"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Friday, December 31, 2004

Since Last I Posted...

I was in a coma for a few days, lapsing into it a day or so after my last post. I don't remember any of this, of course, being in the coma, but I guess I was pretty close to not making it for awhile there. But I did, and life is very, very different now in pretty much every possible way. Anyway, it turns out that I have Type I diabetes and apparently have had it since about August. I was in the hospital for about 10 days and during recovery I pretty much lost my eyesight completely making reading and writing impossible.

Happily everything is more or less under control now. Of course I now have to give myself 4 shots a day and I have to be on an extremely strict diet - yes, I'm now a vegan diabetic. The only thing I could do to restrict my diet more is to become Jewish and keep Kosher. Ha ha. The shot thing was extremely difficult for me as I had been known to literally pass out in movies with any type of syringe involvement. But now I can say that I have pretty much overcome one of my biggest phobias and can now fairly easily do things like get immunizations for travel and flu shots and things like this which I never could before.

Aside from medical stuff, I have a few other pieces of news: I got engaged over Christmas, and I got into one of my law schools with a merit scholarship! Yay on both counts :-) Also, J and I will now be staying together which makes us both very happy, but a little anxious about our respective academic careers. The next few months should be very interesting as we work all of this out.

Okay, so I'm happy to be back in the blogosphere and now I'm off to do some commenting.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

To WB Fans:

Did you catch the Buffy reference during Gilmore Girls last night? I enjoyed it. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Wants and Don't Wants

I just want to be jolly. I want to make cookies and go skiing and wrap presents and decorate things. I want to make red and green juice. I want to watch Christmas movies and take walks in the snow with my puppy. I want to know where I'm going to law school next year.

I don't want to write papers or read about economic theories or dissect Dante or do Physics problems. I don't want to try and explain how I'd solve our energy crisis. I don't want to stress about my thesis. I don't want to try and figure out if my applications are complete (why can't every school have an online application checker?)

Sunday, November 28, 2004


The past three days have made up my Favorite Thanksgiving Ever. I usually hate Thanksgiving, for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons, but this year was really special. Thursday was spent at my sister's and I got to spend lots of time with my niece and nephew. My brother-in-law made a great Indian curry dinner, partially so I wouldn't be left out of the food extravaganza. My mom brought a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from a restaurant because we thought that her parents might not like the Indian food, or would be disappointed if the traditional dishes weren't served, but it turned out they ate as much of the Indian food as the other. They are just full of surprises, those grandparents! Dessert was chocolate pie and key lime pie from the store, pecan pie from my grandma and pumpkin pie from me. Mine was definitely the most popular. I love when mine is the most popular!

Another high point of the holiday was the ton of free clothes that my sister gave me that don't fit her anymore. It was especially nice because I received a lot of compliments on my recent weight loss. I don't remember if I've blogged about this, but I've lost approximately 25 pounds this semester. I'm really short (5'0") so 25 pounds makes quite an impression, both coming and going! It was a goal of mine that I thought wasn't going to happen after my injury, so I'm kind of proud of myself for making it happen.

Anyway, so Friday and Saturday were spent at J's parent's. For once there were very few political or ideological arguments (they are extremely conservative, but not in a religious way) and we just had fun. They have a new puppy, so there were lots of dogs everywhere to keep us all distracted. A high point of this visit was J's dad asking my opinion on things like energy efficiency and land management. I think they are finally figuring out what my major actually is. For awhile there I think they figured I just sat around hugging trees and singing folk songs.

Another free-stuff score during this visit - a major one: A king sized bed to take with me to law school! This has been an unvoiced concern of mine (how to furnish my living space in the new city), with the bed part being a large part. I mean, you can go without a dining room table, even a couch for the living room, but you need a bed. And a desk. The desk part I think I'm going to drop hints for around my birthday/undergrad graduation. Anyway, the bed is pretty cool - you can put these huge water tubes in it and it's sort of like a waterbed. And it will be very fun buying bedding for a huge king sized bed. Plus, this will be an excuse to have to get a house/apartment with a huge master bedroom and those normally have a smaller bedroom I can use for a study. Always thinking, this one.

I'm planning on getting a living space that's a bit above my means when I go away to law school, and here is my justification: I'm going to be moving away all by myself so I think that if I have a nice place to live then while I will still be lonely I can decorate this nice place in comforting ways so it maybe will not be absolutely miserable. Plus, I will be spending a lot of time at home since I won't want to leave the dog alone any more than I need to, so it is important I am very comfortable there - especially since this is where I will be studying. Plus, I'm not very social so I don't spend very much money doing social things, and I also don't buy tons of shoes and stuff. So, this money that I would have spent on these things can be allocated to a higher rent. And for these reasons I can get a pretty little house with a yard and hardwood floors and no one can stop me!

Anyway, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are making fun plans for the upcoming holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


In my engineering class this week we had a guest lecturer from Engineers Without Borders, a group that goes out into remote areas and sets up solar panel systems and water systems and such.

It made me feel like I live in this little plastic box where images of the world are projected onto the sides. And I look at these pictures and I think that I am being educated about the rest of the world, but really I'm just sitting comfortably looking at images.

I've lived in Colorado all of my life, save for one semester and that was in southern Arizona at the Biosphere. I also went to Mexico that semester, which was my one and only time leaving the country. I'd love to travel. To learn about other cultures, yes, but more to live with other types of flora and fauna than I'm used to, and learn all about them. It's a tiny bit selfish, I suppose, but I think that since I've decided to dedicate my life to protecting these animals and plants and their habitats I'd like to be around them and see them with my own eyes.

The law school I would like to attend has a study abroad program. I'm not exactly sure how that would work with law school but I'm definitely going to take full advantage if I have the opportunity. It also says on its website that it places graduates as lawyers in Alaska. I would love to be a lawyer in Alaska! So, there's hope. I think that if you are creative enough you can figure out how to merge the practical and the fanciful in your life and come out happy.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Future

After some years of being a lawyer and a computer scientist J and I are going to live on an Alaskan cruise ship. By day I will be the ship's naturalist and J will make intelligent robots. By night we'll co-author science fiction novels.

It's good to have a plan.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Christmas Time Is Here - Sort Of

Yesterday I came home from school and did some serious cleaning. I did this for two reasons: One, my little dog is having some allergy issues and I thought maybe clearing out all of the dust might help. And two, so I could decorate for Christmas!

So after I cleaned I braved our walk-in closet which we have recklessly piled with boxes filled with whatever we weren't using at the time. I emerged with a pretty good pile of Christmas stuff which is now prettily decorating our little apartment. I didn't find the lights, however. I love Christmas lights and one year when J and I were both making money I spent a good deal of it on a variety of strands. Colored ones, twinkly white ones, ones that are covered in this brown branchy stuff of various shapes: stars, spheres, etc. Anyway, next I attempt to conquer our "storage space" (basically an outside version of the walk-in closet) to find the rest of our holiday paraphernalia.

Soon we will perform our Winter ritual that officially declares our acknowledgement that it is indeed Christmas Time. We watch our favorite Christmas movies - this year I bought Elf, which we will add to The Grinch and Scrooged. We drink Egg Nog (for him) and Silk Nog (for me), bake gingerbread and various cookies (well, I'll bake - he'll help eat) and wrap presents. Good, clean holiday fun.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If There Wasn't Law School

I have a confession to make. There is a little itty bitty teeny tiny part of me that doesn't want to go to law school. Maybe it is just the burnt out on school part of me.

What else would I do? I probably would go and get an MS in something to do with energy. Or possibly open a vegan restaurant. Maybe a juice bar. That sounds nice :)


This week I had a major shift in priorities. Almost 100% of the time school is my all-important #1 priority. It's been this way since I started college more than three years ago. I've chosen to miss many family events and have basically put all of my relationships (other than J, of course - and even he and I basically do nothing but homework) on a back burner. I figured there would be plenty of time to revive those old friendships and spend time with my family once undergrad was over.

