Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Night to myself

I was at the law library until 1 a.m. yesterday.

*Cue Pinnochio voice*

"I'm a real, live law student!"

That's how I felt, and exhilerated and satisfied, as I rode the $10 cab ride back to our little firetrap in the middle of the night. I told my best friend this morning over g-chat about it. The conversation went something like this:

JE: Sorry I didn't listen to your voice mail yet. I was at the library until 1 a.m. working on a paper last night.
JE: I was the last person leaving to leave the building.
BFF: Aww... you're such a good student!
BFF: Or... If I know you as well as I think I do...
BFF: You just procrastinated.

Leave it to the best friend to keep it real. Ha!

Anyway, having put out that mini-fire, I recieved a text from T this afternoon: "I completely forgot I have a game tonight." Meaning, he is going to an NBA game, because he and Best Man and another Dude Friend bought a 6-pack of tickets a while back, well before they realized "their team" was hopeless. At least, that's the impression I get. I really hate non-NCAA March Madness basketball. Bo-oring!

I'm chipper because T's game nights mean JE's quiet evenings at home. It dawned on me that if I had been keeping up with the assigned reading in my Immigration Law class, I would be on course to finish the entire 1500-page book by the end of the semester. Seeing as how I gave up trying to read a long time ago (around the time I realized his lectures were a verbatim recitation of each assignment, with no expectation in student participation) I am starting to panic about how I can possibly prepare for his exam.

With that in mind, here is a list of the things I'll probably do tonight while T is at the stadium bar stadium(!):

* Eat an avocado. There's one sitting on the microwave oven begging to be peeled and consumed.
* Watch old episodes of the Office or 30 Rock.
* Read the syllabus for my two classes tomorrow.
* Think a lot about starting to reading for my two classes tomorrow.
* Check the sales on Gilt.com obsessively.
* Try to earn some quick change on Mechanical Turks
* Nap
* Check my friends' status updates on Facebook.
* Read the first case for Corporations right around the time T is getting back from the game.

Ahhh... so restful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

tee hee

T is out with some friends from out of town. I skipped Trial Ad to do research for a paper I have due on Tuesday. It's been a productive day.

My reward? I just went here [nsfw] and bought a fun surprise using a code for 50% off any item that I got from listening to the Savage Love podcast. Don't you love fun surprises?

Tee hee.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free from guilt or blame

Suffice it to say it's been a long and utterly bizarre day.

How many times over in one day must I be reminded how lucky I am for the things that I have, for me to finally Get It. At least three times today, I've nearly broken down in tears. Once was at the end of a speech given by the 100th person to be exonerated from death row. He ended his tale with this anecdote, which I can only paraphrase:

When I walked out of the prison gates, the warden shook my hand. Because I happened to be the 100th person to be set free after facing death row (not the 99th or the 101st), there was a crowd of reporters waiting for me to do an impromptu press conference. I answered all their questions and mentioned that I had slept with a Bible under my pillow every night.

Then, one of the reporters in the back called out, "Hey, Ray, how can you believe in a God who would put you in prison for 10 years for a murder you didn't commit?"

And I had just walked out and was seeing the light of day, essentially for the first time in years. I was stunned. I stood there silently for a few minutes, unsure of what to say. And then the words just came out of me, out of nowhere. I said, "Maybe it's not about what happened those last 10 years. Maybe it's about what I do in the next 10."

And then he urged us to do two things. First, when we are facing struggles and feel like we've lost hope, to remember his story and to never stop fighting, or think that it's all for nothing. Because we never know what our purpose might be. And second, when we go out into the world as attorneys, as prosecutors or defenders or whoever, that we never lose sight of our integrity and our values. That we don't trade those values in pursuit of fame, money or credentials. That we keep fighting to make our legal justice system the best in the world.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip...

Hooray for healthcare reform! I will be watching how this affects things in real life, cautiously, since one of my best friends from high school has a daughter on Medicaid. This friend is right now petrified that her daughter will lose the coverage that has enabled her to receive life-saving treatments, therapy and other interventions. It's easy to be excited (and I am!!), but I am at a place in my life at the moment where my personal stakes aren't so high. I understand why many people are skeptical still.

With that little colloquy, and a reminder to anyone who can't get enough Lost to check out this hilarious blog, I am off to read for Crimes & Immigration.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hope is believing a new day will come.

Two things I would like to see before the end of the day:
1) Maryland over Michagan St. because that's the last (and most attenuated) personal connection I have to team left in the tournament.
2) 216 (or more) votes for health care reform.

My thoughts today, however, are also with my friends from North Carolina, who are on the National Mall today reminding our President of his promise to address comprehensive immigration reform. May health care pass, and may my friends have a path to citizenship.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So last night...

I went to quizzo with T and some of our friends from the neighborhood. Nobody else showed up to play, so the seven of us split into two teams. We drank while we waited for other teams to show up. We drank while we trash talked each other through six rounds of trivia. And when it was over (my team won! T's team lost!), the bar owner came around with shots of Jim Beam, one for each of us.


