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Archive for July, 2012

The Wheel of…What’s Next

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I’ve got to talk about a(nother) little dark side around law school for a moment – allow me to indulge.  It’s a facet of the end of law school that, BTW, I’m not finding in the literature, and a dirty one that no one really (and obviously–according to the literature, anyway) talks about.  It’s important, however.  In fact, I’m writing my way through it as we speak, because we all handle it differently.

It is grief.

After 4 years of being “on the wheel” as I’ve described it – now that we’re done with the bar exam, all of us are feeling another, a different, type of stress and pressure.  It’s the pressure not only of grief at the end of an era of holding on and hanging in there – it’s the pressure of “What’s next?”

Just today, one of my friends emailed to ask me when I was running to be the first woman Governor of Indiana, and then the first woman President of the United States.  Whoa, dude, seriously, while I’m flattered – slow your roll.  I’m still trying to get my fall schedule figured out.

Law students put a LOT of pressure on themselves.  And then, that bar thing certainly doesn’t add aid, it just pours gasoline on an already blazing fire – during a watering ban.

We all grieve differently.  And while law school ending is a GREAT thing for nearly all of us, it’s still grief.  The era is still over.

On to the next.  How do I do this?  I tend to do this by purging (my office at home is top notch right now after a serious deep clean out last Friday.  I found it liberating.)  Also, I’m heading to Europe soon and taking a suitcase full of old crappy clothes that I’ll wear and pitch along the way.  The other thing I do to therapeutically remedy my grief?  I write.

Clearly, I’m working on that. Right. Now.  And it’s always a work in progress.  (This post alone that I’ve updated now about 40 times testifies to that!)

Fear not, my law school bar exam taking friends. While the end may be near, it’s also a beginning.  A new, bright shiny beginning for all of us.  While we may not know what color or shape of that shininess might be just yet, I wish you the best of luck in making the change. Adjusting. Getting on with life. Change is hard, but hang in there–it, eventually, will rock.

No worries.

The Alpha and Omega…of Law School

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I thought about this when I was eating lunch today, but remarked on it last week during the bar exam.

If you think about it, the entire law school experience’s alpha and omega is: the plastic ziplock bag.  First, before you even apply to law school, or during the application process – you take the LSAT.  The LSAT requires that you only take your pencils into the room during the test.  You usually have to have your ID too.  Hence, the clear plastic bag is a good storage unit for storing your LSAT stuff.

At the end of law school, you take the bar exam.  Again, you only get pens, pencils, and hi-lighters (unless you also get a computer).  You’ll need your ID too.  Guess what?  That clear plastic bag comes in handy yet again!

So, both the alpha and omega of the law school experience…is a plastic ziplock bag.

Not deep, but interesting, that both ends look the same: a bunch of exhausted, scruffy young professionals, carrying around plastic bags.

The Post-Law School Relocation and Protection Program

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

I think they need one of these.

I’m going out tonight for dinner.  Not quite so unusual – but now that law school is over, it kind of…is.

After being on the 4-year wheel of law school and having a day job on top of it – weekends the past 4 years have kind of been reserved for – reading.  And studying.  And doing law-schooly-stuff.

Earlier today, I started researching my next book – and while I found plenty on the subject of law school, I found very little about how to reacclimate to the real world.  For example – these things called, “weekends.”  I looked it up – apparently humans do fun things during them – like hang out with their friends, eat meals out, watch movies, and participate in fun stuff.  I’ll spare you the definition of “fun” that I found – but I think you get my drift.  Regaining a different type of life after the wheel is…strange.  New. Fascinating. And a little…awesome.

But I still think someone ought to write a book on reintegration into society post law school.  There should be a manual on that.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled human and awesome Saturday night…

One Final Memo

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

While I’m sincerely hoping that my law school career officially ended today by completing the final day of 2 days of a very humbling bar exam, I almost forgot one final memo. But I didn’t. It is below…

(And just when I thought I was finished…)

MEMORANDUM

To:              The Universe
From:          Bar Applicant
Date:           7/25/12
RE:              Thanks
___________________

Dear Universe:  You had requested I write one more memo detailing gratitude to the supporters of my previous 4-year tour of duty through law school.  I will submit to you my sincere thanks in the following group(s) and persons below:

First, to my new friends, co-exhausted cohort, and lifetime future professional colleagues:  To those of you who I met in law school and are now friends with, I am sincerely thankful for each and every one of you.  Congratulations on completing the bar exam today!  Without you, who else would I have vented to about the Hades that can be an education in law?  Besides, as Winston Churchill said, and as you reminded me over these past four years: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  Thank you, and I look forward to working with you in the months and years to come!

