Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hot V.O.T.S.M.L.M.A.P Updates!

Well it's been a little over two weeks since the V.O.T.S.M.L.N.A.P. was announced and the brackets came trickling in: overly pessimistic predictions (thanks, dad), overly optimistic predictions (thanks, mom), and a milieu of middling ones. At the same time the brackets were coming in so were the letters. Here's a wrap up of the first five to arrive:

Columbia University School of Law +5

Number of supposed applicants: "over 7,000 candidates will seek admission to our entering class, numbering approximetly 370 students."

Rejection Phrase: "we regret to inform you that we are unable to take favorable action."

Well Wish: "We wish you much success and satisfaction at your law school of choice and beyond, throughout your career."

A local long shot, Columbia does get the award for the quickest turn around. Like I've told every woman I've been with: If you're going to dump me, at least be prompt about it.

Northwestern University School of Law +5

Number of Supposed Applicants: "We typically receive more than 5,000 applications for an incoming class of 240."

Rejection Phrase: "...regret that we are unable to offer you admission ..."

Well Wish: "...my sincere wishes for success in your future endeavors."

The tightwads at Northwestern couldn't even spare some paper and a stamp to mail their rejection letter. My rejection was a needlessly complicated process of them emailing me a pin number that I put into their website which directed me to a pdf of what my letter would have looked like. I printed it out just so I could crumple it up.

Georgetown University Law Center +4

Number of Supposed Applicants: "we received almost 12,000 applications for the 575 places available..."

Rejection Phrase: "unable to approve of your application for admission..."

Well Wish: "we wish you success in attaining your academic goals."

To note, of all the applications I've filled out, Georgetown was probably the most straightforward and easiest. I think you might have even been allowed to send it in without a letter of recommendation. Perhaps that's why their supposed application number is so high. That or they're suffering from some major application envy and are overcompensating

New York University School of Law +5

Number of Supposed Applicants: "We expect more than 7,600 candidates to compete for admission this year,"

Rejection Phrase: "...we are unable to offer you admission..."

Well Wish: "Please accept our best wishes for your educational and professional success."

Et tu NYU? Well, my personal statement argument of "hey you let me in the first time, why not give it another go" wasn't enough to sway the admissions people. It was just a big a long shot as Columbia but I figured they owed me a solid for being so prompt with my payments for four years.

American University Washington College of Law +3


But that word doesn't mean rejection? A surprising palette cleanser to the denial parade, the first signs of proof that I am capable of at least semi-rejection. Pretty soon I might even dream of getting, dare I say, an acceptance letter. You feeling crazy, Harvard?

Well that's the story of the pool for now. Some expected early rejections, no huge upsets. It's 4 and a 1/2 down with 15 to go. Remember, entries are still possible with a current -4 handicap if you're feeling lucky. See you all at the final verdict. Victor Out!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Victor's One Time Special March Legal Madness Acceptance Pool!!

So as part of the long process of being railroaded into law school by my parents, I've just recently finished the application process. Now when I manged to sneak into NYU for undergrad I went early decision and never applied anywhere else, so I felt a little bit of regret over not experiencing the usual process of applying to schools. Now for the first time ever I've sent out multiple applications to many of the finest law schools in the nation and finally I can experience the hurt of rejection and the (possible) triumph of acceptance and you can too!

Being the generous man I am I want to share this special time with you...the people of the internet and in the spirit of that other college based tournament event that will be starting soon, I've decided to announce my first (and mostly likely only) Victor One Time Special March Legal Madness Acceptance Pool!

Now you too can play along with the V.O.T.S.M.L.M.A.P. at home and the rules are as simple as that acronym is cumbersome:

1. Using a brute force approach to the application process I've applied to 20 different institutions of higher legal learning ranging from impossible long shots to cozy safety schools. I've given these schools a point number based on relative difficulty of acceptance (very scientific). The schools are:
  1. Yale +5
  2. Harvard +5
  3. Columbia +5
  4. NYU +5
  5. Northwestern +5
  6. Cornell +4
  7. Georgetown +4
  8. George Washington University +4
  9. Boston College +4
  10. Fordham +4
  11. University of Maryland +3
  12. American University +3
  13. University of Connecticut +3
  14. Cardozo - Yeshiva University +3
  15. Brooklyn Law +3
  16. Temple +2
  17. Rutgers Camden +2
  18. Seton Hall +2
  19. Rutgers Newark +2
  20. St. John's +2
2. From this list you pick the particular law schools that would be fooled into accepting me. Pick as many or as little as you like, I won't be offended and send them to me at amazingvictor@gmail.com. Once I receive your email it cannot be changed.

