March is Nearly Over …

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This year is just rolling right along, isn’t it? I can’t believe March will be over in a few days …

This week was pretty uneventful – I met with my faculty advisor and registered for classes that I’ll be taking next semester … which will be my first semester as a 2L! The end of our first year of law school is in sight.

Obviously, with the end getting closer each day, the amount of things that need to be done seem to be increasing. Last semester, we had a nice chunk of time, about 10 days completely free to devote to studying … this semester, we have 2 days, so that’ll force all of us to be much more diligent in readying our outlines as we wrap up this semester and begin memorizing information now.

I feel like this past week didn’t so go so great as far as productivity goes … sometimes you just can’t concentrate and focus, no matter how hard you try. I think this week was one of those.

I had an interesting experience donating some blood last week … they had problems getting the the needle in a vein, causing blood to get over my shirt … the nurse who was trying to get it in had to call someone else over in an effort to start the blood flowing. Even once they got the needle properly in, the blood wasn’t flowing very well … I think it took me around three hours from start to finish (waiting in line, filling out paperwork, getting the blood drawn, them monitoring me afterwards). Supposedly, I looked green and was close to passing out. I hadn’t eaten since the day before, so they were thinking it was a combination of low blood sugar and just nervousness – I agree. I don’t really like seeing blood to begin with and all of the initial problems getting the blood moving didn’t sit so well with me. Fortunately, I didn’t pass out, and all was well … I even got some free pizza and orange juice afterwards!

I probably wouldn’t have gone to give blood, but my younger sister Lily lost a lot of blood when she was younger and fortunately, others had given blood so she was back up and running in no time. They said they three lives can be saved by just one person donating … obviously, some individuals require much more blood, but it’s pretty neat if you think about how lives can be saved or benefitted by small sacrifices made by others. It’s all a team effort.

Oh, and then Friday night, all of the law students and faculty headed over to the football stadium on campus in a conference area on the third floor overlooking the field for a banquet. They brought in a live jazz band (no dancing, though) and had a photo booth, catered food, candy bar, etc. Other than having to get all dressed up, it was a really enjoyable evening. I sat at a table with Professor Martins, who teaches our Foundations class and a few of my classmates. Every year, they put on this banquet, and it’s basically a chance to recognize the 3Ls, as they prepare to head out to the “real world” and thank faculty who have played an instrumental role that year. So many people did so much work to put the whole event on …

So … I guess this week wasn’t as uneventful as I initially thought. We had a bit of a cold and rainy spell, but the sun is out and shining today, and forecasts call for temps to be climbing back into the 70’s … that sounds great to me!

Yes, I know I haven’t been posting many pictures lately – the problem is, I haven’t really been out and about too much and when I do, there’s not much to take pictures of … other than my weekly Walmart shopping expedition and my weekly drive to church, I am either at school or sleeping at the house I’m staying at. Pretty simply schedule!

Reading through Matthew this week … over 75% of the way done with my “Read Through the Bible in 90 Days” plan – yes, I did miss a few days, but I’m still on track to finish sometime mid-April, I believe. It’s been really good. I think I’ll definitely start the plan again and probably add in an additional book as well.

Have a blessed week, everyone!

It’s Been Two Weeks …

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Well folks, I’m sorry for the sizable gap between posts. A week ago, I was in Asheville, North Carolina, for the annual NCFIC Conference. It was wonderful to see a lot of friends from all over the US – it’s interesting, two years ago, I really had never ventured outside of Washington State and didn’t know anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest. Last week, I reconnected with friends from Texas, Alabama, North Carolina … all over. I have made many friends while at law school here in Virginia, but it was so good to see many familiar faces. 

I ended up leaving at 12:30 p.m. that evening, which was honestly the latest I could have left. I had classes at 8 a.m. the next morning and it was a four-and-a-half hour drive. Well, it ended up taking longer than anticipated to get back. I was going about 70 miles-an-hour on the highway heading back – obviously, there was a total lack of light. It seemed somewhat cloudy at the time. Abruptly, on the left side of the highway, I saw a deer half-standing in my lane, half on the shoulder. His face was turned towards the grassy patch separating the oncoming cars. I don’t know if he even saw me or if he was simply “frozen in the headlights,” as the saying goes. Anyhow, everything happened so quickly. I saw it, realized it was a deer and that it was in my lane, that I was going to hit it if I didn’t do something quick … and then I hit it. I don’t know if I even reacted – it all happened so quickly. I remember hearing a thud and seeing fur slide up against my driver’s side window and then it was gone …

I didn’t think that anything happened, but wanted to pull off and double check that everything was fine with my car. Physically, I was fine – it seemed as though I had light swiped the deer. I pulled off to the shoulder and attempted to step out … when I realized my door was jammed shut. So, I climbed over into the passenger’s seat and walked out in front of the car to survey the “damage.” Well, my left headlight was smashed to pieces. I actually cut myself on my hand several times … my hood was dented and pressed over the headlight, and the “plating” (not sure what the technical term is here) above my front left wheel was dented and was shoved underneath my door, thus preventing it from opening. I attempted to tug at the metal with a rope but it didn’t seem to be working. I was still at least a good hour from home, so I picked up the pieces from the broken headlight and completed the journey, making it back home in one piece, but incredibly tired. 

