The Leaky Cauldron (PoA 4)

It’s been a whirlwind the past few weeks. This past Friday I jumped on a plane and 2 layovers later was in Paris. Another bus, plane and taxi and I made it to Sorrento, Italy. This small coastal town will be my home for the next month as I study. It’s a wonderful opportunity in law school to be able to study abroad and not only see the world but learn about how other overseas legal bodies work. For the next month I will be taking Intro to Italian Law, Comparative Competition Law, Comparative Corporate Governance and Comparative Drug Law all while eating pasta and seeing how the world works differently from America. Image.png

It’s quite funny how this chapter fits into the beginning of my trip. Harry is enjoying his stay at the Leaky Cauldron. He wanders around Diagon Alley looking at the shops. He then meets up with Ron and Hermione, hangs out with them a bit listening to Ron’s stories about his trip over the summer holiday. As they all get ready to leave to go to King’s Cross Station, Harry overhears a conversation by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley about himself and the criminal on the loose: Sirius Black.

What’s interesting about this chapter and my trip to Italy is found in one scene. As Harry walks around Diagon Alley alone he stops and looks into the shop window where the new Firebolt broom is on display. This new broom excites him. He would love to purchase it, to ride it, and he certainly has the money to do so (even without the price listed). Yet, he doesn’t. Harry never buys the broom but instead talks himself out of it. He walks away thinking about how okay his current broom is.

fca3956017afdd8e941b1746e83e016fWalking around in Italy there are so many things to stop and look at, to purchase, to spend money on, and for some there is little reflection as to whether this is a good or bad thing. For a lot of people that’s okay, it’s what they are wired to do, what they want to do and it’s not a bad thing to do by any means. For me, instead of purchasing items, spending money on trinkets this trip is more of a reflection on my life and the work I want to eventually do. This is a trip that allows for creativity to be released and enjoyed. It’s a trip to really gain perspective on the world I live in back home while enjoying exploring a new place and it’s possibilities. For me, it’s a trip to see how to continue changing the world I live in through adopting practices of another place.

Harry’s self-awareness was key in his situation. He thought about his impact, his responsibility, and how he was going to interact with the situation presented to him. And in Italy, it’s the same for me.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

 

Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake (PoA 2)

I recently found a journal that a friend gave me before I left for Colorado. Inside i found the note that reminded me not to forget my first love: writing. There’s something so calming about writing, something so soothing about being able to have a safe space (like a journal) to express your deepest sorrows, regrets and sadness in alongside your happiest thoughts, proudest moments and love of life. having something that is all yours, something that keeps you together, something that lets you express every feeling without judgment or ridicule, that’s something important in life.

87c57ed997dc81f865a184b37eae2617IN this chapter of HP we find that Aunt Marge has come for a visit. Harry and Uncle Vernon have struck a deal that if Harry behaves then Vernon will sign his permission form to go to Hogsmeade while at school. Aunt Marge is a nasty lady (and not in the good sense of the word). She ridicules Harry constantly and then one night turns to ridicule his dead parents. Harry can’t take it anymore and lashes out, accidentally blowing up his Aunt (like a giant balloon). And then he flees…

As finals start to wind down (the final week!!) it has me thinking, reflecting really, on the last year. There have been many moments where I too have felt like Harry. Those moments where you just can’t take it anymore and your emotions get the best of you. Back home in Las Vegas this used to happen more often than not. Here at law school its happened a few times but its only when I haven’t felt safe in expressing my true feelings or in trusting people. Law school is an interesting place around finals time, everyone goes off to do their own things. We study with different people. We stop talking to close friends. We become hermits. Its kind of a natural way of dealing with stress and competition (no one wants to admit it, but its there with the curve sometimes being so tight).

