One down, Five to go

I haven’t written in over two months. Where to start. After October, The semester got harder and harder as the weeks went on. I remember taking trooper to a few Halloween parties. I remember family visiting. Apart from one or two outings the rest of my time was devoted to just keeping up with the assigned readings. Keeping up became such a challenge when Trooper caught a stomach virus, house chores piled up, and all-nighters induced me into developing a caffeine and sleeping pill addiction cycle; eventually my juggling act became an exercise of avoiding the greatest damage with each decision I made. I don’t know what motivated me to assume this hardship. Whatever I was avoiding must have been bad because the weeks during and leading up to finals were the hardest weeks of my life.

I don’t know what my grades were. I just feel lucky to have gotten through it. After all my finals were done and my classmates were out celebrating their freedom, I received an email from my writing professor that my legal memo needed to be rewritten. Law school would inevitably pour over into my Christmas break. Also, during a crazy moment (because I must have lost my mind) I decided it was a good idea to sign up for a January term course. This means my winter break will be 1 week shorter. In addition, I am doing some probono work that requires me to be certified and the certification process will also consume more of my break. All-in-all I’m betting that what is left of my 2 week winter break will be consumed by all of the errands I pushed into the back burner and need to start addressing.

But at the end of the day, my first semester is over.. and I heard its supposed to get easier… can’t really imagine it being any harder.



I still love it here

This will probably read like random sentences thrown together.

It is 34 degrees outside.I love it here. Not the temperature. But the leaves are red and yellow. I’ve never seen anything like it. Where to start?? Trooper was stung by a bee yesterday. He is ok, I applied ice, toothpaste to dry out the venom and some Benadryl. We are going to a Halloween festival today in the downtown area. He will be spiderman this year. He’s excited. Two weeks ago he had a stomach virus. He threw up 6 times in one day. The SAME day my 8 page paper was due and the SAME day I had a midterm. Yes that was an interesting day. But like many days… we got through it.

My family is coming to visit next week. My schedule has been insane.Last week I fell into a small rift of depression. I haven’t been out in so long. I’m feeling kind of lonely…. I’m having trouble keeping up with my assigned reading and I have a 20 page paper due next week. finals are officially 2 months away and I am not anywhere near where I need to be. I really wanted to focus on reading some E & Es and hornbooks. But where oh where to find the time??

Taking a step back from it all. I’m still happy to be here. I still feel lucky to have given a chance to start over. The people here are generally very friendly. And there are a few people I’ve met in DC that I keep in touch with online.

I am officially half way through the semester, and really just trying to hang on. After this 20 page paper is due. I want to complete my outlines and focus on taking at least 3 exams a week.

Got to run, trooper has tennis lessons and its breakfast time.

Study Strategy

I just had my first 3 days of law school. I read diligently over the weekend ahead through my classes for Wednesday. When I say I read, I mean my case books and assigned materials. Which ate up most of my weekend. Thankfully my mom is staying with me and watching trooper while I stay late at school. By late I mean 7pm. I stay till 7pm everyday including weekends and I come home to find a hot meal ready for me. Thank goodness for moms but I know she is leaving on Thursday and I will not be able to stay in school past 5pm daily (and only on weekdays) because I will have to pick up trooper from school.

Knowing this is forcing me to rethink my study strategy. The schedule I posted here is the time I have devoted to law school but am I using my time most efficiently? Would a strategy focusing less on casebooks and more on supplements (E&Es and hornbooks) serve me better? I feel like I’m taking a serious gamble. a $200,000 gamble. But I can also sense that reading these casebooks just isn’t enough. I feel inclined to go out and buy all e&es and hornbooks and read the rules and relevant laws according to casebook outlines. Not really sure if this is more work or less. I’d focus on wikipedia’ing the case, read maybe the judge’s note and 1 dissenting opinion and focus on the law per e&e as referenced here.

I definitely need to reread LEEWs and GTM. Its only been 3 days but I feel like I’m losing myself in the minutia of the details of these cases. Interesting stories but how much of this is actually on the exam?? I started looking over a few exams today. I am not convinced that just reading the cases all semester will put me in a position to stand out on these exams. Just read this article and it suggests CALI. Which I’m trying starting this week.

Also, xeoh85 suggests reading assigned reading and cases first and then turning to supplements. Which seems much less like a gamble.. except… am I really going to have the time to get to all of time as a single mom?

Obviously I need to do the best I can. Here goes week 2…

My New Life

I have a new life now. I have a new life now. And saying it out loud is surreal. I left Florida. The state where I was born and raised. I did something crazy, something no one in my family has done, I left the state! And while I have both positive and negative things to say about South Florida,  that was another life. Another me. I am a different person now. I can feel it.

