Thursday, June 23, 2005

It's time to unplug

OK, not quite exactly. But this is my last day of work and the connection at home will be severed at some point today. I'm not sure if we will actually be finished packing by tomorrow morning, but we are giving it our best shot.

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

An almost farewell to corporate america

As I was walking from the parking garage to my building on my corporate campus, I realized, "wow, I will do this walk again tomorrow and then n'er more". Great feeling. Weird feeling. While I will still be working for this company from new city for one month, I can't help but feel that a significant part of my life here is coming to a close.

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

More law school book reviews

So I finished two books last night. The first was Law School without Fear, which I've mentioned here and here. Honestly, I loved the book until about the last 50 pages, which were so tediously boring and nothing that any prelaw student actually needs to read. So my final word on this one is, read it if you can get it from your library or for less than $5 online.

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

5 days and counting

Current utilities scheduled for turn off -- check!
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

A space of my own, or what keeps you up at night?

DD has been rather sick for a while now, so sleep is not really happening consistently in my household. I find that if I get up with her at 3 am, I have a hard time really sleeping again until 6 am. What's really entertaining are the things that run through my mind during those hours.

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

Anyone else's school have interdept communication problems?

Honestly, how hard can it be in the age of computers? I get a student ID... that ID does not get flagged as "law" or "grad" student until my "official" registration is complete. OK. In the mean time, I get weird post cards from financial aid wanting to know why I want financial aid.

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

place to live in new city -- check!

Mission accomplished. DH found us an acceptable rental in our new city. What a relief. He's been emailing me pictures of places he has seen this week. Yuck and double yuck. Too small, too expensive, too dirty, too far away from everything. Sigh. But he found the perfect place today in a nice little neighborhood for our little girl. What a weight off of my mind.

Now we just need to pack, move, get a job... eh, we'll worry about that tomorrow.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Exhaustified! And why did you love the movies you did in your youth?

DH left on Friday to take one of our cars to new city. And naturally, DD got sick about 2 hours after he left. Sigh. I had all these big plans to take her to do fun "special" activities to get her mind off of her daddy being gone. But now she's too sick to go, and of course, she's fixated on daddy being gone. She refused to sleep in her room last night. And I don't mind the idea of her sleeping in my bed, but the reality is that she kicks, turns, gets dangerously close to the edge and generally is a bed hog. So I think I got about 2-3 good hours of sleep last night. Hopefully tonight will be better.

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

More complete review of Law School without Fear

So, I'm almost to the end of this Law School without Fear. I still like it... even better than I did when I first wrote a review on the first few chapters last week. Last night I read a section about economics and the law. Really informative stuff, especially if you end up with a law prof who reads law through economics-colored glasses.

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.

A final decision, um, kind of

I am 99.9% sure that I am going to Admit school now. i talked to Waitlist school earlier this week, and they said they weren't sure at this point if they would be able to admit anyone from the waitlist. Sigh. Oh well. I'm really excited about Admit school anyway. I'm still going to leave my name on the Waitlist school list. Then if I actually do get in, DH and I can look at where we are and decide if it's worth it to us to change directions.

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.