Dec 08 2009

Not an idea was stirring…. not after that exam

Published by at 10:28 pm under Miscellaneous

In the intervals of spare time we have between days of studying for exams, hopefully you are aware that the year is winding down.  There are less than 2 weeks to Christmas, and less than 3 to New Year’s 2010.  Rather than looking forward to decide where I will be spending your New Year’s Eve, I prefer to look backwards to see where the year started and how much progress has been made for 2009.  Did I make this year better than the last?  Most people don’t keep track of things like this.   As we get older, years tend to blend together, until we can’t remember which year I took that vacation.  Suddenly, while paying at the gas station you look down and see that you can’t buy cigarettes unless you were born before this day in 1991.  1991?  Didn’t that say 1984 two weeks ago?  The point I want to make here is to take time to ensure that every year counts.  Don’t just say you’re going to do it, as you will when you loosely make resolutions in three weeks.  Actually find quantifiable standards to mark your progress towards making yourself who you want to be so that law school doesn’t turn out to be a 3 year black out on your life’s itenerary. 

Hemingway said there were three marks of a man:  writing a novel, fighting a bull, and fathering a son.  Now, certainly he didn’t do these things every year, but there was a goal, a clear path to that goal, and a time frame for accomplishment.  To make a well rounded person he included a serious intellectual, physical, and emotional challenge (respectively).  Do something that makes you realize your own mortality so that you remeber that you are in fact, alive.  That can be lost in reading days, especially when your library is two floors underground. 

If you ever hesitate to seize an opportunity, consider the alternative.  Where will you be in 10 years if you monopolize your day with law school, get straight A’s throughout school, take a 150,000/year job with a large firm and work 70-80 hours a week to come home to an empty, albeit well decorated, condo to sleep wake up and start over again?  You can say “there’s always Vegas,” and then realize that that was 10 years ago.  Or you can heed Morgan Freeman, “get busy living, or get busy dying.”

“Nunc lento sonitu dicunt morieris…”

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Not an idea was stirring…. not after that exam”

  1. Kerri Sigleron 16 Dec 2009 at 8:26 pm

    It’s nice to see “quality of life” make a comeback as a concept. In my first semester of law school, I was very close to the top of the class (I might have been number one … we’ll never know since my class didn’t get grades … ah, Mastery!). During January Term, I had a talk with myself. “You can have a 4.0 and no life. Or you can have a 3.5 and a life.” I opted for the latter and graduated just at a 3.5. And had a pretty fun time doing it.

    In a better economy, I might regret that choice. But in the current economy, it seems a complete and utter lack of job offers has nothing to do with grades. Apparently job offers and grades no longer correlate the way they used to (based on the grades of those who have jobs compared to those who do not).

    In the world as it is, I’m pretty happy with my choice. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when one must buckle down and work the 80 hour weeks (see my forthcoming blog), but hopefully those moments will start becoming the exception rather than the rule so that even desk-shackled lawyers can add a little quality to that pastime they call Life.

  2. Matton 20 Dec 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Listen, Kerri, I don’t know how to say this. But you just used my blog to advertise your forthcoming blog… that’s gonna cost you 10 cents…

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