Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Three random things and a list of things I currently adore

Random thing 1: Back when I was dating Paul, he had a roommate named Mayo who was on BYU's ballroom dance team. Mayo is a super-nice, totally fun guy. He is also an amazing dancer. Right now, he is competing for a spot as a professional on the next season of "Dancing with the Stars". He made it into the top 4 last week with his waltz, and tonight he is dancing either jive or quickstep. So please, please watch the show tonight and go to this site to vote for Mayo! He's kind of at a disadvantage because two of the other four finalists have siblings who have already danced on the show as professionals.

Random thing 2: I came home last week after a final and Paul was sitting on the couch watching "Snakes on a Plane" on TBS. He made me watch just a part of the movie where the actual script had been dubbed over to replace some of the language. The revised line was (and picture a really angry and fed up Samuel Jackson saying this): "I am SICK and TIRED of these MONKEY-FIGHTING snakes on this MONDAY-TO-FRIDAY plane!!" You can probably guess what language was replaced for the sake of cable tv. Paul and I were cracking up over this hilarious line in what Paul says was a totally stupid movie. And we have been quoting it at random moments ever since. Try it, you'll like it.

Random thing 3: My friend Carrie pointed out in a comment to my last post that Paul and I were thinking about going to Mexico. We actually have reservations to head to Cancun in mid-May and for now, we are still planning to go even with the whole swine flu thing that is happening. The way we see it, there are still a couple of weeks for the problem to sort itself out and hopefully by the time we head down there things will be under control. But I am super worried that my little sister's study-abroad program in Guadalajara is going to be cancelled. She is supposed to leave in a week to study at a university there and also to volunteer as a swim instructor for blind kids. I am praying really hard for her. First that she still gets to go, and second that if she does go that she won't get sick.

And finally, I just wanted to share some of the things that currently are making me happy:
1. Coconut-almond cream cheese frosting on chocolate cupcakes
2. My bright yellow shoes
3. Tacos al pastor from divey little Mexican joints in SLC
4. Wearing cotton skirts in the warm spring weather
5. Staying up past midnight
6. Having a sunroof in our new car
7. Watching reality tv without any guilt that I should be studying instead
8. Fresh, sweet red strawberries
9. Having hair that is long enough to easily put into a ponytail
10. Sunshine

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Juris Doctorate

Three long but wonderful years of law school - over (for me at least, Paul still has a few weeks before his graduation). I finished my last final on Wednesday and the commencement ceremony was on Friday. Friends and family came to clap and cheer on the graduates. The graduating class took photos together and hugged and grinned and congratulated and promised to keep in touch and see each other in our bar prep courses that will rule our lives this summer.

The J. Reuben Clark School of Law Class of 2009 lining up before Commencement. There were about 150 of us graduating with our J.D. degrees.

Inside the historic Provo Tabernacle friends and family waited for us to make our processional entrance and then take our seats. It was stifling in there with so many bodies and graduates wearing heavy black gowns, caps, and hoods.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks attended (fourth from the left, wearing the maroon and black robes) because his granddaughter Tiffany (one of the members of my study group) was graduating.

The hooding ceremony. Dean Augustine-Adams who taught me Torts and Fourteenth Amendment and Professor Thomas did the honors before I moved on to accept my ceremonial (i.e., fake) diploma from interim Dean Gordon who taught me Contracts.

Professor Lee who taught me Civil Procedure. I admire him very much and can honestly say that I like him now. But when I was a 1L, I felt sick before every one of his classes because I was so nervous about being called on and having no clue what to answer but knowing that he expected me to make an idiot of myself. The Socratic Method is not something I will miss about law school.

Professor Fee who taught me Property and First Amendment. He plays a mean jazz piano and a number of other instruments. In First Amendment, a handful of students put together a band with him to perform a parody of "When You Say Nothing At All" for the class. I played guitar. We called ourselves "The Fee Simple-tones" which is funny in a nerdy way because "fee simple" is a legal doctrine about holding property and Professor Fee also teaches Property.

Photos with friends. From left to right, top to bottom: Me with Adam, Kathleen (and her daughter Charlotte who is so adorable), Brooke (study partner), Fili, Sarah (study partner), Liz, Tiffany (study partner), Josh & Janae, Brooke again, Dorothy (study partner), Tiffany and Christine, and Naseem.

I know those of you who have read this post all the way through are sitting there thinking, "Wow, Amy had such a beautiful bouquet in those photos." It was beautiful. Stunning. I find myself staring at it even now. My little sister Jessica who has worked at a flower shop and knows what she is doing when it comes to floral arrangements brought these flowers for me. These gorgeous blossoms are sitting next to me as I type this and they make me so happy.

I would say my "no mores" about being done studying at carrels, and stressing over exams, but Paul and I just got our bar study schedules this week. We have class from 9-3:30 every day including every other Saturday all summer to prep for the bar exam. The schedule recommends an additional 5-8 hours of individual study time each day. And then there is the three day bar exam at the end of July. So the "no mores" will have to wait. But for the next few weeks before my class starts, I am going to enjoy the freedom I haven't had for a long, long time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Big Developments

For those who haven’t yet heard, early this month I got a phone call from the law firm I will be working for after graduation. The point of the call was to let me know that my first day of work will be January 4, 2010. This wasn’t surprising since 80% of the big US law firms are postponing start dates for new associates, and Paul and I had been anticipating the call ever since Paul received a similar call from his firm. The good thing is that the firm is providing a pretty nice living stipend to make up for some of the lost income for not starting until about 2 ½ months past the time I had originally thought I would be starting (mid-October). So as much as we were originally hoping to be in California by September, we probably won’t make the big move until December.

