolin wrote:GPA: 3.89
LSAT: 164/180
Yale Decision: Waitlist

I studied in Syria less than a year before the Arab spring blossomed across the Middle East. In July, I noticed that my host family’s daughter had posted pictures of a protest march on Facebook. I perused the album and was surprised to see banners that prominently displayed pro-government slogans and the face of President Assad. In the U.S., news coverage of the Arab spring focused on democracy. The story of the oppressed throwing off their shackles and seizing democracy seductively mirrors our own narrative and hopes, but representative government was not the only thing at stake.

I remember sitting on the balcony, catching the night breeze while my host mother told stories of the intimidation and harassment she received as a Christian child in a small Muslim town. Syria is a predominantly Sunni Muslim Arab country, but it has sizable minority populations (Christians, Alawites, Druze, Kurds, and Armenians). Many, including my hosts, saw the Alawite Assad regime as protection from the majority. Discrimination against Coptic Christians in Egypt and neighboring Lebanon’s uneasy balance of power provided instructive examples of more democratic governments. Syrians like my host family preferred to keep the devil they knew, rather than usher in the devil they suspected would be worse.

Protests became massacres became civil war. Recently, my host mom Facebook messaged me: jobs and food are scarce, and her daughter can no longer attend school. Of her husband, she says nothing. I suspect he has donned a uniform; I too say nothing.


Impressive to move from a 164 to a 180

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vividviolin
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby vividviolin » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:31 pm

hdivine wrote:Impressive to move from a 164 to a 180


Thanks! Actually preparing instead of just half-heartedly doing some logic games really does wonders :)

canarykb
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby canarykb » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:57 pm

GPA: 3.7
LSAT: 176
Decision: Waitlisted
Notes: Wrote this is in about week right before the deadline. I like my PS a lot better. But since I struggled with the 250, and outperformed my numbers even getting waitlisted, I thought I'd share.

---

[Student Org/Blog I founded] started with a letter to Oprah Winfrey. Fat Acceptance blogger Kate Harding wrote to Oprah and told her to stop apologizing for her body, iterating that no woman owed it to the public, or anyone, to be thin. I’m not sure if Oprah ever saw the letter, but I clung onto every word. It spoke to 20 years of insecurity.

As a young woman, I heard the inescapable message to be small; to diet and workout and contort until I filled the tiniest amount of space possible. Otherwise, I might not be able to squeeze into my skinny jeans or curl up perfectly in a man’s arms. I used to take inventory of my body: if I could only change one part what would it be? I struggled to find achievable goals to cope with a society that invalidated my physical form.

After finishing Harding’s article, I began to examine my own life and preoccupation with beauty. I saw how my time and money was feeding into an industry incentivized to make women hate the way they look. I realized that in a culture obsessed with beauty and thinness, there is no freedom from this cycle except to disentangle appearance from self worth. Although overcoming the message to be small was difficult, these conclusions left me feeling empowered. I wanted to tell everyone I knew.

I started with a few close friends at [UG]. So far, [Student Org/Blog I founded] has reached 175,000.

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honeybadger12
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby honeybadger12 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:34 pm

GPA: 4.0
LSAT: 174
Decision: Admit

After her four-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, my grandmother invited the driver to the funeral, embraced her when she entered in tears, and brought her forward to sit with the family. I consider Grandma’s actions heroic, but she would’ve opposed my decision to attend law school. My family’s church teaches that because the state shouldn’t forgive, Christ-followers, who are commanded to forgive, shouldn’t participate in its machinery of justice.

This teaching seems to rest on a somewhat paradoxical premise – if forgiving is inherently right for the individual, why is it wrong for individuals collectively (that is, the state)? Perhaps it’s pragmatic concerns. Our church might point to a judge who, out of forgiveness, sentenced a convicted child molester to community service. Three weeks later, that offender raped another child. Such “forgiveness” seems unforgivable.

But maybe forgiveness doesn’t imply absolution. I, for one, have found it nearly impossible to forgive when consequences are lacking. Perhaps a reconciliatory effort involving consequences would facilitate forgiveness while simultaneously fulfilling the state’s need for deterrence.

