Monday, September 28, 2009

Rejected?

The most dreaded part of my day anymore is when it's time to get the mail. This is because every day I have one or two rejection letters from firms I've applied to telling me that they would just die to have me even drive by their office and they are so impressed with my resume and unbelievable credentials, "However . . . blah blah blah . . . high number of applicants . . . blah blah blah . . . lowering the amount of summer associates . . . blah blah blah . . . you aren't nearly as impressive as all five million people that applied before you . . . blah blah blah . . . you should die . . . blah blah blah."

I always look forward to holidays now when mail is not delivered. I'm also usually relieved on the days when I don't get rejected from the firms whose names I've been doodling in my notebook with hearts and whose buildings I do drive-bys at nights just to see who's there. When those rejections come I usually spend the rest of my day having dramatic meltdowns and "my life is over speeches" that any 13 year old girl would be proud of. The comparison to middle school relationships is pretty accurate except instead of giving your giggly friends the "check-yes-or-no" note to pass along, you give it to the firms' recruiters to relay it to attorneys who then return their answer through the US postal service. And the meltdowns and rebounds that follow require just as much attention. Thank heavens for my friend Annette who was willing to bring me cheesecake during my worst episode last week.

But today something unusual happened; a firm that I applied to about a month ago sent a letter to my apartment addressed to "Ms. Eli McCann." I checked with my roommates who assured me that the BYU honor code prevents us from having any females live in the apartment. They also said they didn't know any Ms. Eli McCanns. So, despite the potential for committing a serious federal offense, I opened the letter. Unfortunately it seems that this California firm is not interested in Ms. McCann, "However, [they] are taking the liberty of keeping [her] resume in [their] file."

I feel really badly for this girl. But should I call the firm and see whether they're still interested in me? It's been a month and I haven't heard a single word.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Friday, September 18, 2009

Four Weeks In

Wrapping up my fourth week of school today . . . It's strange to think that I've only been back in school for four weeks. The double-scheduled meetings, the 30-pound case books, the journal editing, the classes, the paper writing, the relentless and often frustrating interviewing, the pressure to somehow retain some form of a social life, the competition, the tutoring . . . it all sort of makes four weeks seem like something much different.

And all of the pressure and anxiety lately has only made me think more about how different life was just a few months ago, hanging out on the streets in Moscow, comfortable, and relatively care-free. Every once in a while I get this flash-back of Kimberly, Acia, and I walking down this narrow street through the thick trees and concrete 20 story apartment complexes just outside of our office building. We've just finished work for the day and we have hours and hours of sunlight in a gorgeous, vibrant city. The possibilities are endless. We walk fast to get to metro because we have about 80 things we're trying to cram into our evening and we want to be able to do them all. Kimberly and I are teasing Acia about all the Russian boys we're going to find for her. She blushes and tells us in her cute Slavic accent to leave her alone. Eventually our conversation turns to vafly, which we've already eaten once or twice during the day. We pass the cheese roll stand where I buy my breakfast just after getting out of the metro every morning. And while that scene happened day-in, day-out for weeks, I never got tired of how happy I felt. I was somewhere that I really loved, experiencing something that I really loved.

Now my life looks quite a bit different. It's not really better or worse, just different. Amid all the stress, I get to be with great friends with whom I share the opportunity to get an invaluable education. It comes at a cost of course; all good things do. Most of the time I'm convinced that I love it despite all the aspects that sometimes aren't so lovable. Sometimes I have to convince myself to love those not so lovable aspects in order to stay productive.

There's always this little battle going on. Do I learn to love what I'm doing because I know it's right or do I change what I'm doing, cued in that not loving it is evidence that it's not right? How much of it am I supposed to love to make the sacrifice all worth it?

I'm not about to dramatically change course. Law school has been good for me in a lot of ways. Occasionally, however, I have to stop and ask myself where it is I'm trying to get. I have to ask myself what kind of realistic destinations actually exist for me. Am I working 100 hours a week to get somewhere I'll hate being? Is working 100 hours a week just to keep my head above water keeping me from doing a thousand things that are much more fulfilling? Who knows? For now I'll just keep trucking along, barely keeping up, throwing more mediocre accomplishments onto my resume, believing that eventually everything will work itself out. It always does in our charmed lives.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Losing Friends Fast

This should probably be documented.

Every year the law school has an Olympic-themed event in the large moot court room at BYU where the members of the three different classes participate in three events, evaluated by judges from each of the classes and then awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals (in case you've never heard of the Olympics before). As exciting as this all sounds, I'm quite sure that whatever respect you had for law students would immediately and quickly go right out the window if you witnessed any piece of the glorious event.

Annette hosted it this year, looking totally trashy dressed up as Tonya Harding (Annette is the 2L class pres this year and probably the most popular girl in school!). Because of my connection with law school royalty, I was recruited to somehow involve myself in one of the three events.

My involvement was not in the first event, the javelin throw, done by spitting cotton swabs through straws at the audience (classy).

My involvement was not in the second event either, which was a hoola-hoop contest, completely owned by a 2L in high hills.

No no, my involvement was all about the third and final event. The synchronized swimming. Three girls in my class layed behind the bench in the moot court room with their legs up in the air, running through some ridiculous routine to the song "The Final Countdown" while I sprayed them with water and impromptu danced like an idiot wearing a swimming cap in front of several hundred people. The performance climaxed with me climbing on top of the bench and doing some odd and equally dramatic spins and poses while the girls did Jazz hands and other moves that any interpretive dancer would be proud of. When the final pose took place (I was on one foot, arms in the air, standing high on the judge's bench overlooking a crowd of impressed spectators, the sounds of motivational '80's rock music ringing in my ears, Annette several feet away in shiny gray pants and the world's trashiest blond wig), I looked to the back and spotted my conservative 60 year old Contracts professor (who I now work for), and I thought "Other than the banya, this might be the strangest moment of my life."

Taking one for the team paid back big time; we totally took the gold.

I'm so glad I feel like I have an hour to spend doing stuff like this.

Accepting the award. That's Annette on the very left.
Losing friends fast.

I think this was one of the more inspiring parts of the performance.

Practicing in the hall right before going on.

Seconds before the final pose. I can't figure out what my favorite part about this picture is. Probably the girl on the right.

On a side note, here are the same people one week earlier, looking professional as always.~It Just Gets Stranger