Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Break, I Guess

I'm supposed to be on a break, but I'm finding it impossible. Sitting home with Abby reminds me so much of what it was like before law school I find myself falling into the same old habits. Like not showering or wearing pants. Bad!

I know I will be miserable if I spend the rest of the break (school starts on January 10) sitting around not wearing pants. The first morning I have to wake up and put on pants I will hate life. So, I'm resolved to keep busy. Today The Mad Scientist took work off to spend the day at home with us. He's been working really hard lately, largely because his job is probably going to end on the 15th and he doesn't want to leave anything unfinished. Why he feels he owes them any favors is beyond me. On the plus side, his boss has set him up with an interview in the same department at the university, so we may not be losing his pension, our benefits, my tuition discount, etc. Cross your fingers for us!

Today I felt inspired to move furniture. So that's what we did. We got the Playstation Move for Christmas (from Santa) and our ceiling fan was causing major problems. And injuries. My poor law school-addled brain kept thinking about who we could sue. Law school has officially ruined the show for me. For those of you who don't know, that's a metaphor for the phenomenon you experience when you watch Law and Order after starting law school. Show is ruined, see? We moved everything around and I like it much, much better. We converted Abby's crib to a toddler bed. She is currently sleeping soundly in it, so I think we made the right decision. How we'll feel tomorrow morning when she's up and out of it and playing at 5 am I guess we'll have to wait and see. So far she basically feels like the bed is an indoor trampoline. Again I think of products liability. Grr. We reorganized all her toys and got the house cleaned up. Our room is still a total mess, filled with gifts we've received but haven't put away yet. I love getting (and giving) but it's hard to find homes for all the swag.

I'm sad that Christmas is over, because now I'm (nearly, after New Years) back to normal. This break has gone really fast because we have had so much stuff to do, but I know it's going to slow down. I miss school so much. I'm excited for this semester, because I get to take Criminal Law. That should be swell. Also, I get to begin volunteering for the pro bono initiative. I'm leaning toward the immigration clinic or the Street Law Clinic. I guess it will depend on the schedules.

Still no grades yet. We won't find out until January 15. I'm terrified and still in shock and nearly to the point of not caring. I know there isn't anything I can do at this point. I'm hoping the heavy doses of NyQuil didn't screw my Contracts exam up. Time will tell. I hope everyone had a great holiday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Didn't Get the Number off that Truck

So, Torts. Ugh. What a frakking nightmare. By the time it was over I felt like I had been violated. Seriously. Like I had been robbed at gunpoint (hmm it's torts, so I guess I was what? Hit by a negligent train?) or something. Traumatized. The first two hours I felt fine. The questions were pretty easy. There was a lot on res ipsa loquitur which was so specific I had to guess. We had a break, and then part two. Part two was much harder. There was a lot of proximate cause, and the questions were so very specific. It was awful. Still, I think I did pretty well all in all.

Who would have thought that CivPro would be my best exam?

Contracts was today. A few days ago I came down with a horrible cold. I've been so plugged up and drugged up I couldn't effectively study. I finished my outline but didn't study it much. I showed up for the exam today, and it was nothing like I expected. I can't really explain how, it was just odd. One-third multiple choice. I couldn't get over the fact that I had an 80% chance of getting no points on each question. Awful. I am pretty sure I nailed the essays, but who's to say?

We won't know our grades for three weeks. Home, no school, just me and Abigail for three weeks. Any normal person would be thrilled. I think I might be bored to death.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tortfeasible

Monday will be my Torts exam. I was feeling very comfortable with it until I took the practice test. My professor is old-school, so he doesn't put up old exams for students to see, doesn't allow you to record his lectures, and it's completely closed book. Oh, and mostly true/false and multiple choice. Still, I was okay with it. I get torts, it just makes sense to me. Or so I thought.

A couple years ago a number of students got together after the exam and wrote down as many questions as they could remember. They typed them all up, provided answers, and made a 4 hour exam out of them. Some are duplicated, some are from supplements, and some are the real deal. I started taking the exam, trying to simulate real exam conditions. Until I noticed that the numbering on the exam appeared to be wrong. Things weren't lining up right. I was about 3/4 of the way through it and decided to stop and grade what I could. It took 2 hours, because I had to redo all the numbering. Finally, I realized it wasn't the document, it was frakking Open Office. It was all screwed up for some reason.

I got it all graded, and I'd scored a 67%. Apparently that's a decent score for one of his exams, so I guess I'm happy?? Anyway, now I'm going through all the questions one by one and making sure I understand the answer. I've heard the best way to study for his exams is just re-read the entire casebook. But he'll spend half an hour in class focusing on the "etc." in one line of the Thorns case. No way that sort of thing will jump out at me if I just read the book again. I figure the test is the best way to study but I'm just guessing.

Sounds like I'll be doing a lot of that.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Never Too Busy for Tradition

Obviously being in law school has kept me from doing things that matter to me, but I am determined that it is not going to ruin my holiday season. I took time to put up the Christmas tree and really enjoyed it. One thing I keep meaning to do that has not happened (in almost two years) is get some photos taken of us. It's just such a struggle getting everyone ready and heading out. I can't even think about picking out Christmas cards. I've found a solution though, thanks to Shutterfly and their fantastic blogger promotion. I have been using a similar site for digital scrapbooking for a while now, but they made some changes I didn't like. Shutterfly has proven to be a fantastic tool for me, especially given how busy I am. To be able to choose the photo you want and create a Christmas card (even without having a Christmas-themed photo taken) really saves time and energy. Plus, who knows if Abby would be interested in posing for a photo at a professional studio?

Instead, I grabbed some random photos of her and placed them in one of Shutterfly's 800+ holiday card templates. I haven't finalized the changes yet, but here is what it looks like so far:



It looks great, doesn't it? And I did hardly any work at all. In fact, I made this in about five minutes in between practice Torts exams.

Something else I love, is that ever since I became a mom I basically have a ready-made gift idea for my in-laws and my parents every year. Anything Abigail-themed and photo-based makes them happy. Sites like Shuttefly let you get great gifts with minimal effort, that will be cherished for years to come. I like the custom calendar options in particular. If you live far away, you can make a custom calendar so your family can see your little one every month. Also, I hate picture frames because when you give them they might not go with the recipient's decor, so these desktop plaques are great.

I'm already getting geared up for Abby's 2nd birthday party, and I'm going to make custom invitations to go with the theme of the party. I did this last year (with matching Thank You notes) and got a ton of compliments. I even used the extra ones to do a page in my scrapbook.

If you would like to get 50 free holiday cards, take advantage of this promotion for bloggers. The requirements are minimal and you get to take advantage of their fantastic website. You can check it out here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One Down!

Last night I went down and slept in the guest room. Abigail has been crying a lot at night lately and I was worried about not getting enough sleep. GOOD CALL. Apparently she woke up every half hour all night long. Not sure what's going on there, but I am really glad I went downstairs to sleep. I slept great and woke up feeling refreshed and ready for my CivPro exam at 8:30.

I had finished up my outline on Tuesday and decided to spend Wednesday relaxing and sort of forgetting about it altogether. We put up our Christmas tree and I watched an entire disc of How I Met Your Mother. It was legen-waitforit-dary!!!

7:00 when my alarm went off I freaked out for a minute. What if it was a mistake to take a day off? What if I flipped the page and everything on it was totally unfamiliar? I was terrified.

But, I showed up, and from the get-go I knew I had it. I've never felt so good about an exam. I NAILED IT.

Or did I?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

There once was a guy named Pennoyer

There once was a man named Pennoyer,
Who got screwed by a guy and his lawyer,
While he wanted Neff's land,
Or maybe remand,
Lack of P.J's a destroyer.

CivPro exam tomorrow, wish me luck!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finals

It's funny how everyone's blogs suddenly went without content, huh? It's almost like there is some major 1L event going on this week. Oh wait, yep it's finals.

So far I'm doing okay. I've been pretty calm and have been working diligently. I wish I had gotten more outlining done over Thanksgiving. I had more to do on my CivPro outline than I thought I did, and I am concerned about devoting equal time to my other subjects. That said, my school is very careful about exam scheduling. I will have CivPro this Thursday, Torts next Monday, and Contracts on Friday. The days in between should be sufficient, but I guess we'll never know.

All in all I feel pretty good about it, though I have had a couple moments of panic. Largely, I feel like if it's in my outline I'll be okay. Torts is a different story, as it's 400 true/false in 4 hours with closed book. YIKES! I think it will be fun though, in a weird way.

There, I promised I would blog, and while it isn't much, there it is.

If I start going insane I am going to take a break and put up our Christmas tree. I waited until the week before last year. Maybe I'll be even earlier this year, yay me!

