Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Real Law School-Related Post

A fellow law student introduced herself to me last night as someone who reads my blog. ** Hi Mary! ** We started talking about some of the challenges of having a family while going to law school, whether the family is a wife and human kids, or a spouse and furry kids, there are still sacrifices all around. Sometimes decisions are made, and other times they are forced upon us by circumstances, to put off parts of our life, or lose touch with friends, or not be as present for our family as we'd like. People tend to not talk about the emotional toll that the sacrifices take - on us as students, and on our partners, children, animals, and others. First year especially is kind of a mind-game and it forces us to call into question a lot of our own priorities and values. I think that is easier to see in retrospect than when you are going through it, and probably easier to value in retrospect, too.

I think more folks should be honest and open in their communication with others about what they are experiencing emotionally - at home, with friends, and maybe people would feel less alone. I know I've found a few people similarly situated and it has been nice to know we're all going through the same challenges, but not everyone is as up front, or has that kind of support. As lawyers-in-training we are taught to put on this all-knowing, in control-facade and it does us a disservice as students. The fake it till you make it mentality is necessary in the real world, but with each other, sometimes we just need to admit that we feel like we've been hit by a fleet of moving trucks. We are tough, or we wouldn't be in law school; we will bounce back, but sometimes the long hours, the studying, and the competing demands take their toll.

A lawyer recently gave me some advice about studying for the bar. She said that everyone around me will be saying they are doing great, all is going well, and the truth is that for most people, that is not really how they will be feeling. She said not to let that behavior psych me out. It ended up that most of the people she knew were actually uncertain and nervous while studying for the bar. So, it is OK to let our guard down sometimes, admit that what we are doing is often tough, even it if is mostly because we haven't seen our partner or children all week and almost nodded off twice in class.

(I am personally doing great this week, this is just a topic that came up in discussion that I thought was post-worthy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Maddie the Great

There's nothing quite like our love for our dogs, is there?

Thought today I would share some really good photos that Wife just took of Maddie. She's the Boxer-Whippet mix we adopted in February. She's a great dog - but way more great (and quiet) when I am around than when I am not. She drives Wife a bit crazy by afternoon, when the barking starts...if its not her, it is Jordan, the dalmatian, who often just barks to get Maddie to play with him. Too bad Maddie can't come to work with me. She would love it, and everyone would love her.

In the photos, she is soaking up the sun by one of the kids' play structures. She's got the right idea. Somehow, that activity sounds way better than hearing about effluent limitations and the Clean Water Act, which is on my agenda for this afternoon.

Have a good week, my friends!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tired of School

I'm actually coping better than many of my classmates, but can I just say it here - I am done. Not really, of course, but I am feeling done with the full-time job, going to school, then going home to mostly not see my family because they are sleeping, and then doing it all again. Don't get me wrong. I am actually mostly enjoying my classes. I wish I could get paid to go to them instead of the other way around.

I miss my family. They miss me. I want to be around each night to put the kids to bed and then watch TV with my wife. All the new shows are starting and law school is definitely going to interfere with the new season. Yes, I know, TV is mostly mindless entertainment. THAT is the point. I LIKE mindless entertainment.

We watched Grey's Anatomy last night. I got to talk to my co-workers about it today. That was fun. I want to see what everyone is talking about the next day - and I hope that soon it will have nothing to do with Sarah Palin. It can be sex, drugs, money, how to get unlocked cell phones, fast cars, fast women, family drama, silly fun - I like it all!

I am looking forward to family fun this weekend. I don't know quite what that will look like, but I do know there is still homework tomorrow. How fast can I read (and comprehend) 100 pages?

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This was my view as I walked into my building at work this morning. I have added that to my list of things to be grateful for today. May you all find something beautiful in your life today.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Ramblings

At our school last week we were honored to spend time with Justices O'Connor and Kennedy. It was an amazing experience that I want to memorialize in a post that is worthy of the event(s). However, it is a busy Monday, my mind is going in several different directions in a sort of non-distracting, functional way, and I'm just not feeling a deep post happening. It will come, just not today.

The weekend was good, but short. Had my first paper of the semester to write, which I need to polish and print today. It didn't put me too far behind since I put a bit of reading off for between classes today. It was grocery shopping weekend, which is hard on us all. Since I study Saturdays, about half the day, that leaves Sunday as our family day. Saturday we generally do something fun, or get a couple errands done - but big errands or big fun must wait for Sunday. Grocery shopping is an all-in-one trip involving two shopping carts(includes things like heat pump filters, kitty litter, medicinal supplies and this weekend, a new - and the first - booster seat for our Little Princess who is about to outgrow the car seat in my car), and about two hours. Then we have to come home and put it all away. Overall, very time and energy consuming! We spent the remainder of the day visiting family and delivering coupon books that were a fundraiser for Boy Wonder's school. (Hopefully, the only selling event that will happen since this year's PTO is against it. Yeah!)

