Friday, August 27, 2010

Mrs. Pickles is her full name. Although, I'm not actually sure if cats can marry outside of Boston

I survived my first week of law school with only minimal injuries, mostly to my pride. Seriously though, it's been a good week. A very full week. I feel like I'm learning a few things. I'm enjoying my classes. I'm still trying to get a feel for them, but so far so good I think.

I only have one class on Fridays and it was cancelled, so today I had zero classes, which was wonderful. I took the time to relax and do nothing. Ok, ok, I did a few things. I got my financial aid check so now I won't starve to death. I'm pretty happy about that. Anyway, I'm sure you're all dying to know what they teach us in law school, so here's a bit about the classes I'm taking (mind you, I've only been in school for a week, so I really have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, but just go with it.)

Ok, in contracts we've started talking about the three basic principles in regards to contract law: bargain, reliance, and restitution. Right now we're reading cases that address, for the most part, the bargain principle. Last class we started discussing the difference between a bargain and a gift. It seems like such an easy distinction to make, but legally it's a damn nightmare. These people are obsessed with definitions. That's one thing I've learned this week, every word counts: how you use them, when you use them, and how you punctuate them. Honestly, even words like 'and' and 'or' can totally change the meaning of a rule. Calls for a very aggressive reading approach. I'm also fairly certain that, upon graduating from law school, I'll have perfect grammar.

Anyway, I'm also taking a torts class. My teacher in this class, Professor Lytton, is very energetic. I really like him. I think he's a good teacher, but he has a very aggressive teaching approach and he gets so animated. It's a little frightening. Anyway, we're learning about the intentional tort of battery right now. It's been pretty interesting. I've been studying for that class tonight, reading the cases for Monday, and I feel like I'm never gonna figure this shit out. But I think I'm starting to understand how to read a case, so that's good.

I'm also taking an introduction to lawyering class. This is the class where we get to take a fictional case from initial client interview to appeal. The first day Professor Queenan sent around a sheet, and we could sign up to represent either the plaintiff or the defendant, without knowing anything about the case. (Not that it would have mattered seeing as that was only our second day of law school). Anyway, I signed up to represent the plaintiff. On Thursday she told us a little bit more about the case. All we know is that it's a case about the whistleblower statute. I'm kind of excited about this and glad I signed up to represent the plaintiff (the whistleblower in this case). I really hope my client doesn't turn out to be an ass hole.

The last class I have is Federal Civil Procedure. Everyone says this is one of the hardest classes your first year. I've only been once, and I can see why. My torts professor has this quote on our class website "The law never is, it is always about to be." Benjamin N. Cardozo. That makes it a difficult thing to learn. There are so many rules: state statutes, federal statutes, case law, and these rules are constantly being amended or reversed. And we're supposed to learn them in civ pro. Whew. It's an exercise for the mind, that's for sure.

All of my professors seem pretty nice, and I've got a study group which will help a ton. Truthfully, I'm enjoying school so far. It's hard. It's kicking my ass, but I feel like I'm learning which is why I'm here, so that's good. I do have to say though, the few cases I've read thus far have convinced me that the world is filled with ass holes and morons. Hopefully next week will read some more encouraging cases.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Report back to me when it makes sense

Holy shit. It's day two and I feel like I've been here for years. If you're wondering how I have time to write on my blog, the answer is... I don't. I'm procrastinating the day of repentence, er.. the day of federal civil procedure case brief. Sigh. I'm learning a ton. Or at least I think I am. Anyway, today I went to a Thai restaurant for lunch with a friend from my section. I've never eaten Thai food before, so that was an adventure. Maybe a bit too much adventure. The food was actually pretty good, but a piece of chicken got stuck in my throat and I spent about five minutes of my lunch puking my guts out in the bathroom. Kinda gross, which is why I'm sharing it with all of you. :D I felt a little silly when I went back to the table, but conversation resumed and all was well. I did; however, save the rest of my meal for later. I got together with a few other students tonight and had a little study group. It was super helpful, and we will hopefully be getting together again soon! Anyway... I really do need to do this case brief. Bloody homework. :P Anyway, just thought I'd tell everyone about my Thai food adventure. And Lukey, when I come home for Christmas, I might actually go to Benjas with you. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It is my intention to commandeer a ship of the fleet, pick up a crew in Tortuga, and raid, plunder, and pillage my weasly black guts out.

