Dudley Demented and a Peck of Owls (OotP 1&2)

Hey cool kids, did ya think I forget this week’s Wizarding World of Law School post? Nah, I’ve just been busy adulting this week, which means things are running a tad bit behind. Here we are though, starting the fifth HP book. To be honest the first chapters of every book are always a tad difficult to make a great blog post out of, but this book starts with a BANG! Check it out!

Chapter 1- Dudley Demented

We are back at Privet Drive. Harry hasn’t heard a word from anyone about what’s going on, so he tends to hide in the bushes listening to the muggle news outside the Dursely’s home. When he hears what he thinks is someone apparating onto the street he rolls out of the bushes with his wand at the ready. Caught by Uncle Vernon, Harry heads to the park where he has a run in with the new and improved Dudley. Okay, maybe improved isn’t the word, but Dudley has lost some weight and joined boxing. In Dudley’s spare time he practices his boxing skills on 10 year olds. Harry and Dudley have a slight altercation, things start to get stormy and they start to run home where they have an encounter with Dementors. Yes, Dementors. Harry of course whips out an “EXPECTO PATRONUMMMMMM.” Suddenly Mrs. Figg, the batty old neighbor from across the street appears explaining she’s a squib and well, that Harry needs protecting.Figg

Chapter 2- A Peck of Owls

Well as the night goes on, Dudley is like truly messed up. Mrs. Figg and Harry get Dudley home. The Dursley’s freak out. Hella owls come saying Harry is expelled, Harry isn’t expelled but has a hearing, and that HE SHOULD NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE. But like the Durselys want Harry out… until a howler comes for Petunia with a message “Remember my last, Petunia!”…. Interesting…VERY INTERESTING.

See? I told you it was a BANG! Anyways, isn’t it odd when a) things aren’t always as they seem AND b) everyone is suddenly telling you what to do in your time of need? That’s an interesting part of the law school. They (the weird collective they; the all-knowing, omnipotent they) tell us going into law school that you don’t always end up doing things just the way you plan on doing them once you get out. And they just might be right. That’s not to say that I am having a change of heart or anything, nor does it mean that I don’t want to have food law.

What it means is that things, paths, life goals, life circumstances, etc., aren’t always what they seem. I came to law school thinking that I had one path… well that path was my own carved out sort of mucking it through the mud path. But the thing is, it’s pigeonholed me, and I’ve actually found joy in doing transactional work. Contracts, accounting, real estate, employment, and all other business related law things. But as I start to find joy in these things and look towards doing business/transactional work after law school, people start to try and persuade you to go back to your roots. When you say you want to do corporate work or business work people all of a sudden want you to remember the little man, to remember the public interest work you wanted to do.

The thing is… I haven’t lost my interest in the little man or public interest work. I have always committed my life to serving others, to taking care of other people, to going above and beyond. Only some of that has changed. I have instead started to want to do what’s right for me as well. It’s not about wanting money, it’s not about wanting to help the “big guys,” it’s not about not wanting to do “what’s right.” No, this is about needing to pay my dues, to obtain the skills that will help me help so many more people one day, and to do something I like doing.

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Law school is hard. We all come in thinking that we know exactly what we want to do and how we are going to do it. For some that path works out, for others things change, and it doesn’t help when people suddenly want to speak up about your choices. The best thing one can do is listen to their intuition. You can take people’s advice or follow their directions: Harry decides to follow Aunt Petunia and Arthur Weasley’s words and stay put in the Durselys’ home.  You can also decide to go your own way: yes, like the Fleetwood Mac song.