If you deal with anxiety, this can be off putting. You don’t really know all of a sudden who to trust. One part of your mind says that your friends are still your friends, its just a weird time. The other part of your mind says DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER and you start to metaphorically and physical (by phone) blow people up. Its a crazy sensation filled with irrational reactions to rational feelings. MargeBalloon

Feeling safe is an extremely important part of law school. You want to feel safe in expressing your opinions and not be called fake or stupid. You want to feel safe in making new friends and not have to second guess whether or not they will think you aren’t smart enough to be around them. You want to feel safe in your studying habits and lifestyle choices. You just want to feel safe… and its hard when you have no parents or family around you to make you feel that.

I think if Harry would have had at least the support of Petunia in the room things could have been different. Aunt Marge wouldn’t have become a balloon. But when you feel alone and attacked, outburst will happen. So don’t forget to check in on the people around you. Sometimes all we need in life is a little support and care to make us feel safe with the people around us. Sometimes all we need is someone to double check on us to keep the outbursts away. Sometimes all we need is someone to stand beside us and defend ourselves. Sometimes all we need is a little understanding.

Until next time,

Mischief Managed

 

The Heir of Slytherin and Dobby’s Reward (CoS 17 & 18)

One word: Ego.

There is so much innocence in childhood. You are full of dreams and radical notions about the world. Unfortunately, ego comes along and steals a part of that innocence. Now most of the time we think of ego as someone being big-headed or feeling entitled, but it can go the other way too. Either way, ego becomes a key player in how we relate to the world.

Ego: a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.

hp2bThis week in HP we are finally finishing Book 2!! Yay!! Harry has made it into the chamber of secrets to find an unconscious Ginny on the floor. Long story short, Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort) preserved himself in a diary, enchanted Ginny and is stealing her life to become real again. Harry gets mad, a basilisk fight ensues. Fawkes (Dumbledore’s Phoenix ) flies in, brings the sorting hat (which holds the sword of Gryffindor) and Harry defeats the giant snake! (YAY!) Harry saves Ginny, finds Ron and Lockhart and makes it back to Hogwarts. Harry and Ron tell the story of that nights events to Dumbledore, McGongall and the Weasley parents. Dumbledore awards Gryffindor points, everyone is happy and then Mr. Malfoy (daddy Malfoy) arrives to talk with Dobby behind. Harry, outraged by seeing how Dobby is treated by his master, he tricks Mr. Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock and setting him free! THE END!

Here we see ego all over the place. Tom Riddle had one of the biggest egos, preserving himself in a journal (which we later find out is a horocrux so he therefore killed someone to preserve himself). Dobby, as a house-elf has a timid ego. He is considered lesser than all others, so therefore acts as such. Mr. Malfoy, being the pompous man he is,  is another example of a huge ego.images-6

Our egos are shaped by the world around us, the messages west about ourselves and internalize. And in law school you encounter every type of ego imaginable. The key is learning to work with every type of ego while growing yours or minimizing it at the same time.

For those who find themselves in Dobby’s shoes, it’s a matter of working to grow your ego, to find your self-esteem and self- importance. This includes standing up for yourself, doing what you want or carving your own path.

images-7For those who find themselves in Mr. Malfoy or Tom Riddle’s shoes, it’s a matter of readjusting your views of the world. Seeing how your actions fall upon others and affect them.

Ego can be useful, but too much or too little can be harmful, especially in law school. So take a moment and reflect on where you fall. And comeback soon for the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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

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.

 

The Very Secret Diary (CoS 13)

In this chapter of Harry Potter, we see steadfast determination all over.

The chapter begins with Hermione recovering from turning into a cat while doing homework. Harry is determined to figure out how a diary he found works. Tom Riddle (the phantom diary owner from the past) is determined to tell his story through magicking the diary. Everyone is determined to solve the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, while attempting to keep the status quo alive.

 

And as I am crunched for time this week due to the sheer amount of assignments due all I am going to say to all of you law school students out there:

STAY DETERMINED.

