Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

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

Postby yoiav » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:57 pm

The negative impact on people’s sense of community arising from the widespread usage of social-networking sites is well documented. This increased isolationism has caused people to resort to a vicarious camaraderie through such outlets as team sports. Professional soccer, hockey, basketball along with both college and professional football have seen an increase in popularity over the past five years. Individual sports, such as tennis, golf and auto ratings have seen a decrease in the same time period.
An improvisational form of this team concept can be found in politics today. People have begun to view themselves as members of a particular political “team”. This sense of association creates the feeling that one cannot entertain the notion of voting for a member of the other party. This is evidenced by the close margins in the popular vote during recent presidential elections as opposed to the routine landslide victories found in previous generations. In this current political climate, any victory in a presidential election by a significant margin seems unfathomable.
While the predilection toward a specific type of sport is a triviality, the change in the political landscape has far more gravitas for it has affected the politicians themselves. The marked combative atmosphere surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling attests to this. Perhaps if we were to judge political leaders and their proposals on their own merit as opposed to whether their name is preceded by a “D-“ or “R-“, we could restore the cordial environment that fosters compromise.

n4elise
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby n4elise » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:29 pm

Hi all :D
From the '11-'12 cycle - first acceptance calls just yesterday! I was lucky enough (and very, very surprised!!) to be among them.

Thought I'd share...
Btw, numbers: 180/3.84
And as a note, my PS was actually a bit more adventurous and unconventional than my 250. Just to put this rather tame 250 in the context of my app.

A semester of epistemology, spent scrutinizing various theories of knowledge, led me to the conclusion that I do not really know anything. My junior tutorial, spent cozying up with Hume, brought me to realize that my inductive beliefs are rationally unjustified. A seminar on the unconscious, spent discussing the operations of the mind, left me with the feeling that I have no real control over my thoughts or actions. These past three years studying philosophy, spent seeking answers to big, burning questions, have shaken the foundations of my every belief system and thought process, leaving me with a permanent question mark hovering in a thought bubble over my head.
However, that question mark is by no means a symbol of failure or frustration. Despite the distressing and seemingly destructive conclusions to which most philosophy courses have led me, I could not have chosen a more constructive, rewarding, or inspiring concentration. Philosophy is an intellectual workout. If my mind is indeed a feeble, determined thing, all the more reason I ought to exercise it as diligently as I can. The illumination lies in defining and redefining the beliefs that I do have, regardless of whether they can rightfully be labeled knowledge or even justified belief. In the most deliciously illuminating moments, that question mark straightens itself out into an exuberant exclamation point. That is when I know (insofar as I am capable of knowing) that one of those big, burning questions—though perhaps still unanswered—has finally come to peace with itself.

private_ryan
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby private_ryan » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:35 pm

thederangedwang wrote:Please follow this format while giving your 250 word Essays

GPA:
LSAT:
Yale Decision (Admit, Deny, Waitlist)

The reason is there are a lot of essays here yet no context to put them in. I'm sure some of these essays are superb yet the applicants were ultimately rejected due to low scores, however, by not listing the scores, some readers may believe the actual essay was bad.

So please list your stats so we can fully appreciate your essays


+1

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Elston Gunn » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:46 pm

4.03/180
Accepted (!!!! -- the excitement still hasn't worn off)

Imagine it is a hundred years from now. Because of the effects of pollution, Earth has become unlivable. However, the technology that caused the pollution has saved more human lives than it has cost, and we have moved the race to a new planet equally suitable for living. We have preserved some other species, but not anywhere near them all. Will we have done wrong?
Some will say we have acted exactly as we should. Insofar as we are Darwinian animals, designed only for the propagation of the species, we cannot be accused of being shortsighted. The flourishing of the human race is assured, and we owe other species nothing. Moreover, insofar as our intellect fundamentally separates us from the rest of nature, we must regard the loss as of little importance. We value human freedom and reason—the capacity for creation and moral choice—and the universe is no worse off without creatures that are essentially automatons.
Yet, Darwin’s theory itself undermines these views. We can no longer believe in those remnants of Cartesian dualism that would have us see man as disconnected from the world he inhabits. We are the children, not only of apes and fish, but of the first amoeba. The seed of our freedom was present in the first living cell, and the birth of our moral sense was a radical and precious moment generated by life’s eons-long work.
We can thus hear a call of mission. No moral creature can abandon its mother.