Restorative justice attempts just that. Its task is easier if there is a heroic victim and a suffering, repentant offender. But what if the perpetrator is indifferent? Or the victim simply wants revenge? Or money? I’m not done wrestling with these dilemmas, but I’ve decided to become the first in my family to attend law school. Ironically, it’s the religious impulse I’ve inherited, with its calls to both justice and forgiveness, that compels me to do so.

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Mack12
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Mack12 » Fri May 03, 2013 8:48 pm

I am not, nor could I ever have dreamed to be a Yale student, and don't really know how I stumbled upon this thread, but I'm glad I did! Loved reading all these, they're all beautifully written!! :D

vman21
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby vman21 » Fri May 10, 2013 4:52 pm

GPA: 3.94
LSAT: 177
Yale decision: Admit

-----

We had the same conversation every few weeks. I complained about the problems facing our projects while Cristina laughed and shook her head. “If we work hard we will succeed,” she would say. “Trust in God.”

I always shook my head right back. “I don’t believe in God.”

She smiled. “You will.”

Cristina's faith lay at her very core. I, on the other hand, had long since abandoned religion and rejected faith as empty romanticism.

Yet after living and working with Cristina in rural ** for over two years, I have found that she is anything but romantic. Raped at thirteen, forced to marry her rapist at fifteen, and a mother of three at nineteen, she has lived a life of crushing abuse and poverty. Despite this, she has devoted over three decades to fighting for the poor in **, confronting opposition from both the authorities and her family.

I now realize that it is faith that guards her resolve; faith that motivates her to reach beyond where any reasonable person would reach for justice; faith that gives her the strength to believe in the goodness of humanity.

And it is Cristina's faith that now inspires mine – not in God, but in my own idealism. Faith that I will have the strength to maintain my integrity in the face of temptation. Faith that my passion will not succumb to cynicism or fade with time. Faith that is fortified by Cristina – my project partner, my host mother, my closest confidant.

Instinctive
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Instinctive » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:14 pm

Writing this right now, would love to see more from previous cycles if people are willing to share. Some really neat approaches to it here!

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barrelofmonkeys
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby barrelofmonkeys » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:21 pm

Instinctive wrote:Writing this right now, would love to see more from previous cycles if people are willing to share. Some really neat approaches to it here!


BUMP

KatyMaddux
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby KatyMaddux » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:03 pm

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inlovewithpiper
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby inlovewithpiper » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:32 pm

I took the December 2013 administration of the LSAT (a June re-taker) so, combined with my <25th GPA, I don't know whether I'll actually apply to Yale or not this cycle. But, I was inspired by Lorde and went ahead and wrote my Yale 250 (just in case). Here it is:

Royals
(featuring lyrics from Lorde)

I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh.

But, I have seen various brands of peanut butter and sampled every flavor of jelly; strawberry is my favorite. PB&Js were somewhat of a regular commodity in my household. Showers were to be 5-10 minutes long—every dollar wasted in water was a dollar that could go to food, rent, or clothes. I guess that’s not so bad, though; I hear that soldiers get less than two minutes.

Being born to a 17 year-old, single mother was both a blessing and a curse; on one hand, I get to live a life in which she is a central character for a lot longer than other people. On the other, making ends meet on her minimum wage salary proved to be an inherently difficult endeavor.

And I’m not proud of my address.

Some nights I would stay awake watching TV Land at my grandma’s house. On those nights, I dreamt of living in a palatial mansion full of sparkling white china etched with colorful peacocks and bejeweled with dazzling sapphires. I wanted to taste braised ducks and stewed lambs. “Au jus” sounded more like a disease than a sauce, but the fancy name still gives me goosebumps.

But, in the end, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I love having grown up in a down-to-earth home. It taught me how to make the most with what I have. And as an added bonus, I can turn just about anything into a three-course meal.

And we’ll never be royals.

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chneyo
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby chneyo » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:54 pm

...
Last edited by chneyo on Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bbkk
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby bbkk » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:14 pm

square_peg wrote:I almost feel embarrassed to post this because it's a pretty bad 250, especially compared to the others that have been posted. I actually cringe when I read it now. Still, if it manages to help somebody...

