Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How do you write a paper?

This question has bugged me for a very long time. You see, I used to basically write for a living. I wrote a Master's thesis, a doctoral dissertation, multiple articles, lecture notes and tests, and even opinion pieces. Then I get to law school. And on my very first writing assignment, I am told that I am not a good writer...Really.

What happened after that is not supposed to happen to someone that has already made her bones in another field. I froze. I could not write. I would procrastinate to the point of all nighter's. Anything to avoid writing! Now, I have a paper that I HAVE TO COMPLETE. Not only that, I have to have it done by the end of October. Doable - you betcha. Doable by me - that's more in doubt. I am honestly considering signing up with a writing coach. A writing coach is someone that you report to on a daily or weekly basis. Many people sign up for one when they get stuck on the dissertation. I always thought it was hooey.

What kind of problems do you have? How do you get going? And what kinds of bribes do you use?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Exercise...It's the right thing to do, and a tasty way to do it

Starting the new and improved schedule. Getting up at 5 am to work out. Starting weight - very heavy. First goal? 10 lbs. Timeline: First goal by October 24.

Today I went to the dentist. Have you ever heard of scaling and planing under the gum line? I hadn't. I will ALWAYS floss from now on.

Any interesting class bits? I need to start writing these things down.

Prof Tax told us that s/he was one of the first people to develop mortgage-backed securities, basically to put together the residuals. Yah! Wait, weren't those the things that hid the actual risk in the market (buried subprime mortgages into these huge pools). yay. And wasn't that the reason why the subprime foreclosures caused so much crap and helped to melt the economy. ummm, not so yay. I couldn't concentrate the rest of class, I was either stifling laughter that this prof. was so proud of what s/he had accomplished or about to leap over the table to throttle the prof for exactly the same reason. Maybe I just didn't understand what s/he was saying. Or Prof T is the devil.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crunch, mmm carrots

Starting to bring my lunch more often. In fact, I am aiming for everyday and have only missed a few days. My favorite right now is a banana and peanut butter sandwich. It tastes almost like dessert. And little carrots are tasty, then top it off with an apple. MMMMMM. Sounds so simple, but it's quite good.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy with a side of guilt

1. Woot...I ate a salad today, with yogurt, low cal fruit juice (I feel cheated, basically watered down fruit juice), and fruit. AND the salad was not drowning in dressing.

2. I hate this feeling. A prof canceled class because of a family tragedy. I feel sorry for him, because I know it's rough. But underneath is this truly self-centered emotional response of happiness that I don't have class tonight.

3. Feel like I am getting into the swing of things. It's the beginning of the 3rd week, so I am in the swing a bit earlier than last year!

4. I do not feel like a moron. Nuf said.

Enjoy the week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

As I completely ignore resolution to get healthy

I went back and read some entries. Seems in a drunken stupor I said that I was going to get healthy...read drop a lot of weight. And in that same stupor, I claimed that I was going to have weigh-ins with real weight. Well, that has come and gone. But I should be taking this uber seriously. In light of my posts, I will begin the metamorphosis (no, not a cockroach).

So today I weigh...a lot. I can't bring myself to post it. Let's just set a goal and I will post how I am doing each week. So WebMD says a doable goal is 1-2 lbs per week. So for my very first goal, I am aiming to lose 1 lb per week for the next 4 weeks.

How do I feel...IT'S NOT ENOUGH. I should be aiming for 5 lbs a week. And that, friends, is exactly what causes myself to lose momentum. It is a strange process (completely counter productive, result - gain weight). First, I set a realistic goal. I begin achieving said realistic goal. Then I get antsy..more, more. So I start doing things that cause the weight to drop faster. And then I get even more impatient. Ultimately, with a lot of circular reasoning, depressive episodes, toss some insanity in, and I end up gaining everything back.

But each time is different, so never say never.

To lose 1 lb per week, I will:

1. Exercise at least 15 minutes 6 days a week
2. Take my lunch and eat breakfast
3. Not eat out more than one time per week

Okay, 3 fairly simple goals. Rah, rah, rah.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday and Tax

I will spend hours on tax today. And then go to a civilized cocktail party with people who are not law students or lawyers. I will have nothing whatsoever to say that anyone will want to hear. Egads, my life is ragingly dull. Maybe I could pass a few no634 stories as my own. Nah, no one would believe it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whew!

