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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Friday, November 28, 2003

I had a nice Thanksgiving, much like most Thanksgivings. Every year we celebrate Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house, which is about a half mile north of campus - very convenient. I swear my familiy is the loudest family ever. It doesn't matter if there are only 17 people like this year (which is definitely on the small side) or closer to 30. Everyone operates on the theory that if they just talk (yell) louder than everyone else, someone will listen. All topics involve politics on some level, no matter what the more basic topic is. This year there was an extended discussion of movies. It was really about politics. Fortunately, everyone who is there usually agrees politically, but no one listens well enough to realize it, so there is still lots of arguing.

It was my first holiday alone in a long time. Mostly I manage not to think about it, or feel too self pitying, but sometimes it hits me. Most of my Thanksgivings for many years now have involved cooking elaborate dinners for boyfriends or bringing them to eat with my family or having a special meal (flank steak!) together. I was pretty sad to spend my birthday alone, so this wasn't quite as bad. I'm dreading Christmas though. To me, Christmas is about being with the person you love and giving that person wonderful, special presents and watching them be happy. I'm just not really close to my family, so I can't help feeling alone.

But maybe I'll have a date with a certain person by then... It was an awesome day at work. With it being the day after Thanksgiving, we were somewhat less than productive, so it was a fun, social day. I hope he likes me!!! I don't want to be disappointed. I won't be heartbroken, since it's not like we've dated or anything, but I will be very discouraged. But hey, I'll have finals to distract me. |
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

It was an excellent, excellent day at work. My optimism is returning.

I can't stop thinking about my friend who is dealing with real problems - not just wondering if some guy likes her - it makes me hurt to know she is hurting. |
 

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I don't think I entirely appreciate the fact that the semester is over in two weeks and that I have to take exams in three weeks. I am not even close to being ready. And yet, I don't feel very stressed about it. It better set in soon. Really soon.

I had a pretty good weekend. Good meals with my parents. Good presents from my parents. A concert Saturday night. Some studying today. Overall good. It kept my mind off spending a birthday solo. Mostly. |
 

Friday, November 21, 2003

I just officially got rejected by the final firm I was waiting to hear from. It was a mere formality at this point, but still, until I read the letter, there was still that tiny bit of hope. Although actually when I saw the envelope, I was immediately struck by a feeling of fear that it might be an acceptance, which in that split second I realized I didn't want. (Many of the earlier rejections were far more disappointing...)

So, I had 21 on campus interviews.
I had 4 callbacks. Actually 5 until they took it back.
I got rejected by them all.
Well, almost all. 2 firms that interviewed me on campus never bothered to send rejection letters.

What can you do?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I was so well behaved. I went and studied in spite of the rain. Actually I read like 15 pages of Admin law then went back to reading a book for pleasure. I'm such a nerd. And here is why: Last week I was doing an acc check and I had to go to the public library to check out a book. It looked so interesting that now I'm reading it rather than studying. This is why being on the crim law journal is dangerous - everything is so interesting. I'm reading Actual Innocence by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, and Jim Dwyer (the Innocence Project people). I read this sort of stuff and it convinces me over and over of why I want to be a public defender. I keep trying to deny it, but it's what I want! And it's not the potential innocence of defendants that draws me in, it's the potential degree of innocence of defendants. It's the warped process that needs passionate people trying to fix it. It's the juxtaposition of idealism and depressing realism. It's what I want to do; I should just accept it and do what I can to make it happen. |
 
Things were good at work today. :) Nothing too special or dramatic, but seemingly everything is back to normal. I still feel wary, but mostly I just feel relieved. One of my friends came by after work and met him and she approved. They both made fun of me. It was good.

I genuinely want to go study right now, but it is pouring down rain. I don't think I have the willpower to make myself go out in this. I certainly don't have the willpower to study at home though. I also need a little willpower to do laundry. I'm sensing a pattern here. Three hours until SVU, I must work.... |
 

Monday, November 17, 2003

I had my oral argument for app ad tonight. And it went great! I've been done for an hour and the adrenaline is still pumping. It was far from perfect, but it went really well. I'm not stupid enough to even guess at what grade I'll get, but I'm pleased with how I did. A little positive feedback can go a long way.