GPA: 3.9X
LSAT: 175
Result: Accepted


Five blind men come across an elephant for the first time. Curious about how an elephant might look, each of them touches a different part of its body—its trunk, tail, leg, side, and ear, respectively—and they all imagine and describe the animal differently. A sixth man later reveals that each had only touched a portion of the entire elephant, and therefore, each had only a portion of the total picture. Thus, all the blind men were correct—but only partially so.

Anekantavada, literally “non-absolutism,” is a fundamental doctrine of Jainism. It refers to the notion that the truth is understood differently from alternate points of view, and that no one viewpoint offers the complete truth. The “truth” of our reality only comes to light when we bring together multiple perspectives—even those with which we disagree.

Anekantavada introduces a note of uncertainty to our understanding of life. It’s about asking the right questions, rather than seeking the “right” answers. It’s about realizing that our opponents might have a point after all. It’s about being open-minded about others’ viewpoints, and accepting that our own versions of “truth” or “reality” may be incomplete. It’s an awareness that sometimes we will never fully know the truth of a situation.

There is something unsettling about living with the principle of anekantavada, and the deep-seated knowledge that the truth is slippery, complicated, and often unknowable. And yet, it is also remarkably freeing and enlightening—just as it was for the five blind men.



Your 250 is actually one of the sample 250s in the Yale package, so I guess they do love it! :D

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koalacity
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby koalacity » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:09 pm

bbkk wrote:
square_peg wrote:I almost feel embarrassed to post this because it's a pretty bad 250, especially compared to the others that have been posted. I actually cringe when I read it now. Still, if it manages to help somebody...

GPA: 3.9X
LSAT: 175
Result: Accepted


Five blind men come across an elephant for the first time. Curious about how an elephant might look, each of them touches a different part of its body—its trunk, tail, leg, side, and ear, respectively—and they all imagine and describe the animal differently. A sixth man later reveals that each had only touched a portion of the entire elephant, and therefore, each had only a portion of the total picture. Thus, all the blind men were correct—but only partially so.

Anekantavada, literally “non-absolutism,” is a fundamental doctrine of Jainism. It refers to the notion that the truth is understood differently from alternate points of view, and that no one viewpoint offers the complete truth. The “truth” of our reality only comes to light when we bring together multiple perspectives—even those with which we disagree.

Anekantavada introduces a note of uncertainty to our understanding of life. It’s about asking the right questions, rather than seeking the “right” answers. It’s about realizing that our opponents might have a point after all. It’s about being open-minded about others’ viewpoints, and accepting that our own versions of “truth” or “reality” may be incomplete. It’s an awareness that sometimes we will never fully know the truth of a situation.

There is something unsettling about living with the principle of anekantavada, and the deep-seated knowledge that the truth is slippery, complicated, and often unknowable. And yet, it is also remarkably freeing and enlightening—just as it was for the five blind men.



Your 250 is actually one of the sample 250s in the Yale package, so I guess they do love it! :D

Wait, really? It wasn't one of the ones in mine-I guess they must have sent out different ones. The four in mine were the one on restorative justice and religion (which was written by honeybadger12 and posted ITT), one on Cleveland, one on randomly selecting members of the population to serve in Congress, and one on moral luck.
Anyway, I'm not surprised that this one was included in some of the packets-it's great.

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bbkk
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby bbkk » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:13 pm

koalacity wrote:Wait, really? It wasn't one of the ones in mine-I guess they must have sent out different ones. The four in mine were the one on restorative justice and religion (which was written by honeybadger12 and posted ITT), one on Cleveland, one on randomly selecting members of the population to serve in Congress, and one on moral luck.
Anyway, I'm not surprised that this one was included in some of the packets-it's great.


Really? So we all have different packages? My package has 15 250s...and the one about billiard (also ITT) is in it too.

