It's been one of those weeks when I've barely had time to breathe, when I haven't really had time to check the news or get my hair cut or even spend time with Girchild, who is in town.
But I did manage to get the brief and all its accoutrements out the door yesterday, which feels like some kind of miracle. And today I get to see my borer and spend some time not working. It's so exciting.
And maybe this week I'll manage to get my hair cut.
The last time I had a day off was mid-July. I think there were 3 days since then that I billed in the single digits. At least once I billed all but one hour in a day, leaving me barely enough time to cab home, change clothes, cab back, and during much of that time I was still sending and receiving emails. I missed my daughter's birthday, I didn't get a single motorcycle ride, I ate maybe two dinners at home.
So once the trial was over, and the post-trial celebration was over (for me, I think I was the first to leave), I slept. Until about now. That's right, I was either sleeping or basically catatonic between Wednesday night and now. I've now been awake for about an hour and feel like I could use a nap.
In many ways it was a great experience, just to be able to see such a talented litigator in action. In some ways it was fun, as we kept a ridiculous white-board going in the war room with pictures of our cast of characters and quotes and whatnot. There were moments of individual triumph, when someone was singled out for a job well done. And then there was the isolation, the random singling out for blame, the countless hours of extra work caused by avoidable inefficiencies and unavailability of key players.
Now I'm looking forward to more sleep, some real time with my family, and a change of direction when I head back to work. We shall see what the next month or two bring...
I finished this sweater for GirlChild, and TFL eventually managed to get it in the mail (what, you thought I was going to knit it AND mail it? who are we kidding?), and she just got it!
Apologies for the crappy picture.
I modeled it for TFL before packing it up, and he promptly said "She'll look like a woolly lamb." But a really cute one, I guess. What looks white in the picture is closer to a rich cream. What you can't see is that the green is the World's Softest Yarn that's not actually cashmere -- Misti Alpaca. Sigh. It's my recommendation for the first yarn to use if you're trying to get someone addicted to knitting. Quick to knit up and feels absolutely divine.
In other news: today I billed over 13 hours and, on top of that, spent two hours filling in financial aid forms and buying a train ticket to DC for the weekend. In other words, I earned myself a blistering headache but I'm really looking forward to a fun weekend (assuming I survive the week).
Last night I got a whole six hours of solid sleep in clean sheets. So nice!! So I slept in, so I'm not going running this morning. But today is my last day to learn Bankruptcy: I'll undoubtedly be doing much pacing while I'm trying to parse the Absolute Priority Rule out of 1129(b)(2)(B)(ii).
I'll be trying to remember to ask if it's a railroad. Is the property a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade? Is this Local Loan and the lien doesn't pass through, or is it Carrerra (Carerra? Carrera?) and it does?
One exam was identical to the practice questions the professor had handed out, and one exam was the old-fashioned closed book and no notes and no computer type. Both were brutal in their own special ways, but now all I have left is Bankruptcy on Saturday.
My head is aswirl with fraudulent conveyance and automatic stay and preferences and priorities. I have bits and pieces but nothing has really gelled. Worse, just when I think I've got something down it goes all wonky and I end up with more questions than I started with. My Code book is getting quite frayed, my table is awash with printouts and highlighters, and all I want to do is curl up and take a nap for about 3 days.
The keys to the place I'm taking for the summer never arrived, so that's a big worry in the back of my mind.
And Boy's graduation is this weekend and as far as I know, nothing is planned.
This would all be more fun if I didn't feel so totally ill. At least I didn't actually throw up during the Public Land and Resources exam this morning, so I'm grateful for small mercies. And my parents are arriving today so that will be wonderful--people will get fed!
Sometimes I really wonder what I've gotten myself into and whether I'll be able to extricate myself. Not only because I'm afraid of failing, which I am, but because at a certain point I just am not sure I can continue to work through the pain.
Even though I've been doing it for decades.
I haven't been able to breathe right since finding out this morning that one of my exams is going to be closed book--a little fact he didn't bother to pass along at the beginning of the semester, as he's supposed to do. But not breathing is simple panic, and there's nothing to do but keep going. The problem is, how long can I keep going?
Because, for the second day in a row, I have the kind of headache that makes you nauseous, and unable to string together a handful of coherent words, and that makes it really freaking hard to write a paper. Even as I'm typing this, I'm not quite sure what I'm writing and I'm fairly sure I shouldn't post it, although I might anyway. If this is how I react to stress (and there's a lot more to it, but stress is without a doubt a contributing factor) how am I going to deal with the BIGLAW world of constant pressure and deadlines only with billions of dollars on the line instead of a handful of grades? Egad.
I've always coped and assumed I always would. Maybe it's age, but I'm beginning to wonder about that strategy.
Maybe it's simply been too long of a year, and not over yet. Today I told a bunch of 1L women that by the time exams are over they should feel wrecked, because otherwise they're not trying hard enough. Go me, perpetuating the system.*
*In my defense, I was telling them to work hard and try to get on a journal because we need more women to work their way onto Law Review. Yes, that's right: buy into the system and change it from the inside. That is indeed the line I'm selling.
For all that I needed to get done yesterday, and I did manage to get some real work done, much of the day was frittered away with LR stuff. You know, there were conversations about massive upheavals in procedure (we're for it) and plans for parties (we're for those, too) and some time standing around in groups of people staring at each other and shaking their heads with very, very mixed emotions.
But today I am at the point of being so frighteningly behind that, after posting this, I may not access the Internet(s) for hours! Not even for email!!!!!!!!
If it's life-or-death urgent, or you have chocolate for me, you know where my adversely-possessed library table is.
I feel back where I belong: at a table piled high with books in multiple languages, an on-line Latin dictionary open at all times, the spell-checker going crazy with all the Latin words. It would be so easy to put everything into just this one class and do nothing else.
That would be bad.
I have to turn the Comment (could this one please be the last draft?) in on Monday, when cite-check begins. I have to write that paper. I have three other classes. I have to leave now, to go have a nice dinner with TFL to celebrate our anniversary and his birthday. Better (very) late than never, right? Right?
Just a few more lines about those ever-practical Romans...
This quarter was supposed to be easier than last quarter. It's really not shaping up that way, not at all. On the other hand, the classes are fantastic. Four professors, each of them Big Name Tops in Their Field--which doesn't necessarily mean squat, but here they are all also excellent teachers. The two hour seminar just flew by in a heartbeat, and those usually really drag.
It is indescribably thrilling to have a law school class in which the professor suggests that the judges were not writing economic theory but were instead writing for the people who appointed them to their positions. It just makes me want to give a little round of applause. And when another professor points out that in spite of having absolutely no legal theory the Romans nearly always got the rule exactly right--well, I nearly giggle I'm so tickled. And then he talks about the importance of nuance in language and the dangers of overly precise translation and he gets it all (I have to say it) exactly right.
Well he would, of course, because that British physicist aside this guy's probably the smartest person on the planet, but still. (Actually, he might be smarter. No one's really sure. But they're in different fields, so we'll never know.) And I also love the fact that everyone acknowledges that he is a) brilliant in a way we don't even understand, b) stark mad about many issues, but c) often absolutely right anyway. Even if he's not right, you'll never win an argument against him. Heh.
So brutal schedule, impossible assignments, phenomenal professors. Par.