All the 1L's out there, good luck with finals. I have discovered that a glass of wine helps with nerves. Also while I never use my coffee maker it's coming in quite handy this week! I never thought I would miss the coffee cart at school so much!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful

My sister-in-law sent out an email discussing all the reasons she is thankful this year. And she made me cry. She'll deny the whole thing of course. It's not often you know where you stand with your in-laws, so it was nice to be included on her list. It inspired me to do my own post, although it's a few days late.

First, I am grateful for my husband. He does all these amazing things that I just don't think I could do. He works 50 hours a week. He goes to the gym at 5am so he will have enough time to get in a full workout and still come home to relieve me around 5pm. He takes care of Abby and the house and doesn't make me feel guilty (I do that all by myself!). He is really an incredible person and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him. Also, he's hot.

I'm grateful to have The Most Amazing baby ever. She is getting so big. I love the way she calls me "Mommy" and gives me hugs and kisses. Also, she's not even two yet and she knows almost the entire alphabet by sight. So smart and so sweet, and she's almost never grumpy.

I'm grateful for my parents, and how much they love Abigail. They take her for weekends to give us a break, and they completely adore it. It's not a chore to them, it's a privilege. I'm grateful that my father and I can have conversations even when we differ, and that my mom is still my best friend.

I'm grateful for my siblings-in-law. My sister and I are for the most part estranged, and I rarely get to see my older brother. My siblings-in-law (and their spouses) are so nice and are always happy to see us. They love Abigail (even those who aren't particularly into kids) and help out when they can. I wish we could see them more, but that's what happens when you live an hour away. Seeing them at Sunday dinner is always a treat. They are talented, funny, and fiercely smart people.

I'm grateful for my parents-in-law. They are two of the most kind and generous people I've ever met. I know that should I need them for anything, I can call them up and they will help, no questions asked.

I'm grateful for my school friends. What an amazing journey I've begun, and with all these smart and compassionate people! In particular, I am grateful for Lola. I had all but given up on having a best friend until she came along. That is not to speak unkindly about my other friends, it's just that I've never had such a close connection with someone. I actually ACHED for her over Thanksgiving break. I don't know how I will survive summer!

I'm grateful for law school. I am so lucky to do something I feel so passionately about every day. I love the challenge, the interesting discussions, and the stress. I feel valued and valuable, and like I'm doing something that matters. I can't believe I almost didn't go.

Finally, I am grateful for this life I live. Things are scary in so many parts of the world, and even here, at times. I am lucky to have my first-world problems and the resources to help others. Right now my biggest problem is I ate too much Chicken Parmesan. See? First world problems.

Right now we are trying to figure out which charities we want to donate to, and it's a struggle. We can only choose two, and we may not be able to give that much. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to tell if you are suffering from temporary multiple personality study disorder.

1. You are super excited to hand in your memo and be done with it. Until you realize it means you have to prepare for exams.

2. You feel a surge of energy as you begin to prepare your outlines. Until you discover your first exam is CivPro. Yuck.

3. You cannot wait to crack open the commercial outlines you bought and let their wisdom flow into you. Until you realize your professor is the crazy one who uses a completely different casebook and focuses on different cases than those in the outlines.

4. You excitedly start counting down the days to the end of the semester. Until you start counting down the days to the end of the semester. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?!?! I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME! GAHHHH!!!

5. You loathe the idea of applying for jobs already. Until you realize preparing your resume is a good distraction from studying.

6. You responsibly vow to avoid Facebook so you can focus. Until you realize you're desperate to see if your classmates are panicking too, so you hop on Facebook.

7. On the day of the Big Game you decide to watch with friends and take a break. Until you start arguing that Official Play Review is sort of like binding arbitration. Hey, Cougars, you AGREED that the official's call would be binding! SUCK IT!

8. You wisely decide to forgo alcohol while studying. Until you go over Subject Matter Jurisdiction and pray that a glass of wine will wipe it all out again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Courtroom Drama

Yesterday was a very exciting day, when I was expecting it to be boring. Before I tell the tale, you should know a little background information.

First, there is a huge huge huge trial going on at our local Federal courthouse. It's in the news and everything, whoo. This means a huge media presence. It just so happens Lola had to go to court to observe for her CivPro class, so I offered to tag along with her.

Second, a couple weeks ago I attended a lecture given by one of my professors. He'd written an article about the whole foreclosure mess and what is being called "split note theory." It was gaining a lot of media attention, and the lecture was really interesting. I felt all riled up.

So we arrive yesterday at the Federal courthouse and the place is completely deserted. Thursday at 3 is the time to be there if you want to see nothing. Although the security guys were very nice and chatty with us. While waiting for them to unlock the court, we parked ourselves on a bench. The big trial had been over for hours (well, for that day anyway) and it seemed like everyone had gone home. The judge we were observing had only this one motion hearing and she was done for the day. I watched as a young guy in a suit walked down the hall, looked over at us for a second, and then walked into a room marked "Private." I heard him say "Are you ready?" The door closed, and about five minutes later it opened again. Out walked the defendant in this big huge case, in handcuffs. The guy in the suit, who I am assuming was counsel, walked with him as he was led away by a guard. I guess they waited to take him back to the jail until after the circus had gone.

It was sort of like seeing a celebrity. He looked me right in the eye and it was a very unsettling feeling.

After that a bailiff came by and unlocked the courtroom to let us in. We sat down and a few minutes later an attorney came in. He asked if we were with opposing counsel's firm. We told him we were students and asked if we could get the info on the case since we had a few minutes. He began describing the facts, which were all about the exact topic that my professor had written in his review article. What are the odds? So we already knew about it, and that doesn't happen a lot in 1L.

Opposing counsel (plaintiff) came in. They presented their arguments, and I have to say the plaintiff's counsel was very very good. He argued well. I recognized much of his language from the lecture, and I was pretty sure I had seen him there. It turns out he is a major player in this particular theory, and my professor quotes him in the review article.

After the hearing we asked if we could get some info from him, identified ourselves as students of Professor K, and he was very nice. He gave us some documents to look over and told us Professor K is considering getting a pro bono clinic related to foreclosures going at the school. I am definitely interested in that. We were so lucky to get to attend a hearing based on subject matter we are familiar with.

Plus, there was some drama which I won't go into, out of respect for all parties. Let's just say, lawyers are remarkably civil to each other and to judges at times when I would really want to scream and stamp my feet like a toddler.

The day ended with some shopping, which made it a very good one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pencil Head

My K professor always wears a pencil in his ear. Someone today decided to pass around a pack of yellow pencils as a prank. We all stuck them behind our ears. Professor K thought it was funny but quickly moved on.

I don't know who it was, but I tip my pencil to them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Tell It's the End of the Semester

How to tell if it's the end of the semester:

1. Even the nicest girl in school can piss you off by doing nothing wrong at all.

2. Little noises (like my friend's computer fan which whirrrrrrr whirrr whirrrs constantly all through class) start to sound like a drumline standing next to you.

3. You find yourself more willing to gossip about people and be catty, just to talk about something other than school.

4. Even the Luv Sac in the lounge that no one sits on because of The Incident a few years ago starts to look inviting. I could really use a nap, so...

5. You suddenly do not care if you get an "'Atta boy!" from the professors. And yet cling to the ones you do get like they are the last bit of oxygen in the tank.

6. Diet Coke for lunch, which used to seem insane, now seems perfectly healthy. And luxurious!

7. Exercise, which you normally hate, is sounding really good. At least it's not CivPro.

8. You want to punch Cardozo in the face. Or Andrews. Or any judge, really. Except the one that might give you a job this summer. That judge is awesome.

9. You feel a strange tension between your Perfectionist self and your "Aww Fuck it" self.

10. You dream aliens invade your house. And they offer to let you come to their home planet so you sell all your worldly possessions and then they leave you behind. So you want to sue them claiming you detrimentally relied on their promise. Or something like that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Passion

Much of the 1L experience is spent slogging through cases and just trying to survive. This naturally leads to complaining. I use my blog to vent and the writing process helps me sort out issues and relieve stress. That said, sometimes it's just difficult to get passionate about things when you're in survival mode.

Now and then, however, you find something to grab onto. You feel inspired and that surge of energy that comes with inspiration pushes you on and reminds you about why you've decided to go to law school.

While I am not looking forward to applying for summer jobs (we're being told to start preparing now), a few events have helped motivate me in the past week.

First, we had an exoneree come and speak at the school. What an amazing story he had to tell. The injustices felt by wrongfully convicted persons are appalling. Parolees get more consideration from the State than exonerees, yet the trauma of being wrongfully convicted certainly merits the same psychological and financial relief afforded to parolees. I had already been planning to do the Innocence Clinic as soon as I'm allowed, and this furthered my resolve. I hadn't previously considered doing defense work, but the more events I attend the more appealing it seems to be.

We also had a fantastic event by one of my favorite professors, who had been receiving national attention for some law review articles he'd recently written about the foreclosure crisis. I had no idea some of the things going on, and it was pretty disturbing. It was thrilling to see the passion this professor had about his research and the cause in general. I want to find my own niche in the legal world.

