October 31st 2004

phbbt

It’s just been one of those weekends. We enjoyed a lovely meal of sushi Friday night, but I made the mistake of following dinner’s sake with a beer and a glass of Jameson’s Irish whiskey, and that pretty much wrecked Saturday. The hungover Halloween shopping I had to do drove me into a late-afternoon three-hour nap. Nothing like standing in line for 25 minutes at the party superstore to wear you out.

The SNL Halloween party was fine; I was slightly uncomfortable due to the down pillow I had wrapped around my midsection (remember, I was supposed to be Joliet Jake, AKA John Belushi). No one managed to take any photos of us, though. Too bad—I really did look good.

At any rate, I’ve felt completely uncompelled to be productive at all. Thought about working on my apps, but Mr. Angst is trying to complete defensive driving online, and he’s had to use the same machine I was using for my apps. Ah well. I need to put finishing touches on my resume, anyway—once I do that, I can make sure all my employment information and extracurricular information is the same across all the apps.

So, it’s still a holding pattern here. Currently sitting on the couch, flipping between MiB, Austin Powers, and the Weather Channel (waiting for that cold front!). The kids have pretty much stopped coming by. It was a light year for trick-or-treaters, in fact. I definitely bought way too much candy.

(Funny note, or maybe not so funny? One kid peeked past me into our house, said, “Nice house! Hey, you have an X-Box! Guys, they’ve got an X-Box!” We are now officially cool, I guess.)

So I’ll give the chirren another hour or so before I turn off the porch light.

October 29th 2004

holidays

Although Halloween is not by far one of my favorite holidays, I like it because it signals the nearness of turkeys and reindeer (thanks, Janine).

I LOVE Thanksgiving; but I REALLY love Christmas. This will be my first married Christmas and I plan to do the house up good. I will also decorate my portion of my triple-occupancy office. I will bake yummy-smelling foods and light holiday-scented candles. I am already planning this, and Christmas is two months away.

But between now and then, I have three big things to accomplish:

  1. Finish my law school applications
  2. Get the gift thing out of the way (bought or baked)
  3. Design, lay-out, print, and mail my grandmother’s Christmas letter (This is a chore I have not written about before, but it’s really time-consuming. Essentially, it consists of photos of our entire family with little captions, and it makes sense for me to do it since I’m a graphic designer, and I am family and free and my grandmother was getting robbed by the print shop that had been doing it all for her. But this year I have seriously fallen behind in my picture-gathering duties. I’m probably not going to post about it because I am terrified of how behind I am.)

Law school apps get the first three weeks. Then the newsletter will consume me—this is good as it will keep me from fretting all December about law school applications. Baking and buying will likely be done last-minute, if I know myself.

October 28th 2004

thoughts standing still

All I seem to think about lately is law school. That was true over the summer, and then it was less true, and now that I’ve gotten my LSAT score back, it’s true again.

It seems everyone in the world is sending their applications in NOW, and that’s great, but I can’t send mine in officially until I know my letters of recommendation are in. And that’s forcing me to be patient.

I am not patient. I never have been. It’s a sort-of nightmare. Wait wait wait, knowing that the reason I have to wait is because I was not as on-the-ball about getting my LOR requests to letter-writers. Sigh….if only I had…if only I said…if only I did…

I have a bad case of the if-onlys.

October 27th 2004

head spinning!

The little people really did exist! And they lived in caves or under the earth, and they were little.

Seriously. I love it when little things like this pop up that give credence to folktales that are similar all over the world. From the faerie in Briton to the ebu gogo of the island in this article, little people have been a persistent myth.

Sometimes I think I should have been an anthropologist or archaeologist. And then I remember that I got two of my lowest grades in college in an upper-level anthro class and geology.

life is good

  1. My mom is in town. This will be the first time I’ve seen her since she moved several hundred miles away earlier this year. Since, for the last five years, she’s been living about an hour away, the move was a big deal. I’m very excited to see her and my stepfather.
  2. Today is Mr. Angst’s birthday. We are going to lunch instead of dinner because he has class and I have choir. But tomorrow we are going out to dinner for his birthday with my mom and stepfather; and Friday we’ll celebrate just the two of us. Maybe I’ll cook again!
  3. Mr. Angst found out that his request to take a week off at Christmas was approved. Since we’ve already bought our plane tickets and begun planning some campus visits during that time, this was VERY good news.
  4. I have gotten two more fee waivers. Again, not from schools I plan to apply to, but they are schools in the range of schools I want to apply to. My ego is recovering.
  5. After several weeks of waffling, Mr. Angst and I have officially settled on our Halloween costumes for the SNL-themed party we are attending.
  6. We finally edited our closets last week; today I dropped all the edited clothes at Goodwill. Those things were the last piles of stuff that needed to be removed for our home to be clean.
  7. I gave my boss his packet of info for my letter of recommendation, and he was quite excited to see it and eager to write the letter.

