Like Clark Kent and that Super Fella.

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Also: We’re down to the home stretch, folks! Four finals down, one to go! After my Contracts final tomorrow, I officially will be done with my first year in law school and getting ready for Cambodia! Confetti!!!

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I hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend, but for finals last semester and for finals this semester Undergrad Neighbor has done something unintentionally, yet incredibly annoying. Last semester, the day before my Torts final, it was inviting his douchey, possibly hipster friends to talk about Picasso, smoke douchey herbal cigarettes, and scream like Howard Dean while running into walls.

What could possibly be worse than that?

One word, nerds: Drums. And not just any drum kit, mind you. From what I gather, Undergrad Neighbor has either borrowed or has recently purchased a digital drum kit, which means that there is one drum set with a million preset kits on it. And he’s going through every single one of them.

Every. Single. One.

Frak.

Now, I wouldn’t mind if he had drum skills so crazy mad that he could play the dress and undies off a feminist groupie, but that is not the case, my friends. All I’ve been hearing for the past hour or so is “bass, bass, bass, bass-snare … high hat!” tried with all the different kits that came with the drums.

To grasp my level of annoyed, think Rock Band on the easy setting played by a rhythmically challenged kitty cat, minus any potential cute factor. “But kitty cats have no hands, much less the manual dexterity afforded by thumbs!” you say.

Uh-huh.

Puppies, kittens, unicorns and rainbows.

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I’ve just returned from learning about and being immunized against all the nasties that could possibly hitch a ride on my insides during my trip to Cambodia, and, to be honest, for some reason it made me feel a bit like a super finicky, overly squeamish, ugly American.

I mean, as a child, when I visited the Philippine provinces – the place where my folks grew up and where I was born – my parents threw caution to the wind, didn’t get shots, and allowed me and my brothers to chase after chickens, pet the local wildlife, brush our teeth with the water from a water pump, wear shorts, tank tops and chinelas (flip-flops), and order food from the street vendors. The most we returned home with were several mosquito bites, super dark tans, and fairy stories about the little, brown, bearded men who lived in the hill in front of my uncle’s old house.

No puking. No chills. No sweats. No crazy runs. Definitely none of the horrors described in the literature given to me by the vaccination company, which specializes in travel immunizations.

Got Hepatitis A? Get ready to have flu-like symptoms, jaundice and the runs. Got typhoid? Get ready for high fever, stomach pains, and, you guessed it, the runs. Got polio? Get ready for nothing, cause you ain’t moving after you get that ish. For good measure, whatever god you believe in will probably also throw in the runs and a bite from a rabid, ankle-biting raccoon or monkey because you were dumb enough to forgo immunizations before traveling abroad,

Yeah. Sounds unpleasant. But, to quote Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, how could a world that makes such wonderful things be bad? Just look at that glorious photo!

But, as they say, better safe than sorry.

Photo: tylerdurden1 / Flickr

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Episode_4_Millennium_Falcon_1Since my last video post earlier this last month, things in law school have gone from 0 m.p.h. to being able to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. In other words: Son, this ish has picked up speed.

I turned in my final 14-page Legal, Writing and Research open memo on doorway arrests (they’re no bueno), participated in a Moot Court practice round (aka ZOMFG! Barf.)  in front of six student judges the day after the memo was due, participated in the first round of the 1L Moot Court competition, advanced to the top 32 quarter-final rounds, and accompanied The Boyfriend to his law school’s Barrister’s Ball (aka law school prom).

On top of that, the day before the memo was due, I found out that I was selected for an eight-week internship with the Open Society Justice Initiative, a non-governmental organization, in their Phnom Penh, Cambodia, office working with media rights. Another Chapman Law student was selected to intern with the same organization for six weeks to help with the monitoring of the Khmer Rouge tribunals.