Second, to my family:  Those in my family who I was mean to, cranky with, grouchy, demanding and stubborn: law school made me do it!  Just kidding. Sort. Of.  I was all that BEFORE law school.  Law school just cranked it up!  But seriously – thanks to my mom, my dad, and even my brother, who brought me back to reality while I tended to get caught up in the drama that is the study of law.

Third, to my outside of the law world friends:  You all know who you are – those who understood my quirkiness PRE-law school, and still stuck it out, cheering me on despite my new Defcon level of insanity–thank you for staying the course with me.  Thanks as well for reminding me that there’s life beyond negligence, strict liability, the business judgment rule, and negotiable instruments.  (And if you don’t know what those mean in full or in part in terms of legal definitions–rock on, lucky duck!)  Best part? Maybe now, I’ll actually get to see some of you now that I don’t have to go to class every day of the week! Woot!

Fourth, to my co-workers:  Yes, I signed up for the extra special crazy of working full time and going to law school at night – to those at the day job who knew this and gave me space to revel in the sometimes seemingly poor choice of furthering my education, thank you for understanding and supporting me with random emails reminding me that I can do it!  Besides, you all reminded me that higher education is always something that should be valued.

Fifth, to my law school professors:  That is–most of them.  Just kidding!  Thank you for attempting to teach a science geek that there is more than one right answer, and sometimes, it really does depend.  There were a couple of you in particular I really gained a lot from – both inside the classroom, and that other classroom–the classroom called “life.”  Thank you for the opportunity.

Sixth, to my law school mentors:  In particular, those who are already lawyers who tried very persuasively to talk me out of going to law school beforehand.   Seriously – I appreciated your honesty, occasional checkmates on facebook, and generalized awesomeness, by showing me–particularly those of you who did the evening programs–that it could be done.  As the movie Miss Representation says, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”  Thank you for showing me what I can be by allowing me to see it.  Subsequently, I shall henceforth do my utmost best to return the favor to other aspiring law students, by 1. trying to talk them OUT of law school as tenaciously as possible, and then 2. be their cheerleader if they survive my hammering of them on bullet #1, provided of course, that they have a true and valid reason for wanting to go to law school.

Seventh, to my readers of this tiny blog:  I can’t tell you how many people have actually come out of the closet to tell me that they’ve actually enjoyed this crazy little blog about my law school escapades over the past 4 years–all thirteen of you.  While I set this blog up right before I went to law school, it has been absolutely fascinating to watch how the social media stuff has exploded and given me the chance to connect with so many others that I never would connect with in the real world otherwise about all that is zany relative to law school.  From that cyber connection has grown many awesome friendships, for which I am also equally grateful.

In conclusion, thank you again, dear universe, with graciously offering up so many amazing peeps who put up with me and my mess these past 4 years.  Pre-law e was hard enough, and post-law-school e is even harder, but hey–I’m doing my best here, and clearly so are those who are also in the universe with me. : )

 

Thanks! And an homage to bad bar exam eve poetry…

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Twas the night before the bar exam,
and this girl’s brain was stuffed.
Factors, prongs, and elements were tufted…

…in the corners of her mind.
As she sat in her hotel
she couldn’t figure out if she could tell

whether or not she would pass
the first time around.
But unequivocally, she knew she must resound

…to thank family! Thank friends!
Thanks to all in the end–

who put up with her crankiness
and “nos” and “sorrys” and “can’ts”
over the past 4 years–
to all of you she says, “Cheers!”

Forty-eight hours just isn’t a TV show,
it’s a life back fo’ sho!
After this bar exam she will be
once again free

to write even more bad poetry…

…and of course…rock!

 

Standby…

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Sorry – been a bit lax on the posts of late, temporarily interrupted by this little thing called the bar exam.  It will be over next week.  Pray for all your wanna-be lawyers in your posse, because this test will be going on around the nation on July 24-25.

I promise I’ll be back after this interruption!

Have a great weekend.  For the rest of us.

JNC in this girl’s book

Monday, July 16th, 2012

JNC = just not cool – and since this particular occasion has been occurring way too much in my life lately, I’m going to put an end to it by sharing it on my blog and the universe, in hopes that it goes AWAY. FOREVER.

There are some married gents out there who apparently think that single girls are: 1. easily and readily available to flirt with them at all times and 2. just overtly attracted to them, because married dudes are just that hot.  I’m here to tell you, gents, that when I chat with you – NEITHER is the case.  Single girls aren’t easy just because they’re single.  And, just because women talk to you, married gents, that doesn’t mean they want to ‘get with you’ or flirt with you either.

