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Posted Dec 15 2010 3:23pm
Well crap on a stick... my first deadline is in 9 hours! Three graduate apps due. Da-dummm....
Luckily I can use the same personal statement for all three.

Now... on to actually writing the personal statement. Yeah. Haven't whipped that bad boy out yet. I've tried, let me tell you. I've tried! And I have a statement down, but it's not a "winner" as far as I feel. It's not that I'm being hard on myself in this case, the statement is... empty. I've been trying to pin point what's missing and struggled big time with that!

Last night I spent hours hemming and hawing and feeling all kinds of lost with this task. Then the genius idea hit me: get a book that helps you prepare your material and work it out in a well written and logical order. DUHHHH. So I downloaded Kindle for Mac on my MacBook and went shopping. The first "book" I purchased helped me within five minutes. I am not shitting you. There was a preparatory exercise with some things to think about, questions to ask yourself, about yourself. I started thinking of them and immediately tried to conjure up things that I thought the admission people would *want* to hear. As before, it came out empty and hollow. I didn't feel that I put "me" into it.  That won't do.

I started over, this time clearing out any idea of what the people may want to hear (as far as what I was thinking that would be) and wrote the honest to heck truth. I used free writing and let the ideas and things pour out onto the paper. I used my blank sheets and a few different colored slim Sharpies and a black roller pen. Ten loosely written pages later, I looked at what I believe to be a most excellent skeleton, framework it you will, for my personal statement-essay-thingie. It's *me*, I captured *me* (shit, I think, anyhow!) within the words, and wrote from the heart (corny, yeah I know, but that's the best phrase I can think of!). Seriously. I'm pretty pumped with what I have on paper thus far. Granted it's NO WHERE near finished, for crying out loud it's some jumbled sentences, partial thoughts, random descriptive words, and a lot of different colors (I colored coded the different themes I had going on throughout it).

The gist is there. The reasons I have had in my head and body (I can't say heart again, it sounds way too cliche and lame!) that I've been wanting to express, suddenly came out in a way that properly represents them. The guidelines I've read so far talk about using examples and keeping a consistent "theme" or tone throughout the essay. I tried, but was using too much logical and analytical thought. Once I spewed my brains out, I re-read my mini hodgepodge and found that I DID incorporate examples to back up the important qualities I want to share. I also have a general theme to my little life story and the things that have led up to my wanting to study neuro: giganto perseverance, and a wickedly inquiring mind, always seeking to find out "why", no matter what. That's the cliff-notes of it. My free-writing explained the time off from college when I was 20-22, highlighted the things working in the public business crap taught me and how I've benefitted, it explained my withdrawal from classes in my 24-25 years (due to the fact I was bat-shit crazy, but I politely kept that particular tid-bit out of the details) and focused on the positive impact that actually had on my direction with school.

So I hope it works out. I'll soon see.

I'm pretty pissed right now, just talked with the parental unit, she's going on and generally being stupid about my grad apps, acting like I should go to the store (currently in my PJs) and get salt for the drive way. Excuse me, NO. I need to get this shit done. It's kinda only my future really. No freaking biggie...
Then her dog that faints and is generally in not the greatest health started barking at me when I was arguing back about the importance of my freaking application essays (which I'd already spent time in the dog's room with her looking at some new stuff she got from a friend). So the fainting dog gets excited, she gets pissed at me for exciting him (my bad for freaking talking and having an opinion about something important that she didn't seem to realize), and this whole thing pissed me off. And I feel like head-butting the wall. Which I won't do, because app writing will certainly be more difficult if my head is lodged within drywall and insulation. Just sayin'.

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