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

-- The Dalai Lama

Monday, January 31, 2005

CU Law

I had a little free time today so I spent it over at the University of Colorado School of Law, as I am keeping an open mind and exploring my options thoroughly before sending any deposit checks anywhere.

My initial intent was to simply try and make an appointment with an administrative type who could answer some of my more specific questions. To my surprise someone was willing to talk with me right that very second! This threw me off a little, as I generally like to be ready with notes, lists, spreadsheets, etc. Still, I felt pretty warm and fuzzy at their level of accomodation.

First I asked her about study abroad programs. She wasn't able to offer a lot of information on this subject, except to refer me to another department - and to mention that she knew of one student who had studied at Oxford (lah dee dah!) this past summer, and that some students opt to study for a semester or more at other law schools in the US.

I asked her about the new building. The groundbreaking ceremony was last semester, and they apparently feel very confident that it will be ready for use beginning Fall 2006. I asked how probable this really is, as I have seen on various television programs construction projects running "off schedule." She said she has heard nothing regarding any sort of delay, and has even heard projections of June 2006 as a realistic finish date. It would be fun to be one of the first students to use a brand new law building. I chalked this up as a + in the CU column.

Next I asked about dual degrees. CU Law offers quite a few, the one in which I would be most interested being a JD/PhD in Environmental Studies. It was interesting to learn that a dual degree student at CU usually follows this schedule:

1st year: exclusively law classes
2nd year: exclusively insert other degree here classes
3rd year: combination
Remainder of time, if any: combination

She also informed me that basically any graduate level course at CU can be counted towards graduation credit as long as it is pre-approved with the registrar. Right now I think I would want to take all of my law school courses at the law school, but who knows what options there may be that I might not know about right now. And it is good to have options available.

Next, as I had expressed an interest in International Environmental Law, she sent me up to meet with a professor. He was very, very nice and spoke with me at length about the school's offerings in this subject area. He even kept his actual, scheduled appointment waiting! I was excited to learn that law students have the opportunity to work on the Energy and Environmental Security Initiative, and that there are opportunities for externships in the field.
There is also a journal, the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy, that I am told is one of only two of its kind (the other being at Georgetown.)

When I went to another office to find out more about this journal I met a very nice 2L who took a lot of time to talk with me about CU Law's good points. He assured me that it is a friendly, although competitive, atmosphere. He seemed very happy that he chose CU, and proud to be a student there. When I asked about job opportunities and the helpfulness of Career Services he admitted that he actually hadn't utilized their services but his friends had said they were helpful in their job searches. He talked about how he performed his own job search independently which resulted in a position at a non-profit that he is happy with.

My last stop was actually at the Career Services office to see for myself if they seemed to be helpful and nice. They were actually more helpful than I expected. When I asked about positions and salaries for those focusing on International Environmental Law she said that there was no specific data available but that she would pull some information together and email me. I was really impressed. I also was able to look through a book of job postings for students so I could see what types of positions I could expect to find when it was time for my own job search. (P.S. One posting was for a "blawg content writer.")

So, to sum up, I'm still keeping an open mind. We'll see what the money says, and how the ultimate pro/con lists look in the end. Between you and me I'm still fairly certain where I'll end up.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Three for Three

While excitedly checking the mail today for scholarship info from other schools, I came across a very unexpected large envelope from the in-state school I applied to 18 days ago. I'm in! 3 for 3, baby!

And thus concludes my law school application process. I can't believe it's over. (Hey, remember the LSAT? And all those personal statement drafts? Good times, right?)

Today Is The First Day of the Last Days of Last Semester

I am finally finishing up the last of my assignments from last semester and am preparing myself to take last semester's finals. At the same time I am managing to keep up with my current classes somehow, and planning the wedding (with lots of help.)

Classes this semester are turning out to be fairly dealable. A lot of the material in my major classes are review, and one of them is based almost entirely on a term paper (I'm writing mine on how human induced reduction of Beaver populations in North America dramatically reshaped the landscape and hydrologic systems of the Rocky Mountains.) "Shakespeare for Non-Majors" is fine - actually, it's pretty interesting. My teacher is very young (for a teacher, I mean. She's not 12.) and talks about South Park and being a raver. "Math for the Environment" is the strangest math class I've ever taken. For example, we've yet to do a problem involving numbers. One of my recent homework questions was: "Do you believe a person can ever be truly free or truly not free?"

Days Until Graduation: 97

Friday, January 28, 2005


CopyB? Where are you? Blog and LSN data are MIA...


