Wednesday, August 30, 2006
7/37 Supreme Court Clerks this year are women.
You've come a long way, baby! Yeah, a long way down!
Scalia has hired 2 female clerks during his entire tenure - none this year.
Thomas has hired 11 - none this year.
Souter says he just hired the top four candidates - all of whom happened to be men.
Then again, women make up only a third of the applicants. Get off your butts, gals! And those other contributing factors - law review editors, prior judicial clerkships...go for it!
I appreciate hearing about your experience in the banking industry as it relates to the UCC. However, your regular contribution to the conversation is ruining my chances to get points for participation. I had the opportunity to speak just once in class today. Once! You can’t get points by speaking once a class period. Judging from your discussions you are extremely intelligent and well-informed on the subject – certain to get the A. Therefore, please cease and desist so the rest of us have a chance.
Thanks + Love & Kisses,
Used to be, I would cancel a date to read the New Yorker. The sight of a new copy in my mailbox brought a delight I cannot describe. I started watching for it on Thursday and became worried if it still hadn’t shown on Monday. Ask my friend – she’ll tell you about the time I was convinced my mailman had stolen my latest issue.
The other day I received a subscription renewal notice for the New Yorker and I considered just throwing it away because I rarely read the magazine anymore. I have no idea what day it arrives at my house. I never watch the News Hour, check the Times about once a week, and I don’t even want to admit how many books I’ve read in the past year. All of my habits have dropped to the wayside. When law school started I was harried and truly didn’t have the time for my habits. One by one I stopped doing them. Now I could easily do at least half of them and yet I don’t. I didn’t even realize I’d let them go…until I threw out the renewal to the New Yorker.
This past year I’ve felt less informed, less worldly, and generally uneducated. I noticed this while I was in Paris and I’ve felt a continued awareness since returning home. Even in rereading my blog entries from last year I seem more introspective and my vocabulary seems larger. Last year a friend gave me a book subtitled ‘A Vocabulary Book for People who Don’t Need One.’ I doubt anyone would give me such a book today. In conversation I am less witty and more provocative.
Law school has sucked my brains away – the stress, the reading, the exhaustion – it all seems to have contributed to my mental breakdown.
So my goal for this semester is this: I want to take my old habits back. Yes, I am a law student. Yes, I am busy and tired and stressed-out.
BUT I’m going to make the time again for the things that used to be important to me, and who knows, the addition might actually lower my stress and exhaustion.
[Written while watching the News Hour.]
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Are you dating anyone?
Is it serious?
Is this the guy?
When will I have grandchildren?
One of the reasons that I love my mother so much is because she never asks me about my love life and doesn’t care if I have one or not.
That’s not to say that my offbeat artist mother isn’t relentless in other areas. Last night my sister and I received this random email:
…You guys have to get macs...you are just mac people. Do you want to be like the Dilbert in the ad? Get a Mac!
My friends’ mothers want them to get a man. My mother wants me to get a mac.
I understand. I am getting on in years. My relationship with the ThinkPad is comfortable and familiar. Mom’s right, though. We’re probably not the best fit over the long haul. I should get out of this situation before my laptop starts crashing photoshop on a regular basis and things get ugly.
Mothers – they always know best.
Monday, August 28, 2006
“This one kind of worried me,” he said one day and flashed the word “Czechoslovakia” on the powerpoint.
The class erupted in laughter.
“Oh yeah,” I snickered, “That one was mine. I forgot that they split.”
The person seated next to me just looked at me slack-jawed.
Whoever that person was probably thought I was a complete idiot, but that wasn’t exactly the case – I’m just a little older than the rest of my crowd.
My last social studies-oriented class occurred my junior year in high school (I skipped a year of coursework in Math, Social Studies, and Science my freshman year), and the class was AP U.S. Government. The year was 1991. Czechoslovakia became two countries in 1993.
Back at the apartment I asked my roomie, “Do you remember the Iron Curtain countries?”
“Uh, sort of,” she said.
“Do you remember what a big deal it was when the Berlin Wall fell?” I said in attempt to find something more major.
“I think I was in elementary school,” she replied.
In that moment it dawned on me that I was at the tail end of the American generations who grew up being told that the Communists were going to take over the world.
There was no Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Georgia, or Russia. There was just the USSR and on a map the country seemed to cover about half of the earth. When you added the Iron Curtain countries, China, and other Asian communist countries, democracy looked like a minority. The EU didn’t exist. The Berlin Wall fell my freshman year in high school. I still have to remind myself that Germany is now one country because for the first half of my life it was two. ‘Glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’ were buzz words. The USSR started to deteriorate before I left for college, but the big changes didn’t start until later.
If I estimated the average age of my classmates in Paris to be twenty-four then they would have been around eleven when Czechoslovakia split. For most of them, they probably never knew even knew Czechoslovakia as a country.
I realized during my Comparative Law class that quite a bit had changed on the map in the last fifteen years. Since returning home, this is my new favorite site to play on when I’m bored. I think it’s probably designed for elementary kids. You wouldn’t believe how much the continent of Africa has changed. I don’t recognize about a third of the countries, but I rock at the Mid-east capitals.
Later on my roomie said, “I never thought of you as being that much older than the rest of us until the day you mentioned that you didn’t have internet or email when you started college. You really dated yourself with that one.”
