Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Christmas "Smell"


I know the title sounds crazy, but I promise that there is a Christmas smell in the air here (if you don’t believe me, you’ll just have to come visit me). The best way I can describe it is a combination of cold air and wood burning…but whatever it is, it’s wonderful.

And so begins a list of my current favorite things:
  • “The Christmas List” – a very predictable, cheesy Christmas movie, but my favorite nonetheless.
  • Reunions with college roommates
  • Christmas baking/goodies
  • Being at my church
  • My ballerina ornament (I picked it out when I was five)

  • Christmas wreaths and hot cocoa – they go quite well together

  • Being curled up on the couch under a blanket with a cup of coffee staring at the Christmas tree..

Life is good.

P.S. I tried fruitcake for the first time today, and I actually liked it! I can now add that to the list of things I eat those most people don’t like (along with dried apricots and prunes).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

HOME!!!

I am finally home!!! It feels so strange to be back after being gone for 4 months - on the one hand, it doesn't feel like it's been that long, and on the other, I feel like I've been gone for ages.

Today was glorious - I didn't set an alarm for the first time in months. When I got up, I fixed breakfast and promptly sat down and put in one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time - "The Christmas List" starring Mimi Rogers and Enuka Okoma. For those of you who missed it when it was shown on ABC Family, you've missed out. :)

My mom made chili for dinner, and afterwards dad made dark chocolate chip/mint cookies. AMAZING!! We just finished watching Nanny McPhee...and now I have to figure out what to do with myself next. I'm sort of enjoying the feeling of boredom again (I've forgotten what it feels like!).

Tomorrow I get to go to my own church!!!!

Well, that's all for now! Hopefully I will soon have some pictures to share.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

On Friday night, MaryLou and I hosted the Christian Legal Society Christmas party. We managed to squeeze 22 people into our condo. Needless to say, people were sitting everywhere. :) Despite the tight quarters, we had a fantastic time!!! The evening started out with dinner - potluck style. MaryLou and I made my mom's chili, and everyone else brought side dishes, desserts, drinks, etc. The most talked about items on the menu were the green bean casserole and the cornbread. Two of the guys in my section decided to cook after being prodded by another classmate of mine (a female, of course). Thankfully, their first cooking foray was successful - a fact of which they were quite proud. My favorite item was the white hot chocolate. I need to hunt down that recipe...




After dinner we had a gift exchange. The most fought-over gift was the duct tape wallet and highlighters that MaryLou brought. You know you're at a gathering with a bunch of law students when the top gift is highlighters...we're all desperate for new ones because the ones we bought at the beginning of the quarter (five weeks ago) are going dead.







The gift exchange was followed by one round of Taboo. I, unfortunately, discovered that I am not very good at the game...the very first two cards I said the words that were "off-limits." *Sigh*

Chris explaining Mafia.
We then moved on to Mafia, which was quite interesting with such a large group. My favorite round was when I got to be the Mafia. I had on a pair of bell earrings, so I had to be super careful not to move my head too much. :)  I lucked out, though - I was genuinely confused about how the game worked at the beginning, so one of my classmates announced, "She's not the Mafia!!" Haha - looks can be so deceiving...About four rounds later, the townspeople decided he was the Mafia and killed him off. I so wanted to turn my head and grin when I "woke up" to kill, but I decided it was too risky with the earrings. :)


Lindy attempting to interrogate MaryLou. He thought he figured out the truth....but he didn't. :)

This group is one of the things I am most thankful for this quarter. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have this group to make me feel like I belong here.

On a final note: 5 MORE DAYS until I am home!!! At the moment, it feels like Friday will never arrive (especially considering the eight-page memo that is due on Thursday that makes me want to cry). But this time next week I will be sitting at home with my family after having gone to my church - can't wait!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Law Prom

No, the title is not a joke...the law school has our very own "Law Prom." And yes, law school does feel like high school at times (I swear - when are people ever going to grow up??). But, as silly as the name may sound, and even though I did get bamboozled into going, I did have a nice time.

Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to go - the event was at a bar...and outside. I realize it's Texas, but it is December! The week before the event, however, I ended up getting accosted by Bri, who told me that I just had to come...and then Laura Kate made me pinky swear...Unfortunately, not even my knowledge of Contracts could get me out of that one. :)

So, come Saturday night, I straightened my hair, put on my favorite purple dress and gold heels, and waltzed off to dinner. It was so wonderful to get out and have a break in the routine. And while our dinner conversation did occasionally relate to school, it wasn't about assignments, but rather the funnier moments - like things our classmates have said, corny law school jokes (which nobody else finds funny), etc.

Some of the CLS girls

The dance was pretty dead when we arrived, though before too long the Christian Legal Society made requests and got the dancing started (which I find kind of ironic). Other than that, there's really not much to report from the dance itself.

Roommates!!
So in case you were wondering...yes, we law students still know how to have fun - occasionally. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Random Musings...

When I put up the pictures of my Christmas decorations, I inadvertently left off the one of my Christmas wreath (which, excuse the bragging...I made). So, here ya' go!


Here are some other random photos that I feel like posting. :)

My completed training plan!
And finally, a set of glitter candles that I made...they're selling these at Target for $5 apiece, but it's cheaper (and more fun) to make them. :)


That's all for now...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Evolution of a Christmas Tree


For the first time in my life, I decorated a Christmas tree all by my lonesome self. It was a weird feeling to be putting up a Christmas tree of my own – when did I get so old??? However, a cup of hot  chocolate, Christmas music, and Skype made the process quite enjoyable.

Thanks to my wonderfully generous aunt, I now have a 6-foot Christmas tree sitting in my living room. The tree, coupled with pine room spray, actually makes it feel sort of like Christmas around here, despite the fact that I have 12 school days left before break (ugh…).

Please enjoy the picture documentary of the process...


Note to self...do not pick up the 6-ft. Christmas tree...it hits the ceiling.


Time for the lights...four strands of severely tangled lights. :)
 

And the final product...(drumroll, please!!)


I am currently sitting next to the tree, finishing homework, and listening to my "Nutcracker" station on Pandora (which, I might add, is great because it's classical versions of Christmas songs, hence it's not distracting!!). It truly is the most wonderful time of the year...


Monday, November 29, 2010

True Love

I know that many of you are hoping that I am the one who has finally fallen in love. Well, sorry to disappoint, but you're still going to have to wait a while for that one. :) The title refers to my 18-month-old cousin, who clearly picked AnnaGrace as his favorite this past weekend. Unfortunately, I was unable to seal my place, despite giving him the cookie dough beater, feeding him pumpkin pie for breakfast, and generally encouraging bad habits. :)

Allow me to illustrate:

Ross with the beater...
 versus

Ross with AnnaGrace
Please note the discrepancy in his facial expressions. I guess the way to a man's heart is not always through his stomach. *Sigh*

Besides doting on Ross, the other highlight of the weekend was running my very first 10K. I came in at 54:50, and placed third in my age group, though only because AnnaGrace didn't cross the finish line before she came back to find me. :)

We also watched "It's a Wonderful Life," which I had never seen all the way through before. I highly recommend the film, though if you are prone to crying, make sure you have a box of tissues. :) Now I just need to find my own Jimmy Stewart... :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekends

This past weekend was fabulous. For the first time in five weeks, I was actually able to get out of Waco and forget about law school for about two days. On Friday night, AnnaGrace and I attended the Dallas Symphony concert. They were playing one of my favorite orchestral pieces, Ravel's "La Valse." It was AMAZING!!! I have listened to the piece many times on recordings, but there is just nothing like hearing it live. I don't think I have ever enjoyed a piece more thoroughly. We were lucky enough to be able to get seats behind the orchestra, which is a wonderful vantage point because you almost feel as though you are in the orchestra. In fact, when the conductor walked out, both of us nearly stood up with the orchestra!! :)

On Saturday morning, I got a much-needed haircut (and yes, to those of you who think that it's short enough already, it needed new layers). :) Then, it was off to the gym and a running store in Dallas to get our gaits analyzed. It's actually quite disconcerting to watch what your feet do while you're running.Mine look quite uncoordinated!! They ended up putting me in "stabilizer" shoes, because my ankles pronate (turn in) a lot while I am running. Here's hoping the new shoes will help some of the soreness I have been experiencing lately!