Decisions, Schmisions

To those of you who have asked me via email what the name of this "#1 choice" school is: I'm not ignoring you. I'm just very superstitious and I haven't gotten my scholarship info in the mail yet. For some reason I think if I tell you the name of the school this will somehow change this number from a big number to a small or non-existent number. Yes, logically this does not make much sense. (Invoke Chandler: Much sense?!) Still, humor me. I should get the big envelope today (Postal services gods be willing) and I will shout it from the virtual rooftops.

So, in my mind I am enrolling in this school. I've spent the majority of my free time in the past two days on the admitted students' website. I've been making arrangements to attend the admitted students' weekend. I've begun looking into housing possibilities (and they look good! The cost of living in this city is very reasonable!). I've been researching the public transportation system.

So what is the problem? you might ask. The problem is soon-to-be Mr. WhyLaw still has his hopes on staying here. Even though he likes the new city, he would rather stay here. I, on the other hand, do not want to stay here. Not even a little bit. I don't want to be Ms. Bossy New-Wife but I really want to go to this school. Not to be melodramatic, but it's my academic dream come true.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the other schools have to say. But to me, my mind is made up. And I'm pretty stubborn.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I Got In!

I'm in at my #1 choice! I'm so happy!

Lhasa Apso

Stag, this is a Lhasa Apso. More specifically, this is my Lhasa Apso!

My Secret

I want to be just like E. McPan in all ways. So when I saw that she got a cool new blog format I ran out and bought one just like it.

Tell me if it looks weird to you, or if you hate it. Or if you think it's okay. Or if you think it's really groovy.

It still needs some work but I have to go and learn about Math for the Environment now.

Update: Thanks for the feedback. I didn't really like the way the other one turned out, either. What do you think of this one?

If You're Just Tuning In...

Life, while extremely overwhelming to me right now, is not providing a whole lot to blog about. So I thought I would share a bit of random things-about-me just for fun:

  • I'm 27 (28 in May)
  • I'm an Environmental Studies major (graduating in May)
  • I never graduated from high school (got my GED at 23)
  • I'm a law school applicant (3 applications, one acceptance, two pending)
  • I'm vegan
  • My favorite color is brown
  • My favorite movie is 'Chocolat'
  • I've seen Legally Blonde too many times to count
  • I'm engaged! (Wedding is in May)
  • I spent a semester at the Biosphere in Arizona
  • I have a Lhasa Apso that I love with all my heart :)
  • My favorite TV show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • My favorite currently running TV show is Gilmore Girls
  • I'm really short (5'0")
  • I'm a Democrat
  • I would love to live in Alaska
  • I would love to live in New Zealand
  • I have never been to either Alaska or New Zealand :(
  • I rarely listen to music
  • I love going to the gym but rarely make it a priority
  • I'm a (real!) redhead
  • Okay, that was probably very boring for you, but kind of fun for me. Hopefully more bloggable things will come to me soon...

    Sunday, January 23, 2005

    It's (More) Official

    The engagement party last night was better than I ever could have hoped. It was held at a beautiful teahouse in Boulder that everyone thought was lovely. Everyone got along very well - there were no awkward silences or embarassing conversational faux pas involving politics.

    J's dad gave a very nice toast and his mom gave me an old, incredibly stunning necklace that had been in her family for five generations! Since my mom is adopted and I know nothing about my father's side of the family I've never been exposed to anything you could call an 'heirloom' so this is very special to me for many reasons. She also included a photograph that had all of the women who had owned the necklace pictured - her mother as a little girl, her grandmother and her great-aunt who raised the grandmother. Talk about priceless, right?

    My mom gave us a nice scrapbooking kit - and the offer to pay for the photographer! J's parents also announced that they had booked us a room at a five star hotel between here and Santa Fe for our wedding night. Everyone is being so generous - we are very lucky and thankful to be around so many people that love us and want to help make our wedding day and honeymoon special.

    Saturday, January 22, 2005

    The Devil Is In The Details

    Today I am wondering about things. For example, once a person has chosen a law school, sent in their deposit and secured their financial aid, when does said aid come? Is it similar to undergrad where they don't send your disbursement until two days before the first day of class so you don't run off to wherever irresponsible kids run off to with loan money? What about scholarships? If they like you enough to give you a scholarship do they trust you with it before your 1L self is actually sitting in their classroom?

    Also, moving across the country is presumably not free. How do students do this? I'm thinking that the answer to this question may lie in the "post-bachelor's-pre-law-school-summer-job" concept. Maybe temp work. Or retail. Or Starbuck's. If you work at a gym as the girl that swipes the membership cards and hands out the towels do they let you work out there for free?

    These are the things I'm wondering about today.

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    It's Only Two Flights Up!

    So my mail carrier has developed this annoying habit of just leaving the "Sorry We Missed You!" card in the mailbox without even coming up to see if I'm home. I cannot express to you how infuriating this can be, especially because the package is then not even available for pickup at the post office until the next day.

