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

-- The Dalai Lama

Monday, February 28, 2005

For Stag: Locations

Stag says:
I’m wondering where all you have lived and if you know anyone in Portland.
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I have only lived in 2 states: Colorado and Arizona. And Arizona was only for 1 semester when I studied at the Biosphere.

I lived in the mountains for a short time after being born, but grew up in the northern suburbs of Denver. As a teenager I lived in all sorts of crappy apartments all over Denver and the metro area. I currently live in a small town just east of Boulder. There's a great bus system here, so I catch a bus, practically at my doorstep, that takes me right to CU.

We liked this town a lot when we moved in, and there are some aspects that we still do: lots of little parks and a cute Main street. But the crime has increased and the population in the immediate vicinity of where we lived has increased significantly. We're ready for a change.

As for Portland (yay, Portland!), I know Shelley from the blawgosphere and am looking forward to meeting her in person during the Lewis & Clark preview weekend in March.

There are also lots of Biosphere alumni in the area, most of whom I haven't met yet, but Biosphere people are usually very excited to meet other Biosphere people so that should be fun.

This one isn't Portland, exactly, but a favorite professor of mine (one of my recommenders, also from Biosphere) does research on Mt. St. Helens every summer so it will be nice to be able to see him more often.

J also has a friend from high school who now lives in the Portland area, though not in Portland. I met her at Christmas, she was very nice (from what I can remember - I was still in a major post-hospital-daze).

Requests Note: I'm going to postpone telling my GED story for now, because there has been enough depressing stuff on this blog for a little while. I will get back to it eventually.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

How I Feel

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep

-- Robert Frost

All About Diabetes, Part II

The second part of Kristine's question was:
are there things you can't do/eat that you really miss?
The eating question is one I get a lot, especially considering that I'm vegan. People are perplexed when they try to figure out my diet. The ironic part is because I am vegan what I eat didn't have to change very much at all. I was already eating an extremely healthy, zero cholesterol, low-fat diet. Now I just eat pretty much the same as before, just fewer desserts and a LOT more carb counting. I have to adjust how much insulin I take depending on how many carbs I will be eating. Sometimes this is a pain, but, hey, better than the coma.

What did have to change, however, was my juice consumption. (By the way, Jugo the juicer now lives at my sister's house.) I can't have any juice at all now, except in low blood sugar emergencies. Even then I can only have 4 ounces, and when it gets to that point I'm in no position to enjoy the juice. I miss it less now, but it was a difficult adjustment. Boy, I sure did love the juice.

Are there things I can't do? Well, I can't make my own insulin. Ha ha! Seriously, though, there's nothing I can't do now that I could do before. Some things are more complicated now, and require more planning. Also, since I lost a lot of weight (down to 105), including muscle mass, some physical activities are more difficult right now but are getting easier as I rebuild my muscles.

Thanks for asking, Kristine!

Friday, February 25, 2005

A Bad Day

I'm not going to go all into it, because it'll just turn out to be a big whiney rant and no one needs that.

I will say, however, that I've had a very bad day. A very, very bad day.

I can't wait until graduation.

Update: Adding this on Saturday morning. Feeling somewhat better today, but I wanted to add that I consider yesterday to be one of the worst, most difficult days of my life. But I got through it, and today is a new day. Thank you Janine and Kristine (Heh. I never realized you guys rhymed.) and E. McPan for the nice comments.

Seriously, though, to whoever makes this stuff up: Enough life lessons for awhile, okay?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Heart Firefox

Another bandwagon I have jumped on: Firefox. And I have not regretted it for even one second. IE was crashing on me two or three times a day, so in a moment of IE-rage I Googled Firefox and within an hour I was in a blissful crash-free daze.

Some features I really like:
  • Tabbed windows within the browser
  • "Open all in tabs" from bookmarks folder
  • Integrated Google search
  • Integrated Bloglines notifier (with download from bloglines)
  • It is much faster than IE. (My laptop is pretty old, and I'm on a dialup here at home, so you may not notice a huge difference if you have nicer stuff.)
I realize that Firefox has been around forever, and this is super old news, so forgive me for being all last-month.

Construction Noise at CU Law

Awhile back I contacted CU Law asking about the potential for construction noise in the Fleming building during Fall 05/Spring 06 while they build the new Wolf building. It occurred to me today that this information may be interesting to others considering Colorado for law school. This message was sent on the 10th of this month:
The bulk of the noise producing operations will take place in the next three months as heavy equipment dig the foundations, install utility lines and place concrete for caissons. The noise presently on the site will grow some, but what is being experienced now is going to be typical. The biggest noise producing operation will be the drilling of the caissons, where a large diesel engine will run constantly to drill the hole.