3. For every school you picked that accepted me, you will gain said number of points. However, if I get rejected by a school you picked you will lose said number of points. Harder schools have higher rewards but higher risk while safer schools have lower risk but lower rewards.

4. I will regularly give updates as to what schools have accepted or rejected me as the letters begin to come in and privately update all projections.

5. The contest will end when I receive all 20 acceptance/rejection letters and the totals for all participants will be tallied. Looking at how late I sent a lot of these in, I'm looking at late April for full closure. The winner will receive a special prize that's to be determined and will be worth $20...or less. I myself will also have a personal bracket and will give special acknowledgments to everyone who scored better than me.

6. You can enter anytime, however once I start receiving letters from schools anyone entering the pool will have to start with a -1 point handicap for every letter that's already been revealed.

To give everyone a heads up, here are a few facts about me to help with the pool selection process:
  • My LSAT score was a 160 out of 180, about the 90th percentile, a decent score but by no means very sexy to the big name schools (I never did get the hand of the the logic games section...that and I didn't study).
  • My NYU final GPA topped out at around 3.6, pretty good, but then again my major was Communications.
  • I have a couple of club executive board member positions under my belt and some America Reads volunteer credits, always attractive.
  • My personal statement is loaded with what can only be described as the old "Victor charm" and is laden with "I'm the son of poor immigrants who accomplished the American Dream" pathos.
Well that's about it. Think hard, weight your choices, and send them on in. I hope there'll be a large turnout and I wish everyone, including myself the best of luck. See you at the verdict.

Note: My use of its promotional images in no way condones or endorses the alleged "comedy" film Accepted.

Monday, March 05, 2007

"Yeah, this is the Zodiac..."

So the new David Fincher movie about the Zodiac killer, “Zodiac”, came out this weekend and despite it’s tedious running time, uneven reviews, and the magnetic comedy lure of “Wild Hogs” I’ll probably make an effort to see it; on the sole basis that it brought back some old memories of my interest in serial killers in high school. It’s one of those phases you go through growing up. It may not be as common a phase as the POGs, soccer, karate Jim Carey movies, or the Smiths phases many of us through in our formative years, but I wouldn’t say it’s a totally abnormal interest. People have always been interested in serial killing; no other type of crime has been depicted so often in media (with the possible exception of bank robbing).

Of course there’s tons of literature that examines our morbid fascination with it, the reflections it makes on the alienation and nihilism of modern society, etc., etc. I think people are so intrigued because it’s the closest thing we have to real life monsters. These entities are straight up going around, killing indiscriminately like a gumba from Super Mario Bros. When you start the game you have no history with the gumba, but it’s there just lurking, waiting to instantly kill you if you run into it with a touch. Such as the case out there, people just lurking around ready to strike for reasons exclusive only to them. It’s freaky, it’s fascinating.

Anyway, my take on the Zodiac; I recall the Zodiac to be both the most boring and the most frightening serial killer I’ve read about. Much like Chloe Sevingy, I never actually finished any real detailed book about him on account of the tediousness of it all. The complex cryptograms, the ciphers, the cryptic messages, there was so much of it I always ended up losing interest. The most fascinating, and the frightening parts was the fact that he was never caught (I’d say it’s a movie spoiler, but then again come on it’s been like 40 years the news is out) and the freaky getup he wore. I mean seriously, no other serial killer wore this ridiculous pseudo Klan hood and packed a utility belt. He was one of the only guys with enough crazy sanity to try and conceal their identity when working. I also always imagined he’d walk in some sort of stiff robotic manner with minimal knee bending like C-3PO, an extra detail that further freaked me out. Further dehumanizing him was the fact that since he was never identified, he never had a name, just this super villain-esque title of “The Zodiac”. It was like the boogeyman. Imagine how less scary the boogeyman would be to children if it had a name like Joe or Gary or Ron.

There just aren’t serial killers like the Zodiac anymore. Nowadays it’s just an unorganized rabble of sexually arrested loners strangling hookers and hobos in dark alleys. It’s a lot safer for us many of us in the “mainstream” of society; unless you’re hitchhiking at midnight on the interstate, chances are you won’t be a victim of a serial killer, nobody’s threatening to pick off a bus full of school kids unless their demands are met. It’s not a lament or anything, just an observation and if the real Zodiac is still around today and catches one of the ubiquitous commercials for the film on TV, I can totally see him putting down his sudoku puzzle and thinking “man, that Donovan song really captures how scary I must have been!”.