You’re ridiculous hypotheticals don’t win you any points. Cease and desist….
I am tired. Recovering from Labor Day weekend and struggling with my first legal writing assignment, today has been busy. But I promised a post sooner rather than later, so here it is.
First week thoughts:
- The sheer volume of law school neuroses boggles me. People need different color pens, people have to have their books arranged just so, folks all seem to struggle with a lack of routine all the while assuring everyone around them that they most definitely have theirs all figured out. Its interesting to watch law students. Its like sitting in an airport. An airport full of nerds.
- Reading is no longer greek to me. Breifing is going faster. I know a number of my classmates have already given up on briefing proper, but I feel that it really helps me to process the material. I am not sure that I will ever look at them again though.
- My professors (Civ Pro, Torts, Crim Law) are ridiculously accomplished and each are unique in their pedagogy. Crim law is the liberal arts, philosophical bent (my bread and butter). Torts is sharp and passionate; a great class to have early in the morning. Civ Pro is definitely the old school, brilliant, extract the nuggets of law school goodness from an awesome lecture kind of guy. He has been doing this forever and just knows his stuff. I love civ pro. The idea that the rules of the game are less a measuring stick and more of a force that binds the universe together gets me wet. Truly.
- Continuing with the Jedi metaphor, I feel that law school is really just a glimpse into the legal world. There seems to be so much to know, so much that can change and so many ways to discover/process/analyze information. In that sense it is totally overwhelming. At the same time, however, never before in my formal education have I felt that I was truly being given a set of tools or, if you’ll allow it–NERD ALERT–building a light saber. I don’t yet know much about the law, but I know that I am loving what I think I can use all this for.
- Finally, I am certain that I am in the right place. It’s not something I could have said a week ago, honestly. The economy is hurting the legal profession and I know that I am not in a school that will magically open doors for me. Doesn’t matter. I feel our generation of law grads are going to be forced to be a lot more creative than previous generations. That excites me. If you want big law, more power to you. I never did. I am here for damn sport of it. My train of thought on this subject does not yet have a caboose.
OK Mad Man Encore is starting and I begin a diet/work regiment tomorrow. Be well Gentle Readers.
Apologies…my first week in law school has been quite a busy one. I know that I am truly in grad school when I have an upcoming 3 day weekend and think to myself, “Hot Damn! Three whole days. I’m gonna be able to get ahead in my reading and finally finish unpacking and organizing my room! Maybe, if I am feeling dangerous, I might go find a universal remote and program it so I can actually watch all the t.v. I want sitting down!”
Honestly, I am discovery one of the clearest axioms I had ever heard about law school: Expect everything you do to take longer than you plan on. This is unequivocally true. Reading takes longer (although I am getting better at that), extra-curricular reading (more on that later) that I need to understand exactly what is happening in class takes longer, cooking takes longer because I get lost driving to the crazy-ass far away grocer. Even printing things off takes a while because I need to do it at the law school and their printers every so often decide that they hate my computer.
That all said, I am enjoying the hell out of law school. I second Law School Ninja‘s sentiments, that we 1L’s won’t be signing this tune for long. I, however, am not worried. Why you ask? Because I am a masochist. I enjoy the almost drowning feeling almost has much as I enjoy feeling just comfortable enough to let myself go to shit whenever the next shoe drops. Well…
Not really. But I figured that I started this blog to better manage the life changes law school will force upon me and I would be foolish not to embrace them. That said, I promise that I will be better about posting on here however short or rambling my thoughts maybe. I will sum up my first weeks thoughts and lessons either tonight or tomorrow.
And yes…class has reached the point where kids wastes time with stupid hypos and I can start jumping on web the web–state tuned for in-class posts. The fellow 1L bloggers I know I’m sure would never do such things. But then again, they all go to better schools that I do😛
I have a car and the internet!! As soon as I finish some homework, I’ll give a first week summary post. Stay tuned…
Orientation, held this past Monday-Tuesday, was long and exhausting. Never before have I been so tired. Mariel commented about this on her blog (which you all ought to bookmark) and I concur: I couldn’t ever imagine how sitting in a chair for two days while being told how much work I will be doing soon would be so much work! I will throw my hat into the ring and say that I am officially a law student now. A judge swore me in and everything. I must fight the urge to plaster my face over every taxi cab in the city. A strong urge to fight.
