reading, reading, reading

August 31, 2008

So far I’ve read the Hammontree case for my torts class (guy has a seizure while driving and crashes his car through plaintiff’s shop, causing injury and damage), fifty pages of contracts and 35 pages of substantive criminal law. I’ve been taking notes in my new favorite program Circus Ponies Notebook and briefing (basically summarizing) cases along the way.

The most surprising thing is that the material, so far, is pretty interesting. I guess I had this idea in my head that school is boring and law school will therefore be boring. Perhaps because I haven’t been in school for six years, or because I didn’t take many amazing classes as an undergrad, or because I have never excelled in an academic setting? In any case, I’m actually kind of excited about the material. I have a short attention span and it’s been relatively easy for me to focus for several hours at a time on these topics. I do have breaks for web surfing, but I’ve been able to rein it in to a few minutes here and there.

I’m nervous and excited for the first day of class Tuesday. I’m assuming I’ll get called on, which is a huge motivation to be really prepared. So far, so good I think.



August 29, 2008

1. My uncle once did professional (WWF-style) wrestling on the side.

2. Never in my life have I wanted to skydive.

3. When I was five I already had thick, plastic glasses.

4. High school was a long, strange trip.

5. I will never forget biking through the streets of Beijing in 2001.

6. Once I met presidential candidate George W. Bush. =(

7. There’s this boy I know who’s an aspiring actor living in L.A.

8. Once, at a bar, I ordered a drink called ‘Bahama Mama.’

9. By noon, I’ve had coffee and think straight.

10. Last night I cooked dinner and enjoyed a glass of wine to avoid panicking about law school.

11. If only I had decided to go to law school when I was 24 or 25 or 27.

12. Next time I go to church... ehh, church?

13. What worries me most is the housing market and financial matters in general.

14. When I turn my head left I see a book shelf containing, among other titles, “The Life and Times of Mexico,” by Earl Shorris, “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kingsolver and and Indian cookbook.

15. When I turn my head right I see the cocked, adorable face of my friends’ pug, who I am dog-sitting.

16. You know I’m lying when my when I get flushed and my heart races.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties are summers spent at the public pool.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be

19. By this time next year I’ll be 2L.

20. A better name for me would be

21. I have a hard time understanding why some people do terrible things.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll go next Tuesday at 1:20.

23. You know I like you if I make sarcastic remarks about you to your face.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be my dearest friends.

25. Take my advice, never ignore your aspirations.

26. My ideal breakfast is eggs (cooked by my husband) with chili peppers, tomatoes, onions and tortillas.

27. A song I love but do not have is ...

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest a Lakefront Brewery tour on a Friday night.

29. Why won’t people all get along?

30. If you spend a night at my house you’d hear a lot of Spanish.

31. I’d stop my wedding for I don’t know, family emergency? Pizza delivery?

32. The world could do without Hummers.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than lick the belly of a hippo.

34. My favorite blondie is my friend Sara.

35. Paper clips are more useful than dull knives.

36. If I do anything well it’s writing.

37. I can’t help but laugh when I’m uncomfortable.

38. I usually cry at chick flicks.

39. My advice to my nephew make the most of your education.

40. And by the way, you’re it!

old ladyism, part one

August 28, 2008

There’s nothing like returning to my hometown, that of breweries, blue-collar pride and cheese curds, from my college town, haven of environmentalists, liberal students and farmer’s markets, in the middle of a prominent motorcycle company’s anniversary celebration.

Actually, neither city really lives up to its stereotypes (IMHO), but that’s besides the point, because right now, the hometown seems like the epitome of itself. There are motorcycles everywhere. You seriously can drive across town (which I just did) and always be in view of a motorcycle or six. And you know, I wouldn’t mind them, if they weren’t so damn loud. Why-o-why-o-why is it so cool to drive something that creates such a deafening noise? Seriously, don’t these riders have headaches? High rates of deafness? I just don’t get it. It’s cool to have a quiet automobile, but totally acceptable to have a ridiculously loud motorcycle.

The other day near campus, a very out-of-place Harley rider rode through one of the main student areas on his super-loud Harley. It was so funny, I saw like six people look at him in disgust. Haha.. that never happens here at home, just an hour away. People are more likely to stare in awe and give thumbs up. These anniversaries are great for local business and tourism, so I have to temper my irritation, but still. So loud!

home dos

August 27, 2008

I feel a little like I’m in an alternate universe. I moved into a stranger’s apartment this week. We met through craigslist and in person once or twice, exchanged e-mails for a few months, but I really know nothing about her besides her hometown and major. Because she is really nice and I immediately thought she would be a good roommate, as well as the very reasonable rent and the apartment’s proximity to campus, I immediately decided to live here.

