parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Tuesday, September 27, 2005
    Career Angst -- advice requested
    It looks like I only got 2 call back interviews. Out of many more OCIs. My first choice of the two is this coming Thursday, and as has been my pattern, I'm too busy to be nervous about it. My second isn't for a couple of weeks, b/c they're a really big firm that interviews 10,000,000 people, and they couldn't fit me in until then. And it's an afternoon slot, culminating in DINNER instead of lunch. THAT should be fun!!

    Even though that stress is barely behind me, it is right now time for my WINTER co-op search. I actually handed in resumes last Monday, and starting yesterday, interview notices went up.

    Very few "big firms" do co-ops outside of summer, so many of the choices for winter are small and medium sized firms, public interest employers, government employers, and about 7,000 judges.

    Has anyone noticed my propensity to exaggerate?

    I applied for 3 more "public interest" jobs, and 7 smaller and medium sized firms. I have recieved notice that I have thus far received interviews for 2 of the public interest jobs. One with a criminal appellate group, and one with ....

    A Child Advocacy group. This one excites me ... a LOT. It is what I came to school to do. Child Advocacy. It seemed at the time that the path to such work was family law, and so I did the co-op with the family law judge this summer. i saw so much of family law that DOES NOT interest me, that I thought I would back off. But the child advocacy side was the stuff that excited me, still. I just don't know how to specialize right out the gate.

    But this group that I'm applying to ... they DO the specialization. And so I'm thrilled that I may have this opportunity.

    And I'm thrilled that they are TWO BLOCKS from my house, and literally ACROSS THE STREET from Thing One and Thing Two's school.

    however. (of course). I'm concerned that I will be pigeon holing myself if I do this for a co-op right after the family law judge. It *is* work that I find meaningful and challenging, and it is the thing that made me thinking going to law school could result in a job that was good for my soul.

    But the law school experience has shown me so much more. And I'm not sure.

    Already, while sitting across the table from the OCI people, I see how at least 2 interviewing attorneys highlighted the two places where "Family Law" was on my resume. Both with the judge from this summer, and in a description of my last place of employment - before law school. Big firms don't DO family law.

    I don't want for everyone who sees my resume in the future (I may still have 2 co ops to shop for, if I don't get a summer associate for next summer, as well as a Real Job at the end of all this) to decide "oh, she's a family law person, take her off the list" in the event it turns out 1) I'm not a family law person, or 2) There are no family law person jobs.

    My interview is tomorrow. Which means I'm going to find myself in a position of needing to make a decision - FAST. The co-op program has rules as to how long you can wait before accepting/rejecting an offer. There's also a 24 hour rule from the time you get notice of an interview to the time you have to call and schedule it.

    I am interested in doing a criminal law co-op. This one is the appellate unit of a semi-local D.A.'s office. I am SUPER interested in doing appeals work. This office is supposed to be amazing, as well, and if an appeal I work on comes up for argument, they'll let me argue it. That interview is Monday.

    It will be hard to turn down something I'm interested in. But if it's for the sake of something else I'm interested in, and for the sake of keeping my options open - should I do it?

    Neither of these 2 options come with any $$, by the way.

    And, there are still potentially 8 other options out there. But if they don't hurry up and make contact with their interview choices, my time limits are going to expire on these 2.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:07 PM   2 comments
    Monday, September 26, 2005
    a bunch of sevens
    7 things that scare me
    1. Thing One getting hurt ... or worse
    1. Thing Two getting hurt ... or worse
    3. My Beloved getting hurt ... or worse
    4. George W. Bush
    5. Cancer
    6. Someone breaking into my house
    7. Turning into my mother

    7 things that I like
    1. Sex.
    2. Talking.
    3. Reading
    4. Being Good At Things
    5. Winning games
    6. My family (i.e., Thing One, Thing Two, my Beloved)
    7. When my otherwise aloof cat gets cuddly

    7 important things in my room
    1. My Cat
    2. My iPod
    3. My bike
    4. My laptop
    5. My photographs
    6. My books
    7. Me

    7 random things about me
    1. I love the feeling of Thing Two's hands in mine - they're cool and soft and real and strong
    2. I love that Thing One looks like me - and makes me see a beauty in myself that I have never seen before
    3. My favorite book of all time is Blindness by Jose Saramago
    4. I read three Anne Rice books this summer (and am embarassed of it).
    5. I had a terrible bout of poison oak when I was 11 that made me fear the outdoors until well into my adulthood
    6. I am very messy, and need a housekeeper. Depserately.
    7. I like the freckles on my shoulders.

    7 things I plan to do before I die
    1. Go to Amsterdam with my Beloved
    2. Go to Ireland with my sister
    3. Own a house
    4. write a book
    5. Be skinny again
    6. Own a second house (either in the mountains, or on the beach)
    7. Own an Apple Computer!

    7 things I can do
    1. Win at games
    2. Ride a bike through crazy-ass traffic (new talent!)
    3. Kiss a boo-boo and make it better
    4. Make people laugh
    5. Fart really loud in the morning
    6. Have multiple orgasms
    7. Piss my mother off.

