Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Diary of a 24 hour take home final.

8:30am- Woke up in a panic, thinking I slept through the window of time to pick up the exam even though I had set my alarm. Unable to regain my previous sleep pattern, I decided to get cup of coffee #1 and try this breakfast thing so many people recommend.

11:00am- Picked up the test. I don't work well in the mornings, even if I did wake up all on my own.

11:01am- Didn't even open the test yet for whatever reason but a wave of nausea came over me. Briefly wondered to myself, if I took a good 5 minutes to lay down and get a grip, if I would have enough time to finish the test.

11:07am- Nearly hit by a car in Brooklyn yet again. As I saw it, I wondered if I should stop scurrying away from it. I quickly reasoned that the test wouldn't be that horrible and kept walking.

11:10am- Back in my room. Finally look at the test and decide it's going to suck but it's fair. Despite that, I still allow myself 5 minutes to doubt myself to write a single word.

11:45am- I've actually begun to write by now. I think it might be an early night...Who am I kidding?

12:00pm- Coffee #2

12:30-3pm- Worked but the pace began to slow down pretty quickly. Sometime around 2 I went out to get air. Decided I couldn't handle people being drunk and done with finals around me during my final just yet.

4:30pm- Finished the 1st question and it was only 3 pages long....and I went over. Not satisfied with the answer but at least 1/3 of the test is over. For those interested: Dormant Commerce Clause.

4:45pm- Coffee #3. I don't normally drink more than 1 cup day and I don't drink it on a daily basis either so i'm starting to feel the effects.

6:00-8:00pm- A blur. I might have been in a caffeine induced blackout. All I do know is, caffeine is a total appetite suppressent and I knocked off question 2 (Commerce Clause/N&P). 2 page limit, went over again.

8:30pm- Coffee #4. I'm not even tired but I think I developed a habit. My body is awake but i'm mentally tired.

9:00pm- Coffee kicks in, feeling euphoric and ready to work again.

10:00pm-12:00am- Question 3 is on war powers and Iraq. I have to research and learn it all. There were paragraphs I wrote in 5 minutes time, certainly not from extensive knowledge, but because i'm certain I might be high.

1:00am- Tired but at the same time, I couldn't sleep even if I tried. It's a mental marathon to look at the same 3 pages off and on for 12+ hours. I might have forced myself to eat at this point.

3:00am- Finished the exam and proofread it. I disliked it. Hopefully that helps you out.

4:00am- Sobering up from caffeine.

5:00am- Caffeine hangover. Going to have to sleep this one off--if I can.

8:30am- Decide that I must hand the test in as early as possible because as long as I have it in my possession, I feel more guilty and worse about it. I make a pact with myself to not read it again on the way over so I don't get cold feet.

8:45am- Waiting for the exam control room woman to help me, I accidentally glance at my final. I have about 2 hours left and I live close. I could still fix something. I promptly decide against it, arguing that if I haven't gotten it by now or during the proofreading stage, it won't come to me now.

8:47am- It's finally over and there is nothing I can do about it now. Which is my reasoning for not being upset over tests after the fact (even if they didn't turn out as well as I had hoped).

9:00am- Crashed. I had trouble getting to sleep--who knew caffeine had such a long withdrawal time?
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Tomorrow is the first day of class and we have legal writing during the first week of class this semester. The one thing I miss about last semester is I think they're going to coddle us less now. I sense it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Con law final tomorrow.

I hope the commerce clause is enough to get me through it because it might be the one and only thing I know even the slightest thing about. At this point I intend on spending close to 24 hours looking everything up.

Trager knows we don't know anything. He commented multiple times today during the review session that people seemed scared. Why shouldn't we be scared? I'm not sure this class had a clear direction from day 1.

People say he gave us 24 hours because he expects it to be good. I think he just doesn't want to actually give out any F's.

Finals momentum is gone for good until the end of the spring semester.

Friday, January 06, 2006

T-4 days until the con law final.

I'm beyond unprepared.

January is a wacky time to be posting about finals and I still find it baffling that there are other law schools that purposely schedule all finals after break. However the MTA and TWU had to do their thing and the administration had to poorly do theirs so here we are.

I cannot for the life of me bring myself to carry on a semi-productive study session. My head just isn't in it at the moment and I know i'm not alone. It's not even like we had an overly long, college-style winter break that lasts for a minimum of 4 weeks. We had 2 weeks, if that much.

The problem is, it takes so little time to get used to doing nothing but so much time to get back into law school mode. 2 weeks, while short in terms of relaxation time, is long enough to lose any and all momentum that you had during the actual finals period. It's January and it feels like a new semester. Our new professors are already emailing us, we need to get new textbooks, and it has that calm feeling that I began to long for sometime around the second memo.

....Except we have a con law final.

Losing your finals momentum has got to be worst part about this. I know mine is gone and from the looks of everyone else, they don't have it either. Will everyone regain their early to mid December form? Doubtful but we'll have to figure something out.

Good luck to anyone taking a final. I know i'll need it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

MTA strike: The new snow day.

Finals went about as well as you can hope. I wasn't totally clueless (thank god since I actually studied) then again I don't feel that they went as solid as they could have. However I think that is the nature of a law school exam. Everyone here clearly studied a lot and no one is stupid so it's just you against the curve. All I know is that I worked hard and that is all I can do.

