Everyday Life · Law School - 1L

Marcie’s List of “Christmas” Movies

I am the queen of loving the casual Netflix binge.  My roommate and I have a nice bit about it.  Lately, I have really been trying to get in the season of cheer, despite my looming finals, the lack of Christmas decorations, and the extremely warm weather we’ve been having.  I listen to Christmas music and I watch Christmas movies, when I can.

I love Christmas movies, good and bad.  For the most part, I like them really bad and very cheesy, with acting that is so horrible it can physically hurt.  I’m not sure why but watching them just adds more cheer to my Christmas spirit.  It leaves me light and free of concerns.  I know exactly how every movie will end and I know I’ll enjoy that ending (because I’ve seen it 30,000 times in the other cheesy Christmas movies).

I wanted to make a list of my favorite Christmas movies (some are on Netflix now and others were on Netflix at some point).  I invite everyone to check them out, but to also keep your expectations very low.

1.  Dear Santa (on Netflix now).  I actually thought this was a very sweet movie and the character was relatable… to me.

2. Christmas Kiss (on Netflix now).  This is the movie where the acting is physically painful.  But I watch it at least 3 times every December.

3.  Kinky Boots (on Netflix now).  This is not a Christmas movie… but I directly associate it with snow and Christmas. Also, this movie (and its broadway musical) is amazing.

4.  Love Actually.  My roommate makes fun of how many times I’ve watched the movie this year (and not all of them in December).

5.  Santa Claus is Coming’ to Town.  The claymation one.  That’s is favorite Christmas movie.

Enjoy!

– m

PS. This was supposed to be posted two days ago and it somehow ended up in a draft folder. Life’s a mess.

 

Everyday Life · Law School - 1L

When I Grow Up

While I have not been posting on WordPress, I have been on it!  I read the blogs of the people I follow and it’s usually my only human reprieve!

I was looking through my drafts on here and I found this jewel.  It’s from earlier this year.  I could not have thought of a more imperfect/perfect time to happen upon it.  I am right on the precipice of finals and I feel like I’m drowning.  This post is a good reminder and motivator.

Things can’t be easy… or else everyone would do it, right?

Enjoy and wish me luck on finals!

I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian. I’m not gonna lie–being a vet and working with animals was my dream come true. There was always a right and wrong answer, you get to pet the dogs and kitties, and you can make a pretty decent amount of money for it. When I went to college, I went to a school that was known for its music and biology program because I was gonna be a vet.

Obviously, that didn’t pan out for various reasons. Science is a requirement for biology and animal science and I was not a big fan of it. Also, biology is a big component and I was, apparently, not very good at biology. It was the one time my self-preservation jumped in and said, “Maybe this isn’t the wisest course of action.”

I dropped the biology major and decided political science was the one for me. Not because I liked political science, technically. Late into the major I realized that political science is the study of war and more wars (at least in my focus). Regardless, I did like it enough. If I could go back in time, I would choose a different major, but that’s inconsequential.

If anyone has read back on my posts from last year or maybe the year before (definitely last year), then they know that I have been going through some academic/professional angst. Was law school really what I wanted to do? Would I even make it through? Was it worth it? What the hell would I even do as a lawyer? Do I have a long term plan? Is there something that I would rather do instead of lawyering?

That last question messed me up. Of course there are things I’d rather do than lawyer. Being a lawyer sucks! You have nightmares in the middle of the night about a pretrial the next day, you have to deal with angry/crying clients who don’t know what your job really is, you have to make collections calls for attorneys fees, you have to drive–so much driving, and you have to wear suits (depending). It’s a horrible job. As a paralegal, you do a bit less than the attorneys… and it sucks. By extension, being a lawyer sucks. I can think of a million other things I would rather do than be a lawyer. Like be a millionaire’s housewife, stay a paralegal, do something with my political science degree, work for the federal government (state government is garbage, don’t do that), or become an aimless wanderer.

Literally, anything that’s less hard and more gratifying.