For sure, I’m super excited about going and the work I’m going to be helping with, but I also had to start thinking about funding for the whole venture so I wouldn’t have to pay the costs 100 percent out-of-pocket.

whosawesomeloldogThankfully, the professor who informed me about the internship, the law school administration and upperclassmen from some student organizations were incredibly helpful in finding funding (Seriously, they’ve been super awesome). An awesome board member from the Student Bar Association arranged for me and the other student to appear before the board and request funding. It was a not-so-awesome experience there, and, um, loud to say the least, but, thankfully, the amazing people at the Public Interest Law Foundation and the law school’s Center for Global Trade & Development more than made up for the lack of support from the SBA.

So the flight and hotel have been booked, vaccinations are scheduled (so I don’t come home puking and my important bits falling off, like Zombie Cat), and now I can just focus on preparing for my flight toward the end of May.

Oh, and for those teensy, little, insignificant things called finals in two weeks.

Urgh.

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After crossing my fingers through my September birthday and through Christmas in the hopes of receiving a Chapman Law sweatshirt, and subsequently being disappointed that I didn’t get one (Boyfriend, I’m looking at you if you’re reading this), I finally decided to bite the bullet and just buy one for myself.

Yup. Today I ponied up the $60 for a law school sweatshirt. $60! That’s not nearly as much as the almost $200 a pop for each of my casebooks, but somehow it still seems a bit much to me. But who am I to complain? I still bought the thing, didn’t I? I guess it’s a small price to pay to keep from freezing to death in the 45-degree California winter.

While waiting in line at the bookstore to purchase said sweatshirt, one of the bookstore supervisors grabbed some bags of candy and asked if anyone knew who was in the Super Bowl this year. I looked at the undergrad girl behind me who had the same bewildered “Dude. Wtf?” look on her face.

Wrong people to ask. Seriously. When some of my Facebook friends’ feeds were abuzz with the matchup between some team and the Jets, all I could think of were scenes from West Side Story. Like this one:

Needless to say, neither I nor the undergrad behind me got the candy.

funny-pictures-kittens-may-or-may-not-be-listeningSpeaking of cool, one of the more awesome law school class moments came up this morning during Torts. The teacher, lets call him Mr. Giles because he reminds me of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, had someone on deck, but he had opened up a question to the entire class.

I sit in the front row, and I knew better than to look up and make eye contact with the teacher if I didn’t want to answer the question. I had done so in the past and had learned my lesson: Never. Look. Up.

I kept my eyes glued to my screen, typing some gibberish about a psychiatrist’s duty to warn, and maybe some lines from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Luckily, I escaped teacher’s eagle eyes. The student seated to the left of me, however, was not so lucky.

Mr. Giles: So what do you think, Mr. Student?

Mr. Student: Um. Sorry. I wasn’t listening.

There was a teensy moment of silence: Reverence for Mr. Student’s ballsy answer? Fear for Mr. Student’s life? We may never know. But rather than bite the student’s head off, Mr. Giles laughed. The student laughed. The class laughed. It was awesome.

Mr. Giles: (laughing) If I wasn’t listening, I would have at least covered it up.

Then Mr. Giles looked down onto his roll sheet to look for someone to put on deck for the next case. Mr. Giles scrunched his face, seemingly trying to decide whom to call on next. He looked up from the roll sheet, looked around the room, and, not missing a beat, turned his head to my side of the classroom once again.

Mr. Giles: Mr. Student, can you please tell us about the next case?

And scene!

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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funny-pictures-cat-pays-you-for-the-dogYou can take the Blawgirl out of journalism, but you can’t take the journalism out of the Blawgirl.

You can, however, bury said journalistic spirit under a pile of Civil Procedure, Torts, Criminal Law, Property and Contracts reading, and see if (a) she has the fortitude to crawl out from under it, or (b) if she will just collapse in a sad, weepy, un-groomed mess under all that weight.

Fortunately, I fall into the former category (for now), and have been able to read news stories on a daily basis from my handy dandy Google Reader.

What’s great about reading a lot of the stories I come across is that they sometimes set off little law school light bulbs in my head, reminding me of things I’ve read or that were discussed in my law school classes.

