The grad school personal statement thing has been resolved. I ultimately decided to reject Lady Goo Goo's advice completely and instead took everyone else's advice. Heh.
So I wrote my statement in life story-ish essay format, relating some of my worldly (mis)adventures in trying to find my way back to science, a subject I have always liked but never thought I was capable of. I did not address my statement to anyone, since it will be embedded within my online applications, and I didn't use any canned statements ("My name is The Nostril Queen and I am applying to your physical anthropology program"). I showcased some of my oddball humor and really just had fun with the whole thing, and now feel that it reflects me and my life experiences. This statement, combined with my transcripts full of A's and my CV full of scholarships and awards and research experience, should make for an irresistable (I hope) grad school application. Two other students read my statement and said they loved it, and two other professors read it and said:
"I really like the narrative that you've written and I wouldn't suggest changing it at all."
"As you already know, this is well-written and incredibly entertaining."
Apparently Goo Goo treated everyone else's initial personal statement draft (see previous posts) with the same disdain she did mine, and I think she got some complaints, because yesterday she sent a backpedalling email to all of us McNair scholars saying that we should write our personal statements however we want! Go figure. After I wasted all that time feeling shitty because she was so rude and condescending to me. The word on the street is that she has been taking other McNair kids out to lunches and breakfasts and talking trash about the other McNair coordinator in an attempt to get her fired, and that she's offered to do some other unethical things with other scholars' applications. I've considered writing to the national McNair headquarters to report this baloney, but all I have is circumstantial evidence and hearsay.
Anyway, I have off of work all weekend and so will be making some headway on the grad school applications that are due December 1. Stay tuned!