Sunday, April 13, 2008

Calgon Take Me Away

I have just emerged from a very hot, very frothy bubble bath - the first bath I have taken without a splashing Landon since he came home from the NICU. While I was pregnant I reveled in my baths, I took one almost every day before bed. They were a time to relax, to reflect on my day, to dream about our beautiful baby who would sleep through the night at two months... yeah, well, part of that came true.

Anyway, the reason I felt that tonight needed to be the night for my first solo bath in 9 months is because I spent 12 hours at the library yesterday, starting the research for my substantial paper, and I am freaking out about it right now. You know how before you start a project you can fool yourself into thinking it won't be too bad - like when you move and everything is still in boxes and you're pretty sure you can get everything unpacked in a couple days. And then you unpack a few boxes and stuff is everywhere and you're suddenly certain that your new home will never be unpacked, stuff will be everywhere forever, and you want to sit in a corner and cry. Tonight, the bathtub was my corner, minus the tears, plus a few bubbles.

The last quarter of my 3L year was not supposed to be like this. I took extra heavy course loads 2L year so that I wouldn't have to take more than 9 credits a quarter as a 3L. I got all the hard stuff out of the way- I took corporations, securities regulation, secured transactions, criminal procedure, commercial transactions, administrative law, antitrust, and more, while pregnant and exhausted- and I even did well. This year was supposed to be about the Landon and spending time with my friends and not being in the library until 10pm on a Saturday night. But then DCFS took over my life and Landon had to see 85 specialists and had 35 ear infections and I just never got around to that second substantial paper I'm required to write. And a wonderful professor let me drop two of my classes fall quarter and replace it with an independent research for him- which was great at the time, but now I actually have to write a paper to get those three hours of credit. And I have three classes that are surprisingly demanding, with enormous reading assignments, and I have to take all three finals in three days and then drive down to Austin the afternoon of the third day - and the movers will have packed up all our furniture the week before and my cousin is getting married in Kentucky the weekend in the middle. And well, basically, I'm a little stressed.

I know I'm a 3L and it's supposed to be easy because I have a job. And I honestly have no emotional connection to my grades right now- I even forgot to check the results of winter quarter until today (all B+ so far). 1L year I used to compulsively "refresh" the webpage every 5 seconds for weeks until the grades poppe dup. But you can't fake a paper- words must be written, citations must be given, some level of substantiality must be achieved. Working on the paper this weekend means I didn't read for any of my classes on Monday, or catch up from the reading I didn't do last week. It's the third week of school and I'm 50 pages behind in two classes. This wouldn't bother me so much if I actually felt like I was going somewhere with the paper (like if I had a clearly defined topic), but I don't. I feel like I'm failing at everything right now and I hate that.

I'm just holding on to the certainty that it all will get done. I will write a 35-page paper on something about criminal justice and cyber law and it will get turned in by May 19. I will talk to my other professor, get a topic, and write a paper for him worthy of 3 credits. On June 13 I will walk across the stage and get my diploma. I'm just not sure how I'm going to get there when the list of non-school related items is frighteningly long and I have a baby who doesn't sleep, but I know I will. And hopefully I'll do it without some kind of breakdown at the end because it only gets harder from there. The day after I walk across that stage I'm going to be 3 weeks behind in barbri review classes and the Texas Bar is one (monstrous, horrible, 3-day) exam I can't afford to fail.


  1. Ok, I just want you to know that you CAN fake your way through a paper. I satisfied my upper level writing requirement by writing about Sealand. Yes, that's right. Sealand. If you don't know what it is, you should Wikipedia it because it's pretty funny.

    The paper was TERRIBLE and I think a full half of it was sheer opinion without a SINGLE citation. That's how bad it was.

    But hell, the upper level writing requirement is done, right? So it's ok.

    I'm SERIOUSLY jealous of your bubble bath! One of the many things I hate about the place I currently live in is that it lacks a tub. It has a huge shower and no tub. I can't WAIT until I have a tub again!!!

  2. When I was in grad school, I once wrote a paper the night before it was due. It was 15 pages long and I don't even recall what bullshit I included it in ... but I DO recall that I got an A+ on it.

    While I'm not you, I do know that you are an overachiever like me and can probably turn out a paper in your sleep. Yes, it's stressful, but my point is ... you'll get it done.

    ps ... Bubble baths are awesome!

  3. Someone once told me about the bar, and it is so true, it is the only exam, where you only have to get a D, just get a D. When I took it, half of the people didn't even finish. So, if you finish, you are heads and tails above the game.

  4. Oh, jealous about the bubble bath! And congrats on not having Sir Landon in there with you. :-)

    I am incredibly stressed and don't have a child to look after, so I can't even imagine how you feel. But I know you - and I know how you always seem to get everything done with a smile on your face like superwoman or something. So I'm not worried about you. (Can that count somehow?)

  5. you over-acheiving type-A law-types crack me up. and i mean that in the most flattering way possible. you and my friend "balancing act" couldn't be more alike. I swear you guys are twins seperated at birth. you guys totally refuse to do things the easy way. LOL. But i completely respect you for taking on the impossible and somehow making it possible.

    Just remember all the times before when there was no way things could get done. They always do. And you always succeed. i know you. you'll be fine. and one day you will look back and think how easy this was compared to whatever new craziness you have embarked upon.

    Remember. You are superwoman!!! :)

  6. I have no doubt you will pull it all off. In just a few short months you will be out of law school and living in Austin. Just try to focus on one thing at a time.

  7. One day at a time. Don't think about it all at once and for God's sake don't look at it on a timeline! One thing at a time. You'll get it done.

  8. I just finished a draft of my dissertation, and I know how you feel. At the outset, it seemed inconceivable that I would ever finish, but somehow (and I really don't know how) it did get done.

    I just got some stress releif foam bath from Bath and Body Works-- I highly recommend :)

  9. I just wanted to let you know that your blog has been so helpful to me. I'm a law student in Detroit and am just wrapping up my first year of law school. My husband and I are currently talking about trying to have a baby in the next year or so, and it is great to know that there are other young successful families out there. Congratulations on your adorable baby boy, as well as surviving law school. You will get through the paper and be just fine. :)

  10. ugh...I would've soaked longer!

    I have some bloggy bling at my place...maybe it will's all a bit superstitious, but Cooper started sleeping right about the time I got this. ;) Can't be any worse than those athletes that wear the same pair of unwashed socks during a winning streak, right?

  11. Can I just say how excited (and amazed) I am that you pulled off B+'s last term. Great work! You are so close now, just push through these next few weeks and you'll be done with law school and then you'll be in Austin, JP will be done work, and studying for the bar will be a breeze :-)

  12. My last semester 3L was that bad too. 19 credit hours, 2 year old who was sick ALL THE TIME. Surprisingly, I got awesome grades on not-so-awesome papers. I did a paper on sex offender registries that worked out well. Lots of info (but not an overwhelming amount) out there - perhaps it has a cyber angle too.

    Something else, failing the bar isn't the end of the world. Do your best this summer, but sometimes the results are just arbitrary. I felt like I put forward no different effort the two times I took it and I failed in July and passed in Feb. However, that's worry for later, tater.

  13. Baths are my greatest indulgence! I love my baths!