Monday, June 20, 2011

Fitness Blog

Tiffany and I now have a couples blog that fulfills all of my random pontification needs quite well, and I figure there's almost no one left who reads this. Accordingly, this is where my annoying fitness accountability logs will go. It's more a tool for me than anyone else, since I have done a little (or a lot) of backsliding since I got married and now is the time to jump back on the horse. Writing things down (and consequently seeing it stare me in the face whenever I screw up) helps me immensely in terms of staying focused. That said, if anyone wants to discuss fitness, feel free to comment or message me.

Back in the Saddle: Day 1

Workout: P90X Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X

Workout Results: 60 standard push-ups, 60 military push-ups, 60 wide fly push-ups, 60 decline push-ups, 60 diamond push-ups, 40 dive bomber push-ups, 30 wide front pull-ups 30 reverse grip chin-ups, 30 close grip pull-ups, 30 heavy pants with 50 lb. weights, 30 lawnmowers per side with 50 lb. weights, 30 back flys with 50 lb. weights, 350 abdominal moves

Diet: Totally clean!

Snack 1: A serving of almonds

Lunch: Turkey and mustard sandwich on Ezekiel Bread

Snack 2: A wife-concocted recovery shake post-workout, containing spinach, a banana, and a Chobani greek yogurt

Dinner: Chicken breast, steamed vegetables, & brown rice cooked in cream of broccoli soup, spinach salad with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice & vinegar

Snack 3: Air popped popcorn

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Suddenly, It's Gut Check Time

Well, it's been awhile. C'est la vie. 1Ls are supposed to be incapable of relaxing and spend all their time working, which is pretty much what I've been doing.

Suddenly, we find ourselves at the end of the semester. Thanksgiving break is when those who have gotten behind rush to do their outlines, those who got ahead start studying for finals, and those who (in my opinion) are poor planners head home. Not that I'm against spending time with family and friends, but this is a competition, people. I think the half of us who are here working have a huge advantage over the half who aren't come the home stretch.

I've actually gotten a few grades now. My papers in legal writing (and torts) have informed me that I am actually a pretty terrible writer. Legal writer, at least.

Maybe terrible is the wrong word-everything is curved, and all of my work has been above the median. Problem is, it's only been a few points above the median. The curve setters (whoever they are) have been way ahead of me. It's better than inside the median, to be sure, but I don't think judges and fancy law firms will be terribly impressed with "above average" legal writing. However, I have one last shot at pulling this out. The final memo of the semester is due in twelve hours. I just finished my fourth (fifth? I'm losing track) edit, so I'm taking a little break to get some separation before I read it again. If I blow this out of the water, I still have a shot at pulling ahead for the grade in the actual course. Since there's no class tomorrow, I'm pounding caffeine and planning on being awake for most of that twelve hours.

That's the bad news. The good news is I'm not terrible at exams-I set the curve on the only midterm that counted, and comfortably had an A on a practice exam that was "graded" but doesn't count. I have Wednesday through Sunday off, so I can actually take Thanksgiving day off and have one day for each of my four doctrinal classes. I plan to spend those days memorizing my already-completed outlines (booyah), aided by my wonderful fiance's willingness to let me teach her my first semester of law school. I figure if I can boil everything down to a level an outsider can comprehend, my own understanding is probably solid. Finals begin December 6-that's a week from Monday. Except for legal writing, those four exams essentially determine my grade in all four classes. No pressure.

I know my classes for next semester: Communication & Legal Reasoning 2, Civil Procedure 2, Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, and Property. Word.

That just about concludes the technical school update. Lots of fantastic stuff has happened apart from class. I've gotten to attend some incredible talks sponsored by the Federalist Society, and have met and dined with some amazing individuals. My career counselor thinks that (provided I get the necessary grades) I'll actually have a shot at a biglaw summer associate gig as a 1L. My undergrad in hard science gives me access to intellectual property and patent departments, which are one of the few places where demand is still high even in this economy. Word.

The rest of my life is still terrific. Wedding planning proceeds apace. I haven't let myself get too distracted thinking about it, but I am really excited to marry Tiffany. She has been patient, understanding, forgiving, giving, and all-around wonderful this entire semester. I'd be buried in a mountain of my own filth and starving to death if she wasn't around to feed me and remind me to get up from the chair now and then.

I do get to return to Fort Collins on December 17. I miss Colorado, and it will be wonderful to come back.

That's me. As for the world, the only thing I have to say about what's happened (Nov. 2) is this:

“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men."-Samuel Adams

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grades!

