Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's on my mind

The end of law school sneaks up on you. I know some people who have been counting the days all semester, but I didn't plunge into the countdown as early as them because 1.I have a tendency to get kind of all-consumed by the countdown once I am in it (see e.g. Korea) and 2.I do like to live in the moment, actually.

I mean, we're already going to look back at law school and wonder where it all went so there's no point in wishing it away even faster!

That said, I do have a sense of impending freedom and I am telling myself "Only two more weeks" when I think about having to write papers -- because that means in only two more weeks I don't have to write any more of these papers.

Mostly, though, I have a giant case of the Now What?s. Lots of my classmates have the same thing, apparently because they are trying to find jobs and not having any luck due to the economy, the legal profession, and the entire New York job market just sort of imploding. Since I am not looking at law practice jobs and not necessarily looking in New York I mostly just worry about the fact that there are so many opportunities in the world and things to do that it is hard to pick one and it feels like in deciding I am letting others slip away! So, that is the same as before law school.

I am getting, to speak frankly, a lot of shit from people who don't understand why I am not taking the bar exam. I am so tired of hearing about the bar exam. It is for people who want to practice law -- isn't it? So, then.

There seems to be particularly no reason to take the bar exam in New York when one has no way to pay rent in New York for the two and a half months from graduation until bar exam. Let alone when one has no intention of practicing law in New York after wasting that time and money. It is so hard to find good advice about this.

I want to go everywhere!

And I am rather dismayed at how many people have slacked off on their blogging.

There you have it, folks. That's what's on my mind.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Who am I?

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Self-Knowing Healthy Self-Improver

Friday, April 17, 2009

Let's call the whole thing off

So now that Obama the "anti-war candidate" is president he can up the troops ante in Afghanistan, but he is not going to prosecute Bush administration torturers for the human rights abuses they committed because and I quote after the dark chapter we have been through "this is a time for reflection, not retribution"?

OK, just making sure I had that straight.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Procrastination is the cruelest month

The problem with procrastination, of course, is that -- much like a chocolate bunny -- it can never last. Today I have come to the end of this semester's allowable procrastination and have reached the point where I have to actually start working on the three 20-to-30-page papers that I have to write this semester. Well, I say "have to" although of course one does not "have to" actually do anything; one must simply face the consequences of not doing the thing. In this case I *could* just never write any of the papers, but the consequence would be that I do not graduate (yet?) from law school, and $100,000 later I'm pretty sure I want to just graduate and so I am going to write the papers.

Now there are two important questions to ask about my dread of writing these papers. One is about the writing and one is about the procrastination. First, the writing: why do I so loathe and detest writing law school research papers? I mean, I've procrastinated writing papers all my life, from that 6th grade country report on Switzerland right on through my undergraduate English major analysis of King Lear, but it wasn't because I hated writing them. I just loved procrastinating more. In law school I actually loathe writing the papers. I think it is because they go hand in hand with legal research. Legal research, to me, is only slightly more preferable than stabbing myself in the eye with a toothpick.

As for the second question, that of procrastination itself, I find myself once again wondering not why do I procrastinate (I've sort of given up on that one) but why did I procrastinate so much less when I lived in Korea? It was uncanny how different I was there. I just did things. There seemed to be no reason to wait. Why? What happened to me there that made me behave so forthrightly and productively, and why can't I get that back?

This and more will I ponder as I work on paper # 1: my Supreme Court opinion for Fake Supreme Court class. It is an apparently gorgeous day outside: I can see the sun streaming through my window even though I've been trapped inside here surrounded by stacks of legal crap. Good thing I don't really care for spring. (I'm more into summer and winter; spring is just a bi-polar, half-assed tease.) Then again, if only I did yearn to be outside springing then I could use that as a reward for myself...I will have to think of some other system of rewards. Should I get a reward after every page or every five pages?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Doom and gloom and bar examinings

Dismal. I am shaping up to have quite the dismal track record this year of blogging great thoughts. Sadly, I fear it is because I am lacking in great thoughts altogether; it's not that I'm not thinking them and just keeping them from my adoring fans. (ha) And, I know, who wants to start yet another blog entry lamenting that I've gone a week since the last post again? But ugh. So, why have I done it? What great and marvelous acts are keeping me from the bloggage? It is spring break. But that can't be why.

I am pretty excited about spring break, though. I previously mentioned how ridiculous the timing of our spring break is this semester, but it's finally here and I am SO thrilled to be on vacation that I have even started to stop being bitter about not being able to travel anywhere. (Started to stop? Hmmm.) I am SO thrilled, in fact, that I am seriously considering not looking at Facebook for the rest of the week because there are too many law school people on there, who continue to blather about law school -- even on spring break!

Speaking of not talking about law school, I have to continue to talk about it to explain part of why I'm so happy not thinking about it. That doesn't really make any sense, but just go with it. About a week and a half ago I finally decided realized that I am not going to take the New York bar exam this summer. And it was like a moment of clarity. A thing of beauty. I felt like a new person. Really, I felt lighter. I felt like I knew myself again. It has been very difficult for me to get anything resembling advice from anyone at Hofstra about whether to take the bar exam and whether to take the New York bar exam , because they are so caught up in law world that they can't objectively determine whether it is the right choice for any one person. It's just what everyone does: graduate from law school, begin reviewing for bar exam the next day. But if everyone jumped off a cliff, etc. Add to that the dose of Long Island Syndrome which prevents about 60% of my school (maybe more) from realizing there are in fact about 45,000 other places to live in the world and REALLY no one can understand why not take the New York bar exam. But I - I have never wanted to be a lawyer, really. I just wanted to study international law. And I have done that. And I have said from the beginning that I don't want to be a lawyer. So why did I get so caught up in the bar exam frenzy? And the New York inertia?

I feel like I got the best advice from a friend who is no part of Hofstra but who has been working as a big firm corporate lawyer in Manhattan for eight years. She stated, "If you are even thinking of not practicing law in New York, you probably shouldn't take the New York bar exam. Why would you suffer through that and then just leave?" It sounds simple, but try getting anyone in a law school to say it. They have a lot invested in people passing the bar exam. But that's just because they want to have higher bar passage rates so they move up in the U.S. News law school rankings and make more money. Law schools are all about making a profit.

Anyway, the point is that I make more sense to myself when I think about not wasting three months and not borrowing six thousand more dollars just to do something that has no purpose. When I could be finding a job. A job that I actually can do. Hello, McFly?

So spring break. Not so springy, I might add. We did have one lovely weather day, on Sunday. Brian's parents visited for a couple days and we took advantage of the nice day with a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, near Prospect Park. That is a good part of Brooklyn. I like the park and I adore botanic gardens, and it was lovely to stroll there.

Also dismal, Michigan State's loss last night in the national championship game. It was dismal partly because we watched the game at Blondie's and then when it was over the regular game-watching excursions to Blondie's also ended, and all the Michigan State alumni left, depressed, saying, "See you in football season." Brian and I were two of the last group left sitting there, not feeling compelled to rush out in the mass people-who-have-to-get-up-for-9-to-5-jobs exodus. And that probably made me feel even more dismal, maybe even pathetic: it was as if I were willing there to be a celebration where in fact there was none. And then the usually reliable 7 train took forever when we were going home. Dismal.

But today is another day, another vacation day, another day of National Poetry Month (I'm writing a poem a day, as are hundreds of others), and another chance at productivity and sunshine.