I’m pretty sure there’s no statute against whatever I’m eating and however I’m doing it, but let me pose a question.. Ever notice how I kind of.. stop writing once school has started? Last semester my friends and family would ask where the blog had gone, and I’d joke that no one wants to read a review of Spaghetti O’s. Except I wasn’t joking. Almost everything I ate literally came out of a can. Or out of a little plastic bag with a little silver bag full of spices. Or out of a box from the freezer.
I think I realized on September 5th, the day after my very last post of the Fall semester, that law school was sucking the life out of me. I had, however, pictured myself as a lawyer since the day before my undergraduate Orientation, when I sat around with my family outside in the oppressive humidity, eating something I didn’t make, talking about my future. “You’d make a good lawyer, you know. I’d be one, except I’m not good at words,” my father said. I’d always seen myself in publishing and editing, but that seemed so.. frighteningly uncertain. Law school? That sounded certain. “And they like philosophy majors. You can follow your old man’s footsteps and get a major in philosophy!” Well, he misspoke. Law schools do like philosophy majors, but the man only got a minor in philosophy.
Moving on. It seemed like a good prospect–certainty, philosophy, and…. money. Right? Right. So on I went, changed my major from English to Philosophy with advising, and started preparing to learn to love the law. I, of course, got involved in no real typical extracurriculars, just the literary and arts journal as I had in high school. I worked my way up to Editor and often stayed at the office late into the night, eating a burrito over my keyboard, working on something I genuinely loved, doing something I genuinely enjoyed.
Fast forward to law school. My very first class was with a professor who was forbidden from cold-calling. Why? He’d made a girl hyperventilate, cry, and eventually faint, or something, in the past. Later in the semester someone answered his question; he said “No! No! No!” and then went on to give us the right answer. Which was her answer. Like.. verbatim.
My second professor was a bit nicer, got to cold call, even threw us a kegger, but his test was notoriously the most difficult. He co-wrote our casebook, and with the emphasis he put on the exam on information in the notes, I’m going to go ahead and assume that all the ones on which he tested us.. he wrote. See where I’m going with this?
Oddly enough, I liked Civil Procedure. Eventually. And.. here’s the key word: Relatively. Anytime I said I liked anything about law school, it was assumed that the statement was qualified by “relatively”. Yeah, I liked Civil Procedure… relative to how much I abhorred Contracts and Torts.
The worst part, however, was Legal Research and Writing. Advisors tell you that, even if you hate all the other classes, if you like Legal Writing, you’ll like being a lawyer, since it’s the most practical class. I hated it. The repetition, the dryness of the writing, the mundane research.. all to bow to what you think a judge will like? As soon as we started actually writing in that class, I started “One L times 2”, my going-through-first-year account. I didn’t get too far in–nah, I had hundreds too many cases to read for that–but the first bit says a lot.. 54 days into law school, I wrote about uncertainty, angst, boredom, black holes..
Beyond classes, law school is its own microcosm of weird. In law school, you walk on the left side of the hallway.. if it means making someone else move. And when people say law school is like high school, I think they’re right, but.. I can’t be sure. In fact, I think it may just be.. worse. I went to an all-girls high school, and it was pretty bad. But throw in boys in the classroom, and free-flowing booze at Bar Review and other bizarrely expensive firm-funded events (Can I count how many free margaritas and tacos I had at the event the day before Orientation? No way. I lost count like four margaritas in.), and what do you get? Well, let’s just say that Gossip Girl is jealous.
Don’t get me wrong; there are some great people at law school with whom I became good friends. And there are lots of brilliant people, too. But if they enjoy it, they think they won’t be miserable from now until retirement, and it doesn’t bother them to repeat “The court is unlikely to find…” dozens of times in one, single memo, then, well,
Let them have the J.D.’s.
The strangest part is that I think withdrawing from law school was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve always had a.. plan. Now? I have no clue. But I’m going to do something I genuinely like. Or at least.. don’t hate.
Since I quit school, I’ve started.. cooking again. Fathom that! I’ve been going to the grocery store–my favorite store of all. I’ve been doing dishes.. and enjoying it. I don’t know what I’ll end up doing in the end, but I know I’ll never pick anything that’s going to steal me away from food–buying it, making it, eating it, and occasionally watching Iron Chef (Did I say occasionally? I meant religiously.).
Now, devoted readers, it’s up to you. What do you think I should do? What’s good right now? What do you think I’d like, all things considered? And if you don’t care for talking about careers in the least bit, tell me: What one thing would you like me to make and cover?
Time to go think of a more appropriate blog title…0