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Friday, October 17, 2014

Updates and Setbacks


"Anytime I thought I was being rejected from something good, I realized that God was just redirecting me to something better."

I'm not going to lie.  This is not at all how I feel right now but I just thought I would start this post off with something positive, before I completely undermined the whole thing.  I found out a short while ago (within the past hour) that I did not get an offer at the firm I was really hoping for.  I could fill this post with all sorts of inspirational sayings and stories about how this is just a small hurdle that I'll get over and then great things will happen blah blah blah.  I just don't feel or believe that right now, so I'll spare you guys and myself.

This week just hasn't been the greatest week for me at all ... so I'm pretty down.  Unfortunately, I have a lot of things that I need to get done so it's just one of those moments in life where you have to suck it up and pretend that you're happy just to get through it all.

What does this mean moving forward?  Who knows ... who the hell knows.

It's about 9:30 PM here, so it's a little late for me to shift gears into bounce back mode -- I'll start that in the morning.  For now, I guess I have the night to think of a new game plan?  In either case, I'll leave you with this line from Jhene Aiko whose attitude I appreciate a little more right now.


"I been through some shit man, but I be on my shit man."

No matter what obstacles you're thrown, just remember to always stay on your shit, man.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada but as much as I would love to be there with my family, I am stuck in California studying for my midterms.  I thought about having my own mini Thanksgiving here and then I realized how much work that would be alone.  I opted to do a little baking instead.  Although baking these cookies made me super happy ... I now have about 3 dozen cookies in my kitchen that need eating.


I've really been craving oatmeal chocolate chip cookies lately and found a great recipe online that turned out amazing.  See original source here.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter (softened)
1 cup of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 3/4 cup of flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of quick cooking oats
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto un-greased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


(Also, I should be studying for my Evidence midterm tomorrow ... but there's nothing wrong with a little foodie break. Right?!)



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Organizing My Way Through 2L

Second-year of law school (2L) is so much busier than first-year and I am the absolute worst when it comes to staying organized.  I forget things and I haven't always been the best at time management.  This year I realized that with everything I have going on (sub-checks, journal article deadlines, doctrinal classes, call-backs), I cannot afford to be so unorganized.  One thing that is really helping me stay on top of my tasks is my agenda.  


Like many others, I didn't believe that keeping an actual agenda would make much of a difference.  Between my laptop, smartphone and IPad, I figured that I had more than enough room to write down my tasks and make reminders.  Now I know that there simply is no replacement for an actual written agenda!

Days seem to go by a lot more smoothly when they are planned in advance.  I use the monthly calendar to organize my deadlines and solid dates.  So if I have a paper or an outline due, it's clear to me when I look on the calendar that my time is running out.  


My weekly calendar is what I use to plan out which day I am going to work on a particular assignment.  I also use this part to keep track of my law school reading assignments since those are a lot more frequent.


This little system is working for me so far.  I just make sure to incorporate my agenda into my daily morning routine so that I am never in for a surprise.  I arrive at the law school library early every morning, so that's the time I usually take out to relax, sip my coffee, and go through my agenda.

This isn't a mind blowing discovery by any means but like I said, I'm sure there are others out there like me who doubted just how big of a difference a written agenda makes in terms of organization.

My personal agenda is a Kate Spade one that I picked up at Barnes & Noble.  Like any other bookstore, Barnes & Noble has a huge selection of agendas or calendars and they're reasonably priced.  Also, many of the 2015 agendas actually start from August or September of 2014 so you can pick one up now and use it all the way through the end of next year :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Work It Wednesday: Legal Interview Part 2

Entire Outfit (except for shoes): H&M, Shoes: Zara

This photo is a little bit old, but I realized I haven't done one of these posts in a while.  I stated before that I've been looking for more affordable places to purchase my work/interview/business attire.  This grey suit is actually my favorite suit and I could not believe that I found it at H&M.  I believe the suit only cost me about $60, which is pretty unheard of.  So there you have it!

Also, I should do an update on the job search/interviewing process.  In an earlier post, I talked about how I'd had three big-law firm interviews and that I was crossing my fingers for call-backs.  Well, it turns out that I did get called back for this one firm (the firm that I really really wanted).  Call-back interviews are a lot more intense than the initial screening interviews because instead of just meeting with one or two people, you are interviewed by a mix of about five partners and associates.  It can definitely be very intimidating!

 I was super excited to receive that call-back as this firm is my #1 choice.  Anyway, I completed that call-back interview this past Friday and now I'm just waiting to hear back from them.  I obviously really hope that I land the job, but I don't want to get too excited and get my hopes up because that would just make it hurt that much more if I'm not extended an offer.

