Monthly Archives: September 2011

Happy Holidays

ORIGINALLY POSTED 12/16/09–I’ve been gone from the law school less than a week and it feels like forever. When my Property exam finally rolled around, I was so beyond exhausted it was like welcoming death; I just wanted it to be done.   Law school exams are very much like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get. It has less to do with how you did personally and more to do with how you compare to others. After three semesters I’ve yet to predict my grade on an exam, so I’m not even going to try.  Instead, I’m going to stay “law-free” for the semester break. Yeah, right!

Monday I took my son to participate as a juror in our YMCA Teen Court. The kids have already been found guilty of their offenses, usually drug/alcohol-related, and they go to Teen Court for sentencing.  The whole court is run by kids including the judge, jury and lawyers. It was really cool to see these 13-17 year old kids handle court procedure so well; I was impressed. Not only did it give my son a glimpse into the legal process, I can’t think of a better life lesson than being part of a jury called to deliberate on another kid’s fate after he broke the law. As my son will be 13 on Saturday, I think this was a powerful experience that won’t soon be forgotten. On the ride home I asked about the factors they considered when deciding the number of community service hours to assess. He said they considered whether the kid was remorseful, whether he was a good student and if he had a history of trouble.  They thought that the maximum hours should be reserved for those that showed no remorse and/or were habitual trouble-makers. Wow. What insightful kids.

The holidays are in full swing back at my old office with a luncheon or potluck every time you turn around. I am enjoying my time without a law book in my face. Unless… does John Grisham count?  Wishing you all a blessed and Merry Christmas.

Snow-covered Mountains

ORIGINALLY POSTED 12/2/11–Well, it’s crunch time people…and I’m in the thick of things. Finals began on Monday with the remainder of Civil Procedure. I think it went well, but a three-hour test in the evening sure wears you out. I’m not commuting during this week or next and am staying with my friend, Leah, in Dallas, so I’ve had more time to study.  With no classes to differentiate one day from the next, I didn’t even realize until this evening that it’s already Wednesday. I had a couple of things on my calendar that had to be done today, and well, they weren’t.

It didn’t help either that I was basically incommunicado today because the weather threw a wrench into my plans. I was on my way out when Leah informed me that it was snowing. So, I did what any normal Texan would do in such a case: I got my camera.  After taking a few pictures and marveling at the huge flakes, I refocused and got back on track. At the gas station the snow continued to fall and although it wasn’t sticking, it made me reconsider getting out in the weather. I grabbed some coffee and backtracked to the house. Lucky (or not?) for me, I have no internet at the house and so I had no choice but to work on my ConLaw outline with no temptations from Facebook or email.  It took every ounce of will I had, but right around 7:30 pm I received my reward: a fully complete outline…all 64 pages worth. Now, I just have to memorize it by Tuesday. Yay!

Next week I have my last three finals and Fall 2009 will be in the books. ConLaw and Property are mountains in my path, but I shall overcome. Right now, there’s more studying to be done.  I’ll be back to work at the University of Texas System after finals. I can’t wait to see all my friends again and celebrate the end of another fine semester. Until then, keep the emails coming and keep sending all your positive energy!

Things In Perspecitve

ORIGINALLY POSTED 11/18/09–Today was a really rough day. We took part one of our Civil Procedure final exam in class and I learned that one of my law school friends is having difficulties with his son. The baby’s been sick for a few months and they don’t know why. We recently saw pictures of him in his Halloween costume and were hopeful that he’d gotten better, but he hasn’t. Having two sons of my own, I can’t even imagine what the family is going through. All day our group of friends reminded each other to pray and several times I tried, but I couldn’t get through it without my eyes welling up. I took my exam with a heavy heart and suddenly all those questions about jurisdiction and venue were so insignificant. After class and alone in my car I was finally able to add my prayer to the mountain that I know have been sent to heaven today. I’m sure I did fine on the exam, but it got me thinking…

It is so important to reflect on the blessings we have. Our families and the connections we build with our law school family are what make this journey worth it. These friends I’ve made here will be my friends forever because after working so closely and intensely toward a common goal, it’s impossible NOT to bond—you’ve gone through the fire together. We know when someone in our group is sick, when their kid is in the school play, when company’s coming over and what’s for supper. You need these small glimpses of reality to keep your feet on the ground when you’re on planet Law School. So, I am thankful for my faith, my family, and my friends.