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RareBreed
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby RareBreed » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:46 am

Elston Gunn wrote:4.03/180
Accepted (!!!! -- the excitement still hasn't worn off)

Imagine it is a hundred years from now. Because of the effects of pollution, Earth has become unlivable. However, the technology that caused the pollution has saved more human lives than it has cost, and we have moved the race to a new planet equally suitable for living. We have preserved some other species, but not anywhere near them all. Will we have done wrong?
Some will say we have acted exactly as we should. Insofar as we are Darwinian animals, designed only for the propagation of the species, we cannot be accused of being shortsighted. The flourishing of the human race is assured, and we owe other species nothing. Moreover, insofar as our intellect fundamentally separates us from the rest of nature, we must regard the loss as of little importance. We value human freedom and reason—the capacity for creation and moral choice—and the universe is no worse off without creatures that are essentially automatons.
Yet, Darwin’s theory itself undermines these views. We can no longer believe in those remnants of Cartesian dualism that would have us see man as disconnected from the world he inhabits. We are the children, not only of apes and fish, but of the first amoeba. The seed of our freedom was present in the first living cell, and the birth of our moral sense was a radical and precious moment generated by life’s eons-long work.
We can thus hear a call of mission. No moral creature can abandon its mother.


Wow. Incredible numbers, and congrats on Yale.

062914123
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby 062914123 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:14 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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medialoop
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby medialoop » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:57 pm

thederangedwang wrote:Please follow this format while giving your 250 word Essays

GPA:
LSAT:
Yale Decision (Admit, Deny, Waitlist)

The reason is there are a lot of essays here yet no context to put them in. I'm sure some of these essays are superb yet the applicants were ultimately rejected due to low scores, however, by not listing the scores, some readers may believe the actual essay was bad.

So please list your stats so we can fully appreciate your essays


+1, and I'd actually add to this list a short description of your PS. It doesn't have to be the topic, but while reading these I've often wondered how the 250 relates to the PS (for example, for some of the more intellectual/"think piece"-type 250s, was the PS more of a personal story?)

Thanks to everyone so far who has shared, these have been helpful and fun to read, too!

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Elliott_Smith
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Elliott_Smith » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:33 pm

Awesome thread, thanks to everyone who posted!

I'm sitting in a coffee shop trying to nail down my 250, these really helped contextualize things.

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medialoop
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby medialoop » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:07 pm

I actually didn't love my 250, but since I got in I figured it was worth adding to the pile. My PS was a little more on the "academic" side, so I wanted to talk about a personal interest in my 250 rather than just talking about a more abstract intellectual or political issue. I'm pretty sure my recommendations were quite strong, and my stats were 174/3.9x. Anyway, here goes:

Behind a drum kit, I feel different than I do with any other instrument. The ordered chaos of cymbal clashes and rolls on the toms is satisfying in the same way that popping bubble wrap or crunching down on new snow is satisfying: it feels inevitable and mildly destructive. It is also intensely physical, with the right foot on the kick drum, left foot on the hi-hat, and arms going wherever necessary.
Melodies and harmonies can evoke profound emotions, but it is the rhythm of a song that excites people and quite literally moves them, urging hips to sway, feet to tap, and whole bodies to thrash around wildly. Drums drive the rhythm of most modern music, and so an instrument that involves the whole body in its playing also moves the bodies of others into action. It creates a different sort of connection between musician and listener, and for me, a deeper connection to the music as well.
In part, that connection stems from the sheer volume of a drum kit. While playing, I can feel vibrations pulsing through my chest, often overpowering the feeling of my own heartbeat. A lawyer-turned-poet put it best when he said, “tom-tom c’est moi”: the tom-tom is me. What I feel behind a drum kit is in a way a brush with the sublime—a sense that I can both control something and be overpowered by it, that I can transform the rhythm while also feeling myself being transformed.

Good luck to everyone still waiting/trying to finish up their 250s!

Geneva
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Geneva » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:37 pm

These are terrific. Thank you to everyone that posted:-)

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kulshan
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby kulshan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:36 pm

FWIW, now that the cycle is over, here's my 250.