The first graded assignment came in last night, and I failed to set the curve-ergo, there is work to do.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Law School Workload

The law school workload is legendary-everyone tries to terrify you about how much you'll have to do once you start.  There are elements of truth to it, but I take issue with the common notion that law school is a terrible ordeal.

Last night, Tiffany and I had dinner with one of my old college debate buddies who lives near Chicago, a gentleman and scholar named Brian.  Brian started law school at Notre Dame last year, so we spent a good deal of the evening talking about it.

I'll begin by addressing the cliches-I'm determined to stay on top of things, so I'm reading the entirety of each week's assignments before classes start that week, drafting my memos as soon as we get the materials, and I'm already outlining.  This is pretty standard-I don't feel like I'm getting ahead or anything.  Keeping up with that has, so far, required about five twelve-hour days per week, with four to eight hours of work on Saturdays.  So far, I've managed to keep Sundays clear and have dinner with Tiffany most nights, which is awesome.  This time is spent sitting in my office chair reading, briefing, typing notes, pretty standard school stuff.  Sometimes Tiffany comes over and works on her photography business on my couch-when I walk her home, I tell her it was nice having her in the room. That's only partially joking-we'll both work for hours without actually saying anything to other (but, on the other hand, it really is nice having her in the room). I'm glad I have three years of full-time work experience, or the sheer time commitment would probably blow me away.

That said, what Brian and I talked about last night is how little it usually feels like work.  I guess some people came to law school as a last resort, but I am genuinely fascinated by almost every case I read.  I haven't been this intellectually engaged in anything since I stopped debating-this is more satisfying than undergrad ever was. It is truly a privilege to get to spend my days sitting in a chair learning about the incredible complexity and history of American law; my personal favorite aspect is the way a court takes some abstract principle (human life is the most valuable thing the law must protect) and tries its best to apply it to a given set of facts (lethal force in defense of property is actually illegal).  I love every minute of it, but I would NOT recommend law school to anyone who doesn't.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Motivation

Has anyone else ever noticed that it's a lot harder to get motivated and going on your easier days?  Monday through Wednesday, I have class at 8:45, and I'm up firing on all cylinders at 7.  I get my workout done before class, work all day, and always have my reading done.  In contrast, on Thursday and Friday, class doesn't start until about 10:30.  I roll out of bed sometime between 8 and 9, and can't ever seem to get motivated to start my workout (it's easier too-Thursday is Yoga day).  I often end up just slacking until class, then I'm usually good to go.

Do we just assume that we can take care of business later on easier days?  If I rocked it in the morning like I do early in the week, I might actually have some free time in the evenings.  How do we get motivated when there isn't a major constraint based on the amount of stuff we need to do?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bucking Trends

I'm in a bit of a disagreement with my family at the moment over how I should do the "about me" statement for my wedding website.  I've written something you can all read later that is a funny, tongue-in-cheek biography that does an excellent job conveying my personality in about three paragraphs.  Tiffany and I both think it's hilarious.

My family's opinion is that I should nuke it and write a benign, vanilla statement praising Tiffany just like every other statement anyone has ever put on a wedding website.  Tiffany and I are unique people, with a relationship dramatically different from the Mormon standard and from either of our parents' marriages.  In a small way, my unique statement reflects that, as it reflects my consistent determination to stand out and not be the same as everyone else. 

Generally speaking, I don't really care what most people think of me, but I do care about my family. They see the humor in the statement because they know me, but they're worried people who don't might be offended. Why should I care what a bunch of people who I will literally never see again after the wedding think of my statement? I intend to leave it as it is, and if some people think it's "abrasive" or that I "sound like an ass" then I don't need those people around me anyway.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Defending the Reprehensible

Yesterday, I got to give a mock closing statement in Criminal Law defending David Cash (google him if you want to).  It was a very tiny simulation of what it will be like the many times in the future I'll have an utter scumbag for a client, and I wanted to use my blog this morning to react to it.

I actually felt really good the entire time, and the reason was, as horrible as this person was, he had not committed a crime.  The law was on his side.  After my post about ambiguity yesterday, it was good to be reminded that the law is still there to govern society with objective rules, rather than the arbitrary dictates of a mob or a judge.  The class had wanted to seriously punish this guy-90% thought he deserved at least a year in prison, and 10% of those thought he should be executed-but not all morally reprehensible behavior is outlawed.  Knowing that the law will protect a person who society has decided to discard and revile, even if they deserve it, should be a huge relief to all of us.

(As far as stats go, I've decided to drop to weekly weigh-ins).
TODAY'S WORKOUT-Upper Plus, Abs/Core Plus