While any of those other jobs are great and very tempting, it wouldn’t be the same. Being a lawyer is pretty powerful. You make solid connections in law school and then later on in the bar associations and any practice you go into. With that power you can change things. Not to sound too cliche, but I want to change the damn world. I want to climb up all the ladders and fight for the vulnerable and unrepresented. And I want to be a lawyer.

So yeah, there are better jobs and I still wish I could have been a vet, but I would rather be a lawyer than anything else. I can lawyer.

-m

Everyday Life · Law School - 1L

On Lessons from My Roommate

Happy Halloween to all!

But this post has nothing to do with Halloween, except that I am writing this whilst pre-gaming alone because I have no friends (jk, but really).

I have probably never mentioned this before, but I have a boy roommate this year.  I’m still working on a nickname for him.  Nice kid, good person, likes fizzy water.  We ended up living together through my roommate listing on the “Admitted Students” site.  He responded.

Now, I have lived with a male before.  His name was Shaun, aka Shauny and we’re still in contact.  I figured it would be similar.  But oh, how wrong I was.

First lesson.  Guys really do casually talk about sex.  Yesterday, before he traveled away for the weekend, we were discussing whether or not women could really actually do “falsetto.”  He provided some real life examples of a woman in falsetto… his girlfriend.  I told him to get out of my apartment (because I am mature).  This is not the first incident of such conversation–in fact, it’s the third.  There’s nothing explicit in these conversations.  But I only speak to two people about sex and they’re both my closest, bestest friends… not my boy roommate.

Second lesson.  Some people–some guys–automatically think you’re cool when they find out that you live with another guy all casually and the like.  Girls are always like, “Is it weird?” But guys are like, “Really? That’s so cool!”  Regardless, you are leveled up in the eyes of your peers.  While I say the opinions of lesser people, like your peers, are irrelevant… it still feels pretty good to be leveled up in any situation.

Third lesson.  The Packers.  I will never cheer for the Packers (for various reasons, one of them being the Packers logo toaster my roommate forced on our apartment and that now sets of his smoke detector every time I use it).  However, because of my roommate, I could understand why someone would… even though they’re from the Chicagoland area.

Fourth lesson.  Tagging/Labeling your food.  I had to put my name on my carrots this week.  My roommate and I both enjoy carrots as crunchy snacks.  Unfortunately, I never got to enjoy my last bag of carrots because my roommate ate them.  Despite the fact that he bought a brand that’s drastically different from mine (much more fancy-looking), mine were organic (and probably more expensive, let’s face it).  In all my roommate situations, I have never had to label my food.  We all just knew.  Maybe that’s a girl thing or maybe it’s one of his gaps.  But that mistake won’t happen again.  He can now eat his poison bougie carrots, secure that they’re not mine and I’ll have reason to actually get pissed if he does eat mine.

Fifth lesson.  Letting go.  My roommate steals my grapes every time he opens the fridge.  This may seem like a non-issue to someone that is a bigger person than me.  However, those grapes were expensive and I am poor.  As soon as he confessed, I was about to flip a frisbee.  But then… why?  He takes a grape.  Yeah, okay.  It’s a whole bag of grapes and I wouldn’t have even noticed if he hadn’t said anything.  I’m glad he did say something because it makes me feel better, but… there was no point in flipping anything because he took some grapes.  For anyone that knows me, letting this issue go is a huge thing.  I’m still in shock that I laughed and joked afterwards (five years ago, one of my roommates took my coffee once and I have yet to forgive her for it).  Boy roommate taught me a very important and valuable life lesson.

Okay, that’s enough. If my roommate ever saw this, he’d probably be really weirded out.  Thankfully, we are only connected on the Facebook, which is one account this blog does not post to. 🙂

Have a happy and safe Halloween!!

-m

New Year's Resolutions

Resolutions Update: 3rd Quarter

Happy day to all!

