Thursday, December 22, 2005
My last final was surreal. The prof evidently decided last minute to change his format... not so that it was substantially different... but it became more of an endurance test. Again... no clue how I did. I'm just glad it's over.
I've decided to wait until right before my break is over to do a 1L first semester wrap up. I don't think I could do it justice now.
Happily all of my books are bought for next semester... and being able to shop the internet for them instead of being forced to pay school bookstore prices. (Sidenote: I just looked back at my blog to link to a post I was sure I had made about why the admin sucked because they wouldn't give us our book list until the end of intro week, thus, only being able to purchase from the bookstore... and I DIDN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT IT! What was I thinking?) I spent about $250 for books for this semester so far. Although that doesn't include supplements. I've heard the prof I have for Con Law is pretty raw and that I need every supplement known to man in order to pass. Sigh.
I've started reading A Civil Action, which is part of our Christmas homework. Nerdy, but it's kind of interesting, especially if you can banish the image of Travolta from your mind while you read.
And on a very happy mommy note: we gave our daughter one of her presents early today since we are homebound and she is so stir crazy... it's a kitchen playset. I can't tell you how many chocolate milks and pancakes I have "eaten" today. She loves it!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Monday is Torts. For my class, we've been told by the prof, previous students, etc... re-read the book. Lovely. But it's all about memorization... you get to take nothing into the test. Yikes!
After that test... I'm going to sleep. The next day I will take kidlet to school... in my jammies. Get a donut or other breakfast confection on the way home... and throw my Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea DVDs into the player, grab my favorite blanky and pillow and go in and out of consciousness all day. Then I'm going to go to the library and get Wives and Daughters by Gaskell and read. Other than that... everything else can just go away.
Monday, December 12, 2005
On the up side, I don't have the glassy, too wide eye look yet... you know the one that clears the room when you enter because people can feel panic and fear oozing from your body.
Calm. Breathe in. Breathe out. Go read the supplemental jurisdiction cases again.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Overall, I have no idea how I did. Did I get an A? Probably not. Did I fail? Definately not. I think that most decent law schools are set up so that you only fail if 1) you don't show up or 2) you never read, prepped, or attended class. So yeah, somewhere in the middle. But honestly no freaking clue. Here's a puzzler for you though. Why does it take until the end of January to get grades? Here's my theory: your tuition is paid for next semester and no longer refundable at that point.
Gah, I've got Civ Pro on Wednesday. And I'm trying hard to pull some motivation out of somewhere to keep going. I can. I will. It's just so much more draining than I thought it would be, and it's really the first time that I have felt that being a mom to a young child is a rather weighty disadvantage. I can't just disappear and study for two weeks. I guess we'll see in the end.
Friday, December 02, 2005
The first 20 minutes or so fulfilled my expectations. But then, it changed for the better. I can't put my finger on it exactly. I hated Lizzy. I thought Knightley's portrayal as too flippant and light and the Darcy not quite proud enough. (And can I say that her wigs sucked... really, could they not find one to cover her own short hair in the back; every scene that bugged me to death).
The ball was where it really changed for me. I loved Mr. Bennet holding a crying Mary, realizing her pain and caring for it. I loved the slightly tipsy Mrs. Bennet. Overall, their portrayals through the entire movie were more "parent-like" than the BBC version, and I liked it. You realize that their shortcomings towards their daughters are not out of a mean or even selfish spirit. Rather Mrs. Bennet's neuroses are truly on behalf of her soon to be impoverished daughters.
Collins was spot on. Loved it. And Judi Dench as Lady Catherine was also fabulous. I was rather disappointed with their rather unappetizing Colonel Fitzwilliam. Yeech. And Wickham was perfect. Charming right up to the bitter end.
Overall, it could have been better. They could have cut 10 minutes of the crying Mr Bennet/Lizzy scene at the end in favor of more time at Pemberley, developing any kind of Georgiana character. Or even allowing Darcy and Lizzy more interaction at Rosings.
I will concede that the proposal scene in the rain was wonderful. Possibly better than BBC (though obviously not true to the book). Let's face it, it's always good to see a wet Darcy. I just felt that the scene had lots of power. I liked the impropriety; that they yelled. Of course it's too bad that it was half way through the movie before we see any chemistry between the two.
Jane was far better in this movie than in the BBC. I liked this portrayal better, showing that a very good Jane can also be lighthearted, instead of unfailingly, boringly proper.
The two rather dismal castings were that of Bingley and the Gardiners. Bingley was ghastly. This Jane should have pitched him; he had no spine at all. Yuck. And the Gardiners did alright with what they had, but were about 20 years (at least) too old.
As I hated the first 20 minutes, the last 15 or so didn't do much for me either. I liked the second proposal in the field but was left in the cold after that (actually the whole "body and soul" thing was a bit much as well, but you can't have everything). Too much gushing from Mr bennet and Lizzy... NO WEDDING! What? The whole Pemberley as marrieds was just too much. Blech.
So what do we learn from this folks? As a lover of Pride and Prejudice Utah; Pride and Prejudice Bollywood style and the original film version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, I obviously don't mind even serious deviation from the book. But unless you can improve on perfection (BBC version) don't go there.
OK, not sure where the Zipp came from, but still I do feel some pride in having made it through my first semester, especially since it looked kind of dicey for the first month or so with my daughter's problems.
In any case, here we are. I'm done with Torts. I'm done with K. and I'm done with Civ Pro. Whee! Again. I say Whee!
Even better, I treated myself to a matinee. Where I saw Pride and Prejudice, which I will review in a subsequent post since I'm a pride and prejudice freak.
In any case. Now the really hard work begins. I've got a Civ Pro practice exam tomorrow morning. And I am actually a wee-bit concerned. Jurisdiction seems like forever ago and joinder doesn't seem all that recent and that was last week. Yikes. I guess tomorrow will be a good reality check for where I am at with my Civ Pro knowledge (not far :( ) So it is.
Tomorrow afternoon is play with daighter time. And tomorrow night is either Civ Pro or Contracts.
I'm in a quandary over the Contracts study time. I actually think that I know most of it pretty well. I need to review the elements of each big rule, but I'm not honestly sure how much more I am going to do with K. It's an 8 hour take home, so you really don't have to have the greatest outline or know everything cold. There is time to look up the wording you want from a case or rule... Contracts exam is next Friday. I think I'm going to do an even rotation on all my classes until Wednesday. Then Contracts only Wed/Thurs. Then pass out on Friday night :)
Good luck everyone!
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Let's all hope that I feel like a human again tomorrow because I've got so much to do. How can it possibly be that my contracts final is in less than 2 weeks? Argh! Blech.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I need to review implied warranties a bit more. And I about spit water on my computer when I read the question about damages... Um, we haven't covered that yet. It's on the syllabus for next week. So I made a rather short answer to that one based on things our prof has said in passing... good thing this isn't the real test or that answer wouldn't be passing. Tee hee! I'm a little slap happy, can you tell.
Things in general that I learned today:
1) I like 8 hour take home tests. Seriously, maybe it's because I know it doesn't count, but i was so relaxed;
2) you don't have to use the stupid exam software that shuts down your whole damn computer--our test is open everything except help from actual people. So when I couldn't remember which UCC section was sale of goods, I hopped on Lexis and looked it up. Suhweet! It's also extremely handy to be able to search my outline on my computer. Love that find function.
3) I get to take my test in my jammies.
4) I am capable of concentrating that long even though I'm at home--which I had wondered about
5) IRAC is stupid. But I did it anyway.
