Hey YOU!

Yo! Did you notice that I moved?

You can find me over at http://awomaninlaw.wordpress.com

And for all you 1Ls out there I posted a new weekly giveaway contest.

Check it out...all the cool kids are doin it!

I need a change. For all you readers out there I'M MOVING!

TO BE CONTINUED AT NEW BLOG:

http://awomaninlaw.wordpress.com

I hope all of you will continue to follow me over there. I like wordpress' layout better and hopefully, I won't lose my blog roll lists so easily.

There are other reasons why I need the change as you'll soon read.

Thanks.

Waiting

We were told grades would be posted this week, but so far nothing.

I'm really nervous. I tried so much harder last semester and I really want to know that hard work pays off.

I've been dreading this moment since I was told grades would be up this week. Last semester we weren't given any warning so knowing the moment is coming is killing me.

(deer in headlights pose)

That was a horrible mess...


It's now thankfully out of my hands. Who knew that little Blue Book could be so evil? Whatever happens I'm glad I stuck the write on competition through because I can already say that I learned so much just from trying.

Tomorrow I start with the Judge!


Yes, I've been tagged once again and because I like to be a good sport I'll participate in it.
So, I'm supposed to tell you ten things that you don't know that are true. It's not as simple as you may think.
1) Yesterday was my dog's birthday. I forgot it but was reminded by a friend who texted me. I felt like crap.
2) I recently won a scholarship, however I was the only one who applied for it so I don't feel like I really won it.
3) I sleep on the right side of the bed.
4) I'm probably taller than you.
5) J's addiction to baseball drives me nuts sometimes.
6) I start working for a judge on Monday.
7) I miss reading books for pleasure.
8) My other dog and I recently got into an argument over whether eating garbage is a reasonable hobby to have.
9) I'm oddly addicted to watching "I'm A Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here!"
10) We have a very nice TV which never gets used. However, there is another crappy tv in front of the nice tv that we use everyday because the reception is better.
There! Done!
I think I'll pass on the tagging though.
Thanks to The Lovin Spoonful for the tag!

Technically, I shouldn't be talking about my law review competition. However, as I don't care and half my class already mentions it on Facebook I feel like I can blog about it.

I hate it.

I've procrastinated, which means I'll be stuck to a chair with Leechblock ensuring my ass isn't on internets.

It is the most boooorrriinnnnggg topic EVER! And yet, I have somewhat mastered it in procrastinator's time.

So when you're out drinking beer and relaxing this weekend think of me, stuck to a chair, looking psychotic and twitching over my Bluebook.

You may follow me under Kel Law or username: Kelsmishaps. I'm new to twitter so any recommendations as to who to follow? Any other bloggers out there that tweet?

Tagged

Lawful Lady tagged me and I'm just getting around to it.

Best Memory of my first year of Law School:

Wow, I suck because I really can't think of many great memories. I was really excited to get my grades back after the first semester because it made me realize that I was capable of passing. I was also very happy to know that I'm not a horrible writer. Writing has always been a weakness/phobia of mine.

Worst Memory of my first year of Law School:

The day I let my opinion run rampant and lost a good friend. Here's the thing, law school is a horrible place to really let your opinion and/or concern be known.

My first semester I made several good friends and tried to balance studying and friendships. After receiving my grades I knew I could do a much better job and vowed to really try second semester to improve my grades. In my attempt to study smarter I realized that some of my friends didn't like the fact that I was spending more time focusing in class, rather than on facebook or goofing off. These friends started talking poorly about me and expressed "concern" about my "behavior." In defense, I suggested that they too could probably benefit from taking classes a little more seriously, and then shit flew everywhere.

So here is what I learned about law school:

  • classmates coming straight from undergrad still have a lot to learn in terms of their communication style, and from life in general.
  • in addition, classmates coming straight from undergrad also have a lot to learn in terms of what "professionalism" really means. Law school is a professional school; what you say and do now I'll remember. So, while it's difficult to keep your mouth shut and hold your head high it might just help you become a more professional person in the long run. Yes, I said things I shouldn't have; yes, I apologized, however, continuing to bad mouth someone is just stupid. I'd rather be remembered as a hard worker than as someone who just wants to gossip.
  • thus, I've come to believe that insecurity causes law school drama-----stay far away!!
  • So far I have not met the best friends of my life here, and I feel much like New Kid who has a great post summing up similar thoughts.
  • Always ALWAYS remember that you're in law school to get a job. Start working on your professional skills now. This includes learning how to listen, practicing patience, and building a strong work ethic. Yes, I want a summer vacation, however I also want as much experience as possible to help me become a better future employee.

Wow, that makes me sound extremely bitchy, gunner-like, and nerdy. Being slightly older than the typical law student has really left me a bitchy person when it comes to discussing law school. I'll admit it, I hate the drama of law school, however I'm beginning to realize that I enjoy the work that I'm doing.

So, in some ways my worst memory has really turned out to be a good thing for me. It really helped me re-focus on why I am in law school, that studying is important, and that my classmates aren't the kind of people I want to truly be myself with.

