Tuesday, April 28, 2009

end of classes: 1L

Yesterday was my last class session for my 1L year. Holy crap.

It was an awesome feeling, a feeling I'm trying to savor and at the same time not over-inflate. It's really tempting to start singing, "I don't ever have to be in class with him again or her again or them lalalala!" And since there is no way of knowing if the particularly annoying folks in my section will be in any more of my classes I have to reign in that instinct of mine. Because they probably will. At least I won't have all of my classes with all of the same people all of the fucking time.

The #1 thing I have hated about law school? Having all of my classes with all of the same people all day every day all week every week all year. I like a little bit of anonymity in my classes, and I like a little bit of variety. Having less external reinforcement helps my internal motivation to keep ticking. Being in all the same classes with the same group of type-A personalities was so much external reinforcement that it really turned me in the opposite direction, of needing to get away from it all a little too often.

My section did not become a love fest of people who will be friends until we die. It became an oversized Real World house, complete with ill-advised hookups, secret alliances and agendas, and, more than anything, drama. Le barf. I can recognize that some of the friends I've made are friends of convenience. In the last month I've seen this, experienced the inevitable falling out of touch. That's ok with me.

Yesterday, one of my classmates said that he doesn't feel like he knows anything more now than he did in August. I asked him, "is that a joke?" I feel almost like a different person now than I did 9 months ago. No, I certainly don't think that I have learned very much of what there is to know about the law, but that has more to do with the vastness of the subject than with my increase in knowledge. I know enough now to know that I need to know more (say that 5 times fast), but I still think that I have learned an incredible amount in this school year. Its probably the greatest knowledge increase I've had since I learned to read. Even if I just consider things I've learned about myself in the last 9 months, the change has been huge.

One thing I've learned? Not to be terrified of my exams. I'm trying to remind myself of that as I prepare and revise my outlines. I hope everyone out there can feel the same. Good Luck.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Puncher strikes again

Laughing: Oh, hey, what have you got there?

Self-Righteous Classmate: A contracts hypo.

Laughing: Where did you get a contracts hypo?

S-R Classmate: The TA.

Laughing: That's weird. I emailed the TA and asked for any hypos I could work on and he never emailed me back.

S-R Classmate: Yeah, he only had like 5 copies. He said he wasn't going to give them out unless people came to see him. So its really not me that's not sharing, its him, he just only wanted those of us who went to see him have them...

Laughing: In that case I have to leave before this irresistible urge to punch you travels from my brain to my arm.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

water water everywhere and not a drop to drink

I ate ice cream for dinner tonight. Ice cream. Like someone who just started living in the dorms and is like, "freshman 15what? I can eat ice cream any time of the day or night!" Because apparently there is something wrong with me in my brain.

I love to cook and have actually really been enjoying cooking all for myself this year. I get to try out new recipes, I get to cook my favorite things over and over again, I get to relax, and when its just me its really low pressure - if it tastes like shit I throw it out and make scrambled eggs. But lately I've been a little wacky with eating any of it. I'm still cooking, for myself during the week and sometimes even for BF on the weekends. I'll find a recipe online or think of something really yummy that I want to eat, I buy the ingredients, I take part of the night off from studying to make it. Then I cook it. And then I have absolutely no desire to eat it. I anti-desire to eat it, I want nothing to do with it. Not because its bad, BF still loooves whatever I make, and I can usually go back to it in leftover form after a few days. I also can't really ever say what I want instead, I just know I don't want that.

Its totally fucking ridiculous, not the least because I don't have a lot of money to spend on food that I simply don't eat. There's something about doing the prep and cooking that totally takes the gratification out of it for me. So instead of eating the awesome wonton soup I made tonight, like a weirdo, I had mint ice cream.

Monday, April 6, 2009

cleanliness is next to .... calmness?

Not to sound too smarmy, but sometimes what I really need is just to spend a few minutes cleaning up my apartment.

I've always been a person who, under stress, makes a huge mess in my surroundings: papers laid everywhere, clothing strewn about, coffee mugs left out, etc. I've always made excuses: I'm so busy/stressed/have so much to accomplish that I cannot even begin to think about being neat, let alone actually cleaning up the mess that I've made. That "solution" has always worked just fine for me, at least until law school.

"Stress-messy" was still my M.O. last semester, at least during the week. Now, I'm beginning to think that this may be a poor strategy for me. Instead of calming me down because I have one less task to worry about, I think deep down the mess stresses me out. Cleaning can be really cathartic for me, and in the last few weeks I've found that its much better than surfing the internet or watching tv is at making me feel like I've had a break and am ready to do more schoolwork.

Maybe this is a tiny piece of the wisdom/calm that the 2Ls have found? I know that they are waaay busier than 1Ls, but for the most part they seem to also do a waaay better job at balancing school, life and job than we do.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

oh yeah, "there are no winners or losers"

While working on my appellate brief, sometimes it is hard to remember that this is not a real case. Its disappointing too, especially after finding out that the cases relied upon by my opposing counsel don't even come close to making a convincing argument. My first instinct is to think, "Awesome! We are totally going to win! Booyah!" I'm slightly irritated to know that the grading is going to be based entirely on the quality of the writing, when it is clear that someone could write well and cite flimsy case law. I guess this is just another charming example of "this is what being a lawyer is like, except we are going to do things completely different."

I guess I should just try and keep my "we are winning!" enthusiasm and realize that this gives me a great writing opportunity to slam (er, distinguish) the cases in their brief. Right? Being excited that I'm given a good opportunity to write well? That's a new level of nerdery, even for me.