Wednesday started bright and early with Legislation & Regulation class from 8:35 to 9:50 a.m. Our professor (the same as our faculty advisor) is likable, and the material so far has been interesting and refreshingly different from other classes. Most of what we've read relates to Congress's 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act and its implications- very political stuff, good for class discussion.
Next was another round of Civ Pro at 10:15, by which time I'd already come to appreciate the glory of Harvard offering free coffee everywhere. I've never been much of a coffee person before, but it looks like the rumors are true: law school wastes no time in making you one.
At lunchtime came probably the coolest part of Wednesday: the opportunity to meet the Big Sister assigned to me by the Women's Law Association. They have a program where female 2Ls and 3Ls mentor first-years, helping them adjust to classes and make friends- I was pretty excited about this since I've never been in a choir, drill team, sorority or any of those other groups that have big and little sisters, so this was my first. And lunch went pretty great- the 2L assigned to me is very approachable and super forthcoming about what different professors, course loads, and summer jobs are really like here. It was nice to hear the insider's story from someone who wasn't trying to sell me on anything and instead just wanted me to know what I'm in for. (Even so, most of what she had to say was still positive- it is Harvard, after all.)
After lunch, we had our first section of Contracts, which I can already tell is going to be my toughest class. The professor is young and energetic, and he talks a lot about his small children (which I find really appealing lately, I wonder why.) However, all the cases are incredibly complicated and come down to small details that are hard to tease out and almost as hard for the teacher to explain. The whole section seems to be in agreement that this class may well be a struggle all year long- even one former Economics major I talked to, who I hoped might have some special insight or other, said it was all Greek to him. At least we're all in it together!
So that was it for Wednesday, and Thursday went much the same except instead of Civ Pro we had a nice long break from 10 to 1 (good for getting homework done early and slipping into the Hark for lunch before the rush) and added Legal Research and Writing in the afternoon. Our section is broken in halves for this class, and mine is taught by a bubbly, young redheaded woman I already like. We'll meet just once a week and have papers or research homework every so often (basically completion grades) rather than the usual end-of-term exam. I'm told it's a cinch, but also that it's very important: apparently this is the one class nearly everyone goes on to use in future jobs, whatever their field.
So with that, I'd officially had all my courses once! This made Friday kind of a relief, since everything (Leg Reg, short meeting with section leader, and Contracts) was already old hat. Not that I didn't come home exhausted- I've slept probably 14 hours since then and can still barely move my arms. I took dance classes all day every summer in high school, but this is definitely the most tiring thing I've done in my whole life! Other people have told me the same thing, so I know it's not me- there's just something about law school, the new people, the impressive professors with their Socratic method quizzing you all the time, that's disproportionately exhausting.
Luckily, the homework hasn't been as bad as promised yet. There's a lot- I definitely have something to do every night and would be in big trouble if I got behind- but it doesn't take hours and hours at a time like I feared. My Big Sis said that while you can't really judge the year by the first week, I would probably feel this way often. Most of the time, she said, it's not as bad as you might think; only occasionally will you get totally overwhelmed and freak out. She said there's even time to join a few extracurriculars your first year, which can help you decide which to take on in your 2L year when things get more serious.
Overall, I'm feeling tired but optimistic. (And hot and sweaty, actually- it's only about 75 outside but so muggy this weekend that the apartment feels like a sauna. It's the first time since moving here that I've wanted an air conditioner, and only so the air would dry out. Gee thanks, Tropical Storm Hanna!) I guess I shouldn't complain, though- most of you are still back in Texas.
Anyway, I hope you're all well and that you'll keep in touch. Consider sending us some snail mail! Russell and I love finding things in the mailbox. Just ask and I'll give you our address, or Mom can share it if you're feeling sneaky. Take care everyone, and I'll post again soon.