Archive for January, 2013

Just Take the “F” Out of Way01.16.13

Now that there’s nothing to left to do but panic about whether I get accepted or not, I have a lot more time to write. Last year, after I turned in my application, things became dead quiet around here because I was afraid of talking about the application because I might jinx it. Seeing as to how that turned out, I might as carry on my merry ways. Also, last year, I didn’t think I was ready for law school and was quietly praying that no one else noticed. This year is different because in spending most of a year trying to convince a law school I’m a good candidate for their school, I have convinced myself I’m a good candidate for law school.

Previously, I mentioned I took an LSAT Prep course, and I felt like it was money well spent if only for the help that Sandy provided. That feeling was reinforced on my second application. After my wrote my first draft of personal statement, I sent it off to Sandy to ask what she thought of it. I honestly expected her to come back with some polite variation of, “Seriously lady, you paid for our LSAT prep service back in April 1, 2011. It’s now a year and a half later and you still want my help?” This prep service didn’t charge a separate application help fee and it’s not even part of their “sell” feature, I would have gone to them with or without the application help, so this was something they added to be nice. Instead of telling me to move along, Sandy gave me some editing advice and said she’ll be available to read future drafts. She’s very sweet like that. And she held my hands until the end–even during the holidays. I can’t express enough thanks for her.

After sending her my second draft along with a link to my blog, she wrote back that she didn’t like my first essay and, “I tried to dance around it last time but because you sent me to your blog, I have found out you are a really good writer and there is some great stuff in there.”  She concluded this long email full of extremely helpful advice with, “Write like you are writing for your blog.” When I tell my friends what Sandy wrote, they all cringe for me, and I have to reel them back in with, “No, no, she said lots of good things.” I suppose your average person would get upset if someone told them they don’t like certain piece of their writing. However, I think most writers who are semi-prolific writers would have to know they have plenty of writings that are complete duds. It could be because they were experimenting with tones, trying a new point of view, or experiencing hormonal flux. Also, after taking a writing class where we do writing workshops, I’ve learned that I improve the most from people who are critical with specific details. “I loved what you wrote,” while it massages my ego for a moment, doesn’t help me write any better.

I really appreciated Sandy’s honesty throughout the editing process. As I wrote not too long ago, I was helping my seventeen year old brother with his college essay. The first essay he sent me made me wince in pain from trying to follow it. He wrote it like he was trying way to hard to impress some college board. There were so many big words and dramatic flare that I imagined if someone were to read it out loud, they would have to do some artsy Shakespearean bow to show, “I too know how douchey and pretentious I’m about to sound.” I’ve had emails from my brother where I had to double check who sent me the email because it’s incredibly well thought out and articulate, so I know he’s capable of stringing words together beautifully. So I’ve advised him, “Write like you are writing for a very good friend.” In the end, he loosened up his tie but the wool ascot still itched a little.

Of course it’s always easier to give advice than take it. I didn’t write my essay like it was for a friend or my blog. So before a complete rewrite of my essay, I spent a couple days thinking about the difference in how I wrote my first essay and my blog. My first thought was my blog was different because I wrote it for myself. I put a certain word after another for no reason other than: Because it pleases me so. This blog is written with myself as the target audience. Then I thought, is it? I mean if it’s just me, would I spend so much time crafting a sentence that might make me crack a smile from time to time? Extra points if I’m laughing out loud? That’s when it came to me, I write this blog for my ADHD id. I write this for a future self that stopped caring about her past self and will only read this if it has something more to offer than a quick trot down memory lane. I’m Lindy hopping for my id. Also, Sandy is telling me the admission counselors are all really my ADHD id with dressier shoes. Which, I guess if someone has to go through two thousand plus applications, that would not be a poor assumption.

My absolute favorite piece of advice is her recommendation against using mountaineering as a comparison to law school because she has “heard from several law schools that they are tired with the ‘I have climbed a mountain, therefore, I can do law school’ essay.” That is simply brilliant to me. Taking a step away from my mountaineering self, I would say to me, “Give me a fucking break, you put one foot in front of the other for hours, it’s not like you’re a hero saving orphans or anything!”

