2006 has been a hell of a year for me. It's been an emotional battleground to say the least, from being engaged, to breakup, to second chances, to heartache, to starting in 2 new cities, from SJU to ND. I'll be starting '07 with a battle-worn, but somewhat fresh slate. Clearing it off came with a mix of sadness and relief, and I hope that it's for the best.

I've learned a lot from this year, but I hope that there will be better days ahead.

[A] final comfort that is small, but not cold: The heart is the only broken instrument that works. ~T.E. Kalem
Sometimes I have this feeling like I'm playing a part in a movie, given the amount of drama I have, especially compared to other people. Sometimes the weather even plays along. The soundtrack is a bit spotty and poorly mixed, but maybe they're working on that.


So Christmas went well; it came and went with it's usual fanfare. In a few days I'll be taking off with the 'rents to the southwest. For the time being I'm bumming around Milaca and the cities, visiting people and trying to take it easy.

I went to a reception for 1L's at a big firm in Minneapolis tonight. It was pleasant, and full of free food and drink, but I don't feel like I learned a hell of a lot from it. A little practice at elbow-rubbing never hurt anyone I suppose.

I'm feeling a bit out of sorts, and I think it's because I'm at a point where I really don't quite know what I want in the grand scheme of things. I generally try to keep my life (somewhat) simple; I figure out what I want and then I go about trying to get it. However, the whole operation breaks down when I can't quite figure out what I want. Then everything gets a little trickier. Merf. I'm also tired, which doesn't help anything. Maybe things will be clearer in the morning.


Well, I'm back at home. The traipsing about in the cities was a lot of fun; I ended up hosting a dinner party at Britt's place and cooking up some apple-cider-glazed porkchops. tasty tasty.

The past couple days have been spent bumming around home, doing some shopping with Mom and visiting with a few different people. I ducked into St. Cloud for a couple hours today to chat with Hoffman since he wasn't going to be in town for long, then returned for the family Christmas. Since the other side won't be having their xmas until monday, christmas eve will be a pretty quiet affair with just myself and the rents.

So far it's a white christmas, but just barely; we got enough snow the other day to cover the ground, but that's about it. I've been splitting wood the past couple mornings, partially to help my dad out and partially to get back down to my fighting weight. I pretty much hung up my kayak after thanksgiving for lack of time, and the eating-while-studying without any exercise leaves me pulling around a little more weight than I'd like. Oh well. I've also been reading for leisure (!). Right now I'm working on Steinbeck's East of Eden, which is going pretty well. It's nice to be able to read a book and not have to hilight and take notes.


I'm back in MN after a pleasant drive yesterday; hardly any traffic and a good audiobook to boot. I'm couchsurfing in Minneapolis and St. Paul for a couple days (give me a call if you're around) before heading home for family christmas-ey festivities. This morning I rolled out of bed late and watched Heat; I didn't leave Tom's place until noon or so. 'Twas wonderful.


I made it through the torts final (and the evening after); I am now a 1.5L. I feel pretty good about the semester; I'm still happy that I'm in law school and I enjoyed the whole ordeal. We had an ugly sweater party last night ($3 sweater from Salvation army, which wound up at the bar. I also picked up a sportcoat for a whopping $2.50). Good times were had. It's crazy to think that I really don't have anything hanging over my head now. Granted, I have to try and find a job (anybody have lawyer friends in Denver?), but other than that the break should be restful. I'm going to hang out in Mlps/st. paul for a couple days to visit people, and then head home for family functions. After new year's I'm headed south with my parents, and will stop off in Denver on my way back to MN to try to land a job.

To the other 1L's, it's been quite a ride. I've made a lot of amazing friends this semester, and now that exams are no longer an unknown evil I can only imagine that things will get better. Woot.


Law School Grading


The crim final was today. I was more worried about this one than I was about contracts or civ pro. I felt pretty well prepared (much of that preparation thanks to our study group) but the exam itself threw me a bit. I think I did fine; I ferreted out all of the main points and even a few minor subtleties, but the format was different from the standard fact pattern/issue spotter, and it took me a little while to feel like I really hit my stride.

Torts is the last one; probably the toughest in regards to subject matter, but it's the only open-book exam we have, and we have an excess of time to do it (5 hours for a 3.5 hour exam to allow for editing and travel time). Then we'll be done with our first semester of law school. IT can't come soon enough. It's been going well so far, but I'm ready to be done with exams.

Now back to my fact pattern.


Oh, and I was apparantly on the news tonight; some filler bit about the recent cold (read: actual winter) weather. I was locking up my bike and pulling off my hat at the time, and glanced over and saw a camera on a tripod. I figured it was a student news dealie; turned out it was the news guys just getting some B reel. So now I'm on a B reel.

Still biking into school, by the way, though I usually drive most other places, aside from to Annie's, Pat's, or Carla's, all of which aren't far from school. My trusty commuter fixie (with full fenders, to keep the muck off) is still doing well, though the black fenders and paint are getting a little grimy from the salt and slush. Makes her look tough though.

Also, locking up my rear wheel with my legs (yay fixie!) and skidding through the snow is a lot of fun. I took a couple laps up and down my alley the other night just to slide around.
Well, I'm out of the first final. A 3 hour ordeal, it wasn't so bad. Our class was split between our two large classrooms; I was in the less-crowded of the pair, which seemed a lot less stressful. Our first 1/2 hour was all reading, and then we could start writing (or typing, in most cases) the exam. The Student Bar Association provided earplugs, which proved to be pretty helpful, since a room full of clicking keyboards was louder than expected. The exam was complicated, but fair. I feel like I saw most of the issues and explained them clearly. I felt prepared as well; I don't think that a few more days of studying would have helped me at all, which is where I wanted to be. Afterwards, Pat and I went to the student commons and played NCAA football on the x-box and big screen that they keep tucked away in one of the little lounges so we could decompress, then headed over to Annie's for brownies, wine, and catchphrase. Tomorrow, more studying.


First substantive final tomorrow. Bring on the contracts. I feel pretty good about it, though so does just about everybody else, it seems. Hopefully all will go well.


South Bend finally looks like winter; we picked up enough snow to make everything white. It's pretty, though the bike ride to school has gotten a little chillier.

Last night our study group got together at my place to go over torts. We were sprawled out around my living room, surrounded by laptops, notes, coffee, and beer, and we eventually ordered some Chinese food and had it delivered. Though we didn't have a menu, we reasoned that most Chinese places had the same fare, and placed our orders. While kicking around law school gossip and torts hypos over take-out, I realized that the scene was, for awhile, exactly what I imagined law school to be like. Giant finals looming on the horizon, smart colleagues, and Chinese take-out.

The Civ Pro final is on Friday, and tomorrow is the last day of class of our 1L fall semester. It'll be such a relief when all of this is behind us.

On a slightly unrelated note, I've been somewhat geeking out about Google Reader lately. It's an RSS reader that reads feeds from various websites which update regularly and displays them all in one interface, saving me from skipping back and forth between blogs, news sites, etc. Now that I have my page setup, it essentially reads like my own customised newspaper. I've included feeds about stuff that I'm interested in, along with some of the comics that I like (Marmaduke explained, Get Fuzzy, Boy on a Stick and Slither). It's my new morning read.