Now I just need the guy from work to ask me out, and all will be good. Tomorrow I will be working with him one on one, so we'll see how that goes. I figure that will be a good chance to see if his odd behavior is actually related to me or not. I'm remarkably optimistic at this moment. |
 

Saturday, November 15, 2003

I just got an email from someone asking for advice about applying to law school, and if it is wise to work in between undergrad and law school. First of all, everytime I get an email from someone who reads this it puts me into shock. Second, I've decided that this email gives me permission to join the ranks of those who attempt to offer advice. So, here are the most important bits of wisdom(?) I have for those who may be contemplating law school.

1. Do not go straight to law school. Work for a year. Or two. Of five. Or ten. Working will give you a healthier perspective on what matters and help you see that law school is not the hardest nor the most stressful thing you will ever do. It will help you figure out if you really want to go to law school, or if maybe you really want to be a teacher, or a computer programmer, or a clown. There are too many people who go to law school because they don't know what else to do, or they were a political science major and law school is "the next logical step," or their parents want them to, or some other reason than they really want to be a lawyer. Law school is too hard and too expensive to commit to it if you are not really sure it is for you.

2. Do not worry about going to the "best" school - figure out what is the best school for you. There is a lot of advice out there that you should go to the best school you can get into. There is a lot of validity to this, especially if your goal is to work at a really big firm. But even if you decide the ranking of your school will matter, a number one way or the other shouldn't matter. Tiers probably matter, whether it's #17 or #19 won't. If you aren't going to one of the very, very top schools, you're probably smarter worrying about location. Any school is regarded better locally than nationally, so equally ranked schools are not equal in the other school's city. Visit the school, see what it feels like, there really is such a thing as the right fit. Find it.

3. Figure out your relationship issues. It is important in law school to have friends to turn to. So, treat the people you care about right and show them they are valued. But if you have negative relationships in your life, deal with them now. I ended up moving out of the apartment I shared with my boyfriend during the second week of law school. That was not a good plan. You do not need any extra stress in your life when you enter law school. Deal with it now. Get on anti-depressants, go to a therapist, dump your boyfriend or girlfriend - do what you need to do. And if things are good, let those around you know how much you appreciate it.

That's it for now. Oh yeah, and proofread your applications. Don't make yourself look like an idiot. If I were on the admissions committee I would hold it against you, so they almost certainly do. Good luck to all. |
 

Friday, November 14, 2003

Things have taken a drastic turn for the worse with the guy. If I had just met him a week ago I would absolutely not think he likes me. His entire demeanor towards me has changed entirely. He is still friendly and jokes with me, but there is a distinctly different tone to it. He has said a couple of highly critical things to me relating to what he considers my lack of diplomacy/professionalism - over what were objectively non-issues. Other than that he has basically not made eye contact with me in a week. Normally we are always catching each other's eye when someone else is talking. We also haven't hardly talked directly to each other in a week, even though we normally have all sorts of one-on-one conversations. I have no idea what's going on and I'm very upset.

I have two theories: (1) he decided he doesn't like me - either he did like me before and something changed, or he never did but he realized that he was acting like it and that I liked him and he doesn't want to give the wrong impression; or (2) he is having a professionalism crisis - maybe someone said something to him about me and he got paranoid, or something like that. Theory 3 is that his odd behavior is unrelated to me. Maybe there is other stress in his life causing him to act weird. Still, I think it's about me, and I don't like it one bit. If it keeps up, I might even ask him about it. Unless it gets really bad, I will still try to find out if he's interested when the semester ends - I will just be more prepared for bad news.