172/4.0/See LSN profile for more info. I got waitlisted and withdrew. I know this is sort of a lame attempt at humor, but my PS was academic, and I wrote several other 250s before settling on this one. I'm very proud to be from Kansas, so it felt right to have that highlighted in my application.
___________________________________________________________

It is apparently impossible not to make a Wizard of Oz joke upon meeting someone from Kansas. The brain goes to work immediately, scanning for some information about Kansas to mention. “Oh! I know,” says the brain, “Wizard of Oz!”

“I don’t think you’re in Kansas anymore.”

“Where are your ruby slippers?”

“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

“Oh, good one,” I respond politely, feigning laughter. I don’t blame them for knowing just one thing about Kansas, but something must be done. On behalf of all Kansans, please consider the following topics of conversation for your next encounter with us.

One Kansas farmer feeds 129 people. The economy in Kansas is largely agricultural. Kansas produces more wheat than any other state, enough to make over 29 trillion loaves of bread each year.

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which nullified the Missouri Compromise, helped foment the beginning of the Civil War. The territory had been a hotly contested battleground between pro-abolition settlers in Kansas and pro-slavery forces in neighboring Missouri. After seven years of border skirmishes, Kansas was admitted to the Union, and the Civil War began three months later. When prompted, any good Kansan will provide a litany of Missouri-based grievances.

Kansas, along with Nebraska, was at the heart of the populist movement in the late 19th Century. Indeed, if you must mention The Wizard of Oz, try a discussion on its role as an allegory for the debate over bimetallism and the gold standard.

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Hull_at_The_House
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Hull_at_The_House » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:58 pm

Got into Yale with this one. Procrastinated so hard working on it. Hope it provides a lil encouragement:

“What is Jazz music but another language?” - Horace Silver
I call it my second ‘mother tongue’. A language I learned from my uncle Victor, a former professional musician who taught himself the piano while growing up in rural Jamaica. I still remember sitting beside him on a piano stool, my legs dangling off the edge, my eyes and ears transfixed by his mastery of this language called Jazz. He inspired me, and I begged my parents to buy a battered brown piano on which I could learn how to play. The first piece I learned was Take Five by Paul Desmond – a piece which taught me an eclectic musical dialect in which an exotic quintuple time signature and infectious syncopation were the basic vocabulary and grammar that bind the piece together.
However to become fluent in the language of Jazz requires more than rote memorization of rules and conventions. Instead like a talented orator, one must learn to tap into and convey emotions through the language of Jazz. Whether this is by adding your own creative flourishes to the core of a Jazz standard, or by letting your creativity and emotions run wild in a sixteen-bar solo, the key is to immerse yourself in the piece and make your improvisation a deeply personal affair.
For me, I like to convey my emotions through debate or discussion. Thus when I play, I try to make my piano engage in a conversation. One spoken in the language called Jazz.

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tyler.durden
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby tyler.durden » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:38 am

Tag.

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honeybadger12
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby honeybadger12 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:29 pm

tag

southwick
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby southwick » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:21 pm

Figured I'd throw mine up from last year if it will be helpful to anyone. Yale admitted me, but I'm at SLS (and not regretting it :) ).

GPA: 3.99
LSAT: 175
Yale decision: Admit

My undergraduate Honors thesis, titled “Examining the Relationship Between Graduation Rates and Inputs in [state] High Schools,” focuses on the correlative relationships between high school graduation rates and a variety of other variables—notably minority rates.
I find, unsurprisingly, that a high minority rate has a strongly negative relationship with graduation rates—but that this correlation is only statistically significant in schools with minority rates above 17%. In other words, in [state], one cannot show that a high school minority rate that is under 17% has any significant downward pull on graduation rates.
This finding has an important implication: districts should consider adjusting high school boundaries to bring down the standard deviation between minority rates of nearby high schools. That is, if two high schools, one with a 22% minority rate and one with a 10% minority rate, border one another, their borders should be adjusted to bring the minority rates in both schools to approximately 16%, hopefully improving graduation rates.
The data is only observational (as opposed to experimental), so definitive predictions about how graduation rates might respond to changes in the minority rate are not perfectly reliable. At the same time, my research is a first step in examining policy decisions that may significantly improve high school graduation rates. The return to a high school education is truly enormous, and I am anxious to continue to study the intersections of law and economics and well as law and education in order to serve others and improve our society.

