Sunday, March 11, 2012

[Y]ou're a very nice tiny person and what am I saying . . . I've never taken drugs because I missed the sixties. I was an accountant.

Fairy wings. A song came up on my pandora today called Fairy Wings, and it made me think of being a kid. I remember fairy wings. I remember imaginary worlds. I remember heroes and battles won. And fairy wings.

Sort of a random way to start a post, but I promise its relevant. I know it's been a long time since I last posted on here. It has been a crazy semester. I've been trying to do seventeen million things simultaneously. It worked out ok. I'm still alive, I haven't been fired, and they haven't kicked me out of school yet, so I count it as a success. Most of my extracurricular stuff is done now, so all I have to worry about is school and work. You have no idea what a relief that is. Actually, you probably do. I've found there are few that have not experienced that level of stress. The world moves too fast sometimes.

Anyway, things are going well. I competed at the trial competition with my team, and we did ok. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot. Also, I'm a major law nerd, so I had a lot of fun. I hope to be able to do it again next year. My moot court board responsibilities have now come to an end. We did our last competition this last week, and that's a relief. So really, just school and work. That's do-able.

I accepted an internship with the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation for the summer. I think that will be a great experience. I also was offered an internship with the US Attorneys office for the fall and spring. I am really excited about that. I actually applied for that internship last year and didn't get it, so I am super excited to have the opportunity to do it this year. I think that's actually what I want to do when I graduate, so this'll be a great opportunity to see if that's really what I want to do. In any event, it'll be a great experience.

So, Fairy wings. As you can see, I've been kind of busy. Going to school full time, working two jobs, trial team practice, moot court board responsibilities, it all adds up. For a minute there, I felt like I was drowning. I wondered, what the hell am I doing here? I could be home with my family, but no, I had to move to the other side of the damn country so I could have seventeen million things to do and be miserable. Sometimes when life gets too crazy, it's easy to forget our purpose. And I did, for a minute. I just wanted to go home and play with my nieces and nephews, spend time with my parents and my brother and sisters. I felt like I was swimming upstream like salmon, who I might add, swim upstream and get eaten by bears. I don't want to get eaten by bears.

So I took a minute to think, had a conversation with God, tried to remember why I came out here in the first place. Then I remembered that I am an ideological fool, that I believe in justice and truth, that I believe there is good in this world, and it's worth fighting for. I remembered when I was a kid, and I would play pretend with my friends. There were the evil kings we had to overthrow to rescue our country. All was bleak, and then there were fairies. In my imaginary worlds, the fairies were there to remind us to be happy, to hope. They were probably my brain trying to impose some level of femininity upon me whilst I pretended to be a pirate/ninja hero. (Though I would like to note, the fairies were just as much the heroes my stories as any pirate/ninja. I'll leave the discussion on the strength of femininity for another day.) At any rate, in my stories there were always fairies to help the hero make it to the end, so the pirate/ninja could save the world.

I don't think that's so different from the real world. Metaphorically. I think there are "fairies" around us that remind us of our purpose, that give us a sprinkling of fairy dust to keep us going. You can call it 'tender mercies' or 'luck' or whatever you like, but they are there. And Thank God for that. I needed a good dose of fairy dust to get through these last few weeks. I needed a troupe of fairies to lift me up and clear my mind so I could remember my purpose.

And they did. I remembered, and accordingly, I survived. Now it is on to spring break. A good friend from College is coming out to visit, and I can't wait to see him. This is going to be a good week and it may or may not include fairies, pirates, ninjas, or bears.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"You're supposed to be dead!" "Am I not?"

So school has begun again, as it must in the vicious cycle of academia. This semester my classes all seem to be exponentially harder than last semester. In almost all of them, I have seriously considered dropping them, thinking there was no way I could hack it in that class. Alas, I decided to go the route of masochism, and stay in all of my classes. Ultimately I decided that I should just step up to the damn plate. Maybe I'll surprise myself. I really hope so.

Anyway, my first class is federal jurisdiction. It's going to be a class about federalism (the different powers afforded to the states and the federal government and the relationship between the two) and about federal courts. That sort of thing. I think I'm going to enjoy it. It's a really small class. There are only like 15 people in that class. I think that'll be good though.

My next class is legal profession. It's a class about legal ethics. It'll be good. In order to be admitted to the bar, you have to take the MPRE which is a test about legal ethics and professional rules of responsibility. So this class will help with that. Plus, it's required, so you know, there's that.

My next class is criminal procedure: investigation. We'll be talking about things like search and seizure, interrogation, that sort of thing. It's a really big class, but I still think it'll be good. My professor is very passionate about criminal procedure, so that makes the class interesting.