Of course my favorite is when people ask me if I remember the first Atari video games.
“Pong?” I reply. “Of course I remember Pong! We played that all the time at my house growing up!”
They just stare back at me and ask, “What is Pong?”
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Before I began law school, I hung out a lot on the Law School Discussion board. At some point I suggested that law applicants in Austin meet up for a happy hour and over time the happy hour became a regular thing and I formed a few good friendships.
There was BostonJohn, the really bright, but mildly crazy guy who got the massive scholarship to a good school in Boston. There was Cella, an absolute cutey-patootey who got a nice scholarship to a good school in Chicago. Ellie, who got a bad-ass scholarship to Baylor. The young kid with the same LSAT as me who was going to Harvard. And finally Crow, who got a major scholarship to UT. Of course there was also me with the decent LSAT, but oh-so-crappy GPA that lingered somewhere between a 2.5 and 2.75. (If any undergrads are reading this, I would highly advise you to take a break from school if you have a set of grandparents who live 80 miles from your college and come down with terminal illnesses with no other relatives in the state besides your little 18 year old self.) Yeah, no scholarships for Ana.
Anyhoo, a year has gone by now and most of the group keeps in touch. BostonJohn has made law review. Ellie has made law review. Cella is working on getting to law review and I’m not sure what happened with Crow except that he’s gotten married and managed to keep his scholarship in addition to getting in-state tuition. Harvard guy has kind of dropped off the face of the earth, but he’s engaged as well. All of them are having a swimming little time with OCI.
And then there’s me. I was not in the top 10% and did not make law review. Friday I got back my first set of invites for On-Campus recruiting. To offer a little bit of insight, the career counselors told us at admitted students’ day that the on-campus interviews were pretty much just for the law review kids. Turns out they weren’t kidding on that one. I only used about half of my bids for OCI because I’m pretty sure I don’t want to work at a large firm – that’s the downside, or upside depending on how you look at if, of being older and having friends from college who did this before me.
So how’d it go, you ask? I got one, count them one, invite for OCI…for a non-profit…where I would probably make less than I was making before I quit my job and went into debt for school, before I packed up my life and left the city that I'd lived in for the last ten years. I did ask around and I’m not in the minority, but still, I just want to know, when did I seemingly lose all of my intelligence? I mean, some of the places just wanted people in the top 50% and I’m well within that range. What the heck?
I am afraid now that I’m going to get de-friended by people, as if my brains weren’t really there, but seemingly a façade that has now been exposed. My best friend from college who was on the editorial board of Law Review at UT and now lives in Houston has been contacting recruiters on my behalf – while she simultaneously removes me from her dinner party invites list, no doubt. We're calling the effort 'Plan B' - ya know, like the emergency contraceptive.
I feel just the teensiest bit beat up about the whole thing and well, slightly embarrassed…okay maybe more than slightly. Cella emailed me the other day to ask how OCI was going and to see if I wanted to meet up when she came down for interviews. I’d love to meet up, Cella. In fact, why don’t we meet up at the law offices and you can take me with you into the interviews? …That is of course if you still want to be my friend and be seen with me. If you don’t recognize me at our meeting place it may be because I’ve changed a little since we met. I’ll be the girl in the corner rocking back and forth with the glazed look and drool running down her face.
I know, I know. It's not quite as bad as it seems. My school takes a much smaller percentage of people for Law Review than the others' and the big firms don't like to interview at non-big-name schools. So I'm not really that stupid in that firms mostly look at the top 15% at my school where they go to 50% and beyond at my friends' schools. Which is kind of crappy because, well, ask my friends if they think that these places are out of my league. I think I'm more irritated by the fact that I'm not in the top 10% than anything else. I'm not completely down in the dumps. Regardless of the OCI experience, I'm pretty sure that I have enough brains to find a job I'm happy with by the time my three years are up. It just sorta kinda sucks to hear everyone else in the gang talking about flying to NYC, Chicago, and yes, even Houston when I'm like, "Uh, yeah. Those firms didn't want me. They didn't think that I was....sm-, uh, er, smart enough."
And to add insult to injury, I’ve been bitch-slapped on the creative front as well…but more on that tomorrow. Now I’ve got to go study - apparently more than ever.
I hate speaking in class. I’d rather put my thoughts in words. Last year, I only spoke in class if the prof called on me directly. As a result, I am convinced that I got bumped in one of my classes somewhere along the line. When the difference between the top 15% and top 35% is 3.44 versus 3.20, the difference between getting a grade of B (3.0), B+ (3.34), or A- (3.67) can make a huge difference – especially if you have more than one prof doing the bumping.
To all my friends, this is why I am now sitting in the front row in almost all of my classes and why I seem to be raising my hand wildly every time the prof asks a question. On Friday I spoke four times in one class. Four times! I think even the prof found me annoying when it was over. Yes, I feel like a chump and a gunner, but my other method doesn't seem to be working. Don’t hate me.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
When someone comes in to legal aid seeking a divorce, they are required to fill out a questionnaire related to their marriage.
One of the questions asks: Have you and your spouse had sex since the separation?
His client answered: I have, but I am unsure in regards to my spouse.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
“You think so?” I asked. “Even though I’ve got nine years of work experience that I’m trying to cram onto one sheet of paper?”
