Bad Idea Jeans: Nobody Does It Like Sandra Lee
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many of you are putting the finishing touches on your law school applications. You might also be getting a few cooking tips from some of the great chefs at The Food Network. We here at 203 are especially big fans of Sandra Lee, host of TFN's Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. For those of you who aren't familiar with Aunt Sandy, as we like to call her, you should really check out her show, not least because she offers numerous opportunities to exclaim, out loud, "Oh no she didn't."
Needless to say, we were THRILLED when we found out after the elections earlier this month that Aunt Sandy is now officially the First Girlfriend of the Great State of New York. My post-election SHWSL-watching marathon got me thinking about law school applications (and how I could work in a gratuitous blog reference to her show). This came on the heels of a pretty standard query from an applicant about whether he ought to include one (and maybe two!) academic papers in his application package, so that the admissions committee could get a sense of his academic interests. While this wasn't a particularly unreasonable question (although the answer was no, and no) it did make me remember some instances when applicants clearly lost their minds in an effort to "stand out" in the admissions process.
Like the applicant last year who wrote her 250-word essay...in rap. Or the guy who included a self-addressed rejection letter in his application (with a typo). Or the applicant who mentioned ten times that she was a "blogger," and practically forced me to check out her blog -- only to find that it contained exactly six posts, the last one being a description of wearing her skimpiest outfit to a bar and asking a random man there to "rate" her. Oh no she didn't! Uh, yes she did.
What does this have to do with dear Aunt Sandy? Well, if you've watched her show, you know that, after preparing a mind-bending cocktail, she ends each episode with an elaborate "tablescape." A friend (and obvious TFN novice) asked me, "Is a tablescape a painting of a table setting?" No, dear heart. That would be somewhat dignifed, and require at least a little talent. Tablescapes are best experienced in the context of an actual show, but here is a small sampling:
You get the idea. There are some things -- like color-coordinating your kitchen to your outfit -- that seem like a very good idea...but aren't. Therefore, you should always double-check your application for sound judgment before you hit send. Ask yourself, "Is there anything in my application that resembles a Sandra Lee tablescape?" To wit, does your application include anything that is:
1) Not required, completely unecessary, and suggestive of an altered mental state?
2) Liable to frighten small children and/or offend the elderly?
3) Pretty much guaranteed, in the land of the sane, to put your application in the reject pile?
Remember: you don't need to "stand out" -- you just need to be solid. If you've double checked your applications and have sent them into the black hole of admissions review, congratulations! As you wait -- either for your admissions decision or your turkey to cook -- you might want to try out one of Aunt Sandy's "recipes":
Oh yes...she did.