And now, for something new on my blog post: a movie review!! Yes, even as a law student, I do occasionally have a chance to watch a movie. Since I'm usually way behind on new stuff anyways, it's no surprise that movies are the same way. :) We watched "Shutter Island," which was actually quite interesting. It's a psychological thriller, though it's not scary. And the ending isn't really an ending at all because it leaves lots of questions unanswered...but that's the best part because you get to come to your own conclusions about what really happened. Although I enjoyed the movie, it did contain quite a bit of foul language.

Yikes...class in an hour and a half - I guess I should go get ready!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cirque de la Symphonie

This post is nearly two weeks late...I'm having a little trouble getting caught up after my week in the caves. :) But, better late than never...

My attempts to keep my sanity during exam week included an evening out to the Waco Symphony. Once I get my grades back, I'll know whether that was a smart idea, but there was no way I was missing this concert. The title of the program was "Cirque de la Symphonie." It incorporated classical music plus acrobats, and it was AMAZING!! I have never seen acrobats live, and it truly was incredible. Of course, I also appreciated the wonderful music as the backdrop. :)

The music selection was almost like a Pops concert...a "Favorites of Classical Music," if you will. Some of the highlights included the fourth movement of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" (a fantastic piece, if you've never heard it), Khachaturian's Valse from Masquerade, and Tchaikovsky's Valse from Swan Lake, No. 2. Also on the program was the "Harry Potter Symphonic Suite," by John Williams, which you should also listen to if you have never heard it. Overall, it was a lovely evening...getting dressed up, taking my nose out of the law books, and hearing beautiful music - what's not to love??

If there is ever a similar program in your area, GO!!! The acrobatics are amazing, and it was neat to see a mesh of classical and "pop" culture. See, us classical music buffs aren't snobs! :)

Oh, and PS - my assigned seat is an aisle - PERFECT! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Normalcy

I am happy to report (albeit a little late) that I survived my very first set of law school exams!!! Let me tell you, come Friday afternoon (well, actually Thursday afternoon), I was dying for classes to start, just so that I didn't have to study for exams anymore!!! On Saturday, I actually found myself giddy with excitement because I was reading cases again, instead of staring at outlines, hypotheticals, and charts. :) Now just comes the awful waiting period. Since we started a new quarter so quickly, the professors have something like 6 weeks to turn in our grades. Our Contracts professor, the wonderful workaholic that he is, already has 2/3rds of our exams graded, and will likely have our grades to us next Wednesday (gulp!!). I still haven't figured out whether that's a good thing - while I am curious, at this point, ignorance is bliss...

Thankfully, law professors do have a heart, and they have taken it somewhat easy on us for the first couple days back. I am basking in the somewhat light schedule that comes with the beginning of a new quarter...and trying not to think about the next exam period at the end of January (thankfully I have Thanksgiving and Christmas to divert my attention!!!).

So, in honor of this light schedule, please allow my domestic diva to once again surface. Our water bill every month comes with a newsletter. Because I am a nerd, I scan it for anything that might be interesting. In the last newsletter, I found the following article:

A Holiday Recipe From the WIC Program: Pumpkin Pudding
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cup cold milk
1 cup canned or mashed pumpkin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
In a medium bowl, beat pudding mix and milk together until well-blended, or about 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and cinnamon. Cover and chill before serving.

The great thing about this recipe is that because it's from WIC, it is easy and cheap. Now, usually I am not a huge fan of pumpkin-flavored items (I much prefer peppermint flavorings). However, I was feeling adventurous, and decided to give this recipe a try. WOW!!! The recipe is super amazing. The pudding makes it really sweet, and the pumpkin is not overpowering. I have definitely found my latest fall-inspired dessert. Thankfully, pudding is cheap. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Caves and Time Warps

The past week has been an up-and-down ride...from feeling confident about exams, being scared out of my mind by the professors (they seem to have a knack for doing that to me), studying furiously, and becoming completely consumed with the minutia of the law. Thankfully, with two exams down, my time in the caves is almost over, and I can feel myself returning the state of a normal human being. Although I am not quite done, please allow me to reflect on my very first set of law school exams...

