Moot Court Highlights

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Hey there, everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an update as to how things have been going over here! This past week, our entire class participated in a mandatory “moot court tournament.” I forget if I explained this in a previous post, so I’ll do it again briefly.

Over Christmas break, our professors released a case file containing depositions, exhibits, charts, a complaint, and an answer all in a nice package. Since the beginning of the semester, we’ve been working on putting together memorandums either in support or against the defendant’s “motion for summary judgment.” Complicated terms, I know. 

Essentially, the facts of the case was that a tavern owner served a patron several shorts of alcohol – this patron later became severely intoxicated as evidenced by his .20 BAC level taken at the scene of a car wreck that he later became involved in. There were two issues that were addressed in this tournament – actual knowledge and proximate cause.

The Indiana “Dram Shop Statute” essentially states that if a sever of alcohol has actual knowledge that a patron is visibly intoxicated at the time of service AND that patron’s intoxication is a proximate cause of the death or injury complained, then that server is liable. 

Really, it came down to two issues:

First, whether the server, John Daniels had actual knowledge of Ed Hard’s visible intoxication at the time he served him, as according to the record, Hard never showed the requisite visible signs of intoxication. However, actual knowledge, while it is judged by a subjective standard, can be proven by circumstantial evidence, (i.e. his BAC level, his “staggering,” etc.) 

Second, there was uncertainty as to whether Hard’s intoxication was the proximate cause (i.e. the natural and probable) result of Mr. White’s death and Mrs. White’s physical injuries or whether Hard’s act of colliding with their car was a criminal act, which would then be a superseding, intervening cause, breaking the “causal chain,” and ultimately removing the bartender’s liability. 

In a given round, there were four participants, each arguing a particular issue for a specific party – so, for instance, I would represent the plaintiff and argue the “actual knowledge” position, another classmate would represent the defendant and argue the “actual knowledge” position from their perspective … and the same thing for the “proximate cause” issue. 

Not only do you present your argument, but you must also respond to questions that the panel of judges (three in preliminary rounds) would ask you and still be able to smoothly continue your argument. Every round is different – sometimes you’ll get a “cold” bench (i.e. very few questions asked) as opposed to a “hot” bench (lots of questions) … while you do get to speak for 12 minutes, the goal is to have about 8-9 minutes of content, as you’re banking on the fact that you’ll be asked at least a few questions. In both of my preliminary rounds, I never got to get to my conclusion and parts of my points as there were just too many questions. 

Thursday evening rolled around and the top 32 competitors were announced as they would move onto the quarterfinal round. Well, my name was called! It was pretty exciting. The quarterfinal round was a lot of fun … it was with fellow classmates from my section, and while we all wanted to move on, we weren’t so competitive to the point where we would try to “win at all costs.” Once our quarterfinal round was over, we all gathered in the “Supreme Courtroom” to hear who would move onto the semifinal round … and to my surprise, my name was again called! 

This time, however, we literally only had 20 minutes to prep and unfortunately, the way things worked out, I had to argue an issue I hadn’t really worked on. When we wrote our brief, I wrote it in support of the defendant and during the tournament, I was assigned the issue of “actual knowledge,” meaning during the two preliminary rounds, I argued for the plaintiff and then for the defendant, each on the subject of actual knowledge. However, in the semifinal round, I had to argue plaintiff, proximate cause. Not only was it an issue that I hadn’t argued and prepared for doing the tournament, but I wrote my brief for the defendant … so, it was incredibly confusing – I had no clue what I was doing, haha. I got four outlines from my classmates, so I at least had something to talk about, but my mind was still kind of in a jumble when I walked up to the podium to speak in front of a panel of five judges … still, they were awfully nice to me, even though it was clearly my worst performance of the tournament. 

