Archive for May, 2008

enter the freakout

May 31, 2008 2 comments

I did my first set of practice questions today, and I only did about 10 of them because, oh my God, I don’t know ANYTHING. I have been hearing people talk about flash cards and only now do I understand the utility of making such things. I may actually have to go to the office supply store across the street and buy some index cards tomorrow, so I can not only start making cards for the various prima facie cases of various torts and the elements of various crimes but also make some cards that will help me freaking memorize what torts and crimes there are. Because after spending two and a half hours summarizing my notes on torts, I STILL could only get 2 out of 10 questions right on the “testing drills” questions (read: probably even easier than the actual practice questions).

The bar is going to Kick My Ass.

Categories: The Bar


May 30, 2008 2 comments

Chicken Magazine posted this (as did E. McPan) and I thought I’d jump in. These are the top 106 books tagged “unread” at LibraryThing. The idea is to bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish. I did all of that and also bold-underlined the books I originally read for school but have since reread for my own pleasure.

I started out pretty hot, but got more lukewarm towards the bottom. Not sure what that signifies, since I’m not sure how this list was ordered. Jump in yourself if you want!

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Crime and Punishment
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Don Quixote
The Odyssey
The Brothers Karamazov
War and Peace
Madame Bovary
A Tale of Two Cities
Jane Eyre
The Name of the Rose
Moby Dick
The Iliad
Vanity Fair
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Blind Assassin
Pride and Prejudice
The Historian: A Novel
The Canterbury Tales
The Kite Runner
Great Expectations
Life of Pi
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Atlas Shrugged
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Grapes of Wrath
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Mrs. Dalloway
Sense and Sensibility
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Sound and The Fury
Memoirs of a Geisha
Brave New World
American Gods
The Poisonwood Bible
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Picture of Dorian Gray
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Satanic Verses
Mansfield Park
Gulliver’s Travels
The Three Musketeers
The Inferno
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Fountainhead
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
To the Lighthouse
A Clockwork Orange
Robinson Crusoe
The Scarlet Letter
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Once and Future King
Anansi Boys
The God of Small Things
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Oryx and Crake
Angela’s Ashes
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
In Cold Blood
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
A Confederacy of Dunces
Les Misérables
The Amber Spyglass
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Watership Down
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
The Aeneid
A Farewell to Arms
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
Sons and Lovers
The Book Thief
The History of Tom Jones
The Road
Tender is the Night
The War of the Worlds

Categories: in the \'sphere

what a summer vacation

May 29, 2008 4 comments

Bar/Bri sucks the life out of me. It’s bad enough that I have ANOTHER sinus infection; do I have to sit through videotaped lectures for four hours a day, too? But they tell me that this is the way to pass the bar, so I do it.

Because of the aforementioned sinus infection, though, I have not felt up to jumping into the Paced Program. (Oops, Paced Program™.) I haven’t summarized any of my notes; I haven’t done any of the recommended testing drills, and I am not currently working on the essays I’m supposed to work on today. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe not. If I could get a solid night’s sleep, I’d definitely feel more up to doing actual work, but I haven’t accomplished such a thing in days. I slept better last night than since Saturday night, but I was propped up on pillows so I could breathe, and I don’t sleep well when I can’t roll around and flop onto my stomach, so I still don’t feel really rested.

Tomorrow, my afternoon class gets lucky and gets a live lecture (whoo-hoo!) but that means it’ll be packed, since the morning kids have to come to our class, too. And we have class on SATURDAY, which is vile—another live lecture, and that one with the morning kids AND the evening kids. I am dreading trying to find a seat—and save enough seats for my Bar/Bri pals.

Because, after all, while law school is like high school, Bar/Bri is like middle school. People save seats for each other, pass notes in class, and generally act like they’re in the early throes of puberty. (For instance, today, some skeezy guy sitting next to a married friend of mine decided her wedding ring was a challenge to be overcome. I mean, ew. Not appropriate.)

