Friday, November 11, 2011

It's a Marathon Not a Sprint

"It's a marathon, not a sprint" is mine and Blake's motto for this time of the year.  We've got one full week and another half week of classes before Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving break is one week of classes, and then it's finals time.  For both of us this semester, our entire grade for class comes down to how we perform in a couple of hours on the class's final.  That's a lot of pressure!  The intense studying started at the beginning of this week, and we're trying to go slow and steady so we'll be SUPER PREPARED come exam time.

My internship is wrapping up at the Department of Justice.  I just turned in an appellate brief to my team leader for final review, and it will be submitted to the 9th Circuit when I've made the corrections!  My internship this semester has been really, really great.  I've worked closely with one mentor who has looked over every sentence I've written.  In a field like the one I'm going into, writing is extremely important, and this internship has been invaluable in honing my research and writing skills.  I also met an attorney on my team who's from Oliver Springs!!  That just doesn't happen [ever]!!  He and his wife took me out to lunch the other day to reminisce about growing up in tiny towns.

Because I'm getting credit for my internship, I'm only taking 3 courses in law school plus writing my thesis, which is called a Note.  I've got Evidence (objection, your honor!!!), Government Contracts, and Professional Responsibility and Ethics.  These classes have been pretty reading-intensive, but I've enjoyed the subject matter a lot.  That makes studying a lot easier!  My Note is about a government contracts issue.  Evidently, and I didn't know this until I got here, George Washington University is known for its Government Contracts department at the law school.  The professors are distinguished in their field, and they have a lot of experience.  I've enjoyed learning more about the field.  My dad does stuff with government contracts in his job, so it's neat to compare what I'm learning and what I've heard him talk about too!

Blake's schedule has been really different this year.  Last year, the M1 class took one course at a time and had doctoring courses throughout the semester as well.  That meant that Blake had an exam about once every two weeks.  It was exhausting, but Blake did really well in all his courses.  I know he was concerned about M2 year because instead of doing one course at a time, they are now on a quarter system.  That means his M2 class is taking several courses at the same time with exams at the end of that quarter, and there are two quarters for every one of my semesters.  He's already finished one quarter (and did awesome, by the way!), and now he and I are both studying for the next set of finals, which happen at the same time.  This is the closest our schedules have matched up so far in school!  Blake has also been doing Ambulatory Care this semester, which sounds as cool as it is!  Ask him about how he basically saved a guy's life!  I'm just kidding, I don't think you're allowed to ask things like that.  HIPAA compliance and whatnot!  Maybe I'll see if Blake wants to write a post about Ambulatory Care sometime, maybe over Christmas break, because I know he's enjoyed the experience this semester.

Another interesting thing about his schedule this semester is the grading.  I guess it makes sense, but I had never thought about it before.  Instead of taking a course and getting a grade for that course, all of the exams for the entire M2 year are broken up, question by question, into categories.  Then, the categories, across all 4 sets of exams, are the final grade.  So if he had a report card (middle school throw back!) it would not list the classes he's taken; rather, the categories of the questions would be listed with the grade corresponding to how well he performed on that category in all 4 sets of finals!  I hope that made sense.  It took me about 3 times of Blake explaining it to me to get it right, and I might still have it wrong!

This is a very wordy post. I apologize, I'd intended to make this one all about fall! Haha be looking for a fall post from Blake and Catie later!

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