Thursday, September 8, 2011

One Month Down

By the time you read this (since I’m drafting it in the middle of my Wednesday night Torts class…I know…bad student, no bonus points – never fear, I’m keeping up with my class notes in another screen), I will have completed my first month (4 weeks actually) of law school. I have this to say about that….

My brain is full.

Not really, but it feels that way.

I’m still not getting much sleep. For instance, I had great intentions of getting to sleep before midnight last night after getting home from class at about 10:30 PM. No such luck. It was 1:30 before I finally put head to pillow; and, even then, I don’t think I actually snored until 2:00 AM. Caffeine is helping keep me awake, but it has a price. Friday night to Saturday afternoon, I slept for 13 hours and probably could have slept for another couple of hours if it weren’t for the fact that The Queen was cooking brunch and I was hungry.

Sleep isn't the only thing I'm losing. Since I started school, I've dropped between 15 and 20 pounds. Before school, I fluctuated between 245 to 250. After four weeks, I'm down to 230. If I could be in shape and 230, I wouldn't complain too much (even though 210 is a better weight for me). However, the likelihood of exercise leading to me being in shape happening before the end of my law school career is between slim and none. 

My academic support class went through all the tasks an evening law student who works full time is supposed to accomplish in the number of hours available in any given week. For those who are interested, there are 168 hours available to us in any 7 day period. Try as we might to get a few more hours squeezed in here or there, that’s the ball game. Now, take away 40 hours for work, 49 hours for sleep (if you are generous and give yourself 7 hours a night), 12 hours actually at the school, and 33 hours for study (if you devote the recommended 3 hours of study per classroom hour). Just for these tasks alone you’re at 134 hours out of your week not including going to the bathroom, taking showers, eating, grocery shopping, commuting, etc. If you are really lucky, you are left with about 15 hours a week to spend relaxing, spending time with family, vegetating, etc.

I didn’t write about this last week because there was no time; however, I had an interesting discussion with my Torts professor after class last week. During her lecture, she made a brief comment that she was scared of guns (the case we were discussing had something to do with firearms). After class, I approached her to find out where she was coming from on the subject. She said that she was uncomfortable with the whole idea of an object that can kill you. Despite that, she does not take the position that all guns should be banned. She thinks the ownership of guns should be heavily regulated, but she is okay with the use of guns for self defense and hunting. Interestingly, she did not think target shooting was a valid use for firearms. I discussed firearm safety, crime rates, etc. She seemed to be open to the thought that a firearm in the hands of a properly trained owner is no danger to anyone when the Four Rules are followed. It was an interesting and cordial discussion.

In other news, one of my colleagues has decided to throw in the towel. It hit pretty close to home because it was one of the members of my Criminal Law class study group. I was expecting the herd to be thinned out a little as time moved on due to grades, life and other inconveniences. However, I was not expecting it to occur this soon. This particular student sent me and the other members of the group an email on Tuesday just before class. It came as a total surprise to all of us. He seemed to be getting the material and hadn’t voiced any reservations to us about his continuing with school. His email didn’t elaborate on his reasons other than to suggest that he had been doing some soul searching. I can respect that, and I wished him well. I do feel sorry for him on one thing. He missed the deadline to get a full refund on tuition. So, it’s an expensive decision if nothing else.

I also have my first major assignment due next week in my Legal Analysis, Research and Writing class. In a way, I feel like I am back in high school English class: write a memo not to exceed 5 pages, double spaced….yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. That will be my life this weekend (in addition to tiling the pantry and laundry room). Fortunately, the research part of the assignment has been provided to us so that we can spend our time on our analysis and writing. Adding the research into the equation comes later. Fun times in the library coming my way.

Speaking of the library, one of my early assignments involved searching through case law reporters in the library for specific information. Reporters are bound volumes of court rulings on individual cases. For instance, the reporter for the appellate courts in Texas is called the Southwestern Reporter. There are currently 3 series of volumes going back into the 1800s. Each series contains volumes numbered from 1 to 999 (except for the current 3RD series which is still developing). In the library, these volumes are all grouped together by series in numerical order. So, 2ND series volume 665 comes after volume 664 and before volume 666, etc. During this library assignment, I was amazed to discover that allegedly intelligent post graduate students in law CAN’T COUNT. Twice, I found volumes of a particular reporter shelved out of numerical order. It really annoyed me because the volume I needed for my assignment was one of the ones mis-shelved necessitating a search to hunt down where it WAS shelved. I can’t even give the errant shelver the benefit of a dyslexia exception because the volume placed where the one I needed had no numerical connection to the two it was between. I can’t remember exactly, but it was like having volume 285 between volumes 697 and 699.

Another little library incident was the part of the assignment which found the book I needed in a section of the library that was on the border of the area under remodeling. Plastic sheeting to protect the books from dust was taped to the floor and the bookshelf right where I needed to be to get the book I needed to answer a particular question. It’s a good thing I have long arms, but I hope they don’t notice the size 11 tear on the plastic.

Finally, I haven’t mentioned the adoption process in a while. The Queen and I have completed our required classes. The Queen has had her one on one in person interview. Mine is scheduled for this Friday. After that, we have the home inspection where they tell us what we need to do we get the house ready for kids. Then, if I understand this correctly, we will be licensed foster parents on the list to have kids placed with us. We are cautiously excited.

That’s all for now. If you need me, I’ll be the unconscious one under the pillows.


  1. Do a happy dance!!! Only eleventy billion months to go! Hehe.

  2. Lila, I don't dance. Just ask The Queen.

  3. Yay, congrats on the progress. Try to cut back on the caffeine, I know whereof I speak!
    I wish you continued success in school, enough sleep, and wonderful kids. :)

  4. Christina, rest assured, I don't abuse the caffeine. I usually only have one glass of iced tea a day or maybe a Dr Pepper or Coke if I'm jonesing for some sugar. I never developed a taste for coffee (unless it's heavily dosed with Irish Whiskey and other enhancements). So, I don't have to worry about my stomach lining disintegrating soon.

  5. Glad to see you're making some headway.

  6. 45er, if you beat your head against the post long enough, eventually it will fall down. The headache might not ever go away, but that pole is coming down.


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