Last, Last Day.

Today is my last, last day of school.  After 18 years of education (since kindergarten.. it would be 20 but there were two times I combined two years into one- once in grade school and once in high school), I am almost done!  Today is my 18th “last day,”  and since I currently don’t have any plans of further education, it is most likely my last last day ever! 🙂 (technically I still have 3 exams to take, but I don’t count those as “school days”) .

There are many things I’m absolutely THRILLED about with law school being over:

  • No more sitting in classes
  • No more reading boring casebooks (during 1L I loved reading for class because it was all so interesting and new.  But by this point the magic has disappeared)
  • No more law school papers
  • No more BUYING very expensive, boring casebooks
  • No more grades!
  • No more 3-hour comprehensive, closed-book exams being the basis for my entire grade!
  • No more curve!
  • No more parking battles in the law school parking lot

There are also many things I will miss about law school:

  • Learning new things
  • Socializing with people between classes
  • a lot of the people!
  • The relaxed, flexible schedule
  • How beautiful Pepp’s campus is, and the honor of getting to go to school at such a beautiful place every day
  • Krissi! (she’s moving back to Texas :()
  • Something new and different every few months (new schedule each semester, different job for summer)
  • the faculty and staff

Ok, I realize these are pretty random lists.. I didn’t sit down and think them out beforehand.  The main point is that there are things I will miss and things I won’t.  Nevertheless, I am very excited that today is my last day.  I have one, one-hour class and that’s it.  After that is study time for my 3 exams.  My last final exams!  Woohoo! 🙂


Adventures in My Own Backyard.

Yesterday, my roommate Adam said he had hit a wall with a paper he is writing, and so I slyly said, “You know what would really clear your head? A hike!”  I’ve been dying to go for a hike lately.  We live minutes away from lots of beautiful hikes in the Canyon.  Sadly, although hiking was one of my favorite summer/fall pastimes in Oregon, and hiking is possible year round in California, I have only went on two hikes since I’ve lived here (three years!).  The first hike was the weekend I moved in to our apartment in January.  The second one was yesterday.

It was a solid uphill hike, and it wiped us out.  I am SO sore today.  Additionally, I forgot sunblock so I have pretty bad sunburns on my shoulders.

I’m always itching to get out and travel to new places, and there is so much beauty to be discovered so close by!

The Light At The End, Or So We Thought…

Before I started college, I had thought about being a lawyer many times but the idea of going to school for SEVEN YEARS seemed way too daunting.  One of my other interests at the time was clothing design: I really wanted to start a business that made fashionable clothes for tall women.  So, with that in mind, I started undergrad as a business major.

One semester in, I realized college was not so bad, and decided I could probably make it seven years if I changed my major.  I’m not a big fan of numbers, so taking accounting and financing classes would have bored me to death and probably made me drop out.  So I switched to political science, because another one of my interests for the future was to be involved in politics.

I made it.  I survived 4 years of undergraduate education and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Communication in 2005.   I was worn out so I took a year off, but by November or December I was already wishing I had just went straight through, especially when January rolled around and I received my first acceptance to law school.  I was ready to go, go, go.  But I had to wait.

Here I am, 3 years later, and only 4 more class sessions, and 3 exams stand between me and my Juris Doctorate.  Quite honestly, I really thought I’d have it all together by now.  I really thought I’d know where I want to live, what I want to do, where I’m going… I don’t regret my law degree one bit, I’m just not as sure at the end about what I’m going to do with it as I was when it first began burning in my heart to go to law school.  Not just law school, but my experiences outside of law school over the past three years have changed my perspective a bit.  Now, I wait.

I graduate May 22nd.  My bar class starts May 26th.  I take the bar July 28-30.  After that, all is wide open until at least Mid-November which is when I’m currently set to start my job.  I can’t afford to live in L.A. until I start working, so who knows what I will do in between.  There are a lot of uncertainties even when my job starts that I can’t really express here on a public blog, but the point is: I have reached the goal I’ve had in sight for all these years.  It has always been the end I’ve aimed for and now that I’m here I realize… It’s not the end.  It’s just the beginning.

Environmental Marketing–Too Easy Being Green.

