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Archive for February, 2013

Moving Forward

This post brought to you by “Almodi Petit”, a very affordable Spanish blend (Garnacha-Syrah-Samso). It’s blackish purple, and smells of tar and plums, and it’s quite good. I have now lived in this grand city for five-ish months, and have found a happy place at La Vid Wines and Spirits. If you happen to be a fellow village-resident, I highly recommend them.

Yes yes, it’s been over a semester since I updated. But you know what I don’t like on blogs? When they’re all full of personal details, and then when the blogger/blogette begins to inevitably neglect their duties (because blogging, lets face it, is a thankless sport, and requires at least a modicum of discipline, and the city is full of entertaining diversions and time-consuming memo assignments), the blog itself devolves into a series of increasingly sporadic and semi-sincere apologias, and substantial content (I mean, the cupcake recipes and baby pictures and true-life confessions that are the reasons we came to the blog in the first place) falls entirely by the wayside. And since such blogs are, in all but the best of times, read only by the writer and his/her immediate family and the occasional unfortunate internet-browser who, caught up in a storm of pre-law anxiety, googles some unlikely combination of “adventure” and “scholar” and “Law School”, such excuses and I-beg-your-pardons are really unnecessary, aren’t they? Especially between such good friends and random non-acquaintances. I mean, it’s not like you’ve been lingering every day on the internet awaiting my next post, and for my part I certainly haven’t been staring blankly at the screen distressed by my inability to oblige you. So lets get over the whole drama of the gap–I’m not being paid for this service, after all–and move on with our lives.

At least, insofar as we are able. There is a big gap to fill, and the chronological reader will need to proceed not by sober steps, but by grand flamboyant leaps, from post to post, to keep up with me. Don’t expect a summary of the significant events that have elapsed since my most recent post, either.  Those who fall behind shall be left behind. It is the pirate’s code*.

In any case, I should inform you that there is a great deal of hype and horror surrounding the first semester of law school, but I think many of the accounts are overblown. No, law students are just verbose, and like to complain about homework, and since we are possessed of a healthy sense of schadenfreude, we feed on each other’s misery. Plus, there is a certain need to justify the investment: if I am spending so much time and money on this education, I had better be learning like all the laws, at all times. Of course we are assigned a significant amount of reading, but the workload isn’t absurd, and indeed for the main part it’s quite manageable. This is especially the case if you are overly cautious, as I was, and forgo participation in the many many extracurricular social/humanitarian projects which are available.

Don’t do that, though. Participate in things.

It does all sortof crash together in the last month or so of the semester, at which point everybody begins outlining and studying and avoiding the sunlight, but even this is less dramatic than certain online forums might lead you to expect (I may blog more thoroughly, in the future, on the somewhat unique experience of the law-school exam). I have a theory that the K-JD students (ie. those who have never experienced the travails of full-time employment, and have gone from kindergarten to law school without interruption, and are identifiable by the youthful naivete on their faces and by the fact that they often don’t know how to so much as boil pasta or fry an egg and so survive, like true New Yorkers, entirely on pizza and chinese takeout) are sometimes overwhelmed by the law school workload, but the majority of us know what it means to dedicate 40 hours a week to often-mundane assignments, and we are pretty happy to spend that sum of time on subject matter that is at least mildly interesting and relevant to some idealized future career-of-choice. The moral of this paragraph being: treat law school like a job, and you’ll do just fine.**

My experience has probably been helped by the fact that my university is almost too hospitable and concerned with our well being and mental health, so that the transition from working adult or undergraduate student to budding-young-legal-mind is facilitated with assorted frequent free pizza or doughnuts or alcohol (every Thursday night is “bar review”–ie. the school-sponsored night of revelry at some local establishment–and so every Friday morning’s class is hilarious), and in particularly dark times they bring in those therapy puppies, like hospitals give to burn victims and shell-shocked war veterans, for us to play with until all law-induced anxiety melts away.◊ The administrators are uniformly nice and considerate, and when your half of the city is shut down by a freak hurricane, they have pretty good free meals in the student center.

All of which is just to say that life proceeds here, in relative ease and comfort, and maybe possibly we’re even learning something about the law in the process.

*Which, there is some sort of silly law joke to make here, regarding the use of codes, and guidelines, and what are we doing at this institution of higher learning anyway–but it’s not quite coming to me, so here’s something only vaguely related.

**I’m not the first person to say this, but I have an idea that not too many 1Ls are turning to this blog for advice anyway. And if I do no harm, you may call no foul.

◊ A pretty good deal, I thought, until I learned that during exam periods Cornell Law brings in therapeutic llamas for its students, putting all puppy dogs and kitty cats and bunny rabbits to shame. I mean to organize a petition, and possibly a hunger strike, to force NYU to meet this high bar.

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