Kimikho
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Kimikho » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:07 pm

did not receive any special packet






:cry:

HYS123
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby HYS123 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:16 pm

What is the conventional wisdom on including citations in the Yale 250? Mine references a couple figures and statistics, and my instinct is to cite them but I'm not sure if this essay would require it.

marsarinian
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby marsarinian » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:26 pm

Hey guys, just got accepted to Yale two days ago (1/26/14), and thought I'd share my 250 here as well. Stats: 3.96/175/current college senior/international student.

This essay is about my experience working in a student-run restaurant during my senior year. The experience is mentioned elsewhere in my application too so I never introduced it in this essay.
---------------
“Trust the blade.”

I closed my eyes and directed the knife with my curled left middle finger, firmly pressed against the wet scallion stalks.

Chop chop chop chop chop chop chop.

As my left hand retreated to the blade’s advance, the heap of thin rings to the right grew, pearly white at first, then darker and darker shades of green.

Stealing another glance at the order sheets laid out on the counter, my co-chef urged, “Three misos, two pork, one potato. Got it?”

Miso meant that huge pot of miso-braised spare ribs sitting quietly on the upper right burner. It’s a Japanese-style braising dish, with chopped daikon, carrots, and some pear slices added for an autumn flavor.

My Catonese pork belly slices still had to be charred with a flame gun, and the potato croquettes aren’t in the fryer yet, but I had something else on hand.

“Just a second…”

I had run out of scallion rings, which I use to garnish two of my dishes.

As the blade edged close to the tip of the stalks, the rhythmic, soft crunching sound that accompanied every cut began to occupy the entirety of my senses. Nothing else mattered besides what I was doing now, and what I had to do immediately after.

At that moment, in the hustle and bustle of the restaurant, with outstanding orders unfulfilled and new dishes waiting to be created, I felt closer to zen than ever before.

“New order!”

Chop chop chop chop chop chop chop.
------------------------

Hope this is helpful - good luck everyone! :)

AJS915
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby AJS915 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:09 pm

I love reading these. Some of them are awe-inspiring, though knowing that I'm reading my competition is pretty intimidating. When I'm home I'll try to remember to post mine... unless someone here thinks it's a bad idea to post before I've heard back from Yale? (Asha warns about the web-savviness of admissions committees on her blog. But is there anything wrong with publishing one's essay for others, anyway?)

I probably won't get in anyway lol.

AJS915
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby AJS915 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:13 pm

hdivine wrote:
vividviolin wrote:GPA: 3.89
LSAT: 164/180
Yale Decision: Waitlist

I studied in Syria less than a year before the Arab spring blossomed across the Middle East. In July, I noticed that my host family’s daughter had posted pictures of a protest march on Facebook. I perused the album and was surprised to see banners that prominently displayed pro-government slogans and the face of President Assad. In the U.S., news coverage of the Arab spring focused on democracy. The story of the oppressed throwing off their shackles and seizing democracy seductively mirrors our own narrative and hopes, but representative government was not the only thing at stake.

I remember sitting on the balcony, catching the night breeze while my host mother told stories of the intimidation and harassment she received as a Christian child in a small Muslim town. Syria is a predominantly Sunni Muslim Arab country, but it has sizable minority populations (Christians, Alawites, Druze, Kurds, and Armenians). Many, including my hosts, saw the Alawite Assad regime as protection from the majority. Discrimination against Coptic Christians in Egypt and neighboring Lebanon’s uneasy balance of power provided instructive examples of more democratic governments. Syrians like my host family preferred to keep the devil they knew, rather than usher in the devil they suspected would be worse.

Protests became massacres became civil war. Recently, my host mom Facebook messaged me: jobs and food are scarce, and her daughter can no longer attend school. Of her husband, she says nothing. I suspect he has donned a uniform; I too say nothing.


Impressive to move from a 164 to a 180


Heh, I almost wrote about my own Arab Spring experience! (I was in Egypt when the 5arra hit the fan. My semester was cut short...)

AJS915
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby AJS915 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:24 pm

joschmo wrote:Reeeeejected:


Both tourists and native New Yorkers often wonder why local taxi drivers accelerate aggressively towards red traffic lights, only to slam on the brakes at crosswalks. Why do they do this when faced with reduced fuel economy and increased vehicle wear? The answer lies in the design of the Taxi & Limousine Commission's official pricing scheme.