If I have a prayer of getting onto law review, which I may not even care about were it not the best way to get into academia, I better start caring about something now. It's hard to write if you don't have passion.

I certainly do not have passion for my legal memo. I am horrified that it will be given out with my resume as a writing sample, because I didn't choose the topic. You inevitably write less well when you aren't interested in the subject. Were this a paying client (or a worthy pro bono cause) I would have a much more vested interest.

What? You think a good grade in the course should produce that level of interest?

Perhaps, but while I can do great on the memo and get a great grade, passion leads to BRILLIANT writing and that is what I want to showcase to my future employers.

I am hoping to take a class with a writing requirement that will allow me to work on something interesting that I can use instead. I don't think my employers want to read about common law marriage. YUCK.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Smack my B***tch Up

Today I made that CivPro midterm my bitch. I was really nervous about it, but it went really well. It was ungraded, but simulated the actual exam so closely that I got some good experience in. I worked out some little bugs with the Exam4 software and feel more comfortable using it now. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but add the stress of an exam and EVERY LITTLE THING makes you freak out.

I think I did really well on it. I was worried that my outline wouldn't be user-friendly, which is why I opted to do the exam. It worked fine, although I could pick out the holes in it (the days I didn't prepare for class, of course). I'll work on those over Thanksgiving. I need to get more familiar with the Rules we've been studying this week, since I've been basically stoned on cold medicine the whole week. It's amazing how little I comprehend when I'm taking medicine.

Today I took some daytime medicine and had the jitters all through my exam. Probably adrenaline and probable DRUGZ.

Tomorrow is the legal research final. We have so much information to go over but I am determined that I will ROCK IT.

I think we're getting our memo rough drafts back tomorrow. That will be nice, because I can get to work on it and be done. Career services bummed me out today when they said our memo will be the writing sample we use to apply for jobs this winter. I was so looking forward to being done with it forever. I'll have to be really dedicated and revise it extensively so that it's something I'm proud of.

Night all! Wish me luck tomorrow!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

GRRRRAAAAAACCCKKKKKKKKKKKKFFFFFF!!!!

That's just how I feel, okay? DEAL WITH IT!

Stupid memo. Stupid legal writing. Stupid common-law marriage laws. Stupid law school. Stupid cold. Stupid family dinners. Stupid eating too much. Stupid going back to working on paper. Stupid Sunday nights. Stupid Monday mornings. Stupid stupid stupid!

There, I feel better. Oh wait, no, still have like 80% of the paper to go. Better get to it.

Stupid common law marriage.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why I am wearing purple.

Today we wear purple to make a statement of support and love for all those who felt they had no other option but to end their life; for those who were tormented to the breaking point. Why were they bullied? Because they were gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-gender. Because our country refuses to acknowledge that even if you don't agree with these people, they are in fact, PEOPLE. Just like anyone else, and they deserve the same rights and respect as any other person. LGBTs are not criminals. They are not insane. They are not "bad people." They are our brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors and they deserve our love.

Today I wear purple to show the conservative community I come from that I am not going to be silent in the face of intolerance. I will equally love and support all people and defend the rights of all.

My thoughts are with those who've lost loved ones in this fight and those who have been faced with the ugliness of hate and misunderstanding. You are not alone, you have allies.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Continuation

Because it's not a break. Nope. No Fall Break. No Thanksgiving Break. No Christmas Break. They told us, and by God they were right.

I put more hours into studying this past week/weekends than I have the whole semester. Usually 10-12 hour days. All to meet the goal of getting outlines established up to our current place in the syllabus. I didn't even bother doing a Torts outline, but I started using the flashcards. Since my teacher does 400 questions in 4 hours all multiple choice and true or false, I've reconsidered my position on this. But I didn't have time. The flashcards helped immensely (to the point that I am now on the ones relevant to the cases we're reading tomorrow) but my prof has a few idiosyncrasies. For example, if he hates/loves a particular judge, he will ask a question like "T/F Learned Hand would agree that there is no such thing as gross negligence, only negligence." So you better be sure that I'll be using my class notes heavily to study. Tricky tricky. I think on the substantive points I'll be golden. My only concern are little nit-picky things like that.

It's especially tricky because there was a judge who thought that, but it wasn't Learned Hand, it was Baron Rolfe. See? Nit-picky.

I'm sort of looking forward to it, in my weird nerdy way. Closed-everything, 400 questions (leaving 36 seconds per question)? Sounds like a challenge!!

I did alright working on my CivPro outline. I'm not fully caught-up, but I got a great jump on it and I know the format I'm going to use.

Contracts was... well awful. I got something made, and when I went to a study group I found it less than helpful. I need to cross-reference things better. But, I do think making it helped and I really liked the supplements I got. I made a flowchart, using a red light/green light sort of format. For example, you first need to establish "Is there a contract?" So that's a green box. Then when you get to the end of that analysis, your conclusion is a red stop sign. Then you move to the next question which relates to the terms of the contract, again a green box. And so on. It helps me visually and I enjoyed making it. It helped me get in the zone of working through all the possible scenarios.

I am concerned about being allowed to use it on the exam. I did use a supplement to make it, often using exact language for the questions. However, I spent hours and hours working on it and trying to make it my own. And, the questions are pretty universal, so I don't see a need to re-word them. I may show it to him and ask if it's okay to use it. He basically said we can use anything we want as long as we don't bring in the supplement or just use someone else's outline from the previous year. I guess we'll see! Either way, I will use it to study with and that helps a lot.

As for Methods, I did preliminary research for my memo. I should have done a lot more than that, but the fact is I just DID NOT WANT TO. I got a good list of cases and I'll make the case plan tomorrow night. It's due Tuesday. I think I know enough about research to not be worried (my TA recommended I not wait until the last minute, but that was so we could call with any questions if we got stuck.) I'm not worried about that so I feel fine procrastinating.

Things are getting crazy.

I went to a few great parties over the break and made some new friends. It was great getting to know classmates who aren't in my section, because we don't really know each other exists. It's like grade school all over again. Next semester they shake things up. Lola and I will only have Methods together, which breaks my heart. But, a few of the new friends I made this weekend will have most classes with me, so I know I have a friend-base there already.

Looking forward to next weekend. Getting back in the habit of waking up is going to be rough.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knee Deep In...Well YOU Know

Sorry for the lack of post. I try to shoot for a minimum of one per week. The thing is, I HAD NO IDEA, ya'll. Not a clue. Nope, totally thought this whole outlining thing would be SO easy. I was even excited! What IS wrong with me??

Never in my life have I sat at my desk staring at a blinking cursor completely unable to write anything. Never! I'm usually overwhelmed with all of the ideas tumbling out of me onto the keyboard. It gets messy, normally.

Here are my problems.

First, at my Methods professor's recommendations, I surrounded myself with my books, syllabus, supplements, and a few commercial outlines for a particular subject. Then, after making a blood sacrifice to a dark god, all those items would magically combine into the glorious if not somewhat ethereal OutLine. Yeah, not so much. What format do I take? I was thinking use the syllabus and then alter it with material from the commercial outlines. Then plug in holdings/issues to the cases on the syllabus. Then make some sort of a synthesized rule. But the commercial outlines don't even acknowledge cases really, they just give you the overall rule, which is SUPER helpful, except I have a feeling my profs are going to refer to cases or want us to (they've said as much) and there is just no way I can put BOTH in there. If I do, the thing will be 200 pages long instead of the 40 or so I was aiming for.

HELP ME. THE POST-ITS ARE STARTING TO REBEL. I DON'T LIKE THE WAY THAT OLD EMANUEL DUDE IS LOOKING AT ME. I'VE BITTEN OFF ALL MY NAILS. OH LOOK, I DROPPED A CHEET-OH. I WONDER HOW LONG IT'S BEEN THERE. NOM NOM NOM. WHAT?!?!

Okay so it isn't THAT bad. But still, not being able to write is a discomfort I am not used to. Not to mention I still have The Memo That Shall Not Be Named to write before Fall Break is over. And the voices are getting louder.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

This week has been rough. My memo took way more effort than I thought it would, but the good news is I got it back today with minimal notes. I'll probably be able to fix the errors and polish it a bit pretty easily, maybe an hour or so. We also have to put in the issues and quick-answers, which I've never done before. Hopefully it will be as easy as it sounds.

I keep meaning to go visit professors during office hours. Everyone keeps saying it is so helpful and they are really willing to offer advice on their own classes as well as law school in general. Outlining is making me semi-nervous. I'm starting to get the hang of CivPro (I think) and today in contracts I finally gave an argument my professor liked. Other than near the end I sort of tapered off with "the bank is just trying to cover their rear ends." He liked the rest of it though.

Torts is scary but fun, as always. I got some flash cards and I am going to start learning those Monday. I got my personal website (mostly) finished and published. I have a few more things to do on it but at least it's up if a potential employer Googles me. All in all I am giving myself enough time to have fun but still get reading done.