I’m working on a paper on Environmental Marketing right now.   I should have started the paper MONTHS ago.  I was really hoping to give it  a full, thorough effort and seek publication.  However, due to the time crunch, I’m going to be forced to give it only the minimum attention necessary to pass, and I’ll have to come back after graduation and fix it if I want to try to get it published.  (I wrote an article last year that was selected for publication and is finally getting published this month.  In that article, I put a lot of work into filling in details and discussing side issues in the footnotes.  I sometimes spent hours on one footnote.  That is the part that will be lacking in this one for now).

For those who don’t know, environmental marketing is the use of claims that a product/service/process is “environmentally friendly” in someway or “green.”  For example, claiming something is biodegradable, recyclable, “uses less plastic”, or is “carbon neutral.”  If you look at almost any product these days, there is bound to be some kind of assertion about how the product is friendly or friendlier to the environment.  About 15 years ago a bunch of articles came out calling for a federal pre-emptive (to override any state laws) standard for green marketing.  The problem is that when there aren’t uniform definitions for what terms mean, it’s hard for customers to understand what they mean, it’s hard for honest corporations to figure out how to avoid liability for false advertising, and it’s easier for, let’s say less honest, corporations to abuse green claims and tout them even when their products are not environmentally friendly.  Anyway, all these years later, there is still no federal, pre-emptive standard, and I’m arguing in my paper that we need one now more than ever, with new claims like carbon neutrality and sustainability springing up. 

A really interesting thing about this topic that I will not have time to focus on is the fact that environmental marketing is worldwide.  What had sparked my interest in this topic was a project I did for work last summer.  I created a teleconference on the basics of environmental marketing laws (business people from around the country called in to listen) for a partner at my firm. 

So this was all fresh in my mind when I went to Europe, and I was especially aware of all the claims.  My favorite grocery store in London, Marks & Spencer, was green claim central: all the products were covered in green claims and the walls announced how environmentally friendly their products were.  I think Marks & Spencer was even ranked as one of the most environmentally friendly corporations in London.  But even outside of London I would see plastic bottles claiming to be less plastic, coffee cups claiming to be recyclable or biodegradable, and flew on european airlines that claimed their service was carbon neutral (the idea of being carbon neutral is that if you put out a lot of pollution, you plant a bunch of trees or something like that to make up for it, so basically the good air cancels out the bad air and you’re neutral). 

Why am I writing about this? Because I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday working on this thing.  I still only have 10 pages and I need 25.  There is PLENTY to write, I just can’t get myself to write it.

First Trial.

In my quest to actually update this thing between traveling adventures to keep this thing active for when I do have exciting adventures, I am writing a post and it is (unfortunately) not related to travel at all.

Yesterday I had my first trial.  It wasn’t a “real” trial, it was for my trial practice class.  But we were given a case file with documents and facts and witness depositions and then we put on a full 3 hour trial before 12 jurors, a judge, and a court reporter.  My partner and I (the defense) won on all three causes of action.  We were able to “cheat” and listen in on the jury’s deliberations, and technically on 2 of the 3 causes of action they didn’t really apply the correct standard, but that’s how it happens in real life too.  Juries tend to go with their gut feelings on whether someone has been wronged or not.  The funny thing about being a law student is that the legal standards make so much sense to us now that it seems like everyone should understand terms like “preponderance” and “reasonable.”  However, that is just not the case for the average population.  And I don’t mean that to say the average population is stupid, they just haven’t been trained in the language of lawyers like we have.  Jessica and I totally didn’t expect to win.  The way the jury instructions were written for each of the claims we were pretty sure we would lose on at least 2 of the 3.  The other side also thought they couldn’t win.  Interesting how that happens because usually it goes the other way.  You get so invested in your facts and your case that you think of course you’re going to win and the other side has nothing.  You get so stuck on your own side that you can’t even see any argument going the other way anymore.  That can actually be a bad thing, but it happens.  Anyway, it was just really interesting that we both thought we had the losing side of the case.

After the trial, we went out for a celebratory dinner (for being done with trial practice, not for winning).  I got the worst panic attack/possibly heartburn of my life!  It was so weird! I was sitting there drinking water and all of a sudden my chest started burning a little and feeling like there was a little pressure and then it started hurting really bad.  There was so much pressure and pain in my chest I felt like I could barely breathe.  I tried to drink more water, tried to go outside and get fresh air, and nothing would help. Then I started getting a little freaked out that it was so bad and I was like “what are the symptoms for heart attack?”  Pain in the chest? Check! Feelings of nausea? check!  Shooting pain down the arms? No.  Based on no pain in my arms, I decided I was not having a heart attack, despite how bad the pain was.  Luckily, after about 10-15 minutes the pain subsided.

