Archive | September, 2009

Leveling

28 Sep

There was a significant judgment call to be made re: my law school applications, and I made it.

I leveled with myself, and I’ve decided to not waste a hundred dollars on a Yale application. I could tease myself with, “But if you don’t apply, then you’ll never know what might have happened,” but I actually do know exactly what will happen.

I’ll be rejected. Probably not even WL/out. Just a big old DING.

I haven’t cured AIDS or even cared for AIDS babies; I only know that I, personally, don’t have AIDS. I’ve been abroad twice for educational purposes, and when I was overseas, I spent most of my time in museums pretending to be cultured and socially aware when I could have (should have?) been collecting potable water in rural Africa. I don’t have an Olympic medal; when I run, I get to the two or three mile mark before I quit because I’m bored. I haven’t created a mathematical equation that is applicable only in deep space; the only counting I do on a regular basis is of my calorie intake (and even then I make mistakes–usually of the coffee ice cream variety).

I am not Yalie-material, and I need to learn to be OK with that.    

Yep, I’m OK with that. I will be taking suggestions on how to spend the one hundred dollars that I’m not wasting on Yale. This is what I am leaning toward:

An Open Letter to September LSAT Takers

25 Sep

You aren’t my Facebook friend, but for a moment, take a glimpse inside my virtual, networking world:

VS is not taking the LSAT on Saturday, and that feels awesome. Really, super, tremendously awesome.

The weeks leading up to the LSAT were some of the worst in my college career. I was juggling the most difficult course load I’d ever taken, planning for a two-week overseas research trip that would put me back in the U.S. only two weeks before the test, studying for the LSAT, and facing the imminent departure of a person who I really did not want to see go. Saying that I was on edge would be drastically understating the level of Crazy I was operating at. But I got it together, did well on the test, and do not have to take it again tomorrow.

 

To those of you who do:

My sincerest best wishes. You are probably experiencing an intense freak-out, or, like me, you are remarkably calm for the first time in weeks, and you’re remembering that feeling normal is actually pretty nice. Either way, you have spent weeks and countless hours diagramming and finding the logical fallacies and flaws of reasoning in the arguments of the people around you. You know the test, and no amount of practice questions or full-length practice tests is going to bump your score in the twenty-four hours between now and Section 1.

Take a run, take a nap, eat a salad, eat a pizza, watch a movie, watch some porn, do whatever you want. Relax. Breathe. Don’t do any drugs you haven’t taken in the past. Now would be a bad time to drop acid for the first time. Keep it together, and get a score that will make me hate you a little bit.

Oh, give yourself something to look forward to after the test. Plan a night of a lot of vodka and tonics, vodka sours, gin and tonics, and Keystone Lights. Or buy a bunch of rom-coms and order pizza, like I did. Anything to remember that life will continue after the test. Good luck, and try to get some sleep tonight. And remember, NO NEW DRUGS UNTIL AFTER THE TEST. 

Love,

VS

Approaching the Finish Line

25 Sep

One of the best things about being almost finished with undergrad is being almost finished with undergrad. I am very bad at being an undergrad. I don’t go out during the week, and if I do, it is on Sunday evenings for half-price bottles of wine and live music at my favorite grad student/townie/old person bar. I go to all of my classes, and sometimes I even speak to my professors as if they are human beings. I have not woken up next to someone whose name I did not know and whose face made me want to die. I wear pants when I leave the house, and when I say pants, I am am distinctly excluding leggings as a form of pants. 

Also, I go to a state school that is located approximately between Nowhere and Moderate-Sized City that Keeps Showing up on Rankings as One of the Most Livable and Affordable Cities in the U.S. Because No One Actually Wants to Live There. Have you ever spent a not-negligible amount of time on the campus of a large state school? If you haven’t, congratulations. Being on the campus of a large state school feels something like this:

The classrooms are filled with kids who didn’t get into private schools and chose an out-of-state public school to keep up appearances (and bursar bills, apparently), the computer labs are always packed, and no one is familiar with umbrella sidewalk etiquette, particularly  the raising of one’s umbrella before plowing through a group of bystanders, thus avoiding poking any eyes out.

