This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mid-Finals Cry For Mercy

I can't take it anymore. If I read one more boring-ass word of the GATT, the GATS, the TRIPs, or any other stupid-ass acronym, my head will explode.

Three finals down, two to go, and I am seriously fatigued! The last of The Family left today, so life can return to normal (other than crappy-ass* finals). My mom is taking Cora for two nights (tomorrow and Thursday), which will make me sad to be without Little Bunny for so long, but I didn't have much choice since Husband is working both nights and won't be home before I leave for my finals. I also need the uninterrupted study time (that isn't the middle of the night while she's sleeping, like tonight). But at least my outline is finished for International Environmental Law. Trade, however, is another story. Can there please be a Cliff's Notes version of trade law? The textbook sucks, and the Nutshell isn't any better. Blech.

But three more days and life will be bearable once again.

*The word of the day is definitely "ASS."

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Hells yeah... Post-graduation tradition: Going out to the same local watering hole, and getting completely trashed. Solving world's problems with the assistance of my classmates.

Tonight was graduation for my Graduate Program. While I don't know my fellow graduates very well (they all started after I had left the program for law school, so I never had classes with them), I appreciate the camaraderie they have with one another, because I had (and still have) that with those classmates I entered with. Because of the joint degree, I am the last of my incoming class to graduate. But I was still able to celebrate with a few of my classmates, who came out to celebrate, even a year and a half after they all graduated. What an incredible experience it has been, and I will always treasure the people I now call my friends and colleagues as well as the knowledge I gained. I now hold a Master's degree. I'm proud to be an alumnus of my school and treasure the time I spent with them, with my fellow graduates and knowing that I am one of many who hold the degree in a small community of graduates from our program. I've graduated!!!! One more year of law school, and I will have the three degrees I've worked so hard to obtain.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


There's nothing that makes your ass look bigger than an academic robe. Geez!

That's right, I passed my graduate comprehensive exams! (Even though there was an unfortunate essay question on international environmental law, ugh.)

Graduation is tomorrow night, although we don't wear caps and gowns for it, just professional attire. However, I got the cap and gown (and hood) anyway, so I could go to main commencement. I'm excited about my hood. I worked really hard for the degree [that I'll receive sometime over the summer], and for the privilege of wearing the academic hood. Shame I can't get the damn thing to stay on right. Oh well.

I took the Evidence final this morning, so I just have four more finals next week. Sunday is Cora's baptism. The in-laws are coming tomorrow night for graduation, then the influx of family will arrive on Saturday, and stay until Monday/Tuesday. This leaves me little time to study for my finals. I need to study for the Tuesday final (med liability), then work on outlining for the Thursday final (int'l trade) since we can take the outline in with us. I've finished outlining for international environmental law, another outline we can take with us. Not that it will probably do much good, but oh well. I'll just be glad to be done! Ready for summer!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Going on hiatus

I have my graduate program comprehensive exams in a week and a half. Eight hour long written exam next Friday, and then an hour long oral exam with a panel of my professors on the Monday afterwards (which is the first week of final exams at the law school). I only have one final during the first week of finals (Evidence), but I have four finals the next week (Italian on Monday, Medical Liability on Tuesday, Int'l Trade on Thursday and Int'l Environmental Law on Friday) I also need to finish my translation of Dante's Inferno, Canto 3. I'm about half-way through with it, and it still needs to be cleaned up so that it flows well. (I know, I could cheat, but I really want to do this myself, I've always wanted to read Dante in Italian. You just lose so much through translation, the beauty and rhythm of the text.)

Today we had an International Career Panel that I organized along with the career services office. It went really well, the speakers were excellent and I felt so pumped after hearing them talk, like I actually have options for my future and new ideas to pursue. I was also pleased to hear from a woman who first worked in litigation [for the attorney I'm going to work for this summer in fact], and then after two years working for him at his small plaintiff's firm, went on to work for a Big Firm. She took a three year sabbatical to have babies, then went back to work and now works in Horse Law (Horse Law's real big 'round these parts) for Big Horse Organization. Horse Law has a big international component because of import/export horsey issues, contracts in other countries, etc. And just working with people on an international level in general. Very interesting. I think one of the 2Ls who attended might get a job out of it too. He's a Chinese national, which is a very good language skill to have when it comes to Horse Law.

Anyway, I didn't have a sitter for today, as I don't have class Wednesdays until late afternoon, and my mom gets off work at 3pm and comes over to watch Cora. So, Cora took a field trip to the law school. She was a big hit, and I think everyone had expected her to start screaming during the session, but she never made a peep (other than a few coos for my classmates who took turns holding her while I went up to speak). I was very relieved!

