Friday, June 30, 2006

Does Steve Zahn Ever Take Vacation?

Has anyone ever noticed the CRAZY amount of movies that Steve Zahn has been in?

  1. Rain Without Thunder - 1992
  2. Reality Bites - 1994
  3. Crimson Tide - 1995
  4. Race the Sun - 1996
  5. That Thing You Do! - 1996
  6. SubUrbia - 1996
  7. The Object of My Affection - 1998
  8. Out of Sight - 1998
  9. Safe Men - 1998
  10. You've Got Mail - 1998
  11. Happy, Texas - 1999
  12. Forces of Nature - 1999
  13. Stuart Little - 1999
  14. Hamlet - 2000
  15. Chain of Fools - 2000
  16. Saving Silverman - 2001
  17. Dr. Dolittle 2 - 2001
  18. Joy Ride - 2001
  19. Chelsea Walls - 2001
  20. Riding in Cars with Boys - 2001
  21. Stuart Little 2 - 2002
  22. National Security - 2003
  23. Daddy Day Care - 2003
  24. Shattered Glass - 2003
  25. Employee of the Month - 2004
  26. Sahara - 2005
  27. Chicken Little - 2005
  28. Bandidas - 2006
AND ... that's not even a complete list!
Franz Kafka and "Before the Law"

When I gave my notice at my current job, telling them that I would be attending law school, a co-worker pointed me to the work of Franz Kafka, and in particular, a passage from The Trial.

A link to "Before the Law" from "The Trial" by Franz Kafka

Reminds me much of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, even though they're quite different. Must be the tone.

I'm going to have to make time to read it all.

It made me curious about the author, Franz Kafka ... here's what I found in a brief search in wikipedia, the most interesting of which is that his dying instructions were to destroy all of his written work ... which of course, was only partially carried out ... and that almost none of his works were finished. What was eventually published was mostly published after he had passed away, and was translated/rearranged and finished by his friend, Max Brod.

This is the work that the 1962 Orson Welles movie of the same name was based on.

NEXT! The Application Process ...

... once I knew that I had aced the LSAT, the next step was the application process.

When I did my application for U of S, they required you to complete an application form, and submit a Personal Statement.

The application form was pretty straight forward, but I printed all of my answers on a laser printer, cut them out, taped them into the form, and photocopied it, so that everything was highly legible and very neat looking. Anal retentive? Yes. But ... to me it was worth it.

As for the personal statement, I didn't really know what to do, or what was expected, and I couldn't find any really good examples on the web (boo!). I ended up writing up a short passage, here's what I submitted (Microsoft Word Document).
I Want to Succeed ... But How?

Here's a book that I found while browsing for anything that would be helpful in preparing for this fall. I wanted something CANADIAN, and something in a general overview.

I ordered this book from Chapters/Indigo online, and got it the next week (it was much faster than I thought it would be).

The Law School Book: Succeeding at Law School by: Allan C. Hutchinson

Skimming through it so far has made me feel a lot more settled about what is to come this fall.

Getting Down to the Heart of the Matter

I guess since the main theme of this blog is supposed to be my law school experience, I better catch up to the present. So ... the beginning ...

It all began last October ...
... well ... before that really, but I wrote the LSAT October 1, 2005, and that's really the starting point of this adventure.

I began thinking about it about a month in advance (less really, since my wedding reception was held that September long weekend ... and it was a bit time consuming). I started going through the various types of questions that one would encounter, but I didn't really get down to hard-core studying until the week before the test.

What did hard-core studying consist of? I printed off as much free material as I could off the net, and I bought the LSAT 2005, Premier Program study guide by Kaplan from Chapters (~$50), and started doing practice exams while timing myself. What was best about this book was the practice tests ... I never used the CD, and didn't read through anything else ... but ... (as per the note at the end of this post) ... I was already extremely comfortable with all of the material.

Exam Day: I remember feeling utterly drained at the end of the morning. It is much more intense than I pictured it, and the timing constraints are very real on test day (much different than sitting in my kitchen watching the microwave timer). My eyes were spazzing from all the reading - remember that because one section is a test run for future LSAT questions? I got an extra reading comprehension section - OUCH ... my eyes ... they burned! While I was writing the test, I remember feeling distracted, and finding it difficult to force myself to focus. I remember having a watch to monitor the time, but I rarely checked it. My approach was to go through the exam once, and answer every question (since there's no penalty for guessing). If a question was too hard, I'd guess and move on, I found I rarely had time to go back over what I had done, so this worked out well for me.