You?

Yes, law school is a learning experience, and not just by way of books. I learned a lot about myself and the type of lawyer I want to be.

First semester:

  • I skimmed reading, and quasi-book briefed.
  • I focused more on my research and writing course than my other four courses combined.
  • I relied on other people's outlines.
  • I didn't group study.
  • I made it a point to work on friendships with classmates.
  • I actively participated in professional opportunities on campus.
  • I was too proud to ask questions, or admit that I didn't understand concepts.
  • I took weekends off, for the most part.

Second Semester:

  • I actively read and book brief for all classes.
  • I focused on my core courses rather than on research and writing.
  • I attended every class, and made no excuses for myself.
  • I focused on what my professor's were saying and why they were saying it.
  • I let several friendships unfortunately slide so that I could keep up on my coursework.
  • I worked every weekend, often in tears.
  • I gave myself Friday nights.
  • I utilized breaks between classes much better than fall semester.
  • I still attended several professional events but I was pickier about which ones to participate in.
  • I regularly met with our academic support staff to talk about my studying habits, which I highly recommend.
  • I outlined over spring break which lead to my outlines being done prior to finals so that I could study and refine the outline's content.

In all, I studied like it was a sickness. I pushed myself moreso than I ever have before...now I just have to wait to see if it paid off. If improving my studying doesn't improve my grades then I know that I may have to look at how to improve my exam writing skills.

Like I said, I unfortunately let some friendships slide this past semester. Law school is a professional school and in some ways I need to keep that notion of professionalism in the forefront at all times. I learned that it's difficult to balance a social life with law school without looking like a complete "gunner" bitch at times. But it's my choice. This balancing will only get more difficult as time passes, so I may as well start practicing this balancing act out now.

In addition, I'm just now finding classmates that I look forward to hanging out with. That in itself always takes time. It may very well be true that those who are your friends the first year aren't your friends that last year. We'll have to see.

So I've been missing...

and feeling very un-bloggy.

Enough of that! Back to getting some readers!

So, I really pushed myself the last two weeks of finals. I was at the library every morning, ready for eight hours of group study time. It sucked...majorly. However, I'm really glad I pushed myself toward group study because I learned the material so much better than I would have just on my own.

As you know, I asked Nosy Nancy to study with me, which turned out to be a great decision for the both of us. Then another classmate, B, joined us so we were three, and three was a great number. Together the three of us worked on our outlines and talked through concepts outloud. B was great because he always had excellent questions to challenge us.

The three of us worked happily together until the day before our first exam when two other classmates joined us. So my small little group ended up being five people throughout all four exams...and we worked amazingly well considering how tired, scared, irritated and angry we all were.

Our last exam was six hours long, with a three hour multiple choice test (not as easy as you would think). Our professor put copies of a multiple choice book on reserve for us to work through and familiarize ourselves with her style, the only problem was that my fellow classmates liked to hide the copies. In addition, the gunner in our section told me that it was rude of me to take two copies of the book. I looked at her as politely as I could and said hell no, one copy for five people is NOT workable. This is the same gunner who asked six long ass questions of our professor, knowing that we were standing outside her office for close to a half hour.

As much as I tried to be helpful and not resort to childish tactics like that of the gunner and my fellow classmates I couldn't help but feel compelled to travel down that path. This is what law school does to you.

NOW RUN!! RUN AWAY FAST!!!

Since my last final I've been relaxing, cleaning, and spending a lot of time thinking about how I want to approach my 2L year.

I've got a busy summer ahead with room for plenty of postings.

Now I've just got to see if anyone out there is still reading...HOLLA BACK!

Hmmm.....

I've been a horrible blogger.

You see, there's this thing called law school which has eaten all of my time.

So...

My oral argument went well. Our judges were local attorneys which made me prepare even more. I was very, very nervous about oral arguing and after 12 minutes I couldn't believe how easy it was.

After that, I spent a lot of time on my brief. When it was good and turned in I quickly switched gears into outlining. I'm proud to say that my outlines are all done! Which means I can focus on learning and applying my outlines prior to exams. So far I've completed two exams with two to go!

It's been hell but in a week I'll be done!

However, my summer is crammed with lawyerly-like goodness. :) I'll leave that for later!

$80,000

So over at Feministe Jill asked what would you do if your law firm paid you $80,000 to not work for a year. The question's background can be found over at Law Ingenue for those of you who haven't heard of Skadden's offer to its associates.

So what would I do...

Well, several ideas come quickly to mind like:

  • getting and being pregnant in a low stress fashion,
  • traveling the world with only a backpack,
  • live in the country with a house full of dogs,
  • gather all my friends in far away places for one hell of a party,
  • MUSEUM HOP!
  • live in Tokyo in spring,
  • find the best coffee shops and read good books in them,
  • take cooking lessons in Thailand and India,
  • have one hell of a spa day,
  • do all of the above with J.

You?

