Well, it’s just about April, when the semester’s-end suddenly looms, and with it, the notion of finals, which means the end of slack and the start of the real learning. At least, that’s what I’m shooting for.
Last semester, in a magical stroke of scheduling luck, I only had to write one “real” outline. Crim was completely closed book, we could only bring two double-sided pages into torts, and my civil procedure class required a brief rather than an exam.
This semester being much more representative of “normal” law school, I have four exams, one of which is crim and again closed book, and the other three allow any materials into the exam. The way law students deal with this open-book system is to write outlines, usually between 20 and 100 pages of notes and concepts and case briefs and law that ideally help you quickly reference what you need to answer the questions.
Outlining is really no fun, but it is the only way (for the average person) to review so much material and prepare to have to write on any of it. I don’t think in outline, and I definitely don’t take notes in an outline form. I write paragraphs, that’s how I roll, so it’s a process for me to pare all that prose down to the crucial bullet points, the important holding, the overarching concepts. If I start now, by the time late April hits, when there’s just a matter of days before finals, cramming and frenzy and complete lack of preparedness should not triumph. One thing I refuse to do is let law school become unbearably stressful. There’s a reason I’m not a restaurant manager anymore.
In other news, everything with the baby is good. Next month we have an ultrasound where hopefully we’ll find out the sex, and I’m finally starting to look pregnant, at least a little. I had another fish fry the other night – yum! – but lately my favorite things are pineapple, potstickers in sweet chili sauce, and quesadillas with the hottest salsa available.