Thursday, April 28, 2005

Good things, Bad things, Not sure yet, volume 2

Good things: I'm feeling much more positive than usual. I don't know whether it's yoga, some nice times with friends, or what, but I'm just feeling like everything's going to work out. Or maybe I just felt so crappy for a while that I just had to feel better. Not as bad as I felt a couple years ago, though. The upside of that is that I learned how to relax a little bit, and that the dark times pass.

Bad things: Mom has breast cancer and is having surgery next week. I know not to get too scared until we find out the entire story after surgery. I'm going to go to the hospital the day of the surgery then spend some time with her as she recovers. I'm continuing to hold on to positive thoughts, and she sounds like she is, too. No matter how you look at it, though, cancer is scary and it sucks.

Not sure yet: I've got projects to do and exams next week, as well as the tests and research papers I have to correct for my own job. I think I might be eligible to get my post-bachelor Legal Assistant certificate, but I don't know if one of my classes will count toward it. I'll try to see someone next week about it. I only have until May 6 to apply for it, so I'd better hurry.

Now that I've met my twice a month posting average, I feel much better.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Something fun

I'm not sure how to do this so I might have a lot of junk up here, but found this on The Ehtical Werewolf's website. My results: 65% General American English (Not too surprising for an English teacher, but perhaps a little more homogenized than I think is cool); 20% Upper midwestern (OK; there is my Michigan identity. Pop rules!) 10% Midwestern (Mom's from southeastern Missouri); 5% Yankee (from TV?) and 0% Dixie. A couple issues, though. When I lived in the Detroit area, I almost always said bag. When I moved to mid-Michigan, sack started creeping in. Now, in terms of groceries, in my mind it's paper bag and plastic sack. Also, as a youngster, I said tennis shoes, but as I grew older and more interested in language, that seemed inaccurate. Tennis shoes are those tiny, feminine looking ones, and the big, clunky engineered ones are sneakers.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My dark side shines at Daylight Savings Time

For about the past 8 hours, I 've been feeling like I'm headed in the direction of the insomniac dark side. I think it's the time change. I woke up in the middle of the night just unbelievably pissed at every perceived slight in the past month or so. Then I wept and wept.

I don't like myself when I'm like this. I turn on the unsuspecting, snapping at them like they are responsible for fixing this.

Maybe it's not just the time change. For my legal writing and research class, we have to research and write a memorandum about a hypothetical social host liquor liability case. In order to do this, I have had to read a lot of cases where tragic things happened, usually to minors. Because it's easier for me to think that way, I used actual names in the rough draft. It's o.k.; these cases are all public record. The instructor advised me, though, that it's too confusing. It's true a lot of people show up, and keeping everyone straight is difficult. I don't know how it becomes less confusing, though, if you keep repeating,"a minor" or "a 19-year-old" or "plaintiff's decedent." It feels a little disrespectful to me. These are real things that happened to real people with names and faces.

I am not cynical about the law in general. Most of the people I meet are sincerely interested in the public policy considerations which underlie the legal system, although they will admit its inherent inequalities. It just alarms me, though, to think that in order to help people, one has to become detached when reading about or dealing with these things. It's necessary, I guess, but it just seems like there's something not...nice, about it. Like if I learn to do this, I'm going to turn really cold-hearted or something. I know that's not true, and clearly, I just admitted in the second paragraph I can be kind of mean sometimes, anyway. Maybe I'm just worried that that's the side that will take over, and I'm really invested in being thought of as a "nice" person.

And here's something weird. When I read these cases which usually involve parties and drinking and subsequent tragedy, I really want a beer or a glass of wine. Not to escape the feelings, but more like, "Hey! A beer really does sound good right now." Because I am then rather shocked at myself, I don't have one.

And perhaps it's something I read in a comment on a student evaluation from last fall...they were generally positive, but of course, those aren't the ones I obsess over. I'm intrigued, perplexed, and maybe saddened over one comment in a section about anything in general the student wants to say about the instructor. It said something to the effect of "...not too friendly, which is the way I think it should be." What? I don't know what to do with that.