Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oh but I am Young

S: Get out of the driver's seat, I'm driving to the airport.
Me: (responding to a tone that I don't like) No way, the seat and mirrors are already adjusted for me from last night. Besides, I'm already sitting here. Just give me the keys and let's go.
S: Are you serious?
Me: This is just taking more time. Plus, you're the one being dropped off. This way I don't have to re-position everything to turn around and drive home (by myself, which is the state I will live in for the next month while you cavort on your last rotation in Canada surrounded by friends and family...did I mention that I will be ALONE. Here. Without you (cue violins).
S: Fine.
Me: Fine.

Later on the phone....

S: Are you going to apologize?
Me: What? We are equally at fault there. We were both being stubborn for no reason (except that anger is easier than sadness sometimes). It was a stupid ego battle.
S: You're right.
Me: (unable to stop myself) And I won that one.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"About Me" Collage

Still working on the interview, but in the meantime, here are my answers to a visual "interview." My my the things procrastination will uncover on the Internet...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Interview: Part II

Anastacia: So, you’re in law school! What made you decide to pursue law as a career, and where do you think you want to go with it?

Ms. Runner: Law school – Well, this is a question I’m asking myself now that I’m in my fourth round of finals (hitting head against wall)! There are a number of factors that lead me here, some I am more proud of than others. In college, I double majored in French and English and people would always look at me askance, “So, law school then?” as if that is all one does with a liberal arts degree that didn’t involve a minor in economics. But the idea had never interested me and I fended off these questions with eye rolls.

For a while I dallied with the idea of a PhD in English literature, but I dodn’t have the focused interest in one subject that is required to sustain that kind of career. I became smitten with the lure of the publishing world and spent two summers pursuing that interest and subsequently landed a job working at a big publishing house in New York City. I loved working with authors and I loved my colleagues, who were witty and sarcastic and well-read. I didn’t love the fact that 85% of the time was spent working on marketing and advertising and pitching, and only about 10% spent on actual editing (and most of the 10% was done at home after an 8 hr work day), and of course, the work was underpaid. After two years, the pie in the sky job of executive editor no longer had allure. Coincidentally, two years was also a good time to put an end to a fraying long distance relationship. I picked up and moved to DC, where there are a whole lot less publishing jobs, but where my now-husband was in school.

Right around this time I signed up for the LSAT. The decision to take the LSAT was rolled up in so many things – deciding to shift my career to…something else, wanting to be able to support myself and actually save money, wanting to feel powerful (both in terms of being able to effect change and in terms of being my own boss, and in terms of having a specialized skill), recognizing that I didn’t have a burning passion to do something else, and admitting that my aptitudes might be a good fit for the profession after all (you know, endless patience with minutiae, willingness to kowtow to tradition, blindly prostrate myself for THE MAN, strong “writing and analytic skills”).

I got myself a non-law job in DC working as a grant writer for a non-profit (those “writing and analytic skills” do come in handy). In part the non-law job was safe, I didn’t want to have a bad law experience and scare myself out of going back to school, and in part it was another attempt to see if there was something out there that would be fulfilling, and challenging, and economically productive that might draw me in another direction. The grant writing job confirmed some things – that I need challenge even if it means working long hours (9-5 kills me if I’m bored), and that I enjoy working with smart people.

I’m sheepish about admitting why I am in law school because I’m not here for noble reasons, like my passion for the law, or a dream of setting those falsely imprisoned free. I’m here for the stereotypical reasons, and for all the reasons that people tell me I will ultimately be unhappy with the law. But the people that I’ve met so far ARE smart, and ARE interesting (especially when we can get ourselves to talk about things other than our stressful schedules, stressful exams, and woe is me stressful life), and the learning itself has been really enjoyable (and I think it says a lot that I’m saying this right after taking a 3 hr exam). There are many who have told me that liking law school is not an indicator of career satisfaction, and since I’ve only had a judicial internship so far, the fact remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I'm resentful about feeling that I need to defend my choice to go to law school against attack that I sold out, that I won't like it, and that I will be soon regretting the debt I've incurred.*

This summer I’ve signed up for the BIG LAW experience, which is supposed to be cushy and not tell me much about what working at a BIG LAW firm would really be like. But there is no doubt that the money is alluring, and there is a high likelihood that I'll get in the game after graduation. Beyond that, I’m discovering a passion for family law and child welfare issues and think about ultimately steering my profession in that direction (though again, many nay-sayers who caution burn out). At the moment, I think it would be interesting to work on constitutional questions that arise in the context of new reproductive technologies, or to work on child welfare/foster care reform. But we’ll see.

*But feel free to say "I told you so" when I tell you in two years that I sold out, I don't like it, and that I am regretting all the debt I've incurred.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Interview: Part I

The lovely Anastacia from Jurgen
, whose photographs are
stunning and whose dog Jurgen
has stolen my heart, volunteered to do some interviews and I snapped up
the opportunity. Since her questions have provoked lengthy answers (and
because I really should be spending my time studying) I'm going to
respond in parts.

Anastacia: What were your favorite cartoons as a kid and why? Part B: Which ones did you hate and why?