Now law school in a whole other state comes after undergrad. With the holidays approaching, my last in the state with my various families, I've more or less subconciously switched around my priorities. I took a whole day off from school to just relax and try to get rid of the leftover stress from last week. Then I took a whole other day off to watch my little niece's Thanksgiving play (oh my gosh, the most unpolitically correct thing I have ever seen in my life) and then just hang out with my mom and sister and little nephew.

I guess I've just had a need to have something more in my life than school right now. Dante will still be there next week.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A Little Less Stress

For the first time in awhile I woke up this morning feeling very little stress. My big event is over, and dispite a few minor glitches it went very, very well. Most importantly, I had people tell me that they not only enjoyed the speaker but they learned some things about the relationships between animal treatment and free trade agreements. So it is all very worth it.

Still, I'm glad it's over. Putting on these events while juggling many other responsibilities is not easy. It will be nice to make some other projects a higher priority. Of course I can't let well enough alone, however: we're setting the wheels in motion for a very big name for next semester. The good news is if I can pull this off I won't have to worry about filling the seats. More about this later as the possibility of success improves.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Another Weekend

I have a busy, stressful, fun weekend ahead of me.

Today I have lots of homework to do, which is not fun but is busy and a little stressful. Tonight, however, I am going with some fun girls to see one of my favorite groups Vox Feminista. They do a different show every six months - this one is called "Pirate the Possible: The Empire Walks the Plank." One of the hooks is: "See sexy live lesbian pirates!" Heh.

Then, tomorrow, finally, my student group's big event will happen. We've promoted this one like no other so here's hoping for a a nice turnout. Of course I'm stressed out about it, but it's pretty much out of my hands now.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Report Requested

My favorite school requested my report today. I hope they like it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Should I Worry?

None of my schools have requested my reports yet. Should I be worried? Did I miss something?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Little Perspective

Since procreating is right up there on my list of Things-I'll-Never-Do it was quite surprising to discover that a visitor found my blog with the search phrase pregnancy etiquette announcing

Good luck, random visitor.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bob Barker Rules

As seen on JD2B, Bob Barker has donated $1 million for an Animal Rights program at UCLA law.

"Animal exploitation happens throughout this country and elsewhere," Barker said. "Animals need all the protection we can give them."

The Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights Law will pay for teaching, research, seminars and lectures. The effort will be led by UCLA professor Taimie Bryant, who teaches a course in animal law.

Watch me as I add one more school to my list!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Patience Is A Virtue?

I am not patient. I am not the type of person who can wait to see if it all "settles itself out." If there's a problem with my phone bill, for example, I will stay on with the phone company for hours to get it straightened out if need be.

Similarly, if someone has done something that makes me upset I will confront them. Not in a mean way (well, depending) but in a let's-fix-it kind of way. I don't like to leave things hanging or festering. I like resolution, results, answers, fixes.

Some people are very quick to get defensive when confronted. I guess this is natural. Still, I prefer talking it all out rather than get a "Fine, whatever" and that's that. It will all just come up again in a day, or a week, or whenever.

I've had a frustrating day.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Who Wouldn't Want This?

I have wanted a juicer for a really long time. But I didn't want a crappy one that would just break or not work well and juicers are kind of expensive. Today I decided that gosh darn it, I deserve a nice juicer. Because I like juice. A lot. I would even go so far as to say that I love juice. Okay, okay - I am crazy for the juice.

I justify this purchase in many different ways. First of all, I buy a lot of juice so I figure I will save money over time since I assume it is cheaper to buy the fruits and vegetables versus the juice I buy now. Second, the juice I buy all comes in plastic containers so this will reduce my plastic usage. Third, juicing will make me happy and relieve stress - hey, life is short. I say if you want to juice, juice.

This is the new juicer:

I haven't decided on a name yet. I will have to wait and see what its personality is like.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Chores To Do

Today, despite feeling crappy (maybe I have the norovirus? Man, I am such a hypochondriac!), I am going out to a farm animal sanctuary to help out for 6 hours or so.

I think it will feel good to get out and do some manual labor for a day. Sometimes this type of activity helps me put things into perspective, in a Zen-like sort of way. Plus, it always feels great to volunteer - especially, for me, anything that involves helping out animals. These particular animals were all rescued from factory farms and the like.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures later. I don't have a digital camera (yet!) but I know some others in my group will be bringing theirs.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Elizabeth Edwards

My heart and thoughts go out to Elizabeth Edwards and her family. It has been reported that she was diagnosed with breast cancer just hours after the concession speech.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hillary '08

I want Hillary to run in 2008. I think a lot of people want Hillary to run in 2008. However, some of them, and others, think like this:

The former first lady has plenty of name recognition and a wide following. But some analysts suggest she could meet the same fate as Kerry - as a liberal senator from a Northeastern state, despite the years she spent in Arkansas.

"She is a person who has a lot of people wanting her to run. She'll be a strong contender. But she also motivates the base of the opposition," said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University.

Can we please stop wringing our hands over who would "motivate their base"? Why don't we instead speculate over who will be the next best candidate? Or, better, who would be the next best President? I want a Clinton-Obama ticket in '08. Oh, and please: No Jeb Bush!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

More Bad News

Just in case you haven't had enough bad news this morning, take a look at this:
The Arctic icecap has shrunk by 15-20 percent in the past 30 years and the contraction is likely to accelerate, Prestrud [vice-chair of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report] said.

The Arctic Ocean could be almost ice-free in summer by the end of the century. Inuit hunters are falling through ice, permafrost is thawing and destabilizing foundations of buildings and vital winter roads while the habitat of creatures from polar bears to seals is literally melting away.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It's Official

I'm a law school applicant!


I woke up at 4am and I was cranky. It's now almost 5am and I am still cranky.

I said earlier that I was caring less, and that was true at the time. However, the hyper-overachiever in me has won out yet again, and now the anxiety and stress is bordering on ridiculous. Now, I try not to be negative, and I really don't believe that stress is fundamentally a negative thing. It sure feels negative this morning, though.

Two things that will happen today have potential to help me out. First, I'm submitting my apps. I know, I know, I had a November 1 deadline, but I am only one day late so I forgive myself. Second, the election. Oh, you didn't realize that we're electing the President today? That's okay, you know now. Do I think we'll know who we elected tomorrow? I can only say that I hope so. I hope that there will be a massive, unprecedented voter turn-out and the winner will be undeniable. Hey, I can hope.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Continuing a sporadic Colorado tradition, the first snow of the season was last night - just in time for Halloween. Consequently we now have approximately 8 pounds of candy left. Happily I can't eat any of it so that duty falls on J and, eventually, his co-workers.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Holiday Shopping

I have finished a large portion of my holiday shopping. "Demon!" you might say, "but it's only October!" I know, I know. But let me explain. The holiday time is normally very stressful for me, for various reasons. However, I have decided that since this is most likely the last holiday season I will spend with my families I am going to make every effort to make it as stress-free as possible. Hence the early shopping.

I've also decided that if people want J and I to have two Thanksgivings on one day halfway across the state from each other then so be it. They set the times, we load up the car and the puppy and we're there. And if they insist that we "stay over" - hey, it's only one night, right? I will just smile and remember that all of these annoyances will probably be missed next year when I'm far away in another state. Of course J will be there, whether he moves with me or flies out, and we can start new holiday traditions that don't involve us driving hundreds of miles or sleeping in little tiny guest beds.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Caring Less

As times goes on and the impact of any one grade on my GPA decreases I'm finding it harder to get as worked up about things like Dante tests as I once did. However, this has had the effect of my really enjoying the classes I'm interested in. Maybe those students who go to schools without grades like Evergreen have the right idea.

