Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just a Day on North Grounds, Chapter 2

Editor's note: "Just a Day on North Grounds" is a serial novella that takes place at UVA Law, and is written by an anonymous 1L at the school.  It will appear roughly by weekly - previous installments can be viewed here.
Chapter 2: The Ways in Which Others Do Better

Looking forward to the sweet rush of endorphins that accompanies my ritual Monday-morning carb-load, I walked into Scott Commons with a surge of confidence.  "Scott Commons", by the way, is UVA Law's big "hang-out" area where our overpriced food is served.  The pizza is probably the best option in terms of a carbs-per-dollar ratio.

There a lot of 1Ls milling around - none from my section, of course, because they're all still in class - but a lot of others.  I blissfully ignore them as a glide toward my goal, deciding that I'm going to grab a soda, too, and hope that the caffeine can carry me through the rest of the day.

As I walk by a cluster of plush easy chairs I hear something that makes me stop a beat: One prissy girl who sat in front of me in CivPro says to another, "I made Social Policy and VJIL."

I tense up - was today the day that we were going to find out about journals?

Prissy-Civ-Pro-Girl - let's just call her PCPG for short - sees me.  She's got a big, manila envelope that says "Journal of Law and Social Policy" on it. "Oh hi, J----!," she says. (note: my name may or may not start with J.  I want to be known as "Just a Day", but that sounds strange if you try and write it out).  "How are you?"

I fantasize about hitting her with my purse. 

"Oh, I'm doing OK - skipping out on property right now," is what I say instead.  She scrunches up her face a bit, as if she doesn't know quite how to respond to the ghastly idea that a student - a 1L and a girl no less - would be skipping a class. 

"Oh," she says, "You have *****, right?  I hear that class can get a little intense!"

The hitting dream has not subsided.  In fact, it's growing in the awkward silence at ensues.  I can tell that she is just dying to brag about her accomplishment of getting on not one but two of UVa Law's most prestigious secondary journals.  I vacillate on which would be more painful: giving her the opportunity to do so, or simply doing an about face and walking away without saying anything.

Sigh.

"So, you made it on to a journal there, I see?  That's so great, congratulations!"  I feel like I do a very good job of being sincere.

"Oh, yes, thank you," she says, feigning modesty and doing a rather poor job of it. "I actually made two, Social Policy and International Law." A pause, "Did you do the journal tryouts?"

Wow, what a novel way of asking if I made two journals as well, I think.  Maybe we should just cut to the chase and compare IQs, dress sizes, and boyfriends.
"Oh, I did them, I guess I forgot that we were supposed to hear back from the journals today."  That was true after all.  "So did they put something in your mailbox?" I ask, also honestly and more or less interested in the answer.

"Yes," she said, "but I also got emails, inviting me to the receptions."

Well, I didn't get any emails.  My purse probably weighs about 3-4 pounds today.  My wallet is in there, and it's actually rather massive, full of cards I don't need or use.  What else?  Phone, iPod, cigarettes, lighter, make-up . . . plus, the outside has like this medal clasp thing on it.  If hit her with that side, it could do some serious damage.  PCPG, how would like to show up at your amazing reception with a black eye?  I say the words with my eyes instead of my lips.

"Well, I guess I'll go check it out, then." Not sure of what to say next, I mutter, "Thanks!" and give my usual fake smile.  I wonder why I am so agitated as I walk away.  Is because PCPG was, in fact, being a total b**** of a person, or was it because her subtle power play really made me uneasy.  She's prettier than I am, I think - and now it seems like she is smarter than me too.  I bet she has better grades and she already has a sweet job lined up for the summer and won't end up working at Taco-Bell to service her massive debt load.  This thought weirdly makes me smile - maybe a good smack in the face would give her some perspective - and I resolve never to be jealous of another person ever again.

Really, I'm just trying to brace for the worst - that I didn't make it on to either of the two journals I applied to (you're only allowed to apply to two), partly because I think it's likely and partly because I hate the moment of failure even more than not actually getting whatever it was I was looking for.

I get to my mailbox.  I see right away there is no big manila envelope and my heart sinks.  The Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law was supposed to be the "easy" journal I applied to.  I also applied to Virginia Journal of Law and Politics, which was supposed to be harder.  But there's nothing there.  No envelope from either journal, not even a rejection.

I'm crestfallen. I burned an entire weekend working on the that stupid, pointless tryout.  I spent 12 hours on the bluebooking part alone, trying to make everything perfect, italicizing every period, looking up the abbreviation for every jurisdiction. Dammit!  This is just another setback that forms part of a string of academic defeats for me.  I never picked up legal research and writing; my grades were nothing special (just around the median if you must know); I have been rejected for every summer job under the sun - and now this. 

Again, it wasn't not making the journal - I mean, not getting to be on the journal that bothered me, it was not being good enough. I worked my butt off on that tryout, spent an entire weekend at the library, and gained ten pounds from the stress of the whole thing (which I still haven't lost, ugh).  So some 2Ls didn't like my bluebooking skills?  I hope their husbands leave them and they die alone.

Alright, I was just being bitter, but getting rejected from two journals was quite a sting. Deep breaths, I say to myself.  Being on a journal was going to be terrible anyway. I'll make it up somehow - I'll do moot court, I'll do one of those pro bono projects I am always being emailed about it.  It'll be alright.

