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Saturday, September 4, 2010

One is the loneliest number

Finished my first week back to school. It's really hard getting back into the groove of studying when you really haven't been in that groove for... over 3 months. Sure, I did legal work during my summer internship, but it was much lower pressure. I didn't have to read an average of 250 pages of dense legal material per week during the summer. I actually never had solid deadlines during my internship, so the pressure was completely off. That clearly was not a good thing, because it didn't keep me in practice.

You get so efficient in your studies by the end of each semester that you hardly bat an eyelash when you have to read for three classes in one evening. Trying to read my assignments for my first day back was very slow-going. I had to keep going back and forth between assignments to keep myself interested, whereas I usually just plow through one assignment at a time. My attention span is lax.

For the most part I like my classes so far. My intellectual property class is very good, I think. About 40 people, and I will get to do several short papers instead of a 3-hour exam at the end of the term for my grade, which should hopefully play to my strength as a writer. I have a copyright history seminar class, which I think will be very interesting from an academic standpoint. The only problem is there are about 13 people in the class, and I have such a hard time getting myself to participate in classroom discussions, but it will be necessary in that class. I joked with a friend of mine who is also taking the class that I'm going to need to drink a beer before class each Wednesday in order to loosen up enough to participate. I was only half joking. I really am kind of contemplating walking up to the pub during the 1.5 hour break before that class and downing a pint so that I can feel like a regular anxiety-free person. How sad is that?

I have one class in which the professor is painfully boring. He has a verbal tick of saying "uh" between, oh, every word or two. I can't concentrate with that. So already, after only two classes, I have taken to only partially listening to him lecture. I have even rearranged my schedule next semester to avoid a class that would have been taught by him.

I have this advanced contracts class that is going to be absolutely killer, in the ridiculously hard type of way. The course is very focused on the statutory texts that govern sales contracts, most prominently the UCC and CISG.  I have been pretty lost in the discussion so far, and asked one of my classmates what he felt about the class. "Do you find yourself even just a little bit lost?" I asked. "Of course!" he said. That made me feel better. But I am going to have to buckle down hard to get through that one. It is different working with a very statutory-based body of law, because most first year courses focus on case-based law (i.e., judicial decisions and precedent), and only cursorily examine statutory or regulatory codes. Precise linguistic awareness is much more important in the latter. You would think this shouldn't be too challenging for me, but the thing is, I've always been a "gist" kind of person. It is not as easy to glean a gist from a statute as from a case.

As a second year law student, I feel a little bit invisible. (Ok, I always feel a little bit invisible, but more so.) I think the whole law school experience is very focused on that first year. Everything caters to first years. The buzz is all about them. I feel like I am a ghost walking around and everyone looks right through me. I don't mean that to sound like a melancholy thing, because I actually rather enjoy not being noticed. It's peaceful. There is much more of a calm atmosphere amongst myself and my classmates. There is not so much frenzy and anxiety. Alright, so I still have anxiety, but it's different. It's personal, and not a result of the general restlessness and uber-caffeination that accompanies the first year experience.

I have ridden my bicycle to school 1 out of 4 days so far. The first three days it was rainy and cold. The fourth day there was sun, so I rode. It was hard, but not as hard as I feared it might have been after a summer of not riding. I had to rest halfway, but did so further along than usual. I showered at school, and my hair looked ridiculous all day long, which made me feel self-conscious. I can never get my hair to look right when I do it at school. Next time, I bring my hat.

FYI, I'm writing this blog post as a sort of journal entry. During my summer internship, I was required to keep a weekly journal of my experience, and I actually found that doing so helped me process my experience better. Sometimes a little metacognition is called for. So maybe I will post little weekly recaps like this all semester long. Maybe. I don't expect anyone to read and like them. They are really more for myself. Over and out.


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5 comments:

twogirlsandaroad said...

I read it. Your studies and mine are vastly different, but I am struggling in trying to keep interest. I took 8 weeks off and won't start my next class until October 24th. I'm already dreading it. Good luck, Sra. :)

heidikins said...

I wish I was a drinking girl, because I think I would identify with this statement so very much: "I really am kind of contemplating walking up to the pub during the 1.5 hour break before that class and downing a pint so that I can feel like a regular anxiety-free person."

Hi, I'm Ms. Anxiety, nice to meet you.

And your final paragraph has reminded me why I need to start blogging again--it's not about the stats or the comments, it's about processing my own experience. Thank you, my dear.

xox

tennessee mike said...

Oh I'll read them. I can't promise I'll like them, but I'll read them. :)

Football season has started again, and I always think of you, and how much you dislike it. Go Utes!

Sra said...

Damn Football! ;)

tennessee mike said...

Oh I'll read them. I can't promise I'll like them, but I'll read them. :)

Football season has started again, and I always think of you, and how much you dislike it. Go Utes!

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