Aragon and The Chamber of Secrets (CoS 15 & 16)

If there ever were two chapters of Harry Potter to describe law school, these would be those chapters.

aragog-chamber-of-secrets-illustrated-editionIn these two chapters, Harry and Ron follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest. There they meet a GIANT spider named Aragon. Aragon tells the story of how Hagrid brought him to the school and cared for him until Tom Riddle turned Hagrid in (the last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened) and Aragon went to live in the Forbidden Forest. After Ron and Harry learn that Hagrid is innocent, they attempt to leave the spiders’ nest only to attacked by all of Aragon’s sons and Daughters. They only manage to escape because the Weasley family car, now wild, emerges from dark and races Harry and Ron out of the forest.
In the next chapter, McGongall announces that the mandrakes have matured enough to turn them into a potion and wake up everyone who has been petrified. The teachers are ecstatic thinking that the nightmare will be over and one of those petrified will tell them who is causing all of their troubles. Harry and Ron visit hermione in the hospital wing, where they find a crumbled up paper dealing basilisks in her hand. After talking to Moaning Myrtle (the first student killed by the basilisk) they start to piece the puzzle together. images-5Things turn for the worse though and the school is in a panic going into finals, and it’s not because finals, but because a student has been taken into the Chamber of Secrets. Harry and Ron spy to overhear that Ginny is the student now in the Chamber, and that Lockhart has been chosen (mainly through his bragging) to go and rescue her. They run up to Lockhart’s office to warn him about what he faces in the Chamber, only to find Lockhart packing his bags to flee. Lockhart discloses that he is a fraud. Harry and Ron force him to go into the Chamber of Secrets only to find themselves soon separated, Harry continuing alone and Ron staying with a memory hoped Lockhart.

This week’s theme: help. Harry and Ron find many people and things that help them in their worst moments, and in law school it’s important to also find things to help you!

The first year of law school is winding down with less than 7 weeks to go, and the closer we get to finals, appellate briefs being due and oral arguments, the more it feels like walking into a giant spider’s nest. Tensions are high around every corner and relief feels no where in sight. We also have that extra stress of figuring out classes for next semester and interviewing for summer jobs.

enhanced-17831-1405608304-5It definitely feels a little overwhelming. Finals looming over us, and everything still left to do feels a little like jumping down the secret passage to the Chamber of Secrets. But amongst all of this there are so many trusty sidekicks alongside us as we go through this journey. I started this semester by starting therapy at the Health and Counseling center on campus. It’s always a vulnerable moment to admit you have some issues you want to talk out, or that you need some help. I’ve posted on here before that I have General Anxiety Disorder. It’s not an easy disorder to detect since its all internal but it does manifest itself in different ways. For me, I plan because then I have a semblance of control over the situation. I also rehearse every conversation or answer numerous times before raising my hand or approaching someone. There are so many calculated moves because of my anxiety. Asking for help isn’t an easy thing to do either because of the implications behind it.

Most days in law school I feel like a fraud. Not to the extent of Gildeory Lockhart, but pretty close. it’s just part of law school, or at least that’s what they tell us. When you go to school with engineers, mock trial award winners, debate champs, military veterans and so many other people who have very different backgrounds, it’s hard to keep your head up and feel like you should be there. At the end of the first semester I felt a little lost, a little deflated, a little tired and very stressed. The adrenaline was wearing off and I wasn’t sure if I could continue… but then I asked for help. over the past few months it’s been amazing to talk to someone who really reminds me of why I’m in law school. She’s like having a Hermione to help guide you through the obvious things in front of you! I may not be some amazing award winning, always been on the tract to be a lawyer, beautiful minded law student, but I am a very accomplished person. I’ve started and ran my own business, I’ve managed a multi-million dollar store, I’m a published author and so much more.

It’s easy to get lost when you are faced up against some seriously stressful situations, but when you let others help you, when you allow the car to drive on it’s own and you start to trust yourself, law school becomes a bit easier to manage.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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Cornelius Fudge (CoS 14)

Oh it seems I have lost track of time and blog posts over the past few weeks. Here we are again though ready to tackle both the law school and the magical school worlds again. This week’s theme is indecisiveness.