    7 things I say the most
    1. ".... to tell you the truth."
    2. "seriously."
    3. "I love you"
    4. "Single File!" (when walking on a crowded side walk with the girls, needing them to make way for opposing traffic)
    5. "Fingers!!" (holdover from when the girls were younger - when I want to hold their hands to cross a busy street)
    6. "Will you please scratch my back?"
    7. "I'm 33!!!" (when people look at me as if I must have given birth at age 12, when they find out the age of my girls.)

    7 things I would not do
    1. Kill an animal.
    2. Have another baby
    3. Allow my kids to play video games
    4. Get rid of my cat.
    5. Smoke cigarettes.
    6. Shop at Walmart.
    7. Cut off communication with my daughters.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:32 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, September 25, 2005
    Stressing Through Writing.
    I am very untired. It is 11:42, and I have to get up at 5:30 so I can go for a walk/run/stair climb thingy, which I'm trying desperately to put into my daily routine. My mind, however, is racing with all I have to do, and all the hurdles I must get over in the next weeks.

    I am not sure how many weeks.

    Right now, the first hurdle is My Brother's Wedding. It is next Thursday. I'm sure I've whined and bitched about this here in the past, but this is MY blog, and I can whine and bitch as much as I want.

    The wedding is on a Thursday, because it costs less per person than it would if it were on a Saturday. Or a Friday. Or a Sunday. Or perhaps any other day which would avoid all of your guests missing work (and in my case -- school). My daughters are the Flower Girls (i.e., Cude and Cuddlies), and therefore, their presence at the Rehearsal is Mandatory.

    Everything I find out is through my Mother. Nothing from my brother, nothing from his fiance. Just My Mother. Where I must be, when I must be there.

    The Rehearsal is Wednesday at 5, and the dinner is Wednesday at 6. We live 2.5 hours away from the Rehearsal, and My Mother has stated we must first arrive at her house, and then proceed to to the Rehearsal Together.

    My kids get out of school at 2.

    Hmmmmm. They also, believe it or not, are expected to attend school on Thursdays and Fridays. Imagine.

    I also am expected to attend school on Wednesday afternoons, Thursdays from 8:30 to 5:30, and Fridays .... well, not really attend, but rather work toward accomplishing goals.

    What goals, you may ask? Well, see, I have TWO PAPERS due on October 11. I'm not completely clear on this, but I *think* that October 11 is the MONDAY after October 6.

    I have yet to start on these papers. (Unless you count spending 30 minutes in the computer lab clicking the "print" button on Westlaw for every case and article citing to the case that one professor wants a paper on -- I don't. Because although the stack of paper IS impressive (or at least exceedingly wasteful), I have yet to read it.)

    Furthermore, My Mother is driving me crazy. She has been shopping for the dress she will wear at the wedding since, ummmmmm, July. She has been talking about the dress, emailing me about the dress, sending me links to/about/regarding the dress since that time. She also sends me links to pictures of dresses which she apparently thinks will suit ME. I do not click on these links. I do not have time to click on links.

    She also sends me dresses, brings me dresses, and tells me to buy dresses. In the meantime, I'm getting up at 5:30 a.m., spending that time until 12:30 a.m. when I go to bed struggling to find time to breathe, let alone parent my children and be a partner to my love.

    Talking to my sister fantastico today, I discovered that this set of priorities I have set for myself (you know, parenting and schooling before shopping) has really upset my mother. She feels that I am not addressing it. That I am being irresponsible. She apparently does not know when I plan to address it, and that I am a problem.

    She also apparently feels that I am the World's Worst Daughter because I did not invite her to the cabin in honor of my daughter's birthday. I knew that she was upset about this. I spoke with her about it on two ocassions. I tried to explain to her - "my family needs some time, we need some time for 'just us,' which we have not had since the girls returned from their father's house." That is true. Because my mother has been here, or we have been there every single weekend. She did not understand. I spoke with my father, and I explained to him - Daddy, we can't drive 2.5 hours south, and then back home, and then 2.5 hours north. He said "of course not," He said he understood, and he would work to try and explain to my mother. He said they cannot go to the cabin, b/c she has planned 3 events at their house for this wedding, and they have work to do at the house. He said they cannot go to the cabin, b/c it is also HIS birthday this weekend, and he wants to do something for HIS birthday.

    Apparently, his talking with her didn't work, because she continued to complain to my sister. grrrrrrrrr.

    Have I mentioned how much $$ this wedding is costing? It is costing a lot. I don't have a car. I feel that I do not need a car, I do not want a car. But that means that when I go somewhere, I must rent a car. The car for the wedding is costing me $224 before insurance. Since I do not have a car, I do not have insurance. Insurance costs $25/day.

    My Beloved starts a new job tomorrow. He is going to have to take off time from his new job in order to come to the wedding, But he cannot take off enough time to go to the Rehearsal (not being a flower girl himself, I think that's okay). So, he is going to take a train, on Thursday. Another expense. And when I go to pick him up from the train station, I am CERTAIN that my mother is going to pitch 17,000 fits. "He should just take a bus from new haven!" and i will have to find a way to explain to her that I need the 30 minutes of drive time in order to catch my breath and keep from yelling at her. Only, without saying that.

