My law school odyssey: three years, three time zones and beyond.
a valediction for 2002, and my first semester
Oh, so belated. Sua Sponte has missed Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas and Eid altogether. Ah well: Happy Kwanzaa!
Holding my blogbreath for a few days while I simultaneously travel back to the East Coast and attempt to coax myself out of the post-exams blues. TTYS.thus spake /jca @ 11:37 PM...
Please subdue the anguish of your soul. Nobody is destined only to happiness or to pain. The wheel of life takes one up and down by turn. --Kalidasa, dramatist (c. 4th century)
We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.
Recently, flipping through my used/new-to-me Property casebook to make sure it didn't have too much highlighting in it, I felt my heart stop for a moment when the book fell open to a case called Jee v. Audley.
Nine practice exam questions later, I'm still tired. But I think I'm getting there. At least as far as criminal law is concerned.
I realized, as I flipped through my outline on the elliptical machine this morning at the gym, that this was the last day I'd be studying at the gym for months. (Or at least weeks.) I am so close to freedom. Just one more day of work -- must work! -- and three hours of exam stand between me and the first substantial break in my law-school immersion since before school started.
Ugh, eight straight hours is way too long to spend on a sagging couch hunched over one's laptop. I now have 28 pages of outline and 18 pages of policy discussion notes (for Professor Crim's dreaded Policy Questions). If I use a tenth of this on the exam, at least I'll be glad I included that particular tenth.
Crim is slow going. Really starting to get tired, and this is a(nother) damn long outline I'm working on here. Death penalty yada yada yada. I needed to take a brain break, and found this:
I had a scary moment this morning when I went in to my laptop, attempted to open my still-in-progress Criminal Law outline, and found that the file had been corrupted. (No Word document should ever be larger than 4MB; this should have tipped me off that something was amiss.) Just yesterday, I had backed up every file on my laptop hard drive...except my Crim outline, which I figured I'd just back up later in the evening after I'd clocked out for the night. No dice. Husband put on one of the Lord of the Rings DVDs as a distracting treat for me, and all thought of law school drained out from my mind.
Fun Google hits of the day:
A quick burst of rain just skipped through my town, and now the brilliant sun is back out again, so of course I was inspired to duck my head out onto the balcony and do some rainbow-spotting. There it was, over to the east. All good.
Off to the Abigail for another night of vegetarian cuisine, practice exam questions and continuing memorization.
I went to bed last night with the sixteen-tons-I-mean-pages Civ Pro outline on the nightstand, and proceeded to have the oddest dream.
Quite a big wind/rain storm here today. Our power was actually knocked out for several hours, which meant that I was actually -- eat your heart out Abe Lincoln -- studying by candlelight. (I don't recommend it, it's very headachy.)
Seeking advice on the best way to study for a closed-book exam. I haven't taken one since 1996. Scary though Torts and Contracts were in the abstract, at least I had my security blanket (in the form of outline, checklist, and casebook) alongside to keep me from spooking completely. Civ Pro affords me no such luxury, which is unnerving if I think too hard about it.
A recent email from my school announced that they would be posting exam grades on the web, on or around January 6. Good of them, I thought, but something seemed amiss -- the email provided a username and password to access the site, but was sent to the entire first-year class.
Tickets are booked for the Two Towers on Thursday after my Criminal Law exam. It still itches the heck out of me that I'm going to miss the premiere since I'll be camped out at the Abigail reminding myself of the difference between false pretenses and larceny-by-trick, but at least I'll see it the following day. The fancrowds should still be reasonably amusing at that point; I wager they won't thin out for a week or two. You know the ones I mean -- the ooh-ahh-ers, the laughers and screamers and criers and applauders at battle scenes.
The always-giggleworthy Jeremy Blachman has come up with a real gem: a Civil Procedure love song. I'm tempted to forward it to Professor Civ Pro.thus spake /jca @ 4:01 PM...
Friday the thirteenth.
Ugh, my Civ Pro outline is sixteen pages long. Ten point font. Single spaced. And this is a closed book exam. Seems I've got a lot more digesting to do before I'll be ready for prime time.
Well, that was dizzying.
After forcing myself through a few practice questions, I feel a bit better. I'm starting to get into the Professor Contracts groove, starting to tease actual issues out of the novellas he presents as fact patterns. Maybe I actually do have a clue about contracts. Maybe I actually can pull this off.
Brief, intense spike of panic as I woke up this morning:
Wow. It's astounding how much of Contracts I've gone this entire semester without understanding. I'm currently on a massive sprint to attempt to assimilate (and synthesize) it all by Thursday. Or, barring that, at least to pull it into an outline on which I can look things up during the exam. I'm finding things in my notes that aren't addressed by the perfect outline I found on the Web, which makes for a great deal of forehead-wrinkling as I try to figure out why, what they mean, and whether they matter.
While I was off taking my Torts exam, someone had the honor of being the 10,000th unique visitor to Sua Sponte. Congratulations, #10K, whoever you might have been!thus spake /jca @ 10:49 PM...
One down, three to go. Res ipsa loquitur.
Torts exam in eighteen hours.
Chock full o'torts for the moment after doing a complete essay and outlining another, I'm taking another brain break to work a bit more on my contracts exam-answer flow.
I took a bit of a break from Torts this morning to do a practice essay for Crim, since Professor Crim awhile back had expressed a willingness to review sample answers. I hadn't planned on getting to Crim at least until after Contracts, but my husband got very upset at the concept. "You're going to blow it on Crim if you don't do this as soon as possible," he told me, upsetting me enough that I sat down and started pulling together my issue-spotting checklist.
Just finished another torts practice exam, and I've got a headache. I'm not sure if it's the lighting in this room (which I hope it is) or something else going awry with my laptop screen (which it damn well better not be). I'll be sure to pack the Motrin for the exam.
Yet another reason to love Professor Torts:
"You should have done better on this," Professor Civ Pro told me today as I approached him with my marked-up practice exam. Most of the people in the room had already left, but he still kept his voice low enough that I wasn't embarrassed, but was actually almost reassured, to hear him say it. "I was reading this, like, what happened to her? Did you study?"
Whoohoo!! They instituted this stupid policy right about the time I graduated, and now they've thankfully regained their senses.
Lots of good advice incoming about avoiding the campus. Not only do I not need to wallow in the widespread panic, but I lose three hours in transit to-and-fro that would be better spent studying at home, or heck, going to the gym. I still need to do that today. Health is of inestimable importance at this point. I find that I don't have much of an appetite, but too damn bad, depressive streak, you're going to be well-fed and worked-out of my system so that I can troop through these exams unimpeded.
G R E E T I N G S Capricorn
...the end begins...
Sometime right around the end of today's Civ Pro discussion group, a redheaded woman was mobbed by a throng of 1Ls as she attempted to distribute the moot court topic lists to our mail drops.
To my dismay (and I'm sure I'm not alone in being dismayed), Professor Torts had to cancel our last class today.
If I haven't yet gushed about Professor Civ Pro, now is as good a time as any.