It seems other blogs have been better about chronicling their law school’s orientation. Mine was, from what I gather, fairly average. We had a mock class. I met a number of students who went to WAY better undergraduate institutions than I did. I explained where I am from and what brought me to law school about a million times. (By the way, here is my script: “What did I major in? Alchemy.” “Why law school? SO I can prompt friends/family with ‘As your attorney I’d asvise you…’ whenever I deliver a personal suggestion. **See Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. “as your attorney, I advise you to take some more ether) We all went to the bar and had a fun, more-relaxed time on Tuesday. I found the buttoned-up formality of orientation rather disconcerting but I expected it. It was nice to see that once the institution was somewhat removed from the process that my peers are indeed human.
Tomorrow is class. I have spent hours in the library today goofing off studying in hopes of not looking too foolish tomorrow. I spoke with a friend who started last week and he is of the impression that at least some of the gloom and doom I’ve been told of is hype. One lecturer actually said to all of us, “You are the kids who read things once and got it. You can’t do that here anymore.” Well…shucks. I anticipate a number of readings of a case only to go in and be throttled by the professor.
I suppose the piece of advice that I can give to future 1Ls is that orientation throws a lot of stuff at you at once. Everyone knows about exams, notes and classes for the most part. Some people already know, or think they do, about what sort of law or practice they would like to do. What people don’t know is where to park, where to get the parking permit, where the printers are, why the bathroom has no fucking paper towels, that there were going to be ADDITIONAL materials that you have to by at the law school and not the bookstore, the place where you buy said materials keeps crazy weird hours, that you really ought to bring lunch because the food they give you is minimal, etc… Basicly, orientation is overwhelming. Be prepared not for classes/books and such, but rather get ready to manage 20 different minimal tasks you didn’t even know you had to do. Ha. And you thought you were ready for law school to start.
OK for now. I will leave you with a Law School list of important things learn, a la Law School Ninja:
- While not lawyers yet, you are professionals and will be held to a higher standard. Act accordingly.
- In reference to the point above, fix your Facebook
- You might be an alcoholic. No really. You might.
- Also, you might go to jail.
- You will hate life for a little while. This is normal.
- Freaking out in the library, however, is not OK. It might be normal, but you will be laughed at.
- Everybody knows peoples business. Girls walk around in small, fawn-like groups. Men talk about sports and how cute the girls are. These sorts of things don’t change. Welcome to Ridgemont High
- The worst you do? You’ll fail a class. Seriously, it’ll be OK. *Was told that with a straight face.
- Asking 20 questions (not me, thank God) in a lecture will earn your peer’s contempt, even if they were good ones and certainly others had them but were too nervous to ask about.
- No one knows when the pool is open. Not even the pool.
- For at least a little while, you don’t have friends. You have acquaintances.
- People at the internet company are idiots. When you sign up, make sure they know to send you a modem.
- Relax. “But isn’t law school hard?” Hard as hell. RELAX.
Be well gentle readers. Wish me luck
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Found a coffee shop. Internetz working. Huzzah.
Aside from my incredible car adventure, all is fairly calm in Law School world (at the moment). There seem to be a few burps here and there (NO idea if I have the right edition of the Civ Pro book, as the Professor has said one thing, the school another and students I’ve met said a third thing). I have a case to brief for orientation briefing instructions on Tuesday–Pennoyer v. Neff–a chapter for Civ Pro on Thursday, and some Torts / Crim law reading that I have yet to find out even though it is on a web page that I can’t figure out. Confusing times. It is tough being without a printer/internet, but I think that Orientation will clear a lot of stuff up tomorrow. In the meantime, I have bills to split with the roommate and phone calls to make.
