Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Across the Finish Line!

The semester is finally over! To be truthful, I really enjoy much of law school—except for finals! I liked most of my classes this semester, and it was a lot of fun being in Immigration Law with Sheila at Case! In particular, Legal Responses to Terrorism was particularly interesting. We read a fantastic book—The Dark Side, by Jane Mayer—and had several stimulating discussions about torture, politics, policy, the War on Terror, and everything else in between. It was like 2004 all over again! Additionally, we had a mid-semester switch of professors in Employment Discrimination; the new professor was phenomenal, and he allowed us to have very stimulating debates about discrimination and policy in the workplace. I came across looking like a complete leftist, which is funny because some of my views on certain issues have gotten slightly more moderate since undergrad.

Finals, though, suck the fun right out of law school. There’s something about knowing your entire semester’s performance depends on a three-hour exam; I suppose it’s like pro football, in which a team can have a perfect season but then lose in the final minute of the Super Bowl and turn into history’s most accomplished footnote. Anyhow, when the semester began, I took a look at my finals schedule and got pretty nervous because I had two sets of back-to-back finals on consecutive days. However, God was good (as he always is) and two of my finals evolved into take-home finals throughout the course of the semester. Unfortunately, this meant that I ended later and I had a final welcoming me back to Cleveland when I returned from Michael and Kalina’s wedding weekend. After taking two take-home finals, I’m not sure if they’re better than taking in-class finals though…both in-class and take-home finals have advantages and disadvantages.

This was definitely a hard semester for both of us—Sheila had a ton of work, I had to submit my Character and Fitness Application for the Ohio Bar Exam, and we both had swine flu! However, God blessed us both abundantly during the semester. I hit a super-low point in December during the last week of classes in which I was so frustrated with law school that I couldn’t fall asleep that night (which subsequently kept Sheila awake too…), and the next day, God completely turned my outlook around and filled my sails with enough wind to sail through the rest of the semester. There were so many random blessings—from giving Sheila the opportunity to meet great friends in her Mandel classes and helping her with her difficult Business Associations class to giving me a much-needed blessing regarding the submission of my last final—that I have emerged from this semester with much more faith than I had when I began the semester back in August. We had a boatload of car issues come up over the past 2 days, and it was such a blessing to be able to confidently know that God was going to help us get all of them resolved so we could safely travel to DC—I’m not sure if I would have been able to be as calm if we hadn’t gone through the struggles of this semester.

I’m very excited about this break—not so much because I’m done with school for the semester, but moreso because I am grateful to have the time to pursue hobbies that I don’t have time to pursue during the school year. Here are several things I’d like to do between now and when we leave for our cruise:

--SEE MOVIES! There are so many great movies in theatres and on video that I’ve missed over the past year. Who’s up for seeing any of the following movies with me? 2012, Invictus, Precious, More Than A Game, the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, Avatar, The Princess and the Frog, Sherlock Holmes, Up in the Air, Inglorious Basterds, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Couples’ Retreat, The Blind Side, Saw VI, Up, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, Julie and Julia, and man…there are so many movies I’ve missed!

--WRITE! I started a story based on Samantha and Smith Jerrod last year (no joke) and of course I did not have time to finish it during the school year. I also have been throwing around various novel ideas over the past year that exist on scraps of paper and in my imagination, and I’d like to take ‘em out for a spin and if they turn into anything decent.

--Have fun times in the DC area! There is a killer ice sculpture display at The Gaylord Hotel which looks awesome. We’re supposed to see some old friends from Case too, and hopefully we’ll get to see the old Churchill crowd as well. I know we’ll have lots of great meals and fun times with Sheila’s family too; unfortunately, the weather isn’t nice enough for me to grill! Closing out the summer on their deck by grilling with a Corona in my hand was great, except for when I made that salmon…ugh, it was so bad that I don’t think a cat would have eaten it!

--READ! I started reading The Emperor’s General by Sen. Jim Webb while I was waiting for our car to get fixed and I can’t wait to finish it. I am going to take a book containing stories about families affected by welfare reform on our cruise, as well as hopefully a James Michener novel and perhaps Twilight too.

--Apply for jobs! It was such a relief and blessing to wrap up my job search early on in the spring last year; here’s hoping lightning will strike twice!

I hope that all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The winter weather has been pretty crazy as of late, and I hope that all of you have safe travels and blessed times with family and friends!

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