    So today, to combat this needless stress, I have left a note on the mailbox explaining that yes, I am home, and to please not return my packages to the post office but instead, if possible, to actually deliver them.

    In law school news: I am considering doing a dual degree program if I end up, for whatever reason, remaining here in state. I feel like with the other law schools I've applied to they offer programs that are specialized enough that I will be marketable with "just" the JD, but the state school here doesn't (at least in "my" intended specialization(s)) so therefore I must do something additional to be employable. I don't have any data or anything to back up my thinking here, so I have no idea if my "feelings" are in any way comparable to reality.

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    So There, Part II

    I am going to die at 86. When are you? Click here to find out!

    During my recent hospital stay this awful nurse told me that I would be spending a lot of my adult life in hospitals and that I would die young. Mean, right? (By the way, she was totally full of crap. Actual doctors have assured me of this. And, you know, now this online quiz.)

    So There

    If only my classmates from the Biosphere could see this score. I was mercilessly mocked during my semester there, for many things but mainly for my nerdiness/dorkiness. I'm glad I have nicer friends now.

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    A Weekend Away

    Today is J's birthday and we're celebrating with a little dual-purpose trip to Estes Park. I've booked us a room in a nice bed & breakfast that we're considering getting married in. Since the wedding is only 4 months and a week away I figure the only way we're going to get everything done is some creative multi-tasking. So, this weekend is birthday-getaway-site visit wrapped into one.

    In other wedding news: My soon-to-be in-laws have generously offered to host the rehearsal dinner - as well as help with the honeymoon costs! We haven't settled on a location yet, but we are leaning toward Santa Fe.

    My mom is throwing us an engagement party a week from today. It's amazing how traditional people get when a wedding is involved. I had assumed that J & I would be covering all of the wedding related expenses since we're a little older and none of our parents have a lot of extra income. I guess families are just full of unexpected surprises.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    One More Application (Finally!)

    I know, it is incredibly late to be submitting another app, but I had previously decided not to even apply to this school. But things changed and I'm now considering staying in state, mostly as a compromise but for some other reasons as well.

    First, all of my doctors are here and I have like a thousand specialists now so getting together an entire new "health care team" in a new city is not a small task. Not impossible, but it would take some work, and for the most part I like and trust my current gaggle of physicians so it is something to consider.

    Other factors are: leaving my family, and my friends, and having to adjust to a new city with its new climate and new transportation system and all the little things one has to adjust to when moving away, when I'm still adjusting to my shiny new chronic illness.

    Anyway, I'm at the very least applying, to keep my (our) options as open as possible. Soon-to-be Mr. WhyLaw is reciprocating by applying to a University in the city of my #1 school choice as they have a decent program in his field of study.

    Probably March-ish we'll make our big decisions. For now it's all about accomplishing the big task of getting through each day as they come.

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Stay On Target...Stay On Target...

    On Monday I begin my very last semester as an undergraduate. I also can't believe that in 5 short months I'm going to have a shiny new degree. My class schedule this semester is borderline ridiculous. It's definitely a "filling up the holes in the core curriculum" kind of schedule. For example, it includes Spanish, "Shakespeare for Non-majors," and, of course, don't forget: "Math for the Environment."

    Also, because I had to drop my thesis due to my lack of being able to work on it over the break (everyone involved was very understanding) I had to just pick any class that still had a seat left open that would be approved as a class for my major (Environmental Studies). There was one, yes one, class that fit these requirements. So I am now taking a course titled: "The War and the Environment."

    The fifth class in my schedule is actually kind of interesting, however. It's called Conservation Trends and it seems to be a small, discussion oriented class about, well, conservation trends. Hence the name.

    The important thing is that in 119 short days it will all be over. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed a lot of my undergrad stay, but I'm ready for it to be over and to get on with life in a world where the average age is over 20.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005


    I promise I'm not going to blog about diabetes all the time now, because that is obnoxious, but I feel I would be remiss if I did not mention the symptoms. I just don't want anyone to go through the terrifying experiences of my recent hospitalization.

    Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes:
    • Crazy, intense thirst (remember the juicer?)
    • Unexplained (or unjustified) weight loss
    • Increased appetite
    • Fatigue
    • Frequent need to use the restroom
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Abdominal pain

    So, to sum up, if you experience these symptoms please tell your doctor.

    This ends this public service announcement. I now return you to your regular scheduled blogging.

    Thank You

    Wow, I am so touched by all of the kind words left in my comments and email - and even mentions in some of my favorite blogs! You guys are the best :-)

    I plan to blog regularly again, and am looking forward to it.

    I said it before, but I'm going to say it again: I wish you all a safe, healthy, happy 2005!