Today is going to be a good day.

October 26th 2004

first fee waiver received!

Not from a school I plan to apply to, but it is a good school—tier 1, in fact. If location weren’t a factor, I might even apply there.

Nice little ego boost. Givin’ me a little smile on the downward side of the work day.

Application Activate! Form of a Headache!

I began my apps last night, using LSACD on the Web.

After tinkering with two computers, one server, a laptop, and adding me
as an administrator to most of those machines, I could finally use the
damn web application. Stupid Service Pack 2! Stupid Windows! Stupid
LSAC, making us use stupid Windows!

The funniest thing is that the problems were caused not by our lack of
computer savvy, but because of our over-abundance of it. Between the
two of us, we have mastery of three operating systems and working
knowledge of another two and regularly do things with our machines that
make our friends say, “Wha?” We’d have been better off if we were a
little more ignorant.

I think LSACD on the Web is sort of indicative of the relationship
between law and technology in general. It looks and smells like you
need some technical know-how to use it, but when you investigate, you
find that you need to start with the lowest common denominator or none
of the directions will work. In other words, if I had just added
another user to the original machine, instead of trying to log in
remotely with my domain identity, all would have been well. Sigh.
Live and learn.

The applications aren’t difficult, at least. There are some things
that are annoying–high school GPA, for instance. I’m putting mine
down in the 100-point scale, because I have no clue what it would be on
a 4.0 scale and I’m not sure my high school will tell me. Also–class
rank in college? I have no clue. I know the general percentage. I
wish I’d known I would need that information when I was up there last
weekend. I had the foresight to get a copy of my transcript, and my
exact major GPAs. But class rank? Of course I wouldn’t ask for that.
Phbbt.

And then there’s the way you’re supposed to select your major for the
common information stuff. I had two, so I just used “Other” and filled
in my majors, using a handy / (slash) between them. This despite LSAC
saying how important it is to use the standard abbreviations, so the
schools can properly download the data. I think many of their
instructions are just filler, to make people who frequent the boards
happy. I avoid directions, because if you have to read the manual,
it’s probably not good design, right?

Sigh. I think I might have to unlearn that prejudice.

October 25th 2004

revisionist?

I’m rereading my last post and I don’t like it.

I won’t delete it because that seems somehow unfair, if even just to myself. I had those thoughts, felt those feelings, and they are valid. But it’s just such a crappy post, so self-serving and self-aggrandizing. I hate the tone of it, and its snobbishness.

Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what happens next. My LSAT score doesn’t really change things—I’m still applying to law school, I still want to write and teach—but it has changed the way I feel about myself applying to law school.

One of my good friends, C., who I see so rarely but saw this weekend at our reunion, made the comment that she knew I had done fine on the LSAT. She added that she also knew that I felt my “fine” just wasn’t good enough. She was right. I always want to be better than “others,” whoever those “others” are. I don’t even have to be better than everyone else—just those I think I should be competing with. After all, C. way outclasses me intellectually, and I’ve never felt the need to compete with her.

So my last post was all about proving that I am still good enough, still smart enough, to be a law professor—or even just to get into a prestigious school. It can be exhausting, trying to live up to my promise. Maybe I should stop groping around for recognition and pay more attention to my happiness.

because I am a nerd

I have been crunching the numbers, and I am realizing my numbers are still just fine. My Excel spreadsheet tells me so. My chances of being accepted at certain schools are moving down a few percentage points (more than a few with schools like Harvard, but so what? It’s Harvard, for goodness’ sake.), but I am still in good ranges for most of the schools I want to apply to.

I am, however, removing UNC from my list. Not only do I have a poor chance of getting in as an out-of-state student, I am not thrilled with their proscribed essay topics. I also don’t like that they have a pretty specific length expectation on those essays.

