Thursday, October 27, 2005

Happy (Sexy) Halloween

There's a blow-out party tomorrow night at a big club on the waterfront. It's the time in the semester when people are getting punchy --- put them in costumes, stoke them with unlimited booze, and imagine the possibilities!

Being a Halloween party, part of the pre-game hype inevitably involves planning a costume.

A year ago, a friend mentioned that one of her acquaintences had thought about dressing up as a prostitute for Halloween. I was insenced. But this year, as I contemplate outfits, I have to laugh. Going as a prostitute might actually be a nice post-modern, ironical choice; or, I could be a sexy cowgirl, a sexy cat, a sexy take-off on SuperWoman, a French maid, a hula girl, a Bond girl...anyone of the typical costumes that we women so often choose. Indeed, some of my male friends have confirmed that their favorite part of Halloween is the eye candy the skimpy costumes provide.

Sanctioned dress up is an occasion where we feel comfortable vamping up our sexuality -- and it can be fun to trot out the alter-ego now and again. I've worn plenty of liberated, skimpy costumes myself - ranging from nothing but underwear to colored saran-wrap. Each time, it's been in the company of close friends, or in a female-dominated environment.

But this party is hosted by a law school association and will be attended by my classmates. These are people that I expect to have professional relationships with. In particular, these are men that I expect to have professional relationships with. To dress up in a way that drips with blatant sexuality, which asks to be objectified, seems also to ask to be taken slightly less seriously. On the otherhand, it can be fun to get in the game with the other girls and dress up in something fun and flirtatious. I don't want to come off as a boring, frumpy girl, ridiculous as that may seem.

Fortunately, I'll have a year to mull this over, since for other reasons I'm not going to be attending tomorrow night's wild event.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Woe is Me of Irish/Scottish Heritage

It happened again today, as it usually does. I raise my hand (or get cold-called), I have an answer, I'm feeling confident and then...I start to speak, my voice is clear but about 30 seconds in I can feel the temperature gauge rising.

From the shoulders, up the neck, to the ears, and then coming around to the cheeks and face --- the full blown blush.

When it happens, I continue to speak, but the internal movie screen starts trying to picture what shade of crimson I'm presently displaying, and the internal voice starts sending the emergency calming messages, which are so frantic that they're no help at all.

I used to always be correct when I felt the heat of the automatic-discomfort-reader. When I thought I had turned into a beet, I usually got confirmation that indeed I had. I take small comfort in the fact that I seem to recently be feeling the blush but not actually turning any primary colors -- or else people are just being kind.
Maybe tomorrow I'll bring in a mirror to monitor the blush. Suggestions about what I might do to minimize this response would be appreciated!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Yesterday, having succumbed to the power of the ultimate distraction, the Internet, I was looking at pictures from my friend A.'s wedding. The wedding was in Maine on one of the last days I was up there before starting law school. It was beautiful. The perfect day flowed into lavenderar evening lit by glowinChinesese lanterns and glittering smiles.

Her parents own a 200-yr old red shingled cape on a bunch of land, and so the wedding was in the front yard, cocktails in the side yard, and a sit down dinner under a tent next to the house. I spent a lot of time at this house growing up, and so coming out of the front door as a bridesmaid, seeing the place where I used to play horses with A., remembering hiding in the tall grass when my mom came to pick me up, having tea parties in the playhouse down the hill...well, it was something.

And last night, the pictures inspired warm memories and a heightened sense that those pictures captured a moment in time. A moment that I will always look back on fondly, and a moment that at once summarizes how young we still are, and how grown up we've become.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I didn't make the ADR board, no big surprise. Instead, the big surprise were people's reactions to not getting chosen. In the week before the competition, I started to regret ever signing up to participate. I felt like I'd been duped by the damn first year self-doubt that pushes 1L's to grasp at anything and everything that comes their way.

So I wasn't set on making this board (with 270 competitors I assumed the chances were slim anyhow), and it was a no-risk scenario, so I measured my effort accordingly. I prepared the night before the competition for about 6 hrs with my partner. He's a good guy and we had a decent time working on the problem. The next morning we competed and got feedback, which took all of an hour. Lump sum, I sunk a maximum of 8 hours into this competition, which isn't all that much in the scheme of things. Sure, there are lots of ways I could have had more fun on Friday night, and I could have foregone the nerves and getting up a little earlier than usual on Saturday morning. But all in all, it was a good experience, if for nothing else than to show me what a competing for a board is like and what mock-ADR is.

I thought it was a given that the judging was incredibly subjective, and that what it comes down to is what happens when you and your partner get in the room and start engaging the other team, which is subject to an endless amount of variation. So I was really surprised and put off by people's incensed attitude that the whole competition was a complete waste just because they didn't make the board. The big complaint was that the judging is all subjective --- but aren't most things in life? When you interview for a job, it's all subjective!

So while they're annoyed that they didn't make the board, I'm annoyed that no one I spoke with seemed to value the experience (and don't get me wrong, I'm hardly zen when it comes to competing, but really), that everyone was SO put out that they'd spent any of their oh-so-precious time on something that didn't produce a big reward. So there.

Nostrils Above Water

There's been a lot going on, in law school, in life, in general, and not too much that I've found suited to posting. I'm doing my best to keep just one breath ahead and a few times I've written about how much work I have, but really, no one wants to read about that. I will be away at my cousin's wedding over the weekend, and then I have midterms on Tuesday, so hopefully after that I'll finally clear some head space to form a coherent post. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Red Leather

This weekend was the first outing for me and my new jacket. It was an impulse purchase, and marked down 80%. It's fitted, and red, and leather. There is something slightly 30s about it, not the time period, but the age. It doesn't have shoulder pads, but I still associate leather jacket, shirt and jeans with something an "older" person would wear. It's distinguished from the tube tops that dominate the younger end of the decade I'm in.

But I love it.

From drinks and dinner with friends, to a house party later in the evening, compliments and comments followed the jacket. Among them: "you look like a firefly", "look at this! sexy", "feel how soft this is", and more than one "wow." Once in a while, especially when burned out from studying, it's fun to put on some spirit, and wear it for a night.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Company A, Client B

Phew, I lot has been going on and oddly, I can't wait for Monday evening to roll around so that I can catch a breath. I'm just back from my first law school "extra curricular" alternative dispute resolution competition. In many ways, it's ridiculous. There were 270 competitors, in part because it's the only board that one can compete for at my school. Frankly, I'm still a little confused about what exactly a the goals of boards are. From what I gather, once you make the board, there isn't much that you're required to do, nor is there much that the board does. There are competitions throughout the year that you can gain experience competing in, which is great, but it seemed that the skills you bring to the table are your own (ie: there aren't a whole lot of speakers they bring in, or conferences they put on).

I was conflicted about participating given that it seems to be a resume padder for the most part, but on the other hand, it seemed like a good opportunity to practice putting myself out there, especially since the risk factor was zero (the worst that can happen is that I don't make the board for fall semester). Earlier this week, as I looked at my lengthy "to do" list, I kicked myself for signing up. But after this morning's negotiation, I'm glad that I did it. Bottom line, it was really fun.

It's exhilaration to go into a fictional meeting with fictional goals, some of which are flexible and some of which aren't, to meet the other team, and to work your way through a set of conflicting desires. I loved steering the conversation through a framework that was advantageous to our client, and responding to push back, easing off, coming back around after learning more about where the other side was coming from, and threading the needle on the second attempt. Make the board or not, living in a make believe world for a half hour or so this morning was a blast.