I found a post over at Jezebel interesting. I immediately thought of law school and all the trash talking my classmates and I involve ourselves in. The study states that men and women trash talk equally, which I found odd.

This semester I've actually sought out more male friendships because they don't trash talk. They may trash politics or sports but I've rarely heard them gossip the ways women do.

While it's difficult to remain nonjudgemental when it comes to work, (and let's face it, law school is a workplace) I still believe women are far worse than men when it comes to trash talking and gossip. Whether it's discussing outfit choices, snide comments, or personal preferences women judge all the time.

All I know is please keep me out of it! I'd seriously rather not know. And its no fun trash talking, so I'd rather not participate as well. So if you see me skipping a conversation and walking away or changing the subject it's because I really don't care to participate in trash talking. I'm here for professional skills, not to re-live the 7th grade.

Well, it has been a year since I started this little blog. I think it has been a good year, a good long year. For all you future 1Ls out there time really does fly when you're in law school. You also realize how essential time is. For example, when before I never cared much about how productive my day was, now I look at ways I can be slightly more productive. I even have friends who plan their days out 30mins at a time. It's a strange world, one that takes some adjusting.

I still recognize that as a woman I have to work slightly harder to be taken more seriously. Maybe it's just the city I live in. The other day I was told that I should pull my hair back when in front of a judge because somehow women who have short hair or hair pulled up come across as more professional. I was also informed that there are still judges out there who won't address a woman unless she is wearing a dress suit. No shit?!

The next two weeks will be hell. I'm trying a new study approach for these finals, with a new focused study partner. For those loyal readers out there you'll know her as "Nosy Nancy". While we'll drive each other nuts until finals are over, we each know the kind of work we want to put in. And we're at the same level in terms of how well we understand things.

I'm in for a ride. Let's just hope it's a good one!

Thanks to all of you who've commented over the past year! Here is to another fine year!

Sometimes I enjoy reading Above the Law, like today. So Happy Easter!




There are three weeks left until finals. OMG!

Its time to bring out the hour by hour study schedule to keep me on task. Its time to pull together a study group that actually works. Its business time.

A week from now my brief and oral argument will be turned in and over. I can't wait for that moment. I am so sick of this issue, the practicing, the cases, the editing. Even though I've put more effort into legal writing this semester I can definitely say that I've slacked on the stupid busy work she gives us. Last week we had to practice our oral arguments in front of class. Instead of doing it, I half-assed it and probably looked stupid to my classmates, but I don't care.

You've got to pick your battles in law school. I've learned that no matter how much time I spend trying to stay caught up I'm always slightly behind. So this semester I picked legal writing to be behind in because in the end you learn how to write for your employer. Writing is subjective and I have faith in my writing skills. I don't need to stupid busy work to help me improve. Yes, it probably would have been great to have my oral argument prepared but I have a whole week to do that. I have 13 other credits to worry about lady! A third of which is contracts. So bite me.

Very soon my life will consist of practice questions, outlining, flashcards and audio supplements. Oh how I wish the Easter bunny would bring me more time.

The Easter Bunny did bring me tickets to see Flight of the Conchords though. So perhaps my life isn't all that bad. Or maybe I just need more Business Time?

The oral argument is next week. Any tips? I'm having difficulty finding a theme...

And as usual, the entire experience is making me question what the hell I'm doing here.

Ahh...the stress of the final four weeks!

Huh?

I'm in the middle of brief/oral argument mode. It sucks. I'm also in the beginning stages of finals mode, and am slowly starting to pull a study group together to go over endless contracts questions. Again, this sucks.

The good news is J is finally! FINALLY HERE with me. So I have added support to get me through these long nights. The work is endless but the light is near!

Well, spring break was over a week ago but I managed to get a good start on my outlining to the point where I feel good going forward. It sucked major ass to force myself to organize materials, concepts and readings but overall I think it was a good use of time FOR ME!

Why the caps? Am I slightly nerved? Yes.

People seem to forget that everyone has their own unique learning style, myself included. It takes me longer to pull material together and get to the point where I understand what is going on. That is why I knew prior to spring break that I really should utilize the time to get caught up.

I'm glad I did it. And I managed to watch several crappy movies throughout the week too.

Whenever I can I try to observe court. It's a good way to network, think fast, and see what reality looks like after law school. Over winter break I observed a lot of criminal and juvenile hearings. Today I observed what is known here as child abuse court.

It was not fun. Not only were the cases difficult to hear, it was also difficult to try and remain impartial as an observer. I suppose I didn't have to remain objective but I'm still trying to figure out what "side" I prefer and thus I try to challenge myself to see both sides.

Otherwise things went well.

When I observe court I always do the following things:

  • let the baliff know I'm a law student observing. He/she usually informs the judge, who has several times invited me up to the stand to talk about law and law school.
  • take business cards to exchange. Yes, I don't like doing it but attorneys love giving them out and it's easy to just hand one back. Tip: always write something about your conversation on the back to remind them of who/where/how you met, etc.
  • have questions ready to ask the judge or attorneys. Most of the time the questions aren't answered, but it does set things in motion to get an interesting conversation going.
  • thank the judge and baliff for letting me observe.

