Friday, August 29, 2008

10 Observations of Law School after the first week

1. Being a 1L isn't like having a full-time job. It's like 1 and a half full-time jobs (this goes up to 2 in November). 

2. There are classes where I'll sound really smart, and others where I'll sound really stupid. As long as that doesn't influence my final grade, I'm okay with that. 

3. They purposely designed the building with the lockers in the basement and the library on the second floor so that we would get at least some exercise in your 1L year (even if you'll never see the sun). Seriously, you have to be in shape to carry that 15-20lb backpack all day. 

4. Speaking of the sun...I will need to take a vitamin E supplement this year because I will not see the sun much until Christmas, and then again until the wedding (I might have to tan so my dress doesn't wash me out). 

5. Being poor is probably going to be good for my waistline. Between the walking, the overall lack of free time, and the extreme lack of discretionary funds, I probably won't eat much. 

6. I'm grateful for my Orrick job - yes for the obvious reasons, but also because I had something to say when we had to introduce ourselves in every class. 

7. The attitude of USC law students is not unlike the attitude of Stanford undergrads. Everyone is trying to be nice and easygoing, but my feeling is they're secretly fretting over the amount of work we already have. 

8. It's probably a wise idea to dress up a little every day, or at least keep something in the car that dresses up your outfit. You never know when you'll be going to a formal event straight from class. This already happened yesterday when I went to an Obama speech viewing party in the Baldwin Hills at a prof.'s house. I was happy that I left my patent leather Franco Sarto flats in my car to wear instead of my Rainbows. 

9. You have to pray that the people in your section don't get on your nerves, because they are the people that you spend ALL of your time with. It's like the closeness you have with people from camp, except that this is 10 months long. 

10. Lastly -- law school isn't something you should do if you have "nothing else to do" after undergrad. This is a ton of work and any previous commitments really have to be set aside for at least the first year. I'm so grateful for the fact that I truly want to be a lawyer, because if I wasn't sure, I think I'd look into getting a refund ;-). But seriously, motivation is what's going to get my through the year.  

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts - maybe when I get through 4 weeks I'll add to this list, but to sum up, I've really enjoyed the first week and I'm looking forward to getting to know my professors and fellow 1Ls. 

Have a good weekend! 

The long awaited pictures

I finally walked around the apartment and took some pictures. It's very messy still and I'm not completely unpacked, but you'll have a good idea what it looks like. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Updates - 8/26/08

Ok, ok, I realize that I failed horribly in my attempt to put out a Monday update. In my defense, I was at school until 7:15, and then I wanted to unpack and hang out with Curtis while he was visiting. So, you get Monday updates on Tuesday :-). 

My last week of freedom: wasn't completely free. I was running around last Monday like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get all of the admin stuff done so I wouldn't have to make the drive another day. On Wednesday night my mom and I m
et with the florist for the wedding! We had such a fun time thinking about all of the decorations and bouquets! I was glad we got that done before we started school. My mom and I went to dinner together afterward and that was really fun. 

On Thursday I did a lot of organizing, trying to get ready for the move. On Friday I had my other day of orientation. It was actually really fun because we got to go around with our section so I got to meet the people that I'd be spending a ton of time with. Saturday was moving day - which went quite smoothly actually. We had a pretty large group - my family plus Grandpa, Curtis and his parents, and Louis for a little while. Everything fit in elevator (yay!) and it looks really nice in here. I haven't completely unpacked yet (see the section on law school), but it feels like home :-)

Sunday was a really fun last day - we celebrated my mom's birthday with a yummy breakfast and dinner and cake! I got a little creative with the cake decor, here's the final product pre-candles: 
Then Curtis and I said goodbye and drove to LA. 

So I mentioned the florist earlier...I also have made a tentative decision on the Save-the-Dates: I think I'm going to try and send them via email - to save paper and postage, and time really addressing them. I hope to get that going over the long weekend. I'm giving myself a deadline of Nov. 1 for deciding on Bridesmaid Dresses, so I'll keep you posted on that. I also need to find a way to get the music component of the day going - if any of you readers are O.C. brides and have a recommendation, please let me know (for live music for cocktail hour and a DJ for the reception). I also have to officially let the church know that I want to have the wedding there - so I hope to do that this weekend. The sanctuary is actually being remodeled right now and won't be done for at least 6 weeks, so we really can't plan a whole lot until we know what the end result looks like! It's ironic that I've been going to this church since I was 6 and they're remodeling it 9 months before my wedding. 