Oh well, just one more undergrad semester to go. My very last registration date at CU is November 3rd, and while I'm not thrilled with the classes (Yet another semester of Spanish...) I don't care so much. My last set of UG hoops will be jumped through, and then: Off to law school where I'm sure there are still hoops, but at least they will be different ones. Maybe they will be sparkly - or on fire.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Old Weekend

Friday night J and I went to see the opera Cosi Fan Tutte, put on by Master's students at my school. J loves the opera, so depending on our financial situation we go to see 2-10 operas per year. His favorite is Verdi's Aida. Mine is Puccini's Turandot. However, in general I prefer anything by Wagner to just about anything else. The production of Cosi Fan Tutte on Friday was very cute. The set, costumes, acting...Very cute. A weird resume point from the guy who played Don Alfonso: Performed the voices for both Mickey Mouse and Ursula the Sea Witch for Disney movies overdubbed in Arabic.

Saturday I studied for my Dante midterm all day. I'm so not enjoying this class, and studying for this test is like torture. I simply don't care about Florentine politics of the 1300s. I'm usually not a whiney student, but I am entering whine mode for this. Thank goodness it's all over tomorrow.

Sunday I woke up with a pounding headache. Like a hangover, but a not-fair one because I did not even get to drink. Then, instead of finishing my Dante studying, I slept all day.

So now I'm feeling somewhat better but now I have to start my week with studying. This is not my normal way of doing things, but the sickness got in the way. Blah.

Oh, a note for all of you who got your LSAT scores over the weekend: Great job! No matter what number appeared in your inbox, you did it! You took a difficult test. You can now say: I took the LSAT. Lots of people talk about it and never do it, so you are now better than them ;) Just kidding. But seriously, please, stop reading the boards. You know which boards. You are more than your LSAT score.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I voted today! Now will someone please tell my TV?

Friday, October 22, 2004

My Sentiments Exactly

From Jack Bog's blog:

"We vote these clowns back in, we deserve everything we get."

I was thinking along these lines last night, riding the bus home from school. Jack Bog was talking about the deficit, I was thinking about the environment. Apply your own issue - it works with so many.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

New Meaning of "Family Jewels"...

From this article on the new and exciting things you can now do with your loved one's remains:

...an Illinois-based company was using science to turn carbon from the cremation process into diamonds for the family of the deceased.

The jewelry, which comes in either gold or blue, gives the family a way to "keep their loved one with them," said Rusty VandenBiesen, chief operating officer for LifeGem.

"People find it a comfort," he said. "A new way to celebrate the life of a loved one."
I think of myself as pretty open minded, but I find this to be beyond creepy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Where Is The Future Already?

I work on many different computers during the day. I have my home laptop, the desktop in my office at school, various PCs and macs around campus and my boyfriend's desktop at home when I need to print something. I have lots of projects going on and I need to access them at various times and places every day. During previous semesters it has worked to just e-mail myself things and access files either in my inbox or my sent-mail. However, this semester it is not working. I just have too many files to keep track of, especially now with my thesis and its overload of research requirements.

During the past little while I have been using floppies. I know, this seems ridiculously old-fashioned but they seemed to be the most universally accepted so I went with it. The macs at my school have never had floppy drives, but I can't stand macs anyway so that was not such a big deal. However, now they are replacing all of the PCs with non-floppy drive models. Sigh.

Anyway, now I am considering other alternatives. Some students in my engineering class have USB drives. This seems like a very cool alternative. But I need something that is very reliable and I can just throw in my backpack. Does anyone have any experience with these and can give me advice on brand, etc.? Or any other ideas for me?

Update: I ordered this last night and I'm pretty excited about it. Thanks for the advice!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Law School Fair

I have to say it - I love law school fairs. I love law school literature. I love law school pens.

Our law school fair is going on right now and all of the schools on my (current) list are represented so I had a fun time. I think I made a good impression at my #1 choice school. She even said, "See you at admitted students day!" She probably says that to everyone, but it still felt nice.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Chicken Magazine's Answer

Chicken Magazine from Magic Cookie answers the question: "Why Law?"

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Just Smile and Nod

Yesterday I was in the office of one of my recommenders talking about, amongst other things, law school applications. She told me this story about a student she had a few years ago that asked her for a letter of recommendation and also for help with his PS. In his first drafts he wrote about how "the law would be good for him, and he would be good for the law." She suggested that he be more specific and show how he was a unique, attractive candidate. He then proceeded to argue with her about her advice. She told me that she ended up writing him a not-very-stunning letter of recommendation. Ouch!

So, the moral of the story is: Just smile, nod, and say thank you!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Balance Unbalanced

You know that feeling you have when you've just taken on more work than you can reasonably handle? I was teetering at the threshold of it all day and was shoved across about an hour and a half ago.

And I was so hoping this week would be relatively pain-free.

On the good news front, though: My resume is now completely updated and ready to be read by anyone whose job it is to evaluate me.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

A Breakthrough!

My first PS was crap. It's now trash. However! I now have a first draft of a first essay that I really am pleased with. It was so key for me to write directly as a response to the school's prompt. It's really interesting what a difference it makes to me to have just a little additional structure.

But, oh, the relief! I was starting to feel so bogged down with the incredibly slow rate of progress I was making. I really feel like I'll be able to make my November 1 deadline now, with applications that are decent products.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Next Summer?

So a fellow 0L at my school asked me what I plan on doing next summer. A perfectly reasonable question - and yet it left me speechless with the realization that: There is a next summer. And during this "next summer" I will know where I will be going to law school. And then I will actually go to law school.

I've been so wrapped up in applying to law school that I almost forgot that something will come after the final submit button is pushed.

So, what am I doing next summer? Hopefully a lot of nothing. Hanging out with my boyfriend before the long-distance part of the relationship begins is my only plan. It's a little too overwhelming to think about life after undergrad right now. I think for now I'll just get through Friday and look forward to eating tofu pups and tater tots tonight while watching Debate #2. It really doesn't take much to cheer me up :)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

One (Almost) Down

I've successfully filled out one application. It had some strangeness to it - like the question about whether or not my parents are: separated, divorced, married. I wonder if they realize that there are more scenarios than just these three, or if they don't care.

I need to update my resume. I've already decided to break the rule and have it be more than a page long. I'd rather include everything I think needs to be included than to cut things that could potentially make a positive difference.

I'm getting tempted (again) to add more schools back onto my list. After all that work getting them off...

Okay, that concludes my sharing of the perpetual thoughts of applications that run through my head, day in and day out.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Application Questions

It seems that many of us are currently starting the process of actually filling in the actual applications and preparing to send them off. I thought that this would be the simplest part of the whole extravaganza. I was wrong.

I have decided to go with the LSACD On the Web, mainly because going the other way seemed too complicated and there were too many places to get things from, and send things to, and, well, I just wanted it to be easier. So I start filling in the Common Info Form - and everything is going fine at first. My major wasn't listed, but you can fill in your own. Great. Then I get to the High School(!) area and I need to call customer service and ask them what to put there. As an aside, I'm glad that I'm trusting my application to someone who probably makes $5.50 an hour. Anyway, I have a GED, not a HS diploma so I needed some advice. Ultimately, I figured out that part.

But now: Employment history. What to do? I have had a lot of part time jobs, especially before I went back to school. The service representative said to just list what I want and leave the rest off. Is this true? Does anyone have any advice? I in no way want to be less than 100% honest, but I also don't think that they want to know that I worked at Pizza Hut in 1993.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A Draft Completed

I have officially joined the ranks of the Pre-Ls with a personal statement draft. I thought I was going to end up with an analysis of a specific life event, but it's turning out to be more of a narrative of a sequence of life choices. I guess I think it's a decent start.

I keep telling myself: It doesn't have to be perfect, but eventually it has to be done.

It's finally getting done.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Good Luck LSATers!

Good luck and correct-bubble wishes to everyone taking the LSAT today!