As such, I’ve decided to share these stories with y’all from time to time under the title “Hypos in the Headlines”. It may (and I use “may” loosely) even get me to post more often.

First up? CivPro!

The CLASS: Civil Procedure II

The BOOK: Dukeminier

The TOPIC: Chapter 8, Resolution Without Trial

WHADDA ABOUT IT? Right now, we’re discussing how adverse parties rarely make it to trial and instead find some other way to resolve their differences. One option is through settlement, where the plaintiffs agree to dismiss a lawsuit in exchange for something else: money, silence, first-born children, etc.

In the HEADLINES: Dating site eHarmony came under lots of fire more than two years ago for discriminating against gays, lesbians and bisexuals by failing to provide same-sex dating services. Recently, the site ended a class-action lawsuit with gays and lesbians in California agreeing to pay half a million dollars and make its website more “welcoming” to seekers of same-sex matches, according to the L.A. Now Blog of the L.A. Times.

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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Beavis_and_Butt-headOne thing I’ve noticed since starting law school is that when there is something even remotely funny in a case or in what a law professor says, I laugh out loud, snicker, or, at the very least, giggle on the inside.

This phenomenon had me giggling whenever I came across the words “duty” and “penal”. And you can imagine the party in my head when I read about a faulty bunghole in Torts.

What can I say. You take your laughs where you can find them when you’re a coffee-guzzling, grade-obsessing, sometimes sleep-deprived law school first year.

Second semester hasn’t changed this at all.

Based on the facts contained in a memo that we drafted last semester about the misappropriation of a trade secret, me and my fellow 1Ls now must draft a settlement letter offering the other side a reasonable settlement deal.

First thing that popped into my head?

And when we were discussing proximate cause relating to a second injury caused by a weakened condition from a prior injury in Torts, I couldn’t help but remember this scene, also from Austin Powers.

Image: Wikipedia

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worklolcatAfter three weeks of relaxing, I returned to the not-so-relaxing life of a 1L student on Monday. Call me crazy, but it felt good to be back. Prior to my return, grades had been posted, and I had outlined a plan of attack for the second semester of my 1L year.

So, unlike the first day of classes last semester, I know now what to expect and what needs to be done in order to succeed.

In addition to Property, Civil Procedure, Torts, Legal Research and Writing, and Contracts, we will also be taking Criminal Law this semester. CivPro and LRW have been reduced to 2-unit classes, but I have a feeling that doesn’t help much in terms of my workload. Whatevs. I got through my first 1L semester, I can make it through my second one! Bring it on!

New semester, new year :)

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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Photo 11You may (or may not) have noticed my absence from this blawg in the past couple weeks since I took my last final. That’s because the minute I uploaded my final test of the semester I checked out of neurotic law student in finals mode and checked into Blawgirl on vacay mode.

And while other 1Ls from other law schools constantly checked their grades over the course of the winter break, the folks over at Chapman Law have decided to wait until after the spring semester starts to release our grades.

So, for the week remaining on my vacation, I will be blissfully unaware of my inadequacies as a law student and simply assume that I got by because people, including the teller at my local gas station, family members, and some online tarot card reading thing, have reassured me that I probably did OK.

Their guesses are as good as mine.

Early on during the winter break I questioned my school’s decision to wait to release our grades, but over the course of the break, especially during Christmas week, I was glad to not have the weight of failure hanging around my neck. As such, I was able to – wait for it – actually have fun.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Winter Break Week One