Of course, nothing I do is without drama. I found out over the weekend that there was a conflict with our event. Our SBA president had double-booked the room (the other event being the mandatory meeting for 1Ls interested in Journal). So, even though they moved to another room, that meant none of the 1Ls were there, and 1Ls are really the target for these events. (2Ls, and definitely 3Ls, no longer give a crap.) Out of a law school of about 400 people, we had 20 people show up to our panel. We were not pleased about this, because we had discussed at the beginning of the year with the Dean's office that when there was a noon forum event at the law school, nothing could be scheduled at the same time, for this very reason, to avoid having an event with prominent guest speakers, where no one shows up. (Noon on Wednesdays are reserved for forums; no classes are held at that time at the law school.) But Journal refused to reschedule (even though they could just send out a freakin' memo instead of having a meeting at all, but whatever). So we were a little pissed about that. Oh well. I gave the extra pizza to the maintenance staff. I'm sure they enjoyed it. And the people at the forum were very interested and spoke to the panelists afterwards, so I'm glad they felt welcome at least.

So that's that. I've been working hard on getting my reference notebook together for comps. Mom's taking Cora overnight tonight so Husband and I can have an entire day of uninterrupted studying. We sure need it. I'll be on hiatus until after finals, although I'll be lurking on blogs during class I'm sure!

Here's some departing cute:

Good luck on finals!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Misadventures of a Mom in Law School

I should never be allowed to travel. Ever. Again.

I love to travel. It’s one of my passions, and the basis for pursuing a degree in international relations. But I have terrible luck.

My graduate program had arranged two very exciting events in two days. The first was going to hear Gen. Colin Powell speak in [a city an hour away]. The second was a tour of [an Army base]. Both events sounded fascinating to me, so I signed up for both. I decided the best course of action would be to drive to hear Gen. Powell, and then I would drive the 45 minutes south to stay with Father-In-Law, because he could just drop me on base to meet up with my group on his way to work. Otherwise, I would have to drive back home after hearing Gen. Powell and then meet up with the group at 6:30 a.m. to take a bus all the way back west for the two hours to the base. Should be much simpler that way right?

Except I’m cursed when it comes to traveling. If people ever catch on that it’s me that causes catastrophic events, I may be banned from ever leaving the house again.

First, crazy traffic almost caused me to be late to see Gen. Powell. I left campus at 3:30pm, I got to downtown Other City at 5:55pm. Then I get down there and the parking garage is full and I have to drive around to find another garage. Except the garage I found only takes bills and all I have is credit card and change. With a line of cars behind me and nowhere to go. I have to go up to the car behind me and get money from the guy, handing him a hand full of quarters in return for his paper currency. I hope he had some laundry to do. I felt like such a 'tard! At least the guy was nice about it.

Anyway, I rush in to see Gen. Powell. One thing I was glad for, is that I dressed casually. Now, the majority of people, especially our people, were wearing suits. But I’m so over that. If I were going to be hobnobbing with the General, I’d dress up. Sitting in an audience viewing him on a large projected screen because we were 40 rows back… yeah, not so much. Sidebar: Notes on Gen. Powell. What an engaging speaker. He (or his speech writers) had really done an excellent job researching the city we were in and its issues and accomplishments. He came off humble and sincere. As much as I hate the Bush Administration (and I hate me some Bush Administration), I still respect Gen. Powell. I have issues with him, yes. But I think he is an intelligent, impressive man. Anyway, I wish he would have spent more time talking about diplomacy, which was supposed to be the topic, but I don’t think he wanted to go too controversial. He did talk about how diplomacy was the appropriate method of dealing with North Korea and Iran, not military action. But overall, tried to stay neutral. He talked a lot about his past experiences, and about a previous speaker to that venue, which was former Soviet President Gorbachev. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly, but wished someone would have hit him with some tough questions instead of things that were off-topic for diplomacy.

Back to the misadventures: Afterwards, I met up with a few of the folks from my class of grad students. We got dinner and then I disembarked, to take my friend to his hotel by the airport (he was flying out of town in the morning). That’s when the monsoon began. We were doing really good to make it to the hotel. We actually missed the exit, because we couldn’t see it for all that rain. We were pretty sure we were going to die.

