Thursday, March 27, 2008


My cat has a problem. It's driving me nuts. He won't shut up! Seriously, he'll get up on the couch, stare at me, and meow incessantly. He's started doing it in the middle of the night too, which is really not okay. I have to sleep!

I've looked it up online. It's called hypervocalization. Well, unless the cat is a Siamese, then it's called normal. But my cat is just your average domestic shorthair so hypervocalization it is. The most likely cause is that he's just trying to get attention. So, I'm supposed to ignore him when he does it rather than "reward" the behavior. Oh goody. Maybe I should stay at school after class and do most of my studying in the library because I can just imagine that it's going to get worse before it gets better.

And on the subject of studying...I have work to do.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This week...

This week has been better. I'm feeling better about Sarah...I'm still sad but I've moved on to acceptance and I think I'm okay now. The school stress has gone down too. The summary judgment memo is basically done...we have meetings in a couple weeks with the professor who is going to give us her edits and suggestions. But for right now, I can't really do anything with it other than wait for her comments so I don't have to worry about that.

The group project turned out really well. Our faculty adviser got back to us, she only has some really minor edits and she said as soon as we implement those edits she'll be ready to sign off on it and call it done so that's really great. Huge weight off of everyone's shoulders. And I'm not on the "presentation team" so while I have some small tasks to help them prepare for the presentation, I don't have to do a lot with it.

And...well, reading for class is the same, but without everything else it's a lot easier to deal with.

Oh, and a little good news I just got today...apparently being able to put course evaluations in with your resume when applying for internships DOES help make a relatively boring resume a bit more interesting. I got an interview with the Mass. Appellate Tax Board. What happened with the Sheriff's dept. position, you ask? Well, I sent back the stuff for the background check, and I haven't heard anything. My guess is that it's taking a while since most of my "background" is in Oregon, so it might be hard for them to find. But in any case, I sent out another set of applications in the most recent mailing on Monday because I didn't want to rely on something that might not be happening. I think working for the Appellate Tax Board might be more interesting anyway. So, I'll make sure to write an update after the interview.

So, in general things are better. I've had my moments, but I'm handling them. So, not to worry. I always get through it!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Of the things that needed to get done that I enumerated last week...reading for class fell to the wayside. Con law has stopped the "on" system so when we have something to say in class we raise our hands, if we don't have anything to say, we won't get called on, so I was safe in not reading. But the readings were short this week for that class so I did most of them. In Crim we're still using the "on" system where he emails you if it's going to be your turn for the next class, and since he's going in alphabetical order and my friend was "on" this week and her last name is "Young," I knew I was safe. That class had the longest readings so it fell to the wayside the most. Sadly, because they're also the most interesting readings. Contracts is a crap shoot if you don't read, he cold-calls so really it's necessary to be fully prepared all the time...but he accepts when people "pass" and he's trying to arrange his cold-calling so that he gets through everyone once before calling on people twice...and he messed up with me and already called on me three times so while I really tried to read everything for that class, a few times it just didn't happen. And all that reading fell to the wayside because I was working on the project.

For the most part I still went to class. I missed one contracts class. And spent nearly all of Crim editing on Wednesday so I may as well have not been there. I also didn't quite finish the portion of the summary judgment memo I was supposed to do, but I had a separate reason for that which I will now explain.

On Saturday, the day that I had set aside to work on the memo, I was about to start work when I checked my cell phone and noticed I had missed a call from my mother...and a message. Since she doesn't usually call, I checked the message right away because I figured it was important. Well, it really was. She was calling to inform me that my cousin, Sarah, had been found dead of a drug overdose. I started crying at the message, called her back, cried again, calmed down while I talked to her, hung up the phone and cried some more, talked to Ira about it online and cried some more, calmed down again, called Christen, thought I was composed enough to leave a message when she didn't answer but broke down halfway through, distracted myself by watching TV until she called back, actually was able to laugh a bit when talking to her but only because that's what she knows I need when I'm upset so she did her best to make it happen, immediately was sad again upon hanging up, and by then I knew that no summary judgment memo was happening that night. So I watched TV and went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up, decided I wasn't going to be able to focus on something as intense as chess so I didn't play online with my dad like we usually do, and instead tried to work on the memo. I got about halfway done, and then had to head in to the school to do stuff for the project. That was a much more pressing matter since 12 other people were depending on me to finish fact checking by 5 pm Monday. So I went in and hoped it wouldn't take too long and maybe I'd be able to work on my memo that night. That didn't happen so I emailed the professor, explained what happened, and told her how much I had and she said it was fine. I didn't have to have the whole thing in the first place, the whole thing is due this coming Monday so really it just makes it harder on me now since I have more I have to write this weekend then I would have. Which is unfortunate since the Barrister's Ball (aka Law School Prom) is tomorrow and I'm going and Vanessa and I are spending the whole day tomorrow getting pretty so really I only have tonight and Sunday. And I'm going out with friends tonight because among all this, some other friends have had some stuff going on, plus we've all been stressed from this project, and we just need to go out and relax and have some fun. We're all also going to the "prom" but tonight is just for us without other law students getting in the way. We're kind of a close-knit group and we're very particular about when we allow people outside our group to butt in on our socializing. So tonight is for us, and the "prom" is more an excuse to get dressed up and dance and take advantage of the open bar. As school dance things usually are.

Anyway...I've written more about how Sarah's death affected my time schedule and not as much about how it affected me. So...the most death I'd had to deal with up until this point was a few great-grandparents and one uncle, who was actually Sarah's father. With the great-grandparents, it's kind of an expected thing. Also, I didn't know them very well, most of the times I can remember being around them they were pretty senile so I never felt I knew who they were as a person before that. As for my uncle, while he was young, it was also pretty expected. I was sad, but he'd been sick for a while, we all knew it was coming. I was upset but I certainly didn't go through any kind of shock. Plus I was still in Oregon and was able to go to the memorial service.