I really need to chill. For some reason, everything is driving me crazy.

Fridays are a little odd because there are not that many folks on campus, a large % are 1L's. Every place I attempted to study, something got under my skin. Loud talking, music, even youtube watching. Moved to the library and I became ultra-sensitive to every noise around me. Out come the ear plugs. Now my ears hurt from having them in for hours. I guess I should take them out more often. So I end up grumpy.

Then I walk out to the parking lot I use, which is not a school parking lot. It is usually never manned. There are exceptions. This time, one of the people that runs the lot came over and asked me how much I paid. I tell him and he says I owe more. Yes, the charge changes, but when it does there is always a sign (which there wasn't this am, I always check). He keeps badgering me. So I simply say, the sign wasn't up. He keeps saying it was. (1) I don't actually have the money to pay more and (2) he has picked the wrong person to berate. I then say, nope, not going to pay, which I didn't. I am now banned from the lot, but happy that I left without a fist fight. Not from me, but this guy was doing everything but hitting me; grabbing my car door, my bag, my arm. While I am still a little pissed over the whole interaction (I don't care who was wrong or right, he was a total prick, I was leaving and the event he was upcharging for didn't even start for another 2 hours). The lesson, nothing was accomplished. I will park in a different lot for the same amount of money and that parking lot will likely be mostly full everyday. I hate these kinds of interactions. I will now spend the next 24 hours vacillating between feeling I was in the wrong and angry that I keep revisiting it.

Ugg...the weekend is off to a helluva start.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rains, pours...fill in the cliche

In this season of disappointment and recessionary depressed economy, I feel guilty for being happy. We thought that this semester would be really difficult money-wise, but in a day, we are back to equilibrium. I think we have found a renter for the apartment and a friend contacted me about a potential part-time job. So I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. And to top it off, I may get to ditch a class that I really am not diggin'. I am having a little fun with Tax and Evidence, plus the seminars are going to be much more work than I thought.

And I appreciate the folks out there that are blogging. It makes my day much more entertaining, I have found.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I fear sickness

For the last 2 years I have been lucky enough to have almost all my classes with the most perfect student. One who never gets sick (or only on weekends), attends every class, and takes perfect notes.

I, on the other hand, have no immune system (well, it's gotten better since I actually started eating vegies on a regular basis). I get everything from stomach flu (oh god, I am going to die) to, very likely, swine flu. Cupcakes and other goodies bought me notes from perfect student. But now perfect student has abandoned me for the last year in LS. He is at another school for the last year. There are others I could ask, but it's just not the same. I got notes from someone when I had catastrophic flu (read, almost 2 weeks out with 102 fever). There were numerous words that weren't. Put another way, when taking notes, the English language simply escaped them, though they were born and bred in the US. Another person took so few notes it was pointless. Still another took notes that made absolutely no sense to what we were reading. The notes were basically reminders to her of what she wanted to remember. Needless to say, I never asked for another person's notes again, with this one exception (or in really dire circumstances).

Why am I going on about this? Because I have a headache, a slight sore throat, and a bit of a runny nose. Now this could be nothing but what I call library fever (I am allergic to SOMETHING in this damn place). I take an antihistamine if it gets too bad and it goes away. In the winter, it gets much better, not sure why. BUT there are numerous industrious souls dragging their sick-asses to school and infecting everyone they touch, sneeze on (thanks by the way), cough near, or germinate through door handles, faucets, etc. Yes, I get it, LS is a bitch and it sucks to miss class. But really, do you HAVE to come to school when you look like you are dying???? There are times, when I believe that there should be laws that if you (1) have a fever; (2) are snot-person; or (3) have a cough, it should be illegal for you to come to school. You should be stopped at the door and sent to the quarantine room until a special car picks you up and deposits you on your doorstep.

Before LS, when I worked (granted in academics), I sent people home when they dragged in. First and foremost, you are a danger to everyone around you. We look at colds and flu as if they are nothing. But one of the people I worked with had reduced lung capacity from childhood pneumonia, so a minor cold could be life threatening to her. The flu kills people every year and yet few people have qualms bringing it to work or school. To give you an example, we had a young woman demand to drag herself in every day that she was sick. And she was desperately sick. She gave it to a few people in class (likely through touching desks, etc.). One of those people had a compromised immune system. They were in the hospital for over 3 months.

