--> divine angst: the power of positive thinking?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

the power of positive thinking?

Now that my LSAT prowess has increased, my fear of the evil test has decreased. Following my big backtrack, I stopped thinking of anything related to law school admissions except the test. Study study study. Practice practice practice.

Now that my studying seems to be back on track, and my confidence is up, I think it's time to return to the dreaded personal statement.

I'm beginning to see the process of writing this little essay as a series of stages. Sort of like the grieving process. I've passed
through, first, the "explanation" stage: Oh, I know I've been out of school for a while, but here's why and here's what I hate about my life now and see how I want to change it?

Then there was the "description" stage: I'm a good writer and like research and oh, yeah, I love to argue and all of these things will make me a really excellent lawyer, don't you think?

Now, finally, I think I'm at a place where I can write something more honest and true. The fact is, there are many other careers I could consider, other educational opportunities I could pursue, other lifestyles I could focus on. Why am I choosing the law school path?

Because it's interesting to me, it will allow me to do things I enjoy (like write and research), I'm definitely qualified, and there's a chance—a pretty big one—that when I'm out, I'll actually be able to get a job related to my graduate education.

Sure, I could try for an MFA in writing, or go after an academic Ph.D. But I don't want to go into several years of schooling without any idea how likely I'll be to get a job in my field when I'm done. I don't want to run after three little letters just because of the prestige. Any letters after my name better make me more marketable.

I'm at a place in my life where stability is pretty important to me. That's not to say that running off to law school with a grad-student husband in tow is choosing stability; but when we're done with our educations, I don't want to have to keep moving around in search of research assistantships, grants, and the possibility of academic tenure. I want to know that, if I like the city we land in, I can probably stay there and get a job that uses my $100,000 degree.

I want it all, I admit. I want to live where I want to live, afford relatively nice things, have a happy, healthy family, and go to work every day to do things I am not only good at but that I also enjoy. I want it all, and I kind of want it on my terms. So, yeah, I have other options. But law and law school are the most attractive.