By fall, nearly all the work will be internalized within the building, and the types of work do not require heavy equipment. There may be some disturbance to the offices and rooms on the south side of the building but all the other spaces should not be impacted by the time that you are attending.

Some of the activity that is underway will be diverted to the south. We are in the process of getting permits from the State DOT that will allow us to access the site directly from Baseline Rd., which will greatly reduce the amount of truck traffic and disturbance that is being experienced now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

For Kristine: All About Having Diabetes

Kristine asks:
what has been the hardest thing about adjusting to your illness?

While there have been numerous challenges to deal with, one stands out the most: The necessity of having to give myself insulin shots.

Before I was diagnosed with diabetes I could not imagine touching a syringe, or even having one too near me. It may sound as if I am exaggerating, but I really am being sincere.

During the first few days of being awake in the hospital I'm sure I was given lots of shots, but I don't really remember having to deal with these. Thank goodness for morphine. J, my mom and my sister were of course extremely concerned about the fact that I would now have to deal with syringes every day, knowing about my phobia as they did.

The day came when I had to administer my own injection for the first time. As I sat there in my hospital bed, the nurse holding the syringe out to me, every thought in me was dedicated to coming up with some way to avoid touching it. I tried very hard to convince myself that there simply was no way this could be real. It was just too absurd.

However, the nurse kept on existing, and the syringe kept on existing, and finally reality made its way in. I realized that it came down to the simple decision of: "Do this, or die." No drama, no crying (well, maybe a little crying), that's just how it was. So, feeling very detached from my body, I saw myself take the syringe and - in perhaps the most drawn out fashion ever - finally gave myself my own insulin shot.

The emotions that flooded over me afterward were very intense: Relief. Fear of having to relive this multiple times every day for the rest of my life. Fatigue. A great need for presents.

Now, just about two months later, the process is pretty much a breeze. I have no psychological aversion to looking at the syringes, touching them, or even to giving myself the shots. Of course, it's still no picnic, and never will be, but it's no big deal now. Amazing.

Later: Another diabetes related question. I know you can't wait!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Request For Requests

Although I am not as interesting as those people who have successfully used this idea in the recent past, and I realize that I am blatantly imitating them, I am officially offering to answer any questions (within reason!) you may have about me.

So, send me an email or comment if you have a question, or if you don't want to see me look really pathetic when no one responds. Either way.

Monday, February 21, 2005

2 Down

2 to go. Fall '04's finals, that is.

Update: Just found out via email - A's in both Engineering and Economics! Take that coma!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Mail Call!

Via Snail Mail:

  • An uncharacteristically artsy folder from CU filled with an assortment of random information including maps of Boulder, maps of Colorado, maps of the campus, bus schedules, schedule of events for the Admitted Students' Day, and the pies de resistance: an assigned reading for the fake class during this event. Do other schools have assigned readings for their preview weekends? Quel suprise!
  • Our first wedding present! A beautiful set of fancy dessert plates. It will be such a nice, new experience to have grown up stuff.

Via Voice Mail:

  • A message from a professor at Vermont Law School, letting me know that I could use him as a resource for whatever questions I may have about VLS, law school in general, and what it's like being a lawyer. VLS is such a nice, caring school.

Via email:

  • Random messages on the listserv set up for admitted students by Lewis & Clark. I think it's really smart to set up email lists, discussion boards, etc. for admitted students. Creating a sense of community before those deposit due dates is a great way to keep the school's name in mind and to get students excited about attending.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Blogrolling v. Bloglines

I have officially switched over from Blogrolling to Bloglines.

My hope is that Bloglines will do what Blogrolling never seemed to be able to, and that is to tell me when the blogs I read are updated. In theory, I really like the little notifier. I will really like it if it works like it says it will.

While I was subscribing to my blogs, sometimes I was given a choice of feeds to subscribe to. I always chose the atom.xml - will this cause me problems? I don't understand the differences between my choices, so I just picked the one that was familiar. If anyone has any thoughts on this, please do share.

Also, if anyone has tips about how to use bloglines in the most efficient manner, I would appreciate them. It seems pretty straight forward, but maybe I am missing something. Sometimes I do that.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Professor Lakshman Guruswamy

As I mentioned earlier, I went to a lecture last night at the law school given by Professor Guruswamy. I was exhausted but went anyway - I really hate when I plan to do something and then don't go at the last minute. I'm very glad I did because it was a really excellent talk on the future of international energy treaties and the work the Energy Environmental Security Initiative is doing.

