Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘LEEWS’

Manic Monday

Posted by newlawmom on September 29, 2008

I wish I felt manic. Instead the Monday weather has me down. I found it hard to be enthusiastic today. But I did what was necessary. I’m really starting to wonder about what is necessary. This is hard stuff. There is no exact way to know what is necessary. Our sample exam in contracts on Friday was returned today. Miracle turnaround time or awesome prof? Awesome prof. BUT – he is confusing. Out of a possible 20 points, the scores ranged from 0-5. I scored more than zero and less than five. Pathetic. The worst thing is when he handed back the scoring rubric I couldn’t see myself getting there. So I spent my entire afternoon and evening revamping my outline in a way that might get me there. Which would be fine if I was sure that was where I needed to be. I do have a meeting scheduled with the contracts prof to review the outline, which he has offered to all students who work with at least one partner. Anyway…who knows. That is precisely the problem. I took a sample torts exam today. Tomorrow I get the sample Civ Pro exam back. I am grateful that my prof’s all seem to give these sample exams. I would have been totally screwed if the real exam was the first one I had seen. I will say this: as a student at school on a full scholarship, presumably coming in as a top five percent student, it doesn’t show. Nobody would ever guess. I need to stay in the top half. I’m sure I will. But I’m really not sure how that works yet. For this week, I am increasing my prep time, listening to LEEWS in my car every day in an effort to master exam methods, and spending more time on outlines and condensing previously presented information than I am on preparing in advance for class. (Although the reading is done, briefs are almost non-existent except in my head and a few highlighted portions of text.) So we shall see what this brings. I am not easily defeated. I will find a way. But to anyone who is reading this thinking that it will be easy, I suggest you think again.  OH – and I love my children. They are still here and I am still finding some time for them. For tonight they have gone to bed so I am in school mode. But they had their needs met. Thank god. It is shameful they are so close to the bottom of my thoughts right now.

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Friday week 3

Posted by newlawmom on September 4, 2008

I have made it through the week in fair condition. I was up until after 2AM last night writing my legal skills assignment that was due this morning. But I am proud of the paper. It should earn me a decent grade. Definately a different feeling than the first assignment I turned in. I am up to speed on all my reading and started my outlines last weekend. I have selected a study partner for Contracts, where we will work on an outline together. The prof will review outlines but only if we work with at least one other person.  So that is helpful. I am set to receive a copy of prior criminal law exams from a 2L. And I will return to my LEEWS system this weekend. Even so, it is now 9:30 and I am just getting to tonights reading. I will be up at least a few hours. l am going to need to learn to manage my afternoon and evening hours better. The two hour round trip commute doesn’t help either. My time is severely limited and sleep is what I have chosen to sacrifice thus far. I will need to make a different choice or I won’t be able to keep up for long. Let’s not forget the 20 hours a week of work I am trying to do in addition. Money troubles won’t help me.  So…it is going to be a long year. I love law school. Absolutely love it. I need to manage everything without sacrificing my own health. Wish me luck on that. I hope my readers have a lovely day. I will be happy all day – because it’s Friday.

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Why so confident?

Posted by newlawmom on July 25, 2008

I listened to the first two cassettes in my LEEWS system today.  It all seems like common sense to me. But I keep hearing that everyone at law school comes in with experiences of easy A’s in school, being at the top of the class, etc. So what makes me so confident that none of this will change? Come December, we will see if my confidence pays off. But for right now, I am honestly not worried about it. This is personal. The LEEWS program recommends being angry at exam time. That shouldn’t be hard. I am angry. Come hell or high water, I am going to do well in law school. And when I am done, it is very important that I be at the top of my class. Because….that is what creates the opportunity to do whatever I want with this degree. Anything less and I will be forced to take what is offered. I don’t want to take what is offered. I want to have my pick.

