2017 Recap

So tonight is the night, the end of the 2017.  And because of that we are going to do something a little different on this blog. Throughout the year I tend to write down things I hear or read (sometimes underlining them in books). This year I decided to sit down and read through some of them. There’s usually a theme, as you will see. Now this isn’t all of them from the entire year but it is a good portion of the ones I kept track of after my trip to Italy.

Here’s the list of some of my favorite quotes from 2017:

  • When you get rejected the first thing you should be doing is revive your self-esteem and not join fight club and beat it into a pulp
  • Self-confident people interpret feedback the way they choose to
  • We can’t protect what we don’t love and we can’t love what we don’t understand
  • If you are telling a story never make yourself the hero…no one works alone
  • Tragedy is never just, satisfying, but not just
  • Systems can’t give mercy, only individuals can
  • Decent people are the easiest to manipulate
  • Lean into the discomfort of work
  • Courage- tell who you are with your whole heart
  • What made them vulnerable made them beautiful
  • To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen; to love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee, to practice gratitude and joy even in the face of terror; to believe we are enough
  • We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you wont’ be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth- NOBODY WAS EVER THINKING ABOUT YOU, ANYHOW.
  • I gave up on being Nice. I started putting more value on other qualities instead: passion, bravery, intelligence, practicality, humor, patience, fairness, sensitivity. Those last three might seem like they are covered by “nice,” but make no mistake, they are not. A person who smiles a lot and remembers everyone’s birthday can turn out to be undercover crazy, a compulsive thief, and boring to boot. I don’t put a lot of stock in nice. I’d prefer to be around people who have any of the above qualities over “niceness,” and I’d prefer it if that applied to me, too. I’m also okay if the most accurate description of me is nervous, and a little salty. But at least I know what I want to strive for.
  • I thrive in structure. I drown in chaos.
  • I love rules and I love following them, unless that rule is stupid.
  • Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities.Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery their lives would remain small– far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be.
  • Experience has taught me to be careful of meeting your heroes in person: it can be terribly disappointing.
  • There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.
  • Your Gut knows what’s up. Trust that Bitch.

 

Well here’s to a great 2018. I hope it brings you everything you want and more. Stay positive. Stay Bright. Stay Light. Stay Weird. Stay You. And keep reading the Wizarding World of Law School!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed!

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The Mirror of Erised (SS12)

Hey everyone! So this week’s blog post has been one of my favorites to write thus far. It’s not necessarily just about law school, but about a topic that we discuss regularly in law school. It’s not an easy topic to tackle, and truly not just a law school related or Harry Potter topic, but one that is plaguing the nation we live in. All I ask of you while reading this post is to keep an open mind. I am not asking anyone to agree or disagree with the topic, but to simply hear me out.

(And, if you haven’t checked out the podcast “Harry Potter and the Sacred Texts” please do. Usually I don’t listen to the podcast of the chapter I am writing about until after that chapter is blogged, but this week I was too intrigued to not listen first.)
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Here’s the recap of this week’s chapter:

It’s Christmas time at Hogwarts, and boy is everyone excited. On Christmas Day Harry wakes up and finds gifts for the first time in his life. These gifts include a Weasley sweater and a invisibility cloak. They enjoy a nice Christmas and Christmas Feast. As Christmas passes Harry goes on a mission to find out who Nicholas Flamel is by using his new clock to sneak into the restricted section of the library. Harry finds himself running away from Flitch who figures out a student is out of bed sneaking around the library. Harry seeks refuge in a random room of the castle finding the Mirror of Erised. Curious, he walks over to the mirror and sees his family (which he doesn’t recognize at first) looking back at him. Confused he looks around the room thinking they are behind him, but finds himself alone. He then leaves, and brings Ron back the next night. Harry thinks Ron will see all of the Weasleys but is disappointed to hear that Ron sees himself a Head boy, and Quidditch Cup winner. Harry returns the next night to stare into the mirror and see his family, when he is interrupted by Dumbledore who explains that the mirror reflects the heart’s deepest desire and that men waste away sitting in front of the mirror. Dumbledore tells Harry the mirror will be moved and that he should not go looking for it again.

This week’s theme: Privilege.

‘Strange how nearsighted being invisible can make you,’ said Dumbledore.