If you are the praying/wishing/hoping type, please keep me in your prayers and cross your fingers and toes for me that I land this amazing opportunity.

Other than that, things have been great.  Law school is still law school and I'm just rolling with the waves.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reasons Why I Love Emma Watson

If you know me at all, then you already know that I have been a die-hard PotterHead since I was about 10 years old.  I love all things Harry Potter and I've day-dreamed of being Hermione Granger far too many times.  She was smart, she was courageous, she was sensitive, and I absolutely loved her.  More than my love for Hermione Granger though, is my love for Emma Watson.  Much like her character in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson is intelligent, outspoken, and wise beyond her years.  Especially after her recent speech at the UN, I thought I would put together a short list of reasons why I love Emma Watson.


(1) She's Educated: I'll just be frank.  A lot of child stars do not take their education seriously.  I mean, I get it ... they already have millions.  But I'm still of the belief that there is no substitute for a well rounded, educated individual.  Emma Watson not only continued her education after completing Harry Potter, but she did so at a world renowned Ivy League university.  She has an eagerness to learn that far too many child actors lack.  This is probably one of the qualities that I respect the most about her.

(2) She's Stunning: Yes, yes, everyone is beautiful in their own way ... but Emma Watson is stunning.  It's always in an almost effortless way.  I understand that she's a celebrity and so there is probably a team of people whose only job is to make her look beautiful, but still ... there's something about her.  She almost reminds me of a modern day Audrey Hepburn.  So classic, chic, and stunning ALL THE TIME.

(3) She Understands Feminism: This is a big one for me, especially in light of semi-recent statements by other questionable people in Hollywood (ahem Shailene Woodley).  I'm not even going to get into the issue of why gender-equality is important.  I think before we can even get to that, we need people to educate themselves and brief themselves on what the word 'feminism' means before they speak on it.  It is not a hostile 'man-hating' word, but an inclusive one that calls into question why so many women are still being denied their basic fundamental rights.  Emma Watson gets it and for that, she gets another gold star.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Reflections: Do you ever just sit and think about how much your parents have done for you?

For no reason in particular, I spent my morning browsing through old Facebook albums on my computer. While doing this, I stumbled across some photos from my last trip to Haiti in 2013. The pictures were taken in Fonds-Parisien, a small town near the Dominican border, where my father grew up.

Haiti


I remember learning in the 8th grade that Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and that Fonds-Parisien was a poor town, in the poorest country, in the Western Hemisphere. At the time, I was a little embarrassed. Now when I think about it though, among so many other feelings, I feel proud. I am proud of my parents and I am grateful for their journeys.

I was a brat when I was a younger. Don't judge me ... I think even the most humble americanized child will reveal his or her inner brattiness when faced with the daily struggles of living in a 3rd world country. Whenever I visited Haiti, I hated it. I hated the mosquitoes that ate me alive, the non-existent plumbing, the outdoor makeshift communal showers, and the goats that always got a little too close to me for comfort. I was a brat.

As I got older though, I realized that this was the reality for so many people in this world and that many of them would never know of anything different. I also realized that this was my father's reality growing up and that he probably never complained (he's so pleasant).  Further, I realized that I am only one generation removed from this lifestyle. This could have easily been my life.

So why isn't it?

Now I know that it's because God has blessed me with the most amazing, hardworking, selfless set of parents that a girl could ever dream of. I think every parent wants to give their child a better life than they had and my parents have done that and more.

Brooklyn


My parents' successes did not happen over night. They worked really hard in school and eventually they were able to emigrate to Brooklyn, New York. This is a pivotal part of the story because Brooklyn is where I was born (my birth being arguably the greatest thing that ever happened to their lives ... shhh! Don't tell my sisters). They worked smaller jobs in Brooklyn to get by and this city was able to offer more opportunities than any they left behind in Haiti, but still, it was not without its cons.

The area in Brooklyn where we lived wasn't the safest and it can be really really difficult to raise a family and make a decent living in Brooklyn. That being said, after 8 years of living there, they once again emigrated to Toronto, Canada.

Toronto


Toronto is where everything finally began to come together for them. They both continued their education, earning Graduate degrees at their respective universities and were able to have really great careers in both healthcare and finance. When I think about the childhood I had, growing up in Toronto, it seems baffling to me that somehow my parents were able to make so much of the cards they were dealt. I had a really great childhood, in a great neighborhood, with a huge yard to play in and I went to really good schools. I had everything I needed in life and most of what I wanted. When I look at the pictures above, beginning from the town where my father grew up and ending with our neighborhood today, it doesn't seem real to me. It's baffling that someone could make so much out of so little.