Then I came home from the dinner and had a really bad encounter with my complete jerk of a neighbor.  He lives below us and from the very beginning we’ve had so many problems with him.  I’m constantly kept awake by the TV in his bedroom (his is right below mine), Adam and Krissi are always woken up by him screaming at his two sons (they can hear word for word it’s so loud), and our living room floor VIBRATES when they watch movies during the day. UGG.  We’ve complained several times, but most of the time we just let it go.   Lets just say, I strongly, strongly dislike this guy.  So last night, Alexander was dropping me off, and his car was blocking the parking space of the jerk neighbor while I got out of the car (there is no other place to stop).  So the neighbor turns the corner and IMMEDIATELY lays on the horn and starts flashing his lights.  I looked over the car and yelled “Calm down! He’s just dropping me off!”  and then Alexander pulled away and the man yelled “don’t wave at me. I’m not your friend.”  And I yelled back “I wasn’t waving at you.  I was telling you to freaking calm down.”  I was sooo mad.  After how much he inconveniences us every single day, he has the nerve to be that big of a jerk over one little thing?  Even if he had never done anything else to us that would be unacceptable behavior, but it made it so much worse to be on top of everything else.  I was very tempted to go back down to his apartment and tell him off, but I didn’t.  And then, the pain in my chest came back.  Ugg.   So I decided to go to sleep at 9:30pm and hope to be better in the morning.

In completely unrelated news, I find it pretty crazy that I had a text message for “CNN BREAKING NEWS” this morning to say that Ashton Kutcher was the first person to reach 1 Million Followers on Twitter.  Breaking News? Seriously, CNN?

I feel like I should say something positive now after all of this negativity…. Despite how excited I am that I am almost done with law school (what a huge, long coming accomplishment!), and how ready I am to not sit in classes anymore, I really am going to miss Pepperdine’s campus and this easy schedule.  I am so lucky to have been able to go to school in a beautiful beach town paradise these past three years.  On days like today where it is sunny and beautiful outside, I’m starting to feel that little nostalgic tug and kind of wishing it wasn’t all ending so quickly.

Ugg. Blog Update Fail!

I really, really, REALLY, (please believe me when I say really) would like to keep this blog going despite my lack of travels lately.  Maybe I can inspire myself to keep posting by occassionally talking about travel desitinations I would like to visit eventually?  I don’t know.  But I have to try something!

I’ve had a blog for years that I used to update almost daily (sometimes multiple times per day).  It’s funny because when I want to remember a specific date (ie when did my little brother get married? when did I first find out his wife was pregnant? when did Alexander and I first meet?) I can go back through my entries and find it because I blogged about pretty much everything.  Now, the past few months have gone by in somewhat of a blur and I don’t even really know what has happened!

The main thing: I did go to Portland for Spring Break, the weather was primarily bad, but I got to see a bunch of long time friends that I miss quite a bit down here in L.A.  I also got fitted for a dress for Joni (one of my BEST friends) wedding which is coming up in August, and got a completely new ‘do:

Before (in North Carolina in January):


I asked for “blonde with more layers” and I got this!

Suffice it to say, I’m in my last semester of law school.  Most likely my last semester of full-time education.  I can’t believe I’m a 3L already!  I can’t believe it’s almost over!

Check this out:  I have 15 class days left, 1 Mock Trial to do, a mediation brief + trial binder, 1 25-page paper to write, 3 written exams to take, and then I’m dooooone somewhere around May 11th.  I’m trying to get an exam moved up sooner so that I can fly out to DC to be there for a memorial service at Arlington.  Alexander’s dad was a Brigadiere (sp?) General in the Army JAG and just over 5 months after his untimely passing his family and friends will finally be able to say Goodbye (for now).  My final is currently scheduled for the day after the memorial.  I technically could make that work, but I want to be there for Alexander and his family.

Graduation is May 22nd, my Bar class starts on May 26th, and then I take the Bar Exam (3-day exam) at the end of July.  From there –> I have an offer at a firm in L.A., but it has been pushed back to November.  So I will have a lot of free time from July 30-Mid November.  I’m plotting what to do with my couple months of complete freedom courtesy of the current economy!