To catch everyone up a bit, Gryffindor is gearing up for their big Qudditch match and second years are preparing to pick classes alone for the first time at Hogwarts. In this chapter someone has trashed Harry’s dorm stealing Tom Riddle’s diary (which Harry found and magically saw Tom’s past thoughts which convicted Hagrid of being the one to open the Chamber of Secrets years ago). Fast forward and the Qudditich match is cancelled with the news that Hermione is currently in the infirmary after being petrified and is now awaiting a mandrake potion to be woken up. Harry and Ron go off to Hagrid’s Hut (against school rules of course) and are welcomed in only to have to hide as the Minster of Magic and Dumbledore come knocking on Hagrid’s door. Hagrid is taken to Azkaban, Luicis Malfoy arrives declaring the school board has decided its time for Dumbledore to step down for now with all of these attacks at Hogwarts, and Ron and Harry listen intently as Hagrid tells them covertly to “follow the spiders.”

Now how does indecisiveness work into this chapter? Easily, Hermione is out and with her being the brains of the operation Harry and Ron are now left to make their own decisions on what to do next in solving this magical crime mystery. Cornelius Fudge shows indecisiveness in trying to decide if Hagrid is indeed the perpetrator and if Dumbledore should be forced to step down. Never mind that the entire 2-6 year students are trying to figure out their class schedules for next year, do homework and decide whether leaving their dorms to go to classes is a good idea or not seeing as they could be petrified or killed at any minute.

The chaos in this chapter feels a lot like law school right now. While I would love to sit here and complain about all the work we have to get done and the decisions we have to make I want to give five easy tips on how to make hard decisions in the context of law school:

1) Deciding between going out or studying

Let’s make this one easy. Answer these questions:

  • Do you have a ton of homework that must be done by tomorrow? (No- take a breather and go out for an hour maybe; Yes- GET IN THE LIBRARY AND DO YOUR DAMN WORK ALREADY)
  • Is it Wednesday and you’ve gone out the past two nights? (No- You may go out for a short amount of time, as long as the previous question was a no too; Yes- YOU REALLY NEED TO GET IT TOGETHER HERE)
  • Is it Friday and you have a brief due Monday (that you’ve barely started or it looks like a blank page in Word)? (No- take a break, you’ve got all weekend to do homework; Yes- ARE YOU KIDDING ME? STAY IN, SIT AT THE COMPUTER WITH NO PEE BREAKS OR SNACKS, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE UNTIL IT IS HALF DONE)
  • Do you have money? (No- THEN WHY ARE QUESTIONING GOING OUT WHEN YOU ARE LITERALLY MAKING NEGATIVE MONIES; yes- alright, go ahead)
  • Are you on the verge of a nervous breakdown? (Yes- GET OUTOF THE HOUSE NOW AND GO HAVE FUN; No- then see all other questions)

2) Deciding classes for next year

Go to all advising events you can get your hands on and if all else fails just take the other required courses next year. Just don’t stress about this. It’s scary and it seems like everyone else has their business together and hows what to take, but it will be okay!

3) Deciding what to do for summer

GO WITH YOUR GUT. Don’t listen to everyone else and read all their social media posts about how awesome it is that they got a PD/DA job for the summer or they are working at a firm or for a judge. Do what you want to do. Follow your passion and screw everyone else.

4) Deciding which Organizations to be part of

Alright, listen here, they say don’t join more then one student org your first year… just listen to them. You are already going to be tired and overworked… DON’T ADD MORE STRESS THAN NEEDED… but if you are like me and don’t listen to that advice, find about 2-3 organizations you like and then don’t complain to anyone when you have a lot of extra work to do because of them since nobody cares and they warned you.

5) Deciding what assignments/ readings are priority

I didn’t think this would ever be a problem, because hey you want to read for every class… BUT YOU SOMETIMES CANNOT DO THAT. I am by no means saying you should just show up to a class completely unprepared, you should at least try to skim the cases or look them up. But sometimes you have to not finish all the reading, or not go into detail because other classes are taking priority. Try your best to be prepared but don’t stress yourself out to the point of not sleeping or eating or seeing your friends. If it’s not going to be graded, and you haven’t skipped it consistently and you aren’t on-call, take a breather and relax. Skim the reading and head to class.

With that all said, law school doesn’t have to be full of hard decisions or indecisiveness (which occurs if you are like me and in a stressful situation). You can do this!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.