The Unforgivable Durmstrang Goblet of Champions (GoF 14-17)

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About a month ago I said I was done with this blog. I said it was too much to have on my plate alongside all of my client work and class work… but I’m back for two reasons:

  1. Someone recently said that I tend to give up on things when things get hard… Challenge accepted to change that
  2. I recently read a book that said if you are passionate about something you treat it like a wild affair, you dress up and make time for it… what’s sexier than a writing affair?

Before I left for law school a friend told me to never forget my first true passion: writing. I smiled and said I wouldn’t, but it’s easy to forget passions that aren’t directly tied to the law when in law school. Sure we write a lot in law school, but for the most part its dry, mechanic writing, with very few chances to write those long, verbose, passionate, and illustrative paragraphs that creative writing allows for.

I woke up this morning longing for the creative writing that I’ve been putting on hold for so long. I laid on my couch trying to push away the thoughts of deadlines, memos, legal questions, and all of the other chores the weekend was beckoning me to start. I laid on the couch trying to push away the excuses that were building, asking me to not sit down and write. I laid on the couch trying to push through the fears of failure, perfectionism, regret, and insecurities that forced me to stay put and not get up and write. It’s funny how the universe speaks to us. How the universe quietly whispers that we should push ourselves to be our best selves, our most true selves while the world yells at us to be something different, to be better, to keep reaching because we will never be enough.

It’s up to us to choose what voice to listen to… the small whisper or the loud yelling. SO here I sit, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sitting next to me, a triple vent salted caramel mocha (a free one!! yay!!) and my computer. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying to jump back into this writing. But here we go…

First things first… we are shaking things up a bit because one reason I wanted to quit was the vastness of this project. Taking on all 7 books, every chapter its own blog started to feel overwhelming and impossible. There just weren’t enough weeks before graduation to make every chapter its own blog. So instead… for the rest of Book 4 I will be combining  chapters 14-37 into six sections, each section four chapters. So as you see in the title of this blog we are covering four chapters, chapters 14-17. I will still give a brief synopsis of the main events happening in the chapters and pick a central theme which this week is “The unforgivable curses of law school.”  So shall we dive right in??

Chapter 14- The Unforgivable Curses

You might remember this scene in movie four. Moody teaches his Defense Against the Dark Arts class the unforgivable curses (the Cruciatus curse, the Imperious curse, and the killing curse). Ron names the first curse, Neville the second, and Hermione the third. What you didn’t see in the movie was Hermione’s continuing quest to help house elves through the creation of S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare), Ron and Harry faking their divination predictions, or Sirius’s letter to Harry saying he was heading back north because of Harry’s scar hurting. (Also in the movie I’m pretty sure this all happens after the next chapter… lol movie magic.)

Chapter 15- Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

tumblr_static_5tqvf7an3d440c4ocogwgkkgs_640_v2In this chapter, Sirius arrives back in the country (hidden of course). Beauxbatons, a french school (of BOTH girls and BOYS, unlike the movie) and Durmstrang, a school who doesn’t want anyone to know where its located  arrives! Of course that means Viktor Krum, Bulgarian Quidditch star also arrives. All of the Hogwarts students are of course still in awe… and Hermione is still trying to get people to buy her S.P.E.W. badges to help her cause, but no one is biting.

Chapter 16- The Goblet of Fire

A feast occurs, because this is Hogwarts and why wouldn’t there be a magical feast, oh and its Halloween so of course that means a feast and not candy… what the hell are we doing in America?!? Of course the rules of the Goblet of Fire and Triwizard Tournament are announced, everyone boos because you have to 17… the twins try to figure out a way around the rules, hermione tells them they are ridiculous, people speculate at who is putting their name and who will be the champions. Eventually the night comes to announce the winners…. you have Fleur from Beaxbatons, Krum from Durmstrang, Diggory from Hogwarts… and SURPRISE, SURPRISE Harry Mother’effen Potter.