Tomorrow I've got to study and stop thinking about him. I need to be counting down until finals, not counting down until he's not my supervisor. I'm so bad at focusing. I've always thought that the concerns about the stress law school puts on a relationship are silly. It's so much better to have someone to talk to and count on and not have to worry about dating. There will always be stress in life, whether it's law school or something else, and being in a relationship can be what makes the stress manageable. |
 

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

It has been a strange day. I found out this morning that one of my best friends from high school died from a drug overdose. We were inseparable all through 10th grade, stayed friends through the end of high school, and then attempted to stay in touch while I was in college. Eventually we drifted apart, primarily because of her drug use, and all that that entailed. Now it just feels weird. Should I have tried harder to stay her friend when her life was spinning out of control? Was there some way I could have convinced her that the life she was living was not as glamorous as it seemed? Was there something I could have done that would have convinced her to use her talents in some way other than stripping? I spent many nights whispering with her about boys; I traded clothes with her; I talked about eating disorders with her; I arranged for her to come to my house in an elaborate set up to meet some guy, and she did the same for me many times - and now she's dead. And the really disturbing part is I'm not that upset in a way, because I'm just not that shocked. The last time I ever saw her she was telling me stories about all the drugs she was doing. She told me how she and her friends would lock themselves in their apartment and hide the keys before they tripped because that way it was "safe." So, no, it's not a surprise. It just feels strange. |
 
I am so glad I didn't go to the SBA "emergency" meeting today. I might have come unglued. How is it possible for law students to stand for absolutely nothing? It's not even the subject matter that gets to me (which it does); it is the fact that everyone thinks that violating the university's nondiscrimination policy is no big deal. That and the fact that there are Christians who see absolutely no problem with discrimination itself.

I became a Christian when I was a freshman in college. There have been a lot of changes in my life as a result of my faith, and there are many more changes that will always need to be made. I am ridiculously imperfect. And one of the beautiful things about Christianity is that I can take comfort in the fact that only Jesus was perfect.

I grew up in a very, very liberal family. I knew gay people before I knew what gay meant. I went to a pro-choice rally in Washington, DC for my 12th birthday present. We sang union songs in the car on family vacations. So that's what I came from politically.

Becoming a Christian affected all of my political views in some way. For the most part, it affected the underlying reasons for them. For example, I am now against the death penalty not just because it is applied in a discriminatory manner and does not work as a deterrent, but also because I am now overwhelmed by the moral implications of sentencing another human being to death and being the cause of that death.

Christianity also provides me with an even firmer foundation for why I must always fight against all discrimination. When Jesus was asked which of the ten commandments was the most important, he answered that there is no commandment greater than to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:28-31) Loving one another seems anathema to discrimination of any kind. I'm not even going to get into judging one another, because to me it is simply about the command to love.

So, all I can say is that I am glad I was not at the SBA meeting. |
 

Monday, November 10, 2003

I think veterans day might be the best holiday ever invented. Mondays would be a lot better if we got every Tuesday off. What am I doing tomorrow? I have no idea. Probably studying for a few hours, maybe working on journal stuff, but doing all of it without pressure. And as for tonight? No partying, nothing thrilling...but almost as good, several episodes of Law and Order SVU, followed by 7th Heaven, and a new Cosmo and Glamour to read. I'm in heaven.

Speaking of Law and Order, among a half a dozen other, more academic ideas, I have decided I want to write a note for journal analyzing SVU. One of the bizarre, cool things about the crim law journal is that we can do notes like this. I need to process the idea a little more, but I like what is floating around in my head. I need to get up the nerve to speak with Dressler about the whole note thing in general. I have so many ideas and I want to get started. Researching and writing about this sort of stuff is what makes law exciting. If I was a hell of a lot smarter I would almost want to be an academic. |
 
I've been thinking about my negative attitude for the last hour or so. I just wanted to say that although I certainly have a general feeling of malaise, I do love law school. Going to law school was the best decision I've ever made, and I never question if it is the right place for me, or if I would be happier doing something else. In addition to my enthusiasm for app ad, I actually enjoy reading my casebooks for the most part, and I often spend each class hoping I'll get called on. (Except when I have very important research to do online during class, in which case I hope the professor doesn't bother me. That's a little backwards, huh?) This stuff is fun. Some of the professors seem to put effort into being boring (last spring, not now), some of the concepts are beyond me, the expectations are ridiculously high, the people are mostly judgmental and superficial, but learning about the law is awesome. Just wanted to let everyone know that my spirit hasn't been crushed...I just need a few good nights of sleep and a date with the guy from work. |
 