Either way like they said every day in middle school and high school after the announcements “the choice is yours.” Stay true to you… you’ll be glad you did.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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Priori Incantatem, Veritaserum and the Parting of Beginnings (GoF 34-37)

So another book ends and another semester begins. Winter break surely was not long enough. I wish it would have gone on forever, but alas here we are. This winter break taught me a lot about myself and how I see the world. A lot of times I refuse to standup for myself, allowing myself to become the victim, allowing myself to become distrustful of those around me, even when I just met a person. Winter Break gave me time to think about all of this and really help me to determine why I react to people the way I do, and it’s simply because I refuse to listen to their story and follow my instinct to process what they are saying. Instead, I let my ego get the best of me in everyday life which causes WAY MORE problems than it solves. And as we leave Book 4 and head into Book 5, we will see how ego can get in the way in everyone’s lives, especially politicians. But for now, let’s wrap up Book 4’s remaining chapters

Chapter 34- Priori Incantatem

voldey duelSo Harry is let down from the grave he was tied to and then the duel begins. Harry scrambles a bit, Voldemort taunts him a bit and then they duel. They cast curses at each other and BAM they are oddly connected. They hold the connection and start to float. Then ghost like figures start coming out of Voldey’s wand. These figures include Cedric and Harry’s Parents. They all say they are going to buy Harry some time. Cedric says to take his body back. Harry breaks the connection and runs to Cedric’s body summoning the portkey and heads back.

Chapter 35- Veritaserum

Dead_cedricHarry lands with Cedric’s body back at Hogwarts. He tries to tell everyone Voldemort’s back and then panic sets in. Oddly enough the “My son, my son” cries of Mr. Diggory are not in the book, but it happens. Through the chaos Moody grabs Harry to take him back to the castle. Turns out he’s not actually Mad-Eye Moody, he’s BARTY CROUCH JR.!!!!! Hogwarts teachers burst in the door to save Harry. They pour veritaserum down Barty’s throat and the truth spills out. We get the whole back story of how Barty Courch Sr. broke Barty Crouch Jr. out of Azkaban and how then Jr. escaped and how Bertha Jorkins found about him and then had to die. Barty Crouch Sr. also needed to die so Junior killed his papa.

Chapter 36- The Parting of Ways

Once Dumbledore got all the info he wanted out of Junior Dumbledore moved on. Sent for Snuggles and brought Harry to his office. Dumbledore explains everything to Harry and Sirius, attempts to explain things to Fudge who refuses to hear it. Sends harry to the infirmary and everyone is whispering about things. Harry gets his winnings, Cedric’s parents are in mourning. Harry goes to sleep.

Chapter 37- The Beginning

(Of another semester…) Harry tries to give the gold to the Diggory Parents, they won’t take it. Dumbledore explains to the whole school Cedric’s death and that Voldemort is back and that the Ministry won’t recognize it. Then they eat and it’s time to leave Hogwarts. Harry gives his gold winnings to Fred and George to start their joke business.

juniorTalk about traumatic experiences! I’m the first to admit that Harry is one of my least favorite characters in the series and we will see why in Book 5, but I do feel bad for him in these chapters. Harry has something super traumatic happen to him, but since he was the only one to see it and experience it, he is treated poorly.  No one believes him. It made me start to think about how we do things in the legal field. Sometimes people come to us with problems and we have to decide to believe them and take on their case; or at least we have to believe in the system and take on their case. But sometimes it is so hard to believe someone’s story. No matter how hard we want to believe, no matter how much this person cries and tells us their tale, sometimes we just can’t believe them.

And that doesn’t happen in just the legal field, it happens in our personal lives every day.  I came to law school with some trust issues already. Law school really challenges you to work through those trust issues. It challenges you to change how you see the world but to stay true to your gut instinct. But it’s hard when you are like Harry and no one understands what you just went through, where you’ve been, or who you truly are. I think it’s important to note that Harry struggles with this throughout the whole series. Not too many people know how horrible it is for him back at the Dursleys, how crazy it’s been to be thrusted into a life of magic and a life of fame, and later there’s no way anyone understands what it’s like to know that there is someone, someone very powerful, out there that he alone has to face and be killed by in order to save the wizarding world.