Today after contracts a friend came up and gave me a hug. He said I had his vote for top 10% of the class because I am "Soooo smart." *tear* I really needed that today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just When You Get A Handle on It

That's what they do to you in law school. Just when you get a handle on things they shake you up. I've been fine, getting into the rhythm and feeling pretty good about things. Then my academic support group got together to go over outlining, since that is what we are expected to do over Fall Break. It made my head hurt. I've always enjoyed outlining, but adding that and a memo to my existing coursework is making me feel overwhelmed. I'm sure it will be fine but I find myself increasingly grumpy and apathetic more and more. I have had some great weekends with nice breaks, but I really just want to crawl into my bed and pretend the world doesn't exist. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this way. Maybe outlining will actually help, since I'll have more perspective on how far I've come?

In other news, this Friday it will be one year since my brother-in-law committed suicide. The time has gone by so fast and I'm not really sure how to feel. I'm sad of course, but just like when he was alive, life just goes on and he didn't really affect us all that much. Saying that makes me even sadder. What a waste. He could have been so much, but I never felt like he would. I hate it that I turned out to be right. I miss him. I know Abby is missing out, since he was so loving and attentive to her. I want to say the afterlife is so much better for him than this life was, but I am so uncertain about the afterlife I can't really tell myself that if it's a lie. Ugh. The depression over the anniversary is not helping with school. I'm sure the hibernating urge I'm feeling has a lot to do with that.

School is school. I would love to tell a hilarious story, but I just don't have the energy. It's like this at home too. I have this whole other separate life away from my family, and when I get home I just want to share it all with Brian. But I can't get the words to form.

I am a zombie law student.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Normality

Abigail came home today. I am so glad. She squealed when she saw me and promptly put her head on my shoulder. I have missed her so much. She had her 18 month appointment today. Normally, Brian would take her so I wouldn't miss class, but things got entirely too complicated and I missed out on CivPro and Torts.

Too bad, because Professor T did in fact make a "Jesus Take the Wheel" joke about the crazy God-will-drive-or-else-I'll-fly-because-Batman-can case. We had all been betting about it and Professor T did not disappoint. I'm sad I missed it.

This was the first time I missed class this semester, but my classmates lovingly offered notes before I even asked.

This weekend is the first parents club meeting. We're doing a lunch at my place. I'm excited. I also got some help with the budget and found out the students orgs department will cover shirts for us. That was a nice surprise. I designed a great logo for the club. They basically told me that I am free to fund-raise as I see fit. I may approach a few firms associated with the school to see if anyone might be willing to donate a few hundred dollars or help with an event. Perhaps a venue for a party or something? We'll see. It's exciting that I'm starting something so important. We have a lot of parent law students in need of support. I'm making great friends doing it, and I hope Abby will too.

I think things are returning to normal. I can't express how happy I am to know that if I screamed right now or slammed a door I would wake her. It comforts me, as strange as that sounds.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wretched

I promise to have a full post soon, I'm just feeling so very blah about it all right now.

I think the mid-semester doldrums have kicked in.

Right now I am choosing between CivPro and sleep. I know my prof won't be calling on me tomorrow, since I've had my turn already. She does it alphabetically so I will know exactly when it's my turn next time. Does this motivate me to prepare every day? No, but I do it anyway.

Today, I am just too tired and sad. I miss Abigail so much. She comes home on Thursday from Nana's house and I can't wait. Friday it is one year since my brother-in-law died and Brian and I are both feeling the strain.

I feel so apathetic. I think I'll just go to bed and hope that tomorrow is better. Seeing Abby's smiling face and getting one of her hugs is all I need right now and I can't wait.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Balancing It All

Yesterday was a combination of fantastic and super tough. The school had an event where we went downtown and toured 4 different large firms. I haven't really felt interested in working in a large firm, as I'm prioritizing my family over my career. That doesn't mean I am not going to try and get the best thing I can, but I'm not going to work 120 hour weeks. It's just not going to happen. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses the various lawyers gave when I asked about family life and their firm. A couple gave specific numbers about their "modified tracks" which allow you to work 20% less billable hours and it only adds one year to your partner track time. They were very enthusiastic and I met more women than I thought I would. I got some great contacts (though recruiting was not allowed beyond answering questions about what they look for in a resume) and had some fantastic food.

The tough part was that we didn't get done until 7pm. Then I had to take the baby down to my mom's, where she will be spending either the weekend or a full week. I packed for a full week, but I may miss her too much to let her stay until next Thursday.

Today, I felt so happy and so guilty. It's funny how motherhood works that way. I was able to sleep in an extra half hour, and I had to keep reminding myself that Abby wasn't in her crib. I kept listening for her, instead of enjoying my lie-in. Then, when I got up, I got to put on face-cream! I NEVER get to do that. It felt so luxurious. AND I got to use my blow dryer. I had forgotten what blown-out hair looked like. It was swell.

This weekend will be amazing and incredibly self-indulgent. I worked hard to get as much work as possible done so I didn't have to bring books home. I do have to do some Torts reading, but only ten pages so nothing major. I even got my Legal Research assignment done early today, though it's not due until Monday. Lola and I went across the street and spent two luxurious hours having cheeseburgers, beer (for her, Diet Coke for me!) and chatting. I adore her and I'm so lucky to have found such a great friend in school. She's one of many, but we have so much in common it's really nice.

Tomorrow I'm going to brunch with another gal-pal and then to a matinee. Tomorrow night Lola and her husband are coming up and we're going to Oktoberfest. Don't ask me why they do it in September here. Polka, sausage, and mechanical bull-riding, here we come!! Yeah I don't know why they have a mechanical bull, either.

Then Sunday Brian and I are going to breakfast and to get massages. I AM SO EXCITED. I've been working my guts out and the break from both homework and the baby will be nice.

But I still feel guilty. At least I know she is having so much fun with Nana and PopPop and my Law School Mistress will still be there on Monday.

Have a great weekend, all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Just Can't Keep it In!!

Sorry, I just can't keep it in. I don't care who reads this, it is just too funny to hold in. The dates are approximate.

Day 1: Professor K enters late and immediately starts grilling a student. He seems scary. I leave feeling shaken.

Day 2: Professor K cracks a joke, and when no one laughs he does a little dance to indicate he is waiting for the laughter. When it comes but a little too late to not be awkward, he comments throughout the lecture that HE thought it was funny and pretends to be hurt. (Hilarious) I leave feeling relieved, and like this class will be super fun.

Day 3: Professor K calls on a student who stumbles. He reassures her by stating "If you answer then I'll mark off your name and not talk to you for a long time." She replies, "Awesome."

He laughs and then pretends to be hurt that she thinks it's "awesome" to not have to talk to him.

(Several days of great classes)

Day 10: While discussing possible other means of recovery than breach of contract in an employee dispute, Professor K mentions a hypo where his employer discriminates based on his age. JoJo says that only applies if he is old, and since he's young it won't apply. Another (very funny and very nice) student posits that maybe he could claim discrimination since Professor K is a metrosexual.

He laughs and then after we've moved on keeps going back to it. He's clearly upset by being called a metrosexual (in a funny way though, but I felt like maybe he didn't know what it meant). The student feels completely stupid for making the joke.

Day 12: "If a wealthy man says to a tramp" hypo in an opinion. When the class cracks up, Professor K does too. He asserts that we're all filthy-minded. I leave feeling like his sense of humor is awesome and makes his intensity worth it.

Day 15: Professor K mentions the metrosexual comment again, the student who said it feels terrible again.

Day 16: Professor K is upset that the court did not acknowledge the injustices being done to the Greeks during the war in Batsakis. He rants about it for five minutes and abruptly leaves the classroom, obviously upset at students' arguments. (Hey, we're just answering the questions here based on what the court said, I don't think we all thought the nice elderly Greek lady should get screwed.)

Day 17: Professor K apologizes for his rant and says he feels embarrassed but explains it's important for us to not be led by the judges' opinions and to think for ourselves.

Day 20: JoJo tells Professor K (after his comment is dismissed) YOUR HYPOTHETICAL IS RIDICULOUS!!! At which Professor K begins citing the metrosexual comment and all the other previous grievances for why we are the surliest class he's ever had. He mentions he looked up the meaning of metrosexual and informs us he has NEVER had a pedicure thankyouverymuch. He's laughing and it's hilarious, but we are all horrified at the student's behavior.

This will be an interesting semester.