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Debate

Bush seemed tired last night. He didn't seem to really care so much about the debate - it was almost as if he wasn't prepped beyond someone telling him to stick to the talking points. Kerry, on the other hand, seemed very 'presidential.' He seemed in control of the situation, he used his time well, he seemed prepared and confident. He also did what I hoped he would do: answer questions clearly. In the past it seemed as if he felt the need to apologize for his actions by way of over explaining them.

This was my favorite moment of the event, from Kerry:

It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong.

It's another to be certain and be right, or to be certain and be moving in the right direction, or be certain about a principle and then learn new facts and take those new facts and put them to use in order to change and get your policy right.

What I worry about with the president is that he's not acknowledging what's on the ground, he's not acknowledging the realities of North Korea, he's not acknowledging the truth of the science of stem-cell research or of global warming and other issues.

And certainty sometimes can get you in trouble.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Off The Grid

This weekend I'm volunteering at the 2004 Tour of Solar and Green Built Homes and it has gotten me excited again about the dream of living Off-grid. What could be better?

First of all: No utility bill.

Second: Getting to build your own wind turbine. How cool is that?

But most importantly: Living with just a little bit more freedom. Knowing that you can provide electricity and climate control for yourself and your family. Knowing that you are decreasing the level of harmful emissions, if even just the tiniest fraction. Lessening your own personal negative impact on your world.

Plus: Being able to proclaim yourself Queen/King of the Hippies and having all other hippies bow down to your green-ness!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Come On, Now...

A funny sign at my school this morning located near the stairs:


5th Floor - Use Elevator

Monday, September 27, 2004

Moving Right Along

As happens in, you know, life things are ending and things are beginning.

The ended part: My student group had its first event on Friday and it went really well. No technical difficulties, people showed up, the caterers brought fantastic vegan food and we even had the added bonus of a vegan dessert table.

The event itself was a screening of the documentary Peaceable Kingdom with a guest speaker from the film following with a lecture and Q&A. The film was incredibly moving and I think that many in the audience learned something. So, all in all: Success!

The beginning part: I have officially begun a senior's honors thesis which I will defend in April. I'm very excited about the topic (extraterrestrial energy resources and the feasibility of using these on Earth) and about working with my advising team. This is more than likely very boring to others, however, so I will probably write very little about it here.

The stagnant part: The personal statement. Congrats to Janine for finishing a draft! I have a couple of days off of school at the end of this week. I'm feeling confident about making progress during this long weekend. No, really.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Why Law?

Anna Ivey from Vault.com helps applicants answer the question: "Why Law?"

Why are you going to law school? Or if you're already there why did you go? If you have a blog entry that answers this question let me know. I'd like to gather them all together and put them on the side bar.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

It's Finally Here!

Happy Fall Day Everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Am I The Only One?

Am I the last to complete the personal statement? I'm about to resort to the plan where I lock myself away somewhere with my laptop and resolve not to come out until I have a decent first draft. The logical to-do-list-obsessed part of me is screaming, "Just write it! Just do it! It's not going to get any easier! Do you realize it's September 21st already? Do you?"

I will write it. I swear. After I write my Dante paper. And my engineering paper. Oh, and after I study for my Econ test. Maybe this weekend...

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Little Sad

Two young kids, one from Colorado State University and one from my school CU Boulder, died recently. In each case the mostly likely cause of death was alcohol poisoning. The girl from CSU apparently drank the equivalent of 40 beers in 11 hours. She reportedly posted on her blog that day that she was going to "get extremely wasted" (or wording very similar) that night.

The boy was a frat pledge at my school who had just won a spot on the lacrosse team and supposedly told his mother earlier that the day had been one of the best of his life.

The alcohol culture at my school is extremely pervasive. I think it is incredibly scary and sad when 18 and 19 year olds feel like they have to apologize for not drinking. I think it is pathetic that the kids that come to class on Fridays with hangovers are seen as "cool." Yeah, yeah, it's all part of the "college experience." But why? Why does drinking necessarily have to be a part of every young person's life?

Maybe some of the young people on these campuses will have that realization where they think, "It could have been me!" and have one less shot of tequila or 5 less beers next time. Maybe.

Friday, September 17, 2004


I have some gmail invites. Let me know if you want one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A Living Final

I'm pretty sure I was somebody's final exam today. I went in for my physical therapy - for my syndromed knee and sprained ankle - and much to my surprise I was therapied by a student. There was a lot of Socratic method being bandied about between doctor and student and way too much poking and prodding with nervous, cold hands.

I think maybe before a doctor's office has a new patient be a living final they might ask first. Or at least inform them that they are going to be looked at by someone who may or may not be competent. Just a thought.

I just hope she passed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Fall Day

Fall Day may just be my favorite holiday. It signals the end of the go-go-go mentality of Summer and the start of settling into a few months of snuggly weather and hibernation behavior. Coffee and cider in the evenings with new TV, wearing a favorite sweater for the first time since early Spring, that satisfying feeling of long hours studying while the cold wind is blowing leaves around outside. That burnt orange and brown and yellow colors that are suddenly everywhere one day. The first snow of the season. The first big snow of the season. Cooking with pumpkins and squashes and apples and cinnamon. The holiday times when everyone's kind of nice.

Eight more days until the day!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Learning Latin

Instead of starting a new book I've decided to try and teach myself Latin. I've gotten through the first five units of the book/audio combo. So far it hasn't been too difficult, and is actually very satisfying. It's nice attempting to learn a language without the constant threat of oral exams and presentations.

I have a fascination with obscure languages. Latin is probably the most practical of the languages I'm most interested in learning. My boyfriend only wants to learn languages that we can actually, you know, communicate with others in. How provincial! ;-)

The tops of my language to-do list are Welsh and Latin. His are Portuguese and Japanese. We settled on Chinese (Mandarin) . Mostly because we want to watch Kung Fu movies without the subtitles.

Friday, September 10, 2004


The last time I can remember being truly sad at having reached the end of a book was the first time I read the Hobbit. Don't get me wrong, I've loved lots of books in between, but that feeling of remorse as the right hand side pages decrease in number is unique. This most recent book to hit me where it hurts is Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.

I love the cleverness that can arise from looking at a story or situation from a relatively minor character's point of view. I also believe that analyzing a "good" or "evil" character in order to find the grey areas of their morals and personality is an excellent exercise. Probably one that should be practiced in real life as well.

Anyway, this book follows the life of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz from her birth to her death. One aspect of the story that particularly appealed to me was the Witch as a defender of Animal rights. I could feel her pain when she looked around with bewilderment at how Animals in her world were treated, and wondered why no one else noticed - or if so, didn't care. She doesn't use the word "humanity" because to her, to be human is to be capable of the most horrendous acts imaginable. "That's all I want," she asserts at one point in the story, "to do no harm." Again - relatable.

A beautiful story that looks at "evil" and wonders if it really is.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

In The Presence of Celebrity

Okay, check it out: Sarah from MTV's Road Rules 11 Campus Crawl is in my Physics class. I'm not kidding you. She just joined the class on Tuesday - after the first homework was due. If I had been paying attention in the hall before class I would have recognized her and offered to give her the assignment, but I didn't. Damn.

Anyway, I've decided I'm going to sit a couple of rows behind her and pretend I'm watching TV. Every time I look at her I get the Road Rules song in my head. You know the one: Doo dee doo, these are the road rules...Hum dee dum, here are the road rules...

Okay, well I don't actually know the song. I do know that this whole minor celebrity extravaganza is going to make physics class much more entertaining.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

One Answer

Kristine at Divine Angst provides her answer to the question: "Why Law?"

An excerpt:

Because it's interesting to me, it will allow me to do things I enjoy (like write and research), I'm definitely qualified, and there's a chance—a pretty big one—that when I'm out, I'll actually be able to get a job related to my graduate education.

