As law students, we become very used to being very busy and, to a certain extent, we take that in stride. We sleep less, perhaps, or we multi-task; we do less of our reading in favor of going to class–or skip class in favor of doing more reading, depending on the prof. And sometimes, we have to make genuine sacrifices–completely abandoning a class for a week or two while we finish a Note or Comment, or putting journal duties aside while we madly cram for exams. We do mental cost-benefit analyses–how much can I give away here without really hurting my GPA?
This semester, I had to make one of those sacrifices. I admit it–I had too much on my plate. I was doing research and I was TAing, I was doing source and cite and I was trying to go to every class meeting. This semester I also had two papers to write, and, in the end, I skimped on one of them. I felt intense guilt the entire time. I loved the topic, I love the discussion in class, I loved the grayness of the area of law. But the paper–the paper I had problems with. I never felt a connection with my topic, I never really understood what I was arguing, I never really Got It. Instead of spending more time on it, though, instead of arranging to meet with the professor and talk it out, instead of making the effort to do something I felt good about, I punted. I wrote something superficial and wimpy, and what I turned in is something I am not very proud of.
Luckily, as I discovered today, the cost-benefit analysis I did paid off. I got a grade I probably didn’t deserve, and then it got bumped even higher because of my class participation. I am happy that class won’t be the dark spot on my semester–very, very happy. But I am disappointed in myself for not giving the paper the chance it really deserved. So I’ll enjoy the sweet–the grade I never hoped to get in that class–but it will be cut by a bit of bitter guilt.
And just like that, I’m done.
I think I deserve a medal of some kind, though, since I not only took an exam today but also finished the revision of my seminar paper. That’s TWO THINGS I did in ONE DAY. During EXAMS.
Anyway, the point is that 2L is over. Long live 2L! (No, not really. 2L has been a long, sometimes miserable, always busy, usually overwhelming drag of a year–but it’s also a year in which I made some new friends, became closer to some old ones, and really grew into my own academic identity. OK, this post just got a little too mushy.)
Off to have a beer. Or four.
I would be much happier about being done with this year tomorrow if I felt like I knew anything at all about Constitutional Criminal Procedure. Or, as it seems, the economic loss doctrine.
I need to be revising my seminar paper–which I’ve already started, but which needs some work and is due in less than two days, ack–but instead, I’m watching Heroes. Because, duh, it’s the best show on TV.
But I promise I’ll work on my paper when the show is over. Promise.
1) Will someone explain the grand jury to me? I still don’t understand it.
2) The article I did research for last summer has been picked up by a law review. This is very exciting for me. My name! In a footnote!
3) My resume is officially on two pages. I’m not sure what to do about that.
4) Why is a general negligence duty less preferable to a narrower, affirmative duty to comply with some specific standard?
5) We got Himself a new tag (he’s been without one for a while) and now he tinkle-tinkle-tinkles around the apartment. The tinkling woke me up at 6 am today. Boo.
“You’ll be able to zip through a lot of work in a short amount of time today.”
God, let’s hope so. It’s already after 5, and I’ve still got a lot to do.
I was up at a decent hour this morning, though not really of my own volition. Our tub was clogged up and none of my tinkering had any effect at all. ((Here’s what I usually do, and it usually works: wait till the water has drained out, scoop about 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the drain, making sure it gets all the way down into the drain, and then pour about a quart of vinegar into the drain. If the soda is well down into the drain, the vinegar will (a) carry it further down the drain while (b) fizzing like holy hell. The fizzing is what works the magic. The soda and vinegar mixture will dissolve whatever is binding the solids in the drain together and hopefully carry those solids away. After you can’t hear the fizzing in the drain anymore (about fifteen minutes) flush the drain with hot water. Repeat as necessary. Plunge if needed.)) Our landlord was great though–promised to be out between 9 and 11 this morning when I called last night. Of course, that meant I had to be up and dressed before 9.
Now I’m on my second pot of coffee (don’t worry, I shared the first with Mr. Angst), and three or four weeks into my Con Crim Pro outline. I know, that’s not all that good. But it’s going quickly. I have to say, I spent more time on my reading this semester than I have since my very first semester in law school, and it’s paying off. I have retained more so I’m relying less on my notes to construct the substance of my outline. My notes are giving me structure–what were those seven questions he posed with respect to Katz? Did we do probable cause before we discussed seizures?–but I’m largely filling in the “law” from my own head. I had the same experience with my Admin outline, actually, and walked out of the exam feeling OK about it.
Admin down. Boo-yah. Per normal, I realized approximately three hours after the exam just how royally I had screwed up one particular issue. ROCK. Really, though, I feel pretty OK about it. But I’m finally at this place where the exam process no longer scares the shit out of me. It’s a test. I have to regurgitate all the things I learned over the semester in rough IRAC format in response to a fact pattern in about three hours. It sucks, but it’s just a thing, right? I went in, I took it, and I left.
So, one more exam to go, plus a paper revision (which is not going to write itself, Self, so you better get cracking on that!) and a bunch of editing. And some shopping for work clothes before I start in approximately ELEVEN days. Gasp! (And a hair appointment, because you know it’s starting to look bad when even random people tell you you have a lot of gray. AWESOME.)
But right now, I’m chilling with the dog, debating about whether it warmed up enough for me to change clothes before I take him on his afternoon walk. He’s awfully cute, too–not necessarily chasing squirrels in his sleep, but certainly smelling them.
I will take my first exam tomorrow. I think I am as prepared as I can be. I know I have not done as much prep work as I have in the past, but I also know that I have been so busy the last several days that I’ve been working pretty efficiently. Maybe not efficiently enough–I am still sort of behind on some stuff. But almost certainly I’ve been working more efficiently than in past semesters. I feel better about my classes with fewer hours of study time logged. Let’s hope that’s not just self-delusion.
Today has just been a day.
I’m dealing with some unpleasant duties, some dealing with Word (which, um, I. Hate.) and some dealing with people (who, sometimes, I. Really. Don’t. Like.). I’m trying to figure out a good schedule for studying for Admin and Con Crim Pro. I’m trying not to get too excited that today is Lease Signing Day. And I’m trying to decide if I should push my start date at work back a week so I can attack the edits I have due with total concentration. (I’m thinking that wouldn’t work; I’m not much of a total concentration kind of person. I can hyperfocus on something for about an hour or two, and then I need to switch gears. Plus, I want that extra week of cash.)
So basically I’m just not in a very happy mood today. I’m not in a BAD mood, per se, I’m just not very happy nor am I, probably, at all pleasant to be around. I’m going to try and get over that here in a bit so I can enjoy Lease Signing Day (or Hour) this evening, and also not be completely worthless for continuing to get my work done.
See? I can’t even write good anymore.