Blizzards… So Many Blizzards

I’m not sure I would say “survive a few blizzards” was ever really on my bucket list of things to do, but at least now I can appreciate what “cold” really means and why northerners are so tense. Growing up in sunny and warm Georgia weather definitely used to make me wonder why northerners are so gruff and tense, but now I am living through the worst Boston winter in years. I get it. The city’s record snowfalls in a short period of time has cleaned out grocery shelves and created angry commuters. Last Friday I walked two blocks from my dentist’s office to the MBTA train station, and it was so cold, my eyes hurt. Yes, my actual eyeballs hurt.

Today, Neptune is bearing down on us and the winds are so strong, the snow is horizontal. Luckily, I’m safe and warm inside my home, and even luckier, my apartment complex has a back up generator. Not so lucky are those hard working people plowing nonstop to keep the roads cleared and parking lots ready for the coming workdays. If any city could handle this type of snow, it’s Boston. My friends text and call with concerns about my safety and how I’m doing, but despite the concerns of where to put this much snow or how the city can even take cleaning up another blizzard, it’s amazing how the roads and sidewalks are cleared.

Now, don’t get up in arms because I’ll admit it’s not perfect. Trust me. I commute 45 minutes from my home to school everyday. The MBTA is in much need of updates and repairs and my normal 45-minute commute has become 75-90 minutes. In fact, one day, it was a whopping three hours to commute to school. As much as I am not happy about my commute these days, I will say, for what they’re working with, Boston is doing pretty well. With that said, please no more snow. Even though our winter was mild up until mid-January, these last few weeks is really dancing on everyone’s last nerve. Please, no more snow.

Final Class Roundup

You wouldn’t have known it to see me sitting in the Associate Director of Student Affairs‘s office the other week, but in undergraduate I was nothing short of a magician at class scheduling. I had Excel spreadsheets for all eight semesters, color coding for general education requirements and each of my four academic tracks (double major double minor), italicized alternates depending on which study abroad option ended up panning out. I only tell you this because I want you to feel the full magnitude of the horror I felt at being paralyzed with indecision over the last academic courses I would ever take. I returned from winter break with literally only three credits set in stone:  Contract Drafting, because I’d heard the instructor was phenomenal and because I’d promised to take it with a friend who would kill me if I dropped it and stranded her alone.

Everything else was in flux. Would this practical skills course be more valuable that this seminar that was relevant but theoretical? Can I possibly earn a decent grade in this course all of my friends were taking pass/fail? Can I handle that many night classes? Am I getting in enough bar courses?  Madness and chaos. Our incredible Associate Director Jill Collins helped me hash out the pros and cons of my available options, which isn’t strictly speaking her job but which she graciously has been tremendously helpful with on more than one occasion.

What I ended up with was three credits of the above mentioned Contract Drafting, three credits for a Privacy Law seminar that my friends who’d taken in semesters past raved about, three credits for a seminar/workshop on Effective and Ethical Depositions, and four credits for Employment Law Discrimination. Unfortunately I’m barely in a position to tell you how it is going so far because thanks to Snowpocalypse ’15, some of my classes haven’t met for weeks. There is literally more snow on the ground than I am tall. The administration is struggling valiantly to make up for all the lost time with everything from extended classes to recorded or interactive online lectures to classes on President’s Day (Meaning that Monday will be a Tuesday schedule and Tuesday will be a Monday schedule… just roll with it).

It fills with alabaster wool the wrinkles of the road

It’s so much a part of our lives that I’m not sure it’s even “news” anymore: We’re in the middle of WINTER here in Boston.

The beginning of the end: January 24’s snow dusted our tree a bit.

 

This season has been a tricky one. We didn’t have any snow in November. My visitors at Christmas didn’t see a snowflake. Then, two weeks ago, BOOM(!!!), here it was: blizzard season. The snow has let up for no more than 48 hours at a time since, I think. Again, not really news. So why am I writing about it here?

Law School + (Snow*72″) = (Snow Days*5) = 600+ Crazed Law Students

In my unscientific analysis, the law of diminishing returns applies as law school snow days increase: First one’s fun. Second one’s  funny (ha-ha). Third one’s funny (strange). Fourth one’s absurd. Fifth one’s annoying. Sixth one better not happen. Things could get ugly.

When the blizzard hit January 27, we had fun sinking into this giant hill of pure, fluffy snow. Now, it’s an icy, gross pile of dirt and even more snow.

Today, in my first class after the most recent two-day cancellation, all the chatter was about how behind we all are, how stir-crazy we’ve been going cooped up in our (almost invariably tiny) apartments, and how much we just want to be in  class again.

That’s right: The most annoying thing about all this snow, for most of BU Law’s students, has been not being able to go to class.

What?

