The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Two campuses

When I was in undergrad, I spent all my time in the building of my major, which is not uncommon. The campus was not large, but Fletcher Hall was a world of it's own. Not only was it further away from any other campus building, but it was the only building on campus that was not of the standard red brick (who builds with exposed aggregate walls anyway?) That is not quite what made Fletcher stand out though...that can be attributed to those of us that spent our days and nights there. We were the "artsy" type. When people asked what my major was and I said Architecture, they replied "oh, you are one of those people in Fletcher, I steer clear of that building." We were stereotyped as the various colored hair, black baggy clothes, cigarette smoking, recycle everything, weird people. I didn't really get to see the rest of campus very often and always wondered if interesting things were going on outside of Fletcher Hall.

There are similarities now, like spending all of my time around the same people in the same building (well, group of buildings). However, things are very different. When people ask, and I tell them Lerner or Burns, I get instantaneous respect. "Oooo, you're in law school, wow." It's nice to feel that others admire my world. It sounds strange, but within the halls of the law school, one feels as if they are there by invitation. There is a certain element of pride to have been accepted and invited to this part of campus. Granted, anyone can walk those halls, but only some of us actually belong there. I don't really wonder what goes on around campus, I like where I am.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Home sweet home

I am having a bit of trouble adjusting to my new life, but I think it will come with time. There are just so many things that were routine that are gone now and so many things that I need to figure out routine-wise. I have been studying at home for the peace and quiet, but realized my lack of human contact was starting to get to me. So, I tried studying at school. Well, since I did not yet have my student I.D., I couldn't get into the library and was forced to study in one of the "common study areas". By common study areas, they really mean, places to sit in front of your books while talking on your cell phone, checking out every person that walks by, yelling across to the other common study areas and popping lots of popcorn. Needless to say, I decided to come back home to study. It helps that there are plenty of windows so, I have lots of natural light while reading. It doesn't help that the people next door are selling their house* and have people driving by very slowly all day long. Sometimes, people just park across the street and watch the house. (*sidenote-they are selling for $950,000...Toto, I don't think we are in Louisiana anymore...what an absurd amount of money for a 3 bedroom house!)

Our weird neighbor came over to ask me a question the other day and I was so excited to talk to another human, I kept him on the porch for like 45 minutes! If we had a land line in the house, I fear I would carry on conversations with telemarketers! It's not that I am bored, I have plenty to do. I am just stir-crazy. I think I should go out and get a part time job this week. Maybe one more week of adjusting and then I will need to spend at least a few hours a day with social interaction and get out of this house.

Friday, August 27, 2004

One week down

So, I am officially done with my first week as a 1L. Wow! First off, I must say (without sarcasim) I absolutely loved it! I miss the challenge and intensity that is higher learning. It has been three years since I finished undergrad and I realize just how much of the rigor you lose sight of when you are working in "the real world". With regards to the supposedly terrifying first week, I think I may have taken a pretty good approach to this...assume the worst. I didn't read "One L" or "Law School Conf." or any of the other scare-tactic books; I just assumed, on my own, this would absolutely suck. I told all of my friends good-bye, I would see them in three years (even the local ones:-). I cleared every weekend on my calendar for reading/studying for AT LEAST a year. I mentally prepared myself for snobby classmates, Socratic method, tons of reading, seriously intense professors, and whatever else I was warned of. That being said...it was not so bad.

I have met some great people thus far, hoping to one day call them friends. I have read more words than I thought possible within such a short amount of time. I have been wowed and impressed with professors who instantly gained my respect, something I have not always given so freely within the world of academia. I would have to say the most difficult part for me is that I am overly-stimulated right now. I did not realize just how mundane my life had become. I was used to sitting in front of a computer for 8-10 hours a day checking my email at least once an hour, actually hoping for anything to make time fly by. Upon leaving work each day, I was able to find ways to creatively use my time. Now, however, I have hours upon hours of stimulation daily. It's not something I am used to, and I don't quite know how to adjust to it. I have been running to expel some energy (and hopefully lose some of the 30 pounds gained since giving up cigarettes) but my damn shins hurt! I have also taken an interest in plants and I like to water them and check for daily growth. Most of all, I have taken up this blogging concept. I don't know that I will actually give out the link to anyone, perhaps I will just use this for my own good. For now, I am off to cook some dinner and read some of the 60 pages for Contracts next week!

Monday, August 23, 2004

My First Day

Oh my gosh, I start Law School today! I am so absolutely overwhelmed with emotion. I have waited years for this day and now I'm scared out of my mind because it's here! I have been thinking about this on and off since the fifth grade and now it's here. I have been reading and briefing cases for four days now in anticipation of being prepared the first day and now it's here. I have worked extremely hard for over a year now to get in and prepare for law school, and now it's here! I am nervous, scared, excited, shaking, crying, laughing, and did I mention nervous. It reminds me of those swim meets when I was younger in which I could play off the nerves up until I was on that starting block. Well, here goes nothing! I guess all that is left is for the gun to go off and me to dive right in. I guess that will come at 6pm when Professor K walks into Lerner Room 201 with all 150 of us staring blankly ahead. I am ready! On the other hand, I am terrified! These emotions swirling around remind me of another time in my life. Ironically enough, they remind me of my thesis presentation, the last day of my architecture school career. I will admit to the same swirling feelings in anticipation of beginning my presentation. Once over that initial shock, it all came easy. I just had a good time. If today goes the same, I can do this! If I could overcome all odds and finish architecture school, I can do this. If I could pack up my life and move 1200 miles away not knowing a soul, I can do this. If I could fall asleep, alone in this city, after walking past the burning Pentagon on 9-11-01, I can do this. If I could quit smoking cold turkey after 12 years, I can do this. Oh my gosh, I start Law School today!!!