My favorite judge is out of town for the rest of the week which is a blessing in some ways as I should spend more time outlining...

I hate outlining...

  • skeleton outlines for all classes done!
  • civil procedure review questions done!
  • resume/cover letters done!
  • haircut and pedicure complete!

Now I just have to add to the skeletons, revise the brief a zillion times, read for next week's classes, and continue to watch the worst movies ever!

Finally! It's here!

The plan is:

  • to outline, outline, outline!
  • observe me some court!
  • work on resume, cover letters, and ideas for work.
  • read one book for pleasure.
  • clean my house, pay my bills, eat good food.
  • and work on my brief.

Let's see how far I actually get!

I spent the morning discussing the overt sexism on today's Sunday paper and thought about all the amazing women who have influenced my life. What did you do?

Speaking of women!

Noorain Khan asked me to spread the word about this amazing conference:

You may register at: http://www.acteva.com/go/optout
With more info found here: http://www.law.yale.edu/news/optout.htm.

"OPT OUT" OR PUSHED OUT:
ARE WOMEN CHOOSING TO LEAVE THE LEGAL PROFESSION?
March 27 – 28, 2009
Yale Law School

"Opt Out" or Pushed Out will address the controversial phenomenon described by some as "opting out," the supposed trend of professional women leaving the workplace to devote their energies to family care-taking, full time. This conference will focus on the dynamics of the "trend" within the legal profession, inviting legal practitioners, professional students, and scholars to critically assess the structural, institutional, and societal reasons why women lawyers may be departing from the workplace. It will also devote significant energy to the experiences of men and how they may be similar to – or different from – those of female attorneys. Conference panels will touch on topics of parenthood, social expectations that treat men and women differently, and how the legal field can learn from other professions that have begun to accommodate the reality of male and female professionals' multi-faceted lives. Men and women in the legal profession -- practitioners, students, and scholars -- will come together to critically assess the structural, institutional and societal pressures that affect all attorneys and have made balance particularly elusive for women. The aim is to generate concrete goals and methods for improving the structure of the workplace and social perceptions of the occupational choices that attorneys make.
Speakers Include:
§ E.J. Graff, Senior Researcher at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and head of the Gender and Justice Project

§ Pamela Stone, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and author of Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home

§ Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much

§ Pat Gillette, Founder of the Opt-In Project

§ Wendy Schmidt, Principal, Deloitte and former national leader of Deloitte's U.S. Women's Initiative Network (WIN)

§ The Honorable Nancy Gertner, Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts and member of the Equality Commission

§ Francine Deutsch, Professor of Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College




I may just have to attend!

I'll admit that this semester I'm trying new studying techniques however I'm amazed by the lack of course reading my fellow classmates have been doing. I bet a third of the class (60) doesn't read anymore. Nothing, nada, zip. We've all been working on our briefs lately which also means they are skipping classes. I find it bothersome that my classmates are consciously preparing to skip class to work on their briefs. Generally, if you skip class it usually means you don't read for that class either.

Additionally, we've had several people just "pass" on a case in class in the rudest of fashions: one woman, right before being called on--knowing she was going to be called on, just got up and left the room; others just pronounce they didn't read the material; some just skip the days when they're "on call" to brief cases; in one class they convinced the prof she was going another direction (she asks her questions down the row) so that they wouldn't be called on. It is ridiculous and disappointing.

If you can't handle the responsibilities of class how are you supposed to handle the responsibilities of being a lawyer? Furthermore, when you behave in the manner above you send messages to your fellow classmates that you're really not reliable or serious about analyzing the law.

I'm learning to let it all go as their grades aren't mine, however I'm still a bit pissed that we're half way through the semester and people have already just given up.

Whatever.

Yes, we have a problem according to my Contracts professor (who I cannot stand). Apparently someone is signing in for someone else who is not attending class. And now we've all be told what horrible students we are, how our trust is gone, and how he just doesn't know how he'll proceed with roll from now on.

I hate being talked to like a child. And I am bothered that the entire class is being lectured because of an individual's stupidity.

Yes, it's an art to be mastered.

And I'm trying to weave the notion into my tired head.

At times I feel as if there is no such thing as privacy in law school and thus, "the art" of it comes into play.

It's not a new idea. In general, people are clueless about the space around them and about the conversations we all become a part of. I recently worked my way into a conversation after I had eavesdropped for a good 15 minutes. I was happy I did as the two professors had lovely ideas and suggestions for me. However, I still overheard their private conversation making it far from private.

So, take note! We are always listening. Nothing you say is per se "private." Especially to law students, as seen HERE!

I came across this piece over at Feministing, one of my favorite feminist blogs. Neko Case was recommended to me by a former roommate, but I never listened to her because, well, I rarely took advice or suggestions from this roommate because I just didn't. We had one of those friendships where you just keep saying "yeah, uh huh." in any and all conversations.

