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October 30, 2005

Move Over, Martha

Today was one of those great days that brought productivity both as a mom and a law student. Because of the time change I was up early and got laundry washed, folded and put away, took a shower, and finished up a Jedi warrior costume all before 9:30 a.m. The rest of the day has been spent working on Civil Procedure reading and writing, as well as some research and case briefing for Legal Writing. Randy has had dinner simmering on the stove all day and we'll be sitting down with a bottle of wine and a movie later this evening. On the docket for tomorrow, pre-trick-or-treating, is more Legal Writing stuff, a Civ Pro hypo, and lots of Torts reading.

And yes, in case you're wondering, despite my lamentations about being a bad mother, I got my Martha Stewart groove on and whipped up a Jedi warrior costume this weekend for Matthew, our resident Star Wars fanatic. All the Jedi costumes were cleared off the store shelves, so I broke down and went to the fabric store to get a pattern to make one. Apparently there are lots of Jedi wannabes out there, because the fabric store was completely out of Jedi costume patterns. My solution? Matthew will be wearing a Wise Man robe from a nativity play costume pattern. I didn't show him the pattern picture, so he totally believes that he is Obi Wan Kenobi. When he tried his costume on this morning he proudly brandished his light saber while jumping into the proper Jedi defense position, then he excitedly proclaimed that he looked "just. like. Obi Wan Kenobi!" Hopefully when he's 35 he'll remember the coolness of the Force and forget about all the macaroni and cheese we've been eating for dinner lately.

October 25, 2005

The Seventh Inning Stretch

My first law school final is about five weeks from now. I still cannot believe how quickly this first semester has gone. I can't believe it's almost over already.

For the most part, I love law school every bit as much as I always thought I would. I enjoy the intellectual stimulation, my daily trips into the city, and meeting new friends. It is also as exhausting as I always thought it would be. If I didn't have kids and a husband and a house and a whole other life, it would be a lot easier to handle it all. As it is, I am exhausted. It is getting more and more difficult for me to juggle everything successfully, although I hate to admit that.

I find that from about 4:00-9:00 p.m. every night I feel stressed and crabby and overwhelmed. During those hours I am making dinner, driving back and forth across town through traffic to sports practices and show rehearsals and concerts and games, trying to get lunches made and clothes picked out for the next day, putting Matthew to bed, taking care of the dog, and thinking about all the homework I'm not doing. On the weekends Randy is home and helps a bit, but he's only home for two days before heading out of town again on Monday and I study all day on Sunday, so I feel like we have very little time to really get things done. I manage to do the laundry (Randy also does some and Karly does her own, but there's still a lot left for me) so we all have clean clothes, but I never seem to make it to the house. My house is a disaster. My yard is a disaster. I have fall decorations on the front porch, but I still have summer flowers in the flower pots and peonies and hasta and a whole perennial garden that need to be trimmed and winterized. Halloween is less than a week away and we have candy, but no costumes and one lonely bowl of fall gourds in the foyer.

It is difficult for me to let this stuff go, because for the past 11 years I have been able to take care of it all. My house has always been decorated for any given holiday (not to mention clean), I've had costumes made by mid-October, and I've always been ultra-organized and on top of each day's activities. But now? Well, my homework is done, the kids' homework is done, we're all clean and fed and we have clean clothes. But that's about it. And it's okay, I think. I'm willing to let it go a little bit in exchange for a J.D.

Tonight we got home from football and dance practices and I told Matthew to take a bath. As he was brushing his teeth, I tried to rinse out the bathtub. I discovered, however, that the bathroom faucet handle is broken. It just spins and spins and no water comes out. So I thought I would unscrew it from the wall to see if it was something I could replace myself. I got the screws out about halfway before I discovered that the handle is blocking them so you can't actually get them, or the faucet, out of the wall. I decided to check the internets to see what I could find about replacing a shower faucet. I found lots of instructions out there, but they all involve things like "solder," "pipe cutters," "flaring tools," "transition unions," and "propane torches." Propane torches? Yeah, I'm studying law, not plumbing. I can handle personal jurisdiction and proximate cause, but transition unions and propane torches are out of my league.

And this is my life right now. Last week it was the water dispenser in the refrigerator and the week before that the rear wiper on my van. I always think I'm totally tough and can handle anything until these technical homeowner engineering things come up. How am I supposed to keep up on all of this stuff, cook dinner, clean the house, care for kids AND be a law student? Am I really going to be able to keep this up for 3 1/2 more years?

October 20, 2005

Driving the Point Home

Today I was asked if I was a professor. By one of my classmates. Who has been sitting in the seat in front of me in one class for the past 8 weeks but apparently doesn't know who I am.

This is what happened: I was sitting in a classroom just before my Legal Writing class with 4 other classmates when the door opened and another fellow classmate (the one who sits in front of me in another class) walked in. She asked us who our teacher was and I told her the teacher's name. She looked a little confused, and I began explaining that I understood that her LW section was supposed to sit in on another LW section's class today. I also told her that I thought it was probably the other LW class that meets at the same time down the hall, though I didn't know the room number.

She looked at me for a moment and then said, "Oh! Are you the professor?" The rest of class and I laughed and I told her that I was not the teacher. She looked a little confused and kind of laughed nervously, and then said, "Oh, I'm sorry! It's just that you seemed so....like....well....uh...confident."

Confident. Yes, I'm sure that was it and that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was 15 years older than anyone else in the room at the time.