Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Final Countdown Till Graduation

Today has been pretty much the perfect day. And there won't be too many more of these in law school, I'm afraid, because the time runs short. And I will really miss this place and my friends. I've been feeling so nostalgic lately and I know that sometime between now and graduation I'm going to need to just let myself have a good cry. Law school has been good to me, and I've had some wonderful experiences in my time here. But today, I got to sleep in and then met my best friend for coffee and "to study" hahahaha. Four hours later, I had gotten approximately 15 pages of torts reviewed. Then I came home and had lunch and met her at the gym for our workout, and then came back home, showered, and have been watching Netflix and eating roasted Brussel sprouts pretty much ever since. (That's pretty much all I've eaten all day today--roasted Brussel sprouts, onion, apple, and garlic tossed with maple syrup, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and the juice of a single Clementine, topped with a little goat cheese--absolutely delicious). Tomorrow I'm going to the early service at church and then we're going to the Braves game for Geoff's birthday. At some point I really DO need to study, so I'm going to try to squeeze some of that in tomorrow too. My friend Lauren from college is coming to visit me from Monday to Wednesday, and then it's back to studying for another week, and my final exam is on the following Wednesday. Then there's nothing left but a senior dinner, a senior advanced writing program luncheon, commencement practice, and . . . graduation. But there are certainly more adventures to be had after that--Haiti, bar review classes, running another half-marathon, finding a new apartment and moving (cannot WAIT for this part--I pretty much get giddy just thinking about it), the bar exam (well, not sure I would call that an adventure), and starting work and life as a big-girl attorney. Let one journey end so the next can begin . . .

Friday, April 25, 2014

The People You Meet in Law School

Yesterday, I just finished my LAST LAW SCHOOL CLASS EVER. And I could not be happier about it! These last two weeks have just dragged on and on and ON and been so busy and crammed with huge assignments, receptions, banquets, and senior events that I haven’t had time to breathe. And now, it’s 10:00 on a Friday morning and I am sitting in my pajamas writing this blog post, and I don’t feel guilty about it either. Sure, there’s stuff I could be working on (such as studying for my torts II final exam) but I need a break first.

So I decided to write a fun post this morning about the people you will definitely meet in law school. Based on my experience, I’m pretty confident that every law school class has at least one person fitting these descriptions. (And last night’s senior superlative night got me thinking about these. What did I win? Most likely to become a legal writing professor. Fair enough, because that’s probably true!) So without further ado, here’s the list:

1) The person who KNOWS EVERYONE and IS FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE. You can’t go anywhere with them without them running into TONS of people that they know and want to talk to. If you go out for dinner with them, you’ll end up having dinner with half the town. And if they don’t know anyone, they’ll just strike up friendships with strangers. They also have to make sure that their social life always one-ups everyone else’s and that no one has friends that they are not also friends with. And you’ll think that you FINALLY know your own group of people that they don’t know, and they’ll start making up ways that they know them too. “Oh, Stacy? Isn’t she the one that’s dating [insert name of annoying dude who graduated last year]?” Like, no! I’m pretty sure you do not actually know who Stacy is!

2) The person who takes photos of any car in the student parking lot which they judge to be improperly parked, uploads the photos into their computer, and sends them out in emails—with disparaging comments about the cars’ drivers—to the ENTIRE student body. Way to abuse email privileges, Mr./ Ms. Parking Police.  

3) The girls who skip class ALL the time, for any reason, and when they do show up, are adorned with their perfectly manicured nails and never fail to have a pumpkin spice latte/ iced coffee on hand.

4) The guy who wastes class time with ridiculous and farfetched hypotheticals—“Well what if you push the guy off the hotel balcony, but before he hits the ground and meets his certain death, he is shot mid-air and killed by a sniper? Who is responsible for killing him?”

5) The enigma—the person who is never on campus and is pretty much never seen, and occasionally you hear stories of someone having had a class with him/ her, but ultimately you’re pretty sure they don’t even go to your school. And all you really hear about them is that they’re taking off for Colorado or California or New York or some other distant locale immediately after graduation. The enigma is probably writing the next John Grisham novel in their spare time and is going to be famous long before anyone else will.  

6) The people who take their student organization waaaay too seriously and email the student body constantly about their club’s events and sell their club T-shirts constantly and don’t really do anything else but that one group or organization.