In the final round, they had a panel of nine judges, and each were “real” judges … quite the impressive lineup and each one of the competitors did a superb job. I know I definitely wasn’t at the caliber to compete in that round … I learned a lot and really had a lot of fun last week. I was grateful for all of my classmates who really pulled together and helped each other out, sharing outlines, spending time to do practice rounds and pepper each other with questions while the other was speaking, etc. I definitely don’t regret coming to Liberty!

Now that the moot court tournament is over, it’s time to buckle down and begin prepping for final exams. We’re less than two months away from completing our first year of law school. It’s crazy to think about – it’s gone by so quickly!

Have a wonderful Sunday, folks!

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A Post From Last Week …

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Hello family and friends … sorry, I typed this up in a Word document and forgot to post it! This was written last weekend:

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Wow, February sure went by quickly, didn’t it?

Since I last posted, my buddy Colton and his wife Bethany had their first child, Payton William … it seemed like it was just yesterday that we were interns together in North Carolina back in 2012. So much can change in just a few short years!

We also got a ton of snow … there’s still a good amount outside still, as the temperatures have remained below freezing for the most part. One of my classmates slipped and fell on his way to class and ended up breaking two of the vertebrae in his back … fortunately, he’s fine and not in too much pain, but he’ll have to wear a back brace for a few weeks or months.

This past week, I also participated in an in-house negotiations tournament – it involved mainly 1L (what they called first-year students), but there was one 2L (second-year student) team who won the entire tournament. There were 16 teams that competed in the tournament with two preliminary rounds Wednesday and Friday and a final round on Saturday.  Continue reading

Another Year Goes By …

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So yesterday, February 7th, was my 22nd birthday. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since my 21st birthday. It’s a little sad not to be home, with my family to celebrate it. If you know our family, you know we all value traditions, especially my Dad. Out of the children, Bethany and I are probably the two that are the die-hard “traditionalists” in our family. 

As we’ve gotten older, we’ve celebrated birthdays differently throughout the years. When I was younger, we would go all-out, invite tons of friends, mountains of presents, and usually celebrate it at Chuck-E-Cheese’s (that was me). Over time, as our family has grown, our birthday celebrations have gotten progressively smaller. Usually, it’s just our family, sometimes another family comes over, but usually it’s just family and the birthday person gets to make two, key decisions: dinner and dessert and the activities of the day. 

Since I was about 6 or 7, I’ve had a “turtle cake” every year – lots of green frosting and even more candy, you know, butterfingers, Reese’s PB cups, sour worms, etc. all of my favorites. We rarely ever got candy while growing up, and because this was one of the few occasions that I could … I definitely wanted to make sure that I got the most out of it. 

This was the first year that I didn’t have a turtle cake. Last year, friends from Texas made me one, and usually, even though I missed my birthday (like the one year I was in Cambodia), I still was back home close enough to my birthday that I was still able to have the cake. Well, unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to be back in the Washington-state area for awhile. I might even have to wait until this winter, I don’t know. So, that was one tradition that died this year. 

Still, it was a great birthday! My family had sent me a box filled with all sorts of presents that arrived the day before my birthday. I knew they’d be out most of the day picking up my Dad and Stefanie from the airport as they were flying in from Seoul on their return from Cambodia so we decided to open it the night before my birthday so I could open it over a FaceTime call. Lots of fun. It was great to see them all and do some catching up as well. Lots of snacks to eat, some new clothes, scented markers, cards and envelopes, a new plate, a wallet, lots of cards … so much other stuff! I was amazed at how many gifts they could stuff in one box!

I stayed up a little later than normal that night so I slept in till 5 AM on my birthday and got some good work done that morning. The weather was absolutely amazing yesterday and in fact, today is even nicer. We’re probably sitting in the mid-60’s right now. It’s quite a difference from the 9-degree weather we were experiencing Thursday! 

For dinner, Trotter and I went over to Buffalo Wild Wings about a mile away from the school. He treated me, which was much appreciated! We had fried pickles, french fries, and boneless wings – they have quite a broad variety of sauces, ranging from sweet to spicy … to super-spicy! I like spicy foods, but not anything so spicy where it’d make your mouth burn, so I picked honey mustard and sweet BBQ. It was quite filling. It’s awfully loud in there with all of these sports games going on at once – I guess there was a big basketball game that involved a Virginia college team so everyone around us would whoop and cheer every time they scored a point. 

