Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter Break

Ahhhh…exams. The fabled exams of law school came and went and we’re all still here to tell the tale. My impression of my first round of law school exams was that they were impressively difficult. My professors truly fired every missile they had at us and crafted some insanely labyrinthine puzzles for us to solve. I came to law school for a good challenge, and they brought the goods. I learned some lessons about preparation: get outlines done earlier, don’t hesitate on making the flashcards (just make them and thank yourself later). Despite some missteps, I’m satisfied with my performance and hope my section-mates feel similarly.

My winter break was excessively busy. First, Christmas came at full-speed right after the last exam; and there is absolutely no similarity between being college-aged at Christmas and being a 33-year old man with a wife and toddler at Christmas. We hosted our families; which meant shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping gifts, decorating, and sweeping pine needles out of square inch of our floor-space.

Any free chunk of time in the days before and after Christmas I spent working on music projects that I had been hired for the three weeks off I had. In my insane hubris, I decided to freely book myself during all my “off time” with drum recording work and musical arranging work. While it was really nice to dust off some of those abilities that had lain dormant for months, I did bite off more than was reasonable to chew. Luckily, I was able to get it done with no time to spare before I was off to my last activity of the break.

The Saturday before classes began, I drove my mom, my wife and I to Berkeley, CA at 6am because my brother and his wife had just had their first child, a day ahead of schedule. So, I became an uncle as of two days before writing this! We got back home the night before my first day of classes. All of this added up to a very full and exciting winter break, if not completely exhausting! As I sit down to read my first few chapters of the new semester, I can’t help but feel like it’s a bit of a respite from the wildness of my winter break.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The 1/2 Way Mark!

I don’t think there will ever be a semester where I confidently believe exams were great. I am a worrier. Even when I am prepared, I worry. I prepared for finals earlier than usual and felt confident while taking the exams. After finals, I realized I am half way done with law school. How quickly time has escaped!

Winter break was relaxing. I spent the majority of it with family and friends. I spent a short time in Miami enjoying the summer weather. I stepped away from law school and spent my break recharging for Spring semester.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Break

The exam period was the most pleasurable experience of law school. *insert pause. Alright they weren’t really the best. In fact, they were quite brutal. It wasn’t the absolute worst though. For our first year, there are two yearlong classes and two semester long classes. The semester classes had finals, but the yearlong classes had midterms. The midterms were shorter and worth only around 25% of our grade, so it took some pressure off of the exam period. Luckily, my finals were in my favorite subjects (Criminal Law and Torts [sorry property and contracts I still like you guys]), so finals were still manageable despite the toughness.

Winter break was pretty amazing. The only thing related to law that I did were summer judicial externships applications. Judges started accepting summer applications December 1st, so before finals or right after finals were the main period of applications. Applications are accepted on rolling basis, so they are often sent even before we get our official transcripts by the end of January. Transcripts can be sent in later once we received our grades. Although daunting at first, the externship department was a tremendous resource that helped guide me through the whole process.

Although I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary over winter break, it was definitely a welcome respite from the first semester of law school. I caught up with many friends who I didn’t get to hang out with during the semester. Like most people, I watched Star Wars. Although I’m not a hardcore Star Wars fan, it was still an enjoyable experience. Sorry if a bigger nerdout was expected. Christmas dinners were great. I did a White Elephant exchange with my friends, and I got an adorable glittery blue unicorn. I then did a Secret Santa exchange with my family, and got the Mistborn Trilogy of fantasy books. I made it my goal to finish by finals, and I sure did. Reading the final 500 pages in an 8 hour sitting the night before spring orientation left my hand cramped but myself so satisfied. Once again, another fantasy world extinguished and reality reentered. This semester, it is time to take on the elective Administrative Law (which is taught by my amazing Property teacher) and Civil Procedure. Welp, time to get back to the grind.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Winter Break

After long hours spent in the library studying for finals, I was very happy to go home and spend time with my family. Winter break always seems to fly by because of the holidays, but I enjoy the vacation nonetheless. Most of my break was spent sleeping and watching TV, as I’ve reached that age where my friends are all working and don’t get three weeks off to come home. I did get to catch up with a couple friends who flew into LA for Christmas though and it was nice to see old faces.

The best part of winter break by far is having my parents cook for me. I love all Persian food, but so many recipes require time that a law student like myself does not have. But my parents have mastered the art of cooking Persian dishes, so every dinner was like a little treat for me. I also got to spend quality time with my older sister (mostly at the mall) whenever she wasn’t working. I’m very close with my family, so I love hanging out with them—our family dinners basically consist of me competing with my dad to get the most laughs (I usually win :-)).

For me, winter break is a time to recharge—I definitely enjoyed the chance to turn my brain off and somewhat forget about school. However, like all good things, winter break had to end. So let the countdown to spring break begin!