Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Taking it easy.....
Wow, so this was what my pre-law-school-life was like. Sort of. Evenings and weekends at home with my family. Time for yard work, tv shows, even a little sleep. I'm getting to know my kids again, and my wife. These are very good things. I love school. I really do. Right now, though, I am loving summer! Bring it on!

The very first Saturday after finals were done we went to Powell's Books in Portland. For anyone not from around here, this is the most amazing bookstore ever. It takes up an entire city block and I don't even know how many floors. I could probably spend a week there without getting bored. Check out this quote from their website:

"The greatest bookstore in the world, bar none, sprawls in the blandest of buildings on Portland's Burnside Street....The store that calls itself the City of Books has been dubbed 'the best bookstore in the English-speaking world' (author Susan Sontag), 'the world's greatest bookstore' (The Seattle Times), 'the mother monster of bookstores' (author Ursula Le Guin), and 'one of the most innovative and creative enterprises in the country' (The Wall Street Journal). How does Powell's, an independent in a sea of chain stores, stay afloat? Answers: a vast offering of used books, a stunning selection of out-of-print books, a crammed roomful of rare books, its knowledgeable and verbose staffers, the comfortable ambience of the mother store, and its secret weapon: www.powells.com...." VIA: The Magazine For The Western Traveler, March 2003

I now have 6 books that I do not have to read for anything other than my own pleasure.
Thank you for your suggestions - received both verbally and on this blog. What did I end up with?

- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman
- Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman (Yes, I like Kellerman)
- A Widow for One Year by John Irving
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- The King of Torts by John Grisham

I've started with Therapy (about time, right?). I'm a long-time fan of the Alex Delaware series. They are techically murder mysteries, I suppose, but the main character is actually a psychologist who is a consultant for the police, so they've got a psychological thriller edge to them. The main character is straight and his best friend is a gritty, tough defying-the-stereotypes gay police detective. Nice, realistic banter between the two men. Oh, hell, what do I know? It might not be realistic conversation between men, but it feels real. It would be real if they were both analytical, not overly emotional, but still sensitive women.

This weekend we head off for 6 nights at the Disneyland resort! Great way to celebrate the end of 1L. Hey- I'm a 2L! "I'm goin' to Disneyland!"

Hope my fellow classmates are having a wonderful summer!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The End Is Near!

No, not a religious post.
Law school post.

One more three-hour exam, tonight, and I am done with 1L. Wow. It went by quickly, it really did. Someday, perhaps I will have the brainpower to contemplate the experience. Today is not that day. I don't know when I have ever felt this exhausted. I was really tired after my partner's 37-hour labor, followed by a C-section, followed by me becoming the primary (and somewhat clueless) caregiver since my wife was hooked up to tubes and such, followed by our baby's 4-day stay in the NICU. I barely got any sleep for those 6 days. That was exhausting physically and emotionally. This is mentally exhaustion, which I don't think I've ever experienced before. If I step back and look at it, it is sort of interesting: interesting in that floaty, what-was-that-I-just-took sort of way. In fact, if I think about it more that a few seconds, it puts a little smile on my face.

Random thoughts: Last post I was not saying I want a sports car. I wouldn't mind one, but that was not the point. It was about control and bonding and a lot of stress. I actually like of like the Subaru Baha. Not so much a sports car, but sporty, nonetheless.

Ghost Whisperer is an amazing show that had a totally"did-not-see-that-coming" season finale.

I thought I'd look up some interesting facts on chocolate. As it turned out, none of them held my interest. Trivia: There is a bag of M&M's waiting for me with my pre-final dinner. Thanks, Wife :)

OK, that's it. I'm out. Got nothing else but the hope that all I've learned in Contracts is stored in my brain and will surface when it is needed tonight.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The point at which we begin losing control...

It hit me this morning; the point at which our lives begin to resemble some suburban tv show minus the precisely timed wit and constant level of high drama. This could also be considered the time that we grow up or the time that we sell out and start living the prepackaged life that our society so desperately wants us to live. It is when we trade in that sporty 5-speed for a practical automatic that gets good gas mileage. A friend (you know who you are) pointed out to me the other day that her current car lacks soul. Yes, that is it exactly. My 2000 automatic Saturn is a fine car with 4 doors (plenty of room for 2 car seats in the back) and really good gas mileage. It's been dependable and looks nice, even when it's not been washed in close to a year, but it has no soul. Or maybe it does, but I've not connected with it. We are not best friends, pals racing to work, to the beach, to anywhere. We do practical things together and get the job done. Maybe, just maybe, it is when we give up being passionately involved with our mode of transportation and see it as simply a means to an end that we give up a little of who we are.

OR - it may just be the stress of tonight's 4-hour, closed-book, torts final is getting to me and the above makes absolutely no sense. I'm not eliminating that as a possibility.

