Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TOADY awards

Check out this link --

for the worst toys of the year. My favorite part: "Because as we all know, second grade is about occasions." What toy did you pick?

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's not over till the fat lady sings ...

I wish I could say that the hours since finals ended have been refreshing, or at least spent away from the law school. My brain was pretty fried and I was/still am desperately awaiting some time to think about something different because I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a fresh brain to start an internship next week.

Instead, though, I spent the rest of the day on campus in law review information meetings, most of the next day in classes about externships and ethics (just in case you wondered, having sex with your client is against the rules and so is representing both sides in a case), packing everything we own with the help of family and friends, moving all that stuff to a new place, and attending our new ward where we were given callings within 15 minutes of church ending. I spent the rest of the remaining weekend crying uncontrollably because the last year has pretty much maxed out my emotional limit and it's the first time I've had time to cry in awhile, unpacking, giving up on packing and deciding that Dave and I really are better off with the mattress in the middle of the living room with no bedframe if it means not having to deal with more moving anxiety till he's done with finals, stressing over the news our apartment managers didn't get our 30-day notice so we are now responsible for another month's worth of rent we definitely cannot afford, keeping feminist rage simmered at the Utah Valley Women's Expo, and prepping for the law review competition.

Finals may be finished, but apparently that doesn't mean that law school is.

I love that they didn't even give us a whole three hours between one year "ending" and classes for next year. Has anyone else's school/work/family been this unrelentless at the end of something significant? I would love to hear your stories so I'm not the only one whining.

Anyway, so now the weekend is gone, and today (Monday) felt remarkably like every other day during finals -- procrastination, some decent cooking to keep myself going, and lots of time reading cases and footnotes. It's obvious now my celebratory "finished!" post was a little early, but I am determined that one way or another this school year will finally end.

(Stay tuned ... despite the week-long writing competition, rambling post documenting the epic battle "Feminism v. Women's Expo" coming soon.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Links to similarly minded people ...

I downloaded THIS song in honor of Denim Day. Madonna and I have very little in common, but we see eye-to-eye on those lyrics.

And check out these excellent posts for more on Denim Day: http://genavee.blogspot.com/2010/04/denim-day.html

Now it's back to finals prep. I found it fitting the last hypothetical I had was one on rape. He took her keys (but she was drunk so he claimed he was just keeping her off the streets), she said no (he claimed the fact she stuck around to get her keys back was consent), and she didn't resist (she was told he wouldn't hurt her if he could just get what he wanted). Rape? Unfortunately for this woman, it would depend on where she lived and how much resistance was required on her part for that particular jurisdiction. There is still so much to change. I think I got the answer right for purposes of the exam, now if only society and the legal system could get it right. Isn't it sad that was even a question that could be debated?

P.S. Remember my gushing about how grateful I was we don't have to memorize the missionary discussions, feel guilty about going to grad school, or store two years worth of wheat because we have current prophets with fresh information? Check out this post by Mormon Child Bride on fashion sense.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

EasyMac ...

Finals are here. I procrastinated as usual. But instead of fighting it this time, I've embraced it. I love eating tapioca pudding. And I love sleeping in. Finals will not conflict with those two past-times. Everything else, however, has been put on hold.

Which is why this exchange, during a blissful, much-needed few moments with my husband over some almost-instant-mac-and-cheese, was so awesome:

Dave: (lists everything that has to get turned in the next few weeks so that he can graduate and a million other things going on) [heavy sigh] I'm just feeling overwhelmed. [heavier sigh] It doesn't help that I'm feeling overweight since I don't have time to exercise anymore.

He looked really depressed. So I tried to cheer him up.

Me: [putting my hand on his knee, giving him my biggest, most sincere smile of encouragement] I believe in you! You can do it!

Dave: [mutters]Great. Now I just feel like Free Willy. (mimicking me, while pumping his hands above his head) You can do it. Be free!!!

Suddenly my brain was superimposing Dave's head into a whale shape.

It was the best moment of my day.