Well, I survived orientation. I'm pretty sure I survived... It was an interesting three days for sure. Albany Law divides each class into sections during their first year, and then you have all your classes with that group of people. I'm in section 7. We have a pretty good section. Everyone seems to get along really well. We had a little BBQ today, sort of a pre-school get-together. It was fun.
It's been interesting getting to know the people in my section. I've gotten some interesting responses when I tell people I'm from Utah. One of the girls in my section told me she watched Big Love. I wanted to say, I'm happy for you? But I didn't. I assured her that I did, in fact, only have one mother.

Anyway, I learned all kinds of things in orientation. We had alumni panels, mental health professionals (I'm not kidding. We had a panel of people from a group called the Lawyering Assistance Program. It deals exclusively to attorneys and law students who suffer from substance abuse or mental illness. Should I be worried?), deans, upperclassmen, and more deans. It was a lot of information. We also had a sample class, which was kind of nice. Law school is so different from anything I've done before, so it's kind of hard to know what to expect. I was glad for the opportunity to kind of experience it before it actually counts. Which is tomorrow. Shit.

Truthfully, I'm kind of excited for school to start. I worked really hard to get here, and I'm ready to work really hard to get everything I can out of the experience. I've started studying for my classes. Hopefully I'm studying enough! One of the guys on the alumni panel told us we should be studying at least 60 hours a week. Everyone else on the panel said we definitely need to study hard and focus on our work, but that guy needed to chill out. I'm going to listen to them. I don't know. I guess 60 hours isn't completely unreasonable. That's only ten hour days, six days a week. Meh. Hopefully I won't need to study that much. If I do, call me on Sundays.

Anyway, tomorrow I have contracts and torts. I've heard good things about my professors for these classes, so that's good. I'm kind of nervous about the whole thing. Class doesn't start until eleven though, so I'll have plenty of time to wake up and do some yoga before class to help me relax and remember to breath. :P But enough about school. I'm starting to adapt to New York. A little. It's just so damn different, there's a lot to get used to. I've managed to find a few more places around town, but I still have to use my GPS on occasion. Today I even got lost. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and passed my street. When I finally realized it, I was like six blocks from the street I should have turned on. I ended up in the middle of a park, a very strange park. The roads were like a maze. I was never sure if I was even in the right lane or if my car was pointed in the right direction. I'm pretty sure it was though. Anyway, Tady had to rescue me then, and she got me safely home. Yeah for GPS!

I love my apartment. It's a nice little place, quiet. No, I take that back. I don't have AC, so I leave my windows open. Albany has a very active night life. Lots of cars, music, cops, and ambulances. I've already started to sleep through it. :D Anyway, I took some pictures of my apartment, so you can all see where I live.
This is my bathroom, obviously. My landlord put in new tile right before I moved in. Doesn't it look nice?
This is my living room. Someday that little tv stand is going to have a tv on it...

Living room again. I really like that little shelf. This is my dining room. It's more of a dining nook, really.Here is my kitchen. It's kinda small, but it suffices. PS I do have an oven, it's just not in the picture. This is my computer/study/second bedroom. Can you see that giant stack of textbooks next to my chair? Now there's something to look forward too. :PMy bedroom is actually kind of big. It's also kind of empty, so I figured one picture was enough. Ignore the unmade bed please...

So there's my apartment. Isn't it lovely? I think so. I should have taken a picture of the doors. They have those old school locks like you see sometimes in movies, like the chains. I had never seen one until I moved in. I don't have any carpet either which makes it so very easy to clean. Anyway, I way love my apartment.

Tomorrow I, officially, begin my new academic adventure. I'm kind of excited. It'll be fun to find out what my classes will be like. There are a few clubs I think might be kind of fun, so I'll go check those out this week. Hopefully, I'll stay pretty busy. Like I say, I worked really hard to get here, and I intend to get the most out of my experience. And hopefully be smart when I'm done.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Tom Wallbanger Bloody Sunrise on the Beach

I made it!! I am officially in Albany, NY in my cute little apartment, which I love already. We have had quite the adventure the last couple of days, and I think we are all very grateful to be done driving for a bit. We picked my Dad up in Kentucky, and it's been so nice to have him here. I wish he could stay longer, but alas, work calls and he has to leave on Sunday. I'm glad I get to spend a few days with him, anyway.