New Glasses

Did you know that trees have individual leaves? Not just close up, but far away, too? Did you know that it is possible to drive at night? How about reading for more than an hour without getting a blinding headache? These are just some of the things I have learned from my new glasses in the past two days. I have also learned that magnetic clip-on sunglasses are just about the coolest things you can put on your face.

Here's to right angles!

Sunday, September 05, 2004


Thanks to stag I am now the owner of a gmail account and can gladly get rid of my old Yahoo! account. Be the first to send me a gmail! You know you want to! whylaw at gmail.com

Friday, September 03, 2004

Oh, the drama of it all...

So it turns out my knee has an actual condition. A syndrome, if you will. I guess it's pretty common and is also called "runner's knee." Still, it's been a pretty sucky week because of it. It started hurting very badly during my sports conditioning class on Tuesday - and just kept on hurting. It started freaking me out so I decided to go in and see a specialist. This is where I found out about my syndrome - and how I have to start physical therapy, and how I can no longer go to the gym classes I love - again! I guess it doesn't sound like such a big deal, but I'm pretty bummed out about it. I've found some new classes that are within my new, limited capabilities but I don't think they will be nearly as fun. Plus they don't as well with my schedule. Still, I'll make the best of it and hope that I'll be better soon.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Calendar Reform

I can't find anything official yet, but I heard today that the UN is seriously considering some sort of calendar reform. And why not? Our calendar with its tiny little February and odd leap year day sure could use some improvement. Better still, let's also do away with the whole daylight savings time fiasco. Time is such an important part of our day to day lives and I think it messes with the mind quite a bit to just up and change this internal clock twice a year. I know that I feel a little like I'm hungover for three days or so after the shift, both in the Spring and the Fall. I get distracted, I misplace things, and I just generally feel disorganized.

I say down with unnatural time systems - let's revert to a calendar and clock system that follows natural cycles. Maybe it would do us all some good :)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Good Morning!

I've been so tired ever since I got home from Boston I was starting to think I might have mono or something. Seriously, a couple of days this week I actually fell asleep in the middle of the day on the couch in my office at school. Happily, I think I'm over this oddity and have been able to stay awake for full eight hours at a time for the past two days.

Other than the tired thing this first week back at school has gone really well. I made it to the gym four out of the five mornings, and my knee is doing much better than it was a week ago, thank goodness. If I had to get another cast or brace - especially if it meant having to give up my gym classes again - I wouldn't have been a very happy blogger.

I also had regular school classes, of course. I mentioned that I am taking an Engineering course - well, guess who's in it? My econ teacher from over the summer! Fortunately I had gotten an A in his class, otherwise it could have been awkward. He's a nice, laid back guy. Once during the econ class nitrous oxide came up and he giggled for a full minute about whipped cream.

I actually like every one of my classes this semester. I'm feeling both relieved and anxious that these are the last grades admissions people will (most likely) see. In addition to the econ and the engineering classes I've mentioned I'm also taking a class from the Italian department entitled 'The Age of Dante' (My professor introduced the class by saying, "Welcome to hell, boys and girls!") and a physics class about energy and the environment. My professor for this class is from New Zealand (I love NZ accents!) and was a part of the team than helped to win this. For the first time (excluding my semester at Biosphere) every one of my professors is a PhD. I'm actually liking my school some again. I think it's going to be a great semester.

Some news on law school planning: My boyfriend is currently enrolled in a Master's program. Our plan has been to have me go to law school while he finishes up and joins me. We had estimated him moving at the end of my 2L year. He now thinks that he will not be finishing up with his Master's until the Fall after I graduate. Today he's going to start looking at schools in the city of my law school of choice to see if there is possibly an appropriate program for him. While I want him to be in the best program for him I am elated at the possibility of not having to be apart at all.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Swing State

Recent polls have indicated that Kerry and Bush are each favored by approximately 47% of Coloradans. This has many people quite excited and rushing around registering anyone they can to vote. Happily they are also emphasizing that registering is not enough, that citizens actually have to go and vote on election day.

My state is also flirting with the idea of breaking up our electoral votes and allocating them as the votes dictate. Our Republican governor is opposed to the idea, saying that we would just be ignored by both sides. I guess this means that we won't be driving down to La Junta again in four years. Seriously, we're virtually ignored now and breaking up the electoral votes would seem to bring us closer to this "one person, one vote" idea we hear bandied about every so often.

The election is just two months away and it seems that the intensity is waning. Maybe it's the Olympics or school starting up and I'm just not paying enough attention. I'm guessing it will pick up again during the RNC. I'll try and keep an eye out for the hype until then.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Good To Be Home

I'm home, safe and sound after many adventures in MA and VT. We did a lot of sight seeing in Boston - I highly recommend the duck boat tour and the Freedom Trail. Much fun to be had by all.

The high point of my trip was definitely Vermont. It was a very satisfying feeling to be in towns that did not have Walmarts and McDonald's. I absolutely loved the law school, but it is still not my #1 choice. I still have some thinking to do on the matter, but I still think I'm going to end up in the Northwest.

Some good news: My second and final letter of recommendation has been processed by good old LSAC so now my file is only waiting on me and my more-or-less personal statement.

A busy day is ahead of me, classes start today including the ones at the gym. I'm looking forward to starting these classes early and getting into a good workout routine. My school classes today are Natural Resources Economics and a graduate level Engineering class (eek!) called Energy and Environmental Policy.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Peace Out

I'm off until the 22nd! Have a great week! Be good!

The Moonlight Classic

I rode in the Moonlight Classic last night - er, rather very early this morning. This event is a bike ride that starts at midnight and travels through the streets of Denver. All kinds of people show up from little kids in those bike trailers to hard core cyclists to old people. There were 5200 riders this year. The endless stream of lit up bicyclists winding through the streets of a downtown area is a fairly unique sight. I highly recommend the event to anyone who happens to be in the Denver area next August.

Last year I had been riding my bike constantly all summer by this point. Aside from being tired because midnight is so way past my bedtime I had no problems with this little ride. This year I have mostly been sitting right here since the whole ankle extravaganza and I am ashamed to admit the Moonlight Classic pretty much beat me. I mean I rode the whole thing but I was more than tired by the end.

After retrieving our complimentary breakfast of Naked juice for me, breakfast burrito and yogurt for mom (a much better spread than the Krispy Kremes of last year. Sick.) we got back on our bikes to ride the 20 or so blocks home to my mom's loft. Unfortunately we forgot that we were wearing these cutesy purple florescent light things sticking out of our helmets, and that it was 2am so the bars were just letting out. We caught not a little bit of harassment from the drunken kiddy crowd.

I got to sleep at about 4am, woke up at about 7 and my mom was nice enough to drive me all the way home. Plans for today mostly include just packing and hanging out with the boyfriend. I've been thinking about how much I'm going to miss him during our two years apart a lot this morning. I considered for the millionth time just going to my school's law school and making it so much easier on everyone involved. I pretty much know I'm not going to do it, but it is awfully tempting sometimes.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Be A Tourist At Home

Our adventure of being tourists at home has come to an end. We decided to try out this wacky idea because soon, after 27 years minus one semester, Colorado will no longer be my home and also because we are a little nerdy.

Yesterday was a great example of a "tourist at home" day. We drove down to Manitou Springs and rode the train up to the top of Pikes Peak. Right now is pretty much the end of the high country wildflower season and we saw plenty right from the train's windows. We also saw a herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep and a flock of Arctic ravens. Although I am a native Coloradan I have some issues with altitude above 13,000 feet so I got a little loopy up on the 14,110 foot peak. High altitude sickness is actually a little fun once you get past the nauseous part. I usually feel like I'm stoned for awhile and then euphoric. Yeah, it's a good time.

