Archive for June, 2013

MPC Syndrome06.25.13

Who gets up all giddy at 6:30 in the morning to read the Model Penal Code? This gal.

And now it’s dumping buckets of rain because this is what happens in Seattle, and I just want to crawl back to bed.

A classmate of mine linked a page about Impostor Syndrome to our group Facebook account, which is how she has been feeling lately. Lucky for me, I’ve spent the last two years doing a lot of things that had me in tears from feeling like a total dumbass, I’ve become good friends with the Impostor Syndrome. I made peace with it as part of the learning something very difficult process.

 

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Week One06.22.13

What did I do after my first week of law school? Drink. Heavily. Tequila too, even though tequila and I broke up near the end of undergrad. Maybe academics foster these relationships.

There are stats floating around about how lawyer types are prone to alcoholism. I can understand why. This is stressful. And it has been only ONE WEEK. It’s the uncertainty. It’s the feeling of even when you know something, you don’t actually know anything. The one thing that I do like about week one is that even though I’ve been feeling stupid, like I just don’t get it, everyone is feeling the exact same way. Which to me means this material is just plan confusing and that it’s okay to feel a little bit lost.

Today is Saturday, and we have homework due today at 5pm. Yes, homework due on the first weekend. Mind you, this is not graded homework so it’s optional for those who want feedback from our TAs. However, it’s not really optional in any of our minds if we do care about how we are doing in class. So yes, homework. Saturday.

There was a small reception to celebrate completion of our first week. Our dean came to say a few words. It was very nice with good food. My favorite thing about this school and the ARC program is I feel like every staff member cares deeply and they want very much for each of us to succeed. I feel like they love the program and they actually love us.

The one big thing about the ARC students that I noticed from the first day when we went around and talked about our background is that most of us have very specific goals coming to law school. Most of us have contributed in some very meaningful way to our community and is looking for additional tools to continue to give back. If even a quarter of us manages to do what we said we set out to do, it would be a great contribution to our community.

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First Day!06.18.13

Yesterday was the first day of class, which means, I’m already very very behind in law school homework. Not joking. I have about 70 pages to read and 5 briefs to do for tomorrow, which is why I’m here. Because starfish loves you.

I want to tell you I was so excited the day before first day that I could not sleep, which apparently some 3/4 of the class felt, including the instructors…but I did not get to feel that excitement. It sweet to me that the instructors are still so excited about class after a decade of teaching. Drew’s family was visiting this last week, which is a bit like “in-laws” visiting, so I was busy making sure our place looks like a somewhat neat wolf den. What I’m saying is, I was so distracted, I forgot to be excited about first day of class, which actually helped me sleep better. So the secret to coping with too much excitement is have your in-laws visit. You’re very welcome.

What do I think of my class so far? Well, as I mentioned before, I’m in the Access Admission program, which is a program the school started for people that might not otherwise qualify for some law schools. Some of us may have had bad undergrad grads (that’s me with my impressive 2.5gpa) or maybe a terrible LSAT score, or some may have just been out of school for far too long (is my 12 years too long?). Something about us makes us not look amazing to some law school, but there were something very redeeming in all of us. We’re like an Island of Misfit Law Students, a little unconventional but still damned determined to live up to our purpose.

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Noteworthy06.04.13

Even though I’m a programmer, I can’t say I’m the master of technology when it comes to school stuff. I didn’t have a cellphone permanently attached to me back in high school like so many of my younger classmates might have. I grew up during a time when Motorola brick phones were the hip toy. My father bought one when it first came out for something like five thousand dollars, and even though it costed the equivalent of a fancy dinner for a family of five, he would often call us when he’s less than a block away from home, because he’s ridiculous that way.

What I’m trying to say is, I’ve never used my own laptop in class. The fanciest technology that I’ve used in class was a Livescribe pen, which is just a pen that records your writing and the audio playing. It was nice, I didn’t use the audio recording part very often, but when I did need it, it was such a blessing. Asking the teachers to repeat themselves was something I dreaded, so it was nice to be able to leave certain spots blank that I missed and come back to it later.

Having and using a laptop is a requirement for law school. I’m sure if it’s perfectly okay if I wanted to stick with my Livescribe pen, but I’m a faster typist than writer so I’ve been investigating note-taking software. Still, I wanted something that functions like my pen because having the audio recording did come in handy. I found a short list of software that did what I wanted, out of the list I found two that I am currently using and testing: Onenote and Evernote.

After playing around with them for a few days, I found Onenote to better suited for class note taking, if only for the fact that the interface feels like the love-child of a multi-subject notebook and Word. I create these “Notebooks” and it’s saved to Microsoft Skydrive, the beauty of this is: If my laptop is feeling a little suicidal, I don’t have to live in fear of losing my notes.

OneNoteScreen

It’s beautiful. The fact that if I have recorded audio from class, and I click the little play button next a line that I’ve typed, it’ll play audio from that moment, is exactly what I wanted.

I’ve setup Onenote on both my desktop and laptop, and the “Notebooks” sync beautifully on each. When I am home, I prefer to work with the bigger desktop monitor, so it’s helpful that I don’t have to copy files back and forth.

It is now two weeks minus one day till law school starts. Obviously, this means I’m buried in homework. Files after files are sent to all entering class to ensure they will not get enjoy another sunny day, at least not without feeling guilty about procrastinating. All my homework files are nicely filed into my OneNote notebooks, both word and pdf. The sweet thing is, even though one of the pdf file was a grainy scan, OneNote still recognized all the texts in it, so the file is still searchable.

I’m pretty sure Evernote does pretty much everything I’ve described with the added bonus of being free and working on Macs, but I really prefer the interface of OneNote. For now I plan on using both of them: OneNote for school, Evernote for work research.

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