The last exam I have is con law and I will not be taking it until January sometime. This is good for two reasons: First, I am the most screwed for this final out of all of them. I know the least about this class and I don't have the slightest idea of what to expect. If there is any test that I need more than 2 days to study for, it's this one. Secondly, I took the night off after my civ pro final and then proceeded to take the next day off too and go drinking that night. If by some stroke of my typical bad luck TWU and MTA solved their differences, I would have been even more screwed than I already was. That was a gamble I was willing to take and thank god it paid off.

Minus the con law final that is up in the air, I have completed my first semester of law school. I never doubted my ability to do it since i'm not the quitting kind. However i'm pretty satisfied with myself, no matter how grades turn out. I know I actually learned something this semester and now i'm halfway to completing one of the suckier years of law school. I told myself if I could survive year one, I would make it through the entire thing.

In retrospect, the semester only truly got tough when finals began to loom...and we had memos. If I can survive the appellate brief, oral argument, and finals next semester then I should be ok.

Thanks to the MTA, i'm able to go drink and relax much earlier than expected and for the first time in several weeks.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Why did Professor Mazzone ban laptops?

"I came to the conclusion that serious and attentive students suffer when they use laptops in class. First year law students don’t know how to take notes effectively, particularly in a difficult course like Constitutional Law. Their strategy, therefore, is to record every single word uttered in class. Their hope is that even if they have no idea what anything means at the time, so long as they get it all down they can look it up later on and they’ll be OK.

Laptops, I found, turned the most diligent students into scribes.

I spoke—they typed. I spoke again—they typed some more.

But law schools train lawyers not court reporters. Learning to be a lawyer requires hands on experience: tussling with the cases, articulating arguments, reflecting on what others have said, offering quick reactions, presenting rebuttals. This is the whole point of attending law school rather than just reading about the law in a library. And you can’t do these things if you’re busy typing. There is a good reason lawyers are not the ones asked in the courtroom to produce the transcript of what has transpired. "

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Out of the jungle

A reflection on the Fall 2005 semester.

I'll do this before I take finals so as not to have a biased opinion.

This has been the most intense semester of schooling that I have ever encountered. However, I can say with total certainty that this is one of the most fun semesters as well. As the years go on, I continue to meet smarter and smarter people who encompass many interesting and eclectic backgrounds. Just when I think i've met the best of the best, I prove myself wrong.

I believe the thing I like best about this school is that not only are people smart but they like to let loose and have some fun. There are law schools out there where people will not go out on the weekends but here, people like to get away from it all and keep their sanity. I know my level of satisfaction with law school as a whole would have been much different had I not been here. That's the bottom line.

Pulling up to BLS in August, I was very excited to be living in the much hyped building but also uneasy about what was ahead. I knew I wanted to be in law school and I knew that I was very happy to be attending BLS. However, I had heard all the horror stories of law school and having come off a year of intense laziness and senioritis, I was afraid I wouldn't be ready. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to snap out of it.

Furthermore, I didn't know if it would be hard to meet people in law school since it was such a different atmosphere than college was. My fears were unfounded. This has been especially true as of late. Another rumor I heard was that people were cutthroat come finals time. Everyone I have seen has been more than willing to help their classmates out.

Law school and its finals are not enough to negate the first 3 months of school. The first 3 months where everything was fresh and there was a lot of fun to be had.

Good luck to everyone on finals.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Which FRCP are you?

YOU ARE RULE 20(a)!
You are Rule 20, an important part of the Federal
Rules' policy of permissive joinder. You are
designed specifically to allow as many parties
in an action as can be tried efficiently, and
you'll include someone as long as there is some
factual overlap between a claim involving them
and the rest of the case at hand. You are
popular, out-going, and are never far from
friends. However, your overly gregarious
nature and magnanimous approach do make things
a bit crowded--you're the reason that lawsuits
are often cluttered with innumerable parties
and even more numberous claims for relief.
Still, despite the crowds that you attract, you
can't argue with the efficiency of getting
everything done at once!

Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?
brought to you by

Con law: annoying right until the end.

There is no reason why this final needs to end on the 23rd of December.

There is a party thrown by the school at the end of the semester that I will most likely not be able to attend because of this final. While everyone else is letting loose and slipping into a liquor induced blackout, I will be holed up somewhere inventing information that i'm going to pass off as constitutional law. We are most likely the last people in the entire school to finish a final too.

Relaxation aside, having a final end so close to the holiday would not even allow people any travel time. In addition, it's not like any of us have had time to shop, what with law school currently sucking.

It's pretty fitting that con law would be last. It's my least favorite class, it seems to be the most ambiguous, and the outline is very up in the air at the moment. However, i'm thankful it's last. I need to teach myself pretty much everything and with it being last, I can devote time to it without neglecting anything else.

The school should think about scheduling finals before the 23rd of December in the future. It's been a crazy semester and all we're asking for is to be able to go celebrate the end with the rest of our fellow classmates.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Misery

Finals mode is in full swing and sleep is no longer a necessity. Forget about it even being an option. You just don't get much of it or have time for it for that matter.

The nights you spend studying just seem to fly on by and before you know it, it looks like the sun might be rising outside.

Outlines take a long time to do and even when they are done, you aren't much better off. I have 2 done, 1 that is about 85% done, and of course, as expected, con law has gone untouched--much like the casebook for the past 2-3 weeks.

Today my mother called me because she has sent me 4 emails in the past 2 weeks and have answered none of them. The first words out of her mouth were that she was very worried about me and wanted to make sure i'm ok.

December 23 I will be much better when i'm pouring copious amounts of alcohol down my throat.

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Crim law final is closed book. Advice?

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