If there’s one thing I struggle with and constantly have to remind myself is to stay determined. And you should too.

until next time,

Mischief Managed

 

The Polyjuice Potion (CoS 12)

In the last blog post I wrote a little about how I am learning that I am not just a creative, but that the logic side of life (math and science) are also things that I enjoy. I’ve actually learned a lot about myself since coming to law school. Being away from the home I had for 25 years, not working to the extent I use to and being immersed in the new academic world can revel a lot about who you are and/or were. Growth is inevitable in life, but what’s more important is being able to see who you are now so you can one day see clearly who you were…

Chapter 12 beings with a trip to Dumbledore’s office. Harry is escorted to the Headmaster’s office at the end of chapter 11 after being found at the scene of the crime where another petrified student has been found. In Dumbledore’s office Harry asks the Sorting Hat if he was placed correctly, hearing only that Harry still would’ve been good in Slytherin. He then turns his attention to a bird int he corner that looks like a “half plucked turkey.” The bird soon catches on fire and turns to ashes. Harry freaks out a little as Dumbledore comes into the office. Dumbledore explains how Fawkes is a phoenix, a bird that burns and rebirths from its ashes. he talks about how these birds can carry heavy objects, have healing tears and make wonderful loyal pets (all foreshadowing for later). Hagrid barges in and tries to prove Harry innocent for the petrified student. Dumbledore says he already knows Harry is innocent but asks Harry if he would like to tell Dumbledore anything in regards to the school happenings. Ashamed of the voices in his head, Harry says no. Later in the chapter, the Golden Trio uses the Polyjuice potion and head out to get info from Draco, who proves to not have too much new information about the Heir of Slytherin, other than the fact that he is not the heir.

tumblr_o5e5a1lhr71vp2995o1_500To me the most interesting part of this chapter is the small paragraph about Fawkes the Phoenix. Phoenixes are mythical creatures that show resilience. They are constantly shedding their bodies and emerging from their ashes to be new creatures (on days referred to as Burning Days). Yet their abilities to heal, carry heavy loads and remain loyal all stay intact. Coming to law school felt like a Burning Day of sorts. It was a time of rebirth. I left almost everything behind in Nevada to move to Colorado. Left my career to go back to school and felt like I was becoming a new person. The only thing is, I didn’t really leave everything behind.

Going through the first semester of school showed me that maybe I didn’t really understand myself back home in Nevada. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but in all actuality I was more acquainted with who I thought I should be, rather than myself. I thought I was strictly a creative. I played instruments, wrote a novel, painted for fun at times, put together elaborate bulletin boards at school and took pictures on a fancy camera for fun. I did anything I could to prove to myself that I was a creative person… and only a creative person. I told myself that the reason science and math were hard was because I wasn’t meant to be a science and math person but a creative person.

I loved to tell myself these little lies instead of facing that maybe I was trying to be something I wasn’t. When I got to Colorado I tried doing the same thing here too, except this time was with hiking. I’m not a huge outdoors person, I’m a let’s make a good meal, read a book, take a nap, watch tv stay indoors person. Yet, there’s this idea that when you live in CO you are an outdoors person, so that’s what I told myself I was because I moved here. What a tiring lie to try to tell yourself. Then it came to law school… here I told myself that I was meant to be the best, meant to be a leader and nothing less… haha… when the stress of trying to show that I was super smart and the best became too heavy to carry I started to feel burnt out and as if I was a fraud. I found myself asking the question: “was I right to be here?” (much like Harry asking the Sorting hat if he had been placed correctly).

This past week though was like having another Burning Day, another chance to start over and stop lying to myself. The most important thing I have learned at law school is that you don’t have to have a plan. You don’t have to tell yourself who you are going to be or how things are going to work out. You also don’t have to follow a certain path or be a certain person. You can be you, and unapologetically you. If you don’t know who that is, law school will start to show you who you are piece by piece. To be in law school you definitely have to be resilient though. You have to be able to make it through a “Burning Day” and rise from the ashes, maintaining certain abilities and traits that make you magnificent.

tumblr_mbp0t0g9fz1qmymtwo1_500The moral of the story: find out who you are and let yourself change organically. Don’t force yourself to change, don’t force yourself to be something you aren’t meant to be. Allow yourself to change when the time is right. Watch the slow progress happen and enjoy the ride. Law school will try to force you to change your being quickly, but hold onto what you believe in your soul… you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.