I certainly missed not having my family around and friends, but I’m definitely settling in here in Virginia and am thankful for the chance to make new friends … 

This past year has been incredibly busy and there’s been so many things that I’ve done and that have happened in my 21st year of life. Even though this year has had its share of low moments, I’m thankful for all of God’s many mercies and blessings. There’s so many things that I take for granted that are things that many people don’t have – a great family, friends, a good church, an opportunity to study law, a working vehicle, the list goes on. I can’t complain! 

I’m very blessed to have lived for 21 years and I hope to be a wise steward of the remaining time that I have here. 

I guess it’s been awhile since my last post – I’ve been away from Lynchburg over the past two weekends. This upcoming Wednesday, we’ll be receiving our “file” for the negotiations tournament. Negotiations is essentially where there are two teams (comprised of two students) and each team represents a fictional company. Over a period of 45 minutes, each team negotiates with the other in attempt to get a good deal for their company without going below the minimum dollar amount. 

The nice thing is that outside research is prohibited, so we’re dealing with a closed universe. All you have to work off of is the facts that they’ll be providing us on Wednesday. We had a coaching session last week and got to see a small version of what we’ll be doing once the tournament rolls around in about two weeks. It’s a required activity during your 2L year – this tournament was voluntary, but I figured that I might as well get my feet wet in an ungraded exercise that is only against fellow 1L students and upperclassmen. 

We’re also progressing with our summary judgment brief for our moot court tournament coming up next month. That’s where we’ll be defending either the plaintiff (wife whose husband was killed by a drunk driver) or the defendant (tavern who provided alcoholic beverages to the drunk driver) in front of a panel of judges. Not only will the opposing team be trying to poke holes in your argument but the judges are free to interrupt at any time and ask questions or attempt to find holes in your reasoning. It’s also a team competition, but because you’re each arguing separate issues (that the tavern had actual knowledge that the drunk driver was intoxicated when they served him alcoholic beverages and whether there is a causal connection between the serving of alcohol and the death of the plaintiff’s husband), you don’t exactly do a whole lot of cooperation in-round. In fact, one they move onto quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final round, I think only one person from each round (so out of four individuals) advances. I’m not sure how it all works quite yet. 

Well, the sunshine is absolutely amazing right now. I might try and go for a run. My Mom got me some new insoles for my shoes – you actually can put them in the oven, heat them up, and then mold them to fit the contours of your foot. 

Have a great week, everyone!

First Week Thoughts

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Well, the first week of my second semester of law school is over! Honestly, it’s been a tough, long week – perhaps it’s because I haven’t been reading and briefing cases for over a month if you take into the account the three weeks of final exams and studying plus the three weeks of Christmas break.

Not only are we reading a lot more than last semester, but the concepts we’re learning right out of the gate require a lot of reading, re-reading, and … re-reading. Basically, all that means is that I’m pulling long hours in the library, which isn’t too bad. I picked a different spot to study this semester as the table I used was right in the middle of the library and people frequently would pass by and talk … which was all good, but I did get frequently distracted and had difficulty in being more efficient with my study time.

This semester, I found a carrel (basically a study desk) farther in the library, amongst the rows and rows of books right up against a wall. I’m definitely liking it so far as it allows me to organize all of my books and office supplies and it’s in a fairly secluded part of the library.

So far, so good. I got a lot done yesterday, which I’m pleased about – I read ahead for Civil Procedure and refreshed and updated my Civil Procedure, Contracts, and Property outlines.

This upcoming week, a few of my classmates and some upperclassmen will be heading over to Washington DC to represent the law school and actually lead the March for Life march! It’s quite an honor. In 2013, over 650,000 people attended – not surprisingly, it doesn’t receive much media attention, but this isn’t just your typical march. There’s actually a Livestream available, so you can catch it all live.