Then I woke up to Neko's voice on NPR one morning and fell instantly in love with her haunting voice. The fact that she grew up not too far from me excited me as well.

While the context in which I apply her words are different than the blog piece, I can't help but relate to the phrase "Don't let them tell you you're nothing." I'm finding that I'm reminding myself that I worked hard to get into law school, that it's a privilege just to be where I'm at. I'm reminding myself of the light at the end of the tunnel; the work that I desire to do; the bleeding heart liberal change I wish to inspire; yada, yada, yada. I'm working my ass off; I lack sleep, nutrition, and common sense and I'm struggling with my classmate's small comments which try to keep me believing that I'm nothing. "Nothing" as in my hard work is not going to pay off. It's to the point where I'm thinking of switching seats in my classes. I don't want to take this step mainly because I'm trying equally hard to balance being social with being studious. I also believe that I can work through the comments and the challenge of staying focused in class. The hard part is that these are supposed to be my friends. I suppose this is where the "oh so wise" 2Ls and 3Ls will laugh at me and tell me that there is no such thing as "friends" in law school but I'll refuse to listen. I think friendship is possible, it just might take awhile for me to find it. But right now I'm focusing on telling myself that I AM EVERYTHING! And the briefing, prepping for class, outlining and time I'm putting in will pay off. It will. And they will eventually learn that there are no casenotes for life after law school.*

And now for one of my favorite Neko Case songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50dzxkJa1NE

(And yes, that is her LIVE. That voice is mesmerizing!)





* Casenotes are briefs you can purchase for your text book. Many law students choose to read these in lieu of their actual textbooks.

A handful of Boing Boing pieces I found amusing during class last week:

Judge Brennan's take: "Baby mama" does not refer to any particular race. It is currently a trendy pop-culture term for a single mother, as evidenced by the recent Hollywood movie (released on DVD in 2008) titled "Baby Mama," involving Saturday Night Live actress, Tina Fey, playing the role of a white single mother.

For the rest of the exchange including why a baby mama even needs to be defined go here.

Gudnuff wondered if I closed up shop. Nope. I've just been laying low in the hopes that Nosy Nancy tells me she knows about this blog. She hasn't mentioned anything yet, but she did admit to reading my e-mail over my shoulder, and well blog comments appear in my email.

So I had to have a conversation with her about how it's not nice to snoop. I think I handled it well and at least now I don't have to change seats in every class.

In other areas, my brief assignment this semester is already kicking my butt. Any tips for persuasive writing out there? I picked up The Winning Brief by Brian Garner which has a lot of suggestions for writing a brief. I tend to like Garner's work. His new collaboration with Scalia has also been recommended to me as a general narrative for persuasive writing.

So far I'm doing well handling the workload but a brief along with con law and contracts are driving me insane. Then add two other classes and exhaustion and you have one crazy law student.

So yesterday I referred to my neighbor in class as "Nosy Nancy." Today she made a comment about not wanting to seem nosy but noticed an e-mail I had up and referred to it. So a possible security breach may be present!

So...

If you do know who I am I would like you to be honest and tell me that you know about this blog. I hope you respect my anonymity regarding this blog as well.

It's not nice to snoop, however I know we all have our tendencies.

Thanks.

I sit by the same person in all my classes. She is a good friend and study partner which I believe to be rare. (It usually seems like they're either good friends or good people to ask questions to, but not both.) The problem I've had lately is that she always watches my screen. So if I have my e-mail up she is right there reading it too. If I check for celebrity gossip during slow classroom discussions, she is right there reading along with me. It bothers me. And it bothers me for more than the obvious "she's nosy" reason. If she is watching my damn screen all day and professors look up, they see not only me looking at a screen but also her. And you can tell she isn't taking notes.

So in lieu of asking her to stop I plan on purchasing a security screen blocker. I figure it will send the message well anyway.

Does anyone have one of these? How well do they work? I've heard they aren't cheap, but I figure it could come in handy for reasons other than Nosy Nancy.

I went out with a bunch of law school friends over the weekend. At first I was excited! Hooray! Fun times ahead! But no...because once you reach your magical age* you realize that it ain't your job to take care of all those drunk asses. Furthermore, it's no longer fun to go out with the sole intention of getting wasted.

As the night progressed I just got more annoyed. The worst was when I had to pull friends out of the bar because they were too drunk to stand. Not cool. Ahem! Not cool no matter how old you are!

So you know you're old when you realize that you're the one acting like a responsible adult. And for those of you out there who think you can be drunk and responsible I urge you to think about the last time you had to hold someone's hair back to puke, get them to drink crap loads of water, and help them into more comfortable clothes. Also throw in the time it takes to drive them back to their cars in the morning, the apologies you have to make to complete strangers for your friend's behavior, and cleaning up any vomit from your car or house.

I'm old...





* Each person decides this age for themselves. I was 26 when I realized I was too old for this crap.