So the next time you decide to "be brave" and bring whatever sickness to school with you, just know that everyone around you hates you. Especially me, because I know I am going to get it and now I can't stay home because I lost the best student notetaker on the planet. So I hope I get a variant that can be transmitted back to you. Yeah, I am that petty.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Digress

Okay, just spent yesterday ranting about library noise. However, if everyone was as entertaining as the 2 (1L's? Lost undergrads?) near me this am, I might give them a pass. This next part might sound mean and it is not, really, for the following reasons. (1) Everyone has been in similar situations, though not quite this one (no one has been clued in everyday of their lives. And everyone wants to believe SO) and (2) unlike other annoyances, I felt quite maternal in my sympathy.

Young woman walks up and sits at table with other young woman (YW1 and YW2). yw1 states that she is having serious relationship problems which have lead to class related problems. yw2 sympathizes appropriately and turns back to books. yw1 goes on about relationship. It seems that she is confused whether to get rid of partner because of underwear found in glovebox of partner's car. Said partner claims it is yw1's underwear, yet yw1 can not recall ever purchasing said underwear. Additionally, the underwear is at least 2 sizes too large for yw1. The partner explains this away as her (I kid you not) "fat period." The conversation went on for approximately 10 more minutes in this vein with yw1 attempting to figure out if said underwear were indeed hers with yw2 suppressing serious laughter. I wanted to go over and share a piece of wisdom handed down for generations of women in my family...Git another one cause they makin' 'em everyday. (Also taken from the Sweet Potato Queens, though my great-grandmother said this all the time). I just wanted to hug her...Bless her heart.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And so the library madness begins

At the beginning of the fall semester, I have found that the exact same thing happens until about mid-semester...No one knows how to act in a library. Others have similar experiences.

It begins with a slam of books, a crunch of chips, a whispered conversation. Not bad, I can deal with that, not a problem. Then it elevates to real conversation, a cell phone ring, and a loud conversation about how ____ got so drunk last night at the generic get to know you event hosted by whoever. Now, I am the first to admit that I am cranky. But come on! Really?! You spent how many years in college and you still don't know how to act in a library. Do I really have to shoot death glares or berate you into silence? Do I really have to walk over to the study room, knock on the damn door and tell you that the whole floor can here your screeching laughter? And are you so clueless that you haven't figured out that all of the other folks in the library are trying to stare you into a little quiet?

This cycle will continue until about the middle of the semester. Many of the perpetrators will either avoid the library or avoid being any where that I am (smirk). Of the few that do not get it, others will begin to come forward to shut them up. By the end of the semester, many of these self-same people will be freaking out over exams and outlines and studying that one potato chip crunch will send them into a frenzy of shushing.

But for now, excuse me while I go tell some 1L to shut the hell up, I am trying to blog.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First week...out of schedule already

Usually it takes a couple of weeks for me to get off schedule. I outdid myself and was out by day 2. Going to make for an interesting semester.

Also, tried to talk to some 1Ls. Were we like that? They seemed to only want to congregate amongst themselves, so I bid adieu quickly. I suppose its the whole shared experience thing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am turning into a really cranky person

So, I am spending a lot more time at school in order to be able to spend more quality time with DH at home. This comes after many months of "I would love to do that, but am reading (fill in blank)." I have spent the last two years being unable to separate school from any other time. While this works (not well) okay with singles (all right, maybe not), for smug marrieds (nod to Bridget) it can lead to total disaster around exam time. Meaning, as soon as the REAL stress is on, that is the time chosen for your significant other to have a meltdown. While we have had only minor sallies, I don't want any more stress in my life than needs to be.

So, that brings me to "cranky."

Most of my time is being spent alone and in the library with little contact with other humans. While I realize this represents most law students lives, I have also spent some time previously isolated (about 4 weeks) doing all the things (read nothing) that I, and I alone like to do (okay, I am not always this self-centered). So in the past two days, I have begun to interact with others again. And I realized (with the help of a friend that was very direct) that I have to relearn how to interact. It seems that if I stay away from people too long everyone thinks I am angry during conversations. It's the abruptness. I begin to speak in very short sentences and not cuing into facial expressions. Finally, someone just flat out asked if I was angry. No, I am not angry. Just socially maladjusted.

