Thursday, November 20, 2008

Heating up, cooling down

Hello, friends and family,

I can't believe November is almost two-thirds over and this is only my second post! If that doesn't speak to the hectic frenzy of my life lately, I don't know what does.
But I finally found a few minutes when I wasn't a) in class, b) frantically trying to prepare for class, c) frantically trying to prepare for something outside class, like TAP or electives registration, d) sleeping, or e) half-comatose on the couch, trying to enjoy TV because I feel obligated to relax but not take naps after 8 at night.
Just a few precious minutes, and I'm using them to tell YOU what's going on in my life- don't you feel special? I'm exaggerating, of course, but it has been crazy around here.
Here are a couple of the major headlines:

New TAP case assigned
So my work for the Tenant Advocacy Project has finally gotten into full swing with the assignment of my first case. Without going into too many details, I can probably tell you that it concerns the rejection of a Boston public housing resident's application for a transfer to a bigger, smoke-free apartment now that his wife has a new baby. There may not be much we can do for him if he's really overdue on his rent, as the Boston Housing Authority claims (they're wrong sometimes, but not terribly often.) Still, my partner and I are gathering his documents to compare with theirs, just in case he still has any options. Not the most exciting case, but it's satisfying when I think about it: because of us, he might get a transfer he otherwise wouldn't- or at the very least, someone will have done due diligence by a guy who probably doesn't see that happen very often.

Lunch, lunch, and lunch
On 3 separate days in a row last week, the opportunity arose to eat lunch outside my usual haunt, the law school cafeteria in Harkness Hall. On Wednesday, it was a Student Government-sponsored faculty lunch with maybe ten other students and my very cool Torts professor, who despite being an incredibly dynamic teacher and a serious hotshot environmental lawyer who's in front of the Supreme Court regularly, is a super modest and easygoing guy in person. It was great, listening over Chinese food as he talked about his own 1L classes at Harvard and which professors he thinks President-Elect Obama will hire. He also asked us a lot about ourselves, seeming genuinely interested and only cooler for it.
Then on Thursday, Russell called wanting to grab lunch in Harvard Square. When I went to meet him, I realized it had been over a week since I'd been out there... during which time the construction that's been making the Square ugly for months got finished! It looks great, and realizing how long I'd been cooped up at home and school made my panini at our favorite cafe, ZSquare, taste even better.
Finally, on Friday, a spot opened up in my Legislation & Regulation professor's weekly lunch with students, so I went out yet again. He was his delightful, curmudgeonly usual self and very entertaining (if a little disappointed to find out that I don't like Contracts, the subject he used to teach.) These little personal interactions are so nice- seeing how invested our brilliant, accomplished faculty is in us makes any amount of stress and hard work seem manageable.

Temperatures drop in Cambridge
So I'm increasingly aware of this, but maybe you'd forgotten: I live in NEW ENGLAND.
Actually, it isn't as bad as you're probably picturing. No snow yet, and just last week we still had highs in the 60's (although it was rainy, so it didn't really feel like it.) But now that it's dried out, temperatures have been dropping pretty much daily- to the mid-30's so far, with nighttime lows and wind chills in the 20's. It isn't uncomfortable yet, especially since all the buildings at school are connected underground; even at home we haven't turned on all the radiators. But I thought I'd remind you, if you're feeling cold wherever you are: count your blessings.

And finally, in other news:
First-year students just finished registering for their two elective classes next semester; it's a lottery, so I'll give you all an update once I know what I've got. Also, exam season is nearly upon us (and thoroughly upon the second- and third-years, who have exams before the holiday break, unlike us.) The libraries are getting quieter and more crowded, professors have started giving out practice exams, and I'm about to head off to a Civil Procedure review session with the author of one of our textbooks. Meanwhile, I met with a Public Intersest Advisor today, and it's looking like I need to figure out what I want in a summer job... before I even finish buying plane tickets for Christmas!

Okay, friends... sorry if I've made you feel as overwhelmed as I am. Trying to cram it all into one blog post makes it seem much worse than reality- I have days to finish all these things and only a few minutes to describe them! There's no need to worry anyhow, because my amazing mom will be here in less than a week to make me feel much better. (:

And as I sit in this gorgeous library, alongside the plaques listing decades of Ames Competition winners who went on to write my textbooks or the decisions within them, beneath the huge portrait of Rutherford B. Hayes, who was once the only alumnus of my school to be elected President, I can't help but think...

I really need to get going to this Civ Pro review session.

It's not glamorous, but I hope it holds you over until I write again. (:

1 comment:

mimi said...

You sound so busy, but so engaged. I'm so glad you remember, occasionally, to take a moment and breathe in the significance and beauty that is your life right now. Breathe it in.