So, flash forward to now. I find out my cousin, who was roughly my age, who I haven't seen in a few years because she kind of went in a direction where she disconnected from the family, is suddenly dead. I was just in complete and utter shock. I was in such disbelief that every time I thought about it, I felt like I was hearing about it for the first time all over again, and would start to lose it all over again. And then as I started to deal with it more, I felt regret for not trying harder to keep in touch with her, and anger because she didn't reach out, and complete helplessness because I couldn't do anything about those emotions or about the overwhelming sadness that I think the other emotions were just trying to cover up. And I think back to when we were kids at family gatherings, she was the only one I hung out with, on my mom's side most of my cousins are much older than me and it's only since I've become an adult that I've been able to relate to them...but I could play with her. And my other cousin (her brother) to some extent but not as much because we wanted to do girl things.

When she started drifting away from the family, we tried to bring her back, I remember us inviting her to things. But then, my parents were separating and I was doing the college thing and aunt Judy is eternally busy and all her sons were starting families of their own. As for the rest of the family, most of them live 5 hours away from the Portland area so they couldn't do as much. I, for one, always had the hope that she'd drift back. Maybe everyone else did too. We hoped that she'd reach out if she needed help. Although Vanessa made a good point...maybe she didn't know she needed help.

So. This week, I've been working on coping. I'm still working on it. I'm doing okay now. I'll get better eventually. But it'll take some time. Especially with it being so sudden.

Anyway. I need to figure out dinner before going out tonight. Along with trying to get some work done. I'm hoping to have a really good weekend to try to make up for everything else.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And breathe...just breathe...

I shall quote a song to begin this entry.

"Cause you can't jump the track we're like cars on a cable and life's like an hourglass glued to the table. No one can find the rewind button girl, so cradle your head in your hands...and breathe...just breathe..." - Anna Nalick, Breathe (2 am).

So. I realize I often mention in these blog entries the utter exhaustion that is being a law student. I mention this as a side comment, usually when mentioning my brief reprises from the exhaustion, such as spring break, flying home for a wedding, or going skiing. But I never explain the actual substance of the exhausting amount of work that I am taking a break from. So. Here's a list of what I have to do by next Thursday.

1. Write an introduction and conclusion for my group's section of a group paper that is going to an actual legal client. Yes, we're writing a paper for a real client, as first year law students who barely know the law. The kicker is that my particular class has ended up researching international law when we barely know how to research US law.
2. Do some last-minute research on Scottish laws and policies regarding homeless to add to my group's section. Oh by the way I switched from France to Scotland because Scotland's group had fewer members and more information to go through. So I've had about a week and a half to familiarize myself with the research that has already been done in Scotland and find out where the holes are and somehow understand enough to research for information in those holes.
3. Work on fact checking the Scotland section. This consists mainly of checking the information cited to ensure that it actually is on the page in the document that we say it is.
3. Help edit the final document with ALL the groups put together (the groups are: France, Scotland, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia) plus an introduction to the current homelessness situation in the United States. No, I don't have to edit the entire document myself, we'll have a "team," but the fact remains that since my group currently has 17 pages, multiply that by 5 and we're going to assume I'll have a great deal of editing even with it broken down between a few editors. And the entire 13 person class can't assist in editing because we also need a cite checking team and an appendix checking team and a separate fact checking team outside of just the individual groups checking their own document.
4. Write a portion of the argument section of a motion for summary judgment for legal research and writing class. This must be well-researched and supported with cases and facts from the "depositions" we were provided with in class. All fake facts, but we have to support with real cases. Luckily, however, I have already done the research so it's more a matter of putting it together in a sensible manner. Since I only have to write one of the two arguments that will go in the argument section, this will be roughly 6 pages of writing. Not too bad until you consider that I have to fit that in among the tasks I've already enumerated. Plus the ones following.
5. Read 286 pages out of casebooks for substantive law classes of Criminal Justice, Contracts, and Constitutional Law. Not only read, but understand.
6. Do all this while still managing to attend 17.5 hours of class.
7. Hopefully sleep at least 6 hours per night...which I usually do because I can't keep studying into the night when I get tired and I never get up early to study because every time I try I change the alarm clock and go back to sleep for another couple hours. Sleep and I have a very important relationship.

And breathe. Just breathe.

Time to get back to the items on the list.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Spring" break...

Well, tomorrow is the last day of my "spring" break. Since I remained in Boston the whole time, there was nothing "spring" about this break. It snowed three times. Only once did it really pile up, but really, if they're going to make the break be at the end of February in Boston, they should really call it something else. Late winter break. "Go someplace warm" break. Anyway...I needed the break more than the spring, so it's alright.

I think I need another week. I was enjoying sitting around, watching movies, studying at my leisure. I'm still glad I'm in law school, it's just exhausting sometimes. But, the break was good. I was pretty sick for most of it, but I got a lot of rest and tried to avoid going outside in the cold as much as possible. I had to go get quarters for laundry yesterday and now I'm coughing again, so I'm definitely not completely better, but I'm getting there. This is just one of those lingering colds that doesn't really want to let go. It's irritating.

I had my appointment for the ultrasound on my gallbladder. They didn't tell me anything, so that was pretty uneventful. When I was done they just said I could go and they'd send the results to my doctor...aka the school health center. So now I have to make an appointment there to find out what's going on. Which I would have needed to do anyway to talk about what to do next, but I would have at least liked to hear what the radiologist had to say. You know, something like, "looks like gallstones, go talk to your doctor." So, anyway, I'll keep posting updates about all that.

Well, that's about it for now. Time to get back to relaxing while I still can!