Next we visited the Cave of the Winds, a tourist attraction in Colorado Springs. My mom tells me I used to love going here when I was little. Apparently I would attach myself to the guide and ask endless questions. When I declared geology as my major she would tell this story - a lot. Anyway, the caves aren't nearly so cool as I remember them but it was still a nice little tour. Stalagmites, stalactites - you know, the usual.

My Theoretical Vacation

I'm trying to go on vacation - I'm supposed to be flying out on Sunday night.

I use the phrases "trying to go" and "supposed to be" because things are going wrong. Well, one thing but it is a pretty important thing. You see, a few months ago I arranged to stay at my friend's new apartment. This was very, very nice of my friend as hotels are expensive and free is so much better than expensive. She took possession of the apartment August 1st and then went home to New York to spend time with her family. She put the key in the mail on Saturday the 7th. As of yesterday, the key has yet to arrive.

I still have today and tomorrow for it to get here. But it's been four business days now and I'm getting worried. Hopefully it just arrives today and I can laugh and realize that once again I freaked out too early. Hopefully.

Update: The key did arrive today. It took so long because with the metal key in the envelope it had to be hand processed instead of just going through the machine. So - if you ever mail a key here is my advice: a) Don't mail the key, use FedEx and b) if you do mail the key expect it to take longer than normal.

Boston here I come! If anyone has any suggestions for fun things to see and do in Boston (and Vermont) let me know...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Just Busy

The last few days have been really busy ones. My boyfriend has the week off so we're trying to cram lots of fun into every day. The reality of my leaving for law school in pretty much exactly a year is starting to, well, become more real. We have lots of plans - voice over IP, phone to phone plans, webcams - but none of it is going to make being apart not suck.

Anyway, we've watched The Manchurian Candidate (both the original and the new one - we both agreed the original was far and away the superior of the two), and The Village. We've also watched lots of episodes of Six Feet Under and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's also been quite a bit of hanging out and doing nothing which is just a priceless way to spend a day, if you ask me.

Tomorrow we hit the museum of natural history, IMAX and the planetarium. We are of the "learning is fun" variety.

Also, a decision has been made: Even though we totally can't afford it we've decided life is just too short and we're going to sign up for the kung fu class we've been wanting to take for way too long. I'm so going to get my ass kicked!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

John Kerry and Me

Well, John Kerry and me and about 9,999 other people.

Yesterday morning my boyfriend and I drove and drove and drove down to La Junta, a small town in Southern Colorado. Once there we stood in line, went through a few metal detectors and then waited. For a very, very long time. The speeches were well worth the borderline heatstroke, however.

First a few interesting details:

  • Handmade signs were not allowed. At first we thought this was just an odd security precaution, but we later found out that the Kerry campaign wanted all signs to be positive so they provided pre-made signs. There were the normal "America Can Do Better" and "Help Is On The Way" and "Believe In America", but there were also handmade signs that were apparently made by children. I guess the campaign wants the general public to believe that the people who go to Kerry rallies a) make signs, b) make only positive signs and c) either make signs like little kids or have little kids make their signs.
  • There were two areas. One for white tickets and one for blue tickets. We just printed out a ticket from the Colorado for Kerry website so ours, obviously, was white. The blue ticket people were able to be near the stage while the white ticket people were herded behind these event fences. The blue ticket people didn't look like big-time donors or anything, and the website didn't mention any ticket class tiers. It remains a mystery. Anyway, once it got closer to the time when Kerry et al. would arrive they announced that anyone could come into the blue ticket area. We decided that since we hadn't been good enough for their special area before, why would we want to go into their special blue ticket area at all? Seriously, though, once everyone rushed into the blue area like they had just received a miracle at a Grateful Dead concert we were able to stand behind the event fencing and stand on the bottom rungs so I could actually see the stage. It was helpful.

So, the people of interest were Elizabeth and John Edwards and their older daughter, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, John Kerry, Teresa's son Andre and John's daughter Alex. The broad theme of the whole event was health care, and to a lesser extent education. Both Elizabeth and Teresa talked primarily about health care for children and seniors. John Edwards mostly concentrated on his "I'm the son of a mill worker" motif but also mixed in some "Help is on the way" lines.

Obviously the highlight was John Kerry who got surprisingly (not because it was Kerry, but because it was a rally) specific about his plans for health care and education. He also mentioned that yes, they do know how they plan to pay for everything he was proposing. He proposed that under his administration :

  • every single child would automatically have health care.
  • every graduate level student would receive a $4000 tuition credit (hopfully this would include law school!)
  • every high school student would have the opportunity to have all four years of instate college tuition paid for if they volunteered as a mentor or senior citizen helper for two years.

He also hit on a lot of points from the plan including alternative energy, bringing down the deficit and new job creation.

After it was all over we were trying to get out of La Junta but we had to wait for the motorcade to get back to the train. While we were stuck in the traffic we had a great show of a security guy in a suit running after any car that pulled into the train yard to turn around. He would whistle and point and yell while trying to keep his earpiece in his ear. There were lots of people trying to get out of the traffic jam and he took every single Geo Metro and SUV U-turning as a personal insult. This was non-stop fun.

Finally we were able to leave La Junta and even though it was 7 hours of driving and very hot heat it was a good day.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Life Is Good Because...

...of no more practice LSATs (yes, I am still thankful for this)
...summer classes have come and gone.
...fall classes don't start for another two weeks.
...during those two weeks I'm taking not one but two vacations!
...I've been able to sit here and read my blogs without homework guilt.
...I got $50 for my summer books!
...I tried boba tea today (not spectacular, but I'm not giving up on it yet)
...I have the cutest dog in all the land.
...I get to see John Kerry live and in person tomorrow.
...my ankle is better and I can go back to the classes I like at the gym.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bubble Tea

The speaker I mentioned a few days ago is officially booked for my series. Planning these events has really gotten me excited about the Fall semester, which is a good thing since my summer classes have pretty much burnt me out to a crisp.

Speaking of summer classes - Just one more day and three more exams. One of them is a take home essay that I'm just about done with. After my last exam tomorrow I'm going to find someplace to try this bubble/boba/pearl tea I've heard so much about lately.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Blawg Wisdom

If you have not checked out Blawg Wisdom yet I highly encourage you to do so. The talented ambivalent imbroglio has put it together and I believe it to be a veritable font of law school related wisdom. Good stuff, all.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Just three more days of classes, and the end can't come soon enough. I finished up my last paper about four minutes ago and I'm looking forward to a nice, quiet evening filled with Gilmore Girls, soy ice cream and root beer.

In other news, I just found out that the speaker I really want to include in my speaker series for the student group I'm running this year will probably have time for us in November! I saw him at the Conference on World Affairs last semester and I must say he is one of the most engaging speakers I have ever had the pleasure of seeing live. He was part of my inspiration for putting together this series in the first place, so actually booking him will be incredible - if it all works out.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

One Down, One To Go

I woke up to find a very welcome email in my inbox. One of my professors wrote to let me know that she sent off my requested letter of recommendation to LSAC yesterday! What a relief!

Now there are only two items left until my LSAC file is complete. The other letter of recommendation (which has been promised to be written before September 1) and the dreaded personal statement. I'm currently walking the fine line with my statement between illustrating how I've overcome adversity and sounding "whiney." I definitely want to steer far clear from the whining. I really don't want to be one of those people.

So, to sum up: One letter down, one to go. Yay!

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Cheer Up, America!

Susan Sheybani, Terry Holt's assistant, has a new plan for American workers:

“Why don’t they get new jobs if they’re unhappy — or go on Prozac?” said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

The 'they' Ms. Sheybani is referring to is apparently lower-to-middle class Americans unsatisfied with their job quality. How out of touch is this campaign, and this administration, when an assistant to the national spokesman believes that these workers are simply "unhappy" and that they can just run out and find a "new job"?

But let's say that these workers do follow Ms. Sheybani's advice and try to medicate their problems away as she suggests. How does she propose they pay for this Prozac? With all of their expendable income? Or with all those health care benefits that I'm sure they have?