6) My outline is not so bad. I noted the sections that I needed to beef up as I went along. Also, I had formatted some of the sections differently and found the one I like the best. Hurrah!
7) Caffeine is your friend.
So that's it folks. Now I'm putting the books down until Friday night, whereupon I will pick them up with a vengeance and study my guts out for the duration.
Why Friday night you ask? Because my sweet daughter and I are having a mommy/daughter day on Friday. We'll either go to the children's museum or the zoo; I haven't decided which yet. but I figure there shouldn't be too many people at those places, since everyone else will be shopping.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
So onward to today. I made my "everything I need to do for final prep" list and printed a calendar for the next month. I used to use this method when I worked for Big Corporate Monolith. I would plan my week or month, depending on what my deadlines were and designate specific tasks each day to accomplish my goal. The first two items on my daily list were must dos... can't leave the office until they are done, no matter what surprises are in my day. The rest of the items for the day had to get done if I had no emergencies. But I was allowed to reward myself for crossing off each item. Like going out to lunch instead of staying in or playing ONE game of minesweeper. The system worked really well for me especially for the more distasteful assignments. And here, I've figured out that outlining is a "distasteful assignment". I'm sorry but it's the truth. I have absolutely no enthusiasm for doing my outlines. Blech. So I'm back to ye old list method. I'm really hoping that will help keep the panic at bay too since I will see all the bitesized study chunks and have them planned, I won't think that I am forgetting anything or spending too long on any one item.
Last but certainly not least, Go Greg Abbott!! and Texas for having a law against SpyWare.
And for you civ pro folks who want to see another complaint, here's TX's complaint against Sony
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
And I've gotten a lot of the polishing done this morning on my memo. Sometimes it is good to acknowledge your weakness. I'm glad that I moved.
That is all.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Even more mind-blowing for me is that this 1L thing... at least all of the uncertainty is almost over. Next semester I won't be freaked out because I know how to brief, how to read my profs, how to answer in class, and in a few weeks I'll know what the exam experience is like, and in a few months, I'll know if my outlines were worth anything when I get my grades. Really, how scary can second semester 1L be?
Onto a more neurotic note, I'm contemplating... OK, not contemplating, but actually doing... changing my study area. At my school, we are assigned study carrels and the 1L carrels are in a different area of the law school than the 2L and 3L carrels. In many ways, I've loved being with the rest of the 1Ls. I like the camaraderie. I like being able to get up and walk an aisle over and ask my favorite torts peer what the heck some case is really about. But a few things are happening 1) it's damn noisy in the 1L area, 2) I'm part of the noise all too frequently and 3) some people are getting psycho about exams, and it's making for an unpleasant vibe. It gets under my skin, and I am not working as hard as I need to. So I left the secretary in charge of carrel assignments a note with my pick of the open upperclassmen carrels on her desk tonight. Hopefully I can move in the morning. It's kind of a pain. And I worry that I am going to miss out on some bonding... Example, my civ pro exam study group came out of talking about our outlines in the 1L area... but ultimately, I think that I will get a ton more work done. And frankly, that's all that matters to me right now anyway.
It's time to get really serious (without getting psycho!).
Friday, November 11, 2005
I like the memo, kind of. the kind of part is that I am dog sick of the topic and worry about it in general. I do think this is probably my "most relevant to being an attorney" class. But I get heartsick realizing that it is just like any other skill you learn... if you don't use it, you lose it. So I've decided that whatever pro bono stuff I start doing next semester, I want something with a lot of writing. So there! (yeah, that's mature).
Tonight... we are having friends over, eating pizza and playing games. And contracts, civ pro etc... can all just bugger off. (at least until tomorrow).
I still haven't caught the OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! finals are in 3 weeks panic yet. I'm plugging away on my outlines. Ok... mostly contracts ebcause that's the one I'm most afraid of. 8-hour take home. Yuck. I'm sure it will hit me some time in the next few weeks. There are already a couple of people walking around with the "deer in the headlights look". Sigh.
And no, career services, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Last week and so far this week have been the first weeks where I have read the matierals for classes, but didn't write up a brief for them. I know several of my other blogging 1L cohorts gave up briefing early on and now only book-brief, but I just can't let go of my need to do it. Really, I wish that I could because I really don't have the time for it if I want to get good versions of my outlines done. Sigh. Why am I chicken to stop writing briefs? Frankly, I'm my own worst enemy. 1) I find that my mind wanders a lot more in class when I haven't briefed. The exercise of briefing is usually where I key in on things that I need to get answered in class or pieces that I know i need to pay extra attention to. and 2) I don't read carefully. I don't. Not like in the beginning of the semester. And briefing forces me to go back through and see the nuggets that I missed the first time around.
So there it is. Either I pull some concentration and enthusiasm for reading cases out of my butt, or I keep writing briefs. Frankly, my enthusiasm is waning. Don't get me wrong. i still love school. I love the nerd that it is turning me into. For example, I just got a new cell phone from sprint this weekend. The form that I had to sign had in big print a section about arbitration. I know I wouldn't have paid attention to that before. And i actually did take a split second to consider if arbitration would likely be a bad thing for me as a consumer in my relationship with Sprint. I'm turning into a legal nerd. And I love it. It's just the day to day grind that's got me down. I had a well-tuned machine humming along nicely for studying until that damnable paper came along, and now I'm behind and tired.
True confessions: I can't say that at this point in the semester I'm all that shocked about my lack of enthusiasm. In undergrad, like clockwork, I would lose interest in my classes (or at least the prepping thereto) about 10 weeks into the semester. I guess I have a short attention span? or is that a motivation span? Sigh. Another month! Then finals for a month! Then new classes! Yeah!
Sunday, October 23, 2005
The research paper is done and turned in. Now I'm writing the memo to go with it, realizing that my research was only half-baked. And if I have to sit through another "lawyer panel" of attys who tell me that "after your class rank, your writing and research grade are the most important, and if they suck, well quit now" I'm going to scream.
The memo is sheer torture. Not because of the writing. I like the writing. It's the "there's no way in hell that we can win this case" factor in the writing that is killing me. I keep going back to my research and adding new research because I'm convinced that there's got to be some case somewhere that will help us out. Sigh.
On a brighter side. We're coming down the home stretch. 6 more weeks and I won't have to be scared of the unknown any longer. Honestly, that's the test of this semester more than anything... you have your first everything, first embarrassing socratic moment, first memos, first tests, etc... 2nd semester has got to be easier because you know how to brief and how to answer questions.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I've done all the research for this damnable project, now I just have to write it up, and surprisingly, I am uninspired. Gah. I'm tired and don't feel like trying that hard. Which is really terrible, I know. I haven't even started my Civ Pro outline yet, and I've got a midterm next week. Sigh.
It's not that my enthusiasm for school is waning. It's not. I'm just already getting a little worn down and this week hasn't been the refueling kind of week that I had hoped for. Sigh. Which leads me to half-assed work and procrastination. I think my peers would laugh if I suggested that I was even remotely a terrible procrastinator. It's just because I haven't let myself do it until about a week ago. But now I am.
The hardest thing about procrastinating is stopping. really. the whole thing is a big cycle. You procrastinate, then crank something out in half the time it should have taken, but you are more intense, then you're tired and don't want to do anything for a few days... and before you know it, you're procrastinating the next work item. Sigh. Vicious, vicious cycle.