One of the common topics of law school is that of the Reasonable Prudent Person standard. For all those non-law scholars out there this standard is meant to be a baseline in which we judge the actions (civil or criminal) of others; it’s our societal idea of the perfect person who acts appropriately in all situation. A common discussion we have on this standard is whether it needs to be changed. The law was created in a time when white protestant landowning males made the rules and morals of the world. Which means  the Reasonable Prudent Person was created by these same law makers and held to the standards they felt necessary in the world.  So this pretty much if you were of any race or gender you were and still held to standards not in align with the norms of your gender and race. a971e5c332b304a59cdb4aa4b47867447ca078a2bb31f2605efe95d81dd92af7

The reason we talk about changing it is to take into account different social backgrounds. Women and men for example don’t commit crimes in the same way or for the same reasons. People with varying educational opportunities or backgrounds act differently in situations or understand crime differently. People with mental health issues are charged in crimes or torts under the same mental capacity of a person without the same mental health issue. While changing it could revolutionize the way we understand people and how they interact with the law, the arguments on the other side say that changing this objective standard will give people more excuses to not be charged with crimes and won’t help us reach our social utopia that the legal works to create. It’s a slippery slope and a fine line to toe… and better yet every discussion ends with people on both sides upset.
And here lies the problem, we are blinded by privilege on either side. When looking into the law school’s equivalent of the Mirror of Erised (class discussions) we see the desires of each student. People for an objective standard (and this is subjective to my experiences in class) are typically people for whom the justice system has been in favor of for most of history… white men. Having some of your privilege questioned (not even necessarily taken away) causes an immediate reaction of anger because your very being is threatened. Not all white males asked for the system to be tipped in their favor and certainly not all white males are privileged, but history tells us otherwise. When you feel your rights and privileges are being stripped from you or that you are being made a villain it can cloud your judgment. You suddenly feel a need to defend yourself and nearsighted in achieving that goal (and keeping your privileges). It becomes a strong desire to keep the scales where they are, blinding them from seeing how minority groups are being suppressed by the world they desperately want to keep.

For people on the other side they are nearsighted in a different way. When the scales of justice and privilege have been tipped out of your favor you feel a strong desire to right these wrongs. It’s the side I find myself on more often than not. While I am white, I am still considered a minority in gender and it wasn’t until getting to law school that I found out just how sexist the world can be and is actually. Now, I am expected to have some privilege in my background because I am white (though if you put my upbringing on paper with a friend of mine who is from a minority race and you left out the color of our skin you would find out just how little privilege I grew up with), but the scales are still tipped out of my favor in many cases. Minorities want a voice, they want the scales tipped a little more in their favor and want the same privileges as people on the other side of the justice system have. However, in their pursuit they too become nearsighted in their desire for privilege and forget to see the effect of their placing blame on white males as a whole.

7d348bad38f49a697d1c448c6a4fe732All of this to say is that sometimes we forget to look out across the lines we draw by our desires and see how they affect the people we’ve segregated. Females blames males, males blame females, whites blame blacks, blacks blame whites… all we do is keep on making the line we’ve drawn between us thicker and thicker, not wanting to move away from an objective standpoint and really understand how other people work, relate and contribute to the world. Putting our desire to keep or grab ahold of privilege away and just starting to understand each’s worlds can change the world we live in. Creating a legal system that helps give voices to all communities and groups of people is far better than continuing to create these huge divides between them.

Sure, we don’t know what problems will be created by changing the Reasonable Prudent Person standard to be more subjective, but I think our approach to conversations around this topic need to change to be more understand and less nearsighted on both sides. We can no longer let minorities be invisible and we cannot allow white men to be pushed out of the conversation (which would make them invisible). We have to start making baby steps to creating a better society that gives everyone an equal voice in the conversation (which means the louder voices will be quieted a bit while the quiet voices will be turned up a bit more). Unfair privileges will be lost and not all sought privileges will be given, but everyone will one day have an equal say and equal privilege. It just takes us looking into the Mirror of Erised and facing our deepest desires and making the decision to help or hinder the changes needed in the world.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Wizarding World of Law School

If you follow me on Facebook at all, here’s that new writing project I promised yesterday!

This past week I started Law School, and boy has it been one heck of a ride already. For some reason though, maybe from going to HP World at Universal Studios right before heading out here to Denver, my love for Harry Potter seems to have heightened as school has started. I mean, I have a running list of people’s Hogwarts Houses from my section or friend groups at school. (Damn Gryffindors keep growing in numbers, but at least we are well-rounded with 2 Hufflepuffs so far.)IMG_9116

Long story short, I was told about this amazing podcast series (“Harry Potter and the Sacred Texts”) this past week. I highly suggested this podcast if you want to nerd out like me. After listening to the first episode of the podcast I felt inspired to start a blog that lets people know how law school is unfolding, while at the same time explores my new world, with one of my favorite worlds: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

So this blog will do just that, each week I will read 1-2 chapters of the series, juxtapose it with my week in school, and explore the themes of the chapter/life that line up. There is approx. 144 weeks until my Law School journey comes to an end, and 199 chapters of all the Harry Potter books, so buckle up and get in this flying car as we embark on this three-year journey together!

Look for the first chapter post today!

Until then….Mischief Managed!