Monday, September 28, 2009

Life in Autumn Abstract

Do you ever stop to just sense everything around you? We take in so much by sight and ignore things that make life truly beautiful. Do you ever just breathe in the smells, close your eyes and hear the surroundings? I think that the sensory bits of life contribute to the highly underrated beauty of what it means to be alive. We get so caught up in where we're going or what we have to do, that sometimes we forget to just stop and exist.

Exams, classes, homework, relationships - they're all human constructs that propel us from one moment to the next. We call these things our lives, and yet, just living is so much more simple, so much more powerful, so much less complicated.

Today I take time to stop, breathe the smell of the fresh fall air in so deeply I can taste the leaves turning, feel the first day of Autumn on my face, hear the traffic hum by me, and let gratitude for my life, in whatever form it may take, overtake the wall of preoccupations I envelope myself in. Life is sunshine, life is rain, life is one foot in front of the other, breeze on my face, air in my lungs, ground beneath my feet, gratitude and joy for family, friends, and this moment, my moment, my life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sleep? Who needs sleep!

I realize I haven't written very much and I'm sorry. I've begun to wonder when other law students find time for things like, oh, let's say, sleep. I haven't actually given up sleep, I just feel like I need more than I used to and am winding up with less. I wake up, go to class, come home, read, and if I can fit it in I get out of my apartment whenever possible. I feel like I should probably study more, but if I did I'm not sure I'd retain any sanity. All of this makes me miss my job a great deal.

I have reading for another class tonight, but am no longer able to read words as sentences, so I'm giving it a bit of a rest. You know you need a break when you read a sentence five times and are still not sure if it was even English.

Despite being tired, law school is going well, (I think). I need to go back through and work on coherently outlining my schoolwork thus far, but I run into problems with time. It's not that there aren't enough hours in the day, just that I can't function at full capacity for enough of them. I'm going to have to cook this weekend. I wish I could see my family more. I wish I could see my boyfriend more. What's difficult about law school isn't really what you learn in class; what's hard about law school is allocating your time.

I think I'm starting to get things though. At first I thought I was so exhausted I could no longer remember what I'd learned in which class, but now it's running together in a much clearer way. I'm starting to see why one subject matters to another subject. This makes the entire day much more interesting.

Fall break starts soon and I'm hoping a week off will help me reset my brain and body and refresh me enough to finish the semester well. Some of my classmates plan to use this time for more studying and sleeping. I, however, am going to Disney World! Mickey Mouse, here I come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back for an update!

I have been TERRIBLE about updating recently, so I'm going to give you the spark notes version of the last week-ish.

1. Legal Research may be the most boring class in the existence of classes. I would describe it, but it's too early in my post to put you to sleep. We have assignments due for this class each week, which I hate doing.

2. Law school is actually, not exceptionally difficult. The "hard" part is staying on top of things. Law school is like being stuck in a boat with a hole in the bottom in the middle of a lake with a bucket and minimal means to fix the hole. As a law student, your first job is not to sink. Your second job is to fix the hole. It is not incredibly difficult to bail water out, but you must never stop or you will have more water to bail out more quickly than you would have had you just kept a steady pace. It is exhausting and continuous, but it is not as mentally strenuous as you might think.

3. By week four of law school I am looking for ways to keep afloat and have a social life simultaneously. Sometimes I wonder if I'm maintaining a proper balance. Occasionally I find this stressful, but most of the time I just keep going and hope for the best.

4. I fell asleep in the middle of reading Thursday night. That was discouraging.

5. It turns out my stress manifests itself in strange ways. Saturday before the USC game (which I don't want to talk about) I felt stressed about the amount of work I wanted to get done. In an overwhelming compulsion to do something with a tangible result, I made Snickerdoodles. I felt good that I'd accomplished something, however it turns out cookies do not help my studying much.