I’ve been here for just under 10 days but my old life seems an eternity away. I’m not quite certain how I lived the life I did for so long. On a treadmill, not growing. Pursuing endeavors half assed because they fell short of my passion. I didnt really feel motivated by anything.

In contrast, now I wake up with passion, with purpose. This week was my first week of law school. Where I live the dream I’ve had since I was a child. It seems naive and idealistic, but it is amazing to know… that even after everything I’ve been through.. the short cuts, the scenic route, the off streets… I still ended up where I knew I wanted to be.

My first week has been pretty challenging. I’ve missed out on many social events with my peers. I’ve struggled with keeping up with my courses, fighting off my nerves when I get called on in class… and even though its early in the semester, I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep. At first it was because of an imagined spider invasion in my apartment, then fear of getting singled out in class… and alas fears of inadequacy and falling behind.  I’m still  learning my way around this new city. The mountains are breath-taking.

I’ve also met other parents here in the city during Parent Teacher association meeting for trooper’s school. HE starts school next week and I intend to be very active in the local school.

All in all I feel like I’m finally on the right path. Where so many decisions in my life are making sense. I feel blessed by the universe. I would not change a single thing. Not trooper, not my choice of school, location,  not my past, not my relationships, including my decisions to start and end them.

School totally kicked my ass this week but I’m grateful, so fucking grateful.


The last few weeks have really been a whirlwind. But I figured in the interest of documenting my journey I’d report the mess that my life has become.

At work, we have had a series of turnovers that have shocked the system. Mistakes left and right. What can I compare it to? A toddler with a box of toys. He tips the box and the toys scatter on the floor. As the mother frantically picks up the toys to set them back in the box only to find that when she turns her back the toddler tips the box and the toys scatter across the floor anew. I reached a new level of frustration before I finally decided that ITS NOT MY PROBLEM! Even the new president has told me in the past that he doesn’t understand why I continue to hold on.

So…. The past week I’ve practiced at disconnecting myself. The problems just keep getting worse and I’m choosing to walk away. I can’t be everything to everyone. Founder of the company passed away 5 months ago and I am mother to only 1 toddler. (Who is a toddler no more, thank god) He is the one I need to focus on.

Finished LEEWS. Finished Law Preview (LP). And I want to read thru GTM a little more carefully this week. I think I’m beginning to understand the mystique of law school and I’m really not that scared or worried about it anymore. I am giving it the respect it deserves. LP sent its students a law school calendar to follow each day during the fall semester. The schedule has its students doing 12 hrs worth of work a day including classroom time except fridays (6 hrs). 56 hours a work week and an adtl 8-12 hours on the weekend.  So I’ve been formulating my own schedule that I hope to fine tune once I get my class schedule.

Awake 7am
Trooper school 8am
Law School 830p-500p
Trooper school 530p
Dinner/trooper time 600p-900p
Law School HW 930-1130p

Awake 8am
Law school hw 830-1230
Trooper Time 1pm – 7pm
Law school hw 730-1130pm

This schedule gives me 10 hrs a work day and 8 hrs per weekend day. 66 total hours of study time during the week. Still leaving plenty of time for trooper and I. It is not a significant change to our schedule right now and trooper is happy with it.

My intention is to front load my semester, take my notes during reading time at night, read between classes, and only fill in the gaps of information during class. Attention to professor style and nuggets.  Finish my outlines early and practice practice practice exams. I’m excited about the fact that I have a plan of action for law school. I never worried this much about college. I dropped out of high school did my GED and still finished top 6% of my undergrad class (T50) with hard work. No plan of action.

Anyway, I’m just not worried about it anymore. My 1L social interaction will consist exclusively  of trooper time and interactions with other moms and I’m perfectly ok with that.

Well my relationship with my ex has gotten a lot better. We are friends. And I’m going to miss him when I leave. But I’ll call him everyday as part of my trooper time so trooper can talk to his dad. We will not be back until December.

Oh and I recently got into a fight with my sister. During my niece’s first birthday I did the same shit I always do (nothing). Same shit I did during the baptism and during every other party my sister has had. (Wedding). I was just a reg guest. Well apparently I was supposed to divine that it was unacceptable this time around and she said she was disappointed in me and a lot of other hurtful things. I realized that I just can’t please everyone. Decided to cancel this ridiculous going away party that her and my mother were planning and plan my own thing according to what would make me happy. I have nothing else to add to this except I just want to leave this city. I have zero expectations of anyone in my life yet I am the unfortunate benefactor of unnamed expectations and no matter what I do I manage to disappoint… I have so much to write about disappointment.. but I’ll end it here. I cant seem to express what I’m feeling without dragging the past into the light.

My response is to distance myself. From her and everyone else.  I love them and always will. But they are the source of much heart ache, drama, and frustration. Oh and I’m tired of living in the closet.

