Tag Archives: Law

Step back, breath, repeat

A few things that felt noteworthy…

1. Who knew if you wrapped bacon in bread and cream cheese it would actually taste good?  Sometimes pick a random sandwich that you know nothing about (it said British, but how was I suppose to know what that means?) it works out.

2. Still wavering between I’m completely set and I have no idea for my tests tomorrow, and it all makes me quite uncomfortable.  I just wish it could all be over.

3. Checked out the book the law class lectures are based on to review major themes for tomorrow’s exam.  About 7 weeks ago, I checked out the same book.  It took me and google translate about two days to get through the first 10 pages or so.  I just perused through the first 40 pages in about an hour.  Guess that means I’m learning something.

4. My new computer has a self-destruct button (or something that might as well be).  Apparently if you bump the internet button (why there is an internet button I’ll never know) and the function key at the same time, your computer will stop picking up all internet signals.  As frustrating as this might be, I troubleshooted the problem myself…with a computer who’s help functions are all in Spanish.

I’d like to take my ability to think clear under pressure (I need to have an internet connection) and transfer that to the two and half hours I’ll be sitting for exams tomorrow.

If today is any sort of indication of what I’m capable of, I think there’s hope, despite the knot that is still a little tied up in my chest right now.


love and lunch

Sometimes there are people that come out of no where to love you when you need it.

Spain has just been another check on the list of places that I’ve called home for an oh-so-substantive four months.  I’ve commented on this before, but there really is an obstacle when I have only four months to throw everything I got into a relationship with people for whom four months here isn’t a blink in their lifetime.  I’m here, and I’ll be gone.  But they aren’t going anywhere.

All that makes the people that take the initiative to love on me mean even more.

Today, I went out with a couple from my church for lunch.  They’re Americans, but they’ve been doing missions work in Spain for 28 years.  It’s so crazy to meet people who, for example, know Fort Wayne, studied at Asbury and Ball State, sent a kid to Taylor, etc.  But that’s not really what made it cool.

They explained the history of the church I’ve been going to here and shared a little bit about the church planting activities they are involved in here.  It was just nice to have someone to talk to.  They reminded me so much of Doug and Becca Cox.

I needed that afternoon to offset the rest of my day.  I was lying in bed this afternoon when realized that I was literally scared of my law class, which is kinda crazy.  I’ve hated classes, not understood them, stressed about them, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been scared of a class before.

Ever since that weekend I wasted 20 hours on 8 pages, I’ve mostly stop doing the optional homework exercises.  I just didn’t see it as a valid use of my time, especially given that I’m taken the class pass/fail.  But I have no idea how to function in a class when I am not literally throwing my every fiber into being successful in it, or at least knowing everything that was going on.

That stress is boiling with an upcoming test in my language class, which is a great class, although my last test in there went really poorly.  I’m so tired of intaking and spitting out.  I found myself listening to economic debates on youtube today while I copied my law notes, just because I wanted something think about and evaluate so bad.

Read and repeats is so boring, yet a really big obstacle I need to deal with right now.

I can’t wait for classes to end.  All but one will be over in 3 weeks, 3 long weeks.

God bless the librarian.

He completely changed my day.

Every Monday, I have a write up to do for introduction to law.  The first assignment was last week, and it wasn’t too hard.  However, I did spend a good portion of Thursday just reading the three pages of text, but come Sunday night when I went to write the answers, I had no problems.

With the disruption in my perfect study schedule (I was sick Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and the continued absence of a proper study corner, I did not have the opportunity to pour over my analysis of the text this week.  The assignment is technically optional, so I forced myself to let it go.

I knew it was the right decision, but I felt so out-of-place.  That pathetic fear of failure still hasn’t quite left me, so I spent a good portion of my one hour morning commute praying about it.

Class was hard.

After class, I took my  I’m-going-to-tackle-all-my-problems right now attitude and went to the library to try to renew my textbook, despite not knowing how to say “check-out” and assuming that the book was probably overdue.

It was, and standing there in all the morning discontent, my Spanish skills regressed about 4 weeks, and I understood next to nothing.

God bless the librarian.

It turns out that for each day the book is late, a hold is placed on your account for two days.  That means I would need to return my overdue textbook and not be able to take it out again for sixteen days.  I explained to him that I didn’t understand that books can only be checked out for a week (that nuts!) without renewing and he responded –via google translate, since I was a little too flustered to understand anything.

The librarian looked up at me, smiled, said “It’s your first time,” lifted my 16 day hold, and handed me by book back.

How’s that for an example of answered prayer?  All that morning fear and frustration that I was working so hard to get rid of melted away with his patient helpfulness.

I am going to law school.

Last night, I took the Indiana team to the Getz’s for pizza and ice cream on the rooftop. They do this with every team.  It’s a way for his family to spend a little time with every group that comes and for them to hear about missional living in the city.  While they talked, I listened and stared out Jeff’s window at the Queensboro Bridge.  I didn’t mean to start praying, but it was just like I was quiet and God started talking, not like with words, but with peace, order, and sense.

Queensboro Bridge at sunset

For a long time law school has been a short answer to the question “what do you want to do with your life?”  It takes a enough time to explain to someone what the College of Social Studies is (my major).  If they listen to that, they usually don’t have the attention span for a 4 minute well-if-I-move-back-to-DC-I-might-do-this or I-know-what-I’m-skilled-and-passionate-about-but-not-sure-how-I’ll-be-using-them-yet speech.  So law school works, but it was more of a default then anything.

I know a few important things about law school.

1) It’s mighty pricey with little to no financial aid.

2) It requires a significant time commitment (before to study for the LSAT, during to graduate, after to pass the bar, and after to pay debt)

4) It will compromise time that I could spend building important business contacts that I could get if I just went for my Masters in Public Policy instead.

5) It will affect my relationships.  I will not have the time to build as many strong friendships, limit when I can see my family, and very likely delay when I will get married and have a family of my own.

But I know several other things too, more important than anything on the above list. My decision to go to law school has nothing to do with how many checks I have on a pros and cons list.  I only want to go if I can get in a top tier law school, but this has nothing to do with pride either.  I am fully capable of spending my whole life taking out the trash and cleaning restrooms in public schools.  To be honest, I think I would make a wonderful custodian.  I would do a good job and use it as a place to live out my faith missionally.  I don’t feel like going to fancy law school makes me any better or gives me the ability to influence any more people than a custodian or a bus driver has.  I just feel like law school is place where I will better be applying the specific talents and interests God’s given me.

It’s like this.  I have certain skill set.  I love reading old books on history, government, and political theory.  I love the CSS (College of Social Studies) set up- making my own arguments, defending them, and writing about them.  This year I am fellow in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s undergraduate Honors Program, and I just received my first shipment of books.  It’s amazing.  It’s like doing CSS, but only with books that I love.

When I think about education and knowledge, I always think about that parable in Matthew 25.  It’s the one where the three servants receive a certain number of talents from a man.  The servants do different things with the talents, but the man who only received one buried it in the ground.  When the master came back, he was the only one that did not return more talents to his master than what he had originally been given.  His explanation?  “I was afraid.” (vs. 25).

This morning, I joined the team on the prayer walk around New York City. We go to various locations, discuss their significances and what they symbolize, and use that symbol to pray for the city.  The New York Public Library symbolizes knowledge.  There are a lot of intelligent people here, but very little wisdom.  I have the interest and ability to acquire the knowledge and bring Godly wisdom to places that would otherwise be inaccessible.

At the South Asian Community Center, they breach language barriers to reach people who otherwise would never come in contact with the Gospel.  I’m going to do that at law school.  I don’t imagine language will be an obstacle there, but there are mighty high barriers to entry.  I know I can cross those barriers, and once I’m there, I will let my approach to my studies glorify God.  I didn’t understand how to do that for a long time, but I think I figured it out this year.  I was stressed, very stressed, but I learned the difference between stress and fear and fear and worry.

I pray that this explanation doesn’t come across as a mere Christian platitude.  If you’ve heard me talk about law school, it might not even seem like a big deal, but it was, because now law school isn’t just something I’m thinking about.  It’s something I’m going to do, because it’s the place I’ve been called.