Families Are Evicted From Homes As Economic Crisis Worsens

Yesterday afternoon the mother asked if I’d seen the mail from Saturday.

I said that no, I had not seen it, yet.

She told me there had been something from the University’s Financial Aid Office so I hurried over to look through the stack of mail.  Indeed, one small envelope with the University logo in the top left corner was waiting for me.  I assumed it was something related to my loans.  It was, but not at all what I was expecting.  The letter notified me that because I had fallen under the “half time” mark with my credit hours, I would not be receiving the loan money this semester.


I was scheduled to take the continuation of the same two classes this semester (Contracts II and LARW II) but it had not occurred to me that there might be an issue with credit hours.

Because I’d basically already decided to leave law school, I was only staying this semester to get the loan money.  Sounds stupid, I’m sure, but it’s the truth.  I was scheduled to get loan money that would go above and beyond the tuition.  I’d planned to use it for other bills.  Without the loan money, what reason did I have to suffer through another semester?

I made a pro/con list just to be sure.  The only con that I could come up with for not taking classes this semester was the horror that will be in telling everyone.  I’m half considering a poster or sign that I can carry around and simply hold up when someone asks me about school.  Not only will I have to explain it to everyone that I work with, but as other law students make their way back to the library, they’ll ask, as some already have, about my classes this semester.

The pros far outweigh that one con though:

  • I’ll be able (and more willing) to start English classes in the Summer, rather than wait until next fall
  • I will have time to concentrate on my writing
  • I will be able to read what I want to read
  • I’ll have more time to concentrate on my health (My blood pressure was still down, last I checked, and I’m still getting dizzy fairly often)
  • I won’t have to suffer through another ridiculous wait, wondering about the damage of the curve
  • I might actually be happy again

It’s so crazy and I’m still kind of in shock.  Saturday I was reading a law review article for K.  Sunday I was making pro/con lists.

I have to talk to a few people today but the Contracts class I was supposed to go to tonight?  Nope.  Not gonna happen.

Since it has been about two weeks since my last post, I’m going to go with a quick and easy list for today.

-Christmas was relaxing.  Visited my Aunt & Uncle.  Sat at home with the mother most of the day.

-Had December 25-Jan 3 off from work.  It was AMAZING.

-I was able to spend a couple of afternoons with myFavoriteMedStudent.  Was so great to see her!

-Went to my first [Ice] Hockey game.  It was awesome!

-Saw Where the Wild Things Are at the dollar theater and watched a bunch of movies at home.

-Saw my doctor for a follow up appointment.  My blood pressure went down.  Again.  It isn’t “dangerously” low yet but merely “abnormally” low.  Doc gave me a prescription for something that she hopes will help.  As all of the tests have come back normal, the only thing she came up with was maybe mono but even that, she said, should have shown up in the blood tests.  So tired and cranky I continue.

-New Year’s Eve was fun.  E., K., & I went downtown for “First Night.”  Got there around 4:30 and stayed until just after midnight.  There were a lot of different things going on.  Saw one of my favorite local bands perform, saw the University’s steel drum band perform… There was also a popular Beatles cover band–Hard Day’s Night and many other artists & activities.

-My New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  1. To have No Regrets.  This has been a sort of motto of mine for a while.  One of my favorite quotes is:  “Life is fleeting; better to make decisions that you enjoy now than to regret that you didn’t make them later.” -Bob Torres.  I have a couple of regrets from this past year, both of things that I did and things that I didn’t do.  I don’t want any regrets in 2010.
  2. To read 50 books this year.  This past year, with law school, was the first time in quite a few years that I haven’t met that goal.  I still managed to get about 45 books but that included a number of books that I re-read as well as several that I had to read for school.  So I guess this year, my goal will be to read 50 new books.
  3. To finish a novel.  Writing a novel, that is.  I’m working on something right now but I only have about 10,000 words.
  4. To make exercise a priority rather than a chore.

-Finally got my grades from the first semester.  Not thrilled with Contracts but satisfied with LARW.  That’s kind of how I expected it to go, though.

-This week is my last week of semi-freedom.  I’m back at work but classes don’t start until next Monday.  I need to start reading for Contracts soon, but I’m cherishing my last bits of sanity for now.

Saturday morning was my Contracts final and the official end to this official hell of a first semester.

The final itself was surprisingly easy.  Ok, not easy, but easier than I expected and definitely easier than the midterm was for me.  And that, my friends, scares me.

Why does it scare me?  Well, I felt like I was in a panic during almost every single Contracts class because I never quite felt like I grasped everything.  But finals rolled around… I studied quite a bit for a couple of weeks and I really “crammed” the night before.  Even so, I probably didn’t study as much as many of my classmates and I definitely wouldn’t have called myself an expert.  But I walked into school Saturday morning feeling relatively at ease.  I went through my notes a couple more times and then when he gave us the exam, I started right in.

