In the true spirit of a minimalist blog, I haven’t posted in a while. Therefore, the blog has had minimal maintenance.
I have not been camping in 3 months, nor have I had time to ponder the works of Thoreau. Frankly, I’ve been extremely busy since I started…LAW SCHOOL!
(My Cheshire Cat husband talked me into to going to law school like he did years ago. He taught me how to write briefs and disappears when I don’t know how to do a proper bluebook citation…)
I wasn’t supposed to matriculate until January of 2017, but I had a freak encounter with the dean of the school who admitted me on the spot at a law school gala. I started classes the very next day, making me a #1L. I’ve been attending class since the first weekend of August, first with a 2 weekend Lawyering Fundamentals seminar put on by Barbri. Then my 3 nights a week classes commenced after I took a quick trip to the beach. So now I have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night classes right after work.
The only thing I’ve been reading has been case law, Torts, Legal Writing/Research materials, Bluebook Citations, and Civil Procedure. As a matter of fact, my new mantra hails from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, whichever rule I’m supposed to memorize for the week.
When I went through Yoga Teacher Training in 2012, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Yoga Wonderland! Here I am again, same old Alice, embarking on a new quest for knowledge via Legal Wonderland.
I drank the potion and have molded my brain to start thinking like an attorney. (In fact, most Friday nights after class, I go out for a few drinks to a local pub with my lady friend classmates.)
On Wednesdays, I have Legal Writing with the Caterpillar (who smokes a lot from what I can see in his numerous YouTube videos as he spews vitriol regarding Hillary Clinton)
I can’t understand him half the time because of the poor acoustics in the classroom. He sounds like a cross between Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs” and a very Southern Christopher Walken. He’s pretty tall and handsome, with tales of his recent law school experience to share.
I have truly come to loathe Bluebook Legal Citations as they seem like a convoluted form of math, a.k.a. geometry. Luckily, I’ve been doing technical legal writing since 2005 when I began my law enforcement career. I just have to tweek it for the civil side of legal writing.
Lately, I’ve been racing home after the Caterpillar’s class to watch my favorite show, “American Horror Story: My Roanaoke Nightmare.”
Then on Thursdays, I attend Civil Procedure with the lovely Mad Hatter. He taught my husband 10 years ago and I really appreciate him as an attorney. I’ve learned so much but his lectures don’t make any sense unless you have the 28 United States Code, Constitution, or Federal Rules of Civil Procedure right in front of you. And I enjoy playing back his lectures the next day. The Mad Hatter has pulled some fun out of an otherwise dry source of material. One week we talked about Rule 9(g), Special Damages like Loss of Consortium. I made the Monica Lewinsky-esque joke about if a woman hurts her neck during a car wreck…the whole class died laughing. He knew it was me, and I’m the only student whose name he calls on because of his friendship with my husband. I just cracked up all over again when I played back the lecture. The next week, he was talking about Domestic Relations and how he had a client filing for divorce bringing in a box of adult novelty toys and how his wife cheated on him with Ashley Madison. LOL!
Gotta love the Mad Hatter
On blessed Friday nights when I’m supposed to be off work having a blast, I have to be stuck in class with the Queen of Hearts (who’s actually a guy from Tennessee who commutes to teach us). Our class had the Queen of Hearts for Lawyering Fundamentals seminar, and now we have him again. Every time he calls on you, he likes to get combative and embarrass you. It doesn’t feel like the Socratic Method, but more like “Off with your head!” Torts is by far the most entertaining subject matter in law school yet (I’m really looking forward to Criminal Law). But Torts can feel like a burden when you have to formulate your essays to meet the Barbri jacked up criteria…and all homework is posted on the Matrix. Pop quizzes are given as often as the Queen of Hearts plays croquet.
Finally, I have changed so much in the past few months. I have let toxic friendships go by the wayside, but have kept up with cherished old friends. I made new friends at church and at school, with whom I am in constant communication.
Importantly, being away from home for a 10 hour working day followed by a 3 hour class has made me really appreciate down-time with my family. I make an effort to plan fun things with my husband and I cuddle with my son as much as possible. I keep on regularly practicing yoga, having not taught anyone at a gym since August. I also make time to go hiking and to attend church, to keep some semblance of a routine outside of class and work.
As far as finances go, I have to set my intention to live frugally by saving up for tuition and the mortgage payment. I pay the law school tuition 3 times each semester in cash. It’s very affordable legal education. Even if I don’t pass the bar exam, I’ll still have a juris doctor, which looks great on a résumé. The only splurge I made was on a basic $300 laptop on a tax-free weekend. I only do legal work on the laptop; I also bought $600 worth of text books to use next semester as well, and an LL Bean sturdy fuchsia book messenger bag.
Several of my friends with whom I began law school have already quit. But I say, let the pieces fall where they may and let the strongest survive. In 4 years, I’ll be ready to take the bar exam and move forward with my life. As for now, I’m planning a Halloween camping trip with my son and husband this weekend. Maybe I’ll have some new glamping, minimalism, tiny house, nature material for you.
Down the rabbit hole I go…
…following the White Rabbit (time/opportunity/ambition) has been the best choice I’ve made in years.