It is time for yet another New Year’s Resolutions update!  Who’s excited?!  ME!!  I love doing these.  Partially because it’s an easy post, but also because I get to think of all the things I’ve done.  I’m even more excited about this post because I actually get to cross things off today!  Let’s just drive right in and get to the crossing out part!

1. Work out regularly
… Now that I am back on campus and live two blocks away from the gym, I should really be much better at this.  However, I am much more active!  I walk over a mile every day to the law school.  I also live on the second floor and the stairway is kind of steep so… some points?

2. Go to law school
I’M IN LAW SCHOOL AND I WENT AND I’M IN IT.

3. Redo my bedroom
I rearranged my bedroom earlier this year.  I changed it back, but it did change… I know the goal is to paint it, but now I’m in Champaign and it’s a little harder to do.

4. Start vlogging
I posted a video to my Ghee Funk page!  I did it a few weeks ago, but it was done!  As far as my personal vlogging goal, it’s still a work in progress.  Any tips from people that do have vlogs?  I don’t even know how to get started…

5. Write on the blog more
I’m calling it. Really.  This year, I have written on this blog more than the year before (and probably the year before that).  I have completed this task.

6. Be more up-to-date on current world and domestic events
I apparently still can’t do this.

7. Read at least 4 books this year
I’m still working through “Lipstick Jihad.”  It’s much harder now that I have so much reading to do here.

8. Be nicer to people
This one is so hard.  I get so grumpy sometimes…

9. Learn an instrument
I will be playing guitar at my friend’s wedding next year, so I should really get on task for this.

10. Photography
Yes, that requires time.

11. Get U.S. Citizenship
On June 16, I became a U.S. Citizen.  I changed my name.  As of last week, I officially finished all the steps involved in finalizing that name change.  I’m also a registered voter, yay!  I’m coming for you 2016 Presidential Elections!!!!

Three out of eleven isn’t so bad.  Usually I can’t complete any of my resolutions.  I’m really trying to stay true to these resolutions.  They’re all things I really want to do, but never complete.  It’s mostly due to laziness and being grumpy.  Those are two things that I really want to strike out of my life!

Hopefully the next (and final) check-in will have some major changes.

Thanks for reading!

-m

Everyday Life · Law School - 1L

On Law School Orientation…

Hey all!

I have been on a super long hiatus for a while now.  My last post was over a month ago, but… before that post it was two months of not posting.  It seems like an improvement to me.

So many things have happened since my last post.  As many may know, I am currently enrolled in law school.  Strangely enough, one of the biggest hurdles to law school came in the form of orientation.  Sounds harmless, right?  Orientation used to just be boring.  You sit in a room with other people while professors/advisors tell you things that you already know.  Maybe there’ll be coffee.  In law school (and, from what I understand, grad school in general) it becomes boring and bone deep terrifying.

I had mandatory orientation on August 20th.  The whole week beforehand was not well spent.  I had nothing packed, I had no idea what I was doing, the professors hadn’t posted the syllabi, I hadn’t even looked at the book list, and the reality of what was happening hadn’t set in.  But I knew I needed to be in Champaign on August 20th and I knew that I would be homeless when that happened.  My apartment wasn’t going to be ready until August 22nd.  On orientation day, we were going to take our student directory photos and I had a plan for that too:  I was going to have my best friend straighten my hair so that no one would recognize me from the directory.  I mean, my name was going to be listed as Luz and Luz had straight hair.  Marcie has crazy curly hair.  My plan was perfect (it wasn’t).

Before I knew it, it was August 19 and I was at my last day of work.  I had gotten to work at little late because my hair appointment ran overtime, which is kind of expected when your friend is the one doing it.  The last day of work was pretty anticlimactic, but my emotions were all there.  I drove down to CU (Champaign-Urbana) by myself after hanging out with my mom.  On that drive, the panic set in.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  Sure, it was only an orientation day, but it was the orientation day.  I would be surrounded by my peers for the next three years.  I would be surrounded by professors that I would actually have to build a relationship with.  I knew no one.  I knew nothing.  My biggest fear in all this was that I would get too scared and back out.  Law school was my first big risk and a part of me really wanted to take it.  The other part was panicking.