So while I don’t like Harry, I sympathize with him, much like I sympathized with Voldemort in the last post. We never know what others are going through, what they’ve been through, and what they are left facing. Yet, we judge them and we judge each other all the same. I’ve done it. I’ve looked superficially at someone’s life and with a jealous eye determined to write them off, even if I’ve heard their story, heard the things they don’t want to share with the whole world. And I too have been on the other side of this. The thing is, in law school and in life, you have to trust your gut and in order to learn to trust your gut, you have to move your ego out of the way. As we will see in Book 5, there are a lot of egos being thrown around which leads to a lot of disbelief and blindness.

Interesting-Ego-QuotesOur egos are a huge part of this journey. Our egos tell us only what we want to hear, what we want to know, and what we think about ourselves. Our egos compare us to others, dismiss others thoughts and ideas when they challenge ours, and try to keep us in control at all times. But that smaller voice, the one that says Harry is telling the truth (why would he lie to us about this?), that’s the voice we want to listen to. That is the instinct, the truth teller, the right voice to lead us. Sure, sometimes its a very naive voice that may put you in situations that you don’t like, but that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to it.

All of this is to say that as another semester begins, to check in with what voice you are listening to. To really take inventory of the stories being told to you and process them before reacting or making a decision about someone. Be open-minded, quiet the ego and listen to your instinct. You’ll be happy you did. You’ll find more peace. You’ll help make the world a more understanding place.

Good luck this semester!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Pensieve Task of Flesh and Death Eaters (GoF 30-33)

I love a good story. That’s what makes Harry Potter the best, its a complicated story full of twists and turns, foreshadowing, and hidden messages. The best part about stories is that they all come from somewhere, they are all secrets inside each author’s chest and mind just waiting to get out and be shared with the world. How does this relate to law school? Well law school teaches us that it’s all about the story. Each case is based on a series of stories from both sides. Each policy or law is built off a story, a desire for change (or greed) from those who write and enact it. It’s interesting really when you think about the stories behind everything the law touches, and for a lot of us, those stories began before law school. Before we dive into that though, let’s dive into the Harry Potter Story we’ve been tracking.

Chapter 30- The Pensieve

pensieveSo Dumbledore leaves Harry alone in his office, what’s a kid to do? Snoop, of course! I mean, who wouldn’t?? Harry finds the pensieve, a magical memory holder that Dumbledore uses like a giant bowl shaped jigsaw puzzle. Harry swoops into some magical memories of Barty Crouch sentencing his son to Azkaban and then Dumbledore shows up (the real one, not the memory one who apparently looks the same exact way as the current one) and is all like “Harry lesssssgo, you’ve snooped into my personal life enough now.” Then Dumbledore is all like, “oh of course you are curious, and of course I didn’t lock that thing up tight enough. It’s not like I was hoping you’d snoop.” Which I don’t buy, Dumbledore never does anything uncalculated, sort of like Beyonce or Taylor Swift, everything they do is done on purpose. They talk about Voldemort and Snape and the Crouch family. The end of the chapter.

Chapter 31- The Third Task

sphnixThe final task is here! Can I get a drumroll??? Okay, it’s actually pretty cool… the movie makes it look pretty lame, but this huge maze is pretty awesome! There’s even a sphinx with a riddle! Why the heck was that left out of the movie, the CGI on that alone would have been cool to see. Instead the movie just glosses over Krum’s eyes, has him attack everyone, and there’s mysterious wind that blows the shrubs around. Cedric’s and Harry’s hero complexes come out to play like normal and they both end up saving each other at some point. THere’s a giant spider. Then Harry and Cedric play a round of “you can have the cup, you are a true hero” “Oh no you take the cup, you deserve it.” They both grab the cup and BOOM, it’s a portkey! *mic drop*