Wanting a weekend of my life back I wander around aimlessly.  I feel PCPG's eyes on me.  I didn't make a journal, and you made two, I transmit my thoughts in her direction, that must make you ecstatic, doesn't it? 

Screw the pizza.  I needed some fresh air.  And a cigarette. 
Previously:

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Email from VJOLT re: concerns about the tryout process - anybody know what's up with that? What are the "outspoken concerns of a few students"?

Anonymous said...

fat, smokes, and doesn't know the difference b/w "their" and "there"

what's not to love?

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are making this too easy, "J". Based on these two posts alone, I would not hire you or be your friend. I really hope, for your own sake, that my impressions of you are mistaken but oh man let me count the ways you embarrass yourself in this post:

1. The resentment and jealousy you express towards your fellow 1L and the desire to do another violence.

2. Get it through your mind 1Ls, there is no such thing as a "prestigious secondary journal". That phrase is as much of an oxymoron as jumbo shrimp.

3. No one cares what your grades are but way to act like we do before "begrudgingly" disclosing them to us.

4. Gained 10 pounds in a weekend from stress? Wow. Two things: (1) if a weekend journal tryout caused you to gain 10 pounds, I shudder to think how much weight a career of lawyering will cause you to gain; and (2) if you were able to gain 10 pounds in two days, I am willing to guess you were not so dainty to start with. People do not routinely increase their weight by 10% in a matter of a few days.

5. A smoker too, eh? Getting more attractive by the sentence.

6. The fact you seem to desperately be seeking validation and approval, as evidenced most recently by this attempt at literature, is just sad.

Here is some unsolicited advice for you "J", stop writing mediocre posts about your unoriginal life as a 1L and start writing outlines to give yourself a shooting chance of getting a job next fall.

J. Crew Model said...

They're mean out here, aren't they J?

Anonymous said...

Yep they sure are mean out there... So someone is blowing off some steam by writing a post. Big deal.

Anonymous said...

I'd hit it?

Anonymous said...

fugly

Anonymous said...

keep writing! this is fun

Anonymous said...

"Outspoken concerns of a few students" re VJoLT = one crazy 1L

Anonymous said...

Did anyone consider that this is most likely fiction as the original introduction set out? This would be like saying you don't want to be friend with the Wicked Witch of the West because she's green and hates Dorothy. ..

Anonymous said...

4:29 - what did that 1L do/say?

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should know the answer to this, but is the University of Virginia Law School accredited by the American Bar Association and a member in good standing of the Association of American Law Schools?

Anonymous said...

lol at this entire post. "social policy" and "international law" don't sound prestigious to anyone outside the law school.

Jack said...

As a non-journal student at a much lower ranked school I have to tell you be proud of what you have. You go to a T14, and the "fun" one at that. The hot bitch on a journal is gonna get a better job than you, but it's because she's hot, not because she's on journal.

So start jogging and stop smoking.

Anonymous said...

^ What he said...

Anonymous said...

This post was bizarre. There are no "prestigious secondary journals." Only the most oblivious students would brag about--or even be proud of--making some random journal that no one has ever heard of or had occasion to read.

Anonymous said...

All the cool people make zero journals.

Anonymous said...

since when is social policy a "prestigious" journal?

Anonymous said...

5:51,

um, Virginia is FULLY ACCREDITED! SINCE 1923! Check the ABA's website. http://www.abanet.org

Maybe you should try looking at google before asking stupid questions next time.

Anonymous said...

The link you posted before doesn't include any reference to Virginia being accredited, so I think you may have bad information from somewhere. In any event, I wish the school luck in getting to full accreditation as soon as they can. I know it makes it hard on graduates if they aren't able to take the full bar, rather than just the "baby bar".

Anonymous said...

Serious question: why do people who are smart enough to get into UVA law school smoke?

Anonymous said...

because cigs rule

Anonymous said...

@ 5:51 -- the ZEBRA MUSSEL HAS ARRIVED.

Anonymous said...

11:13, nah Virginia lost its accreditation back in 2009 as did all but two or three other schools. As a result, students graduating from all but the two or three schools are no longer allowed to work in the legal sector.

Anonymous said...

I don't care whether UVA is accredited or not. I came here for the softball and Feb Club parties.

uva3lotdlofwngsl said...

smoking is for cools. sorry about your tiny pink social life, bro.

Anonymous said...

this post is horrible. please stop posting this sad little person's trash on your spectacular blog.

Anonymous said...

lol @ 11:08 - check yo snark detector idjit ...

and lol @ 7:56 - "sad" "little" person's "trash"? awfully bitchy aren't you? you're like a friggin "mean girls" caricature.

sorry about the tiny pink self-loathing that would bring up such bile in a sad little person like you.

ps - i commented earlier that "seppuku = only honorable option" for the author of this 'series', so suffice it to say that i will agree it's not hemingway, but i was mostly joking (it's not that bad, and good on the 1L for trying to do something creative b/f the law stomps that sh*t out of her), whereas you just seem like an enormous f'ing bit*h.

HTH.

Anonymous said...

You should really do a better job of getting rid of grammatical errors in these stories.

Anonymous said...

lol @ 12:49 - check yo snark detector idjit ...

Anonymous said...

lol @ 12:49 - your post is nonsensical, dogg.

"lol"