6. This Monday was completely fine other than feeling a little under the weather. I'm no longer deathly afraid of being called on in class on Mondays. No tightrope walk today, just a stroll through the park.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 1 - Week Four

Apparently law school at OSU is about as low key as law school comes. Tomorrow I have a quiz in Torts over intentional torts and defenses to intentional torts. Although it's a pain to have to do the extra studying, overall I'm grateful. Law school grades are heavily based off final exam scores. A few quizzes here and there let you know how you're doing mid-semester and take just a little bit of the pressure off final exams.

I've decided that perhaps I need to just schedule my studying in order to keep my study habits in check. I've discovered that not putting a cap on my study time causes my mind to wander and makes it more difficult to keep going. The new plan is to map my study plans out for the week to give me a clear idea of what times are free time and what times are not. In theory this should prevent me from sitting down to my computer to do my legal research assignment for the week and ending up playing five consecutive games of mahjong.

Week four has started off well. I'm beginning to feel like I have a grasp on what habits I need to adjust. I have certain subjects I'm feeling relatively confident in, and others I should probably spend some extra time looking over (would anyone like to explain contracts to me? I'm starting to think an agreement might be legally binding if two parties "spit on it". Seriously, it makes my head spin.) Some days I ask myself, "why am I doing this again?", but then I remember that I actually enjoy going to class and like the idea of mincing words for a living. Out of all of the things that have come as a surprise in the first month of law school, the biggest has been just how interesting the law actually is.

Back to intentional torts! Wish me luck tomorrow.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hang On Sloopy

Roughly ten minutes ago THIS pulled up beneath my apartment blaring the Alma Mater. The picture doesn't really do the scene justice since I took it with my cell phone, but needless to say, football season is upon us. It's my first game weekend living on campus and I'm excited! It is highly plausible that I will not get to sleep for the next two nights due to the perpetual party going on below (or for any Friday and Saturday going forward until December), but oh well, all for the Buckeyes!! I'm looking forward to nights of "Hang On Sloopy" instead of "Wasting Away in Margaritaville". (A cover band plays nearly every night across the street. That cover band, no matter who it happens to be that night ALWAYS covers, "Wasting Away in Margaritaville" and normally covers, "Champagne Supernova". I have no idea why they pick these two songs. I'm not actually sure that they have any of their own music. I can sleep through all of it, but it plays in my dreams as background music. Do you have ANY idea what it's like to dream of cover band songs EVERY night??? Just imagine "Wasting Away in Margaritaville" on repeat as the soundtrack of your life. Yeah - I told you, it gets old. Hang on Sloopy here I come!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marzipan Days

It's come to my attention that some blog readers may think that I sit in a depressed, overwhelmed stupor struggling to cope with the ins and outs of law school, and by extension, my life. I'm writing today to tell you that I'm actually just fine. I think that by choosing the difficult things to write about I may have mislead you to believe that life is less than ideal. This could not be further from the truth.

It is true that I haven't really made any new friends, and that I find the idea of giving up my lunch break to join a student organization less than ideal, and that occasionally I study through every meal and break during my day. What I don't bother to mention, but should never be forgotten, is that every day is a choice, and I am as happy and free as I've ever wanted to be. I realize that I may seem very, "the glass is half empty" in some of my entries, but this is primarily because the full part of the glass just doesn't make for much of a story. For example, take the following:

"Today I got up and drug myself and my mug of creamed-sugared-vanillaed coffee to Criminal Law. Criminal Law is very interesting and I think my professor may be a genius. I go to Criminal Law hoping the professor will call on me. The girls who sit on either side of me talk a lot and I find this incredibly amusing. The rest of my classes I had to work at staying awake through (except for Civil Procedure because my professor occasionally sings, dances, and gives ridiculous examples that make me laugh). I had a peanut butter cookie for lunch AND for breakfast. I am happy. Peanut butter cookies are wonderful."

See? All of those things are true, but not nearly as interesting. If you like the details about the peanut butter cookies and my classmates being silly, let me know. The hard things are much more epic topics of perseverance and life learning. The good things are things like having a pint of Ben & Jerry's Mission to Marzipan in my freezer. What you need to understand is that the ice cream is just as good as the stress is bad- it's just not as interesting.