On second thought she decided that I could forgo listing my college involvements.
I haven’t done a mock interview, but the other day a classmate told me that the career center had told all of the women to wear their hair up and back for interviews. A description on the website bolds the line telling us to wear skirts.
“I wore pants for my interviews six years ago,” said Weef when I visited her in NYC.
“Hmm, maybe skirts are a Southern thing,” I thought.
The other night I had dinner with a friend who works at one of the larger firms in town and takes part in the interviews that her firm does on campus.
“They told you to wear your hair up?” she asked. “Thanks for letting me know so I’ll be prepared when all of the gals waltz through the door with librarian buns.”
“So I shouldn’t wear it up?” I returned.
“Just make sure your hair is off your face and behind your shoulders,” she said. “I wouldn’t suggest putting it up.”
“Should I chop it off?” I quizzed. My hair comes down to about my rib cage. I was stressing that I’d have to go for one of those cute helmet flips that so many people seem to have. I have worn my hair that way before and it looks cute, but I really like it long right now.
“Maybe two or three inches,” she said, “but you don’t have to do anything more than that.”
“Really?” I said in amazement.
“Keep it behind your shoulders and you’ll be fine,” she assured me.
“What about the skirt thing?” I pondered.
“They told you to wear skirts, too? Do you know how many different ways you can mess up a skirt? Wrong length, wrong shoes, the many problems with hose….oh geez. Of course, the skirt is the more ‘formal’ option, but I can’t remember if I wore a skirt for my interviews and I certainly wouldn’t notice if someone wore pants to an interview. If you look professional in the pant suit and you feel the most comfortable wearing that, then I wouldn’t sweat it,” she said.
I’m feeling much better about potential interviews. After everything I’d heard I was starting to worry about certain things in the legal profession as a whole.
Of course my mother gave her two cents later on the phone...
"No way Ana. You need to cut your hair. It's way too long. Appearance is very important. I'm not sure that I would hire you with your hair the way it is," she said.
"Cut it! You need to get over the fact that you feel like having to look a certain way is a violation of personal expression and CUT YOUR HAIR!"
Maybe I'll just wear it in a bun.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
This week I bought my books for the fall semester and after the cashier rang up my purchase I have to offer a little 2L advice. Honey, you won't just get screwed. Expect to get raped. To add insult to injury, the same day I received a statement for my student loans tallying the amount of money I'd borrowed thus far.
Where's the law school crisis hotline when you need one?
"Hey Smith, it's 9:28 am. You're probably in bed right now, but stay there. Our 9:30 class is cancelled."
Hmpf. I was awake. I was at school. I had just not yet made it to class. I'm usually running late, but I'm rarely a skipper. Hmpf.
I wanted to jump out of my chair and scream, "It was 50 years! 1895-1945! I know it! I know it!"
Freaking bizarro quizzes from Comp Law...
Thank you, Jonas.
By the way, Brussels - still not a country.
First of all, I seem to have now acquired the ability to tell when something is sweetened with corn syrup as opposed to sugar...and it tastes disgusting.
In the US, the idea of sweets and desserts is literally that - sweetner overload. Chocolates and cookies make me pucker.
Nothing is fresh here - it all comes in a bag or a box and tastes like sugared or salted cardboard.
Even meals at restaurants taste like TV dinners.
I've been doing a lot more shopping at Central Market because of this, but yesterday, I wanted a quick fix and headed to Chick-fil-a. They always strike me as the least offensive of the fast foods. I did drive thru and when I got home sat down at my desk with my Chicken Strips. Out of curiosity I looked up the nutritional info. The strips are a good source of protein, but half of the calories come from fat. The strips are somewhat of a lower carb option compared to other fast food choices, but the thing that kind of made me feel ill was when I looked at the ingredient list and saw monosodium glutamate (MSG). Gross.
I can't believe I'm going to have to learn how to cook.
Says the Professor - "Hi, Ana. It's good to see that over the summer you've managed to learn the difference between your right and your left."
I give him a dirty look and then we both laugh.
My mother (laughing): Sounds a lot like your childhood.
Monday, August 21, 2006
So you can imagine my surprise when I got this email today:
Dear fellow 2Ls,
It has been brought to our attention that [guy from Section B] has never been drunk before. Having known [said guy] for a year now, we feel like failures and feel that this situation must be corrected immediately. I know you want to be studying but put your books away and come to the Get [Guy] Drunk Party. Help make [guy]’s first time drunk memorable (or not so memorable). There will be free booze and beer. Come one, come all!
Friday August 25th, etc.....
I dunno. I think this guy may be in for a rough night after holding out on us like that.
Oh, and just to give you an idea of how invaded my bar was last night, this guy was there - the guy who's never been drunk!!!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Once I found the love of my life I held tight. That their affection was unreturned seemed irrelevant. I imagined that I had a greater sense of foresight than my beloved. With a little time and patience, they would see how well-matched we were, how perfect we were for each other.
In the meantime, I would play the role of Sisyphus, struggling each day to bring my love to peak of realization. (If this sounds grossly dramatic and overdone, this is because that is exactly how I was during my twenties.) In my mind, there was nothing more noble than my wait. He could go off and date other people. Let Him test the waters. When He was finished He would know that I was the one for Him. If He needed me I would be there for him. He could confide in me, His devoted friend, and I would listen.