So if you decide that you need to hole up for a very long period of time, remember that once you emerge, there will be an adjustment period. Don't be surprised if you spend the first few hours pissing off people :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Late start

Wow, we start so late in the year. It is so wonderful to start so late. And to have had so much time off. And to have a job. Thank you greater being than myself, that I have a job. This year is going to be so much better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This Year Is Tough, Money-wise

I don't want to complain, because I have so much to be thankful for. But this year is going to be interesting. Our money supply is beginning to run short just when expenses are piling higher. I have to take the Patent Bar, MPRE and the bar this year. Plus, we don't have the extra income this year from a part time job. And then there is the whole moving at the end of summer. The question remains how in the world are we going to sell our house for a reasonable rate.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tired all of the time

Wow, 2 posts in one day. Guess I am on a roll.

I have been feeling tired for a long time now. It comes and goes, but lately it stays for much longer than usual. Everyone gets tired, I know that. But when this happens, I feel like I am in a brain fog. My thoughts get scattered and it's difficult to focus at all. For instance, right now, I feel as if I am typing through molasses. I could literally curl up on the floor and go to sleep. For a long time I thought I wasn't getting enough sleep. But that doesn't explain the vast majority of it.

So here are the possibilities:

1. Being overweight. But I did have major bouts when I was thin. Doesn't rule it out, though.

2. Poor nutrition. This really could be the source of all evil. I am terrible about eating right. I become a child when a meal rolls around. Right down to a pout.

3. Lack of exercise. Again, very good possibility here. The strange thing is that when I do exercise, I feel much, much worse. However, that may just be the initial phases. Maybe that floodgate of energy will crank open once I make exercise a habit.

4. Sneaking smokes. Yep, I have a tendency for lying to myself about smoking.

5. Too much caffeine and too little water. I live for coffee, always have. I was chugging the stuff in high school. Maybe it's time to let it go.

Okay, so maybe the whole losing weight based on good nutrition and exercise will actually result in a huge increase in energy (or at least fewer days like today where it's almost painful to do anything).

Here's to me getting off my ass.

The FINAL year

Okay, we are about to start school. We start late here, not sure what the reasoning is, but I love it. I had a few weeks to do very little and loved it.

I can't believe I didn't blog at all this summer. Quick summary:

1. We did indeed nurse a cat back to health. And it freakin' cost a mint. His name is now Vacation, because that is exactly where all of our vacation money went. We are just lucky we didn't book far in advance.

2. I worked for a firm in the South this summer. The firm was great, the people were good folks. That is high praise in Southern.

3. I got an offer from said firm. Relieved.

4. We lost fabulous tenants that we would have like to have stayed the whole three years. But when a house falls in your lap, you have to purchase. So now, we are kind of sweatin' about renting.

5. We stayed at home for vacation (see #1) and had a great time. So much to do around this city, so little time.

And now school is looming like the dark specter that haunts your dreams. I don't wanna!

Random tidbits for 1L's coming in this year:

1. Advice is all well and good, but frankly, until you get your first semester grades you don't know what works for you.

2. I didn't start getting good grades until I stopped using a computer in class.

3. I know people that study like fiends ranked low and those that don't, ranked high. And vice versa.

4. For the vast majority of people, law school blows. Most get over the whole, wow isn't this intellectually stimulating crap.

5. Don't believe the administration. Jobs are freakin' hard to come by. I don't care what the stats say. I didn't get even a nibble until I thought to look in my home town.

6. Decorate with liveliness. Don't you want to spend time in a place that has your name written all over it?

7. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Laughter reduces stress hormones. Laughter actually works abdominal muscles. Laughter just plain feels good.

8. Be kind to that woman or man in your class that seems odd. You never know. Plus, you just might prevent someone becoming an addict or worse.

9. Keep as many parts of you that make you who you are. Okay, kind of convoluted.

That's it. Oh, one more thing. I am doing weigh in Wednesdays. Since I keep blathering about losing weight, I am going to post my weight each week (yep, my real weight). The plan is simple: (1) stop eating out; (2) exercise everyday; (3) sleep 8 hours; (4) eat around 1500-1700 calories a day; and (5) drink tons of water.

If anyone is still reading, how ya doin'?