Chapter 32- Flesh, Blood, and Bone

The movie and this chapter go hand in hand a bit well. Harry and Cedric find themselves in a graveyard. Cedric gets murdered by some weird little rotting baby corpse that Wormtail is carrying. A bubbling cauldron is made. Flesh. Blood. Bone. Baby Corpse. and BAM! Voldemort sans nose is back! I wonder if we will ever find out why he doesn’t have a nose. Does anyone knows why?? (See what I did there!? lol!)Voldemortreborn

Chapter 33- The Death Eaters

(Also known as our current Government Leaders…sorry I had to!) Well Voldey is back, he calls his servants (the Death Eaters), lectures them about loyalty, says some stuff about his old family, talks about how he created a new family out of these Death Eaters. He hints towards horocruxes. He talks about immortality and the legacy he wants to have. Then he tells Harry “ohhh look I can touch you… because your blood is in my body now so no more magically love blood bonds from your mama.” Then he makes Wormtail untie Harry and is all like “let’s duel so I can kill you.”

I guess you could say almost everyone in these chapters has some sort of hero complex and who doesn’t? We all want to champion something and we all think that our mission and values are the best. We all have a good reason for what we do. I had a friend during my first year of law school who wants to become a District Attorney so that he/she could put people who do hard drugs in jail. I fundamentally disagreed with her, but I never asked the question as to why this was her mission in life. I had another friend who wants to dismantle the current prison system and stop systematic racism. Other friends want to simply make a lot of money. Some friends want to help save the environment. We all come to law school with some sort of mission and we think that our mission is more valuable than many others (even if we don’t want to admit it). The hard part is that we don’t always see the ramifications and potential consequences of this mission.

A good example of this comes from a huge research project I’ve been working on for our school’s Water Law Review. The Glen Canyon Dam which is located in Arizona, not too far away from the Utah border is a dam that’s created a lot of controversy since it was built. The dam was supposed to be in Utah, but after the Sierra Club and a couple other big voices fought against that decision since it would of course flood an area they wanted to preserve it was moved down to Glen Canyon. The head of the Sierra Club at the time in later years said this was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. He fought so hard to have the dam moved down stream that he didn’t stop to look at what it would do to the Glen Canyon area. He later said that it ruined that area, which is something he deeply regretted.

The gist of this all is that we all have a reason we fight for something. We all have something that drives us. For me, wanting to better our food system and create equal access to healthy foods for all people is because when my mom and step-dad divorced I saw first hand how a lack of money will affect your diet and your access to healthy foods. It’s not okay that people have to choose between making a healthy meal for their family and paying for electricity. And please know that money is not the only issue, so is time, there is not always time to make a healthy meal, shop for healthy ingredients and such, so a lot of times processed food is the cheapest and the easiest option for lower income families.

graveFor Voldemort, his whole reasoning behind his movement is the reaction his family had to him growing up. He’s not even a pure-blood wizard, but because his dad reacted in a way that ensured a hard life for Voldemort, he made it his life mission to go and seek revenge. He had a sad life, a hard life and he made life choices that reflected his inner angst. Sure, it’s not okay that he then wanted to kill all muggles, but once you know his backstory a bit, it can change the way you see him.

That’s the thing, you have to ask the right questions before jumping to conclusions about a person’s decisions. You have to see things through their eyes before sealing in your mind who you think they are. You have to be willing to take a step back and get to know them before outcasting them or thinking they are mean or a bitch to begin with.  And on the flip side, we have to be willing to put aside our own baggage and let people in, people who will care about us and show us that maybe, just maybe our world views and our mission isn’t 100% the best thing there ever was and will come with some big consequences that we just might regret later down the line. Think about what could have happened if Voldemort had done just that, or if the head of the Sierra Club could have foreseen the consequences of his actions.

So, take some time in this new year and ask some questions, get to know people’s backstories and then make decisions about them. You don’t have to agree with them, you don’t even have to like them afterwards, but at least you’ll better understand them.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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!

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.

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

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.