We’re renting a bus and are departing from the school early (I think at around 5 a.m.) and getting back sometime around 10. I should be able to catch some sleep on the way back, so I’m not too worried about getting back on my regular morning schedule come Friday morning.

Speaking of the morning schedule, it’s worked fairly well this week. I didn’t quite get up at 4 a.m. every morning, but I generally was still able to get to the school by around 5:30 a.m. I keep on forgetting what I’ve posted previously – it seems as though my last post was a long time ago … anyhow, I set a goal of reading through the Bible in three months. So far, I’m still on track – I’m trying to be mindful to not gloss over that day’s reading but to really seek to absorb it and take it to heart. Sometimes, I just see it as another task to “check off,” but it should be more than that. I’m in Deuteronomy now (just finishing it up) after 15 days in. It’s neat to see a lot of the tort concepts we studied in class in the laws/statutes God gave to the Israelite people …

I also started up (and have maintained) a super-short workout routine that I can get done in 5-7 minutes, right before I go to bed. Sometimes I get to do it right after eating, but I guess it doesn’t bother me too much. Here’s the gist of it: 25 pushups, 25 sit-ups, 25 “core exercises” (don’t know how to explain it exactly), and then finish it up by doing some resistance band exercises. It makes me tired which results in me falling asleep even faster and hopefully has a positive impact on battling this cold, which I’ve had for the past couple of weeks – nothing serious, just more of a nuisance.

This week, I’m going to try to get home a bit earlier and do some additional, non-academic reading before working out and going to bed. I’m not sure which book yet, I have a few on my dresser that I need to get through, so I’ll probably make that decision tonight and start reading.

It’s a cloudy day here in Lynchburg – the sun was beautiful this morning, and it felt like it was going to be a super-nice day … then the wind came and blew in some cold temps and dark clouds. Oh, we actually got some snow in Lynchburg earlier this week – it was just a sprinkling, not even a quarter-inch I would imagine, but it pushed back classes by three hours. The road was somewhat icy in certain spots, but I got to the school just fine, and it was all melted by mid day.

I threw together ingredients for a stew of some sort (potatoes, onions, beef chunks) in the slow cooker before I left for church, so we’ll see how it turns out.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

It’s the Start of a New Year …

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It’s been awhile since my last post – probably before final exams … I’m sorry for the lengthy delay in-between posts!

A lot of things have happened between then and now, so let me run you through a quick recap of the rest of November, the entire month of  December, and January thus far:

FINAL EXAMS

Overall, my final exams went well. They certainly could have been better, but they also could have been worse, so I’m thankful my grades are where they’re at. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and I’ve been actively thinking through ways to be even more efficient with my time. I honestly cannot devote much more time to studying, but the trick is to be even more effective with that time … I’ve come up with a few ideas and got a few more from some of the academic support staff here at Liberty, so hopefully I’ll start this semester on a better foot than the first one.

I never had the privilege of pulling an all-nighter – I know many of my classmates did, but I know that for myself, pulling one would absolutely hurt me in more ways than it would help … so I mainly relied on being diligent throughout the entire year at putting in the study and got up earlier than normal during the last few weeks of studying. I always thought I was a night person, but I soon learned when classes began that I’m definitely a morning person. Once 7 or 8 PM rolls around, I simply cannot focus and my eyes “glaze over,” making it almost impossible to continue studying.

Another thing I implemented this semester and will continue to do is to treat Friday night and Saturday morning as a regular weekday. I generally like to stay up late Friday night and take it easy and sleep in on Saturday … but I soon found that sleeping in on both Saturday and Sunday messed up my sleeping schedule for the rest of the week. Going to bed at a decent hour on Friday and getting up perhaps later than regular (but still early), I can get in some quality hours of study before lunch.

Then Sunday truly becomes a day of rest …. the only morning I don’t set an alarm.