I of course did not date. There was no need. I had already found my true love. There was no sense in dating someone who was not Him or would not be able to live up to Him. There was no need for the possible hurt that I might cause another when my heart belonged to someone else. Plus, I could not possibly betray our love by dating another.
I knew that it was love. I knew it was love because of the way my heart soared when we spoke and the way it sank into oblivion when he went away. I knew he loved me, too. We were friends after all. I was the person to whom he told his biggest secrets. I knew all of the problems between Him and whomever he was dating.
I wore my suffering like a badge of honor, proof of my loyalty. This was the real thing and I would never walk away from it.
This happened to me twice during my twenties. In sum total, I spent five dateless, sexless lonely years waiting for these men. Did I ever give up? No. One was brought to an end when the guy got married. The other ended when the guy moved to a different state. What do I think of those periods today?
There are very few things I regret in life because most of the time I can chalk the event up to some kind of learning experience. All I learned in this situation was that I had no idea what love was. My friends tried to be patient. They tried to get me out to meet people. Eventually they just gave up because they knew I wouldn’t change my mind until I found love for myself – which thank goodness I eventually did.
Here’s what I know now. Normally, I am a somewhat emotionally-removed person. When these men evoked strong feelings in me, I interpreted that as love. No one else could make me react so strongly, feel so fiercely. I mistook that intensity of feeling for love. After having really experienced love I realize now that love is not supposed to suck. Sure, it has its bad days, but when you look over the period as a whole, the other person makes you feel better about yourself, not worse. You can’t simply look at how you feel when you’re with the other person. When you consciously work to deprive yourself of love and affection their appearance works like a drug. Essentially, your interaction with them is nothing more than a self-induced high. And when they go away, that’s the coming down period.
Love is not a feeling. Love is not a high and love is not having every thing in common. Love is a process that develops when two people work together in a relationship. Love is something that you cannot know until another person is working towards it with you. Love is when the presence of the other enhances both your lives.
Sorry kiddos, but all that stuff I said before about loyalty, trueness of heart, etc is just a combination of low self-esteem and masochism. In my case, it was also a way of avoidance. As I said, I am a somewhat emotionally distant person. I have difficulty expressing my feelings. For some reason with these men I felt comfortable showing affection because deep down I knew that there was no risk involved in doing so. I could love freely and openly without any threat to my self or my independence. I knew that no matter what I did, they weren’t going to turn around one day and love me back. (Of course, I didn’t apprehend this at the time and if you’d pointed it out to me I would have told you that you were an idiot.)
But the guys, there was something there, right? Well, yes, on some level. I was the person who would always be there for them, who always told them that they were great. I think part of them felt sorry for me, part of them genuinely liked me on a level not romantic, and part of them loved the ego gratification that I provided. That may seem shallow, but at the end of the day, we’re all human.
So where does love start? When I was little my mother used to tell me that two halves didn’t make a whole, and you couldn’t be with someone else unless you were a whole person on your own. I hate it when she’s right. I can’t fall in love with someone who can’t fall in love with me. I like who I am and there are certain qualities in myself that I am proud of and want my partner to appreciate as well. When others fail to see those qualities my general reaction today is, “their loss.” I want to be with someone who thinks they’re lucky to have found me and I want to feel the same way about them.
What I’m trying to say is, they have to like you, too. And you’ll know it instantly. If you have to sit down with yourself or your friends and interpret conversations and actions in order to determine their affection, the answer is easy. They don’t like you the way you like them. They are not overly complex. They are not going through a rough patch in life. They do not need time for things to sink in. They are not blinded by outside influences. They may in fact be all of these things, but the bottom line is, move on because they’re not going to come around. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not in a million years.
Trust me. You don’t want to be with anybody who doesn’t think you’re wonderful and want to be with you. Forget how you feel about them. Love is two-way thing. And really, what’s so attractive about someone who’s not attracted to you?
One small caveat…you can do all of this and, if you’re like me, still screw yourself. Going back to earlier where I discussed the fear on entering a real relationship...you cannot fail to actually reveal anything about your person and then walk away from someone because they don’t see what you see. Hiding the ball is just as bad as pining.
Oddly enough, this was how I found my first love. We were on our third date. I always freak out around the third or fourth meeting because I think things are getting too close. Inevitably I pull some stunt that gives the person an obvious out and allows them to be the one to end it. Most of the time the response is knee-jerk and I don't realize what I've done until a few days later. With some guys, I've done it more than once. Usually the technique works without fail. But this guy, instead of calling me a nutcase and walking out, chose instead to call me on it.
We eventually parted ways, but remain friends and I learned more about myself and relationships in the time we were together than I ever did with those other guys which was exactly what he promised me that evening.
So quit your pining and go live your life. Don’t waste five years like I did. You can’t return an affection that never existed and why would you want to?
So I know I've posted before about 'my' bar. It's called Valhalla and it's located in the basement of the Chemistry building at Rice. The bar runs as a non-profit by grad students and I started going there during hurricane rita when the city was dead and there was nothing to do except sit around and drink beer. The place is essentially a dump, but the beer is less than a dollar and the conversation, typically provided by grad students, is usually a ton more interesting than your yuppie Midtown bar fare - at least to dorks like me.