I ended up only getting about 50 minutes of sleep that night before classes, and, as you might expect, had trouble staying awake through those classes (I fell asleep for brief periods in each class). However, I was very thankful that other than my door being jammed and damage to the hood on my car, I was physically fine. If the deer had been any closer to my car, I would’ve felt the full impact of the deer, my windshield would’ve have been shattered, there would have been greater hood damage (and probably serious “internal” damage as well). However, there was none of that. Other than a broken headlight, dinged hood, and a jammed door, my car was fine and I was spared from death or serious injury. Life truly can be over in a second. I literally had no time to react. I don’t know if I swerved or not. It was a matter of inches, literally. 

Timothy 4:13-14 says: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

No kidding, folks. You don’t know when you’ll die. But, it’s coming, whether you’re ready or not. Live intentionally. Don’t wait to repent  of sin, to confess sin to others, to share the Gospel, to be a good steward of your time and abilities.

It was certainly a good reminder of that fact.

Well, I’m gearing up for our first final exam, which will take place in just over three weeks … it should be good. My parents bought me tickets so I can be home for Christmas, so I’m definitely excited about that!

Alrighty, well, I know this post is short and there aren’t any pictures today, but I have to write a few emails before I call my family later this afternoon, so perhaps there will be more in next week’s post.

It’s a beautiful day here in Lynchburg! The fall colors are still here, but they’re definitely muted and the leaves are steadily continuing to fall off. 

Have a blessed week, everyone!  

Crunch Time

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So … the big day is almost here. In a matter of a few hours, I hopefully will be in bed, attempting to recharge my brain before I have to get up at some time before 6 am, take a quick shower, and hop into the car with my parents, who will be taking me to Seattle for my LSAT exam. I’ve put in months of studying, yet I feel somewhat anxious about tomorrow.

I’ll be the first to admit that excelling in academics doesn’t come easily for me. I have to struggle to achieve basic benchmarks. Take the LSAT for example – the average score on the LSAT is around 150. The absolute highest score one can get is a 180 – if you can get that, you can pretty much get into the law school of your choice with a full-ride scholarship. I sat down one afternoon this spring, excited to see how I would do – Manhattan LSAT, the LSAT-prep company I would be teaming up with, suggested that students take a practice LSAT cold, just to see where they fit in. If they can already achieve a 180, maybe they don’t need the course.

As I struggled through logic games and reading comprehension passages, I was inwardly hoping for a high score, but was slowly beginning to realize that maybe I wasn’t as good as this test as I originally thought. It sure was a grueling exam. Three hours might not seem like a lot of time, but when you’re scrambling to fill in blank bubbles ’till the very last second, you certainly don’t have any time to take a breather. After I graded the exam, I saw that I got a 143. “Oh great,” I sighed. It would be an uphill battle for sure.

It was never my goal to attend Harvard or Yale, but I didn’t want to not give my all on this exam. I like to set my goals high – yeah, maybe they would prove to be impossible goals, but why settle for second best? My goal was to hit at least 160 – a solid score that somewhat exceeded the average LSAT scores of a few law schools I was considering.  The very first online LSAT class I sat in on, I learned new ways to tackle logic games and logical reasoning questions, courtesy of Mike Kim and Noah Teitelbaum, our instructors. I originally planned on taking the June 2011 LSAT – I hoped I could achieve the 160 mark by the time June rolled around, but my highest score came out to be a 150. Worse yet, my last two practice exams before the LSAT were noticeably lower scores than what I previously scored – 149 … 147. Yikes. It was no fault of my teachers – I learned so much in just a few short weeks, but it was clear that I needed more time to practice drilling questions and understanding how to utilize certain strategies to crack the secrets of the LSAT open.

A few days before the June exam, my parents and I decided to cancel and reschedule to October. This would allow me to study through the summer, possibly re-take the course over again, and complete my communications degree before the LSAT. I originally was planning to take a few days off from LSAT studying, but those few days quickly turned into a few weeks. It hit me that I really needed to get back into a rhythm … soon.  I was able to re-take the LSAT prep course again (for free!) thanks to the awesome folks at Manhattan LSAT. I work best when I have someone set goals for me, and enforces them – not surprisingly, Manhattan LSAT’s syllabus, though simple in nature, worked wonders for getting me back into the rhythm of studying.

Finally – after countless practice tests, class meetings, emails exchanged with teachers, and the consumption of a variety of chips and chocolate, I’m ready for the exam. Yes … my scores have fluctuated over the past few weeks, but I’m averaging somewhere around a 154, (topped out at 157,) which still isn’t a 160, but it’s still a solid score in my book. I might take it again – who knows, I’m only 18, and I don’t have to attend law school next fall. My parents and family have been amazing. Simply amazing. My sister Stefanie makes me a whole batch of sugar cookies, straight from the oven, and sets them down next to my computer while I’m studying. YES. My other sibs have left encouraging cards and notes all over my desk … and on my Facebook wall. My parents have done a whole lot of work to help me register for the LSAT, get directions, drive me there, and so much more. They have encouraged me and prayed for me since early this year. No matter what happens, God’s going to work it all out for good.

There’s no reason to be nervous tomorrow. With your family and friends all pulling and praying for you, it definitely helps relieve some of the pressure – sure, I’m hoping to at least hit a 155 on the exam, but I know that it’s not the end of the world if I get a score lower than that. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try hard though – I’m going to give it my best – my absolute best.

Mmmkay, it’s dinner time.

I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow evening. 🙂