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Con Law, you can go f*** yourself!

April 24, 2006 5 comments

Con Law is over and, folks, my professor did the worst thing possible. She wrote a question that covered an issue we spent less than a full class on. Which basically negates any advantage extra studying may have given me. All advantage, gone. Combine her crappy fact pattern with the multiple-choice questions (which weren’t proofread, because there were typos) with the stupid paper we had to do, and my Con Law grade just went swirling down the toilet.

OK. Maybe I’m being a little black about the whole thing. At the very best, though, her exam was a complete disaster. At the worst, it was a GPA-wrecker. Color me sad.

But that’s the last thing I’m going to write about Con Law, EVER. EVER EVER EVER. At some point today, I’ll do some property. But for right now, I’m just enjoying reading some celebrity gossip and finding odd garden decorations.

Categories: 1L

oh boy

April 23, 2006 1 comment

I am just so ready for tomorrow’s exam to be over. That’s not to say I think I’m ready to take it, though. Last semester, I reached state of burnout a couple of days before my Contracts exam. I had no confidence in my abilities, and I was sure I hadn’t learned anything.

That’s how I feel today. I feel completely lost. Yesterday, I felt pretty good about Con Law. But today, I took at look at my professor’s exam from last year, and now I feel pretty wretched. My plan of attack feels week. I’m not sure I understand where I should approach Constitutional powers from. I’m just really worried. I know I know the tests and the terminology, but I’m not sure I actually understand them. And unlike last semester, I don’t have an extra day to spend building my confidence back up.

I’m going into tomorrow’s exam with a great sense of trepidation, and I don’t like that.

Categories: 1L

Is it really Saturday? During exams I lose all sense of days.

April 22, 2006 Comments off

I guess the harried pace of the last three days was worth it. I finished a super-short Con Law outline today, the kind that runs with my analysis of a constitutional problem, and I completed an edit of my flowchart, that mirrors the short outline. I even took a practice exam today, and it wasn’t awful. Whew!

Tomorrow should be interesting. Practice exams in the morning, some review of multiple choice questions (since half our exam will be multiple choice questions), and an early dinner. Mr. Angst and I are going to see a show tomorrow night!

When we bought the tickets back in January, I didn’t realize (a) that the show was the night before my first exams and (b) that that first exam would be in the class I grew to hate. Of course, now, I’m almost glad. It will be a very nice break from the evil that is Con Law. Also, frankly, if I don’t know what I need to know by tomorrow night, three more hours of cramming won’t fix it.

This exam season feels well underway. We shall see how it continues. My bitching about Con Law will only last for a day or so more (tomorrow, plus, perhaps, a post-mortem on Monday); and then I’ll be moaning about Property. I really wish I had something more interesting to write about. Maybe I’ll post a review of the show we’re seeing. Or maybe I’ll post some more recipes. Or maybe not.

Categories: 1L

things that make me smile–and give me ideas–while I churn away

April 21, 2006 Comments off

THIS is exactly what I need right now.

First: cookies. YUM. Second: peanut butter. Also YUM. Third: NUTELLA. We all know how I feel about Nutella. Also, as an added bonus: ice cream, M&Ms, and caramel sauce.

Con Law continues to be shitty. Yesterday’s pissiness over the paper fiasco, though, has morphed into a fervent drive to learn every inch of Con Law, and f**k my professor’s inability to teach it to me. I feel very zealous. And every good zealot knows that cookies, peanut butter, Nutella, ice cream, M&Ms, and caramel sauce are soul foods. Excuse me, I may have to go find 3000 calories and consume them.

Categories: 1L, food, in the \'sphere

coincidence? I THINK NOT.

April 21, 2006 Comments off

Why do I find it oddly appropriate that my Con Law outline is finished–and it’s 66 pages?

Now to begin the long process of refinement. Bleeding eyes, my friends, bleeding eyes.

Categories: 1L

Okay, NOW I hate Con Law

April 20, 2006 2 comments

We had to do this silly paper in Con Law earlier this semester, right when many of us had briefs due, and when many of us had other obligations to fulfill because of involvement with student organizations and the like. The paper was written in groups, and the groups were randomly assigned by our professor. And everyone worked pretty hard, though some people didn’t, and everyone figured the standard for grading would be pretty reasonable, since we were all told not to use any material except what had been covered in class. We were told that it should be like “a 24-take home exam, except you have two weeks to write it, and you get to write it in a group.”

We got comments back on our papers today. Note: not the papers themselves. Just substantive comments on the papers. And a grade, which is 35% of our final grade. And then we received a spreadsheet with the grade distribution for the class. Over half of the class got an A of some stripe, with fully 25% getting an A or an A+. And the rest didn’t. The difference between one letter grade and another was one (1) point.