Case in point: I reached out to a dude about a NETWORKING learning opportunity the other day – strictly business here – but the conversation so quickly devolved into a ‘What are you wearing?’ unprofessional hot mess that I just had to shut the dead end conversation off.  Right after, of course, I explicitly reinforced that I was NOT INTO MARRIED DUDES, period….for ANY reason, other than PURELY PROFESSIONAL reasons.

After that?  Dude was put on the excommunication list on Faceplace.  I ran this by a friend who is also an expert on networking and she thought it was typical.  Is it?  For that matter – SHOULD IT BE?!? I say, NO!

So – married dudes: I know I’m definitely not that hot, so please stop acting like you are.  Married dudes that flirt just aren’t cool.  In fact, it’s kind of pathetic.  We’re glad that someone else was just that into you – so we don’t have to be.  And if you do want to flirt with and sleep with the universe – by all means, go for it–I just suggest that you shouldn’t be married while doing it.  And last but not least, it is a sad, sad day when a singleton has to suggest to a married person how to act. Ugh.

Rant. Over. I cannot even believe this was a subject of my blog, (Did I really say ‘get with you’ in a post?  I did.  Ugh.) but now, dear universe, please get this negative chi off my plate so I can focus on things that really matter.

 

Two Articles, One Rant = Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

First off, I’m doing this DURING MY LUNCH BREAK.  (That’s for the guys out there thinking I’m stealing from my day job company.  I’m not. I ate my sandwich at my desk while answering email and working.)

Second, I read not one, but two disturbing articles online in the last 24 hours.  First, on the HBR Blog Network – Is It Cheating to Have a Side Project?  I’ll address this one first.

Uhm, after reading this article, the 1950s just called, and they’d like their old moldy ideas back.  Not only are the ideas in this article completely out of date, but I argue they are DANGEROUS.  Why?

As I tell my budding pharmacy students, putting all your career eggs in one basket in this day and age is ludicrous.  Yes–you should, if you’re lucky enough to have a day job (or ANY job for that matter), give 110% on the job whenever you’re there.  However, are you ready if you walk in the door tomorrow and get handed a pink slip to reinvent yourself? Guess what – if you’re only doing one thing and think you’re going to be at the same employer as long as you show up and do the work for 30 years – you’re just flat out delusional.  That’s not the way of the world anymore.  I know, I’ve already received one pink slip during my seemingly “safe” career in health care.

A lawyer friend of mine posted on Facebook regarding this article that it is for “managers” rather than “entrepreneurs.”  OK – great!  But do good managers really want employees who ONLY do their day jobs, never go outside their worlds to stretch themselves and develop other passions and yes, even entrepreneurial side gigs (providing of course that the employees didn’t sign moonlighting noncompetes)?  I say NO!  To have a pool of one-dimensional workers with shallow thinking is absolutely insane – both for the employee and the company.  Companies need innovative, creative, thoughtful workers that are curious about the world and do many different things IN ORDER TO GROW THEIR COMPANIES.

OK – suffice it to say – my rant is nearly over on that piece.  The only parting shot: there are better and worse ways to go about the side dream – read Plan C to find out how to do it the RIGHT way.

Now – onto article #2 that bothered me.  One Fix For Health Care: Dissolving The Barrier Between Patients And Pharmacists, written, of course, NOT by a pharmacist.  Here’s the problem with this article.

First, pharmacists are already and always have been THE MOST ACCESSIBLE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  EVER.  PERIOD.  Where else in the health care chain are you going to belly up to a counter or a desk on your own time, completely unscheduled, and get to talk face to face with a health care professional, without an appointment, or for that matter, without paying for it?  Hint: you’re not.

We’re it.

If you want a genius bar, BTW, for your pharmacists where they’re not busy filling prescriptions – are you ready to pay for their time?  When I take my MacBook Pro to the Apple store Genius Bar – I paid for an Apple Care account that covers service on that computer. I wonder when the last time this writer paid for a service coverage plan from their pharmacist?

My guess? He didn’t.

Secondly, the footnotes describe that some of the ‘genius bar’ stuff the writer is suggesting is ALREADY HAPPENING at a major chain (Walgreens) in several major cities, where pharmacists are pulled out on the floors to talk to patients.  Had this person done their homework and maybe actually talked to a real pharmacist or two, they of course would have known this before writing this article.

I won’t even go into the design, sterility and other issues of the article.  If anyone is really interested, see the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, or read the history of why we have standards called adulteration and misbranding that relate to drugs in the United States.