HOME!

Once finals were over, a couple of classmates and I went out to eat at a Chinese buffet to celebrate. We all were thankful finals were over and felt fairly well about how they had went. After lunch, I cleaned out all of my books and study materials out of the library and began to pack my duffel for my flight out of Richmond the next day.

Flights out of Lynchburg were awfully expensive, so I drove over to Richmond, parked my car, and flew out. While going through security, I nearly had a mini heart attack as I thought I had somehow left my driver’s license at the house … it was in it’s normal spot, but I guess I just overlooked it. I caught up on some much-needed sleep on the long flight home … for some reason, I’ve always been able to sleep well on the plane, usually falling asleep before the plane even takes off and waking up right after it touches back down.

When I landed, my family was waiting for me, waving signs … after hugs, smiles, and dinner, we were back at home! It was definitely good to be back in my bed in the “boys room” with Aaron and Toby. After being back home for not even a full day, it was like I had never left. Grocery shopping expeditions, Starbucks runs with siblings, playing the piano, card games, cleaning the kitchen with my “crew,” seeing our funny cat again … life was good.

During my stay at home, we traveled over to Leavenworth, WA a small town nestled in the mountains. All of the buildings are designed to look (European/Swiss-ish) … even the McDonalds! We were hoping for some snow and did get some, but they have a bunch of little shops downtown and some nearby hiking. It was a short visit, but we sure packed a bunch in … the worst part about any vacation is leaving and unpacking the van once you arrive back home.

CHRISTMAS

I think the day after I flew back home, we headed over the local tree farm to pick our tree out. We’re always hoping to get the biggest tree in the lot, but not only does it have to be tall, but it’s got to be wide, with lots of branches. Once we arrive, we all fan out over the entire farm, scouting out the trees and hollering at everyone else to look at “their tree.” Once everyone finds “the perfect tree,” we vote, and through a process of elimination, one person’s tree wins. This year, Amy’s pick won. (I gave my best sales pitch, but apparently, it wasn’t quite enough to sway the voters … it still was a close vote!)

Somewhere in between, I continued a new tradition of making Christmas cookies with my younger siblings. We didn’t have time to make our own frosting, so we bought it this year and all of the “good” cookie cutters were lost, so we only made two types – a tree and … was it a star? There’s an assembly line of sorts that we adopt when making cookies – I make the dough and cut out the cookies, someone does the frosting, and everyone else has a bowl of sprinkles … they turned out pretty good this year, but the frosting wasn’t too good. (Maybe because it was cake frosting?) I think it was our first year that the cookies were gluten-free …

We also maintained our tradition of eating on the floor in the living room picnic-style (rainbow jello, tator-tots, hot dogs, chips) while watching a slideshow of some pictures from the year (Amy put it together), and sleeping under the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve … it’s getting harder to fit everyone around it! I guess it’s been that way for some time, so a few of us had to sleep on couches. After our traditional Christmas day breakfast, we opened presents and generally had a low-key afternoon and evening, just being together.

AARON’S BIRTHDAY

I think it was close to the end of the last day of my Washington visit, but we celebrated Aaron’s birthday. He’s just about as tall if not taller than me yet, and probably stronger than I am by now as all of the studying (i.e. sitting at a desk for hours on end) is not exactly helping to keep me in shape.

He’s been (and still is) a terrific bro, and we’ve done a lot together over the years. I wish we were closer so we could still continue to do stuff, but I guess that’ll just force us to make the most of the time when we are together.

This year, he picked the “turtle cake,” a cake that looks like a turtle and is loaded with candy. I’ve had the same cake for many years … it was one of the few times (perhaps the only time each year) that we got candy. We used to have this cake book with pictures of each cake and I still remember cake … the green frosting and all of the candy on top. It was an easy choice back then and I guess I’ve never really thought to have something different.