    And I will need to find a way to be working on my papers! And that will be hard! There is a brunch on Friday, and more stuff going on on Saturday, and my sister will be in town from California, and perhaps with her beau, who I have yet to meet, and definitely with her son, who I have not seen in a year! So it's not like it will be time to go and hole up in the library.

    Which leaves me wondering ... if I have to find time in the next 1.5 weeks to write 2 papers and keep up with my classes, how will I find time to get a dress?

    ha ha.

    Maybe I'll just wear jeans.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:42 PM   1 comments
    A different Vermont
    When I was a child, we spent a lot of our vacation time going to my father's boss' cabin in Vermont. It was free, and my parents had a relatively tight budget after buying a newer larger home and trying to feed 3 kids. We loved it there. It's an A frame, and has a river in the back (about 30 feet from the house), and is a 10 minute walk from a very quaint town which consisted of a "general store" (which got more and more touristy over the years), a market, a hardware store, and our favorite ... The Chocolate Barn.

    When we went, during my childhood, we spent a lot of time driving to different parts of Vermont, and going to outlet malls. To stores. To different town's general stores. We did not ski - it was too expensive. We shopped. That was it. We didn't like shopping very much - at least, my brother, my sister, my father, and myself did not like shopping very much. Mom did.

    This past weekend, I took my kids to the same cabin. My Beloved and I had made some plans of what we were going to do.

    The river behind the cabin is one of two forks -- the lesser of the two. It is always really dry, with lots of rocks which have always been as easy to cross as a dusty path. We were then going to traverse the "island" to the major branch of the river, hike along it to where the two rejoin, and then find our way back home through town.

    But when I finally got around to looking out the sliding glass door on Saturday morning -- the river was FULL!! There were little white caps. I think I yelled, "What is going on with the RIVER!!!" I went out to look, and the water was coming up onto the grass! It was very strange, and something I'd never seen -- in all of my 30+ years of going there. We finished our delicious breakfast (brunch) cooked by the Family Cook Extraordinaire (um, NOT ME!!), and prepared to go and see if we could still cross the river and complete our plans.

    no way. The thing was RUSHING. Not only was it rushing, but there were kayaks and canoes going by! This was the same river that was usually a bed of dry rocks??? We went down river a bit, and found that it was so deep with strong currents. It was so beautiful.

    So we got in our Zipcar, and drove to the State Park a 1/2 mile up the road. how long had I said I'd been going to this cabin? 30+ years. And I'd never ONCE been to the State Park 1/2 mile up the road. And you know -- it might have been 1/4 mile up the road.

    They had signs posted, "Whitewater Weekend!" The park ranger took $9 from me and explained that twice a year, they open the Ball Mountain Dam. He said it's a giant kayaking event, and people come from all over. he showed us a map of the park, and we decided we were going to hike the trails and watch the kayakers.

    The girls were thrilled. We stopped at a few points along some rapids (in MY river? Rapids?) and watched the kayakers do their best to conquer the rapids. The first time I saw a kayak flip, my heart stopped. I thought the person was in trouble. Then he flipped back up, made his way over to the side of the river and sort of caught his breath for a couple minutes, and went on. In this one really wacky rapid-place near a giant boulder, people were waiting in line to paddle UPriver, and get re-caught in the rapids, get re-flipped in their kayak, and then go back to the back fo the line to do it again.

    There were HUNDREDS of kayaks on the river.

    We then got to a split-off trail which advertised itself as leading to an "overlook" in .5 miles.

    When we lived in CA, we had (have) close friends who were avid hikers, and we went with them often. Thing One and Thing Two were littler, and they whined a lot. It annoyed me. I would find time to go with my friend alone as much as possible so I didn't get Whined At.

    But this weekend - my girls did their momma proud! They HIKED! My Beloved and I were hard pressed to keep up with the little sprites! It was quite a climb. A gorgeous and wonderful climb, and the girls were all for it.

    We arrived at the overlook about 45 sweaty minutes later, and it was amazing. Mountains all around, the river a tiny squiggle down below, the air fresh, the breeze seeming SO LOUD, and us all feeling great. Well, sort of. Thing One got slightly freaked out by the height. She relaxed after a bit though, and I can't wait to go print my pictures.

    It did strike me, however, that I had been going to this part of Vermont for 30+ years!! And we never ONCE went hiking. My Beloved and I are already planning on finding some beginning ways to get the 4 of us into a canoe, or a river raft, or something that perhaps can work us up to enjoying the river (hopefully right side up) like those we saw. (The canoes and rafts stayed above the water, so perhaps I'll pick one of those, at least for the times the kids are with us!).

    But all my parents ever did was go SHOPPING. We had the world's best day outside, hiking, sweating, oogling over the river. I wonder why we never did more stuff like that when I was little? Or at least littler?

    I suppose this is what we do. We grow up, we find our own definitions. We create our own families. I hope my children don't grow up wondering why we always went HIKING, when we could have spent all that time SHOPPING.