7) The guy who never takes class—or anything else—seriously, never reads, is never prepared, and gets everywhere on humor and good looks.

8) The person who studies ALL the time, gets 99’s in pretty much every class only because our school doesn’t give 100’s, and is going to get an A+ on the bar exam even though it’s pass/ fail.

9) The person who does NOT know when they've had enough to drink and who makes a fool of him/herself as a result . . . regularly. At first it’s kind of funny, but after awhile you wish for their sake that they’d get it together and start being more responsible. Because in the real world, “But I’m soooo hungover” is NOT an excuse.

10) The super-athletic girl who’s always wearing head-to-toe Lululemon and drinking protein shakes and going on the paleo diet and joining weightlifting competitions and running like 50 miles a week.

11) The person who blows up your Facebook news feed with one political post after another after another, as if reading the link they post is actually going to change your mind about your political views.

12) The person who’s the rare combination of both an atheist AND a proselytizer…their life goal is to convince everyone why religion is stupid and the bane of human existence and why God doesn’t exist and why you shouldn’t believe. Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?

13) The superhero people who juggle law school, families, their own businesses, or other major pursuits besides just school and still manage to do well with all of it. Do they ever get to sleep? We wonder.

14) The people who never really moved on from being in undergrad. You’ll know what I mean if you ever go to law school. 

15) The person who has dated not only everyone at the law school, but everyone in town between the ages of 22 and 30. And apparently, because it ended badly with pretty much ALL their exes, there's a loooong list of people they can't talk to or be in the same room as. Unsurprisingly, this person is usually the same person as #9.

16) The girl who is impossibly together. She gets great grades and runs for miles every morning and always looks like she stepped off the cover of Vogue and always has time to socialize. How does she do it? 

Well, that's all I've got for now (although there are many more). Happy Friday!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Half-Marathon Update!

So today the Boston Marathon is going to be happening, and while I'm not running in that (or anywhere close), on Saturday, I finally ran my first half-marathon--time to check that off my bucket list! It was so intense but also so fun, and I want to run another one as soon as I can, probably in late June. I think it would help me to have something physical to prepare for this summer to help balance me out while I study for the bar exam. I ran pretty much nonstop for the first six or seven miles, at a nice slow 13-minute-mile pace, and during that part of the race I was thinking, this is so easy! Why didn't I do this a long time ago? I want to run another one of these tomorrow! But then . . . reality set in at mile 8. And it's like, I'm SO hungry. And my legs hurt. And I'm really sweaty and I just want to go take a shower and eat a bacon cheeseburger and some fries (which is exactly what I did when I was done). Then I ended up getting off course at mile 8.5 and turning around at one of the water stations when I was supposed to keep going beyond it. The next mile marker I saw, instead of being 9, was 12. And I knew something was wrong because I had skipped 3 miles . . . I definitely considered just going on to the finish line, but I just couldn't. I was determined to do it right and do the whole thing, so I went back and got back on the trail and walked/ ran the rest of it. So ultimately I did 14.1 miles instead of 13.1, but that's ok. I came in last in my age group, but that's also ok. The main thing is that I finished. That's all I set out to do. And now I'll be in recovery mode probably for the whole week, and then I'll start running again next week. I'm going to do some low-impact exercise this week like swimming, but there is no way I can run for a few days considering that I can't even walk like a normal person right now because my knees and legs are so sore. But I'm already in substantially less pain than I was in on Saturday afternoon, so I know I'm on the mend. I have at least two more of these races in mind to do this year because this has now become a competition with myself--next time I'll want to beat my time from Saturday, and then keep getting better from there. But overall, it feels so great to finally check that goal off my list!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I Don't Really Know How to Be an Adult Yet

Seriously, there are so many things about being an adult that I just don't know how to deal with or do yet, or that my school has basically handled for me in the time I've been a student here. Sometimes I wonder if people still feel like they're not sure about adulthood when they're like 35, or if eventually you figure out how to deal with everything you have to deal with. For example, I am not really sure how to "do my taxes" because I have never made enough money to have to file taxes. I am also planning my move to the city right now, and I'm having to think about all kinds of things like getting renter's insurance, what kinds of questions I need to ask potential landlords, whether to use a moving company, and so on. (One thing is for certain, I am NOT driving a U-Haul up there by myself! That's just asking for trouble).