Also, unrelated, S.O.T and I had a decent conversation today in which he only touched me inappropriately once. What is it with your peers thinking they can touch you on the shoulder? YUCK. Maybe I could learn to tolerate him. Pleh.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Almost too Shocking to Desribe

I remember on September 11th, I drove my ex-husband (husband at the time) to work and dropped him off. I was listening to NPR on the way to work, and we heard a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Small planes crash all the time, and while I was concerned for the safety of those involved, I just assumed it was a small vessel with a single pilot who had gotten off course. There was just no way to contemplate the magnitude of it all. I got to work, which was a middle school where I substituted. At the time I was teaching the at-risk class. They were a handful of students who had lost the privilege to attend classes with the rest of the school. They were like ghosts, forced to arrive later and leave earlier. They had their own lunch time, and were not allowed to associate with any students outside their class. If they progressed, they could earn the right to enter the mainstream again.

Their regular teacher was in New York City on vacation.

I had been working with them for a couple of days already, and given how small the class was and how flexible the curriculum, we were able to turn on the news and watch the coverage. My mother had called my cell phone frantically, as she'd already been watching the first tower burning. She was crying so hard I couldn't understand what she was saying. I hadn't yet turned on the news myself, and the blurb on the radio was so minimal I just had no idea. I had no idea.

I watched with 5 fourteen year old kids as the second plane hit. It happened so fast, and the news reporter we were watching was so shocked at what he was seeing, we didn't fully grasp what had just happened.

It took a few days but the school did get a call from the teacher for whom I was subbing. She was fine and hadn't been in the area at the time, but since all flights were canceled she couldn't get out yet. She was going to rent a car and drive out of state to fly home. The kids were relieved she was okay, but I don't think any of them would ever be the same. I certainly wasn't.

I remember voting for George W. Bush that election, because the anger I felt had not faded yet and his speeches promising to take out all the bad guys made me feel good. I wanted revenge. I later started to feel sick from all of the songs made about 9/11. Of course people had a right to express their feelings but I started to feel like my emotions were being exploited by the media. It was disgusting to me.

I guess what I am trying to say is, it's all so complicated. Because loss is complicated. Murder is complicated. Forgiveness is complicated.

I have a friend at school who is an asylee from Afghanistan. She had to live in Pakistan for most of her adult life due to the war, and now things in Pakistan are getting worse. She is attending law school here with the hopes that she will be able to return home and help in the reforming of her country. She is brave and a wonderful person.

Like I said, it's complicated. The point is, my feelings when 9/11 happened were black and white. Then at some point everything went gray. I will never forget, but more importantly I will never forget the lessons I've learned. I hope none of us do.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ups and Downs

Now that we are all settling into school, things are getting interesting.

First, a surprising number of people have become very vocal about their struggles to grasp the material and get themselves into a good study routine. I thrive on a forced reading schedule, but that is not the case for everyone. It is super easy to get distracted and let your discipline fall away.

Two people who confessed their panic to me (separately) are very different. We all feel these feelings of frustration, inadequacy, and drowning. Everyone handles it differently but even though I know that (and have researched it tirelessly) I was still put off when people started talking about it.

Student A told me about his feelings, and I was not surprised. He seems a sensitive person who is generally more creative than organized. This doesn't diminish his intelligence at all, it's just that he is the type you expect to display his feelings when he is overwhelmed. I counseled him as best I could, and he told me his mom had some good (if not a little tough) advice.

Student B is very vocal, talks a lot in class, and is generally very confident in appearance. When he told me he was struggling I was very surprised. He would have been someone I would have talked to if I were overwhelmed! And it both helps to know he struggles and makes me feel worse. Law school is full of double-edged swords like that.

Another example is that once people start to get more (or less, depending) comfortable, their belief systems and opinions start to come out. I've butted heads with a few already. I know this is part of the experience, but I get so upset when someone (who believes in something SO passionately) gets upset when they learn I don't agree with them. A difference of opinion in my eyes is not a deal-breaker when it comes to friendship. They may not see it that way either, but when they jump my shit I sort of feel like they are drawing a line in the sand. I just want to avoid the conflict.

On the flip-side, I have been getting to know even more of my classmates. One couple, who live together and are both 1L, came by this weekend for game night. It was one of the funnest nights I've had in a long time. We laughed until we cried and it felt awesome. I took a few hours today to do reading for Contracts and Torts, which are the only two classes I have tomorrow. I could go even further and prepare for some of Wednesday, but I'd rather do it during my super long break tomorrow.

I even took some time and watched The Paper Chase today. People had warned me not to, but I've decided I'm quite capable of resisting outside influence regarding my own stress levels. I enjoyed the movie, and I don't feel more intimidated at all.

I feel (at the moment) like I'm getting into a good rhythm. I am still a semi-zombie by the end of the day but that is more due to over-stimulation than stress (yes, something my toddler and I have in common.) I know things will change when my Methods paper is due in October, but for now I'm feeling pretty good.

One more thing, I've been suckered into running a student club. It wasn't on purpose, and it will be super low commitment, but I have to do some initial paperwork to get funding. I'm still debating if I care enough to do that. It's a monthly activity for student parents and their partners, so it's not that big of a deal. I was going to name it PALS (Parents Attending Law School) but someone took the name already (Persians Attending Law School) so I'll have to come up with something else.

I may skip the formalities altogether and just have people pay their own way for activities (or only do free ones) but it would be nice for the school to kick in some cash for a party or two. We'll see I guess, I have one month to submit paperwork.

So that's what's up with me. I have some great stories on the backburner, and once things die down I will let you all in.

I feel guilty for making fun of SOT. However, his behavior the other day was exceptionally egregious. More about that later.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quickies

Mr. Silk has been renamed S.O.T, because that's what he thinks he is. Email me if you want to know what it stands for.

I think S.O.T waxes his chest.

I should be doing Torts, Contracts, CivPro, and Legal Research reading right now.

But I'm not.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It Hurts

My head is killing me. I think it may have something to do with the very loud concert I went to last night (Doobie Brothers). I was good though, I did all my reading beforehand and got home by 10:30. I got my 8 hours of sleep in and spent time this afternoon finishing my reading for tomorrow. I did not bring a book home with me. I wanted to have tonight to do whatever I felt like doing.

And now I have a goddamn headache.

Lamesauce.

In other news, my mom and I got to go backstage and see the band after the concert. I got a picture taken with the lead guitarist and hugs from the rest. It was super fun and an awesome show.

Today in both Torts and Contracts I immensely enjoyed the lectures and the cases we went over. Tonight for fun I think I will watch The Paper Chase. The curiosity is just killing me!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finished the First Week

I survived the first week of law school. (Well, the first real one anyway.) I think it's quite an accomplishment, as it is true what they say. Law schools do not ease you in, they just shove you in face-first. So far, I am deeply impressed with the quality of the staff and faculty. In my day I've encountered a fair share of bad teachers. There are those who hate their jobs, those who are bored, those who are on a power trip, those who are passionate but inarticulate, and my favorite, the lechers.

I haven't seen any of that, yet. Professor K scared the crap out of me on the first day. He came in two minutes late and immediately said, Mr. Smith, list the facts in Case v. Case. Luckily the student was prepared and began explaining the case. Professor K kept it coming, tossing it out and slamming it back. My first impression of him when he walked in was dead wrong. I think most people have the same first impression and his teaching style compensates. He's very impressive and deadly smart. I left feeling sick to my stomach.

That night, I prepared better for the class. Had I been Mr. Smith, I would have failed utterly. The next day, I felt much better and quite enjoyed the class. The day after that, I gave an argument the professor said he enjoyed and gave me a "Well done."

Torts was scary too. I can see how contracts and torts require a very strong teacher. They're heavy subjects and do not lend themselves well to lecture-style teaching. Socratic seems to work great for them. That said, I am glad they are the only Socratic style courses I have.

Every upperclassman I spoke with told me I was "lucky" to have Professor T for torts. People really like him. Visiting speakers and attorneys throughout the valley will ask you when they hear you're a law student, "Hey, how is Professor T doing?"

And yet people told me he was scary. And he is. I also really like him and now I get how people can both like and fear a professor. He's brutal. He tells you when you're wrong. Interrupts you when in the first two words out of your mouth he knows you're off track (and HE KNOWS) and moves on to the next person. But once he sees you're squirming and miserable he will cut you a break.

He reassured us by telling us if we fuck up royally we lose no points. If we do awesome, we gain points. He encouraged us to guess, to make stuff up, to try. We have nothing to lose and he could care less if we don't get it right.

Apparently his exams are crazy. He will list a sentence from the casebook with two blanks and you are expected to fill them in. Harsh, man.

I'm not sure how I feel about CivPro. I know a lot of people hate the subject. My professor is really good though. I felt sort of lost the first couple of days because she stays so true to the textbook. It's sort of rare for a professor to do that. I wasn't sure how to study, it wasn't like I could just keep reading the textbook. I think I'm getting a handle on it now but only time will tell.

After advice from friends I've edited this post. I don't want to upset any classmates. I'm still going to make amusing comments about classmates, but I'm going be a little more non-specific. I'm keeping the nicknames, but I will probably use them for multiple people. Gigi will be code for girl gunner, and JoJo will be code for boy gunner. We'll see how that goes.