So, basically, Bar/Bri sucks, especially when you’re sick, and I can’t believe I have another eleventy-million of these lectures to attend—not to mention actually doing some self study and then TAKING THE BAR EXAM. And somewhere in the next few weeks of figuring out this whole Bar/Bri Paced Program self study stuff, I need to put together my clerkship applications and send them—and that includes doing some additional work on The Task since I’m going to send it out as a writing sample for at least some of my applications, and I doubt any judges will be impressed by the handful of citations I have that read “String cite to all those articles on Google.” Granted, that’s work I’m going to have to do that anyway, if I’m sending it out for publication in August, but I’ll have to do it EARLIER rather than later for clerkship applications.

Anyway. My summer is shaping up to be just fantastic—and I haven’t even started my summer job yet! (To be fair my summer job should be the best part of my summer; it’s just that it will eat away another four hours of my day that I’m already not spending studying. Gah!) More updates to come.

Categories: The Bar, The Task

the bar, she looms

May 27, 2008 1 comment

Bar/Bri starts today.

I’ve been looking over all the materials they’ve given me—the class schedule, the Paced Program, a handout called “The Bar/Bri Method”—and I’m put in mind of that silly essay-writing-method class some of my classmates were fearmongered into taking our first year. Except Bar/Bri is less obvious about the fearmongering; it’s more subtle. So, instead of “If you don’t attend this whole-day lecture on how to write law school exams, you’ll FAIL!” it’s “If you keep up with this completely impossible schedule we’ve provided you so that you can internalize and memorize all of the information you’ll need for the bar exam, you should be fine. Oh, and while you’re spending eight hours a day in class or reading the hundreds of pounds of books we gave you, be sure to stay healthy and rested! The bar exam is FUN!”

I’m not scared of the bar yet, and I’m not sure if I should be or not. There’s a lot of information sitting piled up next to me in green, shiny books, but I’m not feeling any angst about getting through it all. (I am feeling angst about being able to stay awake in class, but I think once I get rid of the lingering allergies I brought back from the wedding I was in last weekend, I shouldn’t have that problem any more.) I guess I’ll start to feel more nervous once I start doing practice questions and essays. Since I haven’t actually taken a closed-book exam since college ((I did have one exam 1L year to which we could only bring the rule book and a single piece of paper, but that’s still not closed book; I had another with a closed-book multiple-choice portion, but the essays were open book, so, again, not really closed book.)) I think that might be the shock I need.

I guess right now I’m still basking in the glow of being done—of turning in The Task, of being done with my major journal duties (though I do have a few journal things to follow up on right now…), of being out of law school. The bar threatens to kill my buzz, and I guess I am just not quite willing to to let it, yet.

Categories: The Bar

coming full circle

May 22, 2008 5 comments

It’s been a week since graduation, and I’ve been doing some thinking about the blogging thing.

First of all, this blog was initially intended to be about my “journey” through this law school adventure—application, admission, and all three years of being educated. And now that’s done. Oh, yes, I still have the bar to take, and I suppose that should be part of this blog’s story, but beyond that, I just don’t know.

See, over time, this blog became less about law school and more about just me, and I’ve felt sort of ambivalent about that. But law school qua law school became less interesting—it began to seem that writing about going to class, writing a paper, taking a test, and fulfilling my journal duties was just not what I wanted to be doing. Moreover, writing about those things really risked my anonymity.

And that’s the other thing. Sure, I’ve never really been anonymous—I know several of my fellow law student bloggers in person, and they know me. But we all sort of follow the code: if my name isn’t on it, we don’t really talk about it. I get the occasional email, the passed-on meme, even a side remark every now and then, but for the most part, my fellow bloggers (and students) have not really outright acknowledged that I write this blog. And I like that. I know they’re there, reading, but I also know they’re keeping it quiet, following the code.