Luckily, I had a friend to comfort me the whole 3 hour drive to CU.  Thanks, Maddogg (she has WordPress)!

I stayed at my friend’s place that night and got up bright and early in the morning to get ready, fix my hair (because the beast does not like to be tamed), and find some place to park for the day.  Parking in CU is ridiculous.  I parked over a mile away from the school and had to walk that mile in direct sunlight, but at least it was a beautiful, sunny day.  I made it there, slightly sweaty and slightly grumpy, and registered.  I grabbed some coffee and stood in line to get my directory photos taken.  I wanted to get that crossed off my list first and foremost.  My hair was only going to get worse as the day progressed.

I made awkward conversation in line with people in my section and small section.  I got up to the front and then the photographers turned us away to take the class photos.  After that, we listened to lectures from the dean, from the SBA leaders, from advisors, from a local judge and various people.  That was all pretty typical orientation stuff.

The problem didn’t start until we went to lunch, which they called “Lunch with your Section Professors.”  I thought it was very creative.  We ate while the professors spoke about their classes and expectations and answered questions from the section.  Now, at the earlier orientation stuff, they were telling us that law school didn’t have to be the difficult horror story that people have told us it is.  We needed to learn time management and just had to stay focused.  At the lunch, the professors took that byline and threw it out the window.  A few came right out to say that it wasn’t undergrad anymore and they had high expectations.  Even to attend office hours, they expected more preparation than I’d ever done for my classes in undergrad.  That might be more of a reflection on me and my classes, but I was terrified.  So terrified I couldn’t finish eating my lunch.

Afterwards, we had our “first class” in Legal Writing.  I misread the email and didn’t know about the class, but that didn’t end up coming back for me.  However, it wasn’t a great confidence booster after the emotionally tumultuous lunch.  We went to another lecture and I learned that alcoholism is a big problem in law school and the profession as a whole.  It felt good.

Okay, in all honestly, that was the most helpful lecture of orientation.  It talked about psychological issues that may surface during law school and how to handle them.  I learned some very useful tips to talk myself out of an anxiety spiral.  It spoke to issues that I’d been trying to deal with over the summer and that I knew would be harder to handle during the school year.  I am truly very grateful for that part of the lecture.

After that, we were ordered to have our pictures taken.  It really irritated me since I was taken out of line and there was zero time to get the pictures taken with all the program they’d scheduled.  I was actually late to the rest of the programing because I was taking that picture (which turned out horrible).  Because I was late, I also got separated from my group and ended up in the wrong lecture with a bunch of LLMs.

By the end of orientation, I was done.  They had a reception afterwards, but I didn’t want to stay at it.  Besides being scared to go to law school and having all my anxiety rush back at full force, I really had trouble connecting to people in my group… and people in general.  Along with having doubts about attending law school, I had doubts about being able to make friends with anyone in the school (which they emphasized in all the orientation programing).  The orientation itself wasn’t bad (the photos were and they definitely heard my frustration with it on the feedback form) but I was feeling so crummy by the end of it.  I was, again, afraid that I would chicken out.  If not chicken out, then fail in an epic and expensive manner.

Thankfully, that was only orientation.  Right now, I am about to enter Week 4 or my 1L year, which would make 1 month.  I am eternally grateful that everything from orientation is behind me.  I got lost in my own head that day and it really affected how I reacted and perceived things.  I took some time afterwards and talked myself down.  In the end, there was no point of being scared of possible failure.  I hadn’t even started law school and I was terrified of failing out.  I don’t have to worry until November about failing out.  😉

There are still moments where I get scared (not orientation day scared), but I always try to remember what I’m doing this for.  I’m doing it for my community, for my family.  Then the fear goes away.

-mIMG_20150809_122613

Everyday Life

Music Monday #2

In an effort to get my lazy butt to posting, here is another Music Monday where Marcie shares her musical favorites at the moment.