This brings me to the point of this post: What are we going to do with ourselves for five months (August through December)?! I’ll be honest, it is actually kind of a pleasant thought that we will have five months off with no responsibilities after taking the bar in July. But on the other hand, five months is a long time to just sit around relaxing!

Here are some of the ideas that are floating around in my mind:

  • Finally put pen to paper and hammer out the novel that has been marinating in my brain for two years now (I actually have about 20,000 words written already, but they need some serious work to actually go from stream of consciousness to a real book)
  • Take a creative writing class from a community college – this could maybe help with the first idea
  • Train for and run another marathon
  • Volunteer at a food bank
  • Read, read, read
  • Head to Vegas and try to double or triple that living stipend. I would have to learn to play poker first though …
  • Learn Spanish
  • Go skydiving
  • Get SCUBA certified
  • Blog EVERY DAY – yeah right, I wouldn’t wanna do it and you wouldn’t wanna read it
  • Start my own cupcake business – I am ADDICTED to the cupcakes at this amazing little sweetshop that just opened in Provo
  • Travel – this is where things get tricky. For how long? Three weeks? Four? More? I would LOVE to head to Europe, South America or Southeast Asia and live out of a backpack for two months, but is that really something we should do? I don’t think it is realistic for us to backpack for the full five months, so what do we do with the rest of our time? Does anybody have specific suggestions for places to go? Here is my short-list of hotspot dream destinations for ‘09: Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Italy (even though we have already been there), Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Australia, Peru. When do we go (aug-sep? sep-oct? oct-nov?)? Maybe we could try to see the rest of the states that we haven’t been to yet – mostly the South, the Great Lakes region, and Alaska. We are DEFINITELY doing a trip, but we just haven’t decided how big to go with this thing because we don’t want to head out to CA at the end of December with an empty bank account.
  • Look for random jobs for the five month period? (Somehow I don’t relish the idea of having a law degree and working at Borders or J. Crew for 5 months just to get a discount. Although if I worked for an airline that could help defer travel costs …)

There are a couple more possibilities floating around out there, but right now they aren’t really in our control so I won’t go into them.

At least we have some time to make decisions. For now, the timeline is as follows: April/May – Graduate; May – Mexico trip & Bar Exam Study; June – Still studying for the bar & Paul’s birthday; July – Study, study, study, then take the bar the last week of July.

After that, who knows what we will be doing?! Do we do the responsible thing and stay home to save money? Or do we do the fun thing and travel the whole time? Any advice?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Amy Behind the Camera

This morning I woke up to over eight inches of heavy, wet snow on my car. I had to take off to school (yes, I am still going to classes while Amy sleeps in), but the morning was so beautiful I called Amy and told her to go take some photos before the snow melted. Here are the results:

It's supposed to be spring but it sure doesn't feel like it. The blossoms on the trees were almost completely encased in snow overnight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dancing with the Stars

Did you see this routine last night? Uh-mazing.

One other thing: Did I mention that this is my last week of classes EVER?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Finders keepers?

Being a law student has its perks like individual carrels and the occasional free pizza lunches. One of the best perks though is being able to park in the graduate student parking lot which is right next to the law school. As an undergrad, I had to walk twenty minutes just to get on to campus. Which has its perks too. Aside from the health benefits of twenty minutes of hiking up the steep south hills of campus, one day I found a $10 bill in the middle of the street. Today's story is similar.

This morning as I was walking through the parking lot enjoying the feeling of the noticeably fine spring weather, I glanced down and saw a crumpled wad of money. The money was right in the walkway, not by any particular car, and the walkway is used by more than just grad students. Plus, with the parking lot half full already, can I reasonably be expected to find out who the sweet moolah belongs to? So I picked it up and pocketed it. When I got to my carrel, I pulled the cashola out of my pocket and unfolded it to find that there were two one dollar bills. They aren't new, but they have a starchy feel, as though someone forgot about the money in his pocket and washed his pants with the money in them.

I have to confess, it is that starchy feeling that is eating away at my conscience right now. What if this $2 belong to some poor student who has a wife and little kid at home, and they are trying hard to make ends meet, and this was his lunch money left in his freshly laundered pants by his sweet, supportive wife? But then I start to wonder whether this is some trick brewed up by a sociology student - drop money in a parking lot and see how the Finder responds - and then I start feeling dumb, like maybe there was a right answer about how to react, like call out "hey, anybody around here lose any money?". Only there was nobody around.

I am sitting here now with a ridiculous urge to take the two dollars back to the parking lot and drop it where I found it. It's not that I think that the original owner will find and claim it, but somebody else can notice the money and figure out what to do with it, right?

Moral dilemmas on Monday mornings after General Conference feel like pop quizzes.