Chapter 17- The Four Champions

MiectdPOMG everyone is in shock… how dare Harry put his name in the Goblet and how dare the Goblet name four champions? Clearly nothing bad or weird has occurred here… this is normal. Oh and its a magical contract… interesting the way wizarding laws work. Anyways from this chapter the masterful Old Dumbledore vs. New Dumbledore casting crisis of the movie is born from the line “Did ya put your name in the Goblet of Fire?” My good old friend Hank loves to use this line as evidence that the old Dumbledore was far superior to the new Dumbledore. Anyways everyone is upset and Ron starts acting like a jealous twit… end of the chapter.

So how does this theme of the “unforgivable curses of law school” track throughout these four chapters? Well the unforgivable curses are insecurities, jealousy, and pride. Think of them this way: Cruciatus (the pain inducing curse)= insecurities, Imperius (being controlled by someone else curse)= jealousy, and the killing curse (AVADA KEDAVRA)= pride. Let’s see, Ron is insecure, jealous, and prideful throughout all of these chapters. Durmstrang as a whole is sickeningly prideful. Hermione is prideful. Harry is insecure. Each character is struggle with some sort of harmful curse… as does every law student.

It’s like the second you walk into the law school you are hit with one of these curses (if not all three). I remember first year I felt so insecure. I wanted to make friends so bad (and if you know me at all most people do not like me at first and call me “mean” or “bitchy”) and I tried so hard. I cannon balled into friend groups as if they were nice warm swimming pools, and sure enough those people in the pool did not like being splashed and left the pool. I started to wear my insecurities on my chest like a brazened red A of shame. I felt alone, hurting on my own, longing to go home and quit this whole law school mess.

After first semester it got worst because grades came out and I unfortunately did not make the cut. So add jealousy to the mix. I started doing whatever I could to mirror the successful people in my section… which led to more issues and more people being like “ohhh awkward, not helping you, goodbye.” Law school is hard, and even worse when you realize you may not have much to offer to the people you want to be friends with and law school is not a team sport no matter how much we want it to be. So I started to get frustrated and started to act in accordance with the social norms of law school… I repeat, law school is not a team sport, everyone is on their own. (Don’t believe me, ask my old roommate who explicitly told me we had to do things on our own when we just the night before talked about running for student government together and then she went rogue making her own flyers that night without me. Law school is not a team sport, and even more so for those who are the weaker links.)

e1ecb0dec3b28d74f929d89cc4bd67c6--law-school-quotes-law-school-funnySo, first semester sucked, reality of poor grades made second semester worse… then the summer happened, my GPA rose and so did my pride. I entered into the second year, a little less likely to put up with people’s shit, still insecure, thinking I was independent, alone and didn’t need anyone telling me otherwise… the thing is, the universe doesn’t put up with that crap.  The universe will be the first one to knock you down… hence why pride is the killing curse, because if you become prideful, the universe will knock it out of you. So here I sit, trying to figure out what to do next.

Law school brings out the nasty in people, the drive, the jealousy, the pride, the insecurities, the bitchy side and so much more. But we get through it, we get through law school and out into the world and we do what we were meant to do… the key is to not let these curses define you, but make you better. Pick the small whispering voice you want to listen to and listen closely. Don’t let law school define you, don’t let you hang-ups define you, and always choose New Dumbledore over Old Dumbledore… there’s no way Old Dumbledore could have kicked as much ass as the New one does in the 6th movie.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.

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Mad-Eye Moody (GoF 13)

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explantation is that I was made for another world” – C.S. Lewis

This week’s chapter Draco gets turned into a ferret. Of course, it is because Draco taunts Ron Weasley and then attempts to strike Harry while Harry’s back is turned to him. Moody strikes turning Draco into a ferret. Draco is taunting Ron about another article in the newspaper about Arthur Weasley (the Weasley father). Rita Skeeter writes the article calling Arthur Arnold. Draco mocks Ron calling his father a “complete nonentity.” The whole interaction takes place in only a few seconds with McGonagall making Moody turn Draco back into a human. Draco Ferret

The thing I found interesting about this whole interaction was the severity of Draco’s taunt. Not only does he call Mr. Weasley and complete nonentity, he then attacks the Weasley home and calls Mrs. Weasley fat. It made me think about a few key players in my life that does the same: 1) my own brain; 2) the stress of law school; 3) the anxiety about the future.