I probably missed an issue here or there.  Honestly, though, as long as I at least get a C in Contracts, I’ll be happy.

LARW, now, is a different story.  While I didn’t spend a lot of time on my last Memo, I still think I did pretty well.  Or pretty ok, anyway.  And I’m half-way expecting a fairly decent grade.  I’ll be disappointed if I get a C there.

We’ll see.  At the latest, I’ll know my grades by January 4th.  That’s almost an entire month away, though, so for now, I’m simply trying to concentrate on catching up on sleep.  (I got NINE hours last night!!–I can’t tell you the last time that happened.)  Sleep, pleasure reading, tv, movies… lots of mindless, relaxing activities.

If only I could take a month off from work, too.

Photo by Jsome1

I have one class left.  Wait.  Let me say that again…ONE CLASS.  One class, this Thursday evening, from 6:30-9:30.  Then, that’s it.  I will have finished my first semester as a law student.

Well, after the final, I will have finished.


I turned in my Memo for LARW yesterday.  That class is officially over for this semester.  No more class.  The third and final Memo counts as our entire grade for the class, with the other assignments that we’ve done throughout the semester being Pass/Fail.

Thursday is a marathon of Contracts and then that class is over.  The final isn’t until December 5th so I literally have 2 weeks to prepare for it.  The holiday next week is definitely working in my favor for that class.  Normally we have class Wednesday & Thursday night.  Next Wednesday, the University shuts down at 5 so classes after that are canceled.  No classes on Thursday of course, with Thanksgiving.  Thus, an extra week to prepare for the final.

That’s either going to be a really good thing or a really bad thing.  Good, hopefully, as I know there is a lot of material that I don’t know yet and two weeks will give me enough time to go over everything.  Bad, I fear, as I may work myself to death and completely freak out in the process.  Two weeks is a long time to study for something when you’ve made it a practice your whole life to not study for exams.  hmf.

Last night in LARW, we started to talk about our third and final Memo of the semester.  (Crazy–the semester is quickly nearing the end!)  It deals with premises liability.  As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve found that I actually enjoy legal research and writing, for the most part.  That realization was, quite honestly, very surprising.  But really, as long as I give myself enough time–where I’m not feeling rushed to complete the assignment–I enjoy the puzzle that it often is.  You’re given a problem, essentially, and you have to predict what the outcome will be, based on the relevant law.

In many ways, it’s like writing a research paper for one of my undergrad English classes.  The research part of it is, anyway.  When it comes time for the writing, it’s definitely been a different sort of challenge–but a challenge that I can appreciate.  I’ve become much more aware of what and how I write.  I stop and analyze sentences and even words.  Before this class, writing was, for me, something that either flowed or didn’t.  It wasn’t nearly so technical.

But, getting back to last night’s class, specifically… It was actually pretty funny.  The hypo isn’t anything too controversial and our professor just gave it to us last night so it wasn’t even as though we’d had time to sit on it & think about it.  Even so, when he opened it up for a little bit of discussion, some people got pretty feisty about their opinions.

Photo by hnnhlh14

These two girls behind me were going back and forth arguing one point–not even a part of the class discussion, as a whole.  At one point, Professor S quieted everyone down and asked if they had something they wanted to say and the one girl said:

Oh, yeah.  She has something she wants to say.

It wasn’t in a snotty way at all–she’s actually very sweet–but you could tell she was getting a bit heated during their exchange.  The guy sitting next to her said, “Yeah.  Seriously.  She’s ready to go to trial on this one.”

One woman, who just irks me for reasons I can’t articulate, raised her hand and said:

I don’t have an opinion…but I’ll form one.

I think I made a rude face at her–she sits 2 rows ahead of me–because Professor S made eye-contact with me and sort of smiled/smirked, while Crazy was rambling.  (I really like Professor S!)  I mean seriously, though–if you don’t have an opinion, why did you raise your hand??  Form your opinion, then speak.

Also, speaking of people who irk me…This is the guy who, on the first day of LARW, when we were introducing ourselves (it’s a small class), proudly proclaimed that he wanted to be a TV judge.  Now, I’m not quick to call a question stupid because I tend to think that if one person has a question, many others will have that question.  Often, I’m wondering the same thing.  Not with this guy though.  I don’t remember his exact question, but Professor S’s response was:

So you want to challenge the facts?!  No.  You cannot warp the facts of the case.


And one final quote, for now, from dear Professor S:

So what you’re asking is how much feedback I’ll give you.  Which might go better in a conference…When you get up in my face about your grade…?  Which I wouldn’t advise…You might regret it.


