Monday, September 27, 2010

I made it...

...through the worst week of law school so far. It wasn't necessarily that many horrible things happened, but more that there was a lot going on that all stressed me out. For one, we had a make up class for Civil Procedure, so instead of the normal 3 class periods a week, we had 4. While I love our professor (who always matches the colors of his powerpoints to his suit and tie for the day), that is just a lot of jurisdictional issues. Too much time with jurisdictional issues.

Then, we had a HORRIBLE research assignment with digests. While trying to follow my T.A.'s instructions, it took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete 1 section. When I finally gave up trying to follow his outline and just did it my own way, I got the correct answer in 10...that was a lot of wasted time I just didn't have.

The worst thing about it all was that we had our first legal memo due this morning. Now that it is turned in, I find myself elated, but it was one of the more challenging 7-page papers I have ever had to write. I think the hardest part of it all was that I am so used to being really confident about my writing, and I just didn't feel that way about this one.

I spent so much time on it before Wednesday of last week, when I decided to re-write 4 of the 6 pages I had already written because it was just not going in the right direction. At the end of the day, though, I am happy with it, and am definitely anxious to get it back to see if I did everything right. Until then, I'll enjoy the 24-hour break before our next memo assignment is given to us.

At least I had a good weekend though. I try to spend my weekends (at least Friday night and Saturday) doing fun things with some homework thrown in there somewhere. Well, I actually got my memo edited and finished my reading pretty much through Wednesday, with the exception of Torts. I also found out that Larry got a job, and starts today! I am so happy for him - it certainly isn't the best job, but at least now it takes some of the stress off and he can focus on getting back in shcool.

To top it all off, I got to watch possibly one of the greatest movies of all time: Sharktopus.

I know what you're thinking - sounds like some crappy SyFy Original Movie, right? Well, that is true. Never the less, you should check out the trailer before coming to any snap judgments. If this movie doesn't win any awards in the special effects department...I'll just be shocked.

That good weekend is turning into a good day at least, as I got my shepardizing assignment back (which I thought I bombed) and actually did REALLY well on it. Happy day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

5 Things I've Learned About Law School in 4 Weeks.

Alright, I know I promised posts on Saturdays, but that is proven more difficult that I originally thought. Still, I am attempting to be weekly. Take what you can get, people!

Tomorrow will mark the end of my fourth week of law school at Drake University. Crazy! It is always amazing to me how it has already been four weeks, but at the same time I find myself thinking, "Wait. It's only been four weeks?!" All joking aside, I feel like I have finally fallen into that law school groove, complete with lack of motivation by the time Thursday comes along. Thank god we're done by 2!

This week, I thought I would offer the top lessons I've learned since coming to law school. Note, they are in no particular order, just some musings from a sleep-deprived mind.

1) Don't try to do work with the iTunes visualizer on in the background. On the one hand it blocks the rest of the screen from view, forcing me to not look at Facebook and turn my attention to the words on the page. Of course, my gaze doesn't stay down for long. This visualizer is mesmerizing, and I love it! Still, not necessarily conducive to a distraction-free working environment.

2) Read BEFORE class. I, of course, always make sure to get my reading done at least the night before, but this warning is more for others. If the other students in your class can tell that you didn't read the case, or you weren't paying attention when you read the case, you better be sure that the professor knows that as well. Cold calling is a horrific thing, but it is even more awful (and awkward for your classmates) when we all have to wait while you flip through the book, searching for that one, unhighlighted sentence.

3) Start a Classical Music Playlist. I have had one for a long time, but you better believe that it has gotten quite the workout over the past few weeks. If you're anything like me, it is hard to focus on reading in a completely quiet room -- all the ambient noise of the parking lot outside, the buzzing of the desk lamp and ever single bump from the hallway just drives me crazy. With the classical music, the atmosphere is just more welcoming and allows me to focus even better on that brief that has to get done tonight.

4) Spend the first few days/weeks trying to find that one place in the Library quiet enough for you to actually be productive between classes. This one can be tricky, and quite frustrating. I don't know if it is like this at all law school libraries, but Opperman is very beautiful, but not necessarily well designed. Marble floors and stairs look really nice, but women in heels create echos that can be heard throughout the entire floor.

It took me awhile to find my one place in the library, far enough from the stairs that the clicks of heels are dulled enough to let me focus, and there is a clock there. Of course, there is squeaky shoe kid, but I find that he is not there as often as I am. I guess there are still some powers on my side.

5) Lastly, don't do anything work-related on Friday nights. By the time I have had a whole week of not turning my brain off, it is nice to lay back on Fridays, watch a movie or two and just veg. Of course, going out with friends is nice too, but if you're like me money can be a little tight. Invite them up for a movie or something! It is good to take a night off, get a good night's rest (turn off that alarm!) and start fresh on Saturday with some smaller tasks. Sunday can be the work day, if it is still necessary. And, if it isn't, then you don't have nearly as many reading assignments as I have.

So, that's about it for the time being. As my first semester of law school progresses, I'll make sure to mention more nuggets of wisdom for your reading pleasure. If there is anything you're specifically wandering about (not that I'd expect anyone reading this to consider me a law school authority), feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me, and I'll make a mention of it.

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Dear Mr. Squeaky Shoe Man...

Why must you sit at the table behind me? I'm sitting here, trying to plow through the remainder of my Civil Procedure cases for the week, and all I can think about is the piercing squeal of rubber being ground against waxed wood as your leg jiggles almost uncontrollably. Never did I think that the law library would be home to your negligence. I simply came here for peace and quiet between classes so that I can actually get some sleep tonight, but it seems you've foiled my plans.

I'd be tempted to think that you just can't hear the pain you're causing my ears and brain because of the headphones in your ears. But that just can't be right, since I have headphones on also, and it clearly isn't stopping the scream from tingling my spine with each upstroke and down.

Please Mr. leg jiggling, squeaky shoe man...for the love of all that is holy. Put your leg to rest! Let the muscles relax, let your shoes experience the joy that comes with stability! I beg of you...

This is just adding to a list of things that are making this day just "one of those days." This morning I woke up and tried to put my shirt on with the hanger still inside. Then I had to change shirts because I realized that it is only 57 degrees out this morning. Wednesdays were always unpleasant for me, but now they are turning into a whole new monster entirely. 4 core classes means 7 rather heavy textbooks to carry in my backpack, and 4 folders to jam into my computer bag with my laptop. It also means a headache for the hour between contracts and torts. It makes sense that I would encounter Mr. Squeaky Shoes on this day of woe...Woeful Wednesday. That's what I'll call it.

Don't be concerned. Law school really is going great! I am enjoying most of my classes, and had a great weekend to go off of. Wednesdays just bring me down, and it seems that this was is destined to go down in my history of bad Wednesdays. At least I am starting to get involved on campus, having already joined the Drake Law Women and the Intellectual Property Law Society. Tonight is the meeting for the Delts law fraternity, which is bribing us with free pizza, and tomorrow night is the International Law Society social, which promises to be a lot of fun.

What's that? Oh, the sweet sound of silence. The squeaking has stopped! What a happy occasion.


Oh started again.

I guess I should do something about this, shouldn't I?