Sunday, November 09, 2003

We just tried to have a stakeout. It was completely unsuccessful. Basically, he wasn't there, so there was no staking out to do. I need the waiting to be over. Like a typical girl, I am thinking too much. Having all this time to ponder is definitely a bad thing. This weekend I have managed to convince myself that he doesn't like me at all, even in a friendly way. I know that is illogical, but this is not about logic. I have also gotten myself all freaked out about potentially being hurt someday, almost to the point of not wanting anything to happen at all. On top of my hyper-analysis, it turns out I can't count, and I still have four weeks left. It seems like every time I count, it gets longer! I think I got myself confused because Thanksgiving is in there, and I will only get to see him once that week. I have no excuse for not being able to count really. I need to just relax, I know. Some days, or hours, I manage to, but then there are these long periods of time where I just think. And think. And that is bad.

As for school, I am not doing a very good job of focusing on law like I intended. I got a fair amount of reading done yesterday and today, but absolutely no outlining. And I have a journal assignment due tomorrow which has been basically done for a week, and I still haven't written up my memo. And I haven't faxed my transcript request to my undergrad school so I can actually turn in my candidate application for the bar. And I haven't written my journal that is due tomorrow. And I haven't done so many other things. So I sit on my couch typing this, instead of getting anything done, because I am too overwhelmed to do anything else. Tomorrow I have like a 6 hour block of free time that I can put to use, and then there's veteran's day. I guess it won't be a completely useless holiday after all. |
 

Friday, November 07, 2003

Law. Law. Law. Must focus on law. I need to stop obsessing about my unattainable crush, and focus on law. This weekend shall be the turning point. Note the choice of the word shall there - this is no permissive turning point, it's happening. Tomorrow I shall devote myself to studying. I shall read ahead. I shall actually outline. I shall read my hornbooks. I shall, I shall, I shall. Then Sunday I theoretically have my first study group meeting. I'm quite wary about this, having never studied with anyone before, but I'll give it a shot.

As for tonight, I shall have fun. I'm about to go to dinner with my long lost friend who is now back in my life. Then later I think I'm meeting friends who are celebrating their completion of the MPRE. Let it be a fun night; I'm ready for fun. |
 

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I have decided that if this guy does not actually like me, then I need to give up entirely. Today alone there were so many instances where it seemed so clear that he was flirting in an interested in me kind of way. Every night I convince myself that I'm just imagining it, but every day he reconvinces me that he likes me. If I am wrong, I have no business dating at all. Three weeks from now I will finally be able to find out. Or really three weeks from now, plus however long it takes for him to officially evaluate me.

I'm so tired of law school. I'm so glad I only have one class tomorrow, and then I get to go to work. Then the weekend, then veterans day, then thanksgiving....the semester is sort of fading away gently. Hopefully law knowledge fades into my brain even more quickly in the next few weeks. |
 

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I had a very productive day, and it felt good. I almost completed my journal assignment, which means I don't have to feel that hanging over me all weekend. I've done my reading for BA for the rest of the week (Okay two days isn't that impressive, but still).

I also had the joy of getting two (!) emails from people who read this thing. It is good to get encouragement, tv show suggestions, dating advice, affirmation in general. I never imagined strangers would write to me as a result of this blog, but it is pretty cool. Actually, that reminds me, I wanted to thank Steve for his emails over the summer convincing me to stick with the clinic. It has turned out to be the best decision I've made....for many, many reasons. By the way, Steve, if you read this, do you know who I am? |
 

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I feel like I am at a pivotal point - in what, I'm not entirely sure. Is it law school? Just the semester? Life? I just don't know. What I do know is that I feel like I could suddenly snap in some way...or I could just focus and everything would be fine. I'm not going to snap in any dangerous way, but I feel like somehow I'm living on the edge. I am so tired that I could physically collapse soon. I am so abnormally unmotivated that I could totally flunk my classes. I am so impatient to do something that matters that I could (maybe) drop out of law school if I thought I found a good reason. I just feel like I am letting so much slide that it will soon overwhelm me beyond recovery. Maybe I just need a good schedule to follow or something like that. Really I'm sure that everything will be fine, but my mind is racing with worries lately.