And speaking of things that you may or may not find as hilarious as I did, Sunday in church we were singing the hymn "Because I Have Been Given Much." Dave leaned over and whispered, "Because I have been given mulch." I leaned back and responded "That he too may be composted."

Yay garden humor.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Something short as promised ...

Dinner on Thursday:

Chili-flavored ramen, pan-fried, with crab substitute.


So much better than it sounds. I ate the whole package.

Possibly slightly pathetic side-note: I was preparing packaged food that cost 19 cents and adding cheap meat substitutes, but I still felt gourmet and like a Food Network star because I was using "crab" and I added a little flourish to my application of the olive oil being poured from my very fancy looking olive oil bottle I probably got from Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More long blocks of text ...

I totally get that my last post was probably visually intimidating. I don't know about you, but my brain shuts off when I see long blocks of text. Especially long blocks of text just like the one I pasted in last time from a talk by Gordon B. Hinckley. So I'm impressed if you read my last post all the way through. And I really, really wanted to give you something short and snappy this time to make up for it.

But I'm going to do the long quote thing again anyway because you know how marriage/law school/family balancing issues have been on the brain? Well, this made me happy:

(You can read the full article here):

Albeit not yet dramatically visible across all firms, practices, or geographical areas, there’s a strengthening quality-of-life undercurrent in the profession. Men and women alike are increasingly refusing to adhere to the law’s cultural rules. ... They are drawing attention to the ways in which the profession is failing its lawyers. Some are even breaking the rules by refusing to settle for a life marked by professional dissatisfaction, opting instead to chart a new satisfying path in the law or to step away from the profession altogether to attend to what many consider the most important things in life: personal interests such as family and the pursuit of individual dreams.

A new generation of lawyers
Work/life issues aren’t only of concern to lawyers already admitted to the bar. Current law students and lawyers born after 1976 are members of the so-called Generation Y, and they stand together demanding a better quality of life and increased flexible work options. ...

Reacting also to the profession’s grim notoriety for inflexibility, many law students are even coming to view the law school years as the perfect time for starting or growing a family, while their schedules allow considerable flexibility. In fact, so many students share this view about the profession and childrearing that a “parent boom” is reportedly taking place at law schools across the country. According to one media source, the parent-boom phenomenon is no secret to officials at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where even school officials acknowledge the boom. ... According to that same source, “Careful logic is apparently driving a parent boom among the student ranks. . . . What working attorneys and firm managers are just beginning to understand is that there is a generation entering the profession who don’t plan to pay someone else to watch their children.

Current law school students aren’t the only ones planning ahead, though. Reports suggest that prospective law students who have their sights set on the JD are hoping that the credential will eventually be the key to meaningful work and will open doors to flexible work possibilities after they have taken time off to raise children. A recent study discovered that as many as 60 percent of Ivy League female graduates hope to stay at home to raise children. Many of the participants reported a desire to obtain a law degree, believing it would afford them the best opportunity for finding meaningful part-time, family-friendly work.



Still there??

I probably lost some of you, and a lot of you that are still here may have just skipped past the article part, but even if you didn't read it, what do you think? What generation do you belong to and do you really think Gen Y is figuring out this whole work/life balance thing any better? Do you even buy into "generational categorizing" to begin with? (Who does those studies anyway?) (And since when did Gen Y go back to 1976? I thought they were Gen X, but that shows what I know.) And sixty percent of Ivy League women?! Do you feel like this is a step backward or forward for feminism, or does this have nothing to do with feminism at all?

Future/current lawyers, have you tried this out? Has the workplace been more friend or foe to those of you trying out new paths? What about other professions?

What about you dads and guys out there? Regardless of profession, has your profession/employer been flexible in letting you be involved more at home or pursue other goals like travel or service? I've heard of some employers that give paternity leave now.

Other thoughts?

Monday, April 5, 2010

On power ...