To get the admission board out of my mind as I’m writing my personal statement, I closed Microsoft Word and opened up the WordPress editor on my blog. I wrote it like another post with all the expletives that I would normally use. In the end, I wrote a post that was so informal and personal, I worried it would get rejected out of inappropriate familiarity. It read too much like a crumpled page of my diary that I didn’t even bother to smooth out before sending it in. However, it did put the “personal” in my personal statement. Then I went back and deleted all the “fuck” and changed “shit” to “poo”, because the only time I’ve read a college entrance essay with “fuck” that worked was a war-hero quoting his drill sergeant.  And we have already established the fact that I’m no hero. Unless you count the time I put a bucket over a giant fucking wolf spider that was beelining for my cousin. And then I did the heebie-jeebies dance for the next half hour. That dance could rival the fiercest war dance in heroism. *insert dramatic Shakespearean bow here*

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Ugh, Not Again01.09.13

Early this morning I was rejected out of the same law school I’ve been vying for, again. No, not really. It turned out to be only a dream. I won’t go into details because no one has ever been able to describe their dream in great details without sounding like a crazy person, and I’d rather you judge me as a crazy person on my own merits. But for those few minutes, it felt real and it was traumatizing. The thing that I remember feeling so vividly was despite saying I have backup plans and all the false bravados, I really didn’t want to go that route. I felt the same dreaded “What now?” feeling I felt after receiving the first rejection letter. Backup plan fail.

I was soooo happy to wake up and realize it was a dream after all, but then the feeling of not having a true backup plan sank in and I felt horrible at the same time. I told my partner that I got rejected from law school again in my dreams and he said, “Oh God, that’s awful, dear. I’m so sorry.” Then he hugged  me and told me he had a dream too. He dreamed that he ad-libbed a song that went viral on YouTube and became a worldwide hit. Because there’s nothing like being cheered by knowing you are in a relationship with someone whose secret unrealized dream is to be a YouTube sensation.

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It’s That Time of the Year01.03.13

Once again, it is the time of the year to work very hard on that New Year’s resolution — for the next two weeks. For some of us, it is also that time of the year to get our law school applications sent out.

I’ve had quite a few people stumble onto this site because they too got rejections in the mail last year. So, maybe some of you are going through the drill with me again this year. Does it get easier? No, it really doesn’t. It’s not like, “Oh, after the first baby, the second time around is much easier.” This is what it is, “I was rejected the first time, and ohmygod please don’t let that happen again second time around!”

The nice thing about second time around? I’ve spent an entire year thinking about nothing but: “Is this what I really want!?” Of course I thought about the same thing while applying the first time around, but that was in the midst of studying for LSATs and applying for the first time. When I had a queasy knot in my stomach, I couldn’t tell you it’s from LSAT panic, thinking about applying, or indigestion. Quite often, it’s (D) All of the above.

I had a very good year to calmly reflect on whether this is what I really want for my life.

It still is, almost more so with the two years I’ve already committed at this point. The three years that I had previously whined and bitched about seems almost inconsequential now. This year, if I get rejected from the same school again, I will have to study outside of this city. I didn’t apply to any “safety school” last year, because I really wanted to stay in the area. This is something that I’m changing this time around.

So what is my obsession with staying in the area? Well, aside from the obvious, wherever you go to school is where you make your connections for future jobs, so if I wish to work in Seattle area, making my connections here seem like a good idea. I want to stay here for my mother.

I’m at that age where most of people of my age group start to infantilize their parents. Around this point, the parent/child roles get reversed and we worry about our parents more. As an immigrant with immigrant parents that never learned to speak English well though, that role has been a part of my life since I learned enough English to be helpful. I’ve always had to take care of my parents. I even took care of my parents’ friends. Around the age of ten, my uncle drove me to the hospital to help translate for a friend of the family. I had to figure out how to translate “when was your last menstrual cycle” between two languages that I did not understand it in. That was before hospitals legally require translator present.

Last time I took my mother to her mammogram, a translator magically appeared. When I tried to dismiss her, she said she’s required to be there. Apparently hospitals have been having issues with family members leaving out vital information on symptoms or lying to the patient when they tested positive for cancer. I wanted to know where was this translator when I had to blushingly figure out how to say “period”. My mother had a false positive first scan. Sitting there, waiting for a re-scan, I realized this is information I would hate to receive if I was across the country. She is at an age where her mortality is more real to me, being around for her is something I want very much.

Reapplication! I turned in my application on December 28th. I probably could have gotten it in much much sooner because most of the file was complete already from they year before. I only needed to add a new transcript and a new personal statement, but I dragged ass on the essay. I understand procrastination stems from the subconscious’s attempts to save the conscious mind from potential failure and embarrassment from said failure, but my subconscious does such a shitty job at saving me. I say this because as I was in the last stages of writing and trying to tie all the needed information together with reddish imprints of my fingers on my temple, I found myself staring at my sudsy toilet bowl with brush in one hand and spray bottle in the other. What the hell am I being saved from that was soooo bad that scrubbing the toilet seems like the better alternative? I love writing, so one would think the better alternative to something I already love would be freaking awesome. Like I should be writing one moment, and find myself on a ski lift the next moment. However, I have to say, having a mostly sparkling toilet without remembering how it got that way is something of a treat, I wouldn’t complain if my laundry got washed and folded that way.

If you got rejected from law school last year and are reapplying this year, know that you are not alone in your journey and I wish you the best of luck.

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