Ms. Runner: Mmmmmm,
cartoons. Such an indulgence. I was allowed 2 hrs on Saturdays and I
remember coming away from the TV with headaches from watching so
intently. One of my favorites was Inspector Gadget. Loved the gadgets,
loved Penny -- especially her cool watch, and of course loved Brain.
There was enough suspense to keep me glued, but nothing too scary ever
happened. At the end, I could always laugh off Dr. Claw's menacing
"I'll get you next time Gadget!" followed by that poor cat'sscreech as he slammed his fist down. I still wonder, what does Claw look like from the front?

personal favorite was the Smurfs (I guess I'm a sucker for catchy intro
tunes, and also mushroom houses). I even visited the cartoon museum in
Brussels a few years ago and learned a bit about their creator. However, the dreadedGargamel featured largely in my only recurring
childhood nightmare. He would emerge from the woods behind our house
and barf all over my favorite dress, my response was to yell to my
father (who was raking leaves while the drama unfurled), "Run Dad! Save
yourself!" Anyway...

Cartoons I hated included Ghostbusters, Scooby's Mystery Funhouse, and Beetlejuice.
The unifying theme there? Fear. Yes, I know that they are cartoons, and
I know that they amused countless 7 yr old children, but me? I was

I almost forgot...if you want to play the interview game, here are the easy-peasy rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Inconsistent - the very very short list

I get completely grossed out when people put their food directly on any surface at school. Ew, the germs! And yet, I have no trouble putting a handful of skittles directly into my coat pocket (no doubt also full of germs).

I like things clean. If I don't get to the full on sponge-with-cleaning-agent scrub down, I will at least once-over the sink and toilet down with a Mr. Scrubber-Bubbles wipe once a week. And yet, the shower? Probably taken a sponge to it three times in the past two years. I mean, we just shower in there, it's got to be clean, right?

I shy away from things with lots of food-dye in them. When I was little I eschewed the "chemical cherries" (maraschino) with a vengence. But green mint chocolate chip ice cream really IS better.

More to come...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Open Letter to the Bookstore Employee

Dear Mr. Bookstore Employee,
I appreciate that you want to help your customers, and I am sorry if you have had a difficult life. However, please note that when helping me find a book on Criminal Procedure, it is not necessary to put your arm around me. I am confident that you can help me find the book just fine without touching me at all.

Also, I do not want to hear about how a neighbor called child protection services because you were doing fun things with your kids -- those fun things being putting your kids in a mesh laundry bag and swinging them from a rafter. I don't want to hear this story because (a) I don't like hearing you talk about how your kids were all having "nekkid time" when CPS arrived, because I get the feeling that you just enjoy saying "nekkid" to me. Whether your children were clothed or unclothed has no bearing on your story (b) I don't think that it sounds like fun to be swung around in a laundry bag. In fact, I get motion sick just thinking about it (though your "nekkid" kids may well have enjoyed it).

Finally, if I am holding the book I am about to purchase to my chest, please do not grab it from me and in doing so accidentally brush my boob. That counter, that one in front of the register, it's there so that people like me can put their purchases on it when they are ready to pay. (See also note on touching customers above).
Thanks for your kind attention,
Ms. Runner

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It's been occupying my thoughts recently. Pop, my paternal grandfather, died this winter, and in greiving for him I found myself crying for the finality of his death, for never being able to hear his voice again, making one of his signature wry comments. At other moments the tears were all about my own fears, about being overwhelmed by just how temporary this life is, and trebbling at the thought that someday I might be burying not a grandparent, but a parent. But yesterday and today as the Virginia Tech tradgedy unfurls, and every time I read news of another young American soldier being killed, I recall my maternal grandfather, a German-Jew who escaped Nazi Germany and whose brother died when he was just a child, mentioning to me that the worst imaginable thing in the world would be to bury one of your own children. I feel compelled, but don't know how, to honor these young victims and acknowledge the grief their families must be suffering.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stroke of Genius

Ok, well, not genius, but something close. I am a baker, or at least I love baking. When I was younger and we had snow days, one of my favorite things to do was to pull out one of my mom's many cook books and find something sweet to make the house smell good. I find the mixing therapeutic and appreciate how little washing or chopping of ingredients is involved (minus nuts, but whose not willing to put in a little extra elbow grease for the nuts?). In any case, the therapy, it's good for me during exam times, gets me out of my head, etc. But what do you do with a batch of two dozen cookies when there is only you at home (aside from doing a performance art piece "what is gluttony")? There are only so many times I can bring cookies to my friends before they start to feel like I'm force feeding them. So tonight it dawned on me -- the freezer! I have one cookie ready to be baked at a moment's notice (meaning right after I post this) and a log of dough in the freezer for whenever the craving to eat another strikes (like tomorrow night). Now, whether that frozen dough will betray it's cryogenic-like incubation with freezer-burn aftertaste once it's baked...I'll let you know.

Travel Collage

I've been at my desk all day, while it's been pouring outside. So I decided to take myself on a tour of all the other much more fun places S. and/or I have been in the last 12 months or so...