Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shit gets real.

Yesterday I got my promissory note in the mail. I still haven't signed it for psychological reasons. The move countdown hit 9 days to go today. I also got my section assignment, class schedule, and book list. Shit got real fast. 

Fall 2010 lineup for Gulawger: 
-Batting lead-off, three days a week at the ass-crack of dawn... CIVIIIIIIIIIIL PROCEDUREEEEE. 
-Batting second a whopping four days a week... PROPERTYYYYYYYYY. 
-Batting third, with only 25 other students... CONTRACTTTTTTTTTS. 
-And, batting clean-up, is... LEGALLLLL WRITING AND REEEEESEARCHHHH on Thursday and Friday morning!! 

Maybe I'm totally off-base (okay, baseball talk ends now), but I feel like these are the academic equivalent of starting off with a mouth full of saw dust. Kind of the drier classes all at once, no? Or perhaps it's just the academic hazing I need to jump start my ambitions for legal eagle-dom. All these books are expensivo. Muy expensivo. Shit gets more real by the minute.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Supreme streamlining.

Can't wait to cite this editorial gem in my first Con Law class! I've always wondered why we don't just outsource SCOTUS anyway.

Countdown clock hits 2 weeks.

Eek. Two weeks without a post. Self-inflicted slap on the wrist for me. 
Quite frankly, everything and nothing is going on at the same time here chez Gulawger. In work related updates, the mother I nanny for is slowly becoming out of control. She's been fast and loose with my "posted" hours from the beginning. 9-5 always actually means 9-5:45 at the earliest. The usual text received at 3:30 or so will read something like, "Can you stay past 4 if necessary?" or "Can you stay a little longer?" Every day. A little longer has translated into anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 extra hours. I don't actually have many other real obligations, but it's a wee bit offensive to totally disregard the hours she actually requests that I work. Situation has steadily devolved to where she has me on call like a trauma surgeon. Receive text at 8:30 am to come work at 9 because she "totally forgot." Receive call at 10 am on a Saturday requesting that I come meet her and hubby at the beach and basically keep a choke hold on her kids to keep them away. She used to work as a BigLaw attorney, so my conclusion is that she misses wielding power over an underling. Trade-in value for my dignity is valued at a steady, but slightly stingy, hourly wage. 

The date of the big move to Law School City, USA is creeping up. Only 2 more weeks. Lease signed, plane ticket purchased, parking permit acquired, new laptop purchased, 6-month supply of contact lenses ordered. However, despite going through the motions of preparation, I feel almost nothing. Not excitement. Not fear. Not anything really. I think I've entered a state of sensory overload and my brain has hit the figurative EJECT button of defense mechanisms. There's too many variables for me to sift out any sort of recognizable idea of reality. New city I've only been to for a total of 48 hours. Two new 2L roommates I've known in person for a total of 45 minutes. The Curve, the arbitrariness of grades, OCI, the cold hard mathematics that dictates that 90% of a class of smart people will not be the top 10% smartest, etc. I don't even really have an abstract idea of what life will be like in 2 weeks. Not even a Picasso or Dali rendering. So I'm an emotional flat line at the moment. And I'm certainly not spending my remaining few weeks as a 0L trying to teach myself torts and contracts. Hell to the no. That's what I'm paying the big bucks for. In the mean time, I'll just keep ticking more manageable things off my Google "to do" list. Next up in 1L preparations, make a dentist appointment, shave head, and practice one-armed push-ups a la G.I. Jane.
Ipso facto quid pro quo amicus curiae sine qua non, bitches.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to deal with, or TLS, is the drug of choice for many people who are thinking about attending law school. It's a speedball for wannabe and current law students. A mixture of heroin and cocaine cooked up in a dirty spoon and shot directly into the jugular of those who have chosen to pursue a legal education. It's exciting and depressing to read those forums. I know, I've done it. There is so much information to sift through, but there is also so much CRAZY to sift through. I've never posted anything, but I've read and felt the bipolar up and downswings of excitement and total hopelessness that one will, without question, experience when crazily clicking through those threads. In the hopes of helping those who are trying to come to terms with the crack den that is "TLS", I offer up my own personal lessons learned:

1. Other LSAT takers/applicants do not actually know what they are talking about. They are as scared and as clueless as you are. Commiserate with their confusion but if they find a soap box, run. They're talking nonsense.
2. People who are applying to/have decided to go to a school comparably ranked to your own will inevitably bash your school and compare it to the equivalent of paying $120,000 to learn the law from the hobo on the corner. Do not listen. They are paying to receive their legal education from the hobo on the other side of the street. Harvard applicant will tell Columbia applicant they'd rather eat glass than go to Columbia. UVA applicant will try to strangle Duke applicant with piano wire. Georgetown applicant will cage fight anyone deciding to go to Cornell, UT, UCLA, or Vanderbilt. And on and on and on.
3. Do not visit the forums so much that you actually learn the lingo. It actually can seem at times that these people are speaking a different language. And they are. There are forums about how to understand what people are actually saying in the forums. Learn only the basics. TLS=,T6,T14,T17, basically T#= Top and then whatever arbitrary ranking cutoff people choose//LG= logic games//LR= logical reasoning//RC=reading comprehension//LOR=letter of recommendation//LOCI= letter of continued interest. Beyond that, I can't help you, but fall into the rabbit hole and read the "lingo" forum if you must.
4. Immediately move on from any post that begins with something like the following:
3.98 GPA from HYP, 178 LSAT. URM. Started charity for mute orphans in Bangladesh. Masters in engineering. Already passed the bar but was told I need a J.D. to practice. What are my chances at HYS
Stop. Immediately. Move on. Do not feel any emotions about this person. They are ego stroking. Do not encourage them.
5. Fear-mongering images are to be ignored. 
Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:

6. If you just recently took the LSAT, do NOT go to the forums because you think you'll get an idea of how you did. You won't. Because, remember, people are crazy and they think that their logic was infallible on test day. Reading 3 pages worth of posts of people arguing about how they think they remember a particular Logical Reasoning question will only make you doubt yourself more. People fancy themselves clairvoyants with the power to predict the curve. They can't. And you'll waste time reading their predictions that you could be using to do something productive, like going to the gym or making sand art.
7. When you read the first even-tempered post that you've seen in a while, you're not hallucinating. Sometimes there actually is sound advice to be discovered like a precious, shining blood diamond. If this person has knowledge about a school you are interested in, search for other things he/she wrote and read them. This person will almost always be a current student at said school and can be trusted, at least a little.
8. Do not, under any circumstances, post your personal statement/letter of continued interest/etc. to be evaluated on the forums. I never did this, but I was just absolutely baffled by people who did. Ask someone you know and trust and didn't meet in a cyberspace forum. There is a grab bag of people trolling these forums. You could, of course, get a very generous future Supreme Court Justice to read your stuff over, or you could get a borderline illiterate person who could make you believe you are borderline illiterate too. Risky business.
9. Get in and get out. Seriously. Have a few questions in mind. Search for them. Find them. And leave. You will save yourself time and emotional energy. Because again, you are reading mostly things posted by people like you, who don't know what the hell is going on. Use it in the hopes of extinguishing the inferno of crazy blazing within, not to feed it.
10. Laugh. Laugh and laugh and laugh. The material is endless.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I just wanted some gum.