Here is why with possible solutions:

  • people who fail to cover their mouths when they cough should be subjected to medical testing. There are these tiny things called germs people! And it's flu season!
  • people should be aware of the fact they are in a library, a place known for peace and quiet, and thus not crunch down on carrots or chips. This person should truly be taken out back and have foods crunched into their ears until they swear to never do this again.
  • people should recognize that public displays of affection are not the norm WHEN YOU'RE IN CLASS! At the minimum get a study room! (Which is what they are rumored to be used for at my lovely school.)
  • people who watch tv programs loudly in class to draw attention to themselves should be put on deserted islands to rid themselves of the "me, me, ME!" outlook on life. I don't want to watch The Hills, or Gossip Girl before class, ACTUALLY NEVER!

I feel better now.

What annoyed you today?

In your first semester of law school you pretty much try to stay afloat. You read and brief for class, you review for class, you think about what is going on. Now...for the second semester...I'm realizing who has given up doing any of the above. In some ways this is good for me as it can only improve my grade if others choose not put in tremendous effort. In other ways I'm stuck watching professors try to work with students who just don't care enough to prepare for class anymore. And I'm only on week three...I can't imagine what April will look like.

My study habits are slowly changing. Last semester I book briefed but now I'm trying the whole briefing thing. I'm finding that I follow along more in class because of it. There is just something about typing out your notes that just synthesizes things better. I'm also reviewing for class more which is something I never really did last semester. I've also found that I'm reading so much faster, with con law being the exception of course.

So things are interesting here...

Throw in couples forming, cliques, mean stupid girls, and condescending upper-classmates and you've still got law school. Lovely!

I didn't explain my slight absence over the last couple weeks. As I told you before I just wasn't feeling like blogging. Well, in all reality, I really wasn't feeling much of anything and I'm still working through things.

When I made my decision to go to law school I knew that I wanted J with me throughout it all. We've been apart since August and it's really starting to eat away at me. I'm usually a very independent person but in this case I really want my partner in crime around to do all things couple-ish. I also want him around for the fact that he isn't in law school. My entire support network in this city goes to law school with me and I'd like to branch out a little. So I've been a bit down lately. And this isn't a good way to start the semester.

The thing about law school is that it can easily make you feel like a robot. I get up, I go to class, I study, I study some more and go to bed only to repeat myself the next day. I've really missed not having someone to come home to. A phone call isn't the same. Hopefully things will brighten up and he'll be over here soon.

Are Mondays good for a Debbie Downer moment?

The readings seem to be longer this semester and thus making briefing much more difficult.

I've been spending a lot of time re-adjusting to law school now that I have my grades. My goal is to use my time wiser than last semester and better organize the material I'm learning. To accomplish this I've been hanging out with new folks. It's not that my previous friends are bad or stupid, it's just that they are poor influences on my time management goal. For instance, I hardly get any studying done during the day between classes and well, this needs to stop. I suppose it doesn't NEED to stop, moreso kinda stop as those two hours could be spent reviewing or something.

For everyone out there who started Contracts last semester I envy you! My school has somehow come to the conclusion that Contracts can be taught entirely in one semester! Imagine Contracts three times a week! Beautiful eh? So I'm about to become a huge contract geek, or well attempt to. I don't know how far I'll get considering how much I despise my professor. He's the type who loves to hear himself speak, and of course he is ALWAYS right and enjoys talking over you and holding class late. If it's one thing that bothers me it's people who love themselves so much that they are condescending to others. I feel like it's perfectly normal for me to have expectations of him, just as he has expectations of us (and tells us these expectations daily). For example, I expect that he begin and end class on time. In return I'll respect him by not arriving late for class. Seems like a good deal to me...however we'll see what he thinks.

13-14-15

13: started smoking in my backyard. YUCK! Continued off and on for many moons. Officially stopped around age 26 (?). At thirteen I was a frizzy haired ugly child who wore mens suits to school.

14: had an encounter with Kurt Cobain at a party. I was on something, he was on something. Enough said.

15: After five years of living with mom I realized that I needed more discipline. So I made arrangements to live with my dad. At 15 I made the best decision of my life. Had I not chosen to move I'm pretty sure I would have continued down the road exemplified above. Looking back on that decision I have to say that I'm really proud of myself for recognizing that I NEEDED something different and that I was the perfect person to instill that change in direction.

Eh...

That is how I've felt toward blogging lately. I'll try to snap out of it, but no promises. So my semester started last week and I've been going nonstop ever since. For some reason my school always schedules "mandatory" meetings all at once and it drives me bezerk!

In addition, my classmates have been eager to discuss grades and figure out where everyone lies on the class curve. While I haven't used my line I have politely refrained from discussing my grades. In addition to grades, it has been interesting to observe who is no longer talking to some and who is now sitting next to others. I fall into the former category as I have chosen to distance myself from someone who I was "close" to last semester and it has been awkward. She's a lovely person but I realized that she does nothing for me. Nothing as in not helping me understand concepts, responding to my questions, helping me fill in my notes, etc. I'm sure that may sound selfish but why should I continue to work on a friendship that does nothing for me? I still sit near her, just not next to her. Again, things are awkward so far...and I'm tired...eh, does it get any better?