Of the four contributing factors, which include a fixed fee, a surcharge during rush hour, a rate for mileage, and a rate for time stopped in traffic, all but the last is determined at the outset of each trip. This encourages cab drivers to complete each fare as quickly as possible, thus maximizing the number of fixed fees received during each shift. Increasing total fares further requires drivers to maximize the portion of each fare spent idling in traffic. By accelerating into red lights, drivers increase the amount of time spent idling, without extending the lengths of complete trips. Therefore, this approach optimizes the number of trips, the time spent idling, and, thus, the total fares received in each shift.

The driver also has little incentive to prevent wear on the vehicle, since most cabs in New York City are leased to different drivers each day. And additional fuel costs, which are estimated at only 5%, are far outstripped by the thousands of dollars in inflated fares earned by reallocating only seconds of each trip.

The moral: Hope yours is one of the few New York City cabs still equipped with a seat belt.


I lol'ed. as a NYer. I'm no AdComm, but I appreciate a guy who links outcomes and incentives!

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foreverhopful
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby foreverhopful » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:27 pm

Thought I shared my yale 250. I got rejected so take it as a "how not to write a yale 250"

“Lola*, just feel the rhythm. Move your body.” Feel the rhythm? What does that even mean? I know Gloria Estefan once said “the rhythm will eventually get you” but somehow it had always eluded me. It is no secret that Latin Americans are musical. Their bodies contort to the beat, uncontrollably, naturally. Once they hear the sounds of the drums, their hips do the talking. I write they, because although I am Latina (Proud Boricua), that certainly did not happen to me.

For years, I felt an alien among my people. I was an abomination to my culture, a Puerto Rican who couldn’t dance. Everything else about me said I was Puerto Rican.

My olive skin that welcomes the sun all year long.

My mannerisms as I speak, all Puerto Ricans as born conductors.

My loud voice, we speak loudly because we speak from the heart.

My love for ‘Mofongo’, nectar of the gods.

Yet, my hips were mute. When there was music, they were silent. I resented that having two left feet somehow negated my cultural heritage. I always hated seeing people’s reaction when I told them I couldn’t dance. I defensively thought “I’m sorry for disappointing your stereotype.”

Yet, one day, as I walked around in London, nostalgic for a piece of home, I heard the beat. It came from a small souvenir shop. Suddenly, my hips started responding. Gloria was right. The rhythm finally got me."

*I changed my name. Besides, I always wanted to be a Lola.

Instinctive
Posts: 436
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Instinctive » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:48 am

Alright, I said I'd post mine as a thanks for the help this thread was. Here we go:

Stats
Non-URM
LSAT 179
GPA 3.98

Decision
Admitted


Code: Select all

The execution of truly great basketball is a beautiful and insightful experience to behold.  Five teammates must work as extensions of a single unit behaving with a highly focused purpose: outscoring the opponent.

This need to work in perfect concert creates a dynamic that reveals who people truly are.  Basketball presents an initially simple goal that generates dozens of layers of complexity, as each team tries to score while preventing the opponent from doing the same.  To be an effective team, all five players have to react in unison, moving more like a single organism than as five discrete people. 

Scoring is solving an ever-changing puzzle, as every movement by the offensive players bends and molds the defense in different ways.  There are hundreds of subtle movements and factors to consider for every decision, which must be made in milliseconds.  Everything is instinctive, reactive, and, most importantly, dependent on the team.  Because of this, to the perceptive eye, the sport teaches you the most important things about other players. Can they work as a team?  Can they take advantage of a split-second opportunity?  Can they read the true intent behind every decision of the opponent?

More importantly, basketball tells you about yourself.  It asks you if you can bounce back from defeat.  It asks if you can be beaten on one end of the floor and bring an even higher level of intensity the next time down the court.  It asks constantly, “Do you have the drive to succeed?”

Yes.



Reading back over it now, months later, there are a few words I'd change here or there. And I still think the ending comes off as cheesy/cliche. But, as a piece, it definitely reflects my personality and it did the trick so...




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