Here's my pledge: no screwing around until I get that paper done today. Then I can do something fun for 2 hours. Then I have to work on Civ Pro outline for 3 hours... and so on and so forth. Rewards. I'm all about rewards.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
But this last weekend, I really did make that a priority. Thursday, I picked my DD up from preschool a few hours early and we went to the park and played and frolicked for a few hours. It was really good time for us. And I had such a clear head that night when I started to do my studying.
Saturday night, I went on a bona fide date with DH. We went to dinner and a movie. And I can't remember the last time that happened. We ate slowly and chatted over dinner instead of inhaling our food and keeping one hand ready to stop DD from throwing her food, etc. We saw Batman Begins at a second run theater (which is why we could afford the dinner and a movie. really good flick. I was pleasantly surprised. And yes, Christian Bale is rather yummy.
We also stopped at a game store and bought Ticket to Ride Europe. It's a German game where you build train routes all over Europe. And it can be played with just 2 people. Which is nice. A lot of the more fun games seem like you have to have at least 3 players. Anyway, we've spent an hour the last couple of nights playing it, and it has been really cathartic to think about something other than school. I'd recommend the game.
And I'd recommend remembering that you really do have a whole life. And that law school is just a small part of it.
Friday, September 23, 2005
The three core classes still aren't bad. I still think that I have great profs. I really love the style of my Torts prof who is the most Socratic, no "being on call" on certain days. You're on call in every class. That used to scare the poo out of me, but I really see how it forces me to engage more everyday.
Writing is still my favorite class, even after the memo I turned in this morning. I am all about any class where I can see the direct results of my efforts applicable to ANY law job I ever get. And my writing prof is still my favorite. Heeelarious.
We're gearing up to do our semester research project. Isn't it sweet of our school to make it due the day after fall break? yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. We've had several mini research assignments, but we usually do them in groups, and we're not allowed to work in groups on the final research project. So, frankly, I am a little intimidated. I can find anything I need to on Lexis and Westlaw. That's no problem. My problem will be the research log we have to keep where we show what BOOKS we looked in for specific parts of our research. Yowza. I still stink at finding stuff topically in the books. But then, hopefully after the research project, I won't have that problem anymore.
I think the most pleasant surprise about law school is my actual classmates. They are awesome. 99% are perfectly normal, not overly competitive people. When I have to miss class because I'm sick or my DD is sick, I get lots of offers for notes etc. No matter how diverse our background, we all seem to be sticking together. And that, I think, is tremendous.
Now back to my K outline.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Quote of the day: "He with most drafts, wins." Amen.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
So, ongoing family saga, mom was having some R&R after the hurricane with some friends of hers and left my grandfather with my uncle. She's taken care of him for the past several years and has had pretty much no time off. Well, she's no longer relaxing. She is in my uncle's city with my grandfather at the hospital; and this time he's not looking good. And I have finally reached the rather emotional distressing truth that it's probably better if we all just let him go.
I guess there are some background things to understand here. First, he's 86 years old and he's my hero and always has been. He's done everything in his life that he wanted to do. He worked hard to do that and loved my grandmother fervently for the 60+ years they were married before she succumbed to alzheimer's and died 2 years ago. We all wondered when grandma was sick, if he would be able to outlast her. He was so afraid of her being alone. I mean, she wouldn't have been alone, but he wanted to be the one to try and take care of her. When she died from pneumonia, we were all shocked. She was healthy as a horse until that bout of pneumonia. Contrast with my grandpa, whose first heart attack was about 30 years ago. He's had several heart attacks and bypasses and almost died 7 years ago and got one of those mini defibrillator thingys implanted. The past couple of years, he's had dangerously low blood pressure and made it out each time.
This time is different. He's tired. He doesn't want to survive any more hurricanes. I think after grandma died, he willed himself to live to help be an anchor for my mom who had lost her husband the year before in a tragic accident. But now, I think that he feels like he isn't an anchor in a good sense anymore. He's more frail and needs lots more help. I think he feels like he's a burden and he's ready to go.
When I got the call tonight that he's in the hospital, my first reaction was: please, please let him make it through; please don't let him go. But as the night has passed, I think that I am coming to the same conclusion that I did with my grandmother before she died, it's not fair to keep them with us just because that's what we would like best. He's lived a damned full life and he's ready to rest.
They say things come in threes... I thought with the hurricane thing that it was its own set of three, you know three parts of my family, three houses etc... But maybe that was only one.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I will have a "topic" of the week. Because I can't do a good job of in-depth analysis every week on each class; I just don't think that I would really be getting much out of any of it. So, one core topic a week. Also, my week isn't Sunday-Saturday or Monday-Sunday. My hardest day is Wednesday. I see all of my prep work as getting to and through Wed. So my topic week will start on Thur and end Wed, so I have maximum study time and don't feel pinched.
For example, this week, I will be focusing on Torts. Without realizing I was focusing on it at the time, last week was civil procedure. So with Torts, I'm starting my outline this week for all of the materials we have covered on battery. This is my chance to really dive into supplementals etc…
I'm hoping this will take some of the pressure that I frequently feel that I am placing on myself to get a deeper understanding of all of the materials. This way it's scheduled too and I can't put it off.
I also though that I should confess that I have officially become a Rainbow Briter. I color in my case books, and it is really helpful. Especially in my civ pro class where it is not good enough to quote the case from your brief, but you have to say exactly what page, paragraph, and line the quote is on. Never thought that I would do it. It sounded like a PITA, but it really is more efficient for me, and I really think it wil lhelp me be faster on the exam too.
Oh, and if you are having civ pro trauma understanding Civ Pro, get the nutshell. Worth its weight in gold.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
- DD has been sick since I started school... she's only been able to attend 3 days of preschool out of the last 12.
- I don't have back up sick care so DH has missed work and I have missed classes
- I feel like Dred Pirate Roberts from Princess Bride addressing Wesley's life each night "sleep well, wesley. I'll probably kill you in the morning". In my case, it's me telling myself each day "study hard, enjoy your classes, you'll most likely have to drop out next week". As lightly as I am putting it, we're not that far away from that as a reality. We have to have health insurance and it's only affordable if one of us is working full time... so, Dh can't lose his job because he has to stay home with sickie DD all the time. And I can't flunk out because I need to be with sickie at home all the time... it's a problem. We're going week by week, day by day.
- I couldn't get a hold of my mother, aunt and her family or cousin and her family that needed to evacuate from New Orleans.
- They're fine now, but they're lives are not.
- My good friend from prelaw school city kicked her husband out for infidelity last week... she let him come back two days later. He's going to give her an STD before all is said and done.
- My cousin (a different, non New Orleans cousin) couldn't find her year 18 month old son on labor day... they found him in the bottom of their pool... Thank God, they were able to get him to emergency room in time. he's going to be OK
- Dh came home with a fever yesterday. Not a big deal, but that meant no study time for me until late.
- I'm getting sick.
i think that's all for now. Now, don't get me wrong. I know my life is better than most people's, but I just realized that all this was why i was feeling tired. Here's to a better week. Cheers!
Saturday, September 03, 2005
I still worry about them and probably will until I see them with my own eyes. But I feel much better.
I missed class this Thursday and study groups yesterday because my daughter is still sick. She kind of got better, then not. Lovely. One day at a time though, right? hopefully by monday she will be all better and able to go to preschool for the entire week.
