Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Studying for the bar now.

I am actually studying for the Bar. I'm actually studying for the Bar! Woo-eee! I feel like I've arrived :)

Hmm. Ask me again in four weeks. I suspect I'll be singing a different tune. I just can't believe I'm now doing what all those law blawgers were doing when I started following them 3 or 4 years ago, as I was considering whether to apply. Sweet!

Friday, May 27, 2011

5 weeks, 2 days (don't blink)

When I contemplated the idea of going to law school, it was actually a sticking point that I would be almost 30 when I graduated. I thought to myself: "But if I go to law school, I'll be turning thirty - THIRTY!! - when I get out!" As if by not going to law school, I would somehow stop the passage of time. I guess I'll never know... ha!

Now I've knocked out law school, I am preparing to knock out the big 3-0 in just a few weeks. That means reassessing the many (many) things on my 30 before 30 list that I have yet to do. Along with patting myself on the back for the ones I've accomplished!

Without further ado, a recap (for myself of course):

1) Read the New Testament
2) Plant a (herb?) garden
3) Perfect grandma's chicken and rice
4) Learn to cook Ajiaco
5) Attend Catholic mass in Italian Latin and Spanish *
6) Get a Brazilian wax
7) Be able to do a new hairstyle (no ponytails)
8) Introduce T to my Colombian relatives
9) Learn to hem / basic sewing
10) Record my dad's life story
11) Visit my bro in CO or wherever he is
12) Run in a race
13) Play on an intramural/community sports team
14) Get a bike
15) Go back country camping
16) Go fishing
17) Spend a night dancing at a Latin music club
18) Shoot a roll of film & frame a new picture for my walls
19) Take a Tae Kwon Do class
20) Take a yoga class
21) Publish a zine
22) Ride a wave on a surf board
23) Take accordion lessons
24) Be a regular volunteer
25) Visit at least two local museums
26) Do an agility course with E
27) Play blackjack in a casino
28) Get a spray tan
29) Visit a farm with my mom
30) Take a road trip with T

* I went to Catholic mass in Latin and decided that I'd had enough novelty mass. However, I also went to a UMC church service out of curiosity (it happened to be a predominately black church, and I am white, and church in general is still a different scene for me, since I wasn't raised to go) and I'm counting that.

Looking over this list, it's funny some of the things that I haven't done, that I thought for sure I would do. I can't believe I've had two years to shoot a roll of film, and I haven't done it. That seems like the kind of thing you almost don't put on a list like this because it seems too obvious or easy. But, surprise! Two years pass by and it hasn't happened. That's why I encourage people to do these lists and to keep them simple. After all, time flies faster than you'd think. (Don't blink.)

On the other hand, I am quite proud that I have read the entire New Testament and actually introduced T to my relatives in Colombia! I was really looking forward to doing both of those things and knew they'd be crossed off just because I already had plans to do them. But nonetheless, I love that they happened!

And there are some things I never would have done if I hadn't made a list and thought to add them. Planting an herb garden is one. I've always wanted to, but I am sure I wouldn't have actually done it if I hadn't put it on a glorified to-do list. So after I finished my finals, the first thing I did was buy a few little pots and some seeds and get to work! Since we live in a third-floor firetrap apartment, my seedlings only live on my windowsill. But they are thriving - all except for the basil, sadly. Or is it sage? I'm not sure. But I've got sage (or is it basil?), cilantro and dill, and I can't wait to eat them! Yum.

I'm talking like I've run out of time, but I still have 5 wonderfully summery weeks left. (Si dios quiere.) (I am probably going to give myself an extension to the end of 30 anyway, just cause.) I can't wait to get to work on the rest of my list, which is just a list of fun things I want to do, after all. Not chores. Not ambitious goals. Not serious milestones. Just the stuff that I want to be happening while I'm busy making other plans. You know, life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Graduation day

I graduate today, and it's a surreal feeling. Seems like just a year ago that I was living in Richmond with T, working at my old HR job and fooling around with LSAT books. We lived in a bigger apartment, had a porch, weren't married, had two paychecks, I was bored with my work, we were close to family, T ran a printing press every day and we were four years younger.

I never, even then, would've seen myself as a "law student" much less a "lawyer". Throughout the entire application process, right up until the first day of school, I went through the motions with my tongue planted in my cheek. It all felt silly, almost. Buying a cheap backpack at Target with T the night before my first classes, because the messenger bag I'd used for work wasn't gonna cut it with all those case books I had to lug around. Getting used to all that free time during the day, when I could be at coffee shops or chatting with my new classmates. All those meet-and-greets with professors and other students, like I was back in college. Oh wait. I WAS back in college. It just didn't seem real. And once again, it doesn't seem real.

In between, I got accustomed to the classes, the free time, the other students, the backpack, the test anxiety, the casebooks and the latin. It almost began to feel completely normal. This really hit home a couple weeks ago when I made a dark joke about the death penalty to a group of non-law school friends and was met with concerned looks. I quickly went to explain myself: "Sorry, I'm in a habeas corpus class this semester. Humor is a coping mechanism." My friends looked at me like I had two heads and then proceeded to make fun of me for the rest of the evening for using the phrase "habeas corpus" in casual conversation. I don't blame them.

Anyway, I guess I was gonna get three years old whether or not I went to law school. But now that I'm graduating, it's as good a time as any to reflect on being three years older. I remember thinking, at the beginning of this journey, "Woah... I'm gonna be getting ready to turn 30 the year I graduate," and being horrified at how old that would be. I've gotten used to the concept of turning 30, along with a lot of other things. Unlike three years ago, when I first matriculated, I have no idea what the next three years will bring. I'm back to the normal adult world of choices and job hunting and making a paycheck and charting a path to the future without a map.

But before all that, I have to go celebrate with all the family that's come into town, and then do one last final test of endurance: the bar exam. So for the next 6? 8? weeks I'll be holed up cramming bits of knowledge into my brain on a tightly planned schedule. And come August, I'll be let loose into the world again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm getting a JD!

I got my paper back yesterday. I passed with a much higher grade than I could've imagined. :P My feelings about that are mixed, however. I'm eternally grateful I was able to do well in a class I had expected to bomb. But I wonder if it's not going to contribute to my slack attitude and give me another excuse to procrastinate on future projects.

Whatever the case, I graduate from law school in two days. Holy hell! It's all still so surreal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

pity party

throwing a self-pity party! all are welcome.

i'm seriously freaking out that i'm not going to graduate. why? because i sabotaged my research writing paper requirement. :( i know i'll survive, even if that turns out to be the case, but right now, i'm just mad.