Two funny things happened. The first was "weird funny." This guy - a middle aged guy, fairly normal looking, maybe a little hippy-ish with longish hair and a beard - comes in right before the lecture begins and sits down in the front row. The next time I happen to glance at him, a few minutes into the presentation, he has his shoes off and his socked feet up on the railing. It was totally bizarre to me. This was not...No, I can't even think of an example where this is appropriate adult, public behavior.

Okay, the second funny thing was laugh-out-loud funny. Except for J and I had to wait until after we were outside to actually "LOL." So it's question and answer time and Professor Guruswamy is taking one last question.

The questioner says, "So, everything I've read points toward our using extraterrestrial sources for our future energy needs. " The professor nods and confirms that yes, there's research going into space solar power.

The questioner then continues with, "Well, I don't think we should..." at this point I'm expecting the end of the sentence to be something like: "...because it would be too expensive." But,alas, no. The end of the sentence was actually: "...because it would compromise human sovereignty!"

Woah. Compromise human sovereignty, indeed. Now, I've been known to entertain "crazy" ideas in my time. I've even been called a "whacko" a time or two. But this guy actually took the time to mention, at a serious lecture, his reservations about utilizing space-based resources based on his fear that aliens will come and take them over, therefore leaving us hopelessly under their alien control.

I sure do hope real law school is as full of wacky antics as these lectures are!

I Swear There's a Light Around Here Somewhere...

...Maybe at the end of this tunnel?

Haas asks:

What classes represent your finals and midterm? Does next semester look good to finsh out school? Just some thoughts on what to write about.

Thanks, Haas! Well, your second question first, because it is second-most in my thoughts pretty much 100% of the time (after health-related stuff): Graduation!

After I was released from the hospital in December, many people urged me to delay graduation. During some particularly rough days I did seriously consider this option. However, the idea of having to go through the law school application process again was simply intolerable. So, to answer your question, I am graduating in May. 77 days from now, if my sidebar --> is to be believed.

On to your first question: This morning I took a midterm in my "Environmental Issues in Geosciences" class. It's basically an energy class. It was fine, a little more essay-oriented than I expected, but not too bad.

This afternoon I have a midterm in my class titled "Math for the Environment." Very little math, lots of questions like: "What is a thinking space model?" and "Where did the Exxon Valdez oil spill happen?"

Finally, on Monday I have my 2nd out of 4 make up finals from last semester. The first one I took last week, a 24 hour take home final for my architectural engineering class. This next one will be for "Natural Resources Economics" (which turned out to be pretty much exactly the same class as "Environmental Economics", both of which were requirements for my major.)

Back to the books again, but I will post later about something funny that happened last night at a lecture I went to at the law school. It involves aliens.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Putting Two Words Together = Impossible

I can't write a post to save my life today. Well, okay, if I had to come up with something decent to avoid dying, I probably could. But, I don't. So, I can't.

Two midterms tomorrow and a final (from last semester) on Monday. Back to the studying I go.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Stag is going to law school!

Yay, stag! You rock!

Salman Rushdie

Last night, amongst the most diverse crowd I've ever seen gathered in Boulder, I went to see Salman Rushdie speak. Before attending I knew basically what the average person knows, that he wrote a book called The Satanic Verses and in doing so offended a portion of the Muslim world, and was forced to go into hiding for many years.

I went to the event expecting a larger than life figure. I expected to hear a booming lecture on free speech, religion, geopolitics, etc. The reality, however, turned out to be much different than my expectations. The Salman Rushdie I saw was physically much smaller than in my imagination. He was relatively soft spoken and his speech was very clever and subtle. He spoke about his beginnings as a writer, the writing process, his education, his father, and his books. I think he only mentioned The Satanic Verses once during his main talk.

Of course the book did come up during the Q&A, as well as Ward Churchill. (But, of course. Can't expect to go twenty minutes in this town without hearing about the topic du jour. Last semester: the football team scandal. This semester: Ward Churchill.) I enjoyed the main talk much more than the question and answer period. The pretentiousness climbed above my tolerance levels rather quickly. Plus, he gave away the end to Million Dollar Baby, a movie I have yet to see and still want(ed) to. It was reminiscent of the time Rosie O'Donnell gave away the end of Fight Club. This behavior is beyond rude. If you don't like a movie, fine, but don't ruin it for other people out of spite.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Why Why Law?