Classes, I'm not sure what all happened this week. Frankly, I wasn't very engaged with law school. Every extra second I had, I was surfing to get info, any info about my family and their city. I finally realized yesterday morning that I had to stop. I was internalizing everything too much. Don't get me wrong. My heart breaks for the people who are still trapped, who have lost loved ones, and who have lost everything they have, especially the people who can't afford to rebuild. But I'm too tender hearted you know. It was just taking over everything in my head. So, I'm not watching anything on it anymore. The only news I'm reviewing is the times pcayune at www.nola.com. After talking to my mom and getting the straight talk of what is actually going on down there. I really want to reach through the TV at the news networks and slap them around a bit. Completely irresponsible journalism. In any case, nola seems to actually print what is really going on straight from officials' mouths... the officials that are actually present there.
In any case, where that leaves me as a law student is... at school. I'm in the 1L study room and will be here the live long day. I'm really behind and I've got to catch up. I still like my writing class best. Contracts isn't as bad as I thought it might be. And civil procedure, well, I must be missing something because I swear that i "get it". And that can't be right, now can it?
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I was horribly distracted in class yesterady and Wed is my day from hell. My DD had to go to hospital to get chest xrays to rule out pneumonia (she doesn't have it, thank goodness) and I can no longer get in contact with my family. Nice day.
I don't know why I'm so worried about my family now. I mean, I know they made it trhough just fine. Maybe I need to stop keeping up with the news reports of unrest. It's just never an ideal situation when lots of people are packed into areas without their own space, and reassurance that they still have a home to go back to.
So, today, I will try to get through the crappy phone lines today, and I will stay home from school today and take care of my sick daughter. And hope that I can get it all off my mind for a while.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Ironically, because my mother hasn't been through enough in the last several years, she and my grandfather just moved to New Orleans to be near my mother's sister. As in really, she just moved there, bought a house, moved all her worldly possessions and got settled. And I'm worried. She's safe, she and my relatives cleared out to baton rouge this morning and were told to pack enough for "weeks". Lovely.
In any case, I'm thinking of everyone whose lives are intertwined with that city. And praying for a miracle.
I modified that template because it didn't have everything that I wanted, or stuff that I didn't. And I didn't want the graphic. And about halfway through the first week, I actually modified the template so that I have different ones for different classes. For example, the rule is very important in Civ Pro, but not all in contracts, because we are always dealing with something that gives rise to a breach of contract. And for my scary Torts prof, I have added a couple of sections that make me pick out what the Ds attorneys argued and what the Ps attorneys argues because he asks that kind of stuff and heaven help you if you are wrong!
Hope this helps somebody out.
Oh, one last thing. I did think about what I would do in case of file corruption or data loss, say in 3 months... so I have a to do item once a week to back up my one note files to my server space on the student server at school. OneNote happily autosaves for you all the time, but I'm not taking any chances.
Edited to add: I take all my class notes on the empty right side of the template, so I have everything about a topic or case in the same place. I'm organizationally anal retentive, so if anyone has questions about setup, email me. I live for this kind of stuff.
Friday, August 26, 2005
I've got 5 classes, writing, research, Torts, Civ Pro, and Contracts. And honestly, not one of them is a stinker. Don't get me wrong, I've got some issues with some of them, but overall, it's good stuff. So here's the break down.
Writing: Best prof of them all. Hands down. I've only got it twice a week but I remember almost everything that he says because he teaches with anecdotal (read: hilarious) stories. I'm sure when the hard core writing comes in, it will be less exciting, but I am sure he will make it just as interesting.
Research: Meh. It's not bad... it's a library class and I'm kind of a library geek. And in some sort of demented way, I like doing research projects. Which is good because that's what associates do. And this class is only 8 weeks. So hurrah!
Civil Pro: I wasn't sure what to say about this class until today. I like it. In some sort of rule nazi way, I like it. The prof is by far the least socratic, but she does expect you to know your stuff, you do get cold called, but she will actually let you feel good about your answer when you are right, novel idea. The homework is a PITA though. A million and one rules per night. I'm living on the assumption that it will get more interesting as we get more into the subject matter. For those 2Ls and 3Ls here, go ahead and laugh. But a girl's got to have something to look forward to.
Torts: By far the most socratic and most frightening of all my profs. I got picked on the first day, first person. So, yeah, he's got me quaking in my boots. However, for as much as I dread that class because of my fear, that's the quickest 1.5 hour class period I have. It moves and I never stop paying attention. And the topics are pretty interesting. Some ridiculous. But entertaining.
Contracts: I left this one for last because the jury is still out. In some ways, I think this will be the most important class to me as an individual with my value set. So far I have gathered that my prof is the polar opposite of me in every social and political way. And that doesn't bother me. What does bother me are reading her opinions in a book that we have to read in addition to our casebook. She's one of the editors. Generally, I frown on teacher's pushing their published work on students at retail prices, but so it is. Happily, her book is very engaging and with every page I turn, it challenges some of my core and fundamental values. Seriously, yesterday I was reading our assignment for next week and found myself wanting to march right up to her office and ask her 1) if I am understanding it right, because it seems so out of my line of thinking and 2) if she really really thinks and feels that way. I stopped myself from doing that, which was probably a good move :) She's moderately socratic, but class participation is a significant portion of your grade. We'll see how that goes. But I predict by the end of the semester that I will have really challenged my core beliefs and, hopefully, come away stronger and more aware of the opposite side and more tolerant and compassionate because of it.
OK, could I be anymore vague about that paragraph??
Anywho, so that's it in a nutshell. Other non-class specific items of note to me from this week:
- parking blows big monkey chunks
- I've got the class jerk in 3 of my classes, unfortunately they're all core classes, so I get to hear his vast wisdom frequently.
- There's one guy who surfs, IMs and emails in class the whole period, doesn't take notes and then watches Friends on his computer or sleeps when we aren't in class. To that I ask, why waste the money, man?
- I love, love, love that my school has study carrels that are assigned to you with lockable units to store books. Thank you law school.
- 8 pm is a great time to do research homework in the library where you need to use books to complete the assignment because NO ONE else is there.
- I sit on my ass pretty much all day... blech.
- I do better on my cases when I read all the assignment together and the next day do all the briefs.
- I will never be "caught up"
- Did I mention that I'm loving it?
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
So, in addition to me feeling terrible for the poor little lamb, not getting any sleep at night, etc... I also had the pleasure of being the first person in my Torts class to get called on. Lovely. Let's say that I didn't do spectacularly well, shall we? The one solace that I have in it is that I hope that means it won't be my turn again any time soon. And that really, I have no where to go but up!
I've been working hard to make each minute at school count so that I can be with DD at home while she's still awake and so far it's going. But there is a part of me that worries I'll find it harder to get good grades. I guess we'll see.
And now for something completely different. I really like my writing class. In a really geeky way, I can't help it, but I do. Ask me if I still feel that way in about 2 months when we have a million assignments and I can't keep up with my other classes.
And to look forward to: Wednesday schedule sucks. Hard. I've got 4 of my 5 classes, 3 of which are the core classes on Wednesdays. I'm going virtually nonstop from 9-4. Sigh. Wish me luck tomorrow; I'm going to need it.
Friday, August 19, 2005
I had my first exam today. It wasn't graded, just pass/fail. If it had been graded, I think it would have been a c, which really, isn't bad for zero actual instruction in legal writing. At least, it would be a C in my humble opinion.
I'm glad that my law school did an intro to law class all week. i feel like I have already been adequately "socratized" as it were. I'm not feeling nervous about next week at all... at least not from a "worry about being humiliated" sort of way. Nervous about keeping up with all the work, yes. But it'll come, right.