Maybe I just need someone to take my mind off things. And I do have someone in mind. We had a conversation today about relationships. It was interesting and only reconfirmed that we have a lot in common. He seems wounded. It's cute. And really just what I want, because I need someone who at least kind of understands how I feel, and won't let the relationship get too serious too fast. The relationship...I need to slow down. And focus on school. |
 

Monday, November 03, 2003

Four more weeks. That's how long I have to understand everything. I'm feeling a little panicky, but not too much. App ad is done except for the final argument, so I don't have to worry about that at least. I feel pretty good about everything. All I want is for it to be the end of the semester so I can sleep.

Plus, in four weeks I can find out if after all this time he actually likes me or not. I just want to know. Actually, I want a lot more than that. I just want to find out if we could get as long as well as I imagine. That's the problem with waiting so long is that the line starts to blur between what is real and what is fantasy. Based upon my interactions with him so far, we seem to have lots of things in common that are important to me, but it is a big leap to seeing if that translates into us actually being compatible at all. And I think he is very cute (wanting to throw him down on the desk cute), but he may not find me attractive at all. There are so many things to figure out that can't even be expressed yet.

How can I care about law school when I'm busy fantasizing?? |
 

Sunday, November 02, 2003

I am freaking out at the moment. No outside observer would know it, since I'm quietly sitting at my desk, with no tv, no music, no one else around. If someone was looking at me through the window I would just look hard at work. But actually, I am freaking out.

At this very moment, the second of five copies of my brief is printing. Normally this would be a good thing, but it scares me. Once I conclude that it's finished, there is no chance of it getting better. I worked on it all afternoon, and ultimately, it just ended up 3 pages shorter! I can't help but believe longer is better. This is about impressing the adjunct with my stellar legal reasoning skills. However, if my skills should happen to be less stellar than I might like, it seems like the more I write, the better chance that something I write will happen to sound smart. Objectively, I have written what I feel is necessary to argue my side. There are no points that I haven't made out of laziness or lack of research. So, I should feel confident. But I still wish it was longer. Lots longer. |
 
The party was relatively fun, though far from exciting. The problem with these things (and bars in general) is the sheer number of people. It was entirely a matter of luck to find people you knew. Fortunately I went with friends, or I may have wandered the bar in costume alone the whole night. I hate being shoved, smashed, grabbed, and generally crowded. But I guess once a year can be called fun. And people seemed to like my costume, so it was worth it.

Now I get to spend the rest of my day writing my brief. I'm not at all hung over (thanks to miniature cups of beer), so I have no excuse to be unproductive. I hope I have the discipline to go work on this all day and make it really good. Sometimes I am too impatient and just want the feeling of being done. But I have nothing else I have to do (guess I'm not reading admin law) and Lyon's Den isn't on tonight. So, for the rest of the day I have to pretend to be a dilligent law student. |
 

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Halloween! I recognize that it is November 1st, and most people are done with Halloween, but this is Ohio, where we celebrate Halloween when it's convenient. Trick-or-treating was Thursday for Columbus, although it was various days throughout the week in the suburbs. At my college we celebrated over the entire weekend that was closest to Halloween. I see absolutely no problem with this arrangement, as long as I know when and where to show up to party.

I am really looking forward to the halloween party tonight. I don't go to mass law school gatherings that often, but generally have fun when I do. Plus, the mix of other professional students increases the possibility that there will be interesting people there. And there is a slim chance that he will show up. I mentioned it to him casually, so although I certainly don't expect him to come, somehow I won't be shocked if he does. And if he does, I cannot be held responsible for anything that happens. It's halloween. All bets are off.

Hopefully things won't get too out of control, since tomorrow I have to finish my brief for app ad. It should be a fun day. |