TEXAS VISIT

Those two weeks with the family went by way too quickly. Before heading back to school, I wanted to visit the Hopkins family down in Texas on may way back – I had stayed with them during my internship earlier that year and was an intern with Micah, one of their sons, during our internship with the NCFIC back in 2012. So off to Austin I went …

If two weeks go by fast, I suppose a week goes by even faster. We got a few frisbee, Dutch Blitz, and Settlers of Catan games in, vehicle work, good talks, ditch digging, visited the local nursing home and sang hymns, ate at Pizza Hut and walked through a lights display in Marble Falls … among other things. I’m very thankful to know their family and for their friendship.

While I was down in Texas, I was offered to come back down to Texas later this summer by the attorneys I interned under earlier this year  – it was a tremendous, tremendous blessing. I truly enjoyed and was blessed by the internship and cannot wait to come back and work for them again.

BACK IN LYNCHBURG

So, I arrived back in Lynchburg not even a week ago. I caught a late Sunday evening flight out and arrived back at the house at 2 AM I think. Fortunately, the research intensive didn’t start until 10:30 AM, so I had some time to catch some sleep and do the reading for class.

Even though it was only one book that we were going through, I still felt myself quite busy. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things I guess, and at the same time, I was fighting a minor cold (which still hasn’t gone away). At the end of the week, we were tested on everything we covered in the book, and I felt as though that went quite well.

Over the weekend, I read for Monday’s classes and bought a few office supplies. It was good to be back at Grace Assembly again this Sunday – I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve been there! I’m hoping to meet with one of the elders next week and am having lunch with another man from the church this Friday.

Okay, so that was a long post!. Hopefully that catches you up … it was a good Christmas break – the only thing I wish was that I got more sleep – one of my classmates was worried because I had bags under my eyes …. but I guess I would rather be tired than to have missed out on something. So there you go.

Hope you all have a blessed rest of your Sunday!

Last thing: found this Spurgeon quote that really stood out to me – thought I’d share it:

“Blessed posture! Waiting truly and only upon the Lord. Be this our condition all this day and every day. Waiting His leisure, waiting in His service, waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in prayer, and content. When the very soul thus waits, it is in the best and truest condition of a creature before his Creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We allow no dictation to God, nor complaining of Him; we will permit no petulance and no distrust. At the same time, we practice no running before the cloud and no seeking to others for aid: neither of these would be waiting upon God. God, and God alone, is the expectation of our hearts.”

Now the Real Work Begins …

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Classes just ended Friday and Thanksgiving break officially began that afternoon … for the undergrad students at least. Technically, we have about a week and a half off, but considering that it’s our first semester and our first final exams, the majority of us are skipping the typical Thanksgiving festivities and are hunkering down to polish up our outlines and attempt to file everything we’ve learned into our brains …

Speaking of which, aren’t brains amazing? There’s not really a “cap” to how much information you can store in it. It’s not limited by a certain amount of terabytes … we have the responsibility to ensure that what we put inside that unlimited data bank is … “true … noble … just … pure … lovely … of good report … [virtuous], and praiseworthy. (Phil. 4:8, NKJV). 

Regarding Thanksgiving, I’m not exactly sure what my plans are. I’ve already received a few invites from a family at church, an upperclassman, and my roommate for dinner, but depending on how my studying is going, I may just go out to eat at a restaurant with a friend, perhaps.

It definitely hurts to not be back home with my family, taking the ferry over on a chilly morning, talking, laughing, strategizing for Black Friday (but never doing anything), playing music, eating all of the Japanese food along with the traditional American food, seeing relatives … or, as has been the case for the past two years, getting together with friends from Texas, getting in a game of volleyball, playing music … I’ve thought about all of the things I’ll be missing out on a few times this past week, and if you know me, you know how hard it is for me when I have to break a tradition. It sure is tough! 