Eleven-12

We moved to a much larger city where my mom became the stereotypical single mom and worked her butt off to keep us afloat. We lived in a little cul-de-sac with plenty of kids to play with. I remember being excited and scared about the move and the divorce. I remember being in the second grade when my mom first told me she was planning on leaving my dad. It took her two years to do it. For those two years I had a huge box right next to my door that I kept all the things I wanted to take with me. It was safe to do so as my dad never traveled up the stairs that far. I vididly remember the day we left my dad. I was at a pool party, a birthday pool party in June. School was over and it was starting to get hot. My mom came to pick me up and we left from there. She only packed the trunk so my dad wouldn't catch on to anything and she never looked back. For three and a half hours we listed to The Supremes Greatest Hits and I cried.

It was the best thing my mother ever did for herself. And I'm glad she did it.

7-10

When I was 7, 8, 9, and 10 I really don't remember much. I think it's because my parents divorced when I was 10 and for some strange reason I forgot a lot of what went on when they were married.

I grew up without tv so I read about every book in the library that I could. My favorite books during this age span were the Anne of Green Gables series. Imust have read those books several times. Life on a farm meant you had to use your imagination or get lost in a good book. When I wasn't reading my brother and I would try to lose my sister in the orchards. We also pretended we were squirrels a lot in our treehouse. Sometimes I would visit a friend down the road who lived on a dairy farm. We would climb the stacks of hay and stare at the clouds.

My mom told me that I made it to a spelling bee final when I was in the fourth grade. I lost on the word encyclopedia. Fourth grade was the last grade at my little school before I moved with my mom, brother and sister to a much bigger city. I was a little upset about this because in fifth grade they showed all the girls the menstration video (on old school reels) and I never got to see it. Oh well!

All but one of my grades has been posted. The grade that hasn't been posted is the one I'm most curious about because I thought it was my best exam. Grades are interesting. I kinda know where I sit amongst my classmates now and it bothers me. When I was a graduate student all I had to do was maintain a 3.00 GPA which was simple, even when you're taking all math courses and grades weren't really taken into consideration by employers either. Now, I'm "competing" with 60 others and I'm starting to feel like maybe I don't know how to do this well enough. Don't get me wrong, I am content with my grades. There is always room for improvement...yada, yada, yada. BUT this is where the what ifs start appearing. What if I study more! What if I did more practice exams! And the thing is I may just always be in the spot I'm at, regardless of what I try. I just have to be appreciative that I'm not the last in my class.

What bums me out is that there are law students in my class that will be eager to discuss grades on facebook and in class when we start next week and I can honestly say that I don't want to know how others did.

So, if you are talking about grades around me beware! My formula response will be, "Do you want to share your sex life too? Because that's pretty personal."

I just have to remember that grades can't necessarily network for you. And if there is one thing I can do it's network and talk to strangers. Sometimes a pleasant personality can open a lot of doors for you. At least let's hope it does.


It’s a week or two later than you’d expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but … what were your favorite books from 2008?
I had to go search for my reading list as the only books coming to mind are somewhat embarrassing. I'll keep it short and sweet as I'm not too fond of broad questions.
Atonement by Ewan Macgregor:
I like to read books before seeing the movie. I really enjoyed the story, the characters, and the empathy I felt from reading this book. It is FAR BETTER than the movie.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy:
This was a book I "accidentally forgot" to return to a high school English class. I loved the cover and kept telling myself I should read this. So I finally did and found the story hauntingly beautiful.
The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo:
This children's book is a perfect bedtime story full of courage, love and overcoming challenges. It was an enjoyable read while waiting for J to finish a lecture. I haven't seen the movie but I've heard it's also good.
Merle's Door:
If you liked Marley and Me then you'll most likely enjoy this book as well. It's about a man in Wyoming who finds a dog while hiking and the life the two come to share. I'm a big sucker for dog books.
The Brethren by Bob Woodward:
In terms of law I found this book enjoyable and very informational. When I came across a case during the Burger era I found that I could understand the Judges opinions better because I was familiar with their political stances. I would recommend this to any law student or anyone interested in Supreme Court history.

In my opinion, the women ABC finds for The Bachelor are absolutely effing crazy, which is why I love to watch the show. Apparently women all over North America are crazy for single-dad Jason from Seattle. I said apparently, although I think freaky stalkerish sounds better.

I always learn interesting things about women watching this show. For instance, who knew that as I approach 30 my eggs are rotting! Or that I can still be a pagent queen at 29! I also did not realize that deceased husbands send their wives and mothers of their children happiness by encouraging them to go on The Bachelor. Who knew!

Ladies, ladies, ladies don't...:

  • wear an orange dress because Jason's son's favorite color is orange, and especially don't tell Jason that's why you're wearing the dress!
  • tell Jason you're so excited to meet him after watching him on last season's The Bachelorette, it just sounds crazy stalkerish.
  • ask about hot dog toppings...although this would probably work on me.
  • wear Bubba teeth.
  • giggle like a Playboy bunny on a trampoline.
  • and pagents are not the new pink.