I needed this weekend. Family, Easter and General Conference. I have some thoughts about specific quotes from this year's LDS General Conference, but they aren't ready yet. It got me thinking, though. A lot was said about womanhood, motherhood, and gender roles. In short, a lot was said about feminism.

I loved Julie Beck's talk. Loved. Loved. Loved. And ever since Saturday when Elder Ballard spoke about the special bonds between mother and daughter -- family, children, work/home balance, child care, law school, marriage -- well, it's all been on the mind a lot more than usual, sneaking into the small breaks my mind gets during school between Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure and sometimes distracting me from Torts and Criminal Law. Then at home it's all I want to think, discuss, and read about.

Loving Julie Beck's talk so much, I Google'd her name. Most of the hits referred to the "Mothers Who Know" talk she gave a few years ago, which apparently caused the biggest stir since 1987 when women were instructed to come home and stay home full-time if possible. I read the 1987 talk for the first time tonight. Interesting stuff which left me flustered because it seemed incongruent with what I'd been taught. How could that be? How could such iconic advice, repeated so often in church meetings be so different sounding than what I'd heard growing up? It got me thinking more, and the more I thought, the more I was grateful for modern prophets. Because guess what? I'm not a mother in 1987. I am a woman in 2010 and will be a mother in the 21st century. I barely even existed in 1987. Maybe that means advice given to mothers in 1987 was not meant specifically for me. While basic principles and commandments remain true (have children, love them, teach them good things), the only specific counsel I am concerned about is that of my current leaders. (And thank goodness. Otherwise, we'd still be storing two years of pointless wheat instead of working toward a 3-month financial emergency fund or memorizing missionary discussions instead of studying from Preach My Gospel.) But surely, women, wives, and mothers in 2010 need some guidance, too. What is the counsel for me? What specific advice has my generation been given? What have we been asked to do? What were we told to plan for and plan on when we were youth, beginning to work toward all these goals?

I still remember this meeting. The incredible feeling of empowerment and light that went through me as he spoke. I remember coming out of that meeting feeling like I could take on the world. I remember feeling like there was someone in my corner. As a sophomore in high school, a prophet told me exactly what was expected of my generation and this was it:

Find purpose in your life. Choose the things you would like to do, and educate yourselves to be effective in their pursuit. For most it is very difficult to settle on a vocation. You are hopeful that you will marry and that all will be taken care of. In this day and time, a girl needs an education. She needs the means and skills by which to earn a living should she find herself in a situation where it becomes necessary to do so.

Study your options. Pray to the Lord earnestly for direction. Then pursue your course with resolution.

The whole gamut of human endeavor is now open to women. There is not anything that you cannot do if you will set your mind to it. You can include in the dream of the woman you would like to be a picture of one qualified to serve society and make a significant contribution to the world of which she will be a part.

I was in the hospital the other day for a few hours. I became acquainted with my very cheerful and expert nurse. She is the kind of woman of whom you girls could dream. When she was young she decided she wished to be a nurse. She received the necessary education to qualify for the highest rank in the field. She worked at her vocation and became expert at it. She decided she wanted to serve a mission and did so. She married. She has three children. She works now as little or as much as she wishes. There is such a demand for people with her skills that she can do almost anything she pleases. She serves in the Church. She has a good marriage. She has a good life. She is the kind of woman of whom you might dream as you look to the future.

For you, my dear friends, the sky is the limit. You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Particularly, pay no attention to what some boy might say to demean you. He is no better than you. In fact, he has already belittled himself by his actions. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities, and forever and always be loyal to the Church.

Guess what? We did it! I remember feeling strongly that I would serve a mission. I remember resolving to earn a graduate degree. I remember committing to nothing less than a temple marriage. I remember wanting to be a mother. I remember feeling relief and thinking "Did he really just use a working mom as an acceptable role model?" Covenants, education, excellence. THAT is what my generation was asked to do, and now we are doing it. All around me, I see my peers striving to improve their minds, their testimonies, their families, their communities. And this weekend, we got new sources of support and counsel to help us keep doing it. I love conference.