So the funny thing is that I moved in Monday and she is basically gone this whole week doing field research. (I don’t really know what she does yet so I can’t elaborate!) And I am here, and it seems like I moved into someone else’s life. I snooped around to find where the dishes and cleaning products are, put my things in the cleared-out spaces in the medicine cabinet and refridgerator shelves, and now I’m trying to introduce myself to her crazy cat. (Roommate–cat’s owner–said she was crazy, not me).

But she is an amusing cat. She didn’t come out until I was here for a few hours. Then I was talking on the phone in the kitchen and walked back down the hall and there she was, staring me down. I stared back for a while and left her alone. She seems to be adjusting well though. Just now she came out and stared at me for a while, then taunted and eventually ate (I think) a pantry moth that was flying around here before going back to the other room. Yummers. Crazy cats are good fun though.

So now it’s late-ish on my second day here and I’m off to sleep so I can get up tomorrow and do yardwork for community day. Some of my law school colleagues seemed a little annoyed about the “manual labor.” ::rolls eyes::

partially orientated

August 27, 2008

The morning started, as usual, with procrastination. I hit the snooze button four or five times, got up, got ready in a leisurely fashion, prepared to leave, remembered I needed something else, reorganized my bag, pondered whether I should make some coffee at home or drink the law school stuff, marked some sold books shipped on, thought about leaving again, checked my email (again), thought about getting in the car and driving back to Milwaukee, then finally, checked myself in the mirror one more time, and biked to campus.

I’m not a social butterfly. I’m not good at making conversation with strangers, and I knew today was going to be all about that. Some people (the gifted ones), will just strike up a conversation with anyone, but there is nothing more awkward than sitting next to someone else who knows perfectly well that either you or they should introduce themselves, and neither takes the step. It’s asinine and silly, but it still happens.

By the end of the day, things had improved. We had lunch with our small sections, 20 or so people who share the same schedule, and overall it was very pleasant. I didn’t sniff out any gunner-like tendencies, but nor am I a pro at such a thing. I’ve only started. Several 2L students who are assisting our section mentioned that no one should be that person who raises their hand in class ALL the time. Everyone will hate that person. Just don’t do it. I’m glad they said that. There seem to be a fair amount of nice and interesting people in my section. With a few of them, we even got past the awkward intro stage to the less awkward joking around stage.

Later in the afternoon, we met with our torts professor, who is very nice and seems very interesting. She did, however, say that every class period, half the class (this class is just the 20 people) will be “on call” for questioning ala the Socratic method. She said she is all about class participation and that in every class period, everyone in that half of the class will probably be called on. This would have been my worst nightmare as an undergrad. I am not a class participant. I mumble, ramble, and don’t speak clearly in front of others. However, I’m not really embarrassed about it anymore. I guess because I know who I am and that I have other gifts that just don’t happen to include talking in class. I just have to deal with it. Because every week I’ll be on call for two hours.

Other interesting activities of the day included getting a locker (!) in the law school and finding my first book in the law library, so that I could make a copy of the case I need to read for class, which I will now read, right now. Adios!


August 26, 2008

I’m here. Waiting for things to start, sitting with another girl who also feels uncomfortable with the level of simultaneous schmoozing and social discomfort in the room. It’s good people-watching, but it’s bizarre to think I will spend the next 3 years with these people. Gah!!?

mood: stressed :(

August 25, 2008

Last night, as was typical this past week, I tossed and turned and had trouble sleeping. I’ve been off between work and law school, and immediately reverted to my night owl ways, sleeping in and staying up later than normal. Except I tried to go to sleep with my husband and just lay there, thinking and stewing.

Most of my stress is financial right now. I’m just trying to make the $7700 I have to live off for the next four month sound like enough. Not just for basic needs and paying off some bills, but also in the case of some emergency. There’s basically no way for that to compute so I have to have faith that there isn’t going to be a broken boiler part or a medical problem or a necessary car repair. Those things are not typical in my life, we are blessed to be healthy and live in a sturdy, low-maintenance house, but it’s still scary for me to not have income. As much as I’ve tried to prepare myself to be thrifty, and I’ve made some positive changes, I’ve still arrived here, days from the start of classes, freaking out about money.

And husband-person is stressed too. He makes just enough to barely cover our home bills with the rent that comes in from the relatives who live in our house.

What I really need – actually – is to find joy in thrift. I know that I can do it, but I need to enjoy it. I need to not want to go buy new outfits when I get busy with classes. I need to stop the wasteful coffee habits. I need to not commit to dinners out that I can’t afford.

Ahh… such is life.

It helps to write this all down. I’m off to school-town now.