Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Socratic Method

Had my first classic law school experience today. First class of the day, Contracts. "What happened in Hamer v. Sidway, Miss Brown?" Um. I swear he just said my name. "Well, the uncle promised, well, there was a contract if the nephew would abstain from drinking, if, when he was 21, and then, what happened was the uncle..." Am I saying words? "Were the nephew and uncle the parties in this case? Who is Hamer?" Is he speaking Russian? "Well, no. There was, it was transferred, the executor, and the debt, it's assigned but no, the uncle, and he died..."

Somehow it ended. Not sure what was really asked or said, but I'm still alive. So, that's good.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Diary

I typically don't consider blogs the best forum in which to share personal, touching experiences. But I'm going to make an exception. Be warned: this post is more for myself than for any of you. Feel free to delay reading until I post again.

I applied to Creighton accidentally. Literally. If I had possessed all of the facts of the law school application process when I started submitted applications, I would never have sent my information to Creighton. But as it turns out, I was accepted and offered a scholarship.

I was also accepted to and offered a scholarship at Akron, and the scholarship happened to be significantly more than what Crieghton was offering. Somehow, though, I forgot about that fact or didn't realize it or something, because when I was moving I came across the acceptance letter from Akron and felt like I had been punched in the stomach. How did I forgo what was essentially a full-tuition scholarship? I really couldn't understand my reasoning, and there was literally nothing I could do to change my situation.

But let's back up. On my acceptance letter, the Dean of the Law School at Creighton indicated that there are several students and faculty members from Utah. I thought that was random, and it was the first thing that made me actually consider going to Creighton. About a week later, I received a phone call from a professor, Collin Mangrum, at the law school to let me know that there are several LDS (Mormon) students at the school. He got me in touch with a graduating 3L, which was extremely helpful.

For various reasons that followed, I ended up deciding on Creighton. After that decision was made, I attended Accepted Students Day (I know this is redundant for a lot of you), where I met Professor Dallon, a former classmate of my dad's from BYU Law and the Bishop of one of the Young Single Adult wards in Omaha. My dad and I looked at about 14 apartments while we were in town. All of them were in one Singles ward except one that was in Bishop Dallon's ward. A long and unrelated decision-making process resulted in my choice to move into the apartment that happened to be in his ward. Even after seat deposits were paid to the school and security deposits to the apartment, I went through periods of doubt, wondering if I could and really should move to Nebraska. Invariably, during my most doubt-filled days, I would get a random call or voicemail from Professor Dallon, offering suggestions of places to live, people to talk to, or just checking up on me.

About a month ago, we received our Section assignments, and I happened to be placed in Professor Dallon's Torts class.

Now, here I am. I'm living a thousand miles away from everyone I know. I'm swamped with a level and load of schoolwork I've never before experienced. I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water and it's only the second day. I feel like I'm neglecting Zipsie more than ever, and unfortunately this time there's no roommate or trusted friend available to give her some company.

But on Sunday one of the clerks in the ward asked if I had time this week to meet with a member of the Bishopric. We set up an appointment for tonight. After class, I was in the library studying and had to leave before finishing in order to make it to my appointment. I had a little bit of a negative attitude (it's hard for me to study at home, so I try and get everything done at the library), but I left. I got home, changed, and went to the church. I ended up having to wait for some other people to finish their appointments, which actually worked out, because I had brought my unfinished homework with me (which happened to be Torts...) I was able to read the chapter twice, which I was thrilled about. Bishop Dallon finished before his counselor, so that's who I met with.

Now this is the whole reason for this absurdly long journal entry of a post. In all my time at BYU, I never had an experience like this. The closest I got was having an Economics professor that was my Stake President, but that's not very significant since I had zero interaction with him in that capacity. Anyway, I met with the Bishop as sort of a get-to-know-you interview. At the end, he closed with a prayer.

Hearing a professor pray for me to succeed in school was more special than I can possibly put into words. It made me feel cared-for in such an individual way.  It was an experience I wish everyone could enjoy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Home Sweet...Here

Hi, world. I'm in Omaha. I wanted to avoid posting pictures of my new place until I was all unpacked and everything looked cute, but I don't see that happening for awhile. So you get what you get :)

This is my living room. Since taking the picture, I've added two small arm chairs in front of the partition. There's also a window with a desk under it to the right of the fireplace that you can't really see. On that desk sits a beautiful new MacBook Pro, which I'm convinced is actually the love of my life. I knew I had to go to Nebraska to find him :) 

Here's my kitchen. It's small, but let's face it--how much kitchen do I really need? You can see the Y magnet on the fridge. It literally went up before a single pan was in a cabinet or a dish unpacked. I might be in Corn Husker country, but I still have my priorities.

And speaking of priorities...

From the living room you go through the opening on the right of the partition into my "bedroom". Literally, room for a bed. It's cozy and I like it.  
Then down the hall is my closet, sink, and bathroom.

Now that you've enjoyed the grand tour, here are some updates on how things are going...

We had orientation Thursday and Friday, which actually went well. It's interesting being at a Catholic university, because it's still based on religious education, so in a sense it feels like BYU. But I'm so unfamiliar with Catholicism and the prayers are different from what I'm used to, so sometimes it seems foreign. I really appreciate the Christian values that are emphasized when people discuss what it means to be a good lawyer.

So far, my favorite things about Omaha are $0.54 32 oz. Dr. Peppers from gas stations, the fabulously easy-to-navigate road system, the helpful people in my ward and at the law school, and how curly my hair goes when I scrunch it. This brings me to my least favorite things about Omaha: the humidity makes straightening my hair quite a chore. Even after I get it straightened, it doesn't stay straight. Strands and sections just start flipping whichever way they choose. Restaurants serve Mr. Pibb and act like it's an acceptable substitution for the Doctor. Internet is freaking expensive (I miss Comcast), and groceries are too. Also, drivers here? Not so nice. They enjoy the horn and middle finger.

I find the area very pretty. Zipsie treed two squirrels this morning on our walk. Lots of trees and lots of green. Not as much as the East Coast, but definitely more than Utah. Oh! Another thing I like about this place (although it's weird) is that the mid-grade gas is cheaper than the regular because it contains ethanol. So we're going to transition my car up a notch on fuel quality and see how she likes it.

As for the school part of things, I haven't yet studied as much as I should. I just bought my computer yesterday, so most of last night (which had been set aside for studying) was instead spent getting everything set up on it. And sort of playing with it. The studying I have done has been fascinating. I don't know how I'll feel once I get into the full work load, but the reading that's been assigned for the first day has been so interesting. Let's hope my interest is sustained.

I miss everyone, but I'm doing well. My cell phone has terrible service at my apartment, so I've been a little cut off from people. But Jessica is helping me remedy that situation and I'll soon have a second phone number with *shudder* Verizon. You'll always be able to leave me messages on my T-Mobile line (the same number I've had forever) but if you want the second number in case you need to get a hold of me more quickly, just send me a text or an email and as soon as I know the number, I'll let you know as well.

I'd love updates from everyone! I know I won't be spending as much time checking blogs as I should, but let me tell you a little secret. I love mail. So much. If you and your family ever wanted to drop a quick note as to what you've been up to, I would appreciate it so much. I know it's antiquated and not everyone has stamps sitting around, but seeing a letter with a familiar postmark would do a lot to ease homesickness. You can always be more modern and stick to Twitter, email, texting, or whatever works for you.

Okay,  I think that about covers it. Love and miss you all!