The good news is that I got the writing professor that I really wanted to have and none of the teachers that I really didn't want to have. I bought my books this afternoon, $420 later. Yowza. This is expensive stuff. You'd think I'd have more to show for that kind of money.
So off I go now, to start my civil procedure homework.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
So far, I seem to get the tree right, but I am having a hard time figuring out where the forest is and where my tree fits into it. but if that's my biggest problem, I feel like I am doing alright.
the orientation part of stuff stinks though, plain and simple. BORING. Please. Please. Please. Start and end on time because it is such a yawn. At least we do a little class, then a little o, then a little class, etc. Otherwise, i shudder to think of what the consequences can be.
On a smirky note, we were told that we are distributed into "pods" of 5 people...and those same 5 people end up in the same section of each of your classes. Naturally, most classes are so big that you have a good chance of having some people in several of your classes. This was news to me though. i had thought that we would be with the same people in our section for all of our classes. I think I like the pod idea btter. You'll get to know more people that way... anyway here's the smirky bit: after the o session where we learned this i went to ask the dean of finaid something, and another student approached first asking about the pod thing. How the distribution for parity really worked. the dean said it was mostly about gender, ethnicity etc... to keep a diverse group. The guy was really insistent on knowing how gpas and lsats fit in. The dean said it depended. Some groups could all be middle of the road. Some might have stronger and weaker candidates, etc. And then the guy said, oh so I might be in the pod with the dumbest person in the class. Kudos to the dean for not blinking an eye and saying, yes, or you could be with the smartest. You won't know.
Honestly though, this dude clearly thinks that gpa and lsat are the only indicators of "dumbness and smartness" to him I say, dumb ass. And I hope you aren't in my pod...
Monday, August 15, 2005
So our day was broken up between orientation boredom and nonsense and our Introduction to law class. I like the class. We've got a professor pounding us with socratic method all week, and we can feel free to make as many mistakes as we need to because it doesn't count. At the end of the week, we will also be taking a final exam on the exam software, so we'll see what that is all about too.
So how'd I do? OK. Not stellar, not a failure, but OK. And I'm good with that. There were only a couple of people in the class who really didn't get it. But I think they have more of a listening problem than a thinking problem. Example, when the prof gets done saying to answer only her question and not change the subject or question back a question... um, don't do that. Duh. Or when she says that the issue is always expressed in the form of a question, don't raise your hand 2 minutes later to give the issue and give her a statement. You know, stuff like that. In addition, to the few who needed hearing aids, we did have a couple of scary smart people. People who are either just gifted or who had zero fun this summer while prepping for school. Most of the rest of the class I felt were on par with me, just OK.
Most people were friendly. There were some girls who were clearly right out of college who were already cliquey, but that saves me the trouble. And surprisingly, there were several men who were quite into themselves. Had a lot to say about their "experience" etc... I had to try not to snigger when it was all about "what I did on my summer vacations". But a lot of folks were really nice.
The Orientation part was almost interesting. Which is indeed a grave failing. There were so many opportunities for them to talk to us in depth on information about which we were interested. And instead, they focuses on parking passes, and berated the 5 people (anonymously) who had not yet submitted their official transcripts. I ask you, why subject 150 people to a lecture on the finer points of following instructions in a timely manner when 145 did just that?
The biggest yawn and disappointment was the computer services stuff. I don't know. I guess that I had the unrealistic expectation that I might actually know how to get to my email etc when they were done. And they mentioned a thousand things that we needed to do, but no instructions on how to do it. Sigh. So it is. I'm sure I'll figure that out.
Very exciting news though, one of the Appeals circuit courts is going to be in session at our school on Wednesday. And we get to have a meet and greet with the judges and clerks, attend the session, and have a special Q & A afterwards. In a really nerdy way, I am excited.
Overall, it's all good. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and there's nothing to be scared of you guys! Just be yourselves and it'll go swimmingly. Thinking of you tomorrow, Stag!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
So, in an effort to create calm in my soul, here is my list of things to do tonight:
- Put DDs blanket/nap sheet/Tom (her friendly toy dog) in my car tonight.
- Make her lunch and get her drinks ready for tomorrow, put in fridge and put her lunch box next to fridge.
- Find DDs shoes and put by front door (she likes hiding them and it can take 10 minutes to find them sometimes)
- Put out clothes for DD for tomorrow
- Put out clothes for me for tomorrow (check to see if blouse needs pressing)
- Put my shoes by the door
- Clean out my backpack
- Repack: laptop, cable, RJ45 cable, notebook, pens, pencils, orientation book, print schedule, water bottle, fig newtons (great snack), school manual for how to get lockers, etc, one highlighter, brush/comb (for pix)
- Clean out purse so it can fit into backpack
- Find right lipstick for pix tomorrow
- Put cell phone on charger
- tell my hair to go right tomorrow
- Find parking sticker and get it in my car (think it's in DHs right now)
- Put backpack by door
Saturday, August 13, 2005
In any case, I can't believe it is almost here. Oddly enough I feel more and more calm as the start of school approaches.
On a very happy yayarolly household note, DH got a job offer and took it! hurrah. He starts a week after I do, which is fabulous. And a load off my mind.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
My desk area is in reasonable organized working order, which is rather surprising to me.
3 of the 7 boxes are unpacked. The last 4 just might kill me.
Went shopping for clothes on monday. I am now on a quest for some brown shoes and navy pants, which I hope to knock out this afternoon. I've also gotten all of DDs fall shopping done and as much of the winter shopping as I can do. Go me, especially since I'm the only woman on the planet hates to shop!
- I'll be spending about an hour at some point today cleaning up frozen diet pepsi. DH left TWO cans in there all day yesterday and they had a rather nasty demise. It's not cleaning the freezer that stinks, really, it's cleaning everything that is in the freezer, sigh.
- Getting my hair cut in a half an hour. really kind of a scary proposition this close before picture day, but I cannot get it to do anything. let's hope this gal can cut naturally curly hair.
- And a fun delay, Dh and I played hooky from real life yesterday and went to a resort where they had alpine slides, zip lines, etc. We got an all day pass and zipped and slid until my eyelids were twitchy. I also have a lovely reminder of the great fun we had... a nasty sunburn. yowza. Please don't let my face peel, please don't let my face peel, please don't let my face peel....
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Last week was somewhat unorganized because we had out of town guests for a few days and then other random stuff that came up. Not the least of which was my daughter being too sick to go to preschool Friday. Sigh. We are "between" insurance right now. My old insurance is no longer active and Cobra doesn't kick in for another week or so. So a) she really can't be sick; we can't afford it and b) what am i going to do if she does her usual zero to pneumonia in three days and DH actually gets a job offer this week? i guess the magnitude of the complications that I am likely to have in school because I have a young child are really starting to get through my thick skull. I mean, if she is still sick or worse in a week... and DH just started a new job, how on earth do I do school orientation? I think I need to find a back up "babysitter" person who can watch DD on days when she can't go to school. There is one woman I know who is currently unemployed that I am going to ask. Let's hope that works out.
Other than getting DD better (and me since I seem to be getting her cold), I still need to buy a few more clothes for school... both for me and my DD. I have about 7 more boxes to unpack. Those are the painful ones where you have no idea where the contents should go and you've really run out of space for more stuff. I still need to organize my home "study" area. We've got a nook in our bedroom that I am going to be using. So far I've got a table top in there for a desk and a little cubby for paper etc... and a lamp. It is still missing something though in the organization dept. I need to get a driver's license for this state. And I need to work on getting nonCobra private insurance, which is really a bigger PITA than it should be. That's about all. Yeesh. If DD cannot go to school this week, I'm not going to get half of this stuff done.
