Saturday, August 29, 2009

1st week done.....

The first week of my second to last semester is over. I would like to say that it went smooth, and for the most part it did, but there were a few hiccups. I have learned that the administration side of law school is pretty unorganized and often times very frustrating to deal with. All I kept thinking was: "After this, only one more semester!" Seems to make everything better.

I had a massage last night to try an soothe away the first week stress. I recommend this to any law student. The first week of classes and the the day after finals are good times to have those knots worked through. What always amazes me is that often times we will think we are not stressed, and then we realize that our shoulders or back are like blocks of wood. Law students are good at taking care of the brain, but not the rest of the body. Exercise, a good diet, and massage can go a long way to help ease the stress.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Child's Reaction......

So this week I have returned to the crazy stressed out loon of the law student. I actually have knots in my neck the size of Mt. Hood and it is quite painfu to turn my neck [this is due to carrying that 70 pound backpack again].

Anyway, I came home to a child that was not ready to go to dance the way I told her to be before I left that morning. I had been up since 6 am, worked from 7:30-2:30, picked my child up from middle school orientation, and back at the school at 4:00 for class. I run home after class to rush her to dance, and she is not ready. I freak out!! Started yelling. She looks at me with these huge blue eyes and says, "Who are you, because I don't even recognize you!"

This is the hardest part.....the fact that my looniness effects my child in some pretty crazy ways.

The Madness Begins.....

Yep, that's right, school is in session and no longer out for summer. This week has been a mix of stress. I just moved, my daughter has not started school yet, I am still working, and oh yeah---school is added into the mix.

I did do a few last minute changes to the 'ole schedule for the first time. I dropped Terror Detainees because I go in to Oregon Criminal Procedure and Practice taught by Oregon Chief Supreme Court Justice Paul Demuniz. I also dropped International Enviornmental Law in favor of Sexuality & Discrimination.

This week, I have had fun catching up with people I have not seen all summer. Also, checking in with Professors, and just plain seeing what my classes and schedule will be like. But with that comes the reality that again, my life is not my own.

Chief Justice Demuniz is a riot. The man is intensely intelligent, and witty to boot. He said on the first day of class, that at law school we are taught by professors to throw all the shit at the wall when we write. He said as judge, "We don't have time to read all that crap. So what I am going to do is teach you how to write for a judge." YAY--something practical.

The third, and final year, comes with a sense of excitement. The end is in sight and it is both exilerating and terrifying. I am ready to move into the real world, but the scary thing is that I don't know what that real world will look like. There are alot of unknowns involved.

Also, knowing that it is my last year, that I have real world experience in the courtroom, had leant itself for a good amount of confidence in myself that maybe I was lacking before. I am reminded of why I started this journey and how worthwhile it has been.

But finally, entering my first year, makes me want to give back to the entering 1L's. I have survived and I guess I want to pass on some hope that they too, will make it through this journey to join the exclusive law school alumni club.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My job gets to me sometimes.....

The subject matter can be wearing. Dealing with terminating parental rights means that I read about the dregs of humanity. Kids are abused, neglected, and the list goes on. Meth is the bain of humanity. We no sooner terminate on a mother for her four kids, and she is pregnant again. Lots of parents in prison, but seem to think they can still parent their child[ren].

But increasingly, I am finding it harder and harder to look the parents in the eye. Sometimes I feel quite mean. This morning I appeared in court to set dates for trial in December. The mother sat next to me, looked at me and said, "I really love your suit. I have been looking everywhere for one like that." She went on being really nice. Now, admittedly this woman is not innocent, but somehow I felt like a toad. She somehow because human to me this morning. She did not appear to be what the file says about here. She is no longer faceless. She is no longer another case of bad mothering. She is human----and I feel bad for her. I feel even worse that she has the defense attorney she does because this person is not impressive.

Why it has taken me a year to get to this point, I don't know. I only know I am here right now and really struggling. I love going to court. I like knowing that I am helping kids. It was easier before I had to look at the parents. These are real people, with lives, who no matter how bad of choices they make, most of them honestly love their kids.