This is the kind of crap I live for!

Edits: Apparently "girls have a woman's intuition." Wow! I had no clue. The vision board thing is probably something I would do on a rainy day, maybe something to do with mom, but I wouldn't use it to pick up men. I also would keep my boobs IN my dress, not lowly hanging out of my dress.

Five/Six

I think I got chicken pox when I was five. This should not be confused with the multiple times I was sent home from school thinking I had chicken pox when in reality it was just a million mosquito bites.

At six my parents started sending me to church camp for a week in the summer. I loved camp so much I was a counselor until I was 22. As campers we got away with doing so much crap and as counselors we got away with more. But when I was six I fell into the creek on my first day of camp, got a goose egg sized bump and was known as "Goose Bump." I don't think my parents realize it but sending me off to camp every summer helped mold me into the independent traveler I am.

Four

I should mention that for the first ten years of my life I have to resort to mom as I don't remember much before my parents divorce. So we're kinda stuck with mom's memories.

When I was four my sister was born. We went to Disneyland via camper. Supposedly this is on videotape somewhere but I've never seen it. The only thing I remember about Disneyland is that I wanted one of those Mickey Mouse shaped ballons but I couldn't have one because my mom is allergic to helium when it's close by. I also remember going on the Queen Mary (?) boat which is haunted and remember seeing ghosts.

My 30th birthday is this month! Hooray! Now I can pretend to practice my cougaring skillz! In honor of this momentous birthday (ugh) I thought I would blog about an event that took place for each year of my life during January.

One: I was born. I like to joke that I was adopted since I don't look like my parents however they have told me that I was the only white girl born that day, probably that week in such a small town. Being the redneck my father is, he insisted on holding me in his arms while driving the severe icy roads home. I guess you could say he inspired Britney's driving skills.

Two: My brother was born. My family sold two cows to pay for my brother's hospital bills. That's how we rolled, in cattle. I later learned that my dad named the cows after family members he didn't like and can remember their names to this day.

Three: I sucked my fingers and carried a blanket around. My parents were eager to get me to quit so they used pickle juice and mustard on my hands. This started my hatred for all things pickled and mustardy, as any close friend knows.

Like most people I made New Years resolutions that I, again like most people, will forget about in approximately three weeks.

  • Use time more wisely.
  • Tone my midsection through actual exercise (Gasp!)
  • Visit a place I've never been to before.
  • Read 30 books not related to classes.
  • Exercise my patience for others and their opinions.
  • Cut down on spending and learn to dress more frugal.
  • Get out and meet more people!
  • Learn to be civil toward J's relatives.
  • Be a better friend.
  • Keep a cleaner house.
  • See my nephew at least once.
  • Have a lot of fun and try to surround myself with laughter as much as possible.

Now, these are pretty reasonable. So J thought I should add some predicitions in there. As I am not qualified to make predictions regarding the economy, Nobel Prize winners, or elections I think I'll stick to small stuff.

I predict:

  • at least one man will offer me beer on my morning bus ride;
  • my brother will be incarcerated for the entire year;
  • the Carolina Panthers will be in the Super Bowl;
  • the Mets will make the playoffs;
  • we will still have economic woes come July;
  • I will procrastinate on my outlines again;
  • that Heath Ledger will not win any posthumous awards for The Dark Knight;
  • and that Jennifer Aniston will not be married or pregnant;
  • but Nicole Kidman will be working on baby 2 along with Christina Aguilera and Katie Holmes.
  • and that Justice Stevens will resign late in the year.

Do you agree? Disagree? Care?

I have several resolutions for 2009 which I'll discuss later, however one of them is to read for pleasure more than I have. I used to love doing Booking Through Thursday on an older blog. I looked forward to the questions and I learned a lot about books. So, I thought I would try it here.



Booking Through Thursday gives you a question each week regarding books or reading. You post the question and your response on your blog and then post your link in the comments section of the Booking Through Thursday post.


So here it goes!




Happy New Year, everyone!
So … any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all?
Name me at least ONE thing you’re looking forward to reading this year!

The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
A really good friend of mine keeps recommending this to me and as we've enjoyed several of the same books I'll take her word that it's good.
I'm also looking forward to The Angel of Grozney: Orphans of a Forgotten War by Asne Seierstad. Publishers Weekly writes, "In this searing journey through a traumatized Chechnya, two children orphaned by the civil war—Timur, a violent street urchin, and his sister Liana, a waif molested by her uncle who becomes a kleptomaniac—symbolize their country's agony, abandonment and lingering dysfunctions." Yes, it seems a little sad but then again war is sad. She also wrote The Bookseller of Kabul which I enjoyed. Her writing style appeals to me as well as the way she somehow makes you feel like you're reading fiction but it's not. It's just not your typical journalistic non-fiction style.

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