I’m moving in 2 weeks. Fucking finally!

I haven’t packed anything but I’m going to buy boxes this weekend to pack up the bathroom. I’m not really bringing anything. Just my clothes, trooper’s clothes and some bathroom stuff. Buying all my furniture brand new. Lease starts August 11th and on friday after reviewing my lease I realized it starts at 4pm. So I’ve had to change around my entire trip.

Immunization Blues

So moving to another state is proving just as difficult as it sounds. Law school is requiring an immunization form to be filled out by each incoming student. I’ve had all of my immunizations but my pediatrician is no longer in business (possibly not even alive), and my undergrad university LOST MY FILE!!! So far I have called three Primary Care Physicians to see if they can test for positive titers(?) (proof of my immunizations in my blood) and two doctor’s are closed and the other referred me to the health department. After calling the health department I was told that they don’t test for MMR and polio titers, only tuberculosis titers. At this point I’m going to SCREAM. I realize that I don’t have to fix this over night but I have one month! I have one month to find a doctor, to recommend a lab to wait for my results to complete this form and to send it to the law school.

Add to this the fact that I had to have trooper’s medical file copied for his new pediatrician, send immunization forms to his new school and have a medical evaluation filled out.

I have one month to finalize my divorce and to change my name with Social Security Administration, driver’s license, and hope that it doesn’t affect the distribution of my financial aid. Meanwhile I am sitting behind a desk at my job waiting for time to pass so that I can finally start resolving some of these issues.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance…YEAH!

A couple of months ago I received an email from the dean of my law school that 14 rising 1Ls would be chosen by a v25 firm to receive a scholarship to attend a Law Preview course for FREE. See LP. The cost of the 6 day program is $1200?

Candidates wishing to be considered were required to fill out an application and complete a scholarship essay on diversity. I honestly had no hope of being selected but you cannot hope to hit the ball if you don’t go up to bat. Sooo I spent a full weekend last month writing the required diversity essay and submitted it mid-month. In the meantime I took the opportunity to research the firm and I discovered that they hire 1Ls!!!! Wow! This is a potential networking opportunity, if this firm cares enough to sponsor a Law Preview course, and on the off chance that I actually do well 1L year, there could be some opportunity to network for a 1L spot in they have any for summer 2011. (Recalling the scene in the movie Dumb and Dumber where the girl tells Jim Carrey that there is a one in a million chance that she would ever date him – his response – ‘So you’re telling me there’s a chance!!’) . lol

On Friday I spoke to a fellow rising 1L and this person told me that they were selected for the scholarship!!! I was not surprised that I was not chosen.. with only 14 students it must be very competitive. I congratulated the student and mentally wrote-off any hope of receiving this scholarship. At the very least I hoped that I had not said something stupid in my statement to the firm that would in any way preclude me from applying to their 2L summer class. (I envisioned it going something like this:  “Oh here’s the silly girl that sent us that ridiculous diversity statement back in 2010” – followed by pretentious office laughter).

Well… yesterday I was walking into the court house to wrap up some last minute family issues concerning the trooper before I leave the state and my phone rings. AND GUESS WHAAAAAT!?


Cross out Sum & Substance from my list below for my menial 0L substance review, I’ll be attending Law Preview next month!! This may or may not be beneficial to my 1L studies but at the very least it will give me networking opportunity to have a one and a million shot to make contact with the firm.

Hour Glass and Prep

The Hour Glass and the Trooper

It is staring at me in the face. I have this constant hour-glass resting on my shoulder continuously reminding me that the days are flying like hours. Moving to another state is just as overwhelming as it sounds and perhaps even more so when you are accompanied by a little trooper. The little trooper needs a school, a back-up sitter, a pediatrician, his own bedroom, a consistent regimen, and lots of attention. All of this rests in my hands. I’ve made great progress since January and as the date draws closer I feel more confident about my decision to pursue this endeavor and my ability to see it through. Execution in T minus 2 months.

0L Prep

Despite of the fact that many have cautioned against it (0L prep), just as many have sworn by it. So I’ve made my decision and decided that I would rather err on the side of trying than living in any post-mortem/exam regret. So here is my plan:

  1. GTM – Recommended by everyone on TLS
  2. LEEWs – Recommended by “Arrow” on TLS
  3. Sum & Substance (overview of 1L classes), follow-up on  – Recommended by “MarkTwain” on TLS | Law Preview (updated 6/09) see this post.
  4. Design a hybrid strategy from the following users: Wahoo1L, Arrow, xeoh85, Scribe, JayCutler’sCombover

You may notice that this list is much less content based and much more useful for exam strategy. That said, I am really itching to get started and hit the ground running when I get into law school. I know that I will be just as lost as every other 1L but at the very least I won’t have the nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I could have done something to help organize or direct my confusion in some way.