Over the weekend, I ran into lots of people I went to undergrad with who are currently doing law school, or are dating someone in law school, or married someone who just finished law school, etc. And I got lots of feedback on some of the schools that are on my list simply for geographical reasons—lots of good feedback, of the “Oh my god I LOVE this school” type. That gives me a good warm feeling.

So. The weekend is over, the LSAT score has been digested and dealt with. I start my apps tonight, knowing that I have lots of intangibles that can help put me in that 10-20% of people with my numbers who still get accepted to the schools at the top of my list.

October 24th 2004

meh

I got my score. It was lower than I expected. The percentile is good, but we all know it’s the number that really matters.

Despite being somewhat heartbroken at first, I am dealing with it. I’m looking at my ambitions and asking myself what exactly it is I want to do, not where—and I am realizing that the what is much more important to me.

Plus, I have a wonderful husband and really good friends who have been amazing to me, reminding me that a number is just a number, and it’s a good number at that. (Just not amazing.) And no matter where I end up at law school, I will do well.

It’s been a bumpy few days, and I was immediately regretful that I checked my score during my reunion. I thought it was going to ruin the weekend. I was so wrong. I have such wonderful friends who believe so strongly in me, and wonderful old professors who are becoming friends; I had a marvelous undergraduate experience, and the lessons I learned there way transcend a little number like my LSAT score.

So. There you go. Expect some template revisions soon, though—I’ll need to revise my target list of schools.

October 22nd 2004

nothing yet!

No score yet. One pitcher of beer, four wonderful conversations with old college friends/teachers, and some beautiful weather so far, though.

Will check for my score all weekend, though. Mr. Angst thinks I am nuts. I can’t help it.

October 21st 2004

Please excuse my vitriol. I

Please excuse my vitriol. I rescued my gone-missing post from my feed.

Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that Blogger lost my post. Still, I should be a little less nasty. It’s the kind of thing I’d resolve to do for Lent if that were coming up. It’s not, though, so I just have to make a little effort to be less bitchy.

Sigh…it’s just been a really long day, and it’s absurdly hot here for October. 45 more minutes, though, and I’m going to happy hour (”Martinis and Manicures”—it’s like a cattle call, actually, with 30 nail techs and scads of drunk female professionals. And martinis. I know you’re jealous.) and then I’m packing for my weekend away.

About that; I likely will post from away, since I’ll be on a college campus with no shortage of free internet access. I have to post, at least, when I get my LSAT score. Oh, I won’t be disclosing it….I’ll just crow or weep, whichever is appropriate.

Unless LSAC didn’t lie when they said the 25th. In which case, enjoy the weekend, duckies!

whoo hoo!

One of my recommendation-writers emailed me this morning to ask how I wanted the letter addressed since she was just about to finish up with it and send it on.

Yahoo! No pestering necessary!

healthy or just stupid?

In an attempt to reverse my recent habit of poor nutrition, I offset my cheese bagel with an Odwalla drink this morning. I chose the one with “a full meal’s worth of protein, and 190% of your daily requirement of folic acid.”

Folic acid is good, and I am of childbearing age, so I should probably get more of it. Plus, it was made with soy milk and vanilla—yum!

No. NOT yum. In fact, the antithesis of yum. Chalky shit. Tastes like Milk of Magnesia, but with vanilla instead of wanna-be mintiness. Mind you, I still drank the thing because my body needs to know what healthy, nutritious food/drink tastes like, but I dreaded every sip.

I used to eat well. When I lived alone, I made myself healthy meals most nights; when Mr. Angst wasn’t taking night classes, I cooked wholesome, well-balanced meals all the time. Now, I’m lucky if I have a peanut butter sandwich and some Ruffles.

I need to master cooking in advance, and stock my freezer with wholesome well-balanced casseroles. I just hate frozen food and our freezer makes everything that comes out of it smell vaguely like fish.

October 20th 2004

Barman

Today I went and heard the author of Barman, Alex Wellen, talk.

And he said one thing that I thought was very interesting and encouraging. He said (and though this will be quoted, it’s really a paraphrase), “At heart, most lawyers are really writers.”