Albany is.... bipolar. Or my attitude towards Albany is, rather. I think I'm kind of starting to figure out where things are. I know how to get from my apartment to the school and from my apartment to Wal-mart, so I'm good, right? It can be very confusing, and New Yorkers drive, well, haphazardly. I may drive like a bat out of hell, but I do not stop wherever I like and hope no one hits me. I'll have to learn that fine skill while I'm here. After I learn my way around, of course.

I really love my apartment. A lot. Except that I have no furniture. I'm currently sitting on the floor of my living room, but hopefully tomorrow I'll acquire a couch. I do have a bed. Yeah!! I got a mattress and a frame for $50, and I felt super happy about that, especially because it means I get to sleep in my apartment tonight but don't have to sleep on the floor. Yeah. :) Tomorrow I will be getting a futon and a dresser and hopefully some other stuff. I'm pretty excited about the futon. Now you can all come and visit me and sleep on my futon. :)

Anyway, it has been a full, crazy, very long week. I am exceptionally glad to be in Albany finally. I miss St. George (and all who live there) so much I can feel it in my bones, but I'm glad to be here. It's strange how different everything is, but so far everyone has been nice and I have high hopes that I'll be able to figure out the ins and outs of Albany...eventually. While I'm here, I also hope to teach these fine Easterners what a yard sale is and where it should take place. So I'll teach them some good stuff and they can teach me some good stuff. When it's all over I'll be a glorious mixture of both coasts, I'm sure. Like a Tom wallbanger bloody sunrise on the beach.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Are we there yet?

I'm alive! We made it all the way to Stratton, Colorado. Twelve bloody hours in the car, but still, we're getting closer! We got in this incredible storm. Twice. It's been like armageddon a bit here in Colorado, but it's been... an adventure. The first Twister worthy storm struck whilst I was driving through the Rockies, which was such a beautiful drive. About seven o'clock the rain started pouring again, hard. It was raining so much I couldn't see. (I slowed down. Speaking of which, today was the first time in my entire life I have ever driven the speed limit on the freeway. And it was before the storm! Someone should build a monument.) Anyway, so it's raining the entire Pacific Ocean, and then this lightening bolt strikes between two clouds right above my damn car. Whew. It was kind of loud.

At any rate, it's been a pretty good day. We made it to our goal destination without incident, saw some beautiful scenery, and experienced what it would feel like to drive through the ocean, except without the sharks. Tomorrow, Kansas. Oh hell.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Drink up me hearties, yo ho!

Well, here I am, my last day in SG. I'm anxious to get my journey started, but I really don't want to leave. I love St. George, and I love my family. I'm going to miss them so very much. We had a familiy dinner tonight, and it was a lot of fun. Everyone got to come, which was great. We joked and laughed and hugged and even cried a little. I've been so blessed to be a part of this family. They are incredible. Everyone in my family has been so supportive. Phone calls, visits, emails to tell me good luck. It really means a lot to me. It's nice to know, even if they are 2,400 miles away, that there are people who love me. My friends too, have been so supportive. Friends I've had forever and friends I've made since I moved home. I'm going to miss them too.

Friday was my last day at work. It was an almost perfect last day. My coworkers had a luncheon for me, which was a lot of fun, and I really appreciated. The endo (endoscopy) girls gave me a little mug with candy and a card, which I also appreciated. It's nice to be acknowledged. I really liked my job, and I'm going to miss the lab. Mostly.

All in all, there's a lot I'm going to miss. Occupational hazard of moving to the other side of the country, I guess. But hey, go big or go home, right? I'm really excited for this new adventure. I'm nervous about all the newness, the distance, the schoolwork. But I'm excited to get started. There's a very big part of me that thinks I'm going to start law school and turn out to be a moron, but there's a little part of me that thinks maybe I can do this. It's nice to have so much support for the little voice, makes it easier to hear.

