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Archive for April 6, 2006

i'm not arguing, i'm just . . . discussing

April 6, 2006 1 comment

Moot Court is over, and it went just fine. Although my tummy was a ball of nerves a few hours before, by the time I got up to speak, I felt confident and ready. It helps that I didn’t have to go first.

People told me (and by people I mean 2- and 3Ls) not to prepare. They told me to have an introduction and then not worry about it, because I’d just be asked questions and I’d just have to answer those questions. That the judges wouldn’t care about what I wanted to say, because they just want their questions answered. And that was mostly true. I say mostly because I did take some time to read through my opponent’s brief and think about how I would rebut his arguments. And that helped.

I should also note that I am one of those people who talks to herself. Usually I talk to myself in my head, although when I still had a car, I was known to have conversations aloud while driving. Anyway, this little quirk was really helpful for moot court, because I could read an argument or a question and then have a conversation about it in my head. And then when I got up to present my oral arguments, I wasn’t terrified, because I had already talked to myself about all those points. Or most of them. It wasn’t so bad. And I swear, I am not insane. Just quirky. Come on–you talk to yourself, too, admit it.

So moot court is over, and it wasn’t bad at all. My approach–treating it like an experience to learn from rather than something really terrifying and competitive–was a good one. Of course, it wasn’t graded. But I’ve been known to take things really seriously when absolutely nothing at all is at stake, just for the sake of “winning,” so for me to be relaxed about it was a big deal.

Moot court is over. Time to get cracking on outlines and studying.

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Categories: 1L

butterflies

April 6, 2006 1 comment

Last week, before opening night of the law school musical, I met Mr. Angst for dinner. But I wasn’t hungry–I felt nauseous (or nauseated, if you will). I figured I was a little hungrier than I thought, ate my veggie burger and fries, and went off to get into hair and makeup. I was a little low-energy that night, but things went off without a hitch, so all was well.

Well, this evening, I feel the same way as I did last week. (Oh, wait, it’s not evening yet. This afternoon, then.) My tummy is upset, I feel lightheaded. It’s not pleasant.

But at least I’ve figured out what’s causing it. It’s nerves.

I haven’t feel this sort of performance nerves in a really long time. Maybe I’ve managed to do that by keeping out of situations where I have to do something All By Myself. After all, all the choirs I’ve sung in for the last six or so years have been, well, choirs, and I haven’t really been singing all alone. And I haven’t done any plays or public speaking in the last six or so years. Frankly, I’ve avoided all of that like the plague, telling myself I’m better as a team player (in a choir) or better at behind-the-scenes stuff (with any sort of performance). Even the few times I’ve sung by myself, I’ve done so at family weddings, where I wasn’t really worried about criticism or negative reactions.

But last week, I was in the spotlight, and facing a possibly hostile audience. (OK, I knew they wouldn’t be hostile, but the jokes could have fallen flat.) I mean, I didn’t have a big part in the law school musical or anything, but it was the first time I’d acted since my senior year of college, yea so many years ago. And tonight, I’ll be on my own again, arguing in moot court–and this time, I know the audience could be hostile, or at least confrontational. Argh!

I don’t really have any reason to be nervous. I know my argument. I (almost) have my intro memorized. I’ve read over some questions our class brainstormed for each side and I’ve read my opponent’s brief. I feel pretty good about being able to address any question that comes my way, as long as it stays within the scope of the legal argument. (I don’t know if my answers will be the “right” ones or if they’ll be convincing, but I think I have a handle on what I need to say.)

But still, the tummy, it flutters.

So I don’t really know what to do about that, short of making my dinner, eating it, and getting my little tushy up to campus to face the judges. It’s just strange, that I didn’t recognize the flutters anymore.

Categories: 1L, just me