Law-student-in-the-modern-world procrastination techniques

April 26, 2009

PART I: Getting there (10 to 45 minutes)

  1. Leave at-times noisy, distraction-filled house for coffee house.
  2. While driving, consider what coffee shop is most likely to have a large table, near an outlet on a Sunday.
  3. Consider the free wi-fi situation of every option.
  4. Arrive at favorite home-town coffee shop which features nice tables, free wi-fi, tasty soup and delicious brew.
  5. Park, get all my crap and enter cafe.
  6. Get dismayed, as the cafe is full of children!
  7. Experience high level of let-down as you realize a folk singer, his ukulele and his partner who appears to specialize in a variety of drums are about to start a kid’s concert taking up most of favorite cafe.
  8. Turn around and leave.
  9. Drive to option two.
  10. Consider how to go five or so hours without the soup break.
  11. Deal with it.
  12. Get latte, find big table near outlet. Smile about it being mostly empty here.

PART II: Starting an outline (1 hour)

  1. Open a new Word file.
  2. Open up Notebook for Mac file, or whatever program you use for note-taking.
  3. Open all the other sources, ie. other people’s outlines.
  4. Decide between Pandora and iTunes. (This involves an analysis about how good the wi-fi connection is).
  5. Open a Lexis and wikipedia tab in Firefox (WP, sadly, is key to confirming my understanding of “important” cases).
  6. Post a facebook status about how I’m really going to start an outline now.
  7. Organize all the stuff open so that I can easily jump between all the information sources.
  8. Back to the new Word file.
  9. Look through fonts and pick one that will look pretty for 20-50 pages.
  10. Pick an outline format. Usually numbers or interesting-looking bullets.
  11. Check FB.
  12. Oh my! A friend commented “good luck” on my status.
  13. Comment back.
  14. Open book.
  15. Start actual outline.
  16. Feel productive.

PART III: Intermediary distractions (any amount of time one chooses)

  1. Watch the weird baristas dance around and apparently flirt with eachother. This is better when you have headphones and music on, since you have no clue whether some actual conversation accompanies the odd behavior.
  2. Take a moment to look at photos of cute babies your friends just posted on FB.
  3. Write a blog post about wasting time. (Doesn’t take long in this case since you’ve already been thinking about how much time you’ve wasted and why).
  4. Read about how the plastic-looking water cup I’m drinking from is in fact “green,” – made from corn!
  5. Consider what to eat for dinner (I am, after all, eating for two).
  6. Wonder in amazement that people come to coffee shops just to play video games for hours at a time.
  7. Keep checking and responding to new comments on FB.
  8. Think about what a loser you are for being 30 and still unable to avoid FB.
  9. Think about how sad it is that you are 30 and have not even remotely outgrown procrastination.

It moves! and other updates…

April 16, 2009

I’ve been a blog slacker. I haven’t felt much like writing. And I’m busy.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I tend to slack a bit in the start of the semester and start the real learning later. It worked surprisingly well in fall and so far so good this time around. The goal is to not feel overwhelmed on April 30, the last day of class, a few days before exams begin. I’ve gotten most of my property and constitutional law outlines done, but I’ve worked hard on those the last two weeks. Next, I need to tackle administrative law, which of all my classes, I find very confusing and difficult to grasp. I’m hoping once I start reviewing there will be many moments of clarity.

In other news, it is finally real spring! True to college-town form, as soon as the temps rose into the 50s and the sun came out, the kids started wearing tank tops and flip flops and laying out in various grassy open areas. I have to laugh, because in F’s hometown, this is like the winter weather, and people wear hats and parkas and down hot beverages from sun up to sun down. After many months of dark, cold weather hell, though, it’s nice to be outside with a light jacket.

Back in my apartment, enjoying the sound of birds and natural light that actually lasts past seven, I’m relaxing after completing my oral argument this afternoon. I didn’t even suck. It was much better than last semester. That had a lot to do with: 1) already having done an oral argument once, 2) not being intimidated by my professor and 3) not being in the scary court room at the law school. I thought I was well prepared last fall, but my nerves really got the best of me. My co-counsel, who was literally shaking the whole time, didn’t exactly help. It’s a sad day when I have to encourage someone else not to be nervous about public speaking. This time around, I knew better than to trust my own skills (well, lack of) at talking off the cuff and wrote the entire argument out. I didn’t need it all, which was good, but it was there for reference.

Last but not least, just five days until our ultrasound and we find out what our baby is! I’m excited and nervous. Nervous only because we’ll also get information about how he/she looks and if there are any problems, but excited definitely to attach a gender to it, now that it moves around and seems more realistically like a living thing. I’m feeling very lucky to have a lot of energy and feel really good, now let’s hope that will last into the third trimester, also known as, when I get huge and it’s hot outside. Stay tuned!


April 6, 2009

Random from class just now:

Admin Law Professor: (blah blah Chevron doctrine blah blah) … I want to mention a recent Supreme Court case from last week. Has anyone heard of Utility Water v. Riverkeeper?

Random Hilarious Student: Oh yeah, I have.

Prof: Are you an environmental law guy or how did you hear about it?

RHS: No, just randomly came across it.

Prof: I’m so glad you are spending your time randomly reading about Admin law (class chuckles).

RHS: Actually, I have a friend named Fish and the case is about fish dying.