WaterCoffeeBeer
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby WaterCoffeeBeer » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:41 pm

<Removed>
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tonton
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby tonton » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:10 pm

Yup! I have to re-write my Yale 250

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pandamonium13
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby pandamonium13 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:35 pm

GPA: 3.85
LSAT: 174
Decision: Admit (still deciding where to attend)

My PS was focused more on my academic interests and why I want to attend law school so I used the 250 to talk about one of my hobbies:

The language of billiards is that of math: of angles, rotation, velocity, and momentum. It is a sport in which the physics are transparent, well understood, and not obscured by the athleticism of the players or the speed of their implements. On the pool table itself, however, I rarely think in such abstract terms. As with other activities in which skill-level increases with the volume of practice, performing well in pool depends on muscle memory—each shot is guided by the echoes of past shots, forming an iterative process that culminates in the present.

Initially, I focused exclusively on mastering different shots through repetition: bank shots, straight shots, and rail shots from various distances and angles and into all pockets on the table. But I eventually found accuracy alone to be insufficient. Advanced pool-playing combines accuracy and strategy—the ability to place the cue ball in a position that is either beneficial to you or detrimental to your opponent. The mental aspects of billiards must be melded with the physical to form a complete player.

At its most sublime, billiards is a series of logical progressions; it is an exercise in planning and path dependency in which each shot leads to the next, forming the contours of a linear road map that is as satisfying to complete as it is difficult to replicate. In these moments, when I am able to physically transcribe my mental blueprint, I allow myself to smile inwardly and experience a small personal triumph.

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wert3813
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby wert3813 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:28 pm

GPA: 4.00
LSAT: 171
Result: Waitlisted (Declined)

This is really personal and I did change the name even though it probably doesn't matter.

We have a tendency to remember the dead more fondly than reality would dictate. I know this, and I desperately want my memories of Sam to be accurate, so sometimes I force myself to think of the bad. All of his sins involved being over passionate; singing when he should not (he loved to sing), not stopping when the time to stop had come, over committing himself to too many different things (Sam once legitimately believed he would work 20 hours a week, travel 40 days, open a music venue, and write a rock opera fit for Broadway in one semester).

Sam was also the kindest and liveliest person I knew. If he was not your first phone call when you were in trouble it was only because he was your first phone last time you were in trouble and you felt bad calling again. He was the one who brought the boom box and laughed at a volume level that for anyone else would have been obnoxious, but it was okay for him because, well, he was Sam.

A little over a year ago Sam killed himself. I think suicide is so difficult because there are seemingly no lessons to be learned, no silver linings, just emptiness. Time does make it hurt less, but it also makes me think of him more. The older I get the more I realize that with great passion and love is the best way to go through life. Man, I miss my friend.

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carboncopyx
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby carboncopyx » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:44 pm

GPA: 3.86
LSAT: 176
Decision: Admit
PS: personal anecdote/reflection


[Name Redacted] made his students want more. Eternally bored suburban teenagers snapped to attention when he walked into the classroom. Boys who routinely used class for 100 minutes of flirting ceased their antics. Girls who spent 90% of their waking hours texting on their phones put them away. Stickered with Beatles posters and plastic pink flamingos, his classroom was a hallowed chamber in which the fancies of spoiled children transformed into the discourse of intelligent adults about Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, and Twain.

A teacher who expected students to think beyond one’s age, Mr. [Name Redacted] succeeded in penetrating the adult-adolescent barrier by refusing to acknowledge us as adolescents. Our transgressions outside of the classroom were of no consequence; everything inside the classroom was of paramount importance. He would often tell us, “I care, but I don’t care—do you understand?” We nodded; we did. Immaturity was not an excuse for misbehavior.

It was the privilege of that treatment which prompted my interest in juvenile justice. Edward Humes’ No Matter How Loud I Shout is a staple on my annual reading list, forcing me to constantly reevaluate the relationship between education and delinquency. Perhaps the solution lies in Mr. [Name Redacted]: if adults (be it attorney, judge, social worker, or teacher) hold youth to a higher standard so that first offenses are addressed at the onset, then more children could be rehabilitated, instead of ignored by the system until they commit a violent crime. Children may be children, but is that really an excuse?

square_peg
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby square_peg » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:48 pm

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.