We discussed our dog bite memos in class the other night.  Out of nearly 40 people, only one other person (who actually spoke up, anyway) seemed to be on the same page as me.  That’s just sad because we all know that *I’m* right 😉

Anyway, we were talking about the definition for teasing which was: “to annoy or to trouble or to worry persistently, to be troublesome or to pester”  (Quellos v. Quellos, 96 Ohio App. 3d 31).  People were having an issue with this because: “you can’t tell when a dog is worried.”  (Um.  Yes.  You most certainly can.)  And:  “You can’t think for a dog.”  (You don’t have to.  They communicate their feelings.)  And then some were basically implying that dogs (animals) don’t worry, think, or feel.  I bit my tongue but wondered later if I should’ve gotten in to it.

Me v. The Entire Class, Inc.?

When I got home, the animals that I live with greeted me.  We discussed our days.  They shared their thoughts & feelings; I shared mine.  They make me happy 🙂

Duncan & Jayne

Sherlock & Cookie

That’s a debate we’ll get into later…Well, not a debate–it’ll be me clarifying.  -R.S.

You can try to convince yourself that you’re having a debate with a professor but when it comes down to it, you’re probably only debating to the extent that the professor allows.  And even if you do debate something in a class, your grade is not something you want to debate so your exam better be lining up with what that professor thinks…

Like many other 1Ls out there, I’m sure, I’ve been working on legal memos for my research and writing class.  The second memo of the semester is due tomorrow morning.  I’ve been working on it for about a week now, off and on.  Like the first memo, I assumed this one would be easier than it actually was.  In writing the first memo, my problem was with the format and the style.  I was struggling to adjust my “English major” writing to a more legal style of writing.  On the other hand, with this memo, I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of the style but I’ve found myself getting waaaaay too wrapped up in the hypothetical that we were given.

Basically, a little girl teased the hell out of a dog and when he retaliated, she kicked him.  So the dog bit her.  I would have, too.  I originally thought that I would “predict” in my memo that the girl’s family did not have a case against the dog & his family because the law states that: “The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog, unless the injury, death, or loss was caused to the person or property of an individual who, at the time . . . was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner’s, keeper’s, or harborer’s property.” (ORC Ann. §955.28(B), emphasis added.)  When I got into the caselaw, however, I found that it was fairly unlikely that a six-year-old brat would be legally “capable” of teasing, tormenting, or abusing a dog.


So I spent quite  a bit of time looking for cases that I could use to argue that a six-year-old knows the difference between playing nice and teasing.  And then I realized that–HEY, it’s just a HYPO, stupid!  I suppose it’s good that I’m treating the case as though there are real people (and animals) involved–that’s probably the point.  BUT.  If I’m getting this irritated and frustrated with a hypo, I can only imagine what I’ll be like when it’s not just a hypo.

So it turns out that Joe Schmoe from the last post is going to be in my section.  At least, I’m fairly certain it’s the same fellow.  At first I was amused, thinking this would be fun–I could get a calendar going and make…er…predictions as to how long he’d last.  I know–I’m a terrible person.  Believe me, I’m well aware.

But then as we were going around the room last night in LARW, I was caught off guard by his introduction.  (LARW is split into sections of about 30 students, I would guess–it’s more of a “skills” class and less of a “we’ll-eat-you-alive” class, thus the introductions around the room.)  I’m not going to go into detail but let me just say–while what he said the other night was still hilarious, and while I’m still convinced that he was in no way paying attention, I no longer plan to bet on his demise.

There.  Does that make me any less of a terrible person?

So tonight we have what is called the “Academic Success Initiative (ASI).”

I don’t really know what to expect.  It’s three hours with a woman who I’ve not had the best of luck with since I’ve been working here.  And it’s not just tonight–we get to play this game all over again tomorrow night and the next.  It should be…interesting.

Part of me feels like this might be a waste of time but the other part of me feels like…Well, if I don’t go, and I end up doing poorly in my classes, I’ll have to wonder if I would’ve done better with the ASI. So I’m going.  And I’m *really* hoping it’s not a waste of time because even now, I don’t have time to waste.  School hasn’t even officially started and I’m already starting to feel a little bit overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do…

Last week I had an email saying that for my LARW (Legal Analysis, Research & Writing) class we had about 30 pages to be read for the first day of class.  No problem.  Easy. But then yesterday I got an “UPDATE” saying oh no, no, no, no.  You actually have 150 pages due before Orientation starts next week PLUS another 100 or so for first class and another 50ish for the second class.  Uh huh.  Oh and in case you thought it was just reading–it’s NOT.  You also need to do the following exercises from the workbook… blah blah blah.  So yeah.  When I thought I was on top of things by reading most of the Orientation book over the weekend, I wasn’t.  I’m actually feeling rather behind now.  Hmpf.

Welcome to Law School, right?