Saturday, August 26, 2006

One Down

Here we are in beautiful … well, Albany. But a few blocks away from the Berkeley city line, and we’re but a brisk walk from a really good microbrewery, half a mile from the pony track, a short drive from Ikea, twenty minutes by bus from the University of California, Berkeley. Those are my landmarks – which is to say, I’ve been other places around here, but most of them I couldn’t find again without getting directions.

Week 1 is over, week 2 is about to commence. (I was a math major, a long time ago– can you tell? It’s all about recognizing patterns.) My module-mates and I have already dived – dove? doven? – deep into Property, Civil Procedure, Contracts. And I have some questions.

Like for instance, what genius decided that the hallway was the best place to put our apartment's only Ethernet port? Admittedly, it is a big hallway, with a wide spot where all three bedrooms and the bathroom open; and, sure enough, on the plans someone has taken pains to label the wide spot in the hall a “study alcove.” However – as we are now learning in law school, and as surely anyone who is not an idiot already knows – wishing doesn’t make it so. Why didn’t they label it “private library with wet bar and masseuse,” as long as they were going to go all counterfactual on me?


Maybe some of my neighbors actually work or study in the middle of their hallway, right next to the bathroom. Who knows, that location might be ideal for a student with, say, Crohn’s disease. But I defy you to show me anyone with two kids – anyone, that is, who might (for instance) request an apartment with three bedrooms – who is going to get a lick of work done, sitting in the hall. Kids awake? You’re right in traffic. Kids asleep? Not for long, you’re right outside their bedroom!

So, note to Berkeley’s IT people: bad. Fix.

Moving on.

Civil Procedure… is a red queen’s race. I haven’t had a chance yet to take a deep breath, let alone digest all the reading that’s been dumped on us already. (I know, it only gets worse. Shut up and let me whine.) So I really have only the vaguest idea what it is we’re being expected to learn… something about not locking people up or taking their stuff, unless it’s okay to lock them up or take their stuff. How do we know when it’s okay? Not to worry, the nice judges will tell us. (Incidentally, I say “learn,” though at this point, that isn’t exactly what’s going on – “absorb” might be more accurate. I’m sure it’ll all begin to make sense one day.)

Property I like, at least so far, mostly because I love antiquated ideas that make no sense in a modern context, like the anti-torture provisions of the Geneva Convention. It remains to be seen how I’ll like it once the cases stop being antique… but the rule that “iron holds the whale” was almost worth the price of admission.

Contracts… they’re contracts. (Except when they’re simple donative gifts, of course, or when they're within the Statute, except when an exception to the Statute applies.) Can’t get too excited about it yet. But our professor does a lovely job of posing hypotheticals, and seems to be presenting things very very clearly – though what the hell do I know, I just started.

* * *

As for the real world: we’re still living partially out of boxes, though SW has done yeoman work this week, unpacking, organizing, finding furniture (a kitchen table and chairs, a desk, a couch that we’re to pick up tomorrow, an antique settee, two library chairs, and a big-screen tv that almost killed the two friends who helped us move it – total expenditure, $275), and generally dealing with things non-school-related. Oh, and we bought a Vonage VOIP-in-a-box from Target, cause phone service is just too bloody expensive, we’ll see how that little venture works out. (I haven’t had the time, the heart, or the energy to hook it up yet.)

And I should be reading. Or writing. Or something. So I believe I will start now.

2 Comments:

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Zuska said...

I lived there for about 8 years, and never made it to the race track. IKEA, however, became quite a home away from home for me. Trader Joe's is another good spot - there's one by IKEA, but there's another one, in the OTHER direction down San Pablo from you. Have you found it? It's a good place to shop.

When I was there, much controversy was brewing over the building of your apartments. I don't know how much of the old ones are still there, but at the time of my ex-husbands start in the JSP program (there at your law school), the apartments by you were really .... scary. They had no ethernet ports. They were lucky they had walls. The walls would not have survived an east coast thunderstorm, let alone worse. I've been in the new ones, though, and the improvements are immense.

So, be grateful (although I'm sure you're paying for the pleasure, which was the source of the controversy).

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

Get thee to the Cheese Board! Also get your hallmates to chip in for WiFi. You could even put in a wooden box and nail it to the floor, if you were worried about stealing.

 

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