Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of School

It really happened. After a two year struggle, yesterday was my first day back in law school! I was really nervous about it, but it turned out fine.

I arrived about 15 minutes before my first class, and I sat down in the big lecture hall. I was sitting in between two people I had met over the weekend at new student orientation. Most people had their laptops out, but I had my trusty notebook and pen. (I tried the laptop thing the first time around. The temptation of the internet and solitaire is too great.) When class started (contracts), the professor asked us to each introduce ourselves and say what we did immediately before law school. I'm in the part-time program, so there is a wide range of experience represented in my classmates. About half of them are engineers, and we have a few paralegals and a few people in the medical field. (I'm not sure who I fit in with. I'm licensed as a paralegal, but I work in the medical field in a non-legal capacity.) My challenge in that class will be that she wants us to think about contracts in a totally different way than my previous contracts professor. I'm probably going to have to un-learn some things.

After class got out, I had a half hour break before my next class (legal writing and research), so I grabbed some food from the vending machine and skimmed the introduction to my textbook. The professor e-mailed us the syllabus over the weekend and asked us to bring it to class today. When I headed to the classroom, I sat down and booted up my laptop because I hadn't printed the syllabus. (I can say it's because I'm saving a tree, but really it's because I lose papers.) I used my laptop during class whenever I needed to refer to the syllabus, and I didn't surf the web or play solitaire. I did, however, write my grocery shopping list while the professor was explaining the difference between federal and state courts. It probably looked like I was taking notes. :-) I really like my professor. He's excited about the subject matter, and his excitement is contagious. (My previous writing and research professor didn't care. He was just as bored with the class as we were, and it showed in the quality of his teaching.)

I have torts tonight, so we'll see how that goes. I had a fabulous torts professor the first time around, so that will be a hard act to follow. I think I'm going to have to reign in my enthusiasm. I volunteered to speak in each of my classes last night, and my writing and research professor already knows my name. (He met everyone at orientation, and he remembered me.)

I'm looking forward to the next few years. I plan on getting it right this time. A few weeks ago, I was praying, and I was concerned about what this whole law school debacle was going to do to my life. I realized that when all is said and done, I will be graduating five years after I would have graduated if I hadn't been kicked out the first time around. I know that the Atonement covers not just our wrongs, but also the effects of being wronged. I was praying for relief from being wronged at my previous school. I was expressing gratitude that I got into another school, one better suited for me, but also pain at being set back so far.

Later that day, I was sitting in a particularly boring sacrament meeting. Instead of fidgeting and daydreaming as I'm often tempted to do, I opened my scriptures and began to read. This passage in Joel stood out to me. The book details the desolation that is coming, but then offers these words of comfort:
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things...And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten... And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
~Joel 2:21-27, emphasis added
The Spirit touched me as I read these words. I don't know how, but I know the Lord is going to give me back the years I've lost. He has power to make right things which have gone wrong. I worship the God of miracles, who overcame sin and death. Surely He can overcome something like this.