Well, I thought I was just drinking regular beer. I picked the Sixpoint Righteous Ale off the draft menu because it sounded good. Then, because it actually was good, I had another (two). Three beers and a shot of whisky is a big night, especially for a Wednesday. But T was matching me drink for drink with his Stella Artois. So why didn't he wake up with a killer headache? Why was I the only one incapable of facing the day until noon?

Turns out, it's because those beers I was drinking? Turned out to be fancy 7.4% ABV (high-alcohol) beers. Whoops.

I'm not gonna lie. I wanted to go big last night. After having it casually dropped in a phone conversation with my parents that my dad had a biopsy done of a recently-discovered lump...meanwhile we're still waiting for that mass they found in my mom to be removed... and then there's the family dog that apparently they expected was going to up and die yesterday, before he made yet another miraculous recovery (at 15 years, he's had quite a few). I mean, at least I was being intentional and all. But I didn't quite intend to go as big as I went. And I paid for it this morning. Ughhhhhh.

And I'm paying for it now, too, as I catch up on all the reading I should've done last night, for the classes I should've gone to today. (Just kidding. I made T help me cook pad thai for dinner, then we took the Myers-Briggs personality test online after the 10-question 2010 census didn't quite live up to T's great survey expectations.)

search engines

A while ago, like a year ago, I made a blog post poking fun of my 1L memo search terms. I mean, I was making fun of the search terms, but I wasn't making them up. They were something along the lines of "Chastity! Sex! or Homo!"

Now, I have a Mac. So I use Safari. Which means that whatever Google search terms I most recently used are up in the upper right hand corner of my browser.

Somehow, "Prostate biospy, likelihood of cancer" doesn't have quite the humorous ring.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Things I have done [so far] instead of going to Guatemala over Spring Break:

* Ate out with T at the gourmet all-vegan bistro we've been meaining to try since we moved here. Seitan BBQ & Vietnamese (lemongrass seitan) tacos for appetizers. Skewered winter squash over a bed of black lentils, salsa verde, grilled green onions and a pepper stuffed with cauiliflour mousse. YUM!

* Beat the first level of the secret World 9 (star world!) in Super Mario Wii. Now working on getting all the star coins in World 2 so I can unlock the second star world level. For anyone out there playing Mario Wii, don't neglect or blow off those star coins. They're good for more than unlocking stupid hint videos!

* Outlined/read the first week of Civil Procedure II. It's a great system I have going. Even a little bit of reading makes me feel so much more competent and confident. The problem is I work sooooo slowly. But I'm still proud of myself.

* Took a solo road trip out to Amish country, where T and I spent our first night together 7.5 years ago on our first date. (We slept in the front and back seats of his car while parked on our way to Niagara Falls!) It's also where T and I went for our 6th anniversary when we got in a big fight about when we were gonna get married on our drive home. Haha...

* Ate first lunch in an old train dining car while I watched Amish families trot down the road in their buggies. Ate second lunch at a luncheonette where I was the only non-Amish (also the only non-octogenarian) in the place except for the woman serving us. Got a great close-up look at the white prayer veils the women wear over their hair, and good listen to the Amish / Pennsylvania Dutch / German pidgin language they speak. Also watched one of them flirt with an old man with a long beard as he was leaving. Can they do that?

* Bought farm fresh eggs at $1.50 / dozen.

* Watched far more Netflix than I'm comfortable with.

* Made plans for my best friend and her husband and their two dogs (and her bun in the oven!) to come visit tomorrow.

I was disappointed about not going to Guatemala. We made the right decision, but it's hard to sit around the apartment in the evening knowing that spring break is running out and I'm not off on a big adventure. But I know that life is all about attitude, so I've tried to look at this time as a gift and an opportunity to do all sorts of things I wouldn't otherwise do. (Yes, that includes start outlining.) While I was driving on the backcountry roads yesterday, I let my eyes linger for a few moments on a house that may or may not have had a candle lantern on the front porch. When I looked back at the road, I saw a truck coming at me, and realized I had drifted into the other lane. I quickly corrected and the truck swooshed past me, safely. But that instant, those fleeting seconds, made my blood run cold. I pulled into the Mennonite Church at the next intersection, parked the car and prayed. Life could be gone at any second. I feel like we're all here at the pleasure of someone bigger than us. So, yeah. I'm gonna try to appreciate what I've got. Guatemala would've been nice. But it can wait.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Change of plans

Well, we are not going to Guatemala. Our decisionmaking process on this point has been less than stellar, but we finally got to a place where we decided it was best not to go. This decision, while disappointing, was made much easier by the fact that the folks at Continental Airlines were so helpful in showing me how to get a full refund on the tickets. Getting the money back, which we should be able to do, makes the whole cancellation thing a lot more pallatable.

Now, what to do with the rest of my spring break??

