Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Special Delivery

This



stack of bar prep materials arrived,

today--

Halloween.

Apropos, don't you think?


I love these little gargoyles. May they protect my soul in the coming months. I may keep them out just for that very purpose.


Happy Halloween and Happy Bar Prep!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup No. 366

Week of October 20 - 26, 2014


Mommy and the Sin City posted the Roundup for the week.



The weekly Mothers In the Legal Profession Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the ButterflyfishGraceBJJ, Law, and Living, Mommy and the Sin CityMagic CookieThe Reluctant Grownup, and Perspectives From a Hard Boiled Egg blogs.

Would you like your blog to be considered in the weekly Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup? Leave a comment or send an e-mail to any of the hostesses listed above.

Silence of the Heart


The first part of the quote below was read today. I came home and looked it up, and I appreciate the rest of it as well:

 

"We cannot find God in noise or agitation. Nature: trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. What is essential is not what we say, but what God tells us and what He tells others through us. In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence, we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice.

Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
...in the silence of the heart
God will speak.

Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere - in the closing of the door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals.

If we are careful of silence, it will be easy to pray. There is so much talk, so much repetition, so much carrying on of tales in the words and in writing. Our prayer life suffers so much because our hearts are not silent.

I shall keep the silence of my heart with greater care, so that in the silence of my heart I hear His words of comfort and from the fullness of my heart I comfort Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor."

~Mother Teresa, No Greater Love

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Car Keys and Carpooling

Last week, I traded the key to my car that was on my key ring with the one that Rosebud had on her key ring because my key was bent. How does a key get bent, especially unbeknownst to the holder of the key?

Today, I turned on the ignition and heard my keys drop to the floorboard, with my car still running. I was momentarily confused how this could be. This was why:




I guess it could have been worse, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I looked at the odometer: 152,021 miles.

Speaking of cars, this week has been wonderful. It was our first week of trying out carpooling, and my coworker volunteered to be the driver for the first week. I did not buy gas at all! I will drive next week.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup No. 365


Week of October 13 - 19, 2014


The big news: Full of the Dickens will be welcoming another bundle of joy at high noon tomorrow.

With a bit longer to go, Mommy and the Sin City is in the midst of an unplanned bathroom remodel, daycare plagues, and pregnancy adventures.

Meanwhile, Perspectives From a Hard Boiled Egg could use some emotional and practical support in helping Junior be able to eat well and figure out the best plan for his kidneys.

Magic Cookie plans a movie night at home. You would think that would be a heart-warming, fun, and relaxing evening. You would think.

Daisy finds herself unconsciously jingling her keys and wearing children's hair bows in her hair. It is all part of turning into your mom and being a mom.

The Reluctant Grownup's oldest is becoming helpful with chores, and has his own helpful method for sorting and storing groceries. Oh, and I am beginning to appreciate the coolness of our October a little more when she puts it into perspective for me.

In a Minute gets caught up in the differences between states in family law and college costs. My blood just started to boil.

Having finished law school, passed the bar, and started work as a lawyer, Cowgirl in the City is contemplating a new season for her blog. We are looking forward to see where her new direction takes her (and us)!

Husband of The Queen of Hats almost had a medical situation worthy of a journal article. Luckily, he should be on the track for recovery, now.

Lag Liv finds the joy of both not knowing catalogues are for buying things and knowing that they are for that purpose.



The weekly* Mothers In the Legal Profession Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the ButterflyfishGraceBJJ, Law, and Living, Mommy and the Sin CityMagic CookieThe Reluctant Grownup, and Perspectives From a Hard Boiled Egg (currently on maternity leave) blogs.



Would you like your blog to be considered in the weekly* Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup? Leave a comment or send an e-mail to any of the hostesses listed above.
 

*We aim for weekly roundups, but we have our priorities straight, too. So, sometimes a week may be skipped here and there, and we are okay with that.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Little Women, French, and Preconceived Notions

Preconceived notions.

They may be preconceived when faced in the present, blocking consideration, but they came from somewhere. They were conceived at some point based upon something. The evidence for them at their creation may have been faulty, but for some reason, they took hold. Strongly.

While I was living in Germany during my late elementary and early junior high years, I fell in love with books written by Louisa May Alcott. I think I read them all.  Of course, the first one I read was Little Women.

Occasionally, there would be a line written in French, centered, set off, in italics. It looked frilly to me. The little French I was exposed to, when compared to English and German, sounded, to me, the way it looked in italics type. Frilly.

While I like dresses, heels, make-up, jewelry, and receiving flowers--I am not frilly in other ways. I do not like arts and crafts and do not arrange flowers. I do not have a Pinterest account.

Plus, I could not understand the French in the novel. I just skipped over it. In my young, stubborn, probably easily-choosing-absolutes mind, French was not fairing well.

Then, I moved back to the States and, unbelievably, my new junior high and high school only offered two languages--Latin and French. My classmates started French in seventh grade. I moved there in eighth grade. The school probably would have accommodated me and I probably could have caught up,* but I felt it was very clear evidence of yet another negative trait of the language--its audacity to be the only one offered in junior high (Latin had to wait for high school). So, I stood my ground against being coerced into taking a language written in italics typeface in novels, and, instead, took two years of Latin in high school.

The French teacher in the high school was well liked by my classmates, and I liked him, too. He always included me when he talked with my friends (who all took French).

What I wouldn't give to go back, realize that judging an entire language by the choice of typeface made by a printer was silly, and take French. Latin served me well. I think all knowledge serves the acquirer. But, French is a language of international organizations.

My interaction with a book I loved, which was, ironically, a book that found value in knowing French, stopped me from learning the language, at all.

But, I hold the optimistic belief that it is never too late for any skill acquisition and that consistency, even in small amounts, is the key. (Large amounts would be better, but small amounts is all I have right now. So, I believe in the power of consistency, on its own merits.)

When I need a break from work and from bar study and all the other important demands of life, I have been tackling French with Duolingo. Very considerately, the lessons are quite short.

A tiny bit at a time,
to take me back in time
to rewrite the preconceived notions of my youth.

_______________

*The school accommodated me with band, and my parents paid for private flute lessons until I caught up (although, luckily, I could already read music from years of piano lessons). Another example of my frilliness-in-moderation exists here as well--I played the flute in concert band, but I was a rifle in marching band. Not a flag. (Piccolo was a little much to ask of a beginner flautist.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Did Not Know How Good I Had It

And, luckily, I still do.

At work, our group of approximately 40 people (hired on in three stages over the last three weeks of September) were brought on for a very specific project with a predicted timing of influx of cases, a hard deadline, and a case volume based on reliable data. Unfortunately, there has been an unanticipated delay in the arrival of the flood. So, our lead has been assigning out the business-as-usual cases to groups of us to work on together. There are simply not enough cases for us to each have our own.

At the same time, there have been some senior case manager vacancies that needed to be filled through internal promotions. So, we (the newly hired contract people) have not known who our seniors would be.

Therefore, our working groups have been organized geographically, by groups of nearby cubicles.

Our group of four worked well together. We all had a similar work ethic, ability to understand and follow directions, and the same theory of dividing up tasks (we simply voiced a type of task we had not worked on in awhile and laid claim to it on the case at hand, and everyone was happy).

Then, things changed. We were assigned to our seniors. Each of the four of us were assigned to a different senior case manager.

To get us used to our senior case managers' styles, we were told to start working in the new groups made up of those under the same senior. I am lucky. So far, everyone in my new group seems to be competent and easy to work with. I miss my old group, but this group is good, too.

My senior case manager is an odd mix of appearing to be personally high strung and intense but having a style for managing others that is very laid back and mellow. As long as we are doing our work, he is not the micromanaging type. Works for me. I am so pleased to be assigned to his group.

At least one of the others in my old group was not so lucky--either with the assigned senior case manager or the new working group. The good news is that hopefully there will soon be enough cases that we will be working individually instead of in groups.