Our last day of classes was last Wednesday. In order to prepare us for exam week, our Intro class's theme for the day was "How to Take a Law School Exam." The advice was not limited to the art of actually taking an exam, however. Rather, my Contracts professor proceeded to tell us that we should go grocery shopping, do laundry, and call our friends and family to tell them that we were "cutting them off" for the next week and a half. And no, I am not exaggerating - those were the exact words that he used.

This was followed by a lecture from our Intro professor about how our generation has too many distractions - cell phones, facebook etc....and laundry and grocery shopping are excuses not to study. He also told us that we should be studying from 7am until midnight (in 4 to 5 hour chunks, to practice mental stamina) - but make sure to get a good night's rest because the tests are performance-based!

Although I recognized that my professors were probably exaggerating (and even if they weren't, my hope is in Christ, not my grades), I walked out of class feeling a sense of urgency about my preparation. It was actually a good thing - until that point, I had been feeling fairly confident about my ability to prepare, and finding motivation lacking. The scare was thus a nice kick in the pants to get busy! MaryLou and I went grocery shopping that night, and basically reacted as if a snow storm was coming. One gallon of  milk was suddenly inefficient, and I grabbed everything I thought I might reasonably need in the next week and a half. :)

Thursday and Friday I spent nearly every minute studying, with small breaks every couple of hours for running or allowing myself to check my email. I probably logged around 10 hours of studying each day. However, by Saturday, my ability to focus for long periods of time was waning, and I had to start giving myself breaks more frequently.

On Sunday, I started feeling quite anxious. As time ran short, I suddenly felt as though I didn't have enough time to finish studying. This feeling, however, was completely irrational. I was ready, and I think I would have gone crazy if I had had to wait any longer. At this point, I would like to thank those of you who have been (and hopefully still are!) praying for me over the last week. On Monday morning, I woke up completely calm and ready to go. I can only attribute this to the numerous prayers that I know were being brought on my behalf!! THANK YOU!! My nerves on Sunday which much more severe than the nerves I experienced on Monday morning.

I think my Civil Procedure exam on Monday morning went alright. The multiple-choice section was extremely difficult (our professor said that students always performing terribly on it), and there were definitely a good number of questions on which I had to guess. However, I know that I prepared to the best of my ability, and I will be happy with whatever grade I get.

My Torts exam was yesterday (Wednesday) morning - and I think that one went really well. I LOVE this class!!! Although the amount of tiny details was overwhelming at times, I find the subject matter extremely interesting, and much easier to grasp than the others. I feel very confident about my performance - hopefully the results will confirm this feeling!

At the current moment, I am sitting in Panera Bread, where I have been for the past 4 hours, listening to Owl City (who is my new favorite artist). I am trying to prepare for my Contracts exam tomorrow...and once again motivation is severely lacking. First off, I don't enjoy the subject matter. Second, I find myself thinking that it doesn't matter if I'm not spectacular on this exam - since I don't want to practice Contract Law anyway, my future employers won't hold it against me, right?? I know...somebody slap me for being completely lazy.

Well, I think that my break has unfortunately too long, and it is time to get back to work. One last thing...please check out this version of "In Christ Alone" by Owl City. And if you've never heard anything besides "Fireflies," go check out his other stuff - it's wonderful!!

Sorry this post is so incredibly long!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sounds Fishy to Me...

This blogging thing has really gotten away from me...in the lead-up to exams, I'm afraid that my nose has become even further buried in my books. :( However, with the first exam just 179 hours away (aka one week), I am hopeful that balance will soon return.