Well, uh, crap. I guess I talked about liking it way too much because well, last Sunday I went there for Alex's shift and people started walking through the door. One, two, three, four guys from my section in law school. I thought it was kinda cute. I hadn't seen people for awhile since I'd been out of the country.
Then, tonight I get a call saying that everyone is going to the big V after SOAP and they thought they'd call me since it was my bar and they knew that I'd want to go, too. What? Everyone? Two weeks in a row? Screw you people! That's my bar! I go there to get away from law school. I've been going there since last fall. You cannot now make this the new unofficial Section B bar! It's mine. Shoo! Shoo!
You just don't understand how difficult and annoying it is being a trendsetter. People take what's cool and they just destroy it.
That being said:
- Montrose is a sucky, sucky neighborhood in Houston. Don't move here.
- Actually, Houston in its entirety is not a fun, cultural, cool, international, arty, low-cost-of-living place. Don't move to anywhere in this city.
- Austin rocks - you should move there. Better yet, move to LA.
- Menil - crappy museum
- House of Pies - don't be caught dead in the joint.
- Agora - the coffee blows
- Big law is the best!
Am I not super cute?
Oh shut up...I am too studying...dying declarations - you don't have to actually die...just be unavailable...kind of like all my former crushes.
The random kid across from me looks like he's about to punch me in the face because, "Shhhhhhh!! This is a library!"
Why couldn't I have been this popular in high school?
What are we doing? Why, meeting at the movie theater to watch Snakes on a Plane, of course.
But phooey for me, because I've got a meeting this evening for the Journal.
"Bah!" as Alex would say.
Or the indication for others:
Last week at Valhalla...
My friend: I saw you from the distance and thought, 'yep, it must be about time for school to start - Ana's at the bar.'
Saturday, August 19, 2006
It costs around $5 to do...
Okay, so you buy a package of tissue paper.
Mix water with Elmer's glue.
Make sure to buy a set of white tissue paper as well.
Apply the white squares with a paintbrush using the glue mixture.
Apply the colored squares over the white squares.
(Otherwise, the colored squares will bleed onto the wall.)
Oh, and don't make fun of the furniture. My entire apartment is mid-century modern...
the coffee table is my favorite...
I had to fight with my brother for this lamp...
Here's the new apartment...
I'm so recovering those cushions as soon as I start getting a paycheck...
Friday, August 18, 2006
The film was fun to watch since I had just returned from Paris. However, the bulk of the film took place in the suburbs of Paris so about the only scene with background that I recognized was a Metro scene that clearly took place at Chatelet. That being said, it's always fun to watch a movie where the main character is obsessed with Kant. (I don't get it. I just don't get it.)
Anyhoo, the film is playing through Sunday - go see it! After that, it's pretty much a solid month of Fellini.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
During the first year each section has there own sort of homeroom called the carrels. Each student has an assigned desk with locker. There are typically a few empty carrels each year and non-1L students can rent them.
Yesterday I found out that although I’d signed up for a carrel last spring, Student Services changed their policy over the summer and decided not to assign carrels to upperclassmen. In response, I wrote an email to one of the new associate deans outlining why I thought this was a bad idea.
“I met with my mentors a few times during the first semester, but the upperclassmen that I truly bonded with were those who sat in the back row of the carrels every day. I found that their presence greatly added to my 1L community as well as my sanity during my first year. The 2Ls in my carrels gave me advice on applying for summer internships, informed me about the journals and clubs in which they participated, found me outlines for classes, and consoled me during the tizzying first set of finals. Having others readily available who had been through the process helped make my 1L year a positive experience.”
This was at 3:45 pm.
At 4:11 pm, I got an email back from the dean telling me that he would look into it.
At 4:56 pm, I got another email telling me that the carrels would once again be available for the upperclassmen.
I sent him an email to say thank you and he replied five minutes later with this response:
“Please feel free to contact me or come by with any concerns. I really do see students as our first priority and want to make sure we have happy campers.”
Yeah, I fell out of my chair. When’s the last time someone received an email like this from the member of a university administration?
And then came the email to all from Student Services:
Student Services is prepared to assign carrels to upper division students free of charge. First, I would like to get a list from SBA of the students who paid for carrels for the 2006-2007 school year. We certainly want to provide carrels to these students first.
If there are other students who are interested in having a carrel, please direct them to the Student Services front desk and we will add their name to a list. No e-mails will be accepted. Carrels will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis.
I’m telling you…this school is fabulous.
Monday, August 14, 2006
When I was in NYC I asked Weef and her hubby who both work at ginormous firms for advice on the 2L interview process. They recommended to research the firm, ask lots of questions about the summer program, and basically play the game in the interview process. After getting the job, they advised me to behave myself and not act like an idiot during my time there – ie, don’t tell everyone how much you hate such-and-such partner, act like you own the joint, wear inappropriate work attire, or get drunk at firm-sponsored functions. Supposedly this happens much more often than you would think.
I take their advice to mean that I should probably not say the following things during my interviews (that is if I actually get any):
- Am I going to have to work long, unbearable hours?
- Do you have some type of employee counseling program for alcoholics?
- Are any of your associates single?
- How committed are your non-single associates to their spouses?
- I could never define myself by my vocation.
- When it comes down to it, I’m all about quality of life.
- I hate telling people that I’m in law school. It’s like I’m publicly announcing that I’m a complete sell-out.
- You really think that being an attorney is prestigious? Are you joking?
- I always figured that the people who went to law school were those with an above-average intelligence who either didn’t have the brains or the balls to really do something with their lives.
- Let’s not kid ourselves here – law school is a professional school. It’s not like it’s an academic or intellectual pursuit.
- Do you have in-house childcare? I don’t have a kid currently, but you never know when I might find myself accidentally knocked-up.
- Is it okay if I’m not interested in the partner track?
- Am I basically screwed at making partner if I have a kid and decide I want to be a part of that child’s life?
- So, are you guys as sexist as the other firms?
- Do any of your female partners have a husband and kids?
- Are any of their kids in rehab?
- Do you have a sliding pay-scale for those of us who want to bill less hours? Sort of like a reverse-bonus program?
- Would you like the address to my blog?
The above is not necessarily representative of my viewpoints, but they are the types of things I might say given my sick sense of humor. I think I’ve learned my lesson on how well those comments go over though. After going through interviews at the Business school in undergrad, I ended up with a job at the mall.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
And here's the latest and greatest for Section B....
Out of 4 different 1L sections, five of the nine selected for Law Review from the Write-On Competition are from Section B.
As usual, you guys kick ass!
Saturday, August 12, 2006
My final departure from Paris was not without its hitches however. You know those poor schmucks who get singled out for the random security check. Guess who got that? At de Gaulle, no less – the paragon of French efficiency.
And wouldn’t you know, without thinking about it, I’d packed my tire-bouchon (see former post and pic below) in my carry-on because it was my favorite purchase in Paris and I didn’t want anything to happen to it.
“Ah-ha!” the French woman exclaimed upon searching my bag. This was after she'd groped my entire body, found a cigarette lighter, and then handed it back to me.
She took the corkscrew out of the box and held it aloft with pride.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said to her.
She turned the corkscrew and at full extension the screw extended less than half an inch from under the plastic skirt. I could do more damage with a ball point pen.
“It is restricted,” she said. “You cannot bring it on the plane.”
“Oh please,” I begged while tears welled up in my eyes.
“No,” she said.
Under my breath I cursed her for being a woman. If she had been a man the tears would have worked.
In the meantime, she was passing around the corkscrew to different security officers and asking their opinion. They all agreed that she should let me on the plane with it.
“Sorry,” she reiterated. “It is not allowed.”
Maybe humor would work.
“I promise I’m not a terrorist. I’m just a drunk,” I quipped.
She failed to ANY humor in this comment.
I returned to the Continental counter in tears and made a beeline for the male representative. There was no way that I was getting on the plane without my corkscrew.
“No problem,” he said taking the corkscrew and assuring me that I could retrieve it in Newark.
“I’m not a terrorist,” I said. “I’m just a drunk.”
He laughed and replied, “Yes, my dear, but wine can be a weapon now can’t it?”
I thanked him and returned to the security counter where I got to be groped again.
I needed a skirt suit anyway and so I stopped off at a store called Zara that carried less expensive, but modern-cut clothing. I easily found my first suit for 95 Euros. However, I had a little bit of a problem with the skirt…the size 2 equivalent fit perfectly everywhere except…in the seat area. Yes, Ana has a little bit of a J-Lo booty issue. I would say that it’s my dirty little secret except that anyone who’s ever seen me in person is more than aware of it. Believe me when I tell you that it often causes me more problems than just finding correct-fitting attire. My response is to usually hide it under flouncy skirts. Otherwise I find myself in odd situations where random strangers want to touch it as if it were the belly of Buddha.
So I grabbed the size 4 which was too big everywhere except for the booty and continued looking for something else to move me above the $170. I couldn’t find anything so I just picked up another suit that was really similar except that there was no size 4 skirt available. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’ll just get the 6 since I’ll be getting it altered anyway.”
Hmmm… First off, I didn’t know that you had to get a de-tax form when you bought the items so I had to return the next day for that. When I got to the airport, I couldn’t find the de-tax office which, it turns out, was in a completely different terminal. I thought I could just mail it in, but Weef informed that I had to have it stamped in order to do so. I later found out that there was in office within walking distance in Paris where I could have gone for the stamp. Oops. All in all, I spent an extra 100 Euros or so on a suit I didn’t really need in order to get a 40 Euro refund that I am now unable to get. At least now I know.
Back home I attempted to get my skirts altered along with the jackets as the sleeves were a little too long. I thought the size 6 skirt would be no big deal..if anything, I thought it might be easier because you could just take a half inch or so off the whole length of the skirt. The alterations lady went nuts over it.
“This skirt doesn’t fit you,” she said.
“Duh, that’s why I’m getting it altered,” I thought to myself.
“I can’t fix this. It’s not your size,” she continued.
She did eventually agree to alter it…at a price that was more than I paid for the skirt. I decided to wait and see or maybe try some place else.
In the meantime, I looked up the Zara website and realized that there is a store in town about 10 minutes from me. Hot dog. I could just exchange it. I called Zara.
“Sorry, we don’t do international exchanges,” the manager said.
Are you kidding me? They carry the exact same clothes with the same label and everything. I can understand the problems of currency exchange if I wanted to switch out a skirt and get a jacket or something, but I wanted the exact same thing only one size smaller.