    When I woke up this a.m., the river was dry again. Thing One wanted so badly to cross it, and do yesterday's plan. I was afraid, however, that "Whitewater Weekend" meant both Saturday and Sunday, and that we would cross the river, and then get stuck. We didn't have as much time budgeted for today, because we had to drive home, and I had a lot of laundry to do. And we had to get the house ready for the week, and my Beloved has his first day of a New Job tomorrow, and we had to go through the homework folders, etc.

    Oh yeah, and I'm in law school. Oops.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:53 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, September 21, 2005
    Birthday Travels
    Thing One is turning 9 this weekend. We are going away. To a cabin. In the woods, near a river. i am very excited, as are Thing One, Thing Two, and my dearly Beloved. I am looking forward to driving away from interviews and projects and cell phone signals (that do not carry phone calls from firms which piqued my interest). My family may not know what to do, since I don't see the point in even bringing the laptop. "Mom! That's what your face looks like when it's not behind a laptop! Oh! I forgot!!"

    I will bring some books, though. And perhaps a law review article or two. I am writing a paper in Family Law on states' treament of the Relocation issue. I find this a fascinating topic. I also have many many long long articles to read on the issue of Economic, Social and Cultural Human Rights. As I told a friend the other day, I must now familiarize myself with the history and text of every Treaty in the History of the WORLD!!!! At least that's how it feels. I'll do that this weekend. While hiking and looking for colorful autumnal leaves. And perhaps going to Moosefest. There is one - in a town near the cabin we're going to. A Moose Fest. Festival of Mooses.

    My Beloved interviewed for a new job today. Things seemed to go well, and I am optimistic on his behalf ... he is optimistic that he will get the job, but I am optimistic that the job is a good thing. Who, me? Selfish? Who, me? Happy that his job is a mere 10 minutes away from home and the school of Thing One and Thing Two, and therefore giving a supreme Back Up (or First Up) for pick up time? nah. I'm happy for HIM. Because I think this is a Good Job for Him. Or at least a Better Job.

    We are busy. There is a lot going on. It's all good, though. Thus far --- it's all good.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:00 AM   1 comments
    Tuesday, September 20, 2005
    At long last ....
    I received my first call back notice today. I have had 14 on-campus interviews, and was watching my classmates' phones ringing all last week while mine sat quiet and dark. I was depressed, and I was mad at myself for being depressed. These types of large firm jobs were NOT what I came to law school to do! WHY was I allowing myself to feel so poorly just because it looks like it is not what I AM going to do? Seems like the world is in sync, right?

    But there is still the element of rejection. We were told in a workshop that it's all about "fit" and "personality" -- and then when the phone doesn't ring, I'm of course left thinking I don't "fit" and I have no "personality."

    I had a good bit of chaos on the social justice project front today - i believe it will sort itself out. I did my best to be diplomatic with my client, and try to convince her that her previous assessment was incorrect, and that I had a better idea of what she needed than she did. ha.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:53 PM   1 comments
    Tuesday, September 13, 2005
    Interview Stuff
    So far, it's three down, four to go. For this round. This week. Then next week is another round. then comes the Winter Co-op round. Yikes.

    I am going to quit law school, and become a Professional Interviewer.

    My first interview went really well. It was with a firm with a very healthy Boston office, as well as about 6 other offices between here and Virginia. I liked the interviewer, we clicked nicely. The second interview fell a little flat - perhaps because of the comparison to the first. I'm fine with that, because it is one of the firms with a less .... friendly ... reputation.

    But today was my first choice firm. I was so happy when they granted me the interview, because I am very excited by this primarily Boston (with its only other office in D.C.) firm, which has a very strong pro bono record and commitment. And *interesting* pro bono work! The attorney I interviewed with is 5 years out of law school, and some of the projects listed on her bio make me salivate. She said she spends about 20% of her time on pro bono projects. (She is the one who brought it up, too.) I think this interview went very well. As things were winding down she went into "peer" mode, and we were laughing and chatting about some smaller things. Crossing my fingers on that one.

    Two of my remaining interviews are ones that I don't want to go to. They are very much the hive-type firm, and I don't want to be a worker-bee. I want to find a nice home. Two are ones that I do want to go to, and hope go well.

    My attitude right now is very much - "if it works, it works," if nothing clicks, then nothing is right. I feel like I'm so young in the law school game ... I am not allowing this to stress me out too much. I am rather pessimistic about getting any call backs. I feel like these Boston firms come to us because we're a Boston school, but all the other schools they go to are the top 10, and we're .... not. So take that into account, and then look at some of my own peers who are interviewing before and after me -- and i see my chances as pretty slim. Which honestly, is fine with me. I'm taking advantage of what is available to me with these interviews, and at the very least, I won't regret that I didn't try. At the very most - there may be a better fit for me out there somewhere in the world.