Law School: 
So I started law school yesterday! It's very exciting, and a bit surreal just because it's been a lifelong dream to go to law school. I'll give a brief summary of all the classes I've attended so far (Procedure doesn't start until Thursday)
- Contracts: this was my first class, and so far it's been an overview of the course. My prof. made a really good first impression so I'm hopeful that I'll enjoy the class and be able to understand the material
- Law, Language & Ethics: From what I've read so far, I think we'll get to read a lot of interesting cases. Like for tomorrow we have to read the first half of the D.C. Handgun law decision (where the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd amendment does not allow for a city/state to impose laws that restrict the possession of weapons), and I'm pretty sure we go over big cases like Dred Scott & Brown v. Board of Education. So, again, I'm optimistic that I will enjoy the class. The concepts seem more challenging than torts or contracts, so we'll see. 
- Legal Research and Writing: Not too much to say, except that this is a really important class in terms of what I'll be doing next summer, the summer after, and as a lawyer. I'm glad USC has such a class :-).  
- Torts: I think I'm going to love this class. We spent almost the entire time discussing 2 hypotheticals, and I even answered one of his questions correctly! 
Overall, I think my impressions of my classes will change in the next couple weeks as we get into more substantive topics, but so far so good!

Studying wise, it looks like I'll be putting in 9-11 hour days at the law school, partly because those books are too heavy to bring home :-) The good thing is it gets better as the week progresses.  

That's all for now! I'll *try* to keep the blog posted! 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Updates coming - I promise!!

I moved into my new apartment yesterday and I officially start law school classes tomorrow, so obviously things have been crazy. I'll try and put some pictures up this week - of my apartment, of the cake I decorated for my mom, and of USC :-). 

Tonight Curtis and I are going to do a little unpacking and celebrating that we're in our new place (well, we're not both living here yet, but we both have keys and we're staying here after we get married). I'll try to keep the blog posted this week! 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Updates - 8/18/08

Ok - so today has been a really big day. So I'll get through the other stuff and then get to the USC orientation stuff. 

Wedding - Hoping to meet with a probably florist this week, I'll keep you posted. 

The past week - as you probably gathered, I got a little bored this week - which was perfect since I'm about to not be so bored. I've been working on this Paint By Numbers project, which is actually almost done, I think I'll try to finish tomorrow. I'd also like to try and do some running before the crazy weekend. 

Last Weekend - Had a good (and very busy) weekend. Curtis and I went to the Spectrum again on Friday night and ate at Javier's which is a relatively new Mexican restaurant there. The food was pretty good but the service was very slow and the drinks were only okay. On Saturday Curtis and I took a load of stuff up to the new apartment and put the table and chairs together. We then got back to Mission Viejo just in time for our families to have dinner together at Curtis', which was very nice and we had a great time. Then on Sunday my family and Curtis went to my Grandparents' for dinner to celebrate my mom's birthday. I had fun spending time with my little cousins and I think they had fun too :-). 

We actually didn't get home until 9:30 because the traffic on the 5 was so bad that we turned around and spent another hour at my grandparents - and the traffic was still bad. So I immediately went home and went to sleep since I had to get up at 6 the following morning for...

Orientation (or, "Pre - " Orientation) - Monday was very long. But I'll be honest, it got me fired up to start school. I had quite the reality check when I bought my books - $890 for 12 books. I'm still sore from transporting them to my car. And yes, that's just for 1 semester. I already have some assignments and some confusion, but overall it was a really good experience and I met a handful of my classmates. 

I have a few funny stories. I asked one of the current students where the cashier's office is, and she looks at the map and goes "'s on the complete other side of campus", as if that was like going to be bad. So i was like, "should I drive" and she said "oh no, it's easier to walk, not sure about parking". And so I head out, and it turns out that it's like, a 10 minute walk to the other side of campus. That is nothing compared to most campuses I've been on. It takes at least 30 minutes to cross the main Stanford campus, and UCLA isn't exactly small either. So, I'm not as concerned about making the walk to the gym after class anymore, since the entire campus is about 3 standard street blocks wide. 

We also had a funny moment with a couple of current students. They asked us who our profs were and I responded. They had really good things to say about 2 of my professors (they didn't know the others), so I was happy. Then someone else provided their professors and she was like "oh..." in that negative way. We all laughed, and were like, "quit now while you still can!". 

I'm sure I'll have more later, right now I'm pretty fried :-). 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My new project!

I started this today. Yes, it is a Paint by Numbers (and a cheap one at that). This is the second one I've attempted, I like doing it because it's a nice distraction without requiring much brain power. I'll post a picture when I'm done, but so far I think it has potential! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Poll - Just for fun

With Fall TV approaching, I thought I'd add a poll - please take a moment to answer it :-). If there is another show that you are more excited about - add it in the comments to this post. However please note that I excluded non-fiction shows on purpose. 