Wife and I both had memory stick-related issues this weekend, which raises data back-up issues. Our external hard drive is full and we need to get another. I wonder, do any individuals use tape drives, or is that more of a business thing? No idea. We'll probably just look for another external hard drive.

So, that was our weekend! (Except the good part about family movie night and pizza - something we did a bit over the summer, but may try to fully embrace this year in order to keep our Fridays calm and predictable for tired kids - and their moms!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Do Alaska Women Think of Palin?

Even though it may not have gotten much press, The Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally was Huge.

The link above is from a blog of a woman who lives in Alaska and attended the rally. In case some of you believe it is a fraud, here's the Snopes verification, including video footage. The women of Alaska who are most familiar with Sarah Palin's experience and leadership are very worried about the possibility of her becoming the Vice-President, and let's face it, McCain's health is in question so, she could easily become President.

The video posted on Snopes has interviews with the attendees who speak up about why they do not support Palin and how she is severely under-qualified for this potential position.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palin - Feminine Power with No Clout

This is an amazing article by Rebecca Traister of Salon.com.

Here are a few really insightful excerpts, and I hope it will make you want to read the whole article and forward it to your friends:

What Palin so seductively represents, not only to Donny Deutsch but to the general populace, is a form of feminine power that is utterly digestible to those who have no intellectual or political use for actual women. It's like some dystopian future ... feminism without any feminists.

Palin's femininity is one that is recognizable to most women: She's the kind of broad who speaks on behalf of other broads but appears not to like them very much. The kind of woman who, as Jessica Grose at Jezebel has eloquently noted, achieves her power by doing everything modern women believed they did not have to do: presenting herself as maternal and sexual, sucking up to men, evincing an absolute lack of native ambition, instead emphasizing her luck as the recipient of strong male support and approval. It works because these stances do not upset antiquated gender norms. So when the moment comes, when tolerance for and interest in female power have been forcibly expanded by Clinton, a woman more willing to throw elbows and defy gender expectations but who falls short of the goal, Palin is there, tapped as a supposedly perfect substitute by powerful men who appreciate her charms.

But while the Republicans would have us believe that Palin can simply stand in for Hillary Clinton, there is nothing interchangeable about these politicians. We began this history-making election with one kind of woman and have ended up being asked to accept her polar opposite. Clinton's brand of femininity is the kind that remains slightly unpalatable in America. It is based on competence, political confidence and an assumption of authority that upends comfortable roles for men and women. It's a kind of power that has nothing to do with the flirtatious or the girly, nothing to do with the traditionally feminine. It is authority that is threatening because it so closely and calmly resembles the kind of power that the rest of the guys on a presidential stage never question their right to wield.


To all of my friends out there who are women, lawyers, future lawyers, moms with daughters, moms with sons who want more from our culture - is this really what we stand for, what we are willing to have represent us just to see a woman in the White House? I think NOT.

The Ignorant or the Enlightened?

The world is full of bad things. This has always been true, but it seems like more and more we hear about devastation caused by both man-made and nature-made catastrophes. Not only do we have hurricanes (arguably increasing in intensity due to global warming - hence man-made) and drought, but some of our biggest, most stable financial institutions are crumbling, gas will probably be near $5.00 a gallon again soon, and American women seem to actually be stupid enough to fall for the Republicans' gamble on that very thing in the form of Sarah Palin. Really, people? Really?

It is hard not to be negative sometimes; hard not to focus on what is wrong with the world instead of what is right. Yet....there have always been tragedies, wars, economic crisis, and stupid people - and some people through all those times have remained optimistic. Does that make them the ignorant, or the enlightened?

From a Toshiba Satellite laptop I can pull up all sorts of information about how beneficial it will be to my life, my career, my health, my family, my friends and my community if I focus on what is good in life. If I am grateful for my children, for sunsets and for hot showers maybe that is a way of holding onto how much I really have. Yes, we have serious problems, but getting mired down in them so all I can feel is hopeless will not help anyone. I choose to be positive, happy and grateful. If nothing else, it will make me and my family feel better, and those at work more likely to enjoy being around me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ramblings on food and such

Wow - what a busy week!
Not only are classes in full swing, but I'm in the midst of a huge project at work that has been taking up all my time! Said project will be completed by tomorrow. I have a feeling that being as busy as I have been could have been a better weight loss method than the best diet pill in the world, except for the fact that there has been free food available. I actually consider it a perk, but were it not so handy, I wouldn't be eating it. Good lesson for life, I guess. I have found that I am drinking a yogurt drink and munching a breakfast cookie during break as my dinner for my back-to-back-to-back class night. Pretty low-call dinner, really. Easy and reasonably healthy and filling.

I don't know why I am posting about food, other than I am really, really tired, and there are two beautiful muffins on my desk waiting to be taken home for my lovely wife who has been incredibly supportive during this crazy-busy time. In fact, it is time to head home! Yeah!