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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Jegging

Most of my pairs of good jeans are about 5 years old or older now, and it's about time for me to replace them. I have one pair that has naturally grown into the holey knee phase, which could be stylin', except that I so totally didn't buy them that way, so instead they just look ratty.  I remember I paid $60 for that pair of jeans in about 2002, which may seem a reasonable price these days, but back then, that was an exorbitant fee for blue denim. At least to me. Also, I didn't make enough money to be able to afford a $20 pair of jeans, let alone a $60 pair. But they made my ass look good, and we all know how important that is in a pair of jeans. So I put the $60 on my credit card (which I had to lie to get -- you needed to make at least $8,000 per year in order to have that card, but I made closer to $5,000, most of which went to my rent and other essentials, such as food). I then spent the better part of the next year and a half paying off those jeans. Most expensive pair of jeans ever, but here it is 2010, and my ass still looks pretty good in them, so in the end I suppose it's been worth it.

I would love to replace my beloved holey-knee hot-ass jeans (with a moderate flare leg to balance out my curvy hips) with a similarly fetching pair, but I am dismayed to see that the past 3 or so years have wreaked havoc all over jean fashion. The closest you get to a moderate flare leg these days is the lesser flared boot cut, and even then you will probably only find a single wash of boot cut jeans in any given store, so if you don't like 'em, tough titties. Instead, you find shelves upon shelves of this monster:

the Jegging

AKA, the Skinny Jean

AKA, the most heinous monstrosity I've ever seen

(Seriously, no shame)

You know why all those ladies are positioned as if they are about to take a standing pee in the woods? It's because if they don't stand legs spread-eagle like that, they will look something like this:

That's right, ice cream cone leg. Even the need-to-eat-a-damn-sandwich size 0 to 4 girls look all middle heavy if they keep their legs together in those things. (Won't somebody please think of the children?) But let's face it, most of us are not so in need of sandwiches, and therefore those jeggings look even more ridiculous on us.

Now, I don't want to offend any of you who are into the skinny jean fad. I'm sure you look fine, or at least I would tell you you look fine if you asked, because I'm nice like that. But most people really ought not to clad their asses in these things. On the whole, we just don't have the shape for it. I have known exactly two people that actually look good in jeggings. But those people are like clothes hangers: they look good in anything. Bitches. (No, seriously, though, they're great, I love them.)

So please, whoever is in charge of this fashion industry business, take a look around you at all the ice cream cone leg going on, and give me a nice selection of boot cut and flare leg jeans so I don't have to spend another 5 years waiting for the late 90's and early 2000's to come back into style. By then I think my $60 holey-knee hot-ass jeans will have disintegrated into holey-butt, not-so-hot-ass cut off shorts. A monster in its own right!

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hindsight in wrist-slitting clarity

I'm almost done with the first year of law school. I have one more test, Friday morning, and then it's over. I'm really looking forward to it being done. I haven't posted much on my blog this semester, because in all honesty, I've been too depressed to have anything worth saying. The difference between last semester and this semester have been night and day. I enjoyed myself last semester, even though I complained about Civil Procedure and Legal Elements. I was still having fun. This semester I have hated law school life. Hated it. That's not an exaggeration. I also understand that's not altogether unusual.

I have an attorney friend here in Portland who has given me some advice from time to time, and he told me that he hated law school. Hated it. (He even said it twice, just like that.) But he likes being an attorney, so take heart.

Also, at the end of last summer, when I was having a farewell meal with my old coworkers, my boss said, "I'm going to tell you what my old boss told me when I was entering law school, and when he said it, it didn't really register, but at the end of my first year, I knew what he meant: If I was in your shoes right now, I'd slit my wrists."

And now I am in the position where I can look back and realize that truer words ne'er were spoken.

I think there is light up ahead, though. Despite the torture that this semester has been, I do believe I have learned some valuable things this year. Unfortunately, I feel like much of what I have learned is retrospect-type wisdom that really could have helped me best had I known it this time LAST year. C'est la vie.

Here's what I'd tell my year-ago self:

  • Learn to write law school essay exams the summer before you go to law school, because you aren't going to have time to play that game during the semester. You may be a good writer, but writing law school exams is not about being a good writer. You can be a shit writer and write a good law school exam, and you can be a fantastic writer and write a shit exam. Look into the LEEWS series and the Delaney series, and practice writing exams.
  • Sign up for BarBri right away, and start using its study materials early in the semester. BarBri is a bar exam prep program. There are others like Kaplan that might be suitable as well, but this is the one I signed up for halfway through this semester, and boy am I kicking myself for not getting on this train early. The audio lectures for first year classes are excellent. They provide a very clear roadmap to the entire semester's worth of material in 5-6 hours per subject. Sit down for a saturday or sunday early in the semester and listen to and take notes from the entire class's lecture series. This will give you a clear broad view of the course that you can refer back to while you learn the nitty gritty doing the case method in your course. If you rely solely on the case method to learn your shit, you are going to feel very lost. Very enthralled by the mushrooms growing at the base of that tree, but missing all the forest around you on account of it. Classes are bottom-up, but you need top-down too.
  • It is important to do your class reading assignments, and I recommend doing them all, even if you have to skip some and make them up later. But at the end of the semester, all that reading does not necessarily give you the knowledge you need for the exam. Don't belabor unimportant things. Get the point of each case as best you can, then move on with your life. When I studied German in college, I liked to look up every word I didn't know in my assigned readings. But in many ways it's counterproductive to do that. There are too many words to look up, and you can end up missing the point of the reading because you are so focused on the words, so sometimes you just have to push through your reading even if you are not understanding 100%. The law can be like that too.
  • Spend more time during the semester processing your class/reading notes. It's common to leave that until the last month before exams, but then you have to process 40+ pages of notes for each of 4 classes on top of your assigned readings. That's a lot to do. Set aside 30 minutes per week per class during the semester to do that type of review, and it'll make life a lot easier during the reading period before exams.
  • Remember to mind your reputation, and try not burn any bridges. In many ways, law school is a regression out of adulthood into something much more juvenile. Assholes abound. Don't be one of them.

In case you are wondering, no, I'm not sorry I'm here. I am glad this year is almost over, though, 'cause I need a break. It's been no walk in the park, that's for damn sure.

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