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.

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