Yes, yes, yes! I mean, that statement sort of holds my entire reason for going to law school. Of course, I obviously have an interest in the discipline, but if I didn’t feel that a career in law would afford me opportunities to write and publish, I probably wouldn’t pursue it. Because there are lots of disciplines I find interesting but don’t want to study in graduate school because I’m pretty sure that that, once I had the degree, I wouldn’t write about the discipline I found so interesting any more. I’d be busy doing other things. But lawyers—well, they may do other things, but mostly they write. Write and write and write.

So, yay for Alex Wellen. (Who has a blog, though he updates infrequently because he is on the junket.) Yay for someone saying out loud that lawyers are writers.

One more thing: a statistic he offered up—there are 1,000,000 lawyers in this country and 400,000 of them are not practicing lawyers.

i’ve got a plan, stan

So this is how my plan goes:

On Monday (by which I will, presumably, have my LSAT score), I will purchase LSACD on the Web. I will install it on my husband’s computer, the one with the really excellent big monitor that sits at the desk with the really cushy chair. I will begin filling out my applications.

Meanwhile, I will give my main letter-writer his requested packet of information about me. I may get that to him today or tomorrow, but if it has to wait till Monday, that’s not a big deal. He will need my LSAT score anyway.

Hopefully, by the end of next week, my portion of my applications will be completed. I will send them in as money allows—and as I complete any additional essays they require.

With this plan, I will have turned in all of my apps by the first week of November, and they will be complete as my recommendation letters are sent in. My deadline to my letter-writers is November 12. So my apps will be complete by Thanksgiving.

Now I just have to figure out if I can afford to drop $1K on application fees.

October 19th 2004

dreams again

Last night (or really, this morning) I had a dream that involved vampires, me smoking, and the Supreme Court.

And the weirdest part of the dream was not the vampires or SCOTUS, it was me smoking. I quit three years ago and recently found realized that I don’t really crave them anymore. Yet there I was, puffing away, lighting my cigarettes with one of those butane fireplace lighters.

As for SCOTUS, Sandy was wearing a Tiffany-blue robe and Ruth was in navy. The others were in black and didn’t talk. But I seem to recall that the women were trying to give me advice on besting the vampires.

October 18th 2004

merhphg?

Since when does L’Oreal have men hawking their hair color? I just saw a commercial with that guy who used to be on Third Watch telling me all about how Colour Experte is the new way to do multi-tonal color. Huh? He’s got a one-color buzz cut. But I guess I’m supposed to take his word on it, because he’s a hot guy and knows what makes women look hot?

I hate commercials.

more huh

Once again, someone has tried to subscribe me to a Freecyle group for a city I don’t live in. I’m getting a little annoyed by this.

October 17th 2004

end of the weekend

This was weekend two in my October marathon-of-fun. Last weekend was Vegas, this weekend was the big family reunion (see below), and next weekend is my five-year college reunion. Mr. Angst has never been to my alma mater, and I am excited to take him there. It’s a unique place.

In any case, I think October will probably prove to be a posting-light month, when I revisit the archives next year. Part, of course, will be the travel and family commitments; the other part will be the three weeks of waiting between taking the LSAT and receving my score. I do have other things to work on—notably, a packet of information one of my recommendation writers has requested. (I like that he has such delineated requirements, as, once I’ve completed his list of requirements, I can pass along parts of it to other recommenders.)

But I’m not really focusing on that stuff. I want my applications out by Thanksgiving, and that’s a doable date, so I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to be too hard-core about them. I dread becoming one of those people on the pre-law discussion boards who stress because it’s the third week of October and they haven’t sent stuff in yet! Gasp!

I do understand the importance of getting apps in relatively early; I just think the sample of pre-laws on the boards is skewed to the anal-rententively obsessive-compulsive. When I talk to other, more sane, 0Ls, the ones who tend not to post on some of the boards, I get a more balanced perspective. Face it—there are a lot of applicants who are still undergrads, and many of them will wait for fall-semester grades. I can relax, take my time, make sure my apps are complete and accurate and as perfect as possible—and still get everything in before the holidays.

So. October is the month of waiting, reviewing, preparing, and relaxing. Once my apps are in, I’ll be working on financial aid apps. Having received lots of financial aid in undergraduate, I think I’m likely to be much more freaked out about getting my FAFSA in.

And the next five days are going to be murder. (And if LSAT scores aren’t reported Friday, I might lose my mind. I know, they’re not officially due till Monday, but I hear they always come early. I want them to come early, so I can crow at my reunion! Or, alternatively, drink heavily and commiserate with old, good, friends.)