    And since I'm so very busy with other things, I have been able to keep the interviews in the back of my mind. The class that I teach is filling up my time to say the least. We had an all day training this Saturday, and then it was my sub-team's turn to create the substantive lesson plan for this week's class, and we worked on that all day Sunday. This was one of the very few times in the past 13 months that i've given up a weekend. It really could have been worse. Regardless of my plans, my parents were coming to town to take the girls to a zoo that they had wanted to go to while they were there for the week a couple of weeks ago - and Thing One had a sleepover on Saturday night. I got home around 6 p.m., and went out to dinner with my Beloved, my parents, and Thing Two. I had a very yummy dinner, and practically GUZZLED 3 glasses of wine in a feeble attempt to calm the stress. We did have a nice evening. Then I was back at school for 8 a.m.

    I was convinced that between interviews, and my night class yesterday and individual meetings with my students that I would not have a chance to do the reading for my REAL CLASSES which are all on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I succeeded. Just barely.

    Apparently it shows on my face how much I am trying to juggle right now, because I ran into my Evidence/Advanced Crim Professor in the hallway yesterday on the way to my 5:30 p.m. class and he said, "Man, you look so fatigued latey! What is going on? Are you okay?"

    So I guess it shows. I think I'll go to bed early tonight. So my interviewers tomorrow don't tell me how "fatigued" I look. harumpf.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:58 PM   0 comments
    Thursday, September 08, 2005
    First Day of School
    For the kids, that is. Therefore, I missed two classes (out of three), and feel absolutely no guilt. I thought I'd make it to Family Law, albeit a little late. However, it then turned out that I had to be at the sign up sheet for interviews for the firms which gave me this slight and almost imperceptable nod exactly at NINE in order to get times which do not conflict with my classes. Then, Thing Two's classroom was .... stupid. For lack of a better word. I know her teacher had the best intentions. She wanted to "meet and greet" all the parents. So, she sort of blocked the doorway with her person, and caused a LINE. It was a LONG LINE. By the time it was our turn (because I brought Thing One to 4th grade first), it was 8:20, and the class had to go to Music, so I got a quick handshake and hello, and that was that. grrrr.

    So I would not have gotten to family law until 9:15, and that's 1/2 way through, and I knew that my professor would understand ... but my fellow students would NOT. They would not smile on a disruption (our classrooms suck - you can't get to a seat without knocking both the row you're entering and the row behind that in the head with your bag).

    I wanted to pick them up myself after school on this, their first day, so I also missed Evidence. My professor's daughter was also starting 4th grade today, so he was very understanding. (Or was he? He was teaching ... not picking up his daughter!!)

    Thing One and Thing Two had a great first day. Happy to see their friends, happy to be back in school, exhausted and wanting to go home immediately. Typical for the start of a new endeavor, I suppose. They're smart little cookies, and I think they're both going to have a great year.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:50 PM   2 comments
    Wednesday, September 07, 2005
    Finally, I'm breathing.
    I taught a class until 11 a.m. today, and then had EVERY INTENTION of going to the library and reading for tomorrow's classes before my 2:00 meeting. EVERY INTENTION. However, I had another resume deadline (which I didn't realize until midnight last night ... fortunately I made 6,000,000 copies at the start of all this OCI madness, so everything was on hand).

    Then I had to be in front of Career Services at 12 on the dot to sign up for the interview I've been granted. I ate lunch in the meantime.

    Then I IM'd with my mother for a little bit. My brother is getting married in a month, and my mother is OBSESSED. She's mostly obsessed with what she is going to wear. Now she got a dress, and she's obsessed with constantly trying the dress on. She's trying to get obsessed over what *I* am going to wear, but I'm not allowing it. No way. She sends me links to dresses, she brings me skirts when she comes to town, and I just .... well, ignore her. I don't have time for this right now!! I don't care what I wear! I'll find something a WEEK before the wedding, not a month. I'm mad at my brother anyway.

    He's getting married on a THURSDAY. Isn't that reason to be angry? a THURSDAY!! In another state. Granted, I can drive, but it takes almost 3 hours (without traffic). Thing One and Thing Two are in the wedding. So I *must* be at the dress rehearsal ... on a WEDNESDAY!! And that week, there's no school on Tuesday because of Rosh Hashanah, and so my Tuesday classes will likely schedule make ups for Friday. Which means .... I may miss 2 days of classes.

    Okay - I got sidetracked. So I stopped IMing with my mother, and I looked at Family Law. I surveyed the amount of reading. Thumbed through the pages. Then I thought OH!! I forgot to fill out the enrollment packets for the After School Program for Thing One and Thing Two! So I started that. I hate doing that. I have to answer the same questions 50,000 times so they can have the information in 3 different places. Then, there's a whole new packet, with another 50,000 questions for the SECOND child. I got bored of it, and the forms were making me think of questions, so I called them to confirm when I needed to bring in the info, and asked a bunch of questions. Turns out I don't have to rush, so I put their redundant forms away. For now.

    And now it's less than an hour until my meeting. Come on. How much reading can I *really* get done in less than an hour? I'd say, um, NONE! (Since I'm not reading!) Perfect time to check the blogs, see who's updated, email my sister, you know, the IMPORTANT things.

