the denouement

December 5, 2010

Friday and Saturday the snow fell, accumulating for the first time this year. When we got up yesterday, I opened the blind so Gabey could look outside. He went: “Ooooooooooohhhh.” Super adorable. We went and looked out the porch window, overlooking the chilling lake, black ducks huddled together, snow very gently falling. He wanted to touch the snowflakes.

This little bit of snow really had to fall. It’s the universe effecting parallelism. During my 1L exam period, we had a huge snowstorm. There was talk of campus closing, but I don’t think it happened that year. I remember trekking to school for my first law school exam, enjoying the quiet morning, the snow falling, the solitude of walking alone. Last year, we had the biggest snowstorm in years during the finals period. The campus and the city basically shut down for a whole day. No buses, no work for most people, everyone in the streets, digging out, making snowmen, enjoying a real, old-fashioned snow day. We put Gabey in a big, furry, aquamarine bunny snow suit. We left our car in its curbside snow cave and walked a mile to meet some friends for brunch. It was fabulous.

This year, just a little snow. And it did not interrupt anyone’s finals. It just made things a little prettier. In Wisconsin, snow is generally beloved in December. It’s in February that we resent it, restless for the next season.


This morning I took my last law school final ever. I have never been less prepared for a test. At least that’s how I felt. Still, I took it pass-fail, and though I had my doubts about this last night, I do feel at this point like I passed. I have been doing almost nothing but writing for the past month. First I had a 30-page research paper draft, then an eight-page memo, immediately followed by an appellate brief that ended up being 30 pages. I also wrote probably 30-4o pages of response and essay-type papers this semester. I mean, I like writing, but come on. Scheduling fail a little bit. Ahhhh well, it is really almost over now.

There’s just rewriting the memo, revising my research paper, arguing my appellate brief and then, lord help me, another six-page reflection essay. But it’s nothing compared to the insanity of the last few days. Which is why, waking up yesterday morning and watching the snow with Gabey was extra sweet. I should have been working all day again, but he was with F or the babysitter most of the week. So yesterday we just got to hang out, playing, watching some cartoons, reading books, enjoying the view.


no time for verbosity

November 15, 2008

I should be saving these key strokes for brief I am working on this weekend. Some first semester 1Ls write briefs at my school. I guess that is unusual? Anyway I’m one of them. The draft is due Monday.

I never took drafts too seriously as an undergrad, but a good draft leads to good, helpful comments from my kick-ass legal writing teacher, so I have to turn in something quality. This brief turns into the final for civil procedure, so a good draft + good comments means I’ll be done with that class (cross my fingers) before my exams even begin on the 9th.

In other news, I’ve been searching for flights to Mexico for weeks now. The problem is that I won’t pay more than $350 round trip. I’m lucky to be close to a major airport hub that usually has tickets in the $300 range to Mexico City, which is a couple hours from F’s town.

Originally, I said I thought he should just go without me this year (no moniez!) but then I got this part-time job, meaning I’m actually earning something, and thought about how I should really make use of having a winter break again. Since we stay with family the whole time, we can spend very little in two weeks in Mexico.

Then I found out my job doesn’t need me to work in the latter half of December at all, and that was that. I started my ritual of twice a day, trolling for my $300 tickets for the dates I’m available.

I was getting a little hopeless, because there didn’t seem to be anything available for the dates I have that was less than $600, but last night, after downing half a bottle of wine (don’t judge – I had already spent eight productive hours on my brief during the day) I found my tickets!

10 days in Mexico – here I freaking come! I’m going to read novels on the roof (in the sun), cook with my mother-in-law and wander the streets of F’s small down drinking hot beverages passed out by friendly neighbors. It’s going to be all the more brilliant after this first semester months of law school. And because the weather in my neighborhood in December leaves a few things to be desired. Back to the brief!!!


October 28, 2008

The days are brisk. The leaves are faded and falling fast. I got my winter coat out this weekend. There are rumors of flurries. Snow that is.

If I watched any regular television these days I suppose I would have already starting seeing marketing for the holiday season. Thank god I hardly watch any television though, because I hate Christmas advertising before December; maybe I hate it completely.

I’m nearing page 500 in some of my law school books. People are outlining and reviewing and starting to talk about finals. My civil procedure brief, which takes the place of a final, will be assigned soon. The reading seems manageable now. I’m definitely over that hump. It sure helps when you don’t have to look up what summary judgment or certiorari mean.

The weeks fly by. Get up early Monday to drive from hometown to college town to my part-time job. Finish work, go to class, make dinner, study, sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Oh look, it’s Friday already! Go to one class (maybe) and get back to hometown. Hang out with F. Study in places without any law students. Sleep in. Cook something warm and delicious. Watch Desperate Housewives as some sort of weekend-end treat.

Overall, things are going well. The two or so weeks that felt like hell are over. I got a very positive review of my first memo draft, which made me extremely proud. Honestly I felt nervous about it. I thought it was good, but who really knows? Legal writing is its own baby. But I dare say I am okay at it, with the potential for excellence. I feel thankful every day for writing skills. It is absolutely an advantage in law school.

There’s a lot of work ahead, but I can’t help thinking how amazing it is to finish class and have six days until my first exam. Six whole days! And an entire two free days between the subsequent exams. Compared to my memory of undergrad exams, it seems like plenty of time to refresh the mind of the semester’s learning. I wouldn’t say that I’m retaining everything the first time I read it or anything, but I do think I’m absorbing a lot of info. I’m starting to come across concepts in contracts that relate to something I learned previously in torts or civil procedure.

I can only hope the seemingly never-ending, frozen winter ahead will go fly as fast as the past few months have.

leaves and dives

October 12, 2008

This weekend was too gorgeous for…. oops, I almost revealed my location. So, it’s fall, and it’s gorgeous. It’s pretty rare here to ever get a chance to go out in shorts and t-shirts while the leaves are in their glorious transition. It had to be 80 degrees today, definitely not the signal of the winter to come.

Fall snuck up on me this year. I hadn’t been looking at the trees much. Then yesterday, my dad was in town for a college football game, and we went walking around and I realized it was a perfect day in a perfect fall. I realized I have to spend more time enjoying life, even if that is substantially less than before law school.

Since I’ve got so much coming up this week (memo, two mid-terms) that I stayed on campus and my husband came here last night. We walked a mile or so through the neighborhood park to a tiny, hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant I’ve heard a bit about. It was indeed dive-y goodness. But not dive-y in a greasy, afterwards-you-feel-sick way, it was really just good. And cheap. And tiny. And run by a family. I love it and I might have to go hang out with them in the middle of the week when I miss my husband – speak some Spanish, feel a bit “normal” again.

Today, we ran some errands, went for another long walk and then I started back to the reading, memo-editing and now, outlining. All I have to say is, I’d rather be watching Desperate Housewives.