I also want to buy a house within three years or so, and I have no idea how to go about doing that either. Then there's things like getting started with a new health insurance plan, setting up retirement savings, establishing residency in this state (including getting a new driver's license and license plate), becoming a member of the state bar, etc., that all need to be handled in the next few months. I need to do financial aid exit counseling and decide whether to consolidate my student loans and I am, of course, in the process of planning a major trip abroad. And just in general, there is a lot going on in this last month of law school and in the summer to come. It's all exciting changes, but I'll freely admit that I have no idea how to handle many of these things and am just taking it as it comes.

It will be a big shift from being a student to being a "young professional," but I'm happy about what I'm doing and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Haiti Update!

Meagan and I are SO excited about going to Haiti with Mission of Hope! We leave on May 14th, four days after my graduation, and will return on the 21st, just in time for my bar exam prep course to begin. I want to do this trip for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons is because I kind of feel like my time in law school has been all about ME and MY goals and what I want to do with MY life, and I'm ready to give back and focus on everyone but me for a little while. I don't want to make law school sound like a totally self-absorbed place or anything, because it's not, and it's of course not like I haven't been caring for others during my time here, but I think you may understand what I mean. I feel like most people in graduate or professional school can relate--you're there in the first place to pursue your own goals and build your career and the life you want, and at least in law school, there's the added competition to get good grades, which come at the expense of your classmates' grades because of the mandatory grading curve . . . you can't all win. And when one person does well in something or takes an opportunity, in general, that's one less opportunity for everybody else. This is just the nature of the beast and the way it is. And everything is always geared toward what YOU want with your life and where YOU eventually want to live and what type of law YOU want to practice, and being totally immersed for three years in one goal to better yourself can make you feel self-absorbed after awhile, even if you are not.

So that's the environment I have been in since 2011, and I am so glad to have very nearly achieved my goal of graduation from law school, but what better way to celebrate that than to step outside myself for a little while and give something back? Because before I know it, I will be immersed in preparing for the bar exam and then in working long hours as a brand-new attorney, and it will once again be all too easy to forget the world around me that needs Jesus and needs hope and to only focus on me, since this is everyone's natural tendency. So this is how I want to celebrate this milestone, because the country of Haiti needs the love of Jesus, and as I have been blessed, I want to bless others.

Meagan and I had a very slow start to our fundraising efforts for the trip. We created a website and told our friends about it, but several weeks went by before any donations came in, and we were really uncertain about whether God was really leading us to go. In the past couple of weeks, we have been able to raise just more than half of what we need, which was great but still left both of us nervous about where to scrape up the other $500 apiece, plus money for incidental expenses and vaccinations and anti-malaria medications and so forth that we will need (especially because I am in school and do not earn much money right now). But yesterday--in just one day--we received a very unexpected and very generous gift of $1,000, plus $200 from another donor, and we are now basically fully funded for the trip itself and only need a few small funds to cover a couple of the expenses I mentioned above. This was such a huge blessing, and I couldn't believe it when I found out. God is so good! And now I am sure that we are supposed to go, even though I have sensed for a long time that we are, but have also known that I can't be irresponsible financially and go even if we have a major shortfall of funding. Well, we certainly do not come up short anymore!

More updates to come soon as we continue to prepare for the trip!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Getting It Done

As of today, I am officially done with law school Moot Court!! And with my advanced legal writing program!! That warrants a blog post all by itself. I am just done, done, done and am so excited about it. And over the next few weeks, I will be getting more and more things just DONE--final papers, my last exam ever, my final trial, final litigation drafting projects, and, of course, law school as a whole. I have worked my butt off for three years and am so ready to have that diploma in hand, y'all, but I know that time will be here soon enough! (I have been in school for twenty years--TWENTY. I know I will probably be having an identity crisis when I am done--as in, how do I live my life not as a student but as a professional instead--but that's part of why I'm waiting for May 10th with bated breath.)

I took a nice little nap at 8pm and woke up at 10:30pm because I knew I was going to need to be editing manuscripts for most of the night, and now thankfully, I'm wide awake for the task at hand, though I can't say I'm particularly motivated. But I am about to finish one project that has been on my desk for a month and a half, and I cannot wait to turn it in tomorrow and get that off my plate too, once and for all.

I have so much more that I want to write about and blog posts I have in mind, but I guess you'll just have to wait until I actually have time to write them. :)