062914123
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby 062914123 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:54 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cicero76
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby Cicero76 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:09 pm

Here's mine. No idea if it was good, but I got in anyway!

LSAT: 174
GPA: 3.85
Decision: Admit


As I watched [name's] hands fly over the manuals—sometimes playing three at once while his feet danced across the foot pedals—my eight-year-old self felt the kind of awe that only a child can know.

“Mom, I wanna learn the organ.”

I did not actually want to learn to play organ, as I discovered once lessons began and the torture of practice ruined the magic of the music. Although my failure to learn the instrument discouraged me somewhat, my love for the amazing sounds I heard each week prompted me to find a different way in which to participate.
Keeping sane as the only male in Children’s Choir is difficult. Your voice sounds like a girl’s, the robes look like a dress, and your peers know that singing classical music is not something that boys should do. But every so often Mr. [name]descended from his ivory tower to play for our rehearsals or performances, and I caught a glimpse of the magic that had so entranced me years before.

The legacy of my participation in choir is more than my gaining a rudimentary knowledge of music theory or acquiring the musical taste of a senior citizen. It is an essential part of my identity—the only artistic endeavor in which I have ever felt pride, despite my characteristic paucity of talent. I will always be grateful to [name] for the passion he inspired in an awestruck eight-year old, and for his kindness ever since.



Wormfather wrote:I loved my 250. I'm still bummed that Asha said no.


You might have gotten in trouble for paraphrasing a line that ended in a preposition. Asha's such a stickler she might not let even the Bard get away with that.
Last edited by Cicero76 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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txdude45
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby txdude45 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:12 pm

GPA: 3.17
LSAT: 167
Result: Deny (I survived through late February)
Note: This is not good

Growing up, my grandfather taught me to play Texas Hold ‘Em. Every time I visited his small farm in Mississippi, he’d pull out a change jar, split it evenly and the winner would keep it. I learned to apply math to the game quickly. Odds and percentages dominated and I applied the basics.

2-7 off suit was my grandfather’s favorite hand. Mathematically, it’s among the worst possible card combinations. The hand is easily over-paired and gives you little chance at a straight, or flush. My grandfather called it Romeo and Juliet, saying the cards were “supposed” to be together. He seldom beat me.

My grandfather seemed to play the game guided by feelings, strange for a highly rational man. He ran his farm on numbers and the almanac. One year he may feel he should replant corn in a field that produced high yield, but the benefits of his long-term strategy, rotation, always won out. Why apply numbers to one avenue and disregard them in another?

I later learned, through other family members, that my grandfather had been quite the shark. They’d never seen him play 2-7, and had stopped inviting him to games because he always won. The tale of Romeo and Juliet was a farce; there was no attachment to the cards. He knew the numbers and could have beaten me handedly, but he simply wanted to spend time with his grandson playing a game he loved. I’m teaching my little sister poker now. I lose every time.

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wert3813
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Re: Operation: Enduring Yale 250s

Postby wert3813 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:22 pm

txdude45 wrote:GPA: 3.17
LSAT: 167
Result: Deny (I survived through late February)
Note: This is not good

Growing up, my grandfather taught me to play Texas Hold ‘Em. Every time I visited his small farm in Mississippi, he’d pull out a change jar, split it evenly and the winner would keep it. I learned to apply math to the game quickly. Odds and percentages dominated and I applied the basics.

2-7 off suit was my grandfather’s favorite hand. Mathematically, it’s among the worst possible card combinations. The hand is easily over-paired and gives you little chance at a straight, or flush. My grandfather called it Romeo and Juliet, saying the cards were “supposed” to be together. He seldom beat me.

My grandfather seemed to play the game guided by feelings, strange for a highly rational man. He ran his farm on numbers and the almanac. One year he may feel he should replant corn in a field that produced high yield, but the benefits of his long-term strategy, rotation, always won out. Why apply numbers to one avenue and disregard them in another?

I later learned, through other family members, that my grandfather had been quite the shark. They’d never seen him play 2-7, and had stopped inviting him to games because he always won. The tale of Romeo and Juliet was a farce; there was no attachment to the cards. He knew the numbers and could have beaten me handedly, but he simply wanted to spend time with his grandson playing a game he loved. I’m teaching my little sister poker now. I lose every time.


I like it. And more generally like getting to know everyone just a bit better.




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