Irvine Spectrum

Tonight Curtis and I decided to meet at the Irvine Spectrum since he was leaving work a little late and I wanted to get out of the house. On my way I took this picture because I thought the sky looked pretty. 

We went and had Pinkberry (I had the original with granola and strawberries - it's like a frozen parfait!) and spent some time in both the Apple store and Barnes & Noble. After I realized that we hadn't shared a funnel cake in awhile and that we should get one....

It was really tasty but we were too full to finish it. It's hard to eat stuff that fried when you don't have it very often. 

The Spectrum has this giant wheel that we've gone on a few times, you get a pretty view of Orange County. I suppose we could have gone on it tonight but we dressed pretty lightly so it would have been chilly at the top. Maybe next time. 

Overall, it was a fun mini-date :-) 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Updates - 8/11/08

Yay I'm doing Monday Updates!!

Apartment - 
Today I drove up to my new apartment in LA to be there for the sofa/love seat delivery and the Time Warner installation. It went pretty smoothly, I was able to unpack all of my kitchen stuff and some of my warm weather clothes. Both deliveries went very well. The furniture movers were worried that they would have to carry my sofa up 13 stories worth of stairs (not my problem, but still...that would suck) but in the end they were able to just barely fit the sofa in the elevator.  I'll probably try to go back up there later this week and take more stuff. I'd like to have everything moved in except for the major furniture before the 23rd since I start class on the 25th. Everything is starting to look really good in there so I'm very excited about driving up there to stay. 

Here are a few pictures of the new stuff :-) 

I think I have an idea of where I want all of my framed stuff to be, and I'm excited to put it up so I'm not just looking at bare (albeit beautifully painted) walls. 

Law School - 
Not much new on the law school front, getting my schedule was pretty much the high point of the summer as far as school is concerned. I'm sure I'll have much more to report once I attend orientation on the 18th. 

Wedding - 
Doing some work on the guest list and I'm hoping to meet up with a potential florist (who comes highly recommended by like, everyone I know) this week. We have also started our official wedding website, which is a very exciting endeavor. It'll be included on our save-the-dates, so we hope to have it ready to go by September when those go out. Other than that the planning has slowed down a little bit, and I should really devote some time before finals roll around. At least I also have 3 weeks at Christmas. 

How I've been spending my time - 

One problem this summer has been my wake-up times. My room is at the front of the house, so while my brother was still in school the bus woke me up at 7:30. If it isn't the bus it's the garbage trucks on Monday mornings (which is like, the worst sound you could ever wake up to), and sometimes the telephone. So I don't really feel like I've caught up on sleep while I've been home, but I still have a few more weeks, and if you read my law school schedule, you'll see that I won't be waking up at the crack of dawn. 

The Olympics have been very good to me. It's given me something to do that doesn't require much brain power. I've also been helping a lot in the kitchen, loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc. With the arrival of my new MacBook (yes! I got a beautiful new MacBook!) I've been in front of the computer a lot more, which I can live with since compared to work and compared to the upcoming 3 years, I'm really not as attached. I hung out with my brother on Saturday night and Sunday morning while my parents went to a wedding, and that was actually really fun and easy. I was happy that I felt comfortable taking care of him and he felt comfortable conveying to me what he needed. So overall it's been an interesting summer. I've had boring moments but for the most part I've been pretty busy so it's gone fast.

This Week - 
Today was a big day with the appointments in LA. Like I mentioned before I'll probably try and go back later this week. On Saturday night my family is having dinner at the Harts, and then on Sunday afternoon we're heading down to my Grandparents' for my mom's birthday celebration. I'll get to see my little cousins for the first time in awhile so I'm excited about that. I'll try to get some pictures I can put up. 

That's all for now - have a good week! 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Birthday Pictures

We had a great time the night of my birthday. We had Chinese food and margaritas and watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics - which were AMAZING.

Friday, August 8, 2008


As most of you know, it's my 23rd birthday today. So far it's been great: My mom made me breakfast and decorated my door (a family tradition), my friend Adelyn took me to lunch and then we saw Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 and had Pinkberry for the first time, and later on I'm having Chinese food & Margaritas with a few friends and watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Plus, getting presents and e-cards and and facebook "happy birthdays" is pretty fun :-).