I wish I would have more to tell people today, but I don’t. This is the calm before the storm, as such. I think that I will be in the Library tomorrow after orientation, busting ass and have a lot to blog about. I would stay here in the coffee shop, but a fairly loud group of people have decided that they would prefer to sit right next to be instead of the 20 other some odd seats all around the place. Awesome. For those few people who have already started, I have the following question for you:
If I don’t start on 1st day assignments until tomorrow (which Civ pro-due thursday, Torts/Crim due friday along with whatever civ pro assignment I’m sure I’ll get Thursday for Friday), will I have plenty of time to do them? I’d rather get orientation reading done tonight and make sure that bills are paid. Plus I’ll be able to wait until tomorrow to make sure I have correct books/handouts/assignments etc… Is 3 days enough to due a typical 1 class assignment? Also, are first day class assignments larger than your average class-load worth of reading?
Thanks in Advance! Stay Classy Internetz!
Back up near law school. Orientation begins Monday, classes Thursday. I have already encountered a few neat people and a few uber-Type A’s. Currently a number of people are out at the bars. I have no car so I am catching up on some organizing. Also, I have a 500 dollar deductible, so drinks are a forgone luxury at the moment. I have homework now officially. Pennoyer v. Neff for Civil Procedure. I understand its a doozy but I do have until Thursday. I also have Grant v. Arizona to brief for orientation. Fun stuff abounds.
I am still stealing internet, so I think I might bike to a coffee shop tomorrow (no car until next week maybe) and read over both cases. That, and check e-mail inre: orientation. I have been told to wear business casual for Tuesday, my last day of orientation. I grew up down south and always get a kick out of people needing to be told what exactly business casual is. Monday, however, we were told “it will be hot. Feel free to dress casual but remember, you are a member of a professional environment now!” Um… OK. I guess one of my favorite T-shirts is out of the question, even if I attend a Catholic School now.
OK for now. A proper post tomorrow–about books and people and schedules and first impressions.
I think there was a post somewhere on the internetz about staying positive on your blog and not get bogged-down my negativity. That is good advice, albeit not some I chose (or would ever have chosen) to follow yesterday. Sometimes being angry can be very therapeutic, so long as you keep your head in check and are sure to say things that you will not regret. That said, I am far calmer today than yesterday. I spoke with a friend of mine and he told me what I know, deep down, to be the absolute truth: “Dude. Your safe and somewhat inconvenienced. Think of it as an adventure. You’re just starting law school on hard mode.”
Too true. I’m safe. The car isn’t totaled. My GF is not pissed at me. I have a dear friend who will take me back home in a few hours and another one planning on driving me back here when the repairs are done. Honestly, I shouldn’t need more than that. Yes I am pissed that I wrecked. I am even more pissed about the fact that if I could have woken up when my girlfriend arrived, none of this would have happened. But honestly, that is the delicious manner in which I want my irony served. (I told her, “Sweetheart: I am sure you wished all kinds of bad things to happen to me when I would wake up to let you into the apartment. They came true. God punished me.”)
I appreciate the sympathy from old and new readers (hello butterflyfish). Ultimately, many soon to be law students are double checking their highlighters, assignments, facebook friend confirmations, schedules and budgets right now. Me? I am hitching a ride with a wonderful friend enjoying the more scenic parts of an East Coast road trip, pondering my next four years. We’ll have gas in the tank, smokes in the pack and a beer waiting for us when we get there. I will start law school just fine and, after that first week and a half when I realize that I am in fact a full blown citizen of clown town, I can take some time on a Sunday to relax, process law school week 1 and go pick up my car.
Things are never as bad as they seem. I’ll leave you all with a quote from my favorite poem of all time, IF by Rudyard Kipling
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
Italics mine. Out of context, the advice rings true. But for realzies, read the poem. Its not long and is the best advice one could ever hope to receive. I’ll put it this way: If I were to have son (or daughter) and find out that I am going to die in a crazy astroid a la Bruce Willis in Armageddon [stupid Ben Afleck], this is the one piece advice I would leave my child. Period.
If it hasn’t already been established thus far, allow me a moment to make this one fact perfectly clear: I am a total idiot. A complete, total and utter idiot.