1. Cool for the Summer – Demi Lovato
At first, I was like, “No, this can’t be that great.” And then I heard it in my car. Since then, I’ve been in love with this song. And I have a dance to it. I have very intense feelings for this song.

2. Promise – Romeo Santos feat. Usher
I’ve always liked this song. Lately, I’ve been singing it on repeat at work… in various accents. My coworker enjoys it, I’m sure. My Spanish singing will be so slow and deliberate and then my English so smooth… like Ursher. Today my coworker laughed at me because of those differences. It felt good.

3. Planes – Jeremih and J.Cole
I have a whole story about this song, but what first made me love it is this: “Have you ever read the world is yours… on a blimp?” I couldn’t stop listening after that.

4. Mi Verdad – Mana and Shakira
I LOVE THIS SONG and Shakira is back in an acoustic sound. I love it. This song also helped me discover that Spanish is not so easily translated into English. I knew this, but this furthered my knowledge of it.

5. BBHMM – Rihanna
I’m not as much in love with the song, as much as the music video. Because… the music video is amazing. This music video made me follow her on instagram. True story.

That’s all I have this week, but stay tuned.

-m

New Year's Resolutions

Resolutions Update: 2nd Quarter

Hey!

I am back again after a long… long hiatus. I wish I could say it was planned; however, I have a hard time finding inspiration to write. But this one is easy! This is a check in, half of it is already written for me 🙂

So, in March I made a post that checked in on the status of my New Years Resolutions. They were progressing decently well for it just being March. However, now that we’re half way through the year and life has caught up/has started speeding up… they’re not doing so great. However, I am not giving up! It’s going to happen!

Onward.

1. Work out regularly
I hate exercise. I hate it, I hate it, and I hate that I need it. I haven’t gone to the gym since January. The most I’ve worked out today is holding back my Lana dog while standing in line to get her vaccinations. I’m not sure that counts. However, I keep the hope alive. I think about doing it every day and I’m trying to adjust my shower schedule to it… I’m working on it.

2. Go to law school
I have not gone yet. But… I will. I was officially accepted into the University of Illinois College of Law. I start school in August. It was a hard decision to make but I have no regrets so far.

3. Redo my bedroom
I have paint samples, at least. It’s gonna happen. It’s futile, but it’s gonna happen.

4. Start vlogging
I should do this. I forgot this was a New Years resolution. It’d be an advice channel, for those interested.

5. Write on the blog more
I’m still writing more than I did last year, so… I’m going to call this a success, #winning

6. Be more up-to-date on current world and domestic events
I apparently can’t do this.

7. Read at least 4 books this year
I read a book! And not just my law school essays book, but a real book! I read “The Secret Life of Bees” because it’s a classic and I like bees. It was an okay book. I expected something different. I’d placed the book in the wrong era… so it wasn’t what I expected. It was okay. Now I am working through “Lipstick Jihad” which, word of advice to the general population, is not the best book to read while waiting for your immigration interview.

8. Be nicer to people
I’m still working on this, but I know I was nicer to someone a few times. So… you know. Also #winning.

9. Learn an instrument
My mom said she’d teach me yesterday at 3:00… then she had a rehearsal with someone else at the same time. It’s going well.

10. Photography
I made a deal with myself when I first started applying to law schools. I’ve been wanting a DSLR for years. I said that if I got into law school, I would get my camera. Then I got into law school. I almost didn’t get the camera, but my mom convinced me that I should. It is another purchase that I do not regret.

11. Get U.S. Citizenship
So, the last step to getting citizenship is to be sworn in… I have my swearing in ceremony on June 16.

Many of these resolutions aren’t completed, but a few of them are making progress, if not already done. It feels good.

I hope everyone else’s resolutions are also going well! Even if they’re not, you still have the other half of the year and it’s summer. There’s always time to do some soul searching and improve yourself in the summer. The weather is nice, there’s outdoor activities, and there’s sun! So much time still remains to do what you want to do with yourself.

-M.