I have to say, it's been an unusual birthday this year. It's the first time since I turned 18 that I was in Mission Viejo for it. And before 18 it was 14, so it's quite the anomaly. Plus, 23 seems like a milestone birthday for some reason. Possibly because by the time you're 23, it's likely that you have some kind of direction. And, it also falls during a year of changes for me. This is my last birthday as a single woman, and it also marks the end of a 2-year break from being a student. I guess overall it's been a surreal year, and my birthday is no exception.

When we were at Pinkberry Adelyn asked me an interesting question (Adelyn I hope you don't mind that I include this - it really got me thinking!). She asked whether I had any goals for myself on my 23rd year, other than the obvious get good grades, a good summer job, get married stuff. It occurred to me that a big thing on my mind this year has been my maturity. I've always felt a little older than my peers, maybe because I take a lot of responsibility upon myself. I think I felt so comfortable working with a group of people who were a little older that now I'm a little scared to go back into an environment where the average age is lower than 25. So, I resolved to not care about that as much this year. I will try to be more open-minded and not fixate on the age and maturity of my peers, because it just doesn't matter.

It feels good to set a personal goal for myself, outside of the obvious benchmarks. We'll see how it goes. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My new schedule!

Thanks to some fellow USC Law classmates' advice, I was able to see my first semester (semester!) schedule online. I am in Section L! I think the most remarkable part is that Monday classes for me don't start until 1:20PM (Tuesday is my busy day)! But I'll be able to use the morning to catch up on reading and gear up for the week.

Here it is - broken down by class:

Thurs/Fri. 1:20-3:oo
Mon/Tues/Wed 1:20-2:35
Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri 10:05-11:20
Law, Language, and Ethics
Mon/Tues/Wed 2:45-3:35
Legal Research, Writing, & Advocacy
Tues/Thurs 11:30-12:20

Here's the breakdown by day:

Contracts 1:20-2:35
Law, Lang., Ethics 2:45-3:35

Torts 10:05-11:20
Legal Research, etc. 11:30-12:20
Contracts 1:20-2:35
Law, Lang., Ethics 2:45-3:35

Torts 10:05-11:20
Contracts 1:20-2:35
Law, Lang., Ethics 2:45-3:35

Torts 10:05-11:20
Legal Research, etc. 11:30-12:20
Procedure 1:20-3:00

Torts 10:05-11:20
Procedure 1:20-3:00

I am slightly concerned that I will be sleepy during my afternoon classes, so I'll have to make sure I get a good amount of sleep. At least the classes are shorter than they were at Stanford. I'm also glad classes don't start until 10:05 at the earliest so I can commute from Park La Brea after traffic. Then I can stick around until after traffic subsides on campus to do my reading and workout. So overall I have no complaints with this schedule - I don't know anything about my professors yet to make a judgement, and I'll probably reserve that until my first couple of weeks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pictures - Apartment!

On Friday we worked hard to paint the apartment! My dad is a skilled edger.

My mom did the shelf and drawer liners for the kitchen and the closet. (Our walk-in closet includes a dresser and a large mirror!)

More rolling :-)

Jon was so good all day - we were there for 9 hours!

A good view from the front room of the kitchen.

More painting....

My dad did this :-)
But I did the smiley face :-) I thought it was appropriate for the color.
I took this picture yesterday when we went back to evaluate the work. I really like how the colors turned out!

The new shower curtain.

The front room after we took all the tape off. We're really happy with it!

Pictures - SF

Lineage Pic! Me, Melis, and Val

Tridelt Picture!

I shamelessly stole the next few pics from Tracy ;-)

Monday Updates - 8/4/08

Wow - it's Monday and I'm writing a blog entry! Exciting. I'll give an overview here, and then I'll follow up with pictures.

San Francisco Trip -
I had such a good time in San Francisco, I don't even know where to start. It's great to have good friends who live there to visit. My friends Juls and Melis threw their housewarming party in their new cute apartment, and then we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out. We were all so happy to see Tracy for the first time in awhile, I've really missed her.

Home -
It's been nice to be in Mission Viejo. I've been able to spend a lot of time with my family and with Curtis, and it's nice to have some time to unwind, and organize my stuff!

New Apartment!
I have a new apartment, I'll try to post pictures today. It's in a complex called Park La Brea, right near the Grove and the Farmers' Market. It's a cute 1 bedroom on the 12th floor of one of the towers. Last Friday my family and I drove up there to paint the front room and the bedroom. We went back on Sunday to see how it turned out and drop off some stuff. I'm going to try and unpack my kitchen this week, and then unpack my clothes the following week. We plan to do the furniture move on Saturday, August 23. I'll be happy when everything is done and I am settled. I'll admit I've been a little stressed out by this whole process.

That's it for now - stay tuned for pics!