I’ve spoken a lot about my mental health on this blog, so there’s no need to unpack that suitcase again and again… but I will say: I’m working on being nicer to myself. The last two key players I will unpack though go hand in hand.

Law school can be very stressful at times. With a mandatory curve that splits the class up only allowing for a few A students at the end of the three year stretch, with our school’s bar passage rate dropping 10% this year, and with the constant push and pull of the traditional lawyering path following us around, law school and our futures can be laborious. And don’t think we didn’t know that coming in the door. We signed up for this, each and every one of us signed up knowing it was going to be a difficult task. And knowing that we are all in it together makes things feel a whole lot better.

Just this past week, I had a friend in class talk about her realization that as she inches closer to graduation she’s never actually thought of herself as being a lawyer after law school. As she said this I felt comfort because I too have never really pictured myself as a lawyer.

I met with a new mentor this past week too, who encouraged me to keep on my non-traditional law school paths.

It’s harder to get through law school if you’ve never actually imagined yourself being another cog in the legal world. A lot of people come to law school knowing that at the end of the process they are going to be a lawyer in whatever desired field they’ve chosen. I’m always in awe of these people, because for some reason I always choose the harder paths in life to follow.

Hell will always come before you grow. – Imagine Dragons

When you walk with only a few people on the road less travelled you start to feel like a “complete nonentity” in the world. You start to feel like a freak, like you are doing something wrong, like you are going to fail because everyone else seems to be doing things a certain way and you just can’t fit yourself into that box. Here’s the catch though, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life, sometimes you just are destined for bigger things.

road less travelledIt’s hard to see what you are destined for from the perspective of where we are seated. When you are in the midst of the mess, the hard work, the emotions, the world which tells you to conform, when you are in the midst of all of that it’s hard to see the big picture. We are all destined to do something in this world. Some of us are meant for the traditional paths of the world, meant to make an impact where we are. Some are meant to revolutionize the whole world to bring together the masses. Some are meant to make small ripples in the world through untraditional paths.

Whatever you are destined to do, you have to give your whole heart to it. You have to constantly remind yourself that through the stress and the anxieties about the future there is a bigger plan at hand, one you can’t see and sometimes cannot feel, but It’s there.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I– I took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

Don’t forget that.

Until Next time,

Mischief Managed

The Triwizard Tournament (GoF 12)

 

I came into law school already knowing exactly what I want to do with my career. Law school is a strange place, not everyone walks in the door knowing what they want to do. Most people have an idea whether they would like to do litigation or transactional work, public sector vs. private sector work, or a general area of law they are interested in exploring. As time goes on, everyone starts to find a practice area they are passionate about pursuing. 6ad6ad2779245972598201c7fa5980be

In this chapter, a lot happens, but one of my favorite story lines truly starts to emerge. Sure, there’s the typical beginning of the school-year feast, the sorting, and an announcement that two other wizarding schools will be coming to Hogwarts to participate in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. However, most importantly Hermione’s interest in house elf rights starts to really develop. After learning that house elves make all of the food in the school she refuses to eat.

26dce9122e467eaf86882964ef64e050I love this interaction between Hermione and her friends. Hermione’s friends all try to talk her out of being so “dramatic.” When Hermione starts to really stand-up for something she believes is a problem, but to most people is just a normality of wizard life, she pushes back.

Law school has some parallels. A lot of times people get comfortable with the traditional approaches to the law. We attend doctrinal classes, learn the law the way it is and has always been, we focus on the way we’ve always done things, and we stop questioning how to make things more efficient and more approachable. There’s a time and a place for tradition, but it’s pioneers like Hermione who shake things up. Hermione is challenging the status quo to make a group of individuals lives better.

My goal upon leaving law school is to also shake things up. I’ve never been someone to follow the traditional paths of the world. My path may never have a lot of people on it, but it works to connect people. Being original is hard in an institute that wants to make another lawyer to take their place in the cog of the legal world. But you have to be a Hermione when you have a good cause that you are passionate about.

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So if you are not doing what you are passionate about, or if you are like me and sometimes start to feel the encroaching despair of not being like everyone else… DO. NOT. GIVE. IN. TO. WHAT. YOUR. FRIENDS. SAY. YOU. SHOULD. DO.

