Tuesday, September 29, 2009


That's my general feeling about life right now. My first couple of weeks at American University's Washington College of Law (WCL) really weren't too bad, and I was starting to think everyone who had told me about how busy I would be was just trying to freak me out. I seemed to be managing just fine, plodding along with my readings for Torts and Contracts and Civil Procedure, and I even had time to outline (in legal lingo, "brief") all the cases! But then...out of nowhere, that little two-credit Legal Rhetoric class that had just been lurking quietly in the background pounced and bestowed upon me an abundance of citation quizzes (and these aren't your friendly MLA-style citations), pointless library research assignments (busy work, anyone?), and oh yeah, "memos" requiring more reading and researching, not to mention actually writing them... My other three classes, not to be outdone, also upped the ante and began assigning more readings, as well as in-class quizzes (but don't let the term "quiz" fool you) and take-home midterms (which is apparently only supposed to take four hours, but that's AFTER I spend a good eight hours organizing all my notes into some kind of manageable outline).

On top of all that, I applied for and got a position as an Articles Editor for the
Human Rights Brief at school, which means several hours a month of...editing articles (duh)! However, I am SUPER excited, since I came to WCL primarily because of their focus on international human rights and public interest work, and this is a great way to start getting more involved. The brief has over 6,000 subscribers in more than 130 countries, so apparently it's a pretty big deal! I mean, I'm not a big deal - I'm going to be doing a lot of fact-checking and citation-correcting - but it's still very cool to be a part of it! They publish three times a year and they recently started a "blog" that will be updated with human rights happenings all the time, but it's not online yet, so I'll give you all more information about that soon. I also have the opportunity to report on hearings of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the blog! Lots of exciting things.

WCL divides first year students into "sections," which means I have all my classes with the same 80 people (except for Rhetoric, where there are only 12 of us from those 80). Seeing the same people all the time has its ups and downs...but I have gotten to meet a lot of really interesting and fun people!
I was a little worried about everyone being super mean and scary, but it hasn't been like that at all. Well, I guess there are a few scary ones, but it's easy enough to stay away from them :) These are a couple of my new friends --
My new friend Claire and me:
Tim and me with new friends Ryan and Jen:

As you all know, I occasionally share embarrassing stories about myself on here (come on, I know that's really why you're reading this), so here's a good law school one for ya -- Sometime during the second week of school I'm reading in the library and I get a little sleepy, so I decide to listen to music. I get out my headphones, plug 'em in my laptop, and crank up some ManĂ¡. I continue working and a couple minutes later a guy comes over and taps me on the shoulder, so I turn around and take out my headphones to listen to him...and I can still hear my music. And so can everyone else within a ten-foot radius. Apparently I hadn't actually plugged in my headphones all the way, so the very hush-hush library got a nice taste of my latino music. I guess the lack of sleep was already getting to me...

Tim and I are really enjoying our apartment so far (and we would love to have visitors!). Our building manager asked around when people were moving out this summer and found a bunch of free furniture for us so we didn't even have to buy anything! We got a couch, a love seat, a dining room table with two chairs, a TV table, a big chair, and a dresser all for free! Pretty lucky, huh?? We've rearranged a little since these pictures were taken, but here's a little taste:
This is the front door area (which looks totally different now)...
This is our dining room...
This is the kitchen... (notice the dishwasher! The phrase "I'm so glad we have a dishwasher" has been uttered at least 12 times since moving in.)
We each get our own closet!
And the outside! I love the flowers!!

Here are some more random pictures and stories from random DC highlights:

We went to a Washington Nationals game last Wednesday and they beat the L.A. Dodgers. I'm not really a baseball person, but apparently the Nationals generally suck and the Dodgers are generally good, and we went with a couple from L.A. who are die-hard Dodgers fans, so they were pretty upset. But it was still really fun!
Apparently "curly" means "win"...? Tim and me, enjoying the cheap seats:
Natalie somehow still manages to smile:

Over Labor Day weekend, we took a quick trip (less than 24 hours) via bus up to New York City to see Avenue Q at the John Golden Theatre on Broadway! Neither of us had been to NYC before, and it was amazing! I hope we'll have more time to go back in the future... And Avenue Q was SOOOO good! The show closed on Broadway about a week after we went, so we got there just in time.
This is us inside the theatre. Apparently you're not supposed to take pictures inside. I got yelled at roughly .67 seconds after this was taken.
We're hanging out with the puppets after the show :)
So awesome!!

Also, no pictures (because I forgot my camera), but Tim and I went to the National Book Festival on Saturday (one of the perks of being in DC is all the "National" events are here!). We got to hear John Grisham speak, as well as Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. They had tons of other big-time authors too, but we couldn't stay for the whole day.
We did get some free bags and pens. All in all, it was a good time :)

Well, it's about time for me to get back to reading... I hope the next update will be sooner than two months from now, but I'm not promising anything...

I'll leave you all with this true story --
As I'm walking out of a restaurant Friday afternoon, I pass an elderly couple. The man sees my laptop bag and asks if I'm a law student. I say, yes, I just started at American. He says he has a legal question for me. I tell him I really don't know anything yet. He says he thinks I can help him with this one -- What's the difference between "unlawful" and "illegal"? I stare blankly and wonder if this is something I should know and once again tell him that I just started so I really don't know anything. He says he knows the answer anyway -- Unlawful is when you break the law, and illegal is a sick bird...


Hasta luego!!


Danielle said...

LOL at "ill-eagle"... It totally took me a good 30 seconds to get it! And oh yes I remember all of the "research" aka busy work first year. (Man I don't miss those days at all!) But it sounds like you are staying on top of things! Glad you and Tim are enjoying the apartment. It looks really cute and cozy :-)

And always... Miss you! Maybe Steve and I will have to take a trip to D.C. sometime.

Loren said...

Ill eagle, you're definitely going to have to break that one out down the road!

Lynn said...

Courtney, I so enjoy your updates. As part of your little church family here in Millersburg I can tell you I am so proud of you and only wish you the best. Lynn