The thing about law school that sucks is grades. Curved grades. Ours came out today. I did fine, objectively speaking. I did not do as well as last semester, though, and I worry about what that means. Did I get complacent? Did I change the way I studied, to my detriment? (In at least one respect, I think I did.) Or was my performance nothing more than a reflection of the professors and classmates I had this semester?
It’s hard to know. Last semester, none of my grades surprised me. I honestly felt I had earned each of them. This semester, I feel that bafflement that people often talk about with law school grades–the sense that, surely, they must be arbitrary? I have no idea why two of my grades came out as they did. (The other three seemed pretty spot-on, though I still have a vague sense of arbitrariness with two of them.)
‘Tis better to know than not know, I suppose. And I don’t think my grades change anything. I think only a stunning change–positive or negative–would have had any sort of impact on anything grades-dependant. But my pride is a little wounded. I thought I had this thing figured out, and it turns out, I don’t. Or at least not as well as I thought I did.
One L is officially over, kids. No more 1L classes. No more 1L exams. I have a 1L summer job, but that’s really just a pre-2L job. Right?
I promise I will post more….of something….later. For now, I’m catching up on things I missed over the last two days.
My outline is done. My short outline is done. My flowchart is done. Twenty-six pages, four pages, and two pages, respectively. In no greater than 10 point font throughout. I have two practice exams printed out, which I will look at tonight, probably someplace that is not my apartment. In less than 24 hours (hopefully, in less than 18 hours, actually), I will be done with my first year of law school. OK, except for that writing competition thing. Shh. Don’t tell my brain.
Right now, though, I am taking a break. It’s the second significant one I’ve taken today–the first I took so I could go to yoga. I’m watching a movie, I had a cookie (and some dinner, I’m not totally depraved), and I am craving a beer. I won’t have a beer. Instead I’ll probably have coffee at whatever establishment I land tonight.
Deep breaths. I’m ready to be done with this year. I really am. And yet, something keeps me from wanting to be finished. If I finish my last exam, it means I’m really done with the first year of law school. And if I finish my first year, I have to think about the second year, and about picking classes and deciding what sort of law I want to practice and what sort of things I want to write about for my senior paper and what sort of things I’m going to do after I graduate.
It’s a little terrifying, actually. But deep breaths. I can do this. I am ready.
Yesterday, the weight of confusing material bore down on me, leading to procrastination. Today, it’s the weight of pretty-much-just-boring material, and material-I-learned-last-semester that’s pushing me to read every online newspaper in my bookmarks, every blog in my blogroll, and watch some You Tube.
Light a fire under me, someone! Please!
Have you ever had that experience where you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and confused and baffled by something, say, the first quarter of your outline for a hard class, and someone comes along and you start talking about the class, and that person asks you a question about something later in your outline, and you realize, Hey, I know this stuff! I’m NOT stupid!
It’s really a good feeling. Puts things into perspective.
Back to the outline, but with a little sense of renewal.
I just sent my mom an email that read like a telegram. Stop. What’s happened to me? Stop. I’m buried under the books, that’s what. Stop.
Will cry for help soon. Stop.
I took one more exam today. It wasn’t necessarily what I expected, but I think everyone is in the same boat, since this was only the second exam he’s ever given and he wouldn’t let us look at the first one.
This evening, I’m going to start working on studying for my last exam, the really hard one that makes my brain go “Ouch!” I’ve done some work on it so far, but not a lot, and I need to snythesize stuff in a big way. Normally, I’d take the rest of the day after an exam off, but I feel like I sort of slacked around this weekend and didn’t really do as much preparation as I claimed to. So taking another afternoon off is probably a bad idea. Never fear, though, it’ll be an easy-going evening. But work will be done; it has to be.
I started working on my barely-begun outline for my last exam this morning. I realize now that the professor started with the most complex (or at least most theoretically confusing) element of the course. And I didn’t really fall into a note-taking rhythm for the course until several weeks into the semester. So my notes don’t make a lot of sense. And the professor sort of jumped around things, a lot, so my outline is, frankly, a huge mess.
So I have a lot of work to do on it. That’s OK, I have several days. But right now, I’m a little daunted by the extent of work I have left to do.
* One of ESPN’s analysts said this about Vince Young transitioning to the NFL. Seriously. Said it just like that. Monya. Mental.
I meant to take one of my remaining finals today. The problem, though, is that I would have had to pick it up by 11 am, and that just wasn’t happening. Yesterday was pretty unproductive, too, in part because of the hangover, and in part because I was just coming down off of two finals in four days, so I didn’t really have time to get ready to take the exam this morning. Oh, and I was just WIPED, and I needed some solid, non-drunk sleep.
So I’ve started today off right. I’ve had my coffee, and a Nutella and banana sandwich, and I’m watching the NFL draft. I won’t be taking my final, true, but I will be doing all the work I intended to do last night. And since I don’t expect that work will take all day, I’ll also start working (or, really, continue working) on my outline for my other final. Once again, I’ll be taking over the desk and monitor.
It’s a Saturday, in other words. I’ve got work to do, but I’m going to be relaxed about it. Remember, duckies: stress kills.
And that was the end of my required classes. Oh, OK, fine, I still have to take Professional Responsibility/Ethics. But I’m done with the 1L curriculum! Hoorah! Property was everything Con Law was not–well written (though I still found a few typos, but maybe I’m just oversensitive to them), capable of being finished within the time allotted, but with enough issues that I could have kept writing if I needed to. It was almost (gasp!) fun.
As much as I wish every exam went so well, or was so pain free, I know that simply can’t be possible. Still, I know I did at least my part to make the experience unpainful. I think, then, on that note, I’ll post something on taking exams. Sometime. But not today. The sun is shining, I have a party to go to tonight, and I have a full week left to take my remaining two exams. Things could definitely, definitely be worse.