 

Stand up for what you believe in. Be weird. Be different. Be unique. Be passionate. Be Hermione.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

Aboard the Hogwarts Express (GoF 11)

220px-Taylor_Swift_-_Reputation“Ohhh look what you made me do.” Taylor Swift’s new album, Reputation, comes out in a little over a month, and man I CANNOT WAIT! It’s going to be great. Taylor Swift’s concept for this new album is taking her “ruined” reputation back into her own hands. There’s nothing better than seeing someone stand up for themselves in life, even though we still don’t have control over who lives, who dies and who tells our story. But it made me start to think a little deeper about reputations and law school.

This chapter of HP fit in perfectly with that thought! Reputations are being built or solidified everywhere! The chapter begins with an urgent house call made to Mr. Weasley about Mad-Eye Moody. Mad-Eye Moody has a reputation for flying off the handle and being a bit paranoid. Weasley is sent to go and help with Moody’s latest home incident witnessed by Muggles. The rest of the gang heads to Kings Cross Station to board the Hogwarts Express. Percy doesn’t tag along for his normal “I should really be at work” excuse. Fred and George tease Percy solidifying Percy’s reputation as a kiss-up. Once on the train, Hermione, Ginny, Ron, and Harry run into Draco Malfoy who is spouting off loudly about his brilliant father and how Draco knows this year’s biggest secret taking place at school. Hermione tells Ron to not let Draco get under Ron’s skin as Draco continues to brag (solidifying his reputation as being a haughty bragger).

Reputation: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

Alastor_moodyFaculty and staff always preach reputation at the law school. Your professional identity, the small Denver community, being nice to your peers… the lectures go on and on. While they mean well, and of course they do, I think there is something to be said about reputations. To me, reputations are simple perceptions about people usually made through the lens of your own insecurities added to half-truths about the actual person. Take Draco Malfoy for example. He has a reputation for being a brat, a snotty, rich brat. Most people dislike Draco terribly. His reputation does nothing but hurt him, over and over and over again, until you get to the end of the series. Draco puts up a front, he elaborates on his stories, he lives a half-truth filled life, attempting to make things seem better or make himself seem more important so he doesn’t have to face the real him inside.

Ron hates Draco based off Ron’s perception of Draco and the Malfoy family. The Weasley family is poor, the Malfoy family is rich. The Weasley family is kind to muggles, the Malfoy family HATES all non-pure blood wizards and witches and of course muggles. Ron’s perception of the Malfoy’s was most likely built from a young age and as he started school he has carried that with him and began hating Draco due to that perception. Ron refuses to look any deeper than the reputation Ron has built in his mind of Draco. We all do it. We find someone whose actions push the nerve of an insecurity inside of us and subsequently build a wicked reputation of that person in our minds as a coping mechanism.

Law school makes us do that even more. As we are put in a high stakes, high stress, and high competition environment we start to build these beliefs and opinions about other people. “Oh that girl is a gunner,” ” oh that guy just parties, there is no way he is smart,” “oh that person is always in the library, they must be super smart.” I’ve heard these all, and I’ve partaken in building some of these reputations. We are only human, it’s what we do to avoid our real issues. images-3

But we don’t have to. We can instead work on the reputations we build for ourselves about ourselves. If we took the time to stop looking outward at the people around us, instead taking the time to look inside our own hearts and minds we could change the world. I’ve always struggled with not letting other people get to  me (much like Ron) and really wished I could just brush it all off, but at the end of the day, there is no brushing it off, because it triggers something deep inside me I need to really work on.

So the next time someone rubs you the wrong way and you start to build up an opinion about them, take a moments and analyze why that bothers you. Then decide whether or not there could be another explanation about why that person is acting the way they are.  For Draco, it could be an act to try to win the approval of a father who never chooses to show Draco love. For Percy, it could be an act to try and feel important when he lives in a super large family who just doesn’t seem to appreciate him the way he would like. For Moody, it could be a real mental issues (paranoia and PTSD) triggered by his years of work putting wizarding criminals in Azkaban.

