Band of Outliners

December was a very strange month, indeed.  Unstuck in time, the days were repetitive yet indistinguishable (really, it was impossible to tell a Tuesday from a Saturday!).  Classes finally ended.  Inputting information turned into processing information — intake into understanding.  Alas, the idea of outlining became a reality.

Even though I outlined (to some extent) during the semester, I sat panicked and overwhelmed during the reading period on more than one occasion, wondering if my brain was actually made of teflon.  During one particular outlining session on a Tuesday (or was it a Saturday?), I felt my time had betrayed me — hours of reading, highlighting, class, note-taking, note-transcribing, notes in the margins, e&e’s, study groups, and dreaming of legal concepts, even…and for what??

Up until this point, the semester had been a fruitful, albeit kafkaesque, experience.  Day to day, it was not hard to keep up with readings, and I enjoyed lectures and class discussion…however, so rarely had I taken time to apply what I had learned on a micro scale to a big picture scheme.  I was guilty of “losing the forrest in the trees” as they say.

In the end, perspective proved to be my most productive study tool.  Taking a step back from the nitty gritty allowed me to see the commonalities and contrasts among cases (Alyssa would say, “same deal, different breach”), the trends in theories, and many overall basic themes that had been lost in the shuffle.  Not only did this “moment of silence” grant me a wider lens through which to view the material, but it eased my relative stress while preparing for finals.

Now, I just have to remember to read this post next semester.