I have not come this far in the world because I sit around and wait for luck to strike me. Nor do I expect to be given anything that I haven’t earned. I work hard, and it pays off. I don’t expect that to change. I am prepared to do everything necessary (assuming a very high standard of ethical behavior) to succeed at this mission. It is personal and my performance needs to reflect that. So what about the rest of the people? I don’t really care about the rest of the people. If they come out ahead of me in a legitimate way, they will deserve that position.  I am going to worry about myself. And I have learned that when I apply myself I can succeed at whatever I set my mind to. I don’t expect law school to be an exception, and I don’t plan on changing my opinion on that. There are many things that I would like to do, and in order to do those things I need to master the art of law school, exams included. So that is what I am going to do. I suppose there could be other people who are feeling the same way right now. But I suspect those people are in the large minority. There is a very personal internal motivation involved for me. Am I angry? Yes. About many things. And anger can be put to very purposeful use.

Posted in Law School Life | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

7/23/08 accomplishments

Posted by newlawmom on July 23, 2008

I got a lot done in the basement today and also built a bunkbed in my boy’s new room. I was relieved and grateful to hear that my former in-laws will be driving my daughter to school in a few weeks. Her departure falls during my first week of classes, and I was planning on putting her on a bus and bringing her stuff to her over the weekend. So having grandparents drive her up is a better solution. Tonight I will read through some of the LEEWS materials and perhaps put in one cassette.

I had a few interesting dreams last night. In the first one, I was dropped off at a college dorm far from home and all alone. I was having a problem engaging with my classmates and found myself in my dorm room alone, where I met my roommate who told me she had been in her room crying for two days straight. Nothing looked right. It seemed like a bed in a strange place. I was needing to make it mine. And then I woke up. The second dream was stranger. There was a mascot walking around that I assumed was a man in a lion costume. The lion took an interest in my man-friend, who later returned to tell me that the lion was actually a woman who had attempted to seduce him. When I saw her later, she wasn’t wearing a costume at all and just resembled a lion. It was strange. Very strange. I hardly ever remember my dreams, so when I do, I like to write them down. What this has to do with law school, I’m not sure. But remembering dreams is a definite sign of anxiety.

So…I’m getting off the computer early tonight. Purposefully planning on reading and going to bed early as these are two things I will need to do more regularly. Thanks to all my readers and I hope you have a sparkling day.

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Law school prep

Posted by newlawmom on July 22, 2008

Today was crazy. And for the first time, I have found something law-school related that actually scares me. That scary thing would be the LEEWS audio set. I picked it up for $80 used. It comes in a lovely case with six two-sided cassettes, a book, and several loose sheets of paper. On top is a little green bookmark telling me what to do before, during, and after LEEWS. This is the Legal Essay Exam Writing System created by Wentworth Miller. I wasn’t going to go to the training, or even buy the materials. But the temptation was overwhelming. So….I admit it. I am scared. I have no idea how I am going to fit this into my very full schedule. Weekdays from 8-4 will be no problem. But evenings and weekends need to be well managed, and I will find it difficult. I don’t know when I am going to find the time to play these tapes, at a time when I am awake and able to concentrate, uninterrupted. It just doesn’t seem likely to happen in the middle of summer vacation for the three children. That doesn’t include the fairly lengthy reading assignments that are due on the first day of class. For today, I will avoid the idea by purposefully not putting it on my to-do list. When my list becomes longer than I can manage, I get anxious and accomplish less. When I make next weeks list, perhaps I will put it on there.

Money is tight. I spent a fair amount of time shopping online for my books. I need to make some firm decisions soon. I really need to either have the books or have them ordered and paid for by the end of the week. And I will. But it didn’t happen today. The price turned me off. I did get my physical taken care of, and it came in at just over $150. Not bad. I need to go back in two days to get my TB test read. Itsn’t it amazing that we can lock up one person with TB against their will because they are a risk to society? Risk comes in many forms. I would suggest that parents who abuse and neglect their children and then give birth to four or five more should be stopped just as fast as one TB patient who might infect a few others. An interesting concept. The father of my adopted son had nineteen children. Every single one of them was in the care of the state. The boys mother was sixteen and he was her third baby. Should they be allowed to continue? If they had TB instead of unwanted babies, they would be stopped to protect the innocent.

Well, on to bigger and better things. Tonight I will be planning the rest of my week and reading Later in Life Lawyers. I plan on going to bed by ten and being out of bed by 8AM. 7 came too early for me today. I need to adjust more slowly.

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