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.


  1. I think it's nearly impossible to get into a groove 1L. The first 4 or 5 weeks, you're just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Then when you sort of adapt, it's time for midterms or papers. Then when those are done, it's almost time to study for finals, which is just insane the first go-round. You get a reprieve over winter break, but it took way too long to rev the brain back up when spring semester started and I lacked any energy and motivation, so I limped across the finish line 1L. The good news is, everyone else feels the same way and it gets infinitely easier 2L and 3L.

  2. We had a PALS group and they changed the name to ANTS (association of nontraditional students) to be more inclusive of older or returning students who hadn't had kids, or whose kids were grown. Just a thought.