Bush said Kerry had a history of voting for higher taxes. "His prescription for America is the wrong medicine," Bush said.

No, to the Bush campaign the right prescription for the "Heart and Soul of America" is self-medicating with anti-depressants.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Go Balloons!

And you thought your job was stressful?

(Check out a recap of the whole fiasco here.)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Cut Your Losses?

About a year ago I had a conversation with a friend over some beers about her wanting to move to Norway because she felt she could no longer deal with the political situation here. I remember telling her that this was the coward's way out. That she had to stay and fight, if only with her vote and with her dollars. She didn't really think this was enough, and she hated the feelings of helplessness she had after the 2000 election and so many times since.

I'll admit that dearest BF and I have seriously discussed moving out of the country if W gets re-elected (or "re-elected.") I still believe that because it is the US that causes so much of the damage it is from within the US system, working for change, that a person can do the most good. Still, sometimes it is tempting to go the route that is best for you, personally, rather than what you think would be for the best, overall.

Here's hoping that Kerry has a great speech tonight and it reaches some of those undecideds and the Nader voters. (I'm happy to report that everyone I know who was going to vote for Nader has since joined the ABB (anybody but Bush) camp or the Kerry camp - either way planning on voting for Kerry.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Convention

Tonight I'm looking forward to hearing from John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich.  Last night I missed Obama's speech and had to read it instead, which isn't nearly as fun.  He sure is getting some great press, isn't he?  I feel for the sucker who runs against him for the Senate seat. 

I enjoyed Teresa's speech much more than I thought I would.  I'm glad that she talked about herself, and not just about John and her relationship to him.  Oh, I know her speech was handled and was most probably not written entirely by her, if at all.  Still, she came across as real to me, which was somewhat refreshing.  Although she is "exotic" (a term used to describe her on NPR this morning) I think many women can relate to being called "opinionated" or worse when speaking out while in a comparable situation a man is termed "smart" or "well informed." 

Update: CNN decided Dennis wasn't important enough to show.  Grr...I should have known better!  It's C-SPAN for me for here on out. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Hey, Michael Moore!

Update your blog!

Bill's Speech

I miss Bill. 

If you missed his incredible speech last night, you can read it or view it here.

Some excerpts:

"Here is what I know about John Kerry. During the Vietnam War, many young men—including the current president, the vice president and me—could have gone to Vietnam but didn’t. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too.  Instead he said, send me."


"Since we’re all in the same boat, let us chose as the captain of our ship a brave good man who knows how to steer a vessel though troubled waters to the calm seas and clear skies of our more perfect union.  We know our mission. Let us join as one and say in a loud, clear voice: Send John Kerry. "

Happiness In An Email

Okay, so I know schools give out fee waivers like the Gideons give out those little bibles but still every time one appears in my email it makes me feel like this.


Happiness also comes in the form of a link.  Thank you Janine!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Law School Applications

So there are only two major items on my "Apply to Law Schools To-Do List":  Write the personal statement, and settle on a final schools list. 

The only concrete decision I have made regarding the personal statement is that I am going to write one for each school I apply to.  My list is going to be short enough that there's no reason other than laziness not to get the "why I want to go here" questions answered in each.

I've spent more time lately thinking about what schools I want to apply to.  I started with a very long (20+) list.  I have since removed all the schools where the primary (and in some cases only) reason it was on the list was:

1.  It's ranked pretty high and I think I can get in.

Now I am down to 5 schools.  Yes, I did think I was that much of a prestige whore.  Here is my current list in no particular order with only the top positive reasons noted:

School 1

1.  It is a beautiful school with big, beautiful gothic buildings and I have always wanted to go to a beautiful school with big, beautiful gothic buildings.
2.  It has a national reputation
School 2
1.  I love the location - a busy city with lots of cultural opportunities and politics I agree with
2.  The school's politics and reputation
3.  Friends in the area
4.  The school's history
5.  Has a good reputation for the broad area of practice I am interested in
School 3

1.  I am instate - much cheaper tuition
2.  Would not have to leave my boyfriend and my family
3.  Has a decent reputation for the broad area of practice I am interested in
School 4
1.  Ranked #1 by USNews in the broad area of practice I am interested in
2.  Very small town (a good thing for me)
3.  Relatively very cheap cost of living
4.  From talking to people who go there it is probable I would receive some $$$
School 5
1.  The only school with a program in the specific area of practice I am interested in
2.  The only school with a journal in the specific area of practice I am interested in
3.  Well known (at least regionally) for the broad area of practice I am interested in
4.  I love the campus
5.  I love the location
6.  From visiting and speaking with current students I think I would be comfortable in the atmosphere there
7.  They offer study abroad opportunities
8.  They offer a clinical internship seminar in the specific area of practice I am interested in
9.  They have a loan repayment assist program if you go into a public interest job

Okay, so it's pretty obvious that #5 is my number one choice.  Since I think it is so perfect for me, I'm considering just applying to #5 with #4 as a backup.  My numbers are good to go at both of these schools.  My numbers are actually okay at any of these schools so that is not really a factor.  So what, I am asking myself, are the reasons to even apply to numbers 1, 2 and 3?  Up until now I figured I wanted to "see" and to "keep my options open."  Maybe I'm just wanting to see if the prestige whore in me will win out after all? 

Any and all opinions are appreciated.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owls

Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

When I was studying at the Biosphere in Arizona last year I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be trained by US Fish and Wildlife to survey for Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owls under the terms of the Endangered Species Act.  There were two kinds of surveys - one was for scientific purposes, just to see how many owls there were in the area.  The other was for developers who had to have field biologists go out and survey a property several times before they were allowed to develop in areas where conditions existed that are known to support pygmy owls.  The surveys I participated in were all the second kind - developers are very anxious to build in Arizona, and don't at all appreciate little things like endangered species getting in the way of their strip malls.
So now even though the Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl is one of the most imperiled birds in North America, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, the Bush administration wants to remove the owl from the endangered species list because the 9th circuit court of appeals said that its cousin, a different kind of pygmy owl from Mexico, is not in danger and that the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not do a good enough job demonstrating that the survival of the more specific group of pygmy owls was important.  Luckily the federal judge was not in agreement and refused to agree to the removal. 

Friday, July 23, 2004

Making Bone: Complete

My cast came off today and apparently my ankle is almost 100% according to my nice-but-very-dull doctor.  Bike riding may start again immediately and kickboxing and other kickboxing-type of activities in a couple of weeks.  Yay!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why Blog

On the bus this morning on the way to school I found myself thinking about this post by stag commenting on this post by Tony Pierce regarding how one should conduct oneself in the blogosphere.  I was thinking about why people blog, and while I'm sure there have been many profound posts on this topic, I have decided to follow Tony's rule #15 (dont be afraid if you think something has been said before. it has. and better. big whoop. say it anyway using your own words as honestly as you can. just let it out.) and talk about it anyway.

Why Blog?  While I think there are as many reasons for blogging as there are bloggers, I think there are a few that are relatively common:

To Reach Out
I had another blog, a long time ago.  This was back when the way coolest thing was to have comments on your blog and you never,ever heard the word "blog" on the Today show.  Anyway, I made that blog mostly because I was in a transitional state - I had just left my corporate job to go to college.  I had disconnected completely from the old life and had yet to get into my new one.  While I didn't literally think, "Okay, I'll make a blog and that will make me feel like I belong somewhere" I think that's at least partially what my unconscious motives were. 

I think in many ways we as individuals are relatively very isolated.  We're busy, we're goal oriented, and I think many times very disinclined to have real conversations, or even really get to know our own intentions and opinions.  A blog can be a set up for opportunities that we may not be able to find "in real life" or even know that we want to find them.  A nice, blank white screen that's patient, that doesn't interrupt, that isn't evaluating you.  You just write, and then you publish.  And you reach out to anyone who cares to share your thoughts. 