No matter what the story, the underlining premise of all of this is to just be kind to people. Don’t talk crap about them, don’t be curt when they ask for your help, just be nice. You never know what battle someone else is fighting or has already won/lost. So be kind.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.

 

Mayhem at the Ministry (GoF 10)

images-2I have an Bachelor’s of Arts in English. I wonderful degree that everyone said would be very useful in law school. It is actually useful for knowing basic sentence structure, knowing basic words, and knowing basic punctuation. When a professor returned my first writing assignment in a class, I. WAS. DEVASTATED. It was torn apart. There were so many marks on it I could barely see through them. I was embarrassed to have a degree in English. See 1Ls go through this and some do not, but it’s a good lesson if you do go through this. You see, I could have all the punctuation right, the ideas correct, and the format down, but without the proper word choice, my papers would never be good enough. And that’s what this week’s theme is: choosing the right words.

After the mess in the last chapter., Mr. Weasley and the children arrive back at the Burrow. Mr. Wealsey is soon off to the Ministry to do damage control. Rita Skeeter, the wizarding world’s infamous tall-tale telling gossip reporter, wrote an article about something Mr. Wealsey said coming out of the forest the night of the Death Eater incident. People are enraged at his comment of “nobody has been hurt” when in fact there were rumors several bodies were removed from the forest. Having spoke too soon, the Ministry is now overrun with howlers from angry, scared wizards.Skeeter2

Words can make or break a career, a friendship, a relationship…anything! In law school, we work very hard to pick and choose our words carefully. Every document we write, every email we craft, every meeting we hold is practiced, edited, read over carefully, edited again and then sent or held. There is very little room for error.

It’s not easy to write amazing briefs or contracts. However, it is easy to feel behind in your education when it comes to word choice and economy. Even with an english degree I still constantly feel demoralized when receiving edited or graded papers back. The dilemma each time becomes either becoming irate and wanting to give up or attacking my next assignment with amazing zeal to be better. Even when my inclination is to give up, I make myself propel forward. After my last round of edits and a conversation about word economy with my professor, I decided to invest in some vocabulary workbooks. better-writing-word-choice

The key is to never give up. That’s the easy route in law school. Don’t sabotage your hopes and dreams by letting yourself become despondent over word choice. Instead pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes. Mr. Weasley misspoke. He used the wrong words. He could have just stayed home after this blunder, but instead he went into work, put in the hours and worked to rectify his mistakes. And you can too! Just find that passion, find that drive, and push yourself forward! You’ll be happy that you did.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Dark Mark (GoF 9)

loyaltyThis semester I am taking Legal Professions, an ethics course required by the school. It’s an interesting class, full of the dos and the don’ts of the legal profession. Being in a clinic too, I get real clients to apply these rules to while still in school. Loyalty to the client is one of the most important things we’ve learned thus far. This can come in so many forms: confidentiality, competency, diligence, and ensuring there are no conflicts with other clients.  Loyalty is a huge part of the legal profession. You want to be loyal to your clients so they feel comfortable giving you information so you can advocate for them in the best ways.

This chapter of HP is all about loyalty, from being loyal to breaking loyalty.  After the World Cup game there is quite a commotion in the area. Mr. Weasley goes to investigate, sending the children out and into the forest for shelter upon his return. A group of amoral wizards, the Death Eaters, were terrorizing a muggle family and causing chaos in the campgrounds. The Golden Trio get separated from the other Weasleys and end up alone in the forest. Roaming around int he dark, Harry loses his wand. While hiding out in the forest they witness the Dark Mark being conjured by a wizard nearby. Before they can see the wizard’s face, they are suddenly attacked by wizards from the Ministry of Magic. They attempt to explain who conjured the dark mark and are absolved when a Ministry Wizard finds Barty Crouch’s house-elf holding Harry’s wand, under a bush near where the mark was conjured. This amiable elf is maligned by the Ministry members. They find Winky (the elf) guilty and Barty Crouch decides the best punishment would be to set the elf free since she could not follow directions or remain loyal to him. She pleads with him, stating she’s been loyal to him this whole time, but nothing works, Barty makes his choice.

main-qimg-5d03a32812606297eb4113bea39f0cbaIt’s funny what the breaking of loyalty can do. In the legal world it can create so many problems for a lawyer. From losing the client’s trust, to being disciplined for Professional Rules of Conduct violations, to even being disbarred. Everything we do as lawyers is looked at from a loyalty standpoint. We are forever responsible of making sure our actions are not adverse to our past clients and present clients needs. We must keep confidentiality at all times (unless under the enumerated exceptions found in the rules) and must work diligently on all client matters.