Yesterday was my birthday (go me!) and after a night of frivolous drinking, banter and general carousing my girlfriend tells me that she would like to drive 2 hours out to see me at school. Drunk and randy, I happily agree. Excited about my planed birthday rendezvous, thinking that I probably ought to clean up my place or grab a bite to eat and try to sober up, I take the obvious course of action: keep drinking. Being surrounded in a bar by frat douches and sororititutes, I drink even harder. Being my birthday and all, I happily except offers of whiskey shooters and spend the next hour loudly exclaiming that a birthday is a time to set new goals for the year. “You know what I want to do while I’m in law school?” I loudly bark at a brand new peer of mine. “Break up a marriage.” Sorority girls shoot me evil looks. One asks me where I am from. I leave the bar. Girlfriend is 30 min away. I walk back to my apartment. I know that I’m getting tired, so I set my phone to ring extra loud. I take a quick rest on my bed, looking forward to seeing her.
Alarm goes off. It’s 5:00 am. I have 30 missed calls. I panic. There are text messages/voicemail’s telling me to fuck off. I frantically dial my girlfriend.
“You finally woke up…”
“Did you…I mean, where you here?”
(As sincere an apology I can muster in my half-drunk stupor and a promise that I am making coffee and getting in my car on my way)
“Fine. Whatever.” click
The drive isn’t bad; almost pleasant. I figured she’d understand that this was an honest mistake. She knows that I sleep like the dead but I am racing down the highway and can’t help but feel guilty. She walked around my apartment. She saw my car. The only thing she didn’t have was my Apt #. I just moved in so my name wasn’t on any sort of nameplate. Her voicemail messages resemble 5 Stages of Grief.
2:00 am–She is jovial and asks me to come out to see her; she couldent possibly imagine that I might stay asleep.
2:10 am–She is mad as hell, screaming in the phone about how she can’t believe I could do this.
2:19 am–Bargining’s next, as she tells me that she is going on facebook to find my roomate’s cell phone (she doesn’t).
2:35 am–Ahh, Depression. She is crying now. Her words are unintelligible. She is sobbing and feels abandoned. I have let her down. She turns around and heads home, send me texts each time she passes through a city for the second time that night.
5:00 am–I called her back as soon as I had woken up. Her answer was cold and distant. She has accepted that she is dating an ass.
I listen to these messages on the road. I speed up.
The drive is smooth, at least until I hit traffic. Back on the east coast for the first time in sometime, I am not used to the stop and go nature of the morning commute. I am from Colorado–where the speed limits are upwards of 70 and you have just as much of a chance to hit a bear/cow as you do another car. I am tired, hungover, guilt stricken and driving very fast. Too fast. Too fast to stop in time and avoid slamming into the van in front of me at 25-30 mph. Too fast to keep my front bumper intact and my radiator functioning. But not fast enough to be anywhere near where I was heading.
Now I am two hours + from my apt and law school, my car will be in a shop down here for at least a week or so and orientation begins Monday. I only live a mile away from the law school but my bike’s tire is flat. I am pretty sure I don’t have the money to cover body work and a new radiator. I have bills to split with my roommate. I have reading to get done. Whenever my car is ready I need to be picked up, drive down to my car, then drive back, all the while managing a brand-new law school workload /culture. So yea. Fuck my life. Happy birthday to me.
Currently, I’m bating zero.
Three days from Colorado with my dad. It was a blast. I have actually been in the Apt now for about 2 days but furniture, bed shopping, building end tables, organizing, hanging pictures, shopping for kitchen stuffs with my new roommate, meeting and drinking with soon-to-be peers and learning my way around town have each been a high priority at the moment. Also, I am stealing wireless at the moment. So things might might be fairly sporadic.
I hate being away from the internet for too long. Because I have to catch up on blogs, on commentary, on commentary of the commentary. Right to Left and sounding it out is exhausting. Am I complaining about reading? Yep. Law school a poor choice because of that? Indubitably.
More updates to come throughout the week. I am moved and furnished. Now I need to organize, settle finical matters, make new friends, eat a cheesesteak, organize and force myself to do an orientation assignment. I’ll post pictures soon, because in spite of myself I really must say my new place looks rather….um…professional.
For good or ill I am growing up and I really am not sure what I think about that yet. OK for now…