I’m taking Thanksgiving Day off, but will be studying hard for finals until then.  Studying resumes on Black Friday (no shopping for me) with my first final on Monday after Thanksgiving. Please keep me and my little law school family in your prayers as we struggle through the last few weeks of this semester. Happy Birthday, Karla and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Just Enough Law to Know Nothing

ORIGINALLY POSTED 11/12/09–I’m getting that feeling I’ve come to know as “Maximum overload.” This is the time in the semester when you want to stand up and say, “Enough!  I’m full. Let me empty some of my head out before you give me more!” Sigh! I’m trying really hard to stay on top of things and simultaneously organize and prepare for finals. I’ve got flash cards falling out of my pockets, hornbooks are my constant companions, and my drive time is spent listening to ConLaw and Property CDs. This is how it will be for a while.  Until then…life goes on.

I have to say a Happy Birthday to my mom– just ‘cause. This morning she delivered my oldest son to school for his basketball tryout and then stayed for the Veteran’s Day assembly and band concert in which he played. We were all pretty subdued this morning since we had a late night.  My aunt was hit by a car on Sunday as she was crossing the street and well, I just felt like my mom needed to see her sister.  So we went to San Antonio and had dinner with my aunt and uncle.

While listening to her story my mind began spinning questions: “Were there witnesses?” “Is there a police report?” “Was he drunk?” “Were you in a cross-walk?” While I was also concerned about her injuries, it’s like my attorney-in-training mind just went into over-drive. I was careful to offer only suggestions because I’ve found that now my “opinion” can take on a new significance. People look at you differently as if being in law school means you suddenly “know.” Heck, I know just enough to get me in trouble, so my “advice” to her was to get an attorney because she needs someone to advocate on her behalf and I’m just not there yet.

As I close out this update I’d like to congratulate our Texas Wesleyan Law alumni that did phenomenal on the bar. With the third highest pass rate in the state, I am so proud to be a TWU Law student.

Illicit Movie Watching and Other Wasted Time

ORIGINALLY POSTED 10/28/09–I feel like this week’s blog is a classic example of conflicting law. Last time I wrote about using time productively. Today, I must confess that lately I’ve been less than productive with my time. Now that I’ve painted myself into a corner, like a good law student I’m back to my original premise looking for a loophole: What exactly did I mean by “productive?”

I guess realistically there comes a point where you hit a wall. It can happen many times throughout the day, a week, or a semester. Monday and Wednesday are such long days for me. By the time I sit down in the evening to read for my next day’s class, I have a small window of time before the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Pushing past that wall will cost me more in the way of sleep and added exhaustion, than I gain in useful study.

Then there’s the wall you hit when you’ve been studying diligently for months and you suddenly feel so burnt out that everything’s a distraction. Yesterday my friends, Karla and Martha, and I gave in. We had two cancelled classes, a cold front blew in and it was a dreary, rainy day so we decided to have lunch away from campus. Then, that turned into “We should go to the movies.” After the movie, I “needed” hot chocolate and of all the random things, Karla wanted “birthday cake.” Hours later we were back at school with books laid out regretting our time away. We’ve not yet forgotten how hard we worked to get into law school and we actually felt guilty thinking about all those that would love the opportunity to be where we are. It’s like you’re letting down a whole bunch of people, even those you don’t know, when you waste one second of this experience. In the end we decided that there were worse things we could have done and that sometimes you just have to give yourself a breather so that you can come back stronger than ever. After all, tomorrow’s another day.

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