life and liberty

I have a great calender hanging on the beige wall adjacent to my computer monitor at work.  I picked the calendar carefully, knowing it would provide, besides whatever I view on the web each day, the only source of art during the many hours I spend at work. After perusing the racks of my area bookstore, I decided on a Graphique de France black & white photograph calendar of New York City scenes. It’s significant because I have never been to our nation’s largest city, very much want to visit, and the majority of people I speak to while doing my job live and work in New York City and the surrounding boroughs. This year I have looked at a 1950s photo of the Brooklyn bridge for one month and a gorgeous shot of the inside of Radio City Music Hall on its opening night in 1932.

Monday morning, December 3, I was feeling stressed. I was thinking about waiting three whole weeks to hear about my LSAT score, and wondering if I might have scored terribly (or rather, far worse than what I am hoping for) and trying to balance that with feeling like the test went fine. It’s a little bit of a crazy time at work, and I was thinking about needing to complete my Marquette application, and what my “optional” statement should be about, and what if there was a typo on the resume I submitted to UW-Madison, and why am I doing this anyway? I have a great, relatively easy job that I am good at and earns me a nice living. While Fermin is totally supportive of me going to law school he doesn’t really understand my desire to have a career that assists other people. He feels that no one is ever going to appreciate the stress I will eventually feel over my cases, and that it’s not worth it to lay awake at night, as I was telling him my attorney friend does, worrying about other people. Obviously I disagree, and that is fine.

So Monday morning I looked at the November photo of the Flatiron building at Broadway and Fifth Avenue, just a block from a doctor’s office I would talk to later that day, and got up to switch it over to December. I didn’t know what the last photo was, and encountered a close-up with the face of the Statue of Liberty, my favorite representation of what I wish America could be. It reminded me of why I want to pursue law, and that I’m too young to be so cynical, and that having a job that makes a person feel like they have accomplished something good in the world, even if that’s just helping relatively few stay together, one immigrant at a time, will be totally totally worth it.

It’s time to get a new calendar for 2008, but I think I’ll cut out lady liberty and leave her up as a reminder of the values I want my life to be about.

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6 Responses to life and liberty

  1. Jennie says:

    That’s cool. I love it when things like that happen – sometimes I think we need gentle reminders to keep us on track.

  2. hansroberts says:

    Hi, Laura. I saw that you were supporting Richardson in July as a presidential candidate. Are you in favor of a particular candidate now?
    hans

  3. laurafern says:

    Well, I guess I am more supportive of Barack Obama compared to Hillary Clinton. Clinton seems like too divisive of a personality, and I don’t like how she has backed off of all her liberal policies in order to gain more widespread support.

  4. mary says:

    yeah, obama!!!!

  5. jack Bruss says:

    I’ll help you pick a candidate. Let’s do something logical like look at qualifications. All of the following was obtained from Wikipedia:

    Rudy Guliani – Former US attorney, former mayor of NY where he greatly reduced crime and from where his leadership following 9/11 got him

    named Time Magazine Man of Year.

    Mitt Romney – Son of former Michigan Govenor. Highly successful business career. CEO of Salt Lake City Olympic games, saving them from

    financial ruin. Govenor of Mass since 2003, taking them from a $3 billion deficit to a .7 billion surplus.

    Mike Huckabee – Lt Govenor of Ark in 1994, govenor of Ark since 1996.

    Hillary Clinton – Wife of former president where she botched an attempt at doing some good with health care. Carpetbagged over to New York

    and has been senator since 2000, where she has “served” on a bunch of committees while running for president.

    Barrak Obama – Served in Ill state senate from 1996 to 2004. Made a good speech at 2004 Dem convention which has catapalted him to a US

    Senate seat and now to a run for President.

    John Edwards – A career as successful trial lawyer, suing large corporations with tactics George Will has catagorized as “indistinguishable

    from extortion”. Senator of SC for 1 term with no major accomplishments.

    So, those are the major choices. In brief you can vote for a man who successfully managed a major city through a huge tradegy, or a man

    who has been a large success as a business man, and manager of a state, or a man who has managed a state for the past 11 years, or a woman

    who has been married to a president, or a man who makes good speeches.

  6. laurafern says:

    The experience factor is why I would vote for Bill Richardson — popular governor, diplomat, experience on a White House staff. I am also in agreement with him on almost every issue. He’s fairly fiscally conservative for a Dem. too. Unfortunately, he’s not a major candidate. If he’s picked as the Dem.’s VP candidate – whether that is Clinton or Obama, I would be reasonably happy.

    I find it hilarious that you would think I would vote for anyone who is either a complete hypocrite (Giuliani) or just plain offensive (Romney) toward people like my husband and my in-laws on the immigration issue. Anyone who claims they are some sort of ‘Christian’ and refers to human beings as “aliens” while criminalizing them and calling them invaders is disqualified in my book.

    I am not a pro-business voter, and having a successful business career does not impress me on its own. If Giuliani weren’t such a hypocrite on immigration he wouldn’t be as offensive as far as Republican candidates go, but where he was once very pro-immigrant as NYC mayor, he has now completely succumbed to the very loud, very offensive minority of nativist minutemen and others in their camp.

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