What this basically means is that anyone who fell into the bottom 2/5 of the grade distribution can kiss an A goodbye. Not because those people might not be able to ace the exam, but because acing the exam probably won’t be sufficient to push them above some of those people in the top 2/5, who, after all, start out with “perfect” scores.

Our professor told us the paper was supposed to take some of the pressure off of us for the exam, which might have been the case if everyone got an A. But of course, just because 35% of our grade is already determined does not mean we don’t feel the pressure to do well on the exam. Those who got lower grades are now freaking out, trying to cram in enough information to do super-well on the exam and bump their grades up, while those at the top are freaking out, trying to cram in enough information to keep their A’s. Which, of course, the curve will not allow. Some not insignificant portion of the class will get a grade that is more than one letter grade lower than their paper grade, because the curve demands it. Frankly, that’s almost worse than starting out with a lower grade.

I don’t have a problem with mixed forms of assessment over a semester–I think it’s a good pedagogical method. But to work, the grades need to be handed in well before three days prior to the exam and students need to be able to be accountable for their own work–either by being in self-selected groups or by writing individual papers.

Categories: 1L

It's social. Demented and sad, but social.

April 19, 2006 Comments off

I spent much of the day studying with a friend. We did a combination of silent-study-in-the-same-room and hey-I-have-a-question-let’s-hash-it-out-study. And that worked well. But she had a meeting, so I found myself at a loose end.

I could have gone home. Mr. Angst is in class and it would be quiet there. But we get the afternoon sun, and the AC in our building is STILL not on, so I would be uncomfortable. Plus, I think this is the time of year when it’s really important NOT to crawl into a study hole and not come out. I figured I needed to be around people.

So instead of hunkering down at home, I’m in the library. There are people around. I can look at them, they can look at me. We can wave weakly at one another as we slowly die inside. I won’t talk to any of them–we have work to do, after all. But at least I’m not alone.

Categories: 1L

why did they make me take this class again? and do I really need to know the Constitution?

April 19, 2006 4 comments

Oh my God.

I have a sinking feeling that if I made myself work on my Con Law outline for more than 20 minutes at a time, my eyes would start to bleed. I don’t hate Con Law–not like I’ve hated other subjects, like Chemistry, or Calculus (I’m sensing a trend). I just cannot force myself to dig back into my notes from what was a horrible class. All of the boredom I felt during the semester comes flooding back when I read my notes. Usually, my notes are gentle reminders of confusions (and sometimes insights) I had during the semester. These notes are painful, dry, dull reminders of more than 36 hours of my life I can never get back.

:::whimper:::

My Con Law exam is on Monday. I was thinking this morning that I could probably finish my outline today–I’ve only got 8 more weeks of notes to get through. Now I’m thinking I’ll be lucky if I finish by Sunday evening.

Categories: 1L

why studying at school is so much more difficult than it should be

April 18, 2006 Comments off

Dear School,

I know that, during the school year, many student choose to study at home or at coffeehouses or in other places besides the library, the atrium, or the general vicinity of the school. But, once classes are over, we all like to be at school as we study. It’s a convienient meeting place for study groups, most of us keep most of our books here, and we feel more studious when we’re at school. And, frankly, School, you know this about us.

Why, then, can’t you make it possible for all of us to be online at the same time, while at school?* Why, in the two-and-a-half hours I spent at school today, working on my Property outline, was my network connection disconnected no fewer than 10 times? Why was my network connection so lousy that I could not update a 5-minute NPR podcast on iTunes?

It’s just disappointing, School. The crappy wireless has run me out and now I won’t be as productive as I could be. If my grades suffer this semester, School, I’m blaming it all on you.

Posting, wirelessly, from home,
kristine

[* Yes, internet access is critical while studying for exams. See, I can IM my friends and ask them about obscure points of Property law, I can look up cases on Westlaw, and I can check my email to make sure there are no important updates from my professor. Internet access is crucial while studying.]

Categories: 1L

nearly one-third down! how is that even possible?

April 18, 2006 3 comments

Duckies, classes are over.

The semester is not over, of course, since I still have four exams and the writing competition. I also have a myriad of administrative things to take care of, like my financial aid paperwork (though I already did my FAFSA) and my summer employment paperwork (more on that later, since I haven’t really posted about my summer job).

So, the next three-and-a-half weeks will be a bit stressful. I’ll get through ’em, though. And exams certainly aren’t as scary this time around as they were last time–I’ve done them, I know what I face. Still, I have a lot of prep to do this week, and I haven’t even started taking practice exams yet. Eek!

But that first sentence remains true. Even though I face more than three weeks of stuff, I am done with my first year of law school classes. Hot damn!

Categories: 1L