Today was the first day of my 2nd semester of law school.
Last night, I started packing for today. Last semester, I had a solid routine down. I packed my bag the night before, including my change of clothes if I was planning on showering at work. I had gotten in the habit of knowing which books I needed which night, and what nights I needed to pack my computer, without having to think about it. But, after only 3 1/2 weeks away from the routine, I felt like I was starting from scratch. It seemed to require a lot of effort to go through my checklist:
- Computer: yes – going to try to take all my notes electronically
- Notebooks: no – See above. Ok, maybe one, just in case I need paper to write on
- Pens: Two
- Casebook: Yes
- Other 5 books for Civil Procedure: No
- Books for Rhetoric: (Didn’t even cross my mind.)
Starting to put it all in my bag, and feeling myself get back in that rhythm, reminded me just how tired I was last semester. And how much of a rut I felt like I was in during the semester. A little part of me wondered if I could do it again. I was SO tired by the end of the semester. People kept saying, “I don’t know how you do it.” Might as well ask, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer’s the same: “One bite at a time.” Just focus on the next step. The next day. The next writing assignment. Don’t look too far ahead or you lose hope and fell overcome by despair.
But, better to not spend time exploring that feeling, and just put my head down and go forward. One bite at a time.
Tonight, I had Civil Procedure and Rhetoric, which is why I was packing for those classes. (At least I got that right!).
This afternoon at work, I noticed a flurry of activity on Facebook about how it was snowing in DC. (Not that I look at Facebook during work, but somehow I knew.) Then, it started snowing out in the suburbs where I work, and it was coming down pretty heavy. While it wasn’t sticking to the ground, it was covering the grass and the trees as I left work. The first week of my first semester involved a 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene. This semester starts with what looked like a blizzard for a few hours. Is this a sign?
Civ Pro (saving me the trouble of typing Civil Procedure every time) wasn’t bad. The professor seems interesting and friendly. I even raised my hand to answer a question. I got it wrong. Doh #1. And, he misheard my name, and called me “John.” Doh #2.
Rhetoric was fine. It seems this semester is going to be a lot of work. Only two real assignments, but they’re both pretty big assignments. AND… I’m already behind in the reading. The Rhetoric Department uses an entirely separate electronic system to communicate with us, and I didn’t think to look there for the syllabus until this morning. Doh #3. And I learned we have two research lectures this semester. Doh #4. Maybe they will be more useful than the ones we had last semester. Maybe? Probably not. Doh #5 & #6.
At least this is a long weekend, so I have an extra day to catch up.
Contracts Grade – Day 33
It’s been 4 weeks and 5 days (33 days!), and we still don’t have our grade from last semester’s Contracts class. I’m going to start doing a daily count like a hostage situation.
Reporter speaking directly to camera: “Day 45 of ‘Contracts Grades,’ and they still haven’t been released. When will this insanity end?”
(Camera cuts to a crowd of individuals weeping loudly.)
I almost don’t care anymore. Who am I kidding? I’m an over-achiever. Of course I care.
Overall, not a bad day
Six “Doh’s,” but overall not a bad first day.
And that’s one more day closer to graduation. Only 6.98 semesters to go.
I survived Hurricane Irene with no problems. We had lots of rain, and some wind. I spent most of Saturday studying, then took a break to watch a movie and drink some wine before going to bed. By the time I got up on Sunday, the rain had stopped, and by afternoon, it was clue skies and sunshine. My lights flickered twice, but the power never went out. There are a few trees down in the neighborhood, but mostly just small branches and leaves.
The earthquake was much scarier.
Washington College of Law is still without power, so there’s a chance my classes will be canceled this evening. I suspect they will have power by then. I’m also not sure there’s any benefit to missing class, as I assume we’ll have to make it up. I already have an extra class Thursday from 8-10 this week.
It’s going to be my first week with full-time work and class. That was my justification for skipping the gym and sleeping in until 6 a.m.
I survived Week One! But I was tired. I had Friday afternoon off, and I took two naps to recover. And it felt good. So far, Contracts has been the easier class for me to understand. The cases can be hard to follow because there’s often money changing hands in both directions, but the concepts are making sense. Torts is a little more challenging. I think it’s because he’s teaching the concepts in a more global way than she is in Contracts. I’m trying to trust in the process and believe that I’m supposed to feel lost at this point, and that’s ok.
I must be learning something in Torts, though. Thursday evening, I was driving home after school and Taylor Swift‘s song, “Mean,” came on the radio. I heard the line: Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me. I immediately thought, “That’s battery!”
Apparently, the first week isn’t just hard on students. It can be hard on professors. Here’s a blog post from Concurring Opinions.
I just got home from the trainer, and as soon as I can lift my arms, again, I’m going to start studying. Today, and probably much of tomorrow, is going to be a study day. Luckily, with Hurricane Irene approaching, there’s nothing else to do.
First we had an earthquake, and now we have a hurricane the size of Europe coming at us. Mother Nature must really be pissed at DC. Someone should explain to her that Congress isn’t even in session, so she should go after them in their home districts and leave us alone. But, I’m prepared. I have water in the fridge, 2.5 cases of Gatorade, food, a gas stove, candles, wine and toilet paper. I tried to buy a flashlight (which I’ve known I should have for a while), but Target was completely sold out! But, I guess I can study by candlelight if it comes to that. It worked for Abe Lincoln.
Actually, we should be fine. DC is expected to get 4-6 inches of rain in the next 24 hours, and winds in the 40-50 mph range. My only concern is the 5-foot-wide, windows in my apartment. My windows face North and East, which usually means I don’t even have rain blowing in open windows. But, the rotation of the storm is going to bring the rain in from the East. As long as the wind isn’t strong enough to break a window, I should be fine. So far, we’ve got nothing but overcast skies. I noticed that off to the East, it is getting darker, and the rain is expected to start within the next hour.
Hopefully the power won’t go out. I was hoping to watch some movies tonight as a study break. Hmm. Guess I should make sure the laptop is fully charged. Might still be able to watch a movie. Just thought of that!
Katie seems to be feeling better. She jumped up on the couch yesterday. That’s the first time she’s been able to jump up in about 2 weeks. She still slips and almost falls, if she walks too close to the edge. But, I guess the medicine is making her feel better. On a sadder note, when the time comes, I heard about a local vet who does home euthanasia. I may look in to that. That way, she won’t have to ride in her carrier, and can be in her home. And, I won’t have to try to drive home while bawling. But, hopefully that’s still a ways off.