Sex on Toast (S.O.T) is way too hilarious to edit out. I hope no guy in the class suspects it's him, but if he does, hey it is a pretty flattering nickname.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finding a Rhythym

Just when I thought I had the hang of this whole thing. Tuesdays and Wednesdays suck. I don't know whose genius idea it was to put four out of five of my classes on Wednesday, but I'm not a fan. I start at 9am and go all the way until 4:10. I have a one hour break in between. This means my Tuesday sucks, because I have to study between classes and most of the night. Wednesday sucks, because I don't have time between all the classes to get reading for Thursday done. And, since we have a class for days in a row, it's not like I can read more than one day ahead of time, it just wouldn't work.

Here is what it looks like:
(T=Torts M=Legal Methods C=Contracts P=Civil Proced. R=Legal Research)







Monday T Big Break
C

Tuesday M Big Break
C

Wednesday T 0 break P C 0 break R
Thursday T 0 break P


Friday M
P



As you can see I have Civil Procedure and Contracts three days in a row, and Torts nearly three days in a row. The Legal Methods/Research course I think I can handle cramming for, but CivPro, Torts and Contracts are pretty brutal and require a lot of focus. Arlene came up with a great study schedule for herself and I am going to try to do the same. It's sort of tough doing it with technology, I long for one of those big desktop calendars you can color on with markers or pencil etc. Of course I can get one for my office, but that won't help me much since I'm trying to do as much studying at school as possible. I am not sure how well that is going to work, we'll have to see. It's frustrating because people talk so much and so loudly, even in the library. I know things will quiet down once people are all caught up. "HOW WAS YOUR SUMMER!! OMG!!!!"

Ugh. I swear 2 and 3L's don't remember what their first week was like or you'd think they'd shut the hell up. Not that I'm bitter.

I am quite enjoying class, although a couple of my professors scare the hell out of me. I've spoken in class a few times. Only 2/5 professors are staunch socratics, so that's nice. I enjoy it to a point and I'm not that scared about when it's my turn, but I can't stand sitting there squirming while someone else gets grilled. Same reason I can't watch The Office; I over-empathize. *cringe*

I see now why people "gun." I don't think it's their ego, I think it's because they want to get the guy being grilled to get the right answer so we can all stop being so uncomfortable.

I think Contracts may be my favorite class. I did NOT see that one coming.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Law School Into Week

Intro week is officially over, and the real deal begins Tuesday. Here are my impressions (and the characters I've met) so far. The girl I met in the spring at Preview Day (we'll call her Lola) is awesome. I like her, I like her hubby, and we all have lots in common. We hung out the first day and met a lot of other people. Another awesome girl, Arlene, hooked up with us too and we had an instant trio. Fun times already, and I think we all felt more secure knowing we could lean on each other at the very least. We laugh A LOT but they are both really smart and I feel like we will all get along great and be supportive academically as well. We've already decided we're friends for life (or law school at the minimum) and the dive Chinese place we went to had ominous fortunes for us. We decided to keep them all. Mine said something like "Never underestimate yourself, human beings have unlimited potentials." Lola's said "You're never too old to learn." I can't remember Arlene's but it was similar. We all felt like it was just what we needed that day. Then it rained on us as we ran back to school.

I got myself a new backpack from Costco today, I think it's more waterproof than my other one and my laptop fits into the laptop sleeve inside. I feel safer knowing that. It also has a lot more pockets and places to stash all my crap, which is significant given I'm slightly nomadic during the school week.

I've made some male friends too. One, who I'll call Mr. Sweet, has an awesome wife and adorable kid. I'm going to form a parents group and I think they will be an integral part. I haven't really met anyone I didn't like. Every person there is super smart but also really friendly. There are the characters, of course, and while they can be quirky or annoying they are all really nice people.

Mr. Boom - Very loud, large-built guy who can be a bit condescending but is obviously just a Type A like myself. (Seeing yourself in others can be annoying)

Mr. Sweets - Caring family man starting over late in life. Great personality and while quiet at times seems quite ambitious.

Mr. Silk - This guy loves the sound of his own voice. I'm sure he's nuts about the rest of himself too. Harmless and funny, but wants to make sure everyone knows that.

Lola - All the best things about myself are reflected in her, which makes for a kindred spirit sort of friendship. Great for a laugh. Brutally intelligent.

Arlene - Sweet and incredibly spunky. Do not get on her bad side, or there will be tiny fists in your future. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) Also really smart, determined, highly organized. Hilarious to boot.

I'm sure there will be more, but these are the ones who stood out while writing this.

I haven't met any of my actual professors yet, as most of them were still on vacation. There were those who helped out with Into Week, but I won't have any of them until 2nd or 3rd year.

I haven't decided how to handle stories. I want to be open and honest in my blog, but I also don't want it to be anonymous. I don't want to piss anyone off, but if I feel like I need to rant I don't want to be barred. How to handle that?

Incidentally, I made an idiot of myself and now Lola, Arlene and I have an inside joke.

While pulling up my schedule to show it to Arlene, some of my classes looked different. I couldn't see my Torts class on the list. "Where is my torts class?!?" I freaked out. "Did they drop it somehow?" I was panicking. I don't know why, but I was. It didn't make sense, the total credits still added up correctly, but Torts was missing. Then Arlene says, "You're looking at Spring 2011." Whoops.

So now whenever one of us starts panicking someone bellows "WHERE IS MY TORTS CLASS! IT'S NOT THERE!!"

And we all crack up. I feel like 5% idiot when that happens, but hey, it really was funny.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We've Only Just Begun...

TO LIVE!!!!!

I finished my second day of school today. I have to say, I am SO relieved I decided to go. It would have been a huge mistake to miss out on this opportunity. The scambloggers really freaked me out, and for that I am grateful. It forced me to think long and hard about what I really wanted and how much I wanted it. It forced me to do the math and work out how much we can live on and how much we need to borrow. It forced me to have alternative plans if I can't get a lawyer job and how to survive if I have to settle for something different than I originally set out for. In short, I have my eyes wide open for this process and I don't think it ever hurts to be terrified of something so huge.

I absolutely love school. I love the professors I've met so far. The administration is awesome. The career staff are blunt and honest about prospects but damned determined to beat the odds and find jobs for everyone. The students I have met are fantastic and I've already made a couple of friends with whom I have a lot in common.

Also, being in Home State I am oddly happy when wine is served at a function, which thus far has been every single one. They're like grownups! (In the county where I grew up alcohol was NEVER EVER EVER served at work or school functions. In fact, it is illegal to do so in public buildings that are not bars unless you pay to have a bar-catering service and that is also not allowed in most public buildings.)

I've briefed a case. I've made an outline. I've read a textbook. So far so good, and I am really enjoying it.

One more thing: I was right about how helpful my Medieval Lit classes would be. If I can break down Beowulf (and translate it) I can handle legalese. We haven't had too much heretofore hence wherefore thus pursuant to stuff going on yet, but I've managed to get through what they've given me.

I am going to be starting a parents' group, as I haven't found one existing so far. A lot of parents expressed interest when I mentioned it at the picnic tonight. I think we'll have a great time and be a good resource for each other.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bad Photos

As promised, here are pics. The lighting in my office is sort of weird so these pictures aren't all that impressive. Also the whole thing feels sort of disjointed and sparse, but it's not like that in real life.

The redone desk and the new art wall. I stuck some random photos up there for now, because my other art isn't ready to be hung. It's still all curvy from being rolled up. I got some replicas of the Declaration and the Constitution that I am considering hanging there. We'll see what happens. Sorry it's so crooked, but it's hard to get far enough away to capture the whole thing.



Up close to the new art wall.



My favorite place in the house; the reading nook.



The writing desk and my antique armoire. Unfortunately the writing desk and chair are currently more practical than attractive, but they'll do for now.



And there you have it! The office is (more or less) done!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm About to Lose Control and I Think I Like It

I'm so excited! (Hey does anyone remember when Hot Sundae (AKA Kelly Kapowski, Lisa Turtle, and Jessy Spano) sang that song in that episode of Saved By the Bell where Jessy has a drug problem? Cause every time I sing it in my head I hear her voice going "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so... (horsey squeal sob) SCARED! (more sobbing) and Zack Morris totally takes care of her and helps her kick the stims.)

That was a lot of parentheses. Sorry. Ahem.

Anywho, so I am excited. First, because though I failed miserably at getting the quilt done I did accomplish two major things tonight. I finished baby proofing our cupboards and drawers AND the toilet. No more Abigail pulling all the tupperware lids out of the drawer and throwing them about the kitchen. No more Abigail dipping her pacifier in the potty. No more Abigail coming out of the bathroom with Brian's flossing sticks or my nail polish or lipstick or bottles of hairspray. w00t! And I can return the drill I borrowed from my friend Sarah like two months ago.

