Monday, June 27, 2005

Perhaps This Will Be Too Honest

I'm looking at my schedule this fall in law school: Torts, Civil Procedure, Security Interets/Liens, Corporations, Basic Federal Taxation, Constitutional Law.

And it's making me think.

Last year law school took my life as I knew it away from me. I woke up 6:00am and returned around 10:00pm. The weekend was time to study... The first semester I did good. But the second semester I began feeling the weight of my schedule upon my shoulders. Going to work for an insane boss and even more insane henchmen and then going to class every week for an entire year was beginning to have its effects. Plus no longer could I host dessert parties and stay up till 2:00am talking with friends, no longer could I enjoy a quiet dinner with my husband with a new recipe I just found on foodtv.com, no longer could I just simply relax after a full time job with children. I thank God for my lovely students who kept me from throwing in the towel. But, because of this, my grades second semester were not as great as 1st semester. I passed, and even managed some good grades, but overall it is not even CLOSE to how I envisioned my grades to be. For me this is a defeat.

People keep asking me "so what will you do when you're done with law school" or some other variation of that.

I always respond honestly: I don't know.

And this hasn't really bothered me, this not knowing. I'd figure it out.

But now it is bothering me.

It's bothering me because I'm giving up teaching. A profession that in its essence I love. I HATE the beaurocracy and the power that make a school a totalitarian regime. But I loved the kids. I loved coming up with new lessons and activities. I loved reading Roald Dahl and lighting up with them as James Giant Peach became airborne by 1,000 seagulls.

My other passion is writing. Not legal briefs but fiction, and memoirs, and articles. When I picture an ideal life five years down the road its me sitting at a typewriter eeking out the next great American novel, already a published author.

So again, I wonder, why am I in law school?

To be honest, I LOVE learning about the law. The cases we learned about and the rules we learned to apply never ceased to capture my interest (except, well, property). But I just dont see what I can do to earn a living from it. I don't want to work 80 hour weeks, I don't want to work for a corporation and help them figure out how to make them even richer.

I do want to help people. And while law can help me do that, teaching did that too. So why shell out $$$ for an unsurity. And more important than the $$$, why dedicate my valuable TIME that I can never get back by putting it into something I'm unsure of? Why not quit while i'm not totally behind? It's funny b/c I went into law because of the time factor (Go now while you are young and have TIME)....

Just incredibly confused. Maybe I should satisfy myself that the knowledge I am gaining can never be considered a waste of time obtaining.

6 comments:

Kash said...

Hang in there-- You have to go through the storm before you can reach the rainbow. No matter how rough the path may be, true grit is shown by the one who stumbles but dusts themselves off and continues.

ASH said...

It sounds like you are going through the doldrums, it happens especially in the Spring and Summer. But I have ruminated long and hard on the same things you mention here. You are doing something you love, but are fed up with the "other" stuff that makes it less enjoyable. You are studying something that could be satisfying but you are looking down the long corridor and seeing only loads of work and not the reward. Ultimately with Law there are opportunities to help lots of people, but it is a hard profession. They never seem to mention in the movies or the schools that new lawyers end up working long, long hours for the first few years after school. But don't quit now, in the end by your very nature you will succeed and help others.

The Qur'an mentions sabr many times, but the actual Arabic word denotes both patience and perserverence and if you think about it you cannot have one without the other. You are a great teacher! And you will be a great lawyer!

I have been where you are, and in some ways still am. I am in a job that is NOT what I wanted to do. I was focused on international relations and foreign policy, and wound up in business (albeit with an international focus...which makes it slightly palatable). In the end it doesn't matter what you decide to do, so long as you do it well and you give back to your community. You can do that as a teacher, a lawyer, or even a construction worker.
Don't focus on the grades, the grades don't make the person. Passing and getting to do what you want with your life is the success. Don't measure it by an arbitrary letter grade.

--my 1.00's worth

adnan76 said...

hmmm... this makes me feel less bad that I haven't cracked open my LSAT book yet. a few more posts like this, and I may not even make it to the test!

Aisha said...

Well Adnan, I think that you will be going into Law School fully aware of what you want to do with your degree, so you don't get to "not feel guilty" for not studying!!! :)

PG-13 said...

Cut your losses while you still can... RUN!!!

But seriously. Take it from an old geezer who didn't follow the advice when there was still time, the following words will sound more and more meaningful as time passes:

Do what you love.

Man, I should have been a ballerina...

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY!
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