Oh yeah, and I need to finish my orientation assignment. I finished all the reading for the whole orientation week last night. Now I want to go back through, take any pertinent notes and brief the cases. I am REALLY glad that I read the whole thing first because now I realize that there is a big picture in all of the cases they had us read. they were in groups of 2 or 3 related cases. But it turns out the last case actually uses all of the previous cases in its reasoning. I've read several places that suggest that you should read and brief all of the cases for the coming week for a particular class together. I think I'm a convert.
I also have an appreciation for judges who can actually write succinctly. One of our cases rambled and was rather painful to keep track of. Unfortunately it was one of the first cases I read and I started panicking that I just wasn't going to understand. I felt much better several cases later and realized that the judgment I read before was just stinky writing.
Friday, August 05, 2005
But then I thought about it for a moment. The pages that were missing were in the last 70 or so pages of the booklet. They were very random... as in you've got to read the cases to see that you are missing something. And then it hit me... Someone had already read the entire booklet, or at least attempted to. I have to say that I am still not completely through the booklet and here it is almost a week later. And, *blush*, I actually didn't notice that one of the cases was missing a page when I got to it. I thought it was bizarre and hard to follow, but it did not occur to me at all to think that I might be missing a page.
I'm going to be the dumbest person in the class. Yikes. Breathe in, breathe out. Start watching the second season of the West Wing from the library... that'll make it all better, right?
Monday, August 01, 2005
- When it says that we should be in business appropriate attire for the first afternoon of orientation because we are taking pictures... does that include a suit coat for a woman? Or a nice blouse would do fine?
- When it says we should be in business attire for the "swearing in" ceremony at the end of orientation, does that mean a suit? I thought so at first, but then it said that teeshirts and shorts would not be admitted. In my world that is SO far from being business attire that I wonder if a suit is really necessary?
- Should I just bite the bullet and go buy a freaking suit. I really really really don't wanna. I've got a suit... but, uh, let's say it fit pre-baby, shall we? I know that at some point I will have to get a suit, but I didn't think it would be for a while. And I'm not looking forward to shelling out. Thoughts?
- Why are they scheduling the last day of orientation like wankers? We have stuff from 10-11:30. And then the ceremony at 5:15. They didn't mention anything about significant others attending etc.
- Is the law school picnic Friday night ok for kids? And who the heck do you ask about this stuff?
That's probably about all. For all of my odd complaints, I think they have done a great job prepping us for school. It's an orientation week/intro to law week. We will take an exam on the last day and review our answers to get a feel for IRAC and basically, probably, how bad we stunk at it. The whole week we go back and forth from orientation hoo-haw to the intro to law sessions. Which is really a great way to go, I think. Break up the really boring speeches from a million and one people with some actual, useful info for my law school future.
The nicest feature is that I actually receive one of the books that I need for the whole year as a part of my orientation check in package. Nice. In the mean time, I've got about 60 pages to read for the first day. But it's all pretty interesting so far.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
I can't believe it. I had my exit interview yesterday and I shipped my work laptop back yesterday. And I feel so free. And a little bit irresponsible. Since kiddo was at preschool yesterday and DH wasn't busy. I took him to the campus and we visited the law building, I went and yelled at financial aid, and we perused the campus bookstore, where I was happy to see, they were stocking the Fall books.
Not that it matters... we don't find out which section of which class we are in until the last day of orientation. Sigh. It's a ploy so that we have to buy our books at the bookstore. So it is. While I was looking at the books I couldn't help but be gobsmacked by the ENTIRE WALL of study aids and commercial outlines. Holy cats! That had got to be a huge business for those publishers. I think what was most astounding to me was that the commercial outlines in most cases were actually as big or bigger than the actual casebooks..??!! How is that supposed to help you. And the other study aids were no light reading either. I think in my naive world I thought that they would be short readings. Surprise.
Then for grins i looked at the 2L and3L books. My only lasting thoughts were 1) wow, I'm going to be reading until my eyeballs fall out and 2) I'm going to need to get vision coverage again.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The only features that I haven't played with yet are newsgroups, rss feeds, and themes. I'm not really into newsgroups and, for the moment, Bloglines seems to satisfy my rss agregating needs. And themes, meh, i'm happy with the vanilla interface.
And a nod to gmail for enabling their free email accounts with POP3. So I can now retrieve my gmail inside of Thunderbird as well.
I also have the calendar extension. i've been messing around adding imaginary schedules and so forth to it as well as to do items. And it works like a charm. I'm looking forward to giving it a real work out when school starts.
So anyone who is tired of virus problems that are inherent to Outlook, jump ship and try out Mozilla Thunderbird.
And if anyone is using any open source software that might be useful for school, please let me know. I'm always looking for something new to try.
Monday, July 25, 2005
So last night, I tried briefing a couple of the example cases that the book provides, and well, it didn't go well. I was just dead wrong on the issue the first case. And then I had the right direction for the issue on the second case, but my issue was way too general. Sigh. This book really emphasizes rewriting the reasoning in your own words. And man, that was pretty tough too. I guess the good news is that I got the operative facts and the holding. But then, that's kind of the easy part isn't it?!? I do have to say that the book is pretty good. I liked their briefing strategy better than anything else that I have read. It seems like a good fit for me. And I liked that they give you a chance to brief a case then give you an example of a good brief for it, so you can check your work. It also tells you how to start asking good questions about the case, hypos etc, so you can understand the issue better.
In any case, when i went to bed, I was filled with insecurities. Should I be able to pick out the issue now? Or is that something that you learn to do in school. Based on how the socratic method works, it seems like I should be able to pick out the issue now, else I would get slaughtered in class.
I'm trying not to get too worried about it for now. I am supposed to receive a packet of info from the law school this week containing my first day's assignment. Our first week is an "intro to law" course. So maybe I'll pick up some of the knowledge that I seem to be lacking then?! Maybe. I hope so. Tonight I am going to read the section on Legal Writing from that same book.
On a lighter side. I met a couple at church yesterday that are both attorneys. She fnished school a year ago and clerks for a state supreme court judge. He just finished school and is clerking for a federal appeals judge. In any case, they told me to make sure to give them my book list and whatever study guides I thought that I might want to buy. And that if they have any of the books or guides, I can just have them. Huzzah!
Thursday, July 21, 2005
And on a further pathetic note, having a connection finally makes the house feel complete. Too bad really, i've been reading loads more than usual with nothing to surf in the evenings. Maybe I will have to limit my usage? who am I kidding?
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I actually liked their briefing schpiel. I'm not a big highlighter person, but it really broke down each piece of what I need to know, and I liked that. But that was about it. I didn't really feel like the book spoke to me, the kind of student that I am.
I reread The Order of the Phoenix this weekend to refresh my memory of what happened before I read the new book. I actually liked Oop better this time around. The first time I really didn't enjoy it at all. But I kind of liked it this time. I think Harry's moodiness put me off the first time. But for whatever reason it didn't bother me this time around. I didn't liked that Sirius died. I wanted Harry to have some connection to his past that was meaningful. But this time around I thought that it was fitting for Sirius to go. It just didn't seem like his life was going to be very meaningful hiding out in that nasty house. I dunno. Just my impression this time around.