I also started a new project I am very very excited about. I have issues. Sarah makes amazing artwork using woodblock technique. If you don't know what that is, read this so you can appreciate her awesomeness. She was working on a new motif when I came by one day, and saw her proof pieces. I begged her to let me have them and she did! So I have these two great pieces I want to hang in my office. They are not standard size, and framing them feels like it will sort of kill the homemadeness. I've been having this dilemma with some photos I want to have printed, as well as little handmade cards and things I make or receive. Frames are expensive, especially custom ones or especially large ones. So I used Google to get ideas of how to avoid this and came upon this site. Awesome idea.

The hardware store didn't have the S-hooks in a small enough size, nor the bulldog clips, so I will have to get those later. I got the wire up, and though it was a little tricky it looks REALLY good. I'm quite proud of how level and evenly spaced the two wires are. I promise to put up some pics as soon as it's all done.

For now I am using my 1L textbooks to flatten the artwork, as it has been rolled up while I've been decorating the office.

Oh, I also bought a staple gun. I am going to reupholster and reshape a sofa, you just watch me! I will post before and after of this as well.

So, I think these projects are being fueled by equal parts excitement and terror. School starts ON MONDAY. What the hell am I doing starting projects like this? No way am I going to have time in the near future for anything but panicking and banging my head against the wall while learning the 1L ropes.

Still, I think it's going to be awesome.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time Is Running Out

It's Wednesday. Four more days and I'm a law student. The first welcome event is on Sunday night. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by. I'm excited but also a little disappointed in myself. I didn't get the quilt done. I just haven't had the motivation. However, I've decided to just stay at school all day and treat it like a full time job. The hope is that by doing this I will still get to be a person when I get home at night (except for before exams.)

I've almost finished the text we're supposed to read before orientation. I've purchased some professional clothes to wear to events. I'm hoping to slim down so I don't want to buy too much just yet. I quite like the blazer I just got.

It's all just happening so fast!

Californication

I should really get to bed. I find myself staring at the television, willing myself to turn it off. The fan spins overhead, causing the blinds to flutter. Katat. Katat. Katat. The show is beautiful and sad, though I don't know if other people would see it that way. It's funny and cynical and frankly quite pornographic. I'm sure the critics eat it up.

I keep swimming in his eyes, that gorgeous former UFO hunter with his wry smile and leathery voice. Every time I see breasts I think it's so sad for his wife, knowing each scene fueled his sickness. Is she still his wife? I'm not even sure. I could Google it but that just feels like stalking.

I find it extremely unfair that they show so much female skin and I don't get to see more of him.

It's thought-provoking. I feel like I want to write. I want to be Hank Moody, self-deprecating and deep, intelligent and brutal. I don't think there is enough whiskey in the world to make me into that.

I used to write so much. At the time I felt pretty brilliant, but now when I go back and read any of it I feel pissed. Emo is no longer cool.

I should really get to bed. I've watched 4 episodes tonight.

Katat. Katat. Katat.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Landlord Is Better Than Yours

I woke up to a power outage this morning. I decided to spend the time cleaning up, which was a good distraction from my COMPLETELY HORRIFIC separation from the Interblags. Sad! So I got the kitchen cleaned up and Abigail was napping (which is when I usually get to peruse the Webosphere). A knock at the door and it's my landlord, letting me know that he called the power company and they said it wouldn't be back on until late afternoon. It's going to be a hot mother here today, so I was pretty much dreading no air conditioning. Brian has the car today, so I was bummed I'd be trapped in Hot City with no way to cook and no access to the Blargoblag.

Another knock at the door an hour later, and my landlord presented me with a pizza, breadsticks, and sauce!

Of course, the power had come on five minutes before that, so his well-intentioned efforts to feed us when we couldn't cook were all for naught. Except he doesn't know how much I love pizza, oh boy am I going to reward him for his awesomeness. I'm thinking a sugar-free cake or something. (He's a diabetic, which means he made the trip to Little Caesars SOLELY FOR ME.) Like I said, awesomeness.

Anyone know any good diabetic-friendly recipes for people who are only half competent at baking?

Monday, August 2, 2010

I Want to Quit the Gym!

When we moved across the street we decided we should probably cancel our cable. So I called in to see what sort of deals they could give us, and they talked me into staying. Not too difficult, as I sort of figured we could just cancel later. Then the following things happened and pushed me to cancel.

1. For one month straight, we almost never used the cable TV. When we did, it was to play Mickey Mouse for Abby in the morning.
2. They screwed up my billing and charged me two late fees I didn't deserve.
3. They charged us 40 for installation and didn't disclose it beforehand.
4. Our bill was supposed to go from 120 a month to around 80 a month with the promo they were giving us, but instead went up to 170.

So, we hauled our cable box and remote (did you know they charge you 25 cents a month to rent THE REMOTE) and told them we wanted to shut off our cable but keep our internet. The girl looked at me and told me I would be charged a 14.00 fee for downgrading and the price of my internet would go up to 52 a month. I said fine.

She smiled and said "Let me see if I can get you a promo deal."

BAM! $19.99 a month for 6 months. NICE! So we went down from 170 to 20!

NICE. And we don't miss the TV at all!

Now I just have to figure out how to change banks. I have so many things set to come out automatically. Sure, I can turn off the auto-pay and set it up with the new bank information. In the meantime, I have no idea what account things will come out of or when. Companies are so unreliable when you have to make changes, but things have been running so smooth for so long. But, my bank is getting really annoying. They keep trying to sell me crap when I just want to make a deposit. They close down my online banking username with no explanation, then when I call they're all "Oh, I don't see any problems, try it again." and of course it works fine. Which means the person checked a box and reactivated it, then lied about it. (A proven call center technique to avoid conflict.) Stupid bank.

* I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I did post a reply to an article about my bank and their annoying upsell practices recently. The same day my online access was cut off. Coincidence?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bar Review

Last night was Bar Review (again, a bar outing with fellow law students, not actual review for the Bar) but the law students were skipping the trivia portion due to conflicts for Bar takers.

I had a friend willing to go with me to trivia in spite of this. We tried to get more people, but everyone had finals or work to deal with so we were resolved to lose and lose badly. Luckily, a team of only three asked of any small teams would want to combine. Steve recognized two of the guys are recent winners and knew hooking up with them would greatly increase our chances. There were nearly 30 teams and we ended up beating them all! I take credit for a few of the questions. Of note was popular product slogans translated into Middle English. You had to figure out the slogan, and then come up with the brand. We got all of them and earned quadruple points for the round. We beat the next team down by 11 points, which is a LOT. The hosts were shocked at how much we scored!

After trivia, I went back and found the law students. I had a great conversation with the Student Bar Association president. Everyone was so friendly and supportive and they were often shocked that an incoming 1L had shown up. I guess I get some Awesome Points for that.

I am so excited for school. During his advice giving, the president (Tomu) told me this would be the best 3 fucking years of my life. He is the only one who has said that to me and I appreciated his optimism. I love learning and I'm excited to get started. What a great way to get revved up for school, winning 50 bucks worth of alcohol!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

These Are the Days

Time keeps slipping away but I am trying as much as possible to slow things down and enjoy the time I have left with my darling baby. I am going to miss her so much during the day, but I also know I will be completely in love with learning.

Today we picked up a little wading pool (and by little I mean SO VERY TEENY) to put on our patio. Our friends across the street brought Rachel over and the girls played for hours. It was really fun and they were so very cute.

I picked up Abigail's hot pink ruffly swimsuit at a consignment shop. It was 4 bucks and Ralph Lauren. Not too shabby!




This smile makes all choices worth it, even the hard ones.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's All Coming Together

A few quickies before I force myself to study and then drag my sorry self to bed.

1. We got childcare all settled for Abigail this fall. I was stressing about it, because I really wanted our previous part time babysitter to watch her again, but this time it would be full time and I was worried that her vegetarian beliefs may present a problem. I know it sounds lame, but I really want both of us to be comfortable and if it was going to bug her I didn't want to force her to do it. I also firmly believe meat is good for kids, and wasn't willing to compromise. I also wanted to see what her terms would be, and as we're friends too discussing money is somewhat uncomfortable for me. She was TOTALLY supportive and all her answers to my questions made me feel completely at ease. She even told me she is developing a baby learning curriculum to use while she watches Abigail. Much better than a normal sitter, and she won't be watching any other kids which makes me feel much safer. Oh, and she's a certified foster mom in Home State and I know all the classes and training you have to do for that. So I know Abby will be safe.

2. I finally got a printer and a bunch of supplies for school. It's sort of shocking what a few years out of school does to your supplies. I can't live without highlighters or Post-its.

3. While in D.C. I purchased lots of fun things for myself, including a nice pen. I like having a nice pen, it makes me feel all official. The bonus of this is that the pen is a penlight, and the light is really bright (probably LED) and it projects the seal of the US Patent and Trade Office. (I got it at their museum gift shop.) I think it's quite nifty.