I did make 10 minutes go by simply by blogging about it though :) 20 minutes more and I can leave work and go pick up my brief which is now graded. Then, I will still have two hours to kill before the final starts. Maybe a little music and sunshine are in my immediate future.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Civ Pro Final - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress?

Well, I doubt it was truly an intentional disregard for the probability of emotional distress, no more so than any final exam. Actually, judging by the way I, and those I went out with following the final felt, maybe there was some battery involved. We all felt pretty beat up. (Can you tell that torts is my next exam?) I had lots to say, just not enough time to say it well and go back over my answers to check for errors or omissions. At least we all took the same test in the same amount of time. That's one down two to go. I'm already feeling fairly exhausted, and tomorrow is the 4-hour closed-book exam; Thursday the 3-hour one. Wow. It's going to be a long, hard week, but then, I am done with 1L! My family is very excited to have me home, and I think it is going to be nice to spend my evenings and weekends being a family rather than a student. I'll be ready for school to start in the fall, but for now, I am ready for the summer break!

On that note, I am taking suggestions for summer leisure reading. (Classmates - you remember that, right? It's where you read for fun, not because you need to learn the material, and you will NOT be tested on it later.) Required elements: 1) Must be entertaining; 2) Must be mostly mindless; 3) If there is ANY educational value, that must be a secondary purpose of the material. Bonus points for strong lesbian characters or appearing on the best-seller list so I can give the impression I have somewhat kept up on pop culture during my law school career. Suggestions need not be particularly current as I've done little pleasure reading since our 4-year-old was born. Sleep-deprivation and non-mandatory reading do not go well together. I will be looking forward to your thoughts and be assured this is yet one more method of procrastination. Suggestions will be researched on Amazon.com for reader reviews and probably purchased there, too. That ought to take up some precious study time! Thanks! Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What's Your Personality Type?

I've been hard at work this morning, and only minimally thinking about the upcoming finals. Minimally, in that sort of vague way that you can't really block out a toothache....Anyway, thought I'd go for a little something fun. I find it reassuring that no matter how many versions of this Myers-Briggs-type tests I take, I always end up the same - with my scores being almost identical for the following (though usually INTP comes out barely ahead). Link to do this quiz for yourself is at the end.

Your #1 Match: INTJ

The Scientist
You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.
You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

Your #2 Match: INTP

The Thinker
You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More musings on a balanced life

Hadas confessed on her blog last Friday that she’d not made outstanding efforts at work since she’d been so focused on school and other things. I believe, and actually hope, that most of us are in similar situations. I certainly have not gone above and beyond in my job this past year. I do my job, I do it well, and occasionally do something that makes people take notice (in a good way), but it’s not generally for anything HUGE. I’d like to say it’s because I am working smart, not hard, but that’s not accurate. I simply have not had the energy or desire to put in 110% at work while I am also going to school at night and trying to maintain some semblance of a home life. It's nice to operate on cruise control, to some extent. A part of me wishes I was a person that had the kind of drive, energy and passion to exel at everything. I’m not, at least, not now, and not at what I am doing now. I believe I may some day find that passion, but I know when I do, my commitment to something else will wane. I can’t keep several fires all burning on high heat, and truthfully, don’t think I want to, at least, not on anything other than a theoretic level. Sounds like a recipe for burn-out. Still....on some level, don't we feel we have to sometimes?

Funny, this somewhat warped perspective so many of us seem to share (and the fact I see it as warped is an indication of mental health, I believe). Is it an over-achiever thing, a woman thing, a generational thing…and gosh, how will I deal with it if I cannot label it? Many people look at those of us who are working and going to law school at night, and they think we are amazing. Add in kids and it’s like we’re doing something superhuman. For most of us actually doing it, it’s just life, and we’re wondering how the heck to cram something else in, like law review or a clerkship, or exercise. Then, maybe we realize we are not achieving enough in one of our areas of like – work, home – and step up that involvement a notch. We look for a new job, or a new project to manage, or maybe we decide to have a child, or another child. Who is it we are trying to impress and when will it be enough? My guess is: Ourselves and Never. I think many of us are over the need to impress others. We're self-centered enough that we're really trying to impress the one who always urges us to achieve just a little bit more - ourselves. (I will admit I may be generalizing here, but my guess is, some of you are still with me.)

One direction of thought is that nothing will ever change about that equation until we change our own perspectives - allow whatever we are doing to be good enough, seek balance and be satisfied.


Maybe never being quite satisfied is part of the journey – what keeps the journey going. Maybe the constant push-pull/up-down of not being in balance actually creates the energy of movement. I’m almost never less satisfied than following a long stretch when I’ve allowed myself to become complacent. Living with and being happy with the status quo is what some people desperately seek. They like the inertia of balance. All year, I've talked about balance, but I think the reality is, I prefer jumping on one end of the teeter totter, watching stuff fly off the other end, and then running up the board to see what happens.