Tag Archives: school

First Last Week of School

And I’m back “live”! Hopefully you all found some good books to read…or avoid…with my posts. 

I’ve started the year off strong with 24 books read so far since January 1! But I’ve been in a lull lately what with school starting again. 

So, yes! I’m back! Back on this blog and back in school. I only have 4 in-class classes but they’re the ones I’ve been pushing off so not my favorites. 

But I will survive them.

Somehow.

Whoot, whoot, 3L year. 


One Final Down..

Can we all just agree that math doesn’t belong in law school? There is a reason we’re all law students and not engineers. (Okay, some engineers do go to law school, but they’re all going to be patent lawyers and are their own, odd breed.)

For the rest of us….math is just torture. My final today had math on it. It was a multiple choice exam and I’d faithfully plug the equation into my calculator and get an answer that did not resemble any of the options. 

Which is basically what I spent 2.5 hours doing. 

But at least I had a vague understanding of what was going on. I exited the final and asked someone who took it with me how he thought he did with the equations. He looked startled and went, “What equations?!”


Discussion Groups

Let’s recap: I am a TA this semester. I have never been a TA before. I have never had a TA. I do not really know what I am talking about most of the time because I have also not read any of these texts before, or, if I have, not read them academically.

But so far, I’ve been doing okay. Homer I already knew and could talk intelligently about. Herodotus and the PDFs we read about honor culture I could fudge well enough. Aristophanes I previously read for fun so I knew the principle players, so to speak.

But Plato is going to be the death of me. 

I read a passage from The Republic. It makes little sense to me. I show up to class and hear the lecture. Ah! Dimly, enlightenment begins to dawn. I go to the other TA with my big questions. Further clarity. I go to lecture again. 

Then I’m supposed to lead a discussion group where I explain what we read, foreshadow what will come, and answer questions I didn’t even think of. 

What a ride.

My first discussion group gets the brunt of this problem. I am a verbal processor so even if I get it, I need to say it out loud to really get it. 

My second group benefits from this. I speak a little more confidently; I already know what areas I don’t know. 

The third group gets the best version of me. I know what I want them to get. 

The fourth group gets the ‘I’ve been talking all day and now get this so this is all review and I skip the six questions that met with dead silence in the earlier groups but now I’ve got to somehow fill 10 more minutes’ version of me. 

Theoretically, though, I have to say…by the end of the day, I really know the readings inside and out!


Chatty Strangers

It has been a while since I’ve had a weird city bus experience, so I suppose I was due for one. And boy, did I get it today! 

I sent this message to a few friends summarizing the first experience of the day:

Me: No one ever asks me out
Homeless guy on the bus: How old are you? You single? You looking for a good man? Can I have your number? Do you like coffee? You this hard on everyone? You are so beautiful. How old are you? High school? College? You can have my number. The law, eh? Good thing….the law. Criminal law? Mmmm. You take this bus often? 

It made me laugh but I started feeling uncomfortable after a while so I turned to the girl next to me and complimented her skirt. 

I then spent the next 15 minutes listening to the girl’s life story. And what a story! I learned about her transfer between Madison and Marquette (and back to Madison.) About her dream job as an architect in New York City which should have been amazing and wasn’t. About how she started meditating because she felt so unhappy and realized her true passion was natural medicine. About how Queen Anne’s Lace is a natural birth control and “mother nature’s way of telling us to have fewer children.” And about her upcoming psychics exam. 

Needless to say, my new suitor quickly fell into the background. 

But my day was just beginning. Perhaps I looked extra-approachable today. (I have the opposite of an RBF.) Perhaps I responded with a little more enthusiasm than normal because I drank a pot of coffee this morning. All I know is, normally I have maybe 2-3 conversations per day outside of class participation. And today I had closer to 12. Everyone was talking to me! I learned more about my classmates today than I have all semester! 

And then as I left the law school today, a random stranger made eye contact and shouted, “Hey, boo!” Which, I stress, does not happen to me.

It was a weird day. 


Killing Perfectionism

I sort of tumble through Tuesdays as a general rule of thumb but today felt particularly bad. I actually did the readings for my first class but when the professor called on me, I hadn’t a clue what the answer was. Unfortunately, it proved to be a rather vital point so he pointed at me every time it came up for the rest of class. 

I had about an hour till my second class and I planned to read for it beforehand. But turns out I left my textbook at home. And as it happens, this professor cold calls so I had to own up to not doing the reading so I wouldn’t get called on. It is quite demoralizing to admit to someone that even though you’ve had an entire week to do the readings, you didn’t. 

Then my third class. I did the reading. It didn’t matter; I barely understand a word of Immigration Law. 

And then finally my fourth class, where I don’t have the textbook yet so I didn’t read for it. 

It doesn’t sound too bad listing it like that. But when you add in trying to prep for discussion groups tomorrow and wrapping up a project for my Foundation job and the guilty knowledge that final edits on my law review article are due and, oh, any other number of e-mails and projects slipping out of my grasp….it feels exhausting. 

And I am reminded that every semester I tell myself I won’t listen to the perfectionist in my head. I will do what I can and make the best of how it turns out. But it still stings. I want to do it all. I want to be perfectly prepared for class. I want As. I want to turn in perfect work assignments and spout wisdom to my students and somehow maintain a social life and be a good big sister while I’m at it. 

And I just can’t. I need to intentionally give up my expectations. Physically set them aside and say ‘no.’ So I do. And once I do I think I’m done for good. But no, it sneaks back. Again and again and again. The pressure to Do Better. To be perfect. 

And then I go and forget my textbook at home. 

I don’t know what this semester will bring. I hoped it would be less than last year. From a pure “listing” of things, it is less. But being a 3L comes with new types of responsibility. (If I’m even a 3L, as Thailand hasn’t sent my official transcript to the law school yet so as far as any formal records show, I’m a semester behind and still a 2L…but that’s a rant for another day.) 

I know there is an entire spiritual element missing from this post. God pours many blessings into my life. And sometimes I do recognize and appreciate that fact. But if I’m honest, perfectionism hurts me in my spiritual journey as much as anywhere. I don’t live up to the goals I set for myself. I don’t read the Bible or pray nearly as much as I should. And so I just let that weigh on me, yet another “extra” that doesn’t get accomplished. 

It isn’t so much a battle with perfectionism as a war. Some battles perfectionism wins. Some I win. And some days, like today, it ends in a draw because I’m too tired and confused to process anything. 


Last First Day of School?

I meant to get a picture of my last-first-day-of-school but turns out I don’t know anyone in either of my Thursday classes so there was no one to take a quick snapshot. You’ll just have to take my word for it that I looked fab. 

I put a question mark at the end of the title of this post because even though it is the last first day of school in my foreseeable future, TAing might mean I will stick around another semester if I do not get the requisite classes. And who knows. Maybe in 5 years I’ll decide I want an MBA or Masters in Political Theory. 

But as far as I know right now, my formal education ends with law school and this is my last year of law school.

What a welcome thought! I’ve got senioritis so bad. But is it considered senioritis? 3Litis? It isn’t boredom unfortunately; I’m too busy for that. I was promised boredom. 

First year scares you to death
Second year works you to death

Third year bores you to death


TA Training

I am TAing this coming semester for an undergrad class! It is a very exciting opportunity. I have no idea what I am doing. 

I read the handbook very carefully and it said TA training would take place today and gave a building. I asked the department I am in for more specifics. They didn’t know anything more either. 

But it said all day training so I took off work today and showed up at the building. All for nothing! If the training did take place, they hid it well. I wandered around the entire place and found nothing. 

Which is fine and all, but I still have no idea what I am doing.