In light of this excessive amount of studying, I decided to embark on a little bit of an adventure and make sushi. So, follow me as we travel back in time one week:

Once upon a time, there was a 1L who was terribly lonely. :( However, on one particular Tuesday night, she received glad tidings of great joy that her dear friend Dr. Strange would be visiting. Lucky for this little 1L, Dr. Strange was in desperate need of a race - and Waco happened to be hosting one that very weekend.


 In celebration of a race well run, the pair decided to exercise their culinary skills by the attempting the art of sushi. Much to their surprise and delight, a simple vegetable roll was elementary, my dear readers. Upon their first success, the pair decided to try their hands at an Alaskan Salmon roll, complete with cream cheese and avocado.

In the art of making sushi, the two quickly found their respective areas of expertise. While the 1L was a mincing and dicing fiend , Dr. Strange's delicate wielding of the knife was better suited to the art of slicing the sushi.



Upon completing the delicate preparation process, the 1L and Dr. Strange partook of their magnum opus with great delight.



The evening's feast was capped off with a crossword puzzle and the two lived happily ever after as shrieks of laughter echoed through the condo.


 THE END

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surprises, Surprises

This past weekend I was in Dallas for Jocelyn's "surprise" birthday party. Although she planned the party, she had no idea that mom and Cassaundra were coming out for a visit. Unfortunately, I wasn't there when Jocelyn arrived at my aunt and uncle's house...on the video, her face was pretty priceless. :)

On the way up to Dallas, I discovered the glory of frontage roads. Ironically enough, the worst traffic we encountered was between Waco and Hillsboro (not in Dallas, as I had anticipated). However, the highway officials were very thoughtful in their planning, and built frontage roads right next to the freeway. I got a little too much pleasure at laughing at all the people were passing by taking the frontage road. :)

We didn't do anything terribly exciting or newsworthy over the weekend. It was so wonderful to be able to just hang out with family and friends. My aunt and uncle were so gracious - there were 14 of us in their little house! (Thankfully, mom had booked a hotel for us!) My 15-month-old cousin was a little overwhelmed, but  he adjusted pretty quickly, and I am sure he enjoyed the attention he got from all of us girls.

Saturday was the Baylor/Texas Tech football game. We lost, though only by one touchdown, which I thought was pretty decent, considering our track record.



On Saturday evening, my aunt came back from a small group meeting toting a wooden rocking horse that she had picked up off the curb on her way home. One of her neighbors had had a garage sale that day, and was throwing out the leftovers. I jokingly suggested that we get a flashlight and go look at what else they had. She completely agreed, so we drove down the street and started digging through the bins. I kept expecting someone to come out and yell at us, but they never did. :) There wasn't much stuff that I was interested in, but across the street someone was throwing out a coffee table. I didn't have room in my car this trip, but my aunt and uncle agreed to hold it until I go back for Thanksgiving. I love finding stuff for free!!

Ross on his salvaged rocking horse.
And now, alas, I am back in Waco facing another week of school. Today marks three weeks until exams, and I find myself shockingly calm. Whenever anyone mentions exams, people's faces scrunch up. However, I am determined not to let myself succumb to panic - we will see how well that resolve holds up! Unfortunately, I think this past weekend was my last roadtrip until after finals...I am now officially stuck in Waco for the next five weeks!

And with that, I am off to work on my Torts flowchart...goodnight!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Decorating

I am getting severely behind in this whole blogging thing. Unfortunately, most of my life is school, so I kind of forget about the blog, even when something exciting does happen. :)

Last weekend, MaryLou and I put up some decorations in our living room. I won a $50 gift card from Kaplan, which funded our little decorating party. MaryLou got the short end of the stick...somehow she ended up being the one to screw all the little plastic anchors and the screws into the wall. Meanwhile, I ran around the apartment pulling decorations out of the last unpacked box, and asking, "How does this look?" I'm lucky  she didn't hit me with the screwdriver. :)




And here is the final product: TA-DA! 



Please also note the "music corner," complete with Ol' Blue Eyes (who I proudly hung myself).