But then (and, sorry Mom), my mom found me. I don’t know how, and I don’t really care, but I knew she was reading, and the tone of things changed because, well, she wasn’t a fellow law school blogger, and she wasn’t even a fellow law student. She’s my mom, and this was never really a blog I intended to write for an audience that included my mom. That’s not to say any of it is mom-inappropriate, it’s just that knowing she was there, reading, did something to my writing. And maybe that was good—after all, this was, again, never intended to be a blog about my life. It was supposed to be about law school. It became about my life, and I think knowing my mom was reading it made me less inclined to write about my life, and so I started posting less because, remember, law school is boring, so I didn’t have much to write about. This blog really needed to be about law school all along, and it needs to go back to being about law school. ((I should note, too, that this forthcoming article from the NYTimes Magazine really says a lot about this topic that I think is valuable. Maybe my issue here is not the people who were/are reading my blog but just that I’ve gotten over this desire/need to expose myself. I’ve come to value my privacy a lot over the last few years where, I think in an earlier time of my life, I was much less circumspect about what I revealed about myself and to whom.))

Except that I’m not in law school any more. I graduated last week, with my family here to celebrate, and now I’m about to start my summer job and bar study, and take the bar, and then start my full-time job . . . what is there to write about? Sure, Bar/Bri will have lots of fodder for blog posts, so I suspect I’ll keep going till that ends, and probably till I take the bar. But after that? I can’t write about my summer job, since I’ll be representing actual clients; I can’t write about my full-time job that starts this fall for the same reason (and also because, hello, I need the job more than I need to be fired for blogging about my firm).

So I think this is an early goodbye. In a few months, this blog will probably be gone. If it’s not gone, it will be dramatically different in tone (I am sending my big paper out for publication, and I can see that that process might be interesting to write about). But at some point, there’s just not going to be anything going on in my life that I can write about—either because it’s work, or it’s personal. And that will be that.

I’m not saying I won’t blog any more—I like the idea of it and, often, I enjoy actually doing it. But I want to get back to blogging on my terms—when I have something to write about, when I want to write about it, and when it fits into what I’m doing here (or wherever I end up writing).

Categories: meta

ending thoughts

May 17, 2008 Comments off

After a whirlwind few days, my family have all gone back home and I am officially a law school graduate. I’m looking around at the detritus from the commencement festivities—a kitchen full of dirty dishes from brunch, a broken china cup and a missing vertical blind ((The vertical blind fell and knocked the cup onto the floor. There may have been human assistance in its falling. It’s OK—turns out that, despite the pattern being discontinued, had a replacement cup in stock. I’ll end up with an extra saucer, but that’s less of a big deal than missing a cup.)), a slightly wigged out dog, and an exhausted husband.

It still doesn’t feel quite real, and maybe that’s because I spent most of the graduation festivities trying to introduce my family to the law school (metaphorically speaking) instead of reveling in my accomplishment and celebrating with my friends. I’m not sure how that could have been any different, though. In a lot of ways, law school has been, for me, about the relationships I’ve formed at school, and I kind of feel like I haven’t gotten a chance to really say goodbye to a lot of my friends. (Luckily, I don’t really have to yet—most of my friends will be staying here this summer, even if they’re off to other cities and states this fall, so we’ll have plenty of time to hang out and enjoy being graduates.) But I still feel a bit cheated out of celebrating my graduation with my friends. The tradeoff—celebrating my graduation with my family—is a good one, but also sort of difficult. My family don’t really know what this experience has been like for me, though I’ve tried to share some of it with them (I haven’t, I admit, been terribly good about it). But I wanted them to enjoy the trip up here, and so I maybe spent more time stressed out about making their time here fun and enjoyable (and accessible, honestly) than relaxed and excited about graduating.

Moreover, this week is my week to finish catching up on the last few academic duties still on my plate—I have to finish revising The Task and complete the edits on the last few journal articles—so maybe I don’t feel graduated yet because I’m actually Not Done. 🙂 So here I sit, sort of at a loss, knowing I should take the rest of the day to actually relax before I jump back into work tomorrow, but edgy and antsy enough to feel like I need to be working now.

Categories: Uncategorized


May 17, 2008 1 comment

If you’re reading this, you’re reading it on a feed; I’ve password protected my main site for a few days to take care of some stuff, but it’ll be back soon.

