This semester has been so different from last, which is a big reason I've been awful at keeping up the blog. Last semester I came to Austin and UT with my eyes wide and my jaw often dropped. I had no idea what to expect and I was ready for the challenge of accustoming my life to this weird city and to the equally but very differently weird experiment of being a first-semester 1L. Though there were pangs of loneliness, I certainly never regretted displacing myself to what was in many ways, a foreign land. The learning curve for a first semester 1L is incredibly steep, and seeing the day to day molding of my mind was fascinating and extremely validating. By the end of the semester I was encapsulated by law school and though it was trying at times, I loved every moment of it. I was high on the challenge of school and the newness of my life in Austin. I was constantly inspired and I tried to reflect that in keeping up this blog.
And now onto this semester. My love for school has not waned, nor has my appreciation for this great city. But the newness has faded and I am settled into my life as a law student more than ever. My life is mostly consumed by school and the various extracurriculars that have seemed to creep up on me. Plus I had the extra weight of finding a summer job. In one word, this semester is more focused.
I could tell the first day of classes that this semester was going to be a different thing. People raised their hands, almost unheard of first semester. Gone were the butterflies fluttering around the stomachs of fall 1L's. It was as if people had been doing push ups over winter break to get their biceps in tip-top hand-raising shape. Depending on grades from last semester people either got it in their minds that they needed to step it up, or they needed to maintain their edge. Either way, the wide-eyed fawns of last semester were replaced by a herd of mature bucks. This can be intellectually enthralling or totally annoying.
Though it's not obvious, I like the focus of this semester. However it has turned me into a bore. I wake up at 6 AM, I am home at 7 PM. I cook a healthy dinner, allow myself some wine, and curl up in bed with a casebook or more recently, with Foucault's Ethics (don't be impressed: I chose Foucault for the guaranteed inducement of sleep). I have taken to lighting candles in my apartment when I am home and I use scented soaps. Sometimes I have a friend over for dinner and I go to Pilates twice a week. I go out once a week and on weekends usually spend the days at the library.
As you can tell there's less excitement, which means less inspiration. However I will wrap up with this conversation I had at Urban Outfitters tonight. Even though my life this winter in Austin has admittedly been a bit vanilla, the city never fails to throw you some humor.
(I was wearing a t-shirt that said "Make Love not Law Review.")
Sales guy: Are you a law student?
Sales guy: What kind of law do you do?
Me: Not sure yet but I think criminal law.
Sales guy: Nice, I can help you out with that. (I think he meant he can help me get clients.)