I have the utmost respect for my parents and their hard work. They've taught me that I really can accomplish anything I set my mind to and their story is a constant reminder that I have no excuses. They've literally done every possible thing to ensure that my sisters and I could have a decent life and they are the biggest inspirations to me. I can't wait for the day when I can finally say to them "you can stop working now, I got you!"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why Bad Relationships Make You Stronger In The End?

"A woman has got to love a bad man, once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one."


I've been wanting to do a relationship post for quite some time now, but thinking of what to write exactly has been really difficult. Primarily, it's been difficult because I'm a really private person when it comes to that part of my life.  I don't like to share the really good and happy moments on social media or even with the people I'm close to because I have this irrational fear of having to explain to people what happened if something goes wrong.  I also don't like to share the not so pleasant experiences I've had because well, it's not a good thing to air your dirty laundry and I never want to be that person who has nothing but negative things to say about someone she once cared about or dated etc.

In my attempt to find a happy medium, I actually contacted someone from one of the first relationships I've ever had.  Like so many others, what we had started off great but then it got ugly...  really ugly.  We're obviously on much better terms now, but he gave me this idea for a topic.  Without going into the really messy details, here are a few reasons, from my own experience that I feel exemplify why bad relationships make you stronger in the end.

1. The First Cut Is The Deepest 

I would say that this one has been the most significant reason for me.  The first time you are hurt by someone, it doesn't feel like that hurt will ever go away.  I literally remember thinking about this particular guy, "I will never want anybody more than I want him."  Well, I was in high school and that was a lie.  Eventually, you do move on and you find someone else.  It doesn't mean that the next someone won't hurt you too- they probably will!  But the difference is that this time, even when it feels like you'll never be happy again, your rationale will kick in and prove to you that this isn't true.  You can remind yourself that better days will come, because you've been through this before.  You know the drill.

2. You Can Recognize The Signs  

Again, I was really naive the first time I fell "in love."  Of course I'd watched more than my fair share of romantic dramas and comedies growing up, but still ... for some reason I just believed that I would have better luck.  When the person I was with told me he would "never hurt me," I genuinely believed him.  This isn't a joke.  I actually, truly thought that if he said it, he OBVIOUSLY meant it and therefore I was safe.  I'm not that silly anymore.  Now I know that if that person isn't making time for you, they don't care about you.  If you always have to initiate any kind of conversation, they don't really care about you.  If they won't go out of their way to see you and are only willing to come over if they're already in the area, they don't care about you.  Obviously there are more signs than these, but you get the point.  Recognize when the relationship you want is not the relationship you have.

3. You Realize That You Can't Make Someone Care About You (and you respect the realization)

I've been in relationships where I knew that I wasn't a priority in the other person's life ... but I just wanted to hang onto them so badly that I was willing to overlook it.  I'll admit, I've been guilty of thinking that if I change this about myself or do this for them, they'll learn to love me.  This is the absolute worst mind set you can have.  You can't make someone love you.  Period. I know that now.  I know that I'm a great person and that I'm a good person and that I care about people and that I'm nice (sometimes) ... but if someone doesn't love the person I am, nothing I do will change that.  It's better to respect that, because then you can be happy and live your life, not worrying about pleasing that person.  It's way too draining trying to persuade someone to be in love with you.  It takes far less energy to love and appreciate yourself.

4. You Start Embracing All Your Flaws And Quirks

I'm an awkward person.  Especially when I'm around someone that I'm really into... I can't help it.  But that's me and I'm okay with that.  I ask a lot of questions and I ramble at times.  I'm that person who sends three separate texts, instead of combining my thoughts into one. I can be moody a lot of the time.  I bump into things because I'm just not that graceful.  Once, I even walked out of an interview with a "Hello My Name Is: Jennifer" sticker on my butt by accident.  I'm so weird, and I'm also annoying.  But I'm finally okay with it. I had to learn to be okay with me so that I could focus on being the best version of me.  I'm still working on getting better everyday, but I am who God made me.  


What's the point of all of this?  I guess that I've learned over the years that relationships can suck.  I'm going to get hurt a lot, and I've hurt other people as well.  The hurt won't last forever though and it's worth it to hurt a little bit because I really do believe that everything has shaped me into the strange but stronger person that I am.  Maybe one day, I'll find someone just as strange to share this little life with :)