“Screw that,” I told myself as I ripped off the European price tag, put the skirt into a bag, and headed to the Galleria.
On the way there I made up a story of how my mother had bought the skirt for me at the Promenade in Santa Monica and mailed it to me. She cut off the tags. The six was too big. No, I couldn’t ask her to mail me the receipt. She was very leery about anyone else having access to her credit card information. By the time I got to Zara I had no intention of telling the story – not because it was unbelievable, but because the girl at the check-out would be convinced that I was the poster child for Betty Ford if she heard it.
So I arrived at Zara. They had both a 2 and a 4…and neither of the damn skirts fit.
Drat, foiled again.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
“Oh, you can just pick up a pair at Target,” Weef said.
I can’t remember the last time I went to a Target. The reasoning behind this is that I lived in Austin for 12 years. When you live in Austin, you don’t shop at chain stores. You pay that little bit extra to shop at local independent shops. A greater percentage of the money stays in the city and helps your neighbors and the local economy. You just don’t shop at the ‘big box’ stores. They’re the symbol of corporate greed. They underpay their employees. They have crappy health plans. They kill local businesses. Your money ends up in a state far, far away. They’re bad, bad, BAD!
Anyhoo, when I got home, I looked up the location for the nearest Target because I’m a fashion idiot and I had no idea where else I would buy leggings. I figured that spending $5 at Target wouldn’t kill me.
The store locator on the site indicated that there was a store just off of Washington Avenue. Washington? That was just five minutes away! I live in the city where all of the cute little stores and coffee shops reside. There are no strip malls near me. Where could they have possibly squeezed in a Target? Just south of I-10 it turns out. And the place was brand, spanking new and uber clean. Big quiet aisles with all kinds of fun goodies!
So I ventured to the Target and bought my leggings, but I also bought a few other items I needed. Just a few things: some hangers, a closet organizer, batteries, hand soap, a razor, deodorant…$60 worth of items in fact…but the things that are hard to find or ridiculously overpriced at the grocery store. I figured this was okay because I was buying everything in one short trip. I was using less gas that way. I was helping the environment. I was fighting terrorism on the home front.
That was Monday…Today is Thursday. I have now been to Target a total of three times this week. The second time was certainly justifiable. I needed to return the hangers – turns out the closet organizer was all I needed in order to make my closet fit all of the crap I bought in Paris and NYC. So technically, I was doing good by returning $13 worth of my items…but since I was already there and had already made the trip I decided to buy some household cleaning products.
Today I went back for laundry detergent and all hell broke loose. It wasn’t my fault! A huge rain storm started and I was forced to march my cart up and down every aisle while I waited for the storm to subside. But yes, I got carried away. Today I bought grocery store items! Don’t hate me! Progresso Soup was a $1.67! How could I turn it down? I am, after all, a starving student. I bought a big block of cheese for $2. Two dollars! And it was reduced fat, too! I missed my Paris roomie so I threw a package of Mentos into my cart. (She used to eat them for breakfast.) I admit that I sampled the Target brand flavored bottle water on my first jaunt and I liked it so today I decided to try a 12-pack of the Archer Farms Blueberry-Tangerine Mineral Water. And did you know that the Target brand also makes biscotti? And chocolate-covered hazelnuts? And trail mix? And boxes of granola bars that are 4 for $7? And yet not Pelligrino in the individual-sized plastic bottles. (Oh, don’t sneer at me for the plastic bottle part – if you were up on recycling you’d know that almost no where accepts glass anymore.)
You want me to keep going? Okay, I decided after Paris that it was time to retire my little grey gym shorts that I sleep in since they had caused me so many problems. I was going to go somewhere else, but..I was already at Target! Save time! Save gas! I could save the world by getting them at Target! This of course led to the discovery of gaucho pants…which were $6.88 – so of course I had to buy two pair. $6.88? My god, they must have been made in a sweatshop. Oh wait, made in Mexico? Oh, I’m helping the Mexican economy. Mexico is our neighbor, after all. That’s almost like shopping locally, right? I’m just supporting NAFTA.
$80 worth of fabulous crap later I pulled up to the check-out. The checker began to put my items into little plastic Target bags.
“No, no, no!” I yelled and pulled out my canvas market bags. “I’m green!”
She helped me load my items into my Trader Joe’s sacks and looked at me like I was only slightly nuts.
I carried my stuff out to the parking lot, got into my car, and drove home.
Karma is already calling my name. When I got home, the storm had taken out my electricity and I’m typing this in the dark, in 80-something degree heat while my battery quickly fades.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
According to her, my brother asked the fun questions that were essentially scientific: Why is the sky blue? Why do we walk on two feet? How does a car work?
My questions were more societal-based and drove her crazy: If we know how to grow corn, then why is there hunger in the world? If we have schools, then why are there people who can’t read? Why do people hurt people? When you get mad at me, why do you tell me to clean my room? Is it because you were letting me slide on the room and now you don’t want to anymore or are you just abusing your power as a parent?
As a child, my mother called me Mercury because my thoughts and moods fluctuated rapidly without notice. That I was constantly bringing home stray animals didn’t win me much favor either. During my elementary school years, I operated a virtual soup kitchen for the dogs, cats, birds, worms, etc in our neighborhood. Mom always made sure that I was up to date on my tetanus and rabies vaccinations.