In other news, I accepted an offer to work with an awesome local non-profit that does exclusively immigration law. Yay!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring break, burned-out-2L style

Spent this weekend doing almost no drinking, spending lots of time on the couch watching DVDs with T, and soaking in as much Vitamin D as I could while the weather remained warmish and sunny. It felt wonderful, especially after last weekend's crazy over the top adventures. Spring break couldn't have come at a better time. All I want to do is be snuggly and rest and work on crossword puzzles and play Super Mario Wii. Of course, I will actually be trying hard to outline the INA, understand the MRPC and figure out where the heck we are in Civ Pro II. But even school work feels enjoyable when I have a whole week off and the weather is getting warm and I'm getting enough sleep to make my days feel fresh.

I guess I'm just checking in for posterity. By the way, I have no idea if we are going to Guatemala in two days or not. It all depends on a couple of factors. If we go, it'll be amazing. If we don't go, it'll be more time and money for future adventures we have planned later on in the year. Either way, I won't be in class, and I'll be happy :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hooray! Right?

I got an internship offer! Yay!

So I suddenly went from zero prospects on the horizon to three job interviews in three business days. I had the first one today, a phone interview that ended with an invitation to be a part of the organization's summer internship program. I have another interview on Monday, and then a third (phone) interview on Tuesday. Then it's off to Guatemala!

I keep wondering though, as I hear more and more about the terrible state of the economy and its dismal effect on job prospects, whether I am deluding myself. It's easy to get a summer job when you are looking at non-profit orgs that have no intention of paying you a dime for your time. It's easy to not get paid a salary when you have some work study funds to live off of.

But what happens next? After this second summer as a law student, I'll be moving up to the big leagues. I won't have work study to live off of, and the organizations I'm trying to work for still won't be willing to pay me a dime. So what do I do then? Should I be trying to get paying internships now, so I have a better chance of getting a job after I'm out? But wouldn't that just be succumbing to the trap of "I came to law school to change the world, but now I just want to get paid"? (I'm not saying that in order to pass judgment on anyone, least of all a law student looking for a paying job! This is just what everyone said would happen to me and happens to many public interest-minded law students.)

I guess I'll have to go the fellowship route, and hope I'll snag some pay for a project. That might not be such a ridiculous plan, except for my track record of chasing after the low-lying fruit. I'm pretty sure there's no low-lying fruit when it comes to highly-coveted post-grad fellowships. If anyone else has gone the all-public interest route and has insights on this, I would love to pick your brain for you to tell me everything is going to be alright. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Going on a snipe job hunt

Hooooey! It feels good to apply for jobs! Err..job. Make that JOB.

So every couple of weeks, I decide it might be a good idea to send out my resume and such. This decision is usually, but not always, precipitated by someone telling me to get off my a#$ because there's a good job hanging low off the tree if I just reach out and ask for it. So, something like that happened today. I'm hoping I might get lucky on this one.

The problem is that I think I'm a good hire. I think anyone would be lucky to have me. (I also think I'm cheap - I plan to live off of work-study this summer.) It's a win-win. So I'm not stressing, even though I should be. Every time I apply for a job, I think, "Oh, I'm perfect for this! They'll see and hire me. And if they don't, their loss."

Did I mention I'm a cocky sumbich?

Anyway, after a long day of classes and an early morning of scrambling to finish my assignment, I feel like I deserve a night of snugglin' on the couch with a movie. The fact that it's raining only makes it all that much more cozy.

Grumble, grumble...

I waited until precisely 7:45 p.m. on Monday night to begin the assigned "re-write of a Supreme Court decision in light of recent developments in the law" that is due tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. And by "begin" I mean starting to figure out which SCOTUS opinion to re-write and why and what the hell I'm supposed to say. Not begin writing.

Thankfully, it's only a draft due tomorrow. I get to re-write my re-write before it's graded. This is the last one of those softball assignments though, so I need to thinking a little ahead.

Seriously, this is NOT NORMAL for a 2L without a summer job to be doing, right? I mean, what is wrong with me. I feel fine, for the most part, but I just don't want to be doing all this work. During the day, when I'm procrastinating or trying to talk myself into getting back to business, I have little conversations in my head about why I'm slacking off. I wouldn't call them pep talks. I'd say they are more like therapy sessions.

Me: "Why are you so obstinate, JE? What happened to you?"
Me: "I just don't want to work."
Me: "But why? You were doing so good! You even made Deans List the last two semesters."
Me: "Yeah, so maybe I'm a genius. I don't need to work that hard."
Me: "You're a cocky sumbich, that's for sure. Get your act together!"
Me: "But I'm mad. I don't want to."
Me: "Why are you mad?"
Me: "Because I don't want to have to do all this work. Why should I have to?" *pouts*
Me: "...Because you signed up to go to law school. And some thing about having a good career for your future family and being a good role model to your future kids."
Me: "Yeah."
Me: "Yeah."
Me: "I'm going to get a cookie from the 24-hour cookie truck."
Me: "Wait up!"