This time tomorrow I'll be.... somewhere else. It's very surreal, going from comfort and familiarity to a foreign land with foreign people and foreign food (you should see the size of their pizza. It's bigger than my head. Seriously, who eats that much pizza?). But it's good. Like I say, I love St. George, I always have. It's my home, and I love the scenery. New York is green and pretty, but Southern Utah has red rocks and Aspen forests, Pine Valley and Cedar Mountain, Snow Canyon and Zions. Beat that east coast. Though my love for this land is everlasting, I still have to leave. And as much as I wish I could stay, I feel pretty good about what I'm doing and where I'm going. I have friends and family who love me, even if they're far away. And I know when I'm ready to rip my hair out, I can call them and they will talk me out of any spontaneous balding episodes. Truthfully, I'm getting really excited to start school, and I'm really excited to move into my new apartment. It's gonna be great! It's a beautiful life, and I intend to live it. This is my next big adventure, and I'm definitely ready for a new adventure.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What do you do with a drunken sailor, early in the morning?

This post has absolutely nothing to do with law school.... But I went on this excellent hike with my bro and my sister, and I thought I should write about it. We went up to Mills Flat on Saturday, up in Pine Valley. It's a beautiful hike. We headed out from Luke's house at about 9:00, and then Katie called, said she had just gotten my text and would love to come. So we jetted on over to her house (side note, if Katie ever gives you directions to her house and tells you to turn left twice, she really means right.) Katie just moved in to this really nice house up behind this really ugly white house. Luke and I have decided that the ugly white house is, in fact, a Scientology compound. Anyway, so we collected Katie and headed out on our adventure.

It's been threatening to rain for like the last four days here in Southern Utah, so it's been a little muggy, and Pine Valley was no different. It was a beautiful day, but it was humid as hell. I guess it was good preparation for moving to the east coast. I told Katie it was a good thing it was so humid and we were sweating so much because that way we didn't ever have to stop and pee. Maybe I shouldn't write that on my blog.... Anyway.... While I may have been preparing for the east coast, I did not sufficiently prepare for our little hike. I decided, in all of my genius, that it was hot and I didn't want to wear hiking boots, so I wore my Chacos instead. I also decided, even though it was hot, I was going to wear pants so my legs didn't get, I don't know, cut by weeds? I'm sure I had a really good reason, but I don't remember what it was. Chacos tend to be worn a little loose, so the straps on my shoes were rubbing against my foot. By the time we got back down from Mills Flat, my feet were totally torn to pieces. I have blisters on my heels, my arches, above my toes, that pointy bone above my arches... seriously, everywhere. On the way down, Luke kept laughing at me because I was kind of waddling down the trail. I'm sure I looked a little funny. It was an awesome hike, but my feet hurt. So, if you ever hike Mills Flat, don't wear Chacos. So that's my warning about footwear.

The hike was really amazing. It was fun to get to spend some time with my bro and my sister, and it really was so pretty. There was a fire up Mills Canyon a few years ago, and it's still pretty burned out. There's a part near the top when you are in the burn zone, and you turn a corner and there are all of these purple flowers by the creek. Purple flowers surrounded by burnt wood. There was something almost hopeful, reviving, about it. It was really pretty. We hung out at the top for a bit and ate lunch. Luke's dogs had a ball in the meadow. Chaco (the dog, not my shoes), likes to play fetch, so Luke was throwing a stick for him. Mocco likes to try and steal Chaco's stick. Anyway, Luke threw the stick right into the creek and Mocco and Chaco went streaking after it. We saw them disappear down the hill and then we heard this big splash. It was hilarious.
On our way back down, it started to rain. It wasn't cold, so the rain really felt pretty good. It did make quite a bit of mud though. All of my pants are too long for me to begin with, so once the bottoms got all wet and covered with mud.... I thought for sure I was gonna lose my pants. I didn't though, so it worked out ok. We were all soaked and covered in mud. I'm sure we looked like hell trudging back to the car with three dirty, tired dogs in tow. And a cow. But we didn't feel like hell. I didn't, anyway. I felt pretty damn good about the whole experience. It was a lot of fun. Here are a couple of pictures of us at the top.

It was a great hike, and I had a lot of fun. Oh, and by the way, you put him in a row boat until he's sober. :D