I named my blog not as a question as Evan asks, but rather a reminder. I started my blog right after the LSAT. I was such a wreck, and I wanted to remember why I was putting myself through all that LSAT agony. I'm going to law school to better understand how the world works, to learn about complex ideas, and to maybe, just maybe, contribute in some way to making the world a little shinier.

That said, reading Evan's post and some responses made me wonder why people seem to constantly ask each other why they want to be lawyers, or why they are lawyers. Maybe it's just because I am around pre-law and law students almost constantly and other groups of people discuss the same topic regarding their own chosen professions. But, I tend to think this is not true.

For example, J isn't constantly asked, "Why do you want to be a computer scientist?" My mom isn't constantly asked why she is a marketing analyst. When I was leaning towards "Environmental Scientist," I wasn't asked why. Yet, ever since I began the law school application process I have gotten this question from fellow students, friends, professors, parents, etc.

What is it about hearing the words "law school" and "lawyer" that makes people so inquisitive?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day!

J and I officially became a couple five years and three days ago today.

So, I had been his girlfriend for only three days on our first Valentine's Day. He had a big night planned, which was a nice change for me - previous to J, I had an all-jerks-all-the-time dating policy. And jerks don't plan nice Valentine's Days.

Anyway, I drove downtown to pick him up from work, and he has the most distraught look on his face. With the saddest voice and biggest puppy dog eyes he tells me that he had lost his wallet during the day. And so, because I was flat broke at the time, our first Valentine's Day was effectively cancelled. I was just happy that we were together, but he was so worried I would be disappointed. It was just so sweet that he cared so much - I remember feeling like the luckiest person alive - and five years later, I still do!

For the last four years we've celebrated our anniversary on the 11th and have, for the most part, lumped Valentine's Day in. But! This year, since we will now have a new (wedding!) anniversary, we are finally going to celebrate Valentine's Day up right.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Science? What Science?

From the article U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told To Alter Findings:
More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says.
More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.

When I was studying at the Biosphere I volunteered for U.S. Fish and Wildlife, surveying for the endangered species Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-owl. There were two categories of these surveys: Research and Commercial. Commercial surveys are required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Basically, you have to make sure that there are no endangered species in an area you want to build on in order to conform with the law.

So, companies hire biologists and they get up at 2am and drive into the middle of the desert to play tapes of owls hooting. Then they listen hard and look around and make detailed records. Of course, I never saw any evidence of any of the owls because there are only like 3 left in the state. I exaggerate, but not by much.

I got criticized from both sides while doing this work, and it was a very valuable lesson. Other students told me that it was ridiculous to work on behalf on the Endangered Species Act because it did not go far enough to protect endangered species or habitat. Biologists told me that I may endure criticism from other biologists because I was "working for big business." (Even though I was not working for anyone, I was volunteering for US Fish and Wildlife, but whatever.) And, of course, company representatives moaned endlessly about the whole process - how it increased cost, building times, etc. I even heard about threats made against biologists, but luckily I was never directly involved in anything like that.

Scientists, like the ones mentioned in the article, are people too. They all have their own motivations. Some may have been idealistic when they began working and have since become jaded and don't mind changing reports as long as the paychecks keep coming. Some may just be hanging on, riding it out until "things get better." Some may feel like they can do more good from the inside and don't change reports, even with the possibility of removal. And so on and so on.

What is more clear cut is that it is never okay to falsify data or to change findings to fit an agenda. And it is absolutely never okay for the government to pressure scientists to do so.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Painfully Awkward

Why oh why am I so incredibly anti-social?!

Tonight I went to a Lewis & Clark "Prospective Student and Alumni Reception." It was downtown at a fancy firm. Well, I thought it was fancy. Anyway, I just have no small-talk chatty ask-relevant-questions skills. I nod a lot and smile. I exclaim things like, "Super!" and "Really!" I ask super insightful questions like, "And why did you choose to do that?"

Oh well. I got to meet the Dean, so that made up for a lot of the painfulness. I can't remember what he said to me, but I'm sure I said, "Wow!" at some point. And who doesn't think a monosyllabic expression makes a great first impression?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Planning Ahead

For a while I went back and forth between wanting to be "a scientist" or "a lawyer" when I grew up. I had some vague ideas about wanting to do good, and wanting to work for the benefit of the environment, for wildlife, and for animals in general. I finally made a real decision during the 2003 Prairie Dog Summit and never really looked back, although I continued to take science classes along with those of a more policy-oriented nature. My favorite classes in college have been those that were very interdisciplinary, requiring knowledge of both science and policy and the desire to make the two work together.