On Monday, February 9, I walked past this Brookline playground and found a mother ‘making’ her kid have fun by sliding down a buried slide.

My classmates and I want to learn. We want to have a schedule and stick to it. Sure, there are awful things about the snow — I’m worried for people who depend on hourly wages to get by and folks whose roofs cave in and houses flood, and I don’t know how those few students who drive in from outer suburbs are managing — but in our little sphere, this is about as disruptive as it gets.

Today, I had class on the fourth floor of the Redstone Building. I peeked out at the Charles River and saw a thick coating of snow on top of the ice.

BU has been pretty good about helping professors schedule make-up classes, but nobody likes a Saturday class. Deadlines, workflow, events, competitions, and clinical catch-up are pretty tough to reschedule on top of all that, too. Frankly, after a moment of throwing our hands up in the air, we can and will handle it.

Is there an upside to all this? I suppose: While locked up tight with the radiators clanking away, I managed to write another 13 pages of my American Journal of Law & Medicine note and get started on my Albers moot court brief (more about both of those in future blogs). My husband and I got to spend some quality chill time together, watching movies and hiking through the blizzards and snow caverns, which was great because I’ll be off coaching our regional Client Counseling team on Saturday, Valentine’s Day. I stayed up to date on all of my reading for classes. I am still a bit overwhelmed when I look at my calendar, but that’s just about par for the course at this point.

Until next time: Stay warm!

Walking by Brandon Hall in Brookline on February 9, 2015.

(The titular line is from a poem by Emily Dickinson that takes a kindlier approach to snow than I have here.)

Should I Go to Law School?

The idea of going to law school occurred to me for the first time during the summer before my junior year of college. I had just declared my history major the semester before and I was in the midst of that (completely normal) panic that every humanities major goes through when they realize that they will need to get an actual job with this degree at some point. The prospect of graduate school had always appealed to me, so naturally I looked into law school as an option. Preliminary Googling, however, revealed that, apparently, a vast amount of people go to law school just because they can’t think of anything better to do. Multiple websites assured me of this phenomenon. Do NOT go to law school, they cautioned, just because you’re unsure of what to do with your life otherwise.

I immediately became terrified of being one of these people. I tried to imagine the horror of committing to such a huge thing – school, but also my entire future career – and then backing out of it because it wasn’t right for me. I registered to take the LSAT the next semester, just in case, but I also refused to commit to the idea of law school lest I become one of those people. I lurked in Barnes & Noble for hours and read books about what makes a good law student. I made the same pro/con list once a month, each time coming to a different conclusion. I pondered deeply whether I WANTED to be a lawyer or whether the hundreds of hours of Matlock re-runs with my Grandma were finally having their inevitable effect on my psyche.

The rest of this story isn’t particularly suspenseful; obviously, I talked myself down and applied to law school.  But here’s the thing. At no point in time – not during my junior year of college when I took the LSAT, not during fall of senior year when I applied to 15 schools, not during spring when I toured 8 schools and committed to BU, and certainly not during August when I moved 1000 miles away from my home to a city where I knew exactly 2 people – at no point was I absolutely sure that I wanted to go to law school.

This uncertainty isn’t unique to law school, of course. We’re recent college grads. We’re 20-somethings. Most of us think we’re adults, but we still know how to cook approximately two non-ramen meals and we need our moms to help with the inscrutable mystery referred to as “taxes.” I am 24 years old and I’m still not entirely sure that I’m qualified to direct my own life without some sort of supervision. Coming to law school, while knowing absolutely nothing about the law, will probably always be the scariest thing I ever did.

Everyone’s experience is different, and all I can honestly write about is mine. Law school was nothing like I expected. No amount of books or blogs or campus tours could have ever prepared me for this, and I realize now that I was never going to be sure that law school was right for me until I actually came to BU and gave it a shot. Should you think really carefully about whether or not law school is “right” for you, as Google will advise you? OF COURSE. But, to add my two cents to the slew of bloggers out there already, you also shouldn’t talk yourself out of going because you aren’t quite ready to bet your life that this is the perfect career for you. That’s the secret they don’t tell you: No one is.

Follies Full Throttle

The big show is three weeks away and my life is full of follies! As producer, I’m helping this year with the event planning, which means learning to use the SAO’s new event software, manage the budget, and track down various vendors we need to speak with. In the meantime, we have rehearsal from 7-10pm Monday through Thursday, and this weekend will be our second (and final) weekend devoted to filming for our videos.

The juxtaposition with the very structured, logical world of studying tax law with the world of humorous theater makes my life interesting and I’ve been feeling great! I find I stay pretty disciplined during follies and I’m pretty up to speed in my classes so far. The schedule is nuts, but I still recommend follies for any theater, comedy, or music lovers in law school!