And thus completes our unpacking, and all of our decorating for the moment. The two blank walls left will have to wait until one of us wins another gift card. :)

Symphony Update

I received a pleasant surprise today, along with a reminder that people do actually read my blog. I called the Waco Symphony box office to see about getting a student season pass. Despite almost missing the last concert, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and still planned to get my hands on a season pass. My goal was to see if I could count the ticket price for last week's concert towards the student season pass. However, when I explained that I had been to the concert and I wanted a pass, the man on the other end of the phone asked, "Are you Katelyn?" Now, when you move 1000 miles across the country, you do not expect people in your new location to know who you are. However, I responded that I was. It turns out that I was speaking to the Marketing Director for the Waco Symphony. He had seen my blog post, and apologized for the difficulties I had at the box office last week. Then, he offered me a student season pass free of charge! My ticket should arrive in the mail early next week, and you can be assured I will be in my seat for every concert this season.
On that note, the next concert looks especially interesting. It is entitled, "Cirque de la Symphonie," and combines acrobatics with classical music. It looks quite entertaining, and I am curious to see how it turns out (I wonder what music they will pick??).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Contracts Class

I know I promised this post last week, but unfortunately, the end of the week got away from me, and so it is practically a week late. But, better late than never...

Contracts has been one of my hardest classes - I spent the first month completely lost. While I am slowing piecing it together in my mind, I still don't enjoy the class (minus the fact that I like the professor), and I am terrified about the exam. But, last Tuesday was a nice exception to the confusion that I usually find myself in after class...

The Friday before, our professor took volunteers to be the lawyers and the parties for Lucy v. Zehmer. Allow me to explain the pertinent facts in this ridiculous case. It all begins in the backwoods of Virginia...

Mr. Zehmer owned the "Ferguson Farm," which Mr. Lucy had been trying to buy from Zehmer for years. Each time Lucy would make an offer, Zehmer would decline to sell the farm because he was saving it for his boy. At one point, Lucy and Zehmer came to an oral agreement, but then Zehmer later backed out.

Well, on December 20, 1952, things would change...That night, Mr. Lucy walked into Mr. Zehmer's restaurant, carrying a jug of whiskey. Zehmer entered the restaurant a little bit later. Both of them had been drinking. Lucy proceeded to offer Zehmer $50,000 for the land. The two bargained back and forth for 30 to 40 minutes, and then Zehmer wrote down the agreement on the back of a restaurant bill and had his wife sign it. The bill read:

"We hereby agree to sell to W.O. Lucy the Ferguson Farm for $50,000 complete, title satisfactory."

When Zehmer had his wife sign the agreement, he told her that the whole transaction was just "a joke." However, this was never communicated to Mr. Lucy.

The following Monday, Lucy had the title inspected, and arranged for his brother to help pay for the farm. When he approached Zehmer to tender payment, Zehmer said that the document was a joke, and that he was not going to sell the farm. 
Enter the courts...Now, at this point, you may be wondering, like me, how the courts can enforce a contract made between two drunk men on the back of a restaurant bill. It all comes down to intent. You see, when forming a contract, courts only consider the outward manifestations of a person's intent. So, the issue in Lucy v. Zehmer was: would a reasonable person in Lucy's shoes have understood a contract? 

The court answered in the affirmative. The following factors lend credibility to the document:
(1) The conversation lasted for 30 to 40 minutes, and the document 
contained several very specific terms (such as the title inspection);
(2) Neither of the Zehmers requested that Mr. Lucy give the agreement 
back after he picked it up off the restaurant table;
(3) There is no evidence that Mr. Zehmer was intoxicated to the point 
that he was unable to comprehend the nature & consequences 
of the document was preparing. In fact, his wife suggested
that he should have driven Mr. Lucy home, as Mr. Lucy was also intoxicated.

And that concludes the very length introduction. :) The performance of the above situation was quite humorous - the actors were great at filling in gaps in the story, making for some very interesting moments! Our professor also inserted himself into the action several times, and asked questions. It was amazing to see him conduct a cross-examination!!! He pinned every single witness into a corner...oh, how I would love to see him in a courtroom!! :)

The event was recorded on several iPhones...as soon as I can find it online, I will post the video here. :)

Well, now you know WAY more about Contracts than you ever wanted, I will end this post. Next post: pictures of our newly-decorated living room!!!








Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Musical Musings

Tonight I treated myself to the Waco Symphony's opening night. I was so excited - I got dressed up, and was fully prepared to become the proud owner of a season subscription. However, when I arrived at the box office, not only were they not selling season subscriptions, but they also were only accepting cash. At this point, it was 7:25pm, and I was convinced that my lovely evening out was ruined. Thankfully, Jocelyn rushed over with a $20 bill and rescued me. I got my ticket and raced up the stairs (in heels, no less) just in time to take my seat  as the first note was being played.

The featured soloist was Haochen Zhang, the 2009 Van Cliburn winner. At 19, he was the youngest competitor in the competition. He was quite good, as would be expected.

The first piece was a Verdi overture which, unfortunately, I don't really remember because I was so flustered. The second piece was "Death and Transfiguration" by (Richard) Strauss. I don't know why I am not more familiar with Strauss's pieces, because they are fantastic! I will definitely be hunting for his pieces in the next couple days...

After intermission, the orchestra played Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto. I cannot comprehend why this piece receives so much attention. In my humble opinion, his Second Piano Concerto is INFINITELY better. (And no, this has nothing whatever to do with the fact that the Second has a fantastic clarinet solo - seriously). Yes, the Third is impressive, but the Second could beat it in musicality any day. So what if you can rip up the keyboard, if there isn't a beautiful melody?

But, enough of my musical criticisms...I included the links to the youtube versions of Rachmaninoff himself playing both, so you can make up your own mind! :)

It is now after 11:30pm, and high time I turned in for the night. The post about how great Contracts class was today will have to wait...

Monday, September 27, 2010


This video may already have gone viral on Facebook. However, for those of you who missed it there, you can see it here!! :)

First, the background. The previous owner of the condo left a few furniture items, which she is supposedly coming back to get. One of those items is a piano. Now, as excited as I was to have a piano, this one is wretchedly out of tune. In fact, there aren't words to describe how out of tune it is (hence the video).

For the past six weeks, I have been laughing about recording a video and sending it to the piano tuner at Converse, just for kicks and giggles. :) Well, with AnnaGrace in town this weekend, we made it into a whole comic act. For those of you who make it through all 7 minutes, congratulations!!! Special props to you if you can actually identify what the pieces were. :) Here goes...

See what I mean??? We did get a very sick sense of pleasure out of making that video, though, despite how horrendous it sounds.

It is practically killing me to have a piano within reach, and yet to be unable to play it! However, there is some redemption - Jocelyn let me into a practice room last week, and I spent about 40 minutes tickling the ivories!! It was sheer bliss...And, this Tuesday, the Waco Symphony is playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. I am SO THERE!! Student season tickets are only $20, and while I am not crossing my fingers about quality, maybe this will give me some temporary relief.

The rest of the weekend was pretty fantastic, too...On Friday night, Addison Road, Matt Maher, and 10th Avenue North played at a free concert on the Baylor campus. MaryLou, AnnaGrace, and I packed a picnic dinner and enjoyed an evening outside. So fantastic!! If you are not familiar with the music of 10th Avenue North, you should definitely check them out.


Saturday morning we went out for a group run. I thought I was going to die by the end of the 7.5 miles, but we all managed to finish in one piece.

Saturday night was the Baylor v. Nebraska women's volleyball game. MaryLou has been pumped about this game for weeks, and we were able to get tickets dirt cheap. Of course, she wore her red Nebraska shirt, and I wore my green Baylor Law shirt - and we enjoyed every moment of the rivalry. :) Unfortunately, Nebraska won 3-0, though the scores within the sets were closer than either of us thought they would be. The pictures are on MaryLou's camera, so they will be coming later...

By this point, you are probably wondering when I studied this weekend. The truth is, I didn't do hardly anything. However, I have been studying like a fiend tonight - and, in super exciting news - out on my porch!!!! The weather today was beautiful, and fall is definitely a-comin'!!! Currently the temperature is 69 degrees, with a low tonight of 56. The air conditioning is off, the windows are open, and hopefully we can continue to cut our electricity bill!! :) It's not supposed to break the 90's all week, and I am so thankful - who knew the 80's could feel so wonderful??