Once upon a time, journalists wrote pieces having done some fact finding beforehand, and or provided fair-balanced viewpoints.  While both of these pieces may be Op-Ed and perhaps opinions only, I’m here to tell you, my dear readers, that there is a lot of mumbo jumbo out there in the “real” press these days.  The bottom line: keep reading–of course–just be sure to take it with a grain of salt…

 

Can’t

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

This morning, I attended the last session (hopefully forever–cross your fingers for me) of Indiana Bar Review class with IndyBar.  It was at the Indiana Convention Center, close to the actual room where we will be for two action-packed days of legal writing and exam taking coming up at the end of July.

You could feel the stress and the exhaustion in the room.  At least I felt it.  We’ve all been pounding material pretty much the Monday after graduation back in May.  Part of today’s session reminded us that we need to stop thinking about the word “Can’t” and instead, focus on “Can” – or crushing it – as the leader of our session stated.

I actually do pretty well when people tell me I can’t do something. For me, it’s a little like pouring gasoline on the fire.  But, if I listened to them and believed that I couldn’t do something – I never would have done a lot of things in my life – including attending law school in the first place.  I never would have done much of anything I believed all the can’ts, so instead I just dropped the end and focused on changing the ‘t into ___ and the word CAN instead.

Here’s to you focusing on the can today too.  Drop the ‘t – it’s just another apostrophe and 1 letter, but it can make all the difference in the world – on what you focus on, and more importantly, what you really CAN achieve!

Polished Rocks, Hippies, and the A Team

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

After a not-so-great and completely humbling day filled with yet another bad mock MBE exam in preparation for the bar, coupled with a re-review of Agency law, I decided that at 9 pm tonight, I had to stop studying.  So, I went over to my favorite movie rental shop (iTunes) and ironically rented “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview.”  I LOVED it!

Say what you like about Mr. Jobs, but this interview was AWESOME, because it was right at the time he was between Apple stints.  In 1995, he did an interview with PBS and apparently the original tape was lost in shipping, but then found again in another place as a copy–and they turned this lost tape into a killer documentary.  He was frank, candid, and his responses appeared to be carefully thought out.  Here’s what stuck for me (and why I dug it):

1.  When the interviewer asked about the Macintosh, Steve talked about the A Team – Steve talked about how he had pockets of A Teamers on that project originally.  He said he tried to hire the very best people at what they did (and I don’t think this was necessarily ‘best’ only at computer programming here), and that A Teamers tend to keep hiring more A Teamers because they don’t WANT to work with B and C team people.  I can relate to this, as I myself LOVE working with other A Teamers!  They’re creative, they think big, and they say “yes” a heck of a lot more than “no” to new ideas.

2.  The beauty of polished rocks – he then tried to articulate what happens when you throw a bunch of A Teamers on a project together, and instead talked about an 80-year-old neighbor when he was a kid growing up who showed him the awesomeness of turning plain rocks overnight via a rock polisher into a beautiful, elegant collection of finely polished stones.  He said the A Team is like that–rough stones knocking each other around, getting a little dirty, but ultimately creating something beautiful.  I LOVE that description, and being a rock collector myself as a kid, completely understood it!  A TEAMERS are rock polishers! We must expose ourselves to the best of humanity, in order to improve the world that we live in, said by Steve yet another way.

3.  Props to the LAS education – Steve also not only once, but twice mentioned that he loved working with people who thought broadly and widely about the world.  He specifically mentioned Liberal Arts and Sciences as the foundation for many of his great co-working thinkers.  He said it was important for people to not just think about one thing – and also that he hired great people, but if computers didn’t exist, his great peeps would be off somewhere else, doing something completely different, but still rocking whatever they chose to do.  As someone who first received a LAS education in undergrad, and someone who loves other Renaissance people, I’m glad that the guy who turned around a company days from bankruptcy into the largest corporation in America said it – not me!

4.  Hippie vs. Nerd – Apparently, the interviewer always ended his interviews by asking the interviewee if they thought of themselves more as a hippie or a nerd.  Steve paused, a smile went on his face, and he said he was definitely a hippie.  When asked why, he tried to articulate that there’s something when growing up in the 1960s that people were looking for in the hippie movement–a something–hunger, need, desire–to be artists instead of lawyers.  Poets instead of bankers.  That something, whatever it is, made him feel as though he was a hippie.  I understand it, although I’m probably doing a crappy job of describing it myself.  Said another way – if the money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?  Would it be different?  Hippies don’t ignore that something.

Steve was also asked about the departure from Apple the first time, and he was still reeling from it a bit.  But a year after the interview on tape in this movie (1996), his company, Next, was bought out by Apple, and they re-hired Steve to be CEO 90 days away from bankruptcy, as previously mentioned.  From there, he created some of the most brilliant products Apple ever invented, and now Apple is the wealthiest company on the planet.

Not too shabby…for a LAS-loving, rock-polishing hippie.