Categories: meta, tech

graduation looms

May 9, 2008 1 comment

I was planning to write a sort of lengthy post about the end of law school and all of the myriad emotions I’ve been feeling since taking my last exam, and about wandering around the city feeling unemployed, and how sort of strange I felt today, particularly.

But I’m not going to write about that because, today, after I got home, my graduation gift from Mr. Angst was waiting for me and I’ve spent most of this evening playing with it. Mr. Angst has even joined me.

That’s right.

We’ve formed a band.

So you’ll have to excuse me if I’m a little preoccupied for the next few weeks before Bar/Bri starts (and before my summer job starts)—what free time I’ll have away from revising The Task and from finishing up journal stuff may well be spend honing my guitar skills. (Yes, it’s ironic—I’m the guitarist and Mr. Angst is the singer. I am not really sure why or how that happened except that it’s my graduation present and, at least if I play by myself, it’s more fun to play the guitar than to sing. I actually think I’ll spend some time tomorrow starting a solo career.)

Excuse me—I have to run. Mr. Angst is singing Don’t Fear the Reaper, solo. I want to watch this.

Categories: 3L, just me, The Task


May 5, 2008 1 comment

I made pho Saturday night because I really wanted pho, but didn’t want to wait for delivery or go get it myself. Here’s the (relatively easy to make) recipe. ((Pho, for those who don’t know, is Vietnamese soup made with a fragrant broth and rice noodles. It usually contains some variety of meat, usually thinly sliced beef.))

Start with:

6 cups beef broth
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 quarter-inch thick slice ginger root

Bring these to a boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes.

While the broth is simmering, soak 3 to 6 oz. of flat rice noodles in hot water.

While the noodles soak, slice a half pound to a pound of trimmed sirloin into thin slices, against the grain. ((This is really important—if you don’t cut it across the grain, it will be impossibly tough when cooked.)) I actually couldn’t find any sirloin that looked decent, so I bought a London broil instead (it was a top round cut—London broil can be any variety of cuts). I didn’t do this because I was impatient, but one of the best ways to cut beef thin is to freeze it first. Next time I’ll do that—my slices were a little too thick to eat easily.

Once your beef is sliced, put a pot of salted water on to boil. Once it boils, drain the soaking noodles and throw them in the boiling water for about 45 seconds, then drain. Set aside.

Your broth should have been simmering for about 15 minutes now. If you feel like it, strain the broth into another pot; if you don’t, just fish the ginger, cinnamon, and star anise out. Put the broth, strained or not, over medium to low heat.

Time to add the last ingredients to the broth:

1/4 cup fish sauce
1 cup cleaned bean sprouts
Sliced beef

The beef will cook in the hot broth. Don’t let it overcook, though! It’s ready to serve as soon as the beef changes color.

To serve, divide the noodles among your bowls (this recipe makes 4 smallish portions or 3 restaurant-sized portions), then ladle the broth (with the meat) over the noodles. Serve with basil, cilantro, sliced Asian chiles, sliced scallions, and more sprouts.

This turned out OK. Next time, I’ll use a different kind of beef broth—or I’ll make my own—since it was way too salty. (I used regular Swanson broth, since the store didn’t have the low-sodium variety. I also added some salt at the end of cooking, thinking the addition of the beef would dilute the flavor some; I won’t do that, again, either.) Also, since my local, walking-distance grocery store didn’t have star anise, I used anise seed instead. If you use anise seed, you might want to strain the broth; I did not, though, and just avoided scooping into the bottom of the pot when I served the soup to avoid getting any seed into the bowls. It was fine. I have leftovers; we’ll see if the anise seed makes the broth inedible after reheating, though.

Categories: food

Weekly Law School Roundup #120

May 4, 2008 1 comment

Welcome to this week’s Law School Roundup! We all seem to be in the throes of exams, which explains the variety of non-law-school-related writing featured here…enjoy!

And that’s it for this week! Look for next week’s Roundup at Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground.

And a reminder—if you’re interested in stepping into my shoes and taking over the biweekley student-authored part of the Law School Roundup, let me know!

Categories: Law School Roundup