Well,this post has gotten quite long enough, and I must get back to my Contracts homework (UGH!!). Time has not changed my mind...I still hate that class (though I like the professor!).

I hope your Monday is fantastic!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Seeking Balance

Sorry for the long delay in posting – this past week was one of the longest of my life. Our air conditioning was out for about 4 ½ days, which through wrenches into more than half of the days this past week. Things like this sure make you realize how good you had it during college when all you had to do was write the maintenance request on the dorm bulletin board. Thankfully, one of my classes was cancelled all week, so I had extra time to deal with the situation. Additionally, my landlord was very attentive and helpful in getting the problem solved. :)

However, with that crisis averted, things have returned to a fairly normal pace around here. On Friday night, the Christian Legal Society had dinner at Assistant Dean Creed’s house. And guess what – she is adopting a little boy from Ethiopia!! It was interesting to hear how she picked Ethiopia and what the adoption process was like. It feels like another lifetime that I was getting on the airplane to come back home, and counting the number of foreign couples that were taking Ethiopian babies with them.

The rest of the weekend has been spent on homework, and trying to achieve some sort of balance in my life. I have my homework done, but I always feel as if it is never enough. I guess the professors’ warnings that we should be studying 19-20 hours a day have started seeping into my subconscious, even though I tell myself that I am NOT interested in that kind of lifestyle. In college, I didn’t want to spend my entire life in a practice room; nor do I now want to spend my entire life with my nose in a law book. However, my Type-A personality is making it very difficult to put the books aside and let myself do something fun.

Speaking of fun things…we went to the first half of Baylor’s “Community Hymn Sing” tonight. There was a 600 voice choir and a full orchestra – and it revived my desire to play music. I have started craving it, but this weekend it has peaked as a full-on crisis. I managed to pull my clarinet out for 20 minutes today, and I’m already dying to do that again. My goal for this: find a piano!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Law Students = Complete Dorks

On Saturday night, one of my classmates hosted a game night at her house. It was great to be able to get together outside of a school setting, although our nerdiness could not escape us. A name game involving Black’s Law Dictionary was first up on the list. We passed the dictionary, and each person had to find a legal definition that started with the first letter of his or her name. The goal was to help us remember each other’s name – not sure that it’s really going to help, but I did learn lots of new legal terms! I know, it sounds incredibly boring, but people actually picked some really interesting stuff! My term was Ker-Frisbie:

The Ker-Frisbie doctrine is applied in the context of extradition and generally holds that criminal defendants may be prosecuted in United States courts regardless of whether their presence has been obtained through the use of applicable extradition treaties.

While game night was a pleasant socializing experience, Friday night’s “Law Buddy Social” was definitely a bust. Let me preface the discussion by saying that my law buddy seems super helpful and nice. However, whoever invented the idea that socializing could occur in a bar was out of their ever-loving mind. I don’t care that people are drinking…if you enjoy it, fine. However, every bar that I have ever been in (and I will admit that I can count them on one hand), are just so loud. It is impossible to hear anything, and how you are supposed to get to know someone in a place like that, beats me.

I will get off my soapbox now…

Today’s church experience was GREAT! I visited Fellowship Bible Church on Jocelyn’s recommendation, and am so glad that I did. The people were so friendly – multiple people came up and introduced themselves, and one family took me and my roommate out to lunch! I was blown away by their hospitality, and it was nice to go to a church that was Biblically sound. The college group is studying Song of Solomon (interesting choice, I know), and talking about the idea of “courtship.” I found it very interesting – I don’t know any church that would touch that subject with a 10-foot pole!

In closing, I am back in the dorm tonight. The air conditioning at my condo is broken, and Jocelyn and her roommate graciously agreed to let me crash on their floor. A bunch of us were sitting around doing homework this afternoon, and it actually made me miss my undergraduate days! Thankfully, my wonderful landlord has already put in a service order for tomorrow morning! :)