I never really stopped asking ‘why’. Here are some that I ask today in regards to men and women:
#1 Why do men and women who live together sleep in the same room?
I suppose you could say that this is the normal thing for a man and woman to do, but let’s think about this for a second. As children, most of us had are own bedroom, yet now that we’re older, independent and self-sufficient we share rooms, sometimes even when we have an extra bedroom. This is normal? When one person is a night owl and the other an early riser, does it really make sense to share a bedroom? When you’re in a committed partnership to the point that you’re making a life together, do you really need to give up the privacy of having your own room as well?
One of the most common discussions my last boyfriend and I had was related to this topic. He always took it personally that I never wanted him to spend the night. The reason was not personal. I couldn’t sleep with a second person in my bed. I’m not cold-hearted; I just have a small bed. He had a king-sized bed. I could sleep in that. I just wouldn’t sleep there on weeknights. Even in a large bed the sleeping wasn’t great. After a night of less than perfect sleep I wasn’t ready to forgo another hour in order to get up early and get back to my place to get dressed for work.
When I was just out of college, a boyfriend and I briefly lived together. My mother found it scandalous and told my sister, “I saw where they live - and there’s only one bed.”
If my mother was worried about pre-marital sex, then she was justified. If her concern was truly in regards to sleeping arrangements, then she would be happy to know that my BF slept on an air mattress. (In all honesty I think she was most bothered with how it would look to other people.)
“That’s so mean that you make him do that,” my friends would say.
I just replied, “I don’t make him do anything. If he wants to get his own bed, he is more than welcome to do so.”
I think one of the more perfect sleeping arrangements occurred on my trip to Boston. I slept in John’s bed and he spent the nights at his girlfriend’s place.
One day he was getting dressed while I napped. “My bed smells like boy,” I said peeking out from under the sheets.
“Sorry,” he said. “I washed my roommate’s sheets because originally we were going to put you in his bed.”
“No problem,” I said sniffing the sheets while turning my head the other way at certain moments.
It was like a guy was in bed with me – only without the elbows or lack of covers.
(Yeah, that last story is a little strange except that BostonJohn and I are a little strange. Another day he was getting ready and I left the room saying, “Let me know when you’re dressed so that I can come back in.”
A minute or so later he called, “Okay!” I turned around and jumped. “Oh you meant completely dressed,” he said wryly.
It's fairly innocent; we just like to taunt each other at times.)
#2 - Why can men chase women, but it’s frowned upon when women chase men?
You know what they say about women who pursue men, who call men, who ask men out…
Ok, lean in close for a second...
I’m going to tell you a secret…
Are you ready?
Get a little closer…
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely guys that are turned off by this, but trust me, you do not want any of these guys.
There is the guy who doesn’t like to be chased because he likes to feel like he’s in charge at all times. Unless you’re completely submissive or miserably manipulative, this is not the guy for you.
Then there’s the guy who thinks that because you are doing the chase that you must be desperate. Unless you have a hankering for men who are dumb and judgmental, I suggest steering clear.
There is also the guy who thinks that when you chase him he must clearly be too good for you. This is the worst one. You have met low self-esteem boy. Unless you want to spend the entire relationship playing ‘mommy’ and stroking his ego, I say run like hell.
A well-balanced intelligent guy will respect the chase. He knows he’s a good catch, appreciates your ability to perceive such, and will respond accordingly.
Unfortunately there is one more type. Sometimes the guy is not interested in you and this is neither your, nor his fault. People are different and like different things. Don’t let this dissuade you. Luckily for us, dating is not like a batting average. You can strike out a billion times, but the slate is wiped clean once you hit a home run.
I have several more ‘whys’, but I’m sleepy and will save them for another time. Sweet dreams.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I threw my luggage in the bed of his truck and hopped inside the cab. During the drive, I called my mom.
“I’m Home!!!! We’re in Alex’s truck; it’s hotter than hell here, and I couldn’t be happier.”
My mother laughed at me. I’d just spent a month in Paris and yet I was thrilled to be back in the giant strip mall that was my home town.
Ever the good friend, Alex stopped off at Chapultapec where we had chips & queso coupled with cold margaritas. I think I said ‘gracias’ to the waitress about a thousand times.
After that, we headed to my little rented shack in Montrose. Robert Earl Keen played on the radio as Alex parked.
I just kept saying it over and over again.
Alex was on my couch – alternating between naps and reading aloud from my collection of Ogden Nash poetry.
“Every time you say that I think something’s wrong,” he yawned. “I think that you’ve discovered that something’s been stolen or broken or what not.”
“No,” I said, “I’m just so happy to be home.”
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
“You know what sucks?” I asked.
“What?” Roomie replied.
“The guys spent every night out drinking and they’ll probably end up doing better than us in class,” I said, “because they approach everything with the same level of intensity. We’ve been totally half-ass about school and going out.”
“Yeah, I’ve pretty much just been gung-ho about eating,” she said.
“The only thing I’ve been gung-ho about on this trip is pseudo-lover,” I said.
She laughed, “I soundly concur on that one.”
“Well, neither of us may have anything to show for it, but at least I was burning calories.”