My last class is legislative and statutory interpretation. This class, I fear, will be my hardest. It's going to be really interesting though. As implied by the title, it's a class that teaches different ways to read and interpret statutes. You'd think that would be a fairly straightforward endeavor, but I expect if you think that you've never read a statute. Also, we're lawyers. We need to know how to argue that a statute means the exact opposite of whatever our opponent says it means. (I hope you keep that in mind when you hear politicians squabbling about what a certain piece of legislation means. You're probably not getting the full picture from either one of them.) Anyway, I think it'll be a good class. Setting aside the cynicism, it's good to know how to read and interpret statutes. Sometimes (read almost always) they're hard to understand, so I think this class will give me the tools I need to understand legislation better, which is always good.

Anyway, those are my classes this semester. It's gonna be a crazy semester, but I think it'll be good. I'm also doing the moot court trial team. We get started on Monday. I'm pretty excited about that. I think it'll be a lot of fun, so I'll keep you posted on a the adventures I expect will be inherent with the athletic equivalent of law school. :) Hope you're all staying warm!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change.

Finals are over! I'm so happy. :) Now I'm just hoping I'll still feel as happy when I get my grades...

Friday was the last day of finals, so I'm fairly certain that any ALS student that had not already gone home for the break was on Lark street celebrating. I went out with a few friends, and we ran into several other students while we were out. It was a great time, a much needed un-winding. This semester has been insanely busy; I really haven't had time to hang out with my friends very much, and I've missed them. I tried to make up for all the lost fun time on Friday; I think I came pretty close. :) In any event, hopefully next semester won't be so insane. I even dropped a class in the hopes it would free up my life a bit; we'll see if it actually did or not.

Anyway, yesterday I did nothing. I watched Lord of the Rings until 1 AM and then I slept today until noon. It was glorious. I didn't even have to feel guilty for being so damn lazy. Of course, today I need to get started on all the shit I neglected during finals week, but it's not school work, so I feel super happy about doing it. My brain is definitely ready for a break from school.

I have to work this week, so I'm not flying home until Thursday. I'm a little bit excited for Thursday to hurry up and be here. Barring the possibility that Albany will whip up a winter storm to delay my flight on Thursday, I will see all of you in less than a week!! Not that I'm counting down or anything. :D

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Sixty miles? And you didn't get me a doughnut?"

2 down, 1 to go! Finals are slowly drawing to a close, and I think I may survive. Of course, the issue of survival is never certain until grades are issued, so ask me again in January... Anyway, I had my evidence exam on Monday and handed in my trial notebook on Thursday. Now I just have my business organizations final to wrestle with...

I'm finding it difficult to study. After an entire semester of having too much shit to do, only having one thing to study for seems to give my brain an excuse to relax. You know, like I've got plenty of time to study, so chill and watch a movie or go out with the friends you haven't seen all damn semester (I did both, in case you wondered). Alas, I must study. Otherwise, I will not survive...

Anyway, in other news, I bought myself a little space heater. My apartment is always ridiculously cold, so I finally bought a damn heater. It was way more adventure than it should have been. The first one I bought turned out to be a propane heater, and I felt like that was probably not the best heater for my apartment. So I took that one back and bought the cheapest electric heater walmart had. When I got home and opened the box, turned out the damn thing was broken. In half. So I went back a third time and got the same heater but one that was not broken. When I finally got home for good, I plugged it in and waited for it to be hot. It didn't ever got hot, but it did trip my breaker (I still don't know how to spell that), so I guess there's that. Anyway, that was Monday. Today I went back to walmart and shelled out the money to get a decent space heater. Thus far, it has not tripped the breaker and it is warming up my living warm, so life is good. I don't even have to wrap myself in a quilt to ward off hypothermia. Definite improvement.

Well folks, I'm going to hit the hay, and in the morning I will once again attempt to convince my brain that I really should stop procrastinating and study for my last damn exam. December 22nd, you cannot come soon enough!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stop talking about production value; the Air Force is gonna kill us!

Friends, I am currently in the throes of finals, and I hate everything about life. Except for my cheerful little Christmas tree. It makes me feel better about my impending scholastic doom.Isn't it festive?

Anyway, my evidence final is on Monday, and I am approximately 47% ready. So, not ready at all. I can't wait for all of this hoopla to be finished, so I can come home for two whole weeks! It's going to be glorious.

Other than finals, nothing else is happening. Literally. I mean, I'm sure other things in other people's lives are happening, but not in mine. Just school (though admittedly, I do still have to go to work). Law school can be kind of a downer sometimes.

I officially finished my internship with the court yesterday. I'm kind of sad it's over; I really enjoyed working there. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot. I was really lucky to be able to intern there; hopefully there will be more internships like it in the future!

I feel like I had some cool story to share, but now I can't remember it. Hm. I blame all the evidence floating around my head right now (mostly it's evidence that I have officially lost my mind. Hopefully there's some evidence up there that I know my shit too. A girl can dream.)

Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying the season thus far! I love this time of year (or I will on the 16th at about 1 PM, anyway). Hopefully I'll have more exciting things to talk about next week, assuming, of course, that I am still alive and/or not in the asylum. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I see Blue. He looks glorious!