    Hell, I deserve it. I went to bed at ONE after prepping for my class, got up at 6 to go running (oh, nooooo, my hesitance in buying a dress for the wedding has noooothhhing to do with my secret hope that I can drop a good 5-10 pounds before October, absolutely nooooot, it's all to do with my MOTHER!) The past 2 weeks have been some weird form of self-abuse.

    So yes, I'm relaxing. I may even go get my iPod, and put my book on, and lean back and close my eyes for 10 minutes. Imagine. The horror.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:05 PM   0 comments
    Tuesday, September 06, 2005
    It's 9:48 p.m., do you know where your Momma is?
    I have never ever, since entering law school, gotten home as late as I did tonight. At least not while the girls are home. I was on the go today from 8:30 a.m. until (scheduled) 8:30 p.m., which turned into 9:15 p.m., and then rode the bike home (and forgot to bring my light). And it was non-stop! no real breaks.

    Today was the first day of notice for on campus interviews ... today there were 2 firms announcing, and I got one (I'd applied for both --- and the second one: I'm not 100% convinced that they were respecting my school's "deadline." Maybe I'll still hear?) But I got one!! Phew. This will be me all week. Checking my email, freaking out, making excuses in my head for why I didn't get interviews.

    I wonder when the "which suit should I wear?" stress will start?

    And I still have to fill out the girls' registration info for the after-school program.

    posted by Zuska @ 9:44 PM   3 comments
    Sunday, September 04, 2005
    Overload Volume IV - Intersections and Incidentals
    I knew how insane this week would be. I also have parents - who are grandparents to my kids, and they crave time with my kids. Last year it worked out that the kids went on vacation with my parents during my orientation week, and the result was the girls got a real vacation (for so many years, vacation for us has meant visiting family), my parents got time with their favorite children, and I got to focus on figuring out my New World. It also worked out well because my academic year starts almost 2 weeks before theirs, and all camps and other full time child care things have expired.

    We decided on a repeat this year right after last year went so well. But Thing One and Thing Two both said they'd rather hang out with Grandma and Grandpa at their house - it's in the country. They like being in the Country. But then as time got closer, I was a little itchy over the whole thing. Thing Two in particular didn't wnat to leave again, after a slightly tramautic experience over the summer. I felt Mommy-guilt in that my schooling was necessitating this discomfort.

    Turns out, however, they had a great time. And I don't know what I would have done if they were here. Well, of course I do. My Beloved would have filled in gaps where possible, my babysitter would have filled in others, and all would be well. Stressful, but okay.

    I had a weird sensation when they were on their way back though - this year is too intense! I can't do it! I don't know how to give back some of my evenings - I don't know how to get home on time to have dinner with the family! It isn't possible!! I was a little .... scared.

    Then I got a phone call from the after-school program at their elementary school. Space had opened up -- did I want to enroll them ? But I already lined up our babysitter (a lovely college student who is fantastic with the kids, and who they truly enjoy and respect) to stay on 3-4 days a week, and was going to see if I could pick them up myself 2 days a week. That proved to be unrealistic folly - I have weekly meetings on one of those hopeful days now, from 2-4. So that wouldn't have worked. But what about our Babysitter?

    The problem being thus: She is a senior. She graduates this December. Right as I go back on co-op and need full time childcare, she will be moving to some far off distant place - potentially even a different country, and I will need to have a new arrangement. The after school program is VERY DIFFICULT to get into - I actually put us on the waiting list 13 months ago. Thing One things that this program will be heaven. Constant social interaction! Because of her age (eegads, almost 9, and entering 4th grade), they get more independence, and self-direction. She has friends who are in the program. But Thing Two has not been so excited by the idea.

    In the end, I decided - after talking to the Babysitter and my various sources of reality-checks (sister, mother, Beloved), that the girls will do 3 days with Babysitter Extraordinaire, and 2 days at the after-school program. That way, they can slowly transition into the program, and hopefully will be ready to start 5 days/week upon Babysitter's graduation. If I can get Thing Two in 5 days/week - it's not a guarantee (the present opening is 3 days/week, but Babysitter needs 3 days to make this worth her while).

    Once the girls came home, everything slid into place just fine. Turns out there is plenty of room in my life for them :) (duh). They actually help me to put things into perspective, and keep my "other life" from getting tooooo big. They are wonderful people, and I'm pleased that they're my daughters.

    They don't start school until Thursday. In the meantime, my Beloved is taking off a couple of days from work so that I can attend school. I am skipping Evidence on Thursday so I can pick up the kids on their first day of school, and I have no classes on Fridays, so I"m going to pick them up then, and go with them for a tour of their after school program which they will start on Tuesday.

    Off to try and squeeze in my reading for Tuesday, since I don't have my Monday (no classes until 5:30 p.m.!).
    posted by Zuska @ 6:52 PM   3 comments
    Overload Volume III - My First Week as a 2L
    My head is still spinning. I keep trying to tell myself that by taking on this teaching experience, I have not, in fact, given myself the equivalent of my first semester as a 1L. Because that would be insane. RIGHT? Insane? Why take a perfect opportunity to stroll into 5 classes of my own choosing with confidence and all the time in the world, and just put it through the shredder?

