Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Realisation... I wasn't going to be a lawyer


I used to read fairly regularly. School had never been an obstacle to this as I pretty much always found it easy (minus math the last 2 years)... but then in college, there was so much more reading to do. ( I was in Liberal Arts). I enjoyed it, but I think that's pretty much when I stopped reading for the sheer pleasure of it. Even if I enjoyed what I was reading (learning)... and I learned a lot (!)... Something changed. I skimmed books. I was always last minute. I remember opening Shakespeare's Othello the night before I had an exam on it... (I confess, I rented the movie.. and then skimmed the book). We had weekly quizzes in Humanities and Philosophy on various (long) chapters from our course material... and again... I don't remember an instance when I did not read that stuff horizontally. I to this day, never finished Wuthering Heights, or this other book from English class by this German author. . I started research and writing essays 48 hours before they were due. I'd get away with it, always with an average ranging between 85-95% I was perhaps lazy. No, I was definitely lazy... but I think I was more than lazy. I was cocky, and I didn't like the sentiment of obligation. Now, if there was something I was really into (like cadets), I would devote countless hours towards that...  What  a mess of contradictions I was!


I remember one of my classmates, Charlene. She always finished everything, pretty much before it was assigned. I was impressed, but I couldn't bring myself to work that way. I was really well organised. Every minute of my day was ''penciled-in'' my agenda. Even breaks. (Okay, I'm not completely anal, yes, it was scheduled, but I was always open to re-scheduling)... I depended on the fact, (really not a fact, but the impression), that I was THAT GOOD, that I could get everything done without putting in my 100%, without consecrating a decent amount of time. Well, that attitude came back with a vengence to bite me in the ass!

I got accepted at McGill in everything I wanted: Psychology, Education.... but not Law. I had a Cote R of over 33.... but it wasn't good enough. That would have been fine had I known that I had done my best, but I really had not. I spent the good majority of my time that was not spent working or at cadets, chatting, or on the phone....so knowing that I didn't get in when I probably could have.. that kind of stung. So, seeing that Law was my first choice. I went into the Law program, but at Université de Montreal.

Ass biting number two: My cockiness didn't disappear as I entered University. I thought I was still that good...not so much. I skimmed law cases: What? 125 page Supreme Court law case.. I think not, let's read the summary... Pfff... I was in the reserves (training officer for cadets, and I had another job!)...I devoted so much time preparing lesson plans for courses I was teaching, so much time to my music,1000 pages of reading a week? I excelled in other areas that I committed myself to... Me read 1000 pages of law???I don't think so, we'll save it for final exam studying. (In law, there are no assignments, exams are worth 100%)... I always thought that reading everything during the semester, and then having to re-read it all over again while studying was a ridiculous waste of time. Again, here I was depending on my ''ability'' to cram, and my flawless memory (yeah right!)...

So, Did I ace those 100% exams? Not really. Yet, after each exam, I thought I had. When I got my results back, I was smacked back to reality realising that my old ways wouldn't cