My name is Hala Furst, and I am a 3L. Before coming to Roger Williams I received a BA in Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota. In the three years between graduating from college and arriving here in Bristol, RI, I worked as a hotel concierge for a luxury brand, a loan officer and mortgage...
They don’t tell you this, but studying hurts. It seems unreasonable, that sitting in a chair staring at a book, or a computer for 16 hours a day could leave you sore and achy, but it does. My back hurts, my neck hurts, my face hurts. I’ve been grinding my teeth so hard I think I chipped one, and my eyesight has definitely worsened in the past few weeks. I find it difficult to sit up straight, so accustomed is my body to hunching over some writing/ reading device. I have begun to forget what day it is. I cannot wait for finals to be over. Tomorrow we have Civ Pro, which for me has been like Potions, to work in a Harry Potter idiom. I don’t get Civ Pro, and it angers me. It seems like it should be so straightforward: here are some rules about how to bring a case to trial, now go use them. Wrong. The rules, like all things written by human beings, are fallible and confusing. Some of them, like 12(h), are unintelligible. All of this is compounded by the knowledge that when you get to be a big-deal-grown-up-no-kidding lawyer, YOU GET TO LOOK THEM UP. But no matter. Ours is not to reason why, ours is to stare at tiny legalese until gray matter begins to drip out of our ears.
I’m sounding bitter, aren’t I? Ok. Deep breath. Ow.
I think I’m probably just frustrated because so far, until finals time, law school has not been as difficult as I had expected it to be. They scare the bejeezus out of you, thinking you’ll be working for 17 hours a day, living on a cot in the library, and generally not surfacing to see family or friends until Winter Break. For some people, that has been true, but not for me. I’m not saying that because I’m smarter or something ridiculous like that, I just knew going into this endeavor what I needed to do to remain happy and healthy, and I wasn’t willing to give that up. I wanted law school to be fun and exciting, not just a three year slog through hell. Now, who knows if my plan is right or not, I may get my grades back and decide that I need to sacrifice more and have fun less. But all in all, and maybe this is sick, I haven’t had this much fun since, well, since a very long time. But finals is when you really put your nose to the grindstone, something I don’t react to particularly well. Plus the fact that it has been snowing here, which is beautiful, but the way that my apartment is set up the snow covers my skylights (which I have in lieu of windows) so I feel like I’m living in the inside of a freezer. Thank God I’m going to Miami for Christmas! I’m ready to sleep in the sand and get some sun.
Despite all the hard work, it is good to know that you are accomplishing something, something that most people do not and cannot accomplish. And you have the full support of the faculty and staff of the school- they have all been through it, and they want to make a painful process as painless as possible. Just the other day I was trudging through the blizzard to get to my car, and I realized I had forgotten to put on socks. I was studying Civ Pro, and as there is no Federal Rule for putting on socks, I had forgotten. There’s no Federal Rule for putting on pants either, but thankfully I had remembered that. Just as I was cursing my empty head for giving myself frostbite, who should appear but Dean Logan, offering me a ride to my car! I’m telling you kids, this is unheard of- I promise you will get curb-side service from no other Dean in the country. He picked up a few other faculty passengers on the way out to the parking lot, and they all asked about finals, and how everything was going. I realized that no matter how hard it is right now, these people have my back. There are people here, faculty, staff, other students, who care about my success and want me to do well. And that can make all the difference.