    Because I am me. I do truly operate better when my time is full. But this week!!! It was not the same as 1L, because, first and foremost, I can find my way around the building without being confused. I can find my locker without feeling like I'd been around the same circle 40 times. I know how to answer the question, "what level of scrutiny did the Court apply?"

    By teaching, I'm also taking a class. This class comprises of ready-ing me to lead a class each week, as well as guiding me through the development of a paper/project. My project is going to be interested. It's a human rights project. I am excited about it. My least favorite aspect is the that client representative who I will need to be working with is in New York. The school may fly me to New York, to meet her or him, and work out the more specific plans.

    So the class I'm taking, which is the vehicle for the class I'm "teaching" is four credits. But everybody who has done this before me said it should be AT LEAST 6 credits.

    The group of 1L's for whom I am trying to create a positive experience is wonderful. I think they're great. That is all I feel comfortable saying on that subject.

    Other than this class, I am taking:

    Family Law: The professor of this class is known as an excellent professor, but a very hard grader. We are writing 2 papers this quarter, both with a partner. I'm unhappy about this. I don't want to work with a partner. I am thinking of relying upon my teaching-status to wiggle out of the partner requirement. We are given special dispensation in a few areas due to this extra duty, and I am *considering* trying to tap into this. I think I'll go feel out the professor, talk about how excited I am about the class, how family law is one of my possible areas of future interest, and see how it all goes, and then ease into a special request. Or not.

    Advanced Criminal Procedure: A professor I know well. Material I find fascinating and important. One phenomenon which is true for Family Law as well, but moreso in this class, the 3L's intimidate me! I think that it happens more in this class because we have a lot of people who have done their co-ops in criminal law fields. So yes, I paid attention last year in first year Crim. Yes, I thoroughly read my assignments. But no!! I have not been side-by-side with a criminal defense attorney while interviewing her client in prison. No, I have not sat second chair with a prosecutor during a trial! I am therefore compelled to be silent. Not typically my style ;) I am sure that as time goes on, my silence will fade, and I will be back to feeling like I better shut up before I am one of those.

    Evidence: Yeah. Evidence. I need not say more.

    Then there are the other things:

    1) I should start to hear about Round One of OCI on Tuesday. I am nervous. Very, very nervous. I dreamed about it last night. But the dream is all fuzzy around the edges, and I am not sure if it was a good dream or a bad dream.

    2) Winter co-op time is here already. [Even though I am trying to be relatively anonymous, there is no way to discuss my law school experience, and the co-op aspect of it, without people knowing where I am.] I go back out on co-op around the first of December. So while trying to do everything else, I had to review the options for that. There are more options than I thought there would be. I thought that because it was an "off" time, not too many people would be looking for law students. Not the case. One of my first choices, surprisingly, is back in the family law field. It is a position for a non-profit organization that does children's law. It also just so happens to be 2 blocks from my house, and across the street from my kids' school. There are also law firms which PAY MONEY. Fathom that. Getting paid. Some are very interesting (i.e., criminal defense), and therefore pay about $100/week, and some are Big Law, and pay the typical $2400/week. HUH? My list of interest is long, but at least for the first round, I can only try for 16. My list is double that. Oh! And there's the ACLU. I would *love* to work for the ACLU.

    I do want to one day go for a federal judge (I did a state judge this past summer), but I think I'm going to try for that NEXT winter. I just don't want to do a judge again. I want to do something different.

    I'm pretty sure that is it for my first week (school-wise). Not too much to deal with, right? He he. Read on, toward Volume IV.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:58 PM   2 comments
    Overload Volume II - The Supreme Court
    I was up late last night. We had seen a couple of Marx Brotherse movies with the kids -- "Family Movie Night" if you will. Thing One hates to fall asleep. Combine that with her being most of the way through Harry Potter IV, and well, sleep doesn't come. I don't like going to bed before they're asleep, my Beloved and I stayed up, waiting for the hush of sleeping children to fall upon the house, and were watching the Hurricane Coverage. Tucker Carlson was interviewing people, and things seemed pretty intense still. There was news that the projected body count will be between 10,000 and 15,000. Wow.

    Then in comes the "Special Report- Breaking News" little banner, and there's the news. Chief Justice Rehnquist has died.

    Wow. Again. Wow. I was quite stunned.

    I was also stunned when O'Connor resigned. Then the Roberts nomination came, and I was mad at my fellow liberals. I felt like they were passing a test, or rather, walking into a trap.

    I feel that Roberts is a solid nomination. I feel that there are some unknowns, but because of his relatively short stint on the Circuit Court before this proposed elevation, the unknowns are shared by all. I have a certain amount of respect for his intelligence.

    I would hate/do hate to see the Democrats (or is it just the "liberals" - not necessarily those in office who will be voting, but the PAC's ..., and the like) blast Roberts -- to reach and stretch and grope for things *to* blast. And then, when this inevitable event happened - the death (or at the time, potential resignation) of Rehnquist, Bush could appoint a REAL doozy, and then together with his cohorts shake their head and wave off any liberal dissent, any protests, and just say, "that's what they always say." And the Democrats would have lost their credibility, and instead of making some really important points, and fighting a really important fight, take on the appearance of "nit-picking and naysaying."