Now, stop for a moment. Don’t you think the smart thing to do would be to, I dunno, stop for the night? Or return home? Oh, but not me. I’m too stubborn for that. I continued on to middle-of-nowhere where the in-laws live. Driving through counties with flash flood warnings. Brilliant. What should have been a 45 minute drive, took two hours. I got to the in-laws' house at midnight.

Now, again, let’s stop for a moment. I’ve made it through the monsoon to BFE. Which has a flash flood warning. I’ve previously heard the story about how my in-laws got flooded one year, my mother-in-law insisted upon my father-in-law driving through the pond in the middle of their road to take them to work and them getting stuck and having to wade through cold muddy water back to the house. And yet, I still went there, and I still parked at their house. So what happens?

That’s right, by morning, there’s a pond in the middle of my in-laws’ road. And I'm trapped on the opposite side of it.

Here’s where it gets more fun. There’s no way in hell my car’s making it through the pond:

But…FIL decides he can do it anyway.

The view from inside the truck.

This was dumb as crap. I was certain we would be climbing out the windows into cold muddy water. Water was coming up over the hood. But we made it through. (Apparently the trick when driving through deep water is to keep the foot on the gas and never ever stop. Once you stop, the exhaust will fill with water and you’re done-for. Not that driving through deep water is ever recommended, because this is dumb, dumb, dumb.) The neighbor didn't fare so well. He had tried it earlier in his new fancy car, and got in stuck and ruined it. (Good thing the guy owns the town's Ford dealership, he can just grab another one.) Anyway, FIL said the water would take a few hours to recede and shouldn’t be a problem by the time we got home in the evening.

I met up with my group (with a few minor difficulties… the gate was closed where we were supposed to meet, and they were running late (45 minutes late). They had my cell phone number but I didn’t have anyone’s number there so I’m starting to freak out since there’s no one at the school. I called a friend who works at a nearby building, and she managed to track them down, just as they finally called me. Ugh.) We took the tour, which was wonderful and extremely educational, and I met some really great people on base… and I got to talk to a really awesome guy. He was fascinating and intelligent, I really liked him and we had a great conversation. If he were staying in the area, I would definitely have kept in touch and wanted to be friends. I can only imagine his wife is equally as awesome. She's a nurse, and she's currently training in Hawaii. (Poor bastard, his wife gets sent to Hawaii for training, and he gets stuck in [our state].) But they're moving when his training is done in June.

Great experience, though. I am so glad I went, I definitely took a lot from it. One of the things I took from it? I could never join the military. I am way too sensitive. They sent a drill sergeant to meet us on our bus. He scared the hell out of me and he wasn’t even yelling. If that man were yelling at me, I would definitely cry. FIL was a drill sergeant at one time and I can’t imagine him ever being that scary. Husband says he was, but I don’t believe him.

Anyway, FIL picked me up afterwards and we headed back to their house so that I could get my car, run an errand to the jeweler in town, and head home to the family.

Then we get back to their road.

There’s still a pond.

My car (actually, Husband’s car) is still on the other side of the pond. With no way out.

This sucks. Of course, the ducks/geese thought it was awesome.

Cora would have thought they were awesome. (Had they been yellow, of course.)

I mean, it had receded a little bit. But there was no way in hell I was getting across it in a Passat. We didn’t risk crossing it again in the truck. We parked and walked around the pond through the neighbor’s property. Old Man Neighbor decided to put on some wade-fishing gear and see how deep it was that evening. It was still over his knees.

I was really upset when I realized I was stuck there overnight. Not that I don’t think my kid can’t last without me, I mean, hell, she probably doesn’t even notice I’m gone. (It’s not like I’m a yellow duck or anything cool. I’m just her mom, after all.) But I was really upset at having to be away from her and Husband for another night. I had planned this overnight trip, but that was one night, on my terms, and nature had screwed with that. The type A personality coming out, I hate my plans being screwed with, and I hate being out of control of the situation. So, here I am, in BFE. No cell phone service, no cable and no internet. Good thing I have my laptop so I can type blogs to later post.

Oh yeah, and homework. Whatever.

So after some moping, we walked back around the pond to the truck and headed back to town for some Mexican food. Then returned to the house where the pond had receded a few inches, and walked back to the house. We then drank a lot of red wine and solved the world's problems. FIL went to sleep, and I did some blogging/working on some outlining before turning in. I even got a chunk of Dante translated. Yay, me.

In the morning, the water had finally gone away. FIL made breakfast, then I headed off to the jewelry store. Got home about 2:30 and did some much-missed snuggling with Cora, as well as chatting with Husband.

I'm just glad to be home. I had a great time (despite all the craziness).