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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Image from http://www.ladyofthecake.com

Image from http://www.ladyofthecake.com

If you’ve already read the “About” section of this blawg, then you already know my significant other is also pursuing a law degree. Scary. I know. So imagine the fear I had when I first learned he would be going to law school.

From what I had heard on blawgs and from people who had a niece whose friend’s boyfriend’s best friend was in law school (or something of that sort, too lazy to diagram), law school would KILL the relationship. Or would turn my significant other into an unattractive, smelly, unshorn, libido-crushing monk two weeks into his first 1L semester. And that’s where author Scott Turow’s “1L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School” came in.

Turow’s account at the Ivy may be somewhat dated (he attended in the ’70s), and his mere admission into the hallowed halls of Harvard Law were something me and my LSAT score could only dream about, but the book gave me a realistic idea of what my boyfriend and our relationship would be facing. School work would be hard, but it could be managed. The relationship would need to be adjusted, but it could be maintained. Factor into that the fact that me and the boyfriend had been dating for an long, long, long time (almost five years when he started in fall 2008), and we had a pretty good shot at survival.

And for those of you who plan on strapping on a pair of steel undies and throwing away the key for three years, the book can also help you filter through the mixed messages of gunners, whose goal is to make you soil yourself with stories of the first year, and well-meaning-but-misled advice givers, and develop a healthy perspective on what to expect.

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