  • Bought a fake Christmas tree at Target and decorated it with The Boyfriend the Friday of my Property final. We also ate a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants, a Lebanese place called Papa Hassan’s.
  • Hiked the Hermit Falls and Sturtevant Falls trails with The Boyfriend.
  • Bought Christmas presents, wrapped them and decorated them with flowers from Dollar Tree. Scroll to the end of the post to see the finished presents and my tree!
  • Celebrated Christmas Eve with my family. This Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a hot cocoa bar. For the bar, I brought a Crock-Pot full of hot cocoa and a bunch of things that people could stir into their cups. They could choose from either a candycane or cinnamon stick as a stirrer, then add red and green marshmallows, butterscotch chips, mini chocolate chips, red sugar, green sugar, caramel syrup and whipped cream on top. Sadly, no actual alcohol in the cocoa bar in consideration of my younger cousins and nephews and nieces. Played Christmas songs on the piano. With the decorative present wrapping and the cocoa bar, I was feeling very Martha Stewart-y.
  • Celebrated Christmas day with The Boyfriend’s family. Day two of the hot cocoa bar! Loved watching The Boyfriend’s nephews and nieces open their presents. Taught The Boyfriend how to sword fight for the stage using a pair of squishy swords his nephew received (Little known Blawgirl fact: I played Abraham in a high school production of Romeo and Juliet; dude dropped out three weeks before the start of the play, and I volunteered because I wanted to play with swords). Watched for 15 minutes as The Boyfriend and his cousin re-enacted scenes from 300.
  • Had a dinner date and a movie with several of my cousins. We watched Avatar in 3-D and ate dinner at Felix Continental Cafe, a lovely Cuban place by my house.
  • Finished The Gargoyle, a novel by Andrew Davidson. Interesting story, with a bunch of lovely love stories woven in.

Winter Break Week Two

  • Visited the Huntington Library with The Boyfriend. Leave it to us to go on the only frakkin’ day it decides to rain in Southern California. Day before the trip: bright and shiny. Day after the trip: even brighter and shinier. Day of the trip: rain, rain and more rain. Eff you, rain gods. Still, had a lovely time walking around the main house.
  • Finished and loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was a bit skeptical about the book when it was recommended to me by a friend. First off, the book was in the young adults section next to Twilight. Second, I was looking for something light and fluffy, and not a book about a dystopian North America where the government has gone so evil that it forces people to watch a reality show that’s a mix between Survivor, American Idol and America’s Next Top Model, where only one person out of 24 could walk out alive. Oh yeah, and the people fighting to death? Children who are anywhere from 12 to 18 years old. It turns out, however, that this was the book I was looking for. I’ve moved on to the next book in the series, Catching Fire.
  • Celebrated New Year’s Eve with The Boyfriend’s family.

Week Three of Winter Break

  • Updated my blog.
  • Getting over a stupid cold. Tried to flying crescent kick the cold in the balls by nomming on some Tom Yum Kai, a spicy Thai soup, but no luck yet.
  • Possible 5-mile trail run that I haven’t done in ages.
  • Paintballing on Thursday!
  • Actually looking forward to the start of the new semester.

Don’t let me down, 2010!

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1. Christmas 2009 Presents 4, 2. Christmas 2009 Presents 9, 3. Christmas 2009 Presents 3, 4. Christmas 2009 Presents 1

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So here we are, kids. I am a little less than 24 hours away from taking my first law school final. It’s been a heck of a ride, and I know that it will only get harder from here. I also know, however, that it will get a bit more tolerable once I know what is expected of me during these exams. Still, that is little comfort when tomorrow’s Torts exam determines 95 percent of my grade for the semester. And the professors are required to curve the grades, which means you are graded against your fellow class members. Gulp.

But seeing where I’ve been also makes me feel a smidgen of accomplishment. If you’re a fellow 1L, you should be proud of yourself too!


Number of pages read in Torts:

300-ish


Number of pages read in Civil Procedure:

400-ish


Number of pages read in Property:

400-ish


Number of pages read in Contracts:

400-ish


Number of LRW memos written:

2


Number of pages written for memo No. 1:

10


Number of pages written for memo No. 2:

14


Number of cases read for memo No. 1:

3


Number of cases read for memo No. 2:

20-ish


Number of supplements consulted:

6-ish


Number of pages in outlines:

Super secret


Number of times I’ve used FML in a status update:

0 (hurrah!)

For serious, kids. There are starving babies in Africa. And something called medical school, which is super hard if you believe Grey’s Anatomy. It’s called perspective.

For some more perspective on finals at my law school, check out this column!

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