Thanksgiving is upon us. That fills me with much joy which is shortly followed by heart stopping dread: Thanksgiving means finals are here. Kill me now.

As I have frequently whined, both here and to my dear Mother, this semester has been two inches over the line of "biting off more than you can chew." To be fair, it's my own fault. Also, it's been a good semester. I've learned a lot, or I think I have. Memory of the last four months comes and goes... In any event, it's almost over, and thank heavens for that. I'm still alive!!!! Success. :)

I only have two finals this year, which isn't too bad. I do have to do a trial notebook and write a reflection paper, but the paper shouldn't be too bad. The trial notebook . . . I'm sure it won't be too bad once I figure out what the hell I'm supposed to do. You know, all in a days work. Speaking of which, I'm really enjoying my job which is always a plus. My internship is almost over, and I'm kind of sad about that. It's been a lot of fun interning at the court, and I learned a lot. All things considered, it's been a good semester.

But the next four weeks are going to be a little bit insanity-inducing. I don't envy the 1Ls though. At least I know what's coming. I feel like it's easier to face impending doom if you know how it will show it's ugly face, so in that regard, this year is infinitely better than last year. Seriously though, I'm just worried about finals because I'm always worried about finals. I did fairly well on my midterms and I didn't study at all for either one of those. So hopefully that means if I study for my finals, I'll do just as well. Midterms scores are supposed to be indicative of final scores, right?....

Anyway, I'm coming home for Thanksgiving this year. I really shouldn't because I'll just be studying the whole time, but I'm excited to see my family! It will be very difficult to concentrate on my work when all I want to do is hang with the fam, so I've come up with a plan. I fully intend on putting my nieces and nephews to work researching statutes and finishing my memos. By the time I leave, they'll all be lawyers, and all of my work will be done. Genius? I think so. They're parents can thank me later.

Anyway, in other news, the trial team got the problem for the competition. It's a negligence case, so that will be fun. I'm really excited about being on the team. I think it'll be a good experience, plus I'm a total law nerd and get very excited about participating in pretend litigation. Other than that, I haven't really had any adventures of late. It's been all work and school which has made Abby a very dull girl. So, while my nieces and nephews are slaving away on all of my work, I am going to get all of my playing in. It's gonna be a good week. See you on Tuesday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Well, I'd like to help, but not as much as I'd like not to

I never thought I'd be grateful it was Monday, but today I am grateful it is Monday. It has been a ridiculously long weekend, but that's what I get for being on the moot court board.

This weekend was the ABA Negotiations Competition. It was held at Albany Law School this year, and Erin and I were the ones in charge of organizing and running the damn thing. Well, Erin was in charge. I just helped.

Anyway, hosting a competition involves all kinds of headaches. There's the obvious stuff: scheduling rooms, sending the information to the teams, finding a hotel for them to stay at (they make their own reservations, but we had to call the hotel and tell them we needed like 50 rooms or something. I don't remember the exact number, but it was a lot, so they gave us a discount. Or, they gave the teams a discount, rather. Anyway). We also had to find judges for the competition, which is one of the bigger pains in the ass. Not only did we have to find 35 attorneys/judges/arbitrators to come judge for us, but you inevitably have someone drop out at the last minute. We actually did pretty well. No one dropped out at the last minute, but two of our judges did fail to show up. We had enough to cover, though so all was well. And really, only two judge issues? Not too bad.

Anyway, so there was much involved in preparation. We've been getting ready all semester, but last week was particularly busy. We were at the school stuffing envelopes and getting team packets ready on Wednesday, and then we spent all night Friday getting all the last minute stuff done. Erin, and I (and a few of the Moot Court board members) got to the school at 7:15 Saturday morning to get everything set up. And then we were there until 8:30 that night. It was a long damn day. And I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to wear high heels. NEVER AGAIN! My back still hurts.

Sunday was our final round. We got there at 7:30 to get it all set up, and then we were done by 12:30. We got to watch the final round (I was actually the time keeper) which was kind of fun. Afterwards, Erin and I did the clean up and organized the massive amount of paperwork we had. I honestly feel like we should plant a small forest to make up for all the trees we killed for our competition... I actually got home at 4 PM yesterday, which wasn't bad at all. There was another competition going on which Erin and I were planning on staying and helping with, but Dana and Chris (Chair of the competition and Executive director of MC) were nice enough to let us go home. So we did.

Anyway, the competition went smoothly. We had a few issues, but they were solved quickly and mostly without incident. It was kind of fun to get to meet students from other schools. AND one of our teams actually won the competition!! Woot! Go Albany Law! That means they get to go to New Orleans in the Spring for the national competition. We were very proud. :)

Anyway, so it was a long weekend. I now know what it feels like to run a moot court competition and do not feel the desire to do it again. I still have to help with the other competitions, but that's not so bad. I'm glad our competition is over and done, and I'm very glad it's Monday.