But … this is where God has me at this season of life. He made it possible for me to get here, do “ok” in a full semester of classes, and already knows how I’ll do on my final exams. Does it mean that it’s all happy and cheerful over here in Lynchburg? No, not necessarily. Like I said, sometimes I feel miserable and want to quit because I can’t stand missing out on everything. But, there is contentment in knowing that I know that this is exactly where God wants me … how can I be so depressed when He’s blessed me and given me so much? I have: an awesome family, friends (and new friends), a good church, good health, a battered (but working) car, a great living arrangement, fantastic professors and classmates …

I think those two things, (1) knowing that God is sovereign and that I’m here at the law school for a reason, and (2) He’s blessed me with so much definitely make the sadness definitely more manageable.

This verse sums up everything that was said above very succinctly – couldn’t have said it better: 

 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances (yep, even when you miss out on Thanksgiving festivities – why?) for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (exactly – ties in the sovereignty aspect.)

Well, I’m about ready to head over to church. The skies here are grey, it’s 48 degrees over here, but it looks like they’re snow clouds. 

Have a terrific Thanksgiving day wherever and whoever you may be celebrating it with, folks!

Last Week of Classes – Here We Go!

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Tomorrow begins my last week of classes! Once over, I have roughly one-and-a-half weeks of Thanksgiving break to study for my five final exams stretched out over a nine-day period. I’m definitely going to need all of that time as there’s always more you can do. Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve revised, revised, and revised my outlines (essentially the course condensed into the “bare essentials”). Each of the outlines are roughly 20-25 pages right now but need to be further condensed into probably about 10 pages by exam week. 

As you might expect, it’s quite impossible to expect anyone to be able to memorize over 100 pages of content. For me, memorization will pose the biggest problem. All of the revising and reviewing helps to memorize without even thinking, but I definitely need to start ramping up as far as memorization goes. 

Temperatures have dropped dramatically this past week – I’ve had to scrape frost off my car nearly every day this week. The first time it frosted, I couldn’t find my ice scraper so I was using my fingernails and a rag … it didn’t work too well. Thankfully, Mr. Lovell (our “land-dad”) came out and gave me one of theirs. Since we’re inside all day, I don’t mind the cold temperatures. 

So, I have definitely become a big advocate of the “early to bed, early to rise” schedule. Getting three, solid hours of studying before my first class has allowed me to play to my strengths (I’m a morning person) and generally, get more accomplished in the day. Sure, I go to bed at 9:30 usually, but having clear roads in both the morning and evening and getting the best parking spot are always positives. 

I know I’m jumping around a lot in this post, but I’m quite happy that my sister Amy is the proud owner of a Macbook Air! We FaceTimed for a bit yesterday, which was a first for the Tanaka family.

You know, (yep, jumping around yet again), it’s so critical that you be intentional about spending time with family. You’re always going to have your family – you can’t ever run away from them! Chances are, they’ve done much for you that you can’t help but reciprocate the favor.

Yesterday was a full study day. I arrived at Starbucks at 6:40 am, stayed there until a little past noon and spent the rest of the day at the school. Jon (a fellow classmate) and I worked on diagramming some of the concepts from contracts and managed to make it down to the final Liberty football tailgate party. I guess we were one of the first ones to arrive because we each got a free bubblehead of their mascot. You can’t beat free burgers, chips, and soda! We managed to get some good work done and then went out to dinner with Tate to Ruby Tuesday. I’ve never been there. It was kinda pricey, so Jon and I split a pasta dish and I got an unlimited salad bar for $3. I got my money’s worth, that’s for sure! Our original plan was to go to Buffalo Wild Wings, but Saturday nights there are ridiculously busy. The wait time alone last night was 45 minutes … anyway, it was a full but good day yesterday.

Church today was good – we covered most of the only chapter in Jude, discussing apostasy/”imposters” within the church. Like it or not, there’s people who are there to lead people away from the faith, to introduce unbiblical doctrine, and to stir up dissent. May we be people who strive for unity with others and defend the sufficiency and infallibility of Scripture. I invited Jon to come today, which he did. He seemed to enjoy it …  

To the pictures!