And while our clients could totally just present us with clothes (metaphorically speaking of course) and set us free, as Barty says he will be doing with Winky the house elf, there are times when the Court won’t allow for that to happen. If you can’t get out of your representation and your client feels like you haven’t been loyal to you or you now feel like your trust has been broken by the client, this can lead to some extra stressful days in your work.images

Being loyal is the foundation of any good relationship, whether that is friendships, parent-child, employer-employee, teacher-student, significant others, or lawyer-client. Once that loyalty has been broken and trust no longer exists, things can get pretty ugly. It may seem like a no brainer to most people, but learning about the extent of the damage in the legal profession makes this feel a little scarier every day. And I thought just the Bar exam would be the scary part!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

 

 

The Quidditch World Cup (GoF 8)

This post we are doing something a little different: we have a guest writer! I asked my friend Jessica Cordero, a 2L at the University of Denver, to write a little something about finding passion in law school and how sometimes that passion can bring out a competitive side she didn’t know she really had until then.1618565_10156514455540573_2412351853380138579_n

Take it away Jessica:

“When I got into law school, I was just excited to be a student. It was not until Derby Days that I realized there were 309,48,528 ways of being a law student. I signed up for more information about a few, mostly to get swag, but was only really interested in one.

There was something exciting about doing a whole run through of a trial that only occurred the 1st year of law school. One shot opportunity. Hazily, I filled out the information sheet filled with a montage of sepia-tinted memories of being in speech and debate in grade school. It would be similar, right?

Wrong. There were expectations and a sudden urge to be competitive. Even though I was unbelievably out of my comfort zone integrating into law school life, I didn’t mind putting in the work to learn what would eventually lead me to be a part of a nationally competitive trial team at the graduate level.

I never thought I was capable of having a “passion.” I tried a few sports and hobbies throughout the years, but I am somewhat of a dabbler. But I have realized being drawn to a specific activity is exactly how passions are born. They call to you. Being surrounded by people you admire tends to make you a better person. You don’t mind practicing for hours to be a real competitor in the loop, you don’t care about lost Saturdays, and you don’t worry about game day: you anticipate it.” (THANK YOU JESS!!)

QuidditchWorldCupGame Day is here for two of the wizarding world’s best quidditch teams as they face off in the Quidditch World Cup! Harry watches in awe as these two teams go head to head in a competition. Harry watches Krum, the epitome of a seeker, perform a perfect fake out, injuring the Irish seeker, his antagonist in the game. The gang also has an encounter with Barty Crouch’s eccentric house elf, Winky, in the stands (someone who becomes important in the next chapter). The match ends with Krum catching the snitch, but overall losing the game. The crowd turns on Krum with great animosity. Harry and the gang gets a chance to meet all of the players at the endow the game and then heads back to their tent.

Jessica’s story is a great depiction of how law school works. Most people come into law school uncertain about their future paths but by 2L year a majority of students become adamant about being a trial lawyer or a transactional lawyer. Trial Team students are hard-working, they put in long hours for their passion! Much like Quidditch players. Harry watches these professional players pull off tricks and plays he’s only heard about or seen attempted in practice. Harry’s passion calls to him in that moment, much like Jessica’s did when she joined STLA during our first year of classes.Quidditch-World-Cup-harry-potter-vs-twilight-17930427-500-201

You may not come to law school with a passion in mind, and don’t fret about this! Passions sneak up on you. Passions derive from inspirational moments. Passions are created when you try something new, something outside your comfort zone. Passions are found in the strangest of places. So keep your eyes out as you go through law school! You may stumble onto your passion without realizing it!

Thank you again to Jessica for taking the time to write for this week’s blog!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed