Sunday, August 10, 2014

Oh hey, I've been living in Paris

Oh, the food the food the food


Dressy dogs on things (allll the things: pillows, bags, tapestries) were all the rage in Brussels:

Not to be left out, the cats:
Belgian waffles in... Belgium

Belgian frites



More waffles
Back in Paris: on the Seine River
Pastries Pastries Pastries
These eclairs changed my life
Breakfast sandwiches on a Sunday morning in Paris
Sunset on the Seine




Birthday crepe
My view on the walk to work
Portugal





Thursday, May 15, 2014

No Pants

this basically sums up my day today.

Today, which has been the same as the last two days, I've watched copious amounts of Scandal online, took an hour long nap (because I was clearly exhausted from watching Scandal), ran an errand and stopped for Sonic on my way back for lunch, ate popcorn, had a (real! not diet!) coke and watched more TV.

Also I'm not wearing pants.

I don't think I could adequately explain the mental gymnastics that is your first year of law school. They say the first year is the hardest. Here's hoping they're right. But when it's all said and done (and this happened last semester too), it takes me almost a solid week to come down from the stress.

Looking back, it was all completely worth it. I worked really hard. I got good grades (well, not sure about this semester yet), I made great connections, great friends, set myself up well for the next two years.

But it was hard. So hard. The amount of time I spent studying, reading, outlining, studying, reading, worrying that I wasn't studying hard enough, worrying that everyone was smarter than me and was working harder than me, working harder to make up for my imagined lack of hard working... It took all of my energy and willpower and brainpower and as a result, I've been a pretty lousy wife, daughter, sister, friend, dog owner, you name it. I'm so thankful to have gracious family, friends, and most importantly husband (oh and dog) who have put up with me and been (mostly) understanding when I just couldn't keep up with everything.

I think of 1L year like middle school. It was tough, awkward at times, really fun, kind of care free at times, but would I want to do it again? NO. Absolutely not. I'm glad I'm past it, I'm glad I did it. I'm thankful for student loans that allow me to do it. But it's all eyes forward from here.

I hope that I don't forget 1L. I hope next year, when the new batch comes in, that I am a gracious and understanding upperclassman who remembers what it's like to be thrown in the deep end of the legal learning system where they say, "Here, read this Supreme Court case [what!], brief if [what does that mean!], be prepared to be cold called on to give the procedural posture [what.], the facts [ok I think I can handle that], the holding [hmmm?] and the court's reasoning [is there some sort of code that points out when they go from holding to reasoning?]. In front of your peers. [scary] Who secretly need you to show weakness, need you to do bad, need you to get the C, so they can get the A. [dying]

No.big.deal.

I hope I don't forget that. Next year, or ever. Because it was hard but it was rewarding. I've learned about my own intellect, my own ability to manage stress, to time manage, to trust my brain power, to not doubt myself, to be comfortable being me in a sea of typical law students who make me want to pull my hair out and/or punch them in the face. Not that I've perfected any of that. But I'm trying.

But for now? For now I deserve this lazy break. I am going to enjoy sitting around, watching shows, not leaving the house, and taking naps for no reason. Because in a few weeks, I'll be in Paris, the lowly intern in an international organization that could not be more intimidating, learning a new type of law, learning how to be an intern, how to be an intern in a foreign country where I don't speak the language, and putting what I've learned to work.

Oh yeah, Paris. That. It's time to finally get excited! Because Paris!

more on that later. for now... season 3 episode 18 is calling me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fight Song

I'm toying with options for my pump up song(s) to listen to you before each final. I went to see Ingrid Michaelson last night, and she was amazing. Of course.

I ended up loving this song even more after hearing it live:

I couldn't find a good youtube video of her doing it live (she's only been on tour a week), so we can all just imagine how great it was together.

Ok bye. Back to studying for finals.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Woah

Hi there.

It's been almost a month since I wrote. I can't even. It's been. Guys, life has been nuts.

Things that have happened since March 8:

I applied and got accepted into a limited enrollment interdisciplinary International Law and Human Rights Certificate program.

I officially received an offer to work at UNESCO (a branch of the UN) in Paris this summer.

I decided to get an LLM (masters of law) in International Business Transactions (assuming I get accepted).

I also decided to do that second degree in the 3 years it takes to do the JD. So I'm basically crazy.

I had a glorious spring break wherein I watched way too many episodes of Scandal.

I jumped back into school, right into midterms.

I ran for, and got elected to be the incoming President of the DU International Law Society (!!!!!!)

We booked our apartment in London.

We booked our apartment in Paris.

We booked our flights into London and out of Paris.

We found renters for our house for summer.

I only have THREE weeks left of classes. WHAT.

I may be very absent until classes are over.

Because then, the real work begins: FINALS.

Ok, bye.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Real Talk

I'm going to be honest here: sometimes law school isn't fun.

Oh what? You thought that it was, based on all my posts about stress and finals and studying? :)

In reality, I have days, weeks really, where all I do is school school school and in the evening I can't even decide if I want to watch a TV show, or go to bed, or eat food because my brain and body are SO incredibly worn thin.

Jared and I were talking last night that we wish we had a "power off" button. So we could just come home and turn off. Not make any choices or use our brains anymore. Which is a little (ok, a lot) sad, when it comes to quality of life.

But that's just the way things get sometimes. It's important for me to take a step back and remind myself of the long term goal. Why I'm doing this. Why it's important. Why it will make my life, Jared's life, and hopefully the lives of others better. That it's worth it, in the end, to have this incredibly strenuous academic experience when the rest of life falls by the wayside.

I'm one week away from Spring Break. And I'm really hoping to up the quality of life around here during that week. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we can take bike rides, take Ethel to the park, sit on our back porch and drink wine while Ethel chases the squirrels that have started coming out of hiding, basically: be real humans again.

Until then, I'm buckling down for one more week. (and then two more years, but who's counting?)

Pictures of more carefree times in Europe last summer... (more details on how I'll be in Europe THIS summer coming soon)




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Thank you, Student Loan Servicer

In honor of Jimmy Fallon's Thank You Note bit on his show, I am writing my own thank you note because of an email I received today.

(Cue soft music)

Thank you... Student Loan Servicer, for sending me reminder emails that so far I owe:
 just over THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND dollars (but oh by the way you don't owe any payments right now). I sure do love getting reminder emails while I can't do anything about the bone crushing amount of debt I'm going in to.

Monday, February 24, 2014

It's Okay to Say No

I had this thought before I came to law school that I would be able to do every activity offered to me, get perfect grades (ha!), and stay sane.

So far I have done none of those things.

And you know what? I'm totally fine with it:

1. Activities. Some activities are dumb. Some are cool, but too time consuming (and let's face it, not for a grade and who has time for that?). Some are awesome, time consuming, and worth it. So I try them. But this weekend I ended up pushing off an organization that I want to be part of so that I could do it next year and instead of focus on my:

2. Grades. I learned in the first few weeks of school that 99% of people don't get all As. I'm not actually sure anyone gets all As. They call it "the curve" and it's a bitch. Basically, for every A the professor gives, they have to also give a C, to keep the average at a B. This means that getting a B is 1st: an accomplishment in and of itself and 2nd: totally worth celebrating. Now, because I'm a crazy person, I still am pushing for the best grades possible and managed to come out with slightly above average grades last semester. But gone are the days of all As. And I'm okay with that, mostly to keep my:

3. Sanity. Our house is not always clean. Or ever. Basically, if the living room is clean (Swept, vacuumed, picked up), chances are the bathroom is a pit (sink not wiped down, toilet not scrubbed). Also, we go through spurts of cooking at home, but this means dirty kitchen. Or we eat out, and then our budget is not happy. I could let this get me down, but I'm choosing (and trying and failing sometimes) to just be okay with not having things the way I'd prefer them in order to keep my brain from exploding.

I can only juggle so many things at once. And that's okay. It's okay to say no. These are the things I have to remind myself of when I feel like letting go = quitting. But sometimes letting go = taking care of self.