And I just finished the new Harry Snotter. I won't say much about it for the sake of those who haven't read it all the way through yet. I loved it. I really did. It was much better than the last one, which now seems like a "set up" book for this book. I liked how quickly this book moved. I liked that it was 200 fewer pages. And I liked this newer slightly more mature Harry. He's coming into his own more, which I think will be the whole point of the next book. I can't believe there is only one more left. *snifff* Oh well, I've got another never-ending series to hang onto when the Harry Snotter's are done... the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Now that's the ultimate in freaking long series... where no one ever actually dies... they always come back, and if you don't like the main plot, no sweat, pick any one of the 14 major subplots. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, precious little. They are good books, really. But don't bother picking them up until you know he's done... 10 books so far and I can't see them finishing anytime soon.
And now for something completely different... I start school in less than a month. When did this happen? Holy cats! I'm getting excited. I just bought a big pack of my favorite pens. Exciting stuff, I tell you. And only this week and next of working! Yeehaw! I'm almost a 1L!
Monday, July 18, 2005
Before we moved to law school city, I called and set up a DSL order with Earthlink. I explained that we were moving, that I needed connection by a certain date etc... No problem, you're ordering early, so no problem. 2 weeks later, we arrive in law school city... um, they haven't mailed the router yet. So I call and
Them: there's a problem with your account.
Them: Well, the phone isn't operational yet.
Me: Right, remember how I said I was moving... The phone is operational today.
Them: Well, it will take another 48 hours or so to connect your DSL.
Me: But you haven't sent my router yet, so even if you get me connected in 48 hours, my router is still 7-10 business days away!
Them: well, it's our policy to not ship a router until we have an active phone line.
Me: Well, when I called before, why didn't anyone tell me this. I explained how I needed service on a certain date, and it was supposedly no problem.
Them: well whoever you talked to was wrong.
Me: So, can you upgrade shipping on my router, so I can have it faster?
We ended the call with them saying I should call back in a couple of days to see if the line is active.
Fast forward 2 days, DH calls them:
DH: So is my line active now? And when is my router getting here?
Them: Um, we don't show your line as active yet... and we can't send the router until it is.
DH: So can you upgrade shipping?
DH: Because it is en route?
Them: No, because we placed an order with UPS letting them know that we are releasing a router "soon".
DH: But you haven't actually given them the "go ahead and ship it"
Them: Well, no, your line isn't active
DH: So, you can't upgrade the shipping because...
Them: Because it's our policy.
DH: Hmmm... I want to talk to a supervisor.
*holds 15 minutes*
Them: This is supervisor, what's your problem. (rather rudely)
DH: I want shipping upgraded, here's my story.
Them: Sorry can't do it.
We call a different provider and find out that not only can they give us faster DSL, but they can also give us a honey of a deal in two weeks.
DH calls Earthlink back:
DH: Cancel my order.
DH: Are you serious? Repeats story.
Them: So you want to order service (I'm so not joking)
DH: I want to speak to someone who's native language is English.
Holds for 20 minutes...
Them: What do you need (still non native English speaker... but at least seems to understand better)
DH: I want to cancel my order.
Them: we'll give you $10 off your first month.
DH: Cancel my order now.
Them: Ok, cancelled.
1 week later, we receive a router in the mail from earthlink, they charge our credit card with our first month of service. DH calls:
DH: Um, what the hell
Them: Oh, we don't show your order being cancelled.
DH *bangs head against the wall*. On x date, I called and cancelled.
Them: Oh, we must have had a glitch
DH: Well get it off now... and refund my credit card
Them: Can't refund your card until you return the router
DH: Send me a shipping label
A week later, we call new DSL provider with good deal and start to hook things up only to discover that Earthlink still has a hold on our DSL loop that was activated 5 days earlier. DH calls earthlink.
DH: Why are you still holding my phone line hostage and adding service after I told you to stop?
Them: Well, we only cancel service at the end of the billing cycle.
DH: No one told me that, and we've never used your crappy service. We only had an order, that was NEVER filled before we cancelled!
Them: That's policy.
DH: I want you off my phone line, now!
DH: Want to talk to manager.
Them: manager: we can't do it
DH: Bullshit, you can.
Them: we'll override it, it will take 3-7 business days.
We received the return ship label Saturday. DH is calling new provider to see if line is free now. Keep in mind that each time we called Earthlink, we had to wait at least 20 minutes to talk to someone, often being transferred to several depts... always talking to someone in India.
In the meantime, we still have no internet connection at home and I have been working this whole month from law school city's public library. God bless their wireless internet.
My company does tons of offshoring... and in short it's a pain in the ass. It's slightly better than it was two years ago, but still totally inefficient... and it tends to piss people off who are already on the edge. Offshoring sucks!
Earthlink! You suck. --- End rant. and I feel a little better now.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The next lesson/highlight of the trip was sharing the Penske cab with my 2 year old and DH. Don't do this. If you have kids, ride in a separate car, heck, get grandma to fly with your kid to the destination city, but don't ride all together. Gah! I wanted to shoot myself about midday the second day. How do you explain to a two year old why you can't go home right now, anyway?
We made good time. That's about the nicest thing I can say about the actual trip. When we arrived, we didn't have enough help unloading, yeah, that was fun. And we've been in our house one week and one day, and I still don't have anything but the bedrooms fully unpacked.
Oh, and yes, we have no internet service. I would badmouth Earthlink here but I am unwilling to give them another thought. In the meantime, we are waiting for another DSL provider to get us hooked up.
So, I am "working" today from the basement of my in-laws home. Lovely. And I've got a list a mile long of what I need to do at school in order to not be turned away.
On a happier note, I am now re-reading Harry Potter book 5 to my delight. And my daughter is in love with her preschool... thank heavens for that.
Look for a cheerier post in a few days when I get all my stuff put away and begin to feel more like myself again.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
We should be down until mid to late next week. Cheers all! And wish me luck with a daddy, mommy, and toddler all in the same small cab for the next 25 driving hours!
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I remembered this morning the first time that I walked from the garage to my building feeling nervous and yet so proud of myself in a naive sort of way. It was really something in my mind to work for a company with name recognition in the smallest and largest cities all over the world. My parents didn't go to college nor most of my extended family. So getting a job at a place like this was really a big deal. And in some ways, having Big Corporate Monolith (BCG) on my resume will always be a good thing. I remember thinking I was coming to work with the best and brightest in my field. Um, yeah. Very naive.
I won't say that the experience has been all bad. I am very thankful for the benefits they have provided me, not the least of which was no worries while I was on bedrest during my pregnancy... or the ability to stay at home with my DD until she was almost 6 months old. I progressed. I got promoted. I got raises. For work that is frankly, usually not that hard. And for that, I will always be thankful.
On the less rosy side, I am also thankful to have re-inforced to me constantly that no company is ever going to consider "you" as a person in there master plans, so you shouldn't worry about them in yours. I have learned that I don't like corporate america. Icky. Greedy. Mostly pointless. If they went away today, the world would clamor at the shock, but given 6 months, no one would miss it. The biggest lesson that I learned though is that you shouldn't, if you have a viable opportunity to change your situation, stay somewhere where you do not like what you are doing. I see people everyday who have been with this company for 20 years or more, who HATE what they do. But well, the salary is so good now, and well, they get a bazillion days of vacation, and the pension is suhweet... "if I just stick around until I've got 30 years in, wow retirement is going to be nice" Ugh. What an awful way to motivate yourself everyday. (Not knocking people who don't have a lot of other options. I know that sometimes you are stuck where you are.)
