ArginBeaner Wanna Pencil is our codenamer of the week. Why? I don’t know. I don’t really understand it, but I like the sound of it. She also has one of the more intriguing questions of the week:
When it comes to personal statements your book suggests that we include experience of interest and I wondered where you stand on things that might be a bit controversial. Do we leave out, for example, club scene drug use and stripping by night while refusing to give up high school district job and leave in high tech marketing career w/ literacy mentorship in low income schoools?
I have no idea what the second half of that last sentence means, so I’ll have to skip that. ABWP is a mysterious person.
If I was on the committee, I definitely wouldn’t want to read about anyone’s drug use. I certainly don’t mind that in a story, but I don’t want to see it on the personal statement. While the personal statement can be friendly, that’s way too friendly. I’d personally cross that person off immediately. Why? It shows bad judgment (including it on the personal statement). And I wouldn’t want a person with a substance abuse problem as a potential teacher of my school’s undergraduates.
As for stripping etc. I think it’s fine to include that. It’s interesting, that’s for sure. Keep all these type-things as complements to what you’re really saying in your personal statement: I’m serious as a writer, I work hard, I work well with others, and you won’t regret giving me an opportunity. Those are the main things, and the life experience is secondary, not the other way around.
Rock on, ABWP. I have a feeling we’ll have some interesting reader comments on this one. Anyone have their own personal statement story or an opinion on this one? Bring it on.