I scored very high on my LSAT, and so feel that I'm in a position to offer tips to people considering taking on the challenge of writing the LSAT.


In preparation:

Make sure that you have a plan of attack. Because there are 3 different types of tasks you'll be approaching, make sure you're comfortable with reading a question, and knowing what you have to do to solve it. I recommend reading as much as you can on the web about it (for free), and purchasing a book that outlines it all for you.

TIME YOURSELF LIKE CRAZY! That's one thing that I wish I had done better in preparation. I timed myself on a section by section basis, which was good ... but at least twice, practice doing an entire exam - ALL IN A ROW - this will give you a good idea of the intensity of the exam, and how tired you'll be after it all. Also, it will help you switch gears between sections - on exam day I remember feeling shocked that after I finished one section, I didn't get to chill before the next one was underway.

On exam day:

Wake up well before you have to, and RELAX on exam day - do something that you'll enjoy. Before the test I met a friend for Starbucks lattes and breakfast - we're talking pancakes, eggs, sausage ... etc. The benefit was that I'd been up for awhile, was fully awake, and had some laughs before I got down to serious work.

Bring what you need, and have it ready to go the night before - don't be a scrambler. Bring everything that you'll need into the exam room - be PREPARED, remember your ID, remember all your paperwork, remember a few pens, hilighters, a watch - WHATEVER.


DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS TEST AGAIN. There is no way to predict how you did, or anything else, even in discussion with other test-takers. Put it out of your mind. I had NO IDEA how I had done, all I knew was that I had put my best effort forward. When I got my mark e-mailed to me on October 21 (that's three weeks for your mark, for anyone that's counting) ... I was CRAZILY SURPRISED by it ... and it wasn't worth fretting about in the meantime!

Something to note: My Undergrad is a BSc in Computer Science ... hence ... logical problem solving is second nature, actually, more like first nature. The logic aspect of this test came quite easily to me, so if you struggle with the logic, you'll need more time to get used to this type of problem solving.

Also - one thing that can throw you off on exam day is looking around your test site and comparing yourself on any level to those that are writing with you. My test date had so many different types of people it was crazy, but when I saw all of the perky young students that were writing with me, so much younger (well ... not THAT much younger, but young enough to be wearing clothes that I couldn't get away with wearing ... that's GOTTA be some kind of categorization factor) ... I almost did a mini freak out. That was UNTIL I noticed that there were a couple of bald dudes that looked like they were dads of pre-teens ... then I felt better. BUT ... the TIP here is: DON'T LET YOUR SURROUNDINGS DISTRACT YOU - FOCUS IS THE KEY!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Salads, Gossip, and Chatter ... OH MY!

How much does the Diva salad from Joey Tomato's rock? It's pretty much the best salad I've ever had. I was coming off a migraine, and ended up deciding to go to dinner with Jason and some friends, ordered the Diva salad and was cured, saved, and overall healed by it's crazy splendour of goodness!

Avacodo, craisins, chicken, apple, greens, all folded onto a big taco chip-y kind of thing.

I'm telling you - it heals!

The bellini helped too, I think.

Hmmmmm ...

I felt just enough better to dip into Lainey's Gossip page when I got home (thank's to Janelle, Lainey's become my new indulgence ... and she's FREE)!

I also browsed through the forums, and began to wonder at what kind of people I'm going to be going to school with this fall. I know that people say that law school is competitive and all ... but there seems to be an abundance of arrogance traipsing through the law students forums .... one thread was a debate over whether to give the title of "Doctor" to lawyers. YIKES. To be fair - there also seems to be some very witty souls on this board, some of the threads had me laughing my a$$ off!

They'll Love Me, They'll Really, Really LOVE ME!

So ... I've gone and done it. I've started a blog. While everyone may wonder what may be so exciting in my life as to illicit an online personal account, hey - I wondered as well, I decided that it was going to be the best way to record, and distribute all of my crazy adventures that will ensue over the next few months as I begin my journey through Law School.

I'm going to need someone to listen to my random thoughts and fanatic worries, my new perspectives and old insecurities, my strength and skill-building achievements, and my mistake-filled learning experiences ... who better than you? And you? And you? And you?