Friday, January 25, 2008

Yes, I am brilliant.

Course evals from last semester came out today. For those of you who don't know, Northeastern doesn't give out "grades" like most schools do. They give out written evaluations. Which is cool because then you have a better idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are in the course instead of forever wondering what made the professor give you a B instead of an A.

Anyways, even with the unusual system, it's clear that overall I did quite well in my classes last semester. In Civil Procedure, I got an "outstanding," which is the best they give out. She also said that my exam was "well written." As did my Torts professor, who gave me a "very good." Although I wonder if perhaps he's more of a tough grader, he had nothing but positive things to say in the actual written evaluation. I got "good" in Property. I'm sure I could have done better had I 1) enjoyed the class or 2) if that wasn't possible, at least had a better professor. But, at least I passed, it's over with, I'm happy. I'm also happy that, overall, this is clearly another sign that I'm on the right path.

As for the classes I'm currently taking, they're still going well. I'm hoping Constitutional law will become more interesting, but I definitely like the professor so that balances it out. Crim is fun. We've been familiarizing ourselves with the interaction between the "bad act" (the actual crime) and the "state of mind" necessary to make it a crime. It's a very intricate relationship. As for Contracts...I like the subject a lot more than I thought I would. I still haven't decided what my favorite class is, I'd like to wait until we really get into the meat of the subject before I make that determination. We're still exploring a lot of the basic doctrine in all three classes so this isn't the time to be choosing favorites.

Aside from classes, I got an interview for a summer internship, so that's exciting. The interview itself is scheduled for next Friday. I generally do pretty well in interviews, so hopefully that luck will stay with me. I'll make sure to post something when I find out one way or another.

Well, that's it for now. Until next time!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

School... and sadness

Well, classes have started again. The year long LSSC Social Justice class is taking a new turn that will be time-consuming, but hopefully interesting. I don't think I've explained this class in the blog, so I will do so now. The entire first year class is divided up into small groups of 12-14 students. I've become very good friends with my group, but apparently that's uncommon. Anyway, so each group has all their classes together all year. Each group is also working with a different public interest legal organization, assisting them by completing a research project by the end of the year. My group has been assigned to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Our project is to select some countries and research what their response to homelessness has been, especially whether they have any legislation that guarantees a "right to housing" or some similar right. The goal is to see if we can find some things that have worked in these other countries so that they can be brought up as possible ways to solve the problem here. So, this last week we broke up into four "country groups." I ended up on France because I was one of the few people that was close enough to fluent at one point that I am at least better able to wade through the French websites and possibly even French legislation (although we've been finding some sources for translations) than most of the people in the class. Why did we not pick all English speaking countries, you ask? Well, because the client requested France and Scotland since they knew of some interesting developments in both those countries. So we expanded Scotland to "UK," and then picked Australia and South Africa so that we could at least have mostly English-speaking countries. But with France being part of the EU, hopefully we won't have a terrible time finding decent translations. We'll see.

Anyway, so that's what's going on with that class. As for the other year long class, legal research and writing... well, that's the same old stuff. We're going to start persuasive writing this semester, which might be a little more fun than objective writing. In general though, that class is the bane of everyone's existence. Yes, yes, good research and writing skills are VERY important...but that doesn't make the class any more interesting. Especially when they hand us a specific research project instead of letting us research something we actually find interesting. Although I think they're afraid of sending us up a creek without a paddle in that respect, so I understand the thinking there.

On to the substantive law classes. This term I have Criminal Justice, Contracts, and Constitutional Law. It looks like I have quality professors this time for all three classes, so that's good. And Crim. and Con. Law look like they're going to be as interesting as I would have hoped. As for Contracts, so far it's much more interesting than I expected, which is a pleasant surprise. I don't have much else to say about those classes since I've only been in them for a week, but so far, things are looking good.

Now. The title of this blog says "sadness" too, so I guess I'd better explain. So, Pwas, the family cat, has cancer. My dad has him right now, he "got custody" of the cats when my parents split up. The other cat already ran away or got injured by a raccoon or something, I wasn't that close to that cat anyway, he was weird and neurotic. But Pwas...what a great cat. We've had him since I was 8 years old. I realize that means he's a very old cat, my dad said today he's the equivalent of about 80 years. And I know he's had a good life, and that this time was coming. But, even though we haven't lived in the same house for the better part of 6 years, not counting summers home from college...we always had that bond. He's a huge cat - 20 pounds of muscle, 2 feet long from his nose to the base of his tail...and he never once tried to use that massive strength against me. If my mom was his mom...I was his sister, and his job, apparently, was to make sure nothing hurt me, including him. I was the only one that could bathe him when his fleas got bad because he wouldn't fight against me. I was the only one who could clip his nails for the same reason. He may have even tried to suffocate my crazy ex once. At the time it was just funny - he just tried to sleep on the guy's face, but in retrospect, the guy was crazy and cats are perceptive of these things, so who knows what he was trying to do. He certainly never tried to sleep on anyone's face before or since.

Anyway. He's still eating and not acting terribly sick right now. It all started because he seemed to have some kind of infection in his mouth. Apparently there was an infection and cancer too, so now that the infection has cleared up he's a bit better. I'm hoping he'll still be around when I go home for a friend's wedding in February. At least then I'll have a chance to say goodbye, just in case the next time I'm home after that it's too late.

I don't think we always realize just how attached we are to our pets. But they really become members of the family. Which makes losing one a lot harder than I ever expected it would be.

Well...I think I've been emotional enough for one day. I have some studying to do. Even though we may have a snow day tomorrow, I still have to make sure everything is done just in case the City of Boston is super-efficient and all the roads are cleared by 8 am or something. It does sound like it's going to be a pretty big snowstorm though, apparently two different storms are moving in from the West and the South and meeting right over Boston. So, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I never make resolutions. I don't think it's healthy to plan to change a habit that you've had all your life just because it's a new year, especially because you feel like crap when you don't succeed. I've never known anyone that could keep their New Year's resolution, which makes it just an unhealthy tradition in general. In fact, I've noticed that Lent (even though I'm not religious at all, let alone Catholic) seems to help people more than a New Year's resolution. It seems like giving up a vice for 40 days shows people how much better they feel without it, and they just end up sticking with the habit they picked up for those 40 days. And outside of traditional times to give things up, I believe that if there's something that you truly don't like about yourself or where you're life is heading, you shouldn't need a new year to spurn you to change it. Just do it, no matter when it is.

So anyways. Those are my usual reasons for not making resolutions. But this year I've added something new. This year, looking at where I am in my life and what I'm doing and where I'm going, I am genuinely happy. Thinking back on everything I accomplished this year, with getting in to law school, researching my financial options, finding an apartment, getting myself out to Boston, living alone for the first time, and making it through my first semester of law school without completely neglecting important things like food (both for me and for the cat) and sleep... I feel pretty damn good. So, I don't need to make a resolution. Unless it's to resolve to stay on the same path, but I have no reason to resolve to do that when the path I'm on makes me so happy.

Well, I'm home now, and Severus is snuggled up beside me. He is very happy I'm home. Sure, he got food and saw people very briefly... but I know he was lonely, he's such a people cat that being alone for so long must have been hard for him. My neighbor told me that he was crying a lot, especially in the evening, whenever he heard the door to the building open - I'm sure he thought I was finally coming home every time he heard that. Anyhow, I'm going to give him some attention now.