Now, as a 0L learning about the opportunities law school will potentially provide, I'm sure I made the right choice for me. I don't think I would have been happy in a lab, or even in the field. I was thinking about this today after I attended a brown bag panel discussion on 1L summer opportunities. I had no idea that there were so many different options for 1L summers, and I only heard about 6 or 7 student's experiences.

The stories that were most exciting to me were those involving travel, externships, and research. One student had studied in Paris through a Cornell program, and he was inspired to do so by a story he had heard about another student studying in Geneva the summer before. Another student talked about how she had been an RA for two professors over her first summer, receiving both work-study pay and credit. I guess I was just excited to learn that there are more options than just the two I hear most about: Working for a firm or volunteering for a non-profit.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Three Things

1. I just finished my first last semester's final. It was relatively exhausting. Just 3 more to go. This one was probably the hardest of the 4. Very pleased to have it behind me.

2. Yesterday I attended a town hall meeting about CU's new law building. The highlights:
  • Move in day is August 1, 2006

  • Library space expanding by 50%

  • They are attempting to minimize noise and other disturbances during the construction process

  • More classrooms, study space, offices

  • New cafeteria. One of the speakers seemed very excited about the new cafeteria.

  • Lots of windows, sunlight and good feelings. Their words.

  • It all seems very nice. Everyone who spoke seemed genuinely concerned about the students' needs.
3. I bought a plane ticket and reserved a hotel room for the Lewis & Clark Preview weekend. I'm going to have some free time in Portland during my trip - Any suggestions about what I should do or see?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ask And Ye Shall Receive!

I did receive my packet today! It included both a travel voucher to the Admitted Students' Weekend and a nice big renewable merit scholarship! This was all from Lewis & Clark, the law school that won my heart.

But that's not all!

From CU I received a merit scholarship offer of basically a full ride for my first year! Not only is it an offer of money, but the scholarship also has a name. I love it when scholarships have names!

This is the best day!

I Want You To Want Me...

I don't think I'm alone in wanting a law school to really want me. To show me the love. They don't even need to offer me the Big Things like scholarships and travel vouchers out to admitted students' weekends (although these would not be turned down!) Send me a shiny new catalog, a keychain, a pen, a postcard. Just let me know you care! This relationship is a two way street, you know. I give, and I give, and I give...

Vermont has been sending me stuff for over a year. They sent me a holiday card in December, and if I remember correctly they may have even sent a birthday card before I even took the LSAT. Now that's love. Learn a lesson, other law schools.

Colorado hasn't sent too much, but they did turn my application around just two days after sending my complete email. Now that's some warm and fuzzy action.

So, other school, I implore you: Don't leave me hanging. Send me some physical confirmation. Let me stop having these thoughts about some IT person accidentally loading my information into the admitted student database, accidentally allowing me into the website with the pretty pictures of the happy admitted students. I want to be sure I am one of those happy admitted students. Show me some love! Pretty please?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Circle Of Life

Spartan Apparition, a blawger that I just added to my blogroll, is going to be a 0L when I'm a 1L. Woah. Time just keeps on slipping into the future, doesn't it?

Good luck, SA!

What Is Art? Who Am I?

This seemed like fun, so I made this.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Just 12 weeks and 1 day of school left and I'm...very...tired.

I won't bore you with the details, but my to-do list just keeps going on and on and doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon.

I've been trying to compensate by getting up earlier (4 am the majority of mornings lately) and going to bed later (I am a huge baby about staying up late, however, so this means like 10pm). I've been skipping the gym too much, and TiVo is very disappointed with the amount of quality programming I'm allowing to be deleted into the unwatched void.

I take my first last semester's final on Monday. I'm kind of pissed at my chronic illness - this is supposed to be my big slacker-semester before I graduate and now I'm working harder than ever. Okay, now I'm just whining. I hate being a whiner so I'll stop here.

Official Countdown:

Days Until Graduation: 92
Days Until Wedding: 108

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Law School as NASCAR

Beanie has written a beautiful post comparing the law school experience to motorsports. A must read.


I have jumped on the blogrolling bandwagon, and in theory I like it a lot. I like being able to add blogs right from my taskbar, and I like seeing when other blogs are updated so I don't have to click on each one to check. However, it seems like the system sees blogs update only part of the time. Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?

Law School Reviews

If you feel like reading another long post about a different law school, Kristine has one about UT-Austin.