Life got weird again today. I went to 7-11 to buy a pack of Orbit gum. Orbit Bubblemint gum to be exact. Stuff is crazy delicious. Anyway, when I walked in the 7-11, there was the 7-11 guy and the Other Guy, the subject of my story. He wielded a clipboard, so I assumed that he was taking inventory perhaps? Or cashing out the lottery machine thing maybe? Who knows. He had a clipboard and things looked pretty kosher on the macro level. On the micro scale, however, it was weird. First of all, the clipboard just had some doodles on a sheet of computer paper. Like, someone's name in bubble letters kind of thing. Second of all, he didn't know how to use a cell phone. "I dunno man. You gotta put some code in it or some shit. You do it for me, I can't never do it," he said to actual 7-11 guy. Then I noticed his tattoos. He had many including tear drops from the corners of his eyes, his neck was totally engulfed in tattoo flames, and then my eyes settled on his outer forearm arm. It looked kinda tribal. "Poorly designed," I thought, it's so big and almost just totally solid black ink. Like an Egyptian obelisk or something. Oh no, then I really saw it. It was a giant, veiny, erect penis. Ejaculating. 
I closed my eyes and went to a happier mental place. I tried to shut out thoughts about whether he had replicated his own, to scale, on his forearm. I paid for my gum with my debit card and left questioning everything I ever thought I had known about humanity. The gum was indeed delicious though. The end.

Update: I just told Little Sister about my 7-11 experience. She imparted the following nuggest of knowledge: "You know that the tear drop facial tattoos mean they've killed someone right?" Um, no I did not. Duly noted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Accidental discovery.

Something weird happened. While babysitting this morning, I was trying to help the mom find her iPhone. She's perpetually late to any and all appointments/general life obligations, so there is a sense of impending apocalyptic emergency every time she leaves the house. Standard operating procedure. The kids are screaming. She's late to pick up her husband's Porsche. iPhone is dead. It cannot be called. I start looking everywhere, which is a weird thing to do in someone else's home. In office desk drawers. In between couch cushions. And, under the living room couch, where our story gets weird. I was laying on my stomach and saw many things. A copy of The Giving Tree. An unopened can of Wegman's  canned sparkling water (flavor: mixed berry). A baby bottle with totally solid fermented formula stuck to the bottom. A plastic hammer. And in the very back, a latched rectangular box. Strange, I thought. They must not even know it's back there! Etched on the top of the faux-leather box was "Laser Comb." Oh no. Pops is only 34 years old and he already has hair loss contraband. Secret hair loss contraband.
Eek. I feel uncomfortable. Like I might as well have found a giant crate of animal porn. I slid it back under the couch immediately. Plus one for being a girl.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

LSAT studying byproducts.

Studying for the LSAT isn't fun. And if you think it is, then chances are you're not fun. Fine, I admit that of the 134,549,968 practice questions I answered, I smiled with self-satisfaction a few times. Depending on the portion of crazy I ate for my last meal, the following example dialogue was either held internally or said aloud:
"The argument proceeds by... Let's see. A? What a joke. Of course it's not equivocal word usage! B?! It's certainly not presenting a counterexample to a general claim! NEXT. C. YES! ::maniacal circling of letter C:: SHANE'S ARGUMENT AND LISA'S ARGUMENT ARE BASED ON CONFLICTING SUPPOSITIONS! Duhhhh. Child's play. Don't even need to see the answer key. BOOM. ROASTED! ::self-satisfied smile::" 
Far more frequent reactions to my LSAT studying regimen included, but are not limited to:
1. Stopping mid-sentence to stare at split ends.
2. Gripping my skull in fury/despair over sunk emotional, financial, & mental costs in the black hole that is the LSAT/visions of grandeur/extreme boredom.
3. Cursing at myself.
4. Misplacing blame and cursing at answer choices A, B, C, D, E, or any combination thereof. 
5. Deciding to clean my room on question #11 of a 25-question timed section.
6. Compulsively watching seasons 1-6 of The Sopranos and seasons 1-5 of The Wire. And It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And So You Think  You Can Dance... (list abridged)
7. Searching for law student blogs. 
8. Searching for random things on Wikipedia like "Jonestown Massacre", "Bill Paxton", and "Cheese."
9. Looking up plane ticket prices to random destinations. 
10. Making a dentist appointment as a "field trip" away from my desk.

I'll admit however, that by the end of it all, I came down with a bit of a case of Stockholm syndrome. I missed Logical Reasoning questions. They held me hostage for so long that I felt a fond affection for them after I wasn't in their company ALL DAY LONG. But not Logic Games. I'll never miss them.