Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finals, Winter Break, and Reflections

This round of finals felt miserable. Yeah, it's whiney again, but I don't know what it was about this round. I had one extensive multiple choice final and one extensive essay. They were both four hours long. Maybe, one thing that added to my misery was that they were spaced one day apart. Even though it was only one day apart though, I disciplined myself to study for my last final first so I wouldn't run out of time. Or maybe it was because I had to do grading, though it wasn't terribly bad the grading or time consuming.

I also had one paper due. It turned out to be a thirty page paper for my laws of war class. It's on Terrorism Responses, Demilitarized Zones, and the Nuclearization of a Peninsula. Like most of things I write, I found it an interesting topic and enjoyed writing it. But with the added pressures of finals, I was unhappy.

I remember starting my paper. I whispered, "I FO*&)(*& hate my life." I was in the computer lab. I didn't think anyone heard me but someone did. He replied, "Pardon, me?"

"Oh," I said, "Did I say that aloud? You weren't supposed to hear that. But if you must know I said, 'I f)(*&)(*& hate my life.'"

The guy laughed at hearing my statement.

I remember going to the student lounge. I was reviewing a practice Wills and Trust examination. Part of the reason these rounds are so painful, at least for me, are the following. One, I know to do well, I have to study more than other people on average. Some people in my law school are just gifted at test taking. I know, because some of them are my friends and brag about their test taking gifts. Two, reviewing old exams makes my mind work in overdrive. I can feel it start to process the law and facts and ask: "What are the issues? What are the laws? Oh, that bastard professor it making it so bloody complicated." I put my hand over my face, rub my eyes and start again. In the student lounge, I again whispered, "I don't want to do this anymore." The girl, playing the piano said, "I'm sorry, am I bothering you?"

"No. No. I just said, 'I don't want to do this anymore.' I just finished a final yesterday and I have one tomorrow."

"I get it. You must of had Bainbridge's Business Association yesterday>"

"Yes, that's right. He's an evil professor because 20% of the exam wasn't even lectured on. Like problem 23. It was answer (c) because blah blah blah.."

"Oh my God, I got that problem wrong," she says. "I hate my life too." She continues to play the piano.

Most finals finished Thursday, 12/15. I wrote my paper up until Friday 12/16 - the last day of the semester. I was up at the library tower. There was nobody there. The law school was so quite, so peaceful. This is how a war zone must feel after the nuke just blasts the area into a ground zero. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. I'm almost done. I could have turned in my final paper on a Thursday if I really pushed myself. I didn't want to do that. I already felt burnt out. The last of the work I did on that Friday was make sure my i's were dotted and my t's were crossed. Did I have two spaces after every period? Did my footnotes look correct, meaning, did I italicize the right words? Did I small caps the write titles? (It's bloody annoying, painful tedious work.) I wish badly I could've outsourced the work for $100. $100 USD is a lot, I think. But then again, it's worth a sound mind.

Incidentally, a traffic court judge told me that's the most important thing a lawyer should do. Incidentally, that traffic court judge just threw out my last traffic ticket on a brief I wrote. I suppose, he was satisfied enough that I had crossed my t's and dotted my it's.

I was partially done. I left one piece of work in progress - meaning I'll finish it by next semester.

To celebrate, I called my little brother Sasha. We both had sushi on me, of course. It was enjoyable. I was happy to see Sasha before we parted ways for the break. I then had dinner with my roommate.

I woke up the next day - the first time I've had nothing law school related on my mind. I felt so mentally exhausted. It felt like I was experiencing a deep depression, and I didn't want to leave home. Except there was no depression. There was no urgent work. There was just time to kill. The experience of it all was catching up with me.

I sat down in my room and watched hours of tv. House to be precise. I haven't done this - since I can't really remember when. I was just droning out, watching house and drinking coffee while Los Angeles experienced winter. Again, it was like I was in some strange depression zone.

Dinner with father came next. By that point, I somehow snapped out of my zombie mode. We ate at a usual place - where my father had ordered the choicest meats for his son finishing finals. Fine pieces of beef rib, t-bone steak marbled with fat. Problem is I don't eat a lot and let him know that up front. It was all very good!

We had a conversation, in which he kept talking about how my cousins, his nieces and nephews were doing in school. Some were doing not so well. Some were doing just fine. But it's always school with my dad. The waiter was nearby to hear our conversation.

"Father, if someone wanted to be a car mechanic that would be a fine job. Isn't that so, waiter?"

The waiter smiled and said, "Yes, of course."

"See, Father?"

My father said nothing.

"And father, if someone wanted to be an actor, that would be a fine job. Isn't that so, waiter?"

He smiled and said, "Yes, yes. Of course."

"And father, if someone wanted to be a veterinarian, like I should've been, that would be a great job too. Isn't that true, waiter?"

At this point, the waiter found it humorous that the son was lecturing the father. He said, "Yes, yes. Of course."

My father then said, "Well, if you want to be a veterinarian now, in your older life, no one is stopping you."

"Well Father," I said, "This is a good time to bring up something else. I'm going to Europe again this Saturday."

"Oh, you know your mom was right that you were a crazy kid. You were just there, weren't you?"

"Well Father, we only live once you see? And if you don't have fun, while living, what exactly is the point?"

We were talking different languages, even though we were both speaking Korean.

"And Father, I need that $500 you owe me. You lost the bet."

"What bet?"

"Remember, how you revealed how the cousins are doing? Well, the one we bet on didn't get into UCLA. I bet against him. You bet for him." The look on his face confirmed that he was indebted to me.

Then he said, "I remember no such thing. And you're a rotten, crazy boy to bet against your relatives."

"Well, you remember such a thing. And you shouldn't enter bets you know you aren't going to win."

Here's an insight. It shows the difference between my decision making and his. For dad, blood is thicker than water in making decisions. For me, I attempt to look at the truth - those most objective one possible. I then make a decision. See, so betting with family is not always the best way to go.

I came home later to my mother's place. Luka meowed announcing my welcome. I picked him up, and we watched Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen together. He licked my eyebrow while watching. I said, "Mom, I want to go on that show."

She said, "Do as you wish. I don't think your dad will be too happy though." I slept at my childhood home in peace.

I woke up and thought to myself my priorities. They are as follows:

-Update my music on the iPhone
-Clean the fish tank
-Fix the aquarium filter
-Get the electric short on the car fixed
-Get the scratches on your car removed
-Have dinner with law friend
-Make dinner for law friend
-Have family dinner before I go to Europe
-Buy European friends gifts
-Get my C.K. postal bag fixed (I do use it everyday).
-Plan my two week European vacation (Before people think I'm wealthy, I spent only 40,000 miles of American Airline miles for a free airticket in July).
-Apply for Hell's Kitchen contestant
-Maybe purchase a new aquarium fish

Medium on the priority:

-Sort out my BAR application

Low on the priority:

-Find a legal job
-Rewrite my legal paper for publication
-Resubmit two legal papers for publication