And people wonder why I hate undergrad.

“Chance me?”

16 Sep

The world of admissions can be a strange beast. Enter it, and you are immediately bombarded with a cacophony of competing voices: those of your pre-law advisor(s), the parentals, friends, acquaintances, the myriad of avatars on TLS, blawgers, etc. I’m not sure any of these groups has the market cornered on inaccurate advice, but I am sure that no one really knows what goes through the mind of an adcomm who is reviewing the 265th application of the day.

What kills me, what really cracks me up, is the advice giving and taking that goes on over at TLS. I’m going to hazard a guess that most of the people browsing the Law School Admissions forum have no real firsthand information on which to base most of their statements; a lot of information there is recycled, anecdotal, inferred, blah blah blah, you get the idea. I’m not saying all of it, or even most of it, is wrong. Actually, I feel very comfortable following most of the advice I read over there, not least because these people are as obsessed as I am with admissions, much more so than my university pre-law advisor (who seems perfectly content to send people to T4 schools paying sticker). A lot of good things come from TLSers, appreqs.com and lawschoolpredictor.com, to name a couple. But really, I feel deeply sorry for people who ask questions like, “What are my chances at Law School X with 17x and 3.xx?”

Because no one knows. A few people will hazard guesses, but those guesses are fairly valueless. I accepted a while back that there is an element of chance that no one can anticipate correctly, and then I moved on. With this “moving on” came a dramatic decrease in the number of hours brief, pop-in-to-have-a-look-around stops I made over to TLS, and I realized that life exists outside of the law school admissions process. It also probably helps that (a) I have an LSAT score I’m pleased with, (b) my essays and other application materials are finished, (c) I have admission to a school where I would have no problem going, and (d) my friends and family are thisclose to kicking me out of their lives if I don’t STFU about law school.

Returning to the world of normal, balanced people has been a treat. I highly recommend it.

!!!

11 Sep

I just got my first law school acceptance (via BlackBerry, thank God for sanity-facilitating technology).  I thought I’d feel more excited. Mostly, I feel annoyed that I need to fill out additional scholarship applications. I also feel annoyed because I know that I am embarking on a life path that will be overwhelmingly paperwork based, and I should consider the law school admissions hoop-jumping a primer, but really, I just want to revel in my success for a bit.

Opportunity-Cost

9 Sep

I run across people, in real life and through Internet forums like TLS, who have done, bluntly, pretty impressive stuff. They’ve done research (independently or in assisting positions) on things they care about. They have great insight into and familiarity with particular areas. They write dissertations and give panel presentations. Even as undergrads, they took on research responsibilities and began learning how to be real academics–not exactly on par with the “try not to plagiarize your ten-page term paper” instruction I receive in my upper level courses.

I don’t want to be an academic, but this knowledge is disheartening. Because what have I done?

I’ve taken a standardized test, and I did well. I’m proud of this. I am.  I completely devoted myself to test preparation, but it feels absolutely empty now, three months later. I almost wish I had undertaken an honors thesis instead, but if I had, my LSAT score may have reflected that choice. In the long run, a few points on the LSAT is worth more than fifty pages of original research to an admissions committee. Those few points are the difference between ninety-ninth percentile and… everyone else. The difference between T6 and… everyone else. The difference between BigLaw and… everything else.

So in terms of opportunity-cost, maybe I made the right decision. I sold my academic and intellectual curiosity for the ability to determine whether the stegosaurus can be mauve or whether it must be yellow. I hope it’s worth it.

CCN!!!!11!1!!!1 zOMG!! AAAhhhahhh!!!!!111!@!1

5 Sep

My CCN applications are submitted, and I have been seized by the feeling that I should have tossed an ED NYU’s way. 

Damn you, fear of commitment. If you’ve just ruined my chances at NYU, consider our relationship over.

See that ball? I’m on it.

1 Sep

Annnnd that brings my submitted app count to three. 

The process of filling in biographical information and attaching .docx files is so arduous that I’m not sure any more will be submitted this week.