4. I got my office mostly set up. I still need to find a chair somewhere, although I honestly don't know how much I'll be sitting at my desk. I have the huge overstuffed chair and ottoman (now nicely slip covered) in my little reading nook and I know I'll spend a lot of time there. For the hairy stuff though, requiring a table to spread out books etc. I think I'll probably just use the library at school. We'll see how it goes.

5. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the required book for orientation week. I'm quite enjoying it, which makes me super nerdy I think.

6. All the passion I felt about law school when I attended Admitted Students' Day has come back. All that hemming and hawing about whether to go is melting away as I prepare, and knowing Abigail will be in a happy and safe place each day has really helped with that.

7. I think some of my undergrad legal courses have ruined me, because I read the title "Whose Monet" and immediately guessed the conclusion and started rambling in my head about conversion. No surprises for me I guess!

8. I have roughly three weeks to finish my quilt. I finally succumbed and picked it up off the floor so I could actually use my office, but I numbered all the squares so I can keep working on it. I am determined to actually finish it before school starts.

9. Abigail has been exceptionally cuddly since she came home from Nana and Bompa's house. I think she subconsciously knows I am going to miss her so much when I am in school and is giving me the extra loves I need. Here she is wearing Nana's glasses.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Poop Brownies

In the local religious culture, you are not supposed to watch rated R movies. It's not forbidden, but it's discouraged. The following analogy relates to this rule.

A father and daughter are chatting over breakfast one morning. The daughter asks if she can go with friends to watch a particular rated R movie. The father of course, says no.

"But Daddy, it's not a bad movie! It has one or two bad parts in it but the rest is all fine!"

The father still says "no." The daughter says she hates him and flees to her room.

The next day she comes home from school and finds her dad waiting for her.

"Hi honey! I made you some brownies."

"Oh thanks Daddy! I love you!"

"Now before you eat these brownies you should know I used only the finest ingredients to make them. Except for one thing."

"What?"

"I put a teeny-tiny bit of dog poop in them."

"What?!? Eww gross!!"

"Now now, it's only a teeny-tiny bit of poop. The rest of the brownies are really good!"

"How can you say that! They're ruined!"

"Well now you can see how just a tiny bit of evil can ruin something, just like your rated R movie."

YIKES. What a load of crap (well, just a teeny-tiny bit really) but applied in a different context it can have a good moral.

I try to explain all the time why I am such a stickler for the law, but people don't get it. When I mention that I can't bring alcohol into Home State people often suggest I do it anyway.

Just because I can get away with it doesn't mean I should do it, yet people don't understand.

A little bit of law-breaking can ruin me, and how can I expect to offer justice when I am ruined?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Language Lover

This week I am in Vienna, VA visiting friends. This was a great opportunity for us to get out and see something amazing before starting law school. It was also a chance for us to reconnect before we are severed as I turn into a law school drone and forget how to be human. We decided to take it, and I'm so glad we did.

Our friends are an amazing couple who we've become close to through sheer happenstance. Brian's older brother Mark, who died in October, had been close friends with "J" in his early school days. J went on to become an attorney, and when he flew in for the funeral we had a chance to talk. He offered to give advice about law school, and several hours of phone calls ensued. He visited Home State recently, and offered to host us if we were ever in the area. We've always wanted to see D.C., so of course we made arrangements right away. We've also always wanted to tour wine country, so we added Virginia's wine country to our list of sites.

What an amazing trip this has been. We've toured the capitol building and the George Washington Masonic Memorial (AWESOME). The first winery we visited gave us 25 different wines to sample! We bought a couple of bottles to drink while visiting, as it's illegal for us to bring or ship anything to Home State. (LAME) I especially enjoyed visiting the National Archives, and getting to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I got quite teary eyed over the whole thing. People thought I was a nerd. I probably could have won their understanding if I explained I'm a doe-eyed idealistic law student.

We crammed in as much as possible, but of course we know that we're going to miss out on some things. I'm definitely ready to go home now. I miss my baby so much. I can't believe it's been a week since I've last held her. She of course, has been having too much fun at "Bompa and Nana"'s house.



Helping Bompa mow the lawn.



Sleepy girl.

I've missed her so much. I've called every night to talk to her, but I can tell it's more for me than her.

Still, the sacrifice was worth it (LOL I KNOW) to be able to have this time with Brian before school starts.

I also got some amazing photos. I particularly like this one:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

/Deep breath

This is going to be a seriously insane few days. Tomorrow is Brian's birthday bbq (also our friend Jeremie's birthday bbq) and we're going down for that. We do the combined birthday party every year and it's super fun. Plus, MOJITOS!!! And we'll be crashing there.

Then off to Brian's parents, spending time with them before we leave town. And we'll be crashing there.

Then to our friends' place to relax and play. And we'll be crashing there, because they live close to the parade route and we love having sleepovers at their house.

Crack of dawn Monday, we're off to the parade. It's a tradition, despite how much I am not looking forward to the horrible heat. And sunblock. And sleepy grumpy 1 year old. Then back to my parents' place to hang for a bit, before leaving her with them.

Home on Monday, flight to DC on Tuesday.

This will be the longest I've ever left the baby. I'm sort of freaking out, though I am really excited about our trip. It is going to be amazing, and an awesome break before I start law school.

Still, I am freaking out about how busy it is going to be the next few days. I'm going to need a vacation after all the festivities.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"It's Chair City, and I'm the Guy Who's...

Sitting in a chair!"

Bonus points if you get the Friends reference.

My parents delivered to me, by sheer magic, the chair below. It has a matching ottoman. When I said I wanted an oversize chair and ottoman for the reading nook in my office (AKA Law School Dungeon) theirs were the model I was using in my head. I've always loved the set. Not so much for the southwestern fabric, but for the shape and the comfy-scale ranking.



It has been serving as a bed for their super-spoiled 90lb Boxer "Junior" and subsequently displays the abuse to go with it. It bears tears in the fabric, worn areas, and about fifty million dog hairs. My vacuum, which could suck the hair right off my skin, doesn't even TOUCH the hairs embedded in the fabric.

The condition (and hairiness) led me to seek out options for recovering it. Upholstering would be expensive, and I was worried a slip cover may end up looking like this:



My apologies to the woman who blogged that particular slipcover to market her custom slipcover business. But honestly! The chair she had before looked perfectly fine before she did this to it.

We don't wear huge floral RUFFLES in real life unless some bridezilla forces us, I don't want it in my house ON DISPLAY.

I kept searching and found these amazing looking Sure Fit brand slipcovers. They are super stretchy and have elastic around the bottom, so they conform to the shape of your chair. I was really nervous it wouldn't fit, or it would not look as good as it does in the pictures. For real, this picture doesn't look half as good as it does in person (since it's a suede-like fabric the camera shows all the little hand prints etc.) The color is actually wine (and matches the wine/black stripe in the original fabric, so I don't have to recover the ottoman until later.) These slipcovers are really expensive, about 90 for a chair cover and 50 for an ottoman cover. I lucked out and found a deal on eBay for 22 bucks. The guy happened to be local and I met with him and saw some of his other inventory. EXCELLENT DEALS! Anyway, here it is!



One step closer to awesome officeness! I just need to find myself a wooden office-chair that isn't horribly uncomfortable.

If you are looking for great deals, have a look at the guy's eBay store:

Global Sales

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fundamental

Every Friday I will be posting about something I am ordinarily too afraid to mention but frequently encounter. Friday Fundamental will consist of a funny or annoying grammar or spelling error I have come across during the previous week. I do not correct people when they make these mistakes, because it is rude, but sometimes I get really really pissed off. Other times I crack up completely. I need a place where I can be a snob and not upset the offending (and therefore offended) parties. Also, I think it will be fun.

I should mention, I will (generally) not be targeting people like myself, who make stupid and silly errors out of distraction or being too hurried. I make mistakes like this all the time, and I am not a hypocrite. Typos are also (except in cases of extreme humor) exempt. No, I will be looking for multiple and chronic offenders. I will also be seeking out professional gaffes, because you KNOW 20 people had to pass on it and yet NO ONE noticed an error. This may include a marketing scheme or ad that makes absolutely no sense.

Your submissions are welcome! Feel free to post a link in the comments.

This week: Reading things out loud

Sometimes we our so far into our head we don't take the time to read things out loud. This is important when dealing with words that are spelled close to similar words, but with different form or meaning.

I came across the following example in the local paper, and it gave me a good chuckle. I've altered the image slightly so the company won't sue, but I think you'll appreciate the sentiment.



Misuse of ellipses aside, if you just read this outloud even in the foggiest state you should be able to get the mistake. The ad was smack in the middle of a story I was reading and kept going down with me as I scrolled, so it was getting on my nerves. The annoyance forced me to read it (THE HORROR!) and that's when I got a good chuckle.

I am such a nerd.