Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Boogey Man

S. and I had some friends over for dinner tonight. It was great to take a break mid-week and enjoy eachother's company. Now, it's 11:30 and I've done all my work for tomorrow, so all I need to do is brush my teeth, wash my face, and turn out the light.

It's always this time of night when strange, irrational fears creep up on me. Lately, it's been while I am washing my face. I hardly get the first splash on my soap-covered skin when I feel the urgent need to open my eyes and look behind me. I have a creepy feeling someone is sneeking up on me when the running water prevents me from hearing well, and I'm blinded by fash wash. I sting my eyes everynight opening them dispite the dripping lather.

My pulse must climb at least 20 beats everytime I perform this routine part of my day. While there's nothing like an adrenaline rush before bedtime, any tips on beating the boogey man are gladly welcomed.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sand Storm

There is a phenomenal play running in Alexandria, VA right now at Metro Stage called Sandstorm: Stories from the Front. The playwright is a marine who served in the Iraq War, and the play is a series of 10 monologues that encapsulate some of the experiences of troops on the ground there.

S and I got tickets on recommendation from an Iraq War veteran we met last week. He said that this play articulated his experiences about the war with exquisite precision.

The performance was incredibly powerful. It's still impossibly difficult for me to grasp what it would be like to be in the middle of a war zone, one in which civilians are ever-present. But these monologues illustrated some of the idioms you hear about war, that it takes away a person's humanity, that the worst parts of human nature are encouraged, that humanity does have a way of resurfacing in unexpected ways in the middle of it all, and that war leaves deep, vicious scars on the human psyche.

It's been disgustingly easy for me to tune out what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. I read about the insurgency and the car bombings, about Ms. Sheehan's protest and Bush's speeches in Utah, but it is remarkably simple to chalk these up to news. This play was an excellent, and for me much needed, reminder about the human reality behind the reporting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Gunners

They're here, The Gunners. I could hardly find the classroom for Torts, let alone remember my assigned seat, but after class let out I noticed a number of people gravitating towards the adjacent classroom, where my Criminal Law class was meeting in over an hour.

I followed the pack with curiosity, maybe I had mixed up my schedule and Criminal Law was about to begin?

Nope. These people were all squatters, arriving over an hour in advance to get the best seats in the house, the seats that we were all assigned to today. My God.

I had forgotten that the seating chart was going to be passed around today, but since I was there, I figured I might as well plunk my ass down in a good spot and do some reading myself. Within a half an hour of the class starting nearly all the "good seats" were filled, leaving just those around the periphery of the room. If it hadn't been for my curiosity I would have had one of those "beyond the pale" seats, which really wouldn't have been a big deal anyway. Sheesh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

These Shoes Aren't Made for Walking

I've always had a thing for shoes. My mom used to have to drag me away from the rows of jelly shoes in Rich's, and there is rarely a season when I'm free from lust over a particular piece of footwear.

Summer is a particularly nice season for shoe fetishes, primarily because they need not hold up under durress of snow, slush and other inclement weather. Therefore, knock-offs, even those of poor materials, are fair game.

This morning, I wore some very Mariska Barton ked-esque numbers. Kelly green with pin polka dots and a little line of yellow around the gummy bulletin board color sole. I opted for these in favor of flip flops both because they're cuter and because I thought they would give my foot a little more support than the thong/rubber combo. The shoes cost less than $9, no skin off my back.

But oh the skin off my feet! By the time I arrived at class I was already day dreaming about band-aids. Hobbling home this evening my eyes wistfully followed the cushioned, comfortable steps of all those sensible walkers in their sneakers. I'm nursing my bandaged tootsies and banishing the evil knock-offs to the back of the closet where they won't tempt me with their deceptive comfy-cute looks.

Monday, August 22, 2005

And They're Off!

1L classes began today. It's 11:40 and I've finished assignments for two classes, so there's still one to go, which is to say that I should be reading Contracts right now. But as much as I'm feeling overwhelmed, I am making a personal commitment not to get sucked into a vortex of life in which only law school exists (though the pull is already strong!) I want to do well, but doing well in life means hanging onto some balance, and that includes taking time to reflect on my experiences and doing things with non-law people like going to see this play on Friday.

Today was full of intimidating things. In Legal Research & Writing, I was shown a video clip of a former 1L at moot court competition. The instructor showed it to us in hopes that it would provide motivation and excite us about what lies ahead. It just scared the shit out of me. My palms started to sweat as I watched the kid standing alone under the glaring spotlight, an audience of hundreds in the dark behind him as he faced three judges, talking what sounded like a different language, and getting slammed left and right as the judges punched holes in his case and srunched up their faces in disdain as he attempted to answer.

Oh, and by the way, I completely overlooked the syllabus for LRW and therefore showed up for my very first class of the day, indeed, my very first class of law school, without having done the assigned reading. Sweet.

Onto Contract Law. This one was good, the professor was speedy, but went very easy on us and since the class was mostly about the history of law, I was OK.

Then I walked into Criminal Law, it had been by far the most interesting of the readings, but the moment the professor started employing that good old socratic method, all memory of what the case was about promptly exited my brain. Note to self: at the beginning, it doesn't hurt to include more info in your brief.

Despite the jolt to the system that this is sure to be, I'm still excited to be back in school. It just may take a little while as that old brain of mine warms up to this new method of learning and teaching and generally being a student again. Looks like it may be another late night!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The First Day

It was about what I expected, but with some nice surprises. There was a very likeable woman who graduated the same year I did and with whom I spent most of the afternoon. As is the way with orientations, I will now be sharing a locker with her for the rest of the year. I had to laugh at the $10 coupon to the bookstore, considering what the semester's worth of books cost. And it's funny how being a first year, no matter what your age, puts a little regressive spin on life. But I just finished reading my first legal opinion and preparing for the case review tomorrow. I'm pleased with the familiarity of dissecting a story and its language, though tomorrow in class I'm sure to see all that I glossed over.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

In a Nutshell

This summer has been a great one. I quit a job where I wasn't happy, got engaged to the person I love, visited many of my closest friends, witnessed one's marriage, spent time with family in the most beautiful place on earth (Maine), and enjoyed lots of outdoor time.

Now I'm back in our nations's sweaty armpit and tomorrow I start law school orientation. My palms start to sweat and my skin threatens to revolt in a strike of zits at the thought of it. Last time I participated in an orientation it was for college, seven years ago. I was shaky, but I knew enough to look out for myself, and that meant, among other things, changing roommates and taking lots of time out from the enormous heards that tend to form during orientations.

So here I go again. This time I feel less shaky, firmed up by the month and a half that I've had to spend with family and friends. However, over the summer months I've given way more thought to planning our wedding than to starting law school. And now that it's about to become reality, I'm less worried about making friends, and more worried about making a fool of myself. I looked at my fall classes - the standard civil procedure, torts, criminal law, and legal writing - and realized that I really have very little idea what I'm getting myself into. It's been three years since I was in an academic setting and part of me frets that I've gotten too lazy to do the work. The good news is, I have three days of orientation to psyche myself up for what's to come.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Still Here

I'm still here - and still loving the beauty and relaxation that I'm soaking up while at home in Maine. Lots of thinking, and tears both of joy and sadness, but I'm not feeling moved to write about any of it just now. I start law school on August 17th, and will be preoccupied with friends and family until then. I hope that you're enjoying summer and will check back in September when I may be feeling more inspired to blog.