The thing that I hate is that we have layoffs cyclically. When I started here, 7 others joined the same year. All like me in that they were 5 or fewer years out of college. None of them is left here now. It's just me. 3 were laid off. The others all left to pursue higher education in fields that have nothing to do with what we did for the corporation. And they are all much happier now than when I knew them here.
So, it's my turn. I'm getting out to persue a life-long dream. Then it's up to me to find or make a job for myself that I will love and look forward to doing.
Taking charge of your own destiny is a rush, isn't it?
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
The second book is Slaying the Law School Dragon. This book was kind of a mixed bag for me. I love all of the cases the author uses as examples of common law. There are some really old ones that illustrate the point the author is making quite well while also being memorable. He has a different method for reading cases and retaining information than just writing up a brief. I'm not sure if it will work in school or not for me. He says to get your case books as soon as possible before school starts, get the companion book to the cases and copy the rule for each case at the top of the case in the case book. Then when you read, read it quickly about 5 or 6 times. By the 6th time, the really important stuff will be jumping out at you. Then draw a stick diagram at the top of the case illustrating the facts, so you can remember at a glance what the case was about. No need to write up a typical law school brief.
I tried that method with the cases he uses in his book, and surprisingly, it worked pretty well. But I'm still a bit skeptical. A few cases in a book that I milled around in for a few weeks is quite different than a zillion cases in several classes all at the same time. Still, it's worth trying. So the first 2 weeks of classes, I'm going to pick just one class to do this in and give it a shot. If it works, I'll adopt it in the other classes, if not, hopefully writing the briefs won't take too long.
The book also has intro chapters to civ pro, criminal law, property and torts... I think. Or was one constitutional law? Hmm... it's really early and I don't have the book at hand. In any case, the author does a great job explaining what these classes are likely to cover, some more memorable cases, and some vocabulary. I liked it.
The last quarter of the book was meh. His sections on briefing were really about writing a proper appellate brief, which I'm sure will be useful in my future, my distant future. And then he talked about types of law practice and getting started in your own practice, which was OK, but more anecdotal than anything else, and I was fresh out of anecdote patience.
The last part of this book I really loved. But it takes an odd type to get excited over it. He includes a list of recommended law review articles by topic of law. Why so special, the dates, my friends. He's got articles in there that date back to the 30s. In any case, in my geekiness, when I get to law school city, I plan to visit the law library and have a couple of good reads because some of those articles sound really interesting. Conversely, if you are only interested in current articles, you won't like his list. I'm pretty sure there is nothing more current than 1975, which well, stretches the use of the word "current" quite a bit.
So, all in all. A good read. I feel more calm about school. Oh, he had a great suggestion for vocabulary, but you'll have to read the book to get it :) I would get if from your library or pay up to $8 online for it.
My next review will be of either American Legal Systems or Law School Confidential. Law school city public library has LSC and I'm curious about it since I've read the great debates on it over at law school discussion.
Monday, June 20, 2005
New city utilities scheduled for turn on -- check!
Address changes made for other services -- check!
Address change to law school -- check!
Truck confirmed -- check!
Brawn for loading truck confirmed -- check, check
Finished packing -- um, um
Ok. no check there yet, but we've got 4 days to do it, right. Except, I work until the day before we move, and DD has been terribly sick, so DH isn't packing he's ferrying to doctors and labs and such. Oy! Luckily, she seems to be doing a little better. And I can't concentrate at work anyway, so if I pack late into the evening, it's not like lack of sleep could cause worse work performance :)
I would say we are half way packed now. We're packing up my sewing room and the kitchen tonight, and that will make a huge dent in the remaining stuff to be packed.
I am getting so excited. Only 3.5 more days of work in my office (will telecommute from new city for July). Happy happy, joy joy. I was surfing for some info on our new city and found their summer events program. So many fun, free things to do. Tremendous farmer's market. Every Monday and Thursday night free concerts in the park. Fabulous library. I'm as giddy as a June bride!
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Lately, I've been obsessing about which area of our new house I am going to declare as "the serious law student study area--MINE". DH took a bunch of digital pix of our new home that I look over at least once a day, imagining if my favorite bookshelves will actually fit on that wall or not?!? I've narrowed down my space to either a nook in our bedroom or the foyer. The foyer is enormous and has lots of bright nice windows... but it's the foyer. But then, we don't know anyone, so I wouldn't be interrupted all that much right? I've got a really long folding table that I've used for quilting in the past that I think will become my work space. I like to spread everything out. Yeah, I'm a space hog when it comes to work. And I kind of have a mental block against setting up something as potentially stressful as studying in my bedroom. I believe in the whole "sanctuary" bedroom idea. It should be a place of rest and happiness, not con law.
Hmmm. Oh the re-arranging fun we will have.
Another thought I've had are supplies. What will I want on my table? lots of pens, maybe some highlighters, paper galore, my laptop, maybe a nice desk lamp. What else? There was a thread on lawschooldiscussion requesting info for school supply ideas, but as usual, it was highjacked by "clever" people, so no actual useful info was posted. Too bad. Any ideas? One thought I have had is that I do NOT want a phone on my table.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Me: Um, because I got accepted to your law school.
Them: Oh, well then... blah, blah, blah and we'll let you know in 6 weeks what your award is.
I don't care how often I call to check on my financial aid, they don't know why I'm applying, but then they do and it will be 6 weeks 'til my award... perpetually.
Another total lack of communication exists between the law school and the admissions dept for the university in general. I keep getting all kinds of "you're doomed because you didn't give us your first child" notices from admissions dept, which results in my making a hasty, somewhat panicked call to the law school. Whereupon the law school says, "Oh, just ignore that. it doesn't apply to law school students."
Sigh. It just strikes me that this really could be so much easier.
Now my big question of the day is: when to give them a change of address. I'm thinking a week and a half before I move. That way anything they send, in theory, should be there before I get there and likely won't have been waiting for me for more than a few days. Whereas, if I wait until a few days before we move in hopes that I can get the mail here because I know that they are sending something towards the end of the month, then I worry that the whole forwarding process with USPS will screw me over some how... A real puzzler, no?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Now we just need to pack, move, get a job... eh, we'll worry about that tomorrow.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Last night we watched Gigi. I used to love, love, love this movie as a child, pre-teenish. I don't think that I understood what it was really about until sometime in my mid to late teens. Oi! Lovely movie for a young girl/woman to like. Grandmothers and aunties negotiating material goods for a way too young girl to be a lecher's mistress. Still though. I love the songs. And Leslie Caron.
Another one that I shouldn't have loved was My Fair Lady. Sickos. Sickos all of them. And yet, I still love that film. What were people thinking?
Friday, June 03, 2005
The material in the book is all at an understandable level, even if you don't have a background in econ. My DH was an Econ major in undergrad, and it was fun to kick around some of the concepts that were a little harder to understand with him, like Coase's Theorem. I think that I am going to get an econ primer from the library after we move, just to get some more in depth info on econ.
DH is actually going to new city today. He's driving one of our cars up, getting us a lease, and flying back late next week. Can I say how relieved I am to know that we will leave a forwarding address? Or that I'll have a real address to give to Admit and Waitlist school when we move?
I just confirmed DDs spot in a really good daycare/preschool about 3 miles away from campus. She is going to love that place. And I feel really good about the quality of care, attentiveness, and selectivity of their teachers. This is so important for me so that I can really not worry about her while I am at school.
I wish that I knew more moms of younger children that are going to law school. There are so many things that I want to ask. And I guess I want to be reassured too that DD will be OK and that I can still do well in school.