To Connect
This time around I went blog hunting during the time I was studying like mad for the LSAT and wanted to find "normal people" (as opposed to board people) who were in my same standardized testing boat to see if they were having the same experiences I was.  I guess I just wanted to know that I wasn't alone.  Happily, I did find a couple of people who were taking my same test on my same day.  Not a big deal, it's not as if I necessarily had anything in common with them, it just sort of made everything more real and more in perspective.

I think it's natural, and probably goes without saying, that most people don't like to feel too alone or too different.  Even if someone considers themselves "non-mainstream" every once in awhile probably everyone wants to feel as if "we're all in this together."

To Learn
Years ago I was really only interested in the kinds of blogs where people talked about their day to day lives and their opinions about relatively day to day kinds of things.  Now I seek out all kinds of different blogging experiences.  I still enjoy reading the personal blogs, but I also get a lot out of reading different people's opinions about current events and the Big Philosophical Questions, too.

The blogging community is really quite an amazing phenomena to me, especially when it comes to discussing current events.  Not only the diversity of opinions that are generated and accessible, but also the diversity of backgrounds approaching the topics.  Reading the news as interpreted by experts in whatever the story is about is a much more fulfilling experience to me than having current events interpreted to me by news people.  Now, I still think there is value to the ideal of objective journalism, but I think there's room for more - including the opinions of "everyday" people with their unique perspectives.

To Teach
While I have no personal experience in this area (I ain't no expert in nuthin') I can see where many who do have lots of knowledge to share could get a great deal of satisfaction from doing so via their blog.  I think it's great that law students share experience and advice for those of us who are following along after them, for example. 

As I said, I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons why people blog.  My reason today was to share my bus-riding musings with you. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

cc: Etiquette

When is it proper to cc: and when is it considered tacky, or even rude? 

I think if you are announcing something like an event it is okay to cc: because it's just like sending an invitation or a flyer.  You wouldn't personalize each of these so you don't need to personalize the email. 

However, if you are planning a small get together, or a camping trip or something for a small group of people I think it is tacky to send a cc: list email saying "Want to go camping this weekend?"  Take 5 extra minutes and just send them separately.  Seriously, it sends the message: "My time is too valuable to write to you personally but if you'd like to show up and spent time as part of my entourage you are encouraged to do so.  I may or may not converse with you, sign autographs, or remember your name."

Is it rude to send a cc:'d email to your closest friends announcing a major life change, such as moving across the country?  How about engagement or pregnancy announcements?  My unsolicited advice is:  If you call someone your friend, don't cc: them on major life events.  And if you don't call someone your friend, why are you emailing them about it in the first place?  I think a cc: email from a friend regarding something big says, "I don't really care what you think, just send me a gift/I feel obligated to update you on my very exciting life."

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My First

Fee waiver, that is.  Yep, right here in my little inbox is a fee waiver from good old Northern Illinois University College of Law.  Am I loved?  Am I special?  Northern Illinois University College of Law sure thinks so!

Monday, July 19, 2004

It’s Getting Kind Of Hectic Up In This Piece

Thanks go out to Law Dork for pointing out the funniest article I have read in a very long time.  I literally LOL'd.
An excerpt:
"As a quick-thinking senatorial aide switched on the Senate’s public-address system and cued up the infamous “Seven Minutes of Funk” break, Mr. Leahy and Mr. Cheney went head-to-head in what can only be described as a “take no prisoners” freestyle rap battle."

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I, Robot

I had listened to the book, which is actually a collection of short stories, by Isaac Asimov a few weeks ago during my West Coast Law School Tour.  I was ready to be thoroughly disappointed by the movie, but surprisingly I really, really liked it.  It didn't follow the book of course - there was little action in the short stories.  However, many aspects of the three laws issues were written into the plot - quite well, I thought, considering it is a mainstream summer action movie. 
It's a fun movie and a fantastic book if you enjoy science fiction.  I don't know how much non-sci fi people would like to read Asimov - he was pretty cheesy with the dialogue.  I can put up with quite a bit of goofy dialogue and flat characters if there's robots that go along with them. 


Saturday, July 17, 2004

So Much To Do...

and so little time to do it.  So why in the world did I just waste two hours watching a crappy Lifetime movie?  Because I'm a sucker for made-for-TV movies, that's why.  Especially if they involve amnesia.  Or the mom from Family Ties.  Or the sister from Growning Pains.  Those anorexia ones are classic.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

John Kerry's Forest Plan

I think this issue is representative of the differences between Kerry and Bush.  It was reported today that Kerry plans to take $100 million away from the timber industry and create a new "Forest Restoration Corps" that will create jobs by restoring forest areas. 
Compare to Bush's Healthy Forest Initiative which took the science (and the trees) out of forest management.  Instead of asking scientists and forest management technicians what the best options for "healthy forests" were the Bush administration jumped at the chance to hand our wilderness over to Big Lumber. 
The Sierra Club says, "The Healthy Forests Initiative (HFI) is President Bush’s response to the past year’s forest fires. The initiative is based on the false assumption that landscape-wide logging will decrease forest fires.   This premise is contradicted by the general scientific consensus, which has found that logging can increase fire risk."  Read more about the details of the Sierra Club's findings.  
While I have yet to find the text of Kerry's plan I have a lot of hope.  It sounds like policy for wilderness, and policy for job creation.  Who, besides Big Industry, is against that?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Philosophy Class - The Love My Instructor Has For His Own Wisdom

I attend a state university that is considered a bastion of liberalism. It is often presumed that the most liberal of departments in the Arts and Sciences college is that of Philosophy. Now, maybe it is simply that I don't understand the underlying concept of philosophy classes, but I had assumed that at some point critical thinking and independent thought may be activities that would be considered acceptable. Perhaps even encouraged. My assumption was apparently wrong.

You see, in my Philosophy class we are not taught how to think but rather what to think. And I don't think it would go too far to say my instructor would actually rather we did not think at all, but rather regurgitate his own interpretations of philosophers.

Now, am I missing the point? Is this all there is to philosophy classes? Do philosophy majors fill their college years with the mindless repetition and reiteration? Is one ever encouraged to have their own 'philosophy?' Maybe those Indigo Girls were on to something.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

It Begins

Technically, "it" began a couple of years ago when I decided that this law school thing may just be the "right thing" for me. I read the books (Law School Confidential, One L, etc.) and still I thought that yes, this is good. This is a Good Decision.

So, about a year ago I started studying for the LSAT. I got the Kaplan book and the Kaplan CD. I got the "10 Real" booklet of past published tests. I took Intro to Logic. Ultimately I ended up taking tests 1-42 (at least once) before encountering My Test. Test #43.

It's only Tuesday. Almost exactly 24 hours ago it began, and yet it feels as if it were a very long time ago. Or possibly never. Even though I've (pretty much) decided that I want to attend a law school that happens to admit candidates with significantly lower LSAT scores than the level I had been practicing at, I still couldn't help but be overwhelmed with what This Test meant. It potentially meant the difference between an excellent school and a mediocre one. Or a full ride and nothing.

And then The Question: "How did it go?" Well, I didn't panic, even when I didn't exactly rock the games section. And I didn't have to guess on any questions at all. These are Good Things. Still, it all felt off. I honestly have no clue what my score will be. They say that if you don't feel you screwed up you probably scored within your practice range. Let's hope They are right.

So why aren't I more relieved? Why can't I just say, "I did my best, it's out of my hands?" I was up all night wound up so tight I got physically sick and ended up with chest pains and hyperventilating.

I have been studying for This Test for so long that it became a sort of fixture in my existence. Now It has been replaced with a less hands on experience: Waiting.

I don't do so well with the Waiting. I have a very active imagination that tends toward the worst case scenario side of things. So - I will try to keep busy and try not to create hypothetical situations. Good luck to me.

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