    But now that Rehnquist's passing has come during such a tumultuous time, I am not as certain that Bush will be as extreme. I am not sure he can carry extremism amidst his disaster of an approval rating, and his disaster of Katrina. I am not sure he has every Republican senator in his pocket like he did in November or December.

    So, I am hopeful.

    And as far as the new Chief Justice is concerned ... I think I prefer that he go ahead and give it to Scalia (as much as I completely disagree with that man), than give it to someone as green as Roberts. News commentators have speculated that Bush will re-nominate Roberts as the Chief Justice. I hope not. [update: surprise, surprise - i don't get what i want while Bush is in office - Roberts has been nominated chief. this really makes me pessimistic about Roberts in general. Bush has *too much* confidence in him for my taste at this point]

    So much to be watching. I suppose it is inevitable that the Court will continue to move to the right. But hopefully it won't be as damaging as a worst-case-scenario (i.e., overturning of Roe v. Wade/Casey; turning us into a church-state). And perhaps the new nominees will be more of a Stevens -- appointed by a Republican, yet widely known as a liberal justice (and who will, by the way, be the interim chief justice), or Powell, who has been slowly sliding to the left.

    I find it all fascinating, even though slightly scary.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:10 PM   2 comments
    Overload Volume I - Katrina and the Aftermath
    both on a personal and a national level.

    i have spent the last week juggling the news (both internet and television) along with my first week of school. Katrina evacuations were happening while I was at a full day orientation for my teaching escapade, the hurricane hit while I was at the 1L orientation, and the flooding happened while I sat through a 10 hour day of classes. This situation has been so horrible. Every day it's something else. Flooding, stranded residents, the Superdome falling apart, then the looting and scavenging, then thet shooting, the starving, the fires, the contaminated water.

    And the huge irritation that in one day, both the President, and the aid shows up. Was the aid waiting for the President? Or the President for the aid? George Bush riding in on his White Horse of water, food, and helicopters and buses.

    I heard about the musician Kayne West going off on television (NBC) about the fact that Bush doesn't like Black people - that the media is portraying Black people as "looting" and white people as "surviving." I was angry that NBC felt that the only proper response was a disclaimer -- he deviated from the script! Those are not our views!! Eegads, no! You will not find truth here! You will not find an examination of the feelings and the realities that this tragedy is bringing to the surface! We are singing songs, pretty songs, to make money, nice, helpful, money!

    As if there is no help, no solution, to be found in confronting these underlying truths. Whether the truths are that his accusations are in fact reality, or if the truth is that a large part of our population feels that way, it SHOULD be confronted. It should be investigated, and explored, and made apparent.

    There are people out there accusing the media of being "liberal" throughout this ordeal. Liberal. I would like to know what is liberal. Having an interview with the Mayor of New Orleans? Is that the liberal aspect? Despite the fact that several FEMA representatives have also been given air time? Or perhaps they're "liberal" for putting the camera on those who are suffering? On the babies who can't wake up due to heat and dehydration and lack of food? For explaining the fact that the stench of human feces surrounds a 5 block radious around the convention center where people are waiting for help? What would a non-liberal media look like? One who shuts up, and "supports the government" by hiding the photos (kind of like not showing the coffins of those killed in Iraq?)? One who does not allow those who were negatively impacted by this disaster, and the failure of whoever was able to help them, to speak?

    I am angered by those who snarl accusations about those who "refused" to leave the city. They refused to have better employment opportunities? They refused to have a savings account, and the ability to go and live in a hotel for a week (which has now turned into, what? 6 months?) They refused to keep from being poor -- so poor that they did not have the means to own a car? And for those who chose not to leave ... how they have possibly known what they were up against? None of the involved or responsible governmental agencies were able to adequately fathom the situation. How could individuals? How could ordinary citizens understand ... FATHOM that this is what would happen? The Government knew enough to declare a state of emergency beforehand ... but big whoop. A lot of good that did.

    I read this article as the storm as approaching New Orleans. I saved it, because I wanted to check the hype of pre-storm to the reality of post-storm. Unfortunately, on the structural level (because it did not try to address the social ramifications, the human lives and human suffering), it was very accurate. On Monday. Well, published on Monday. This information was there! People knew this could happen. CNN had the information ... if I could find it, so could FEMA.

    With such possibilities existing, why?! can't "mandatory evacuation" mean that for those who can't afford to get in their car and go to a hotel, or go stay with families or friends outside the danger zone, those very helicopters which we're seeing today (and yesterday) would pick them up? Take them out? Why were things allowed to go so far?

    Today, MSNBC reported that the federal government decided to deploy some airborn unit of military people. They were there within 9 hours. To me, this points to the fact that the slowness of help and aid had nothing to do with inability, and everything to do with ..... well, i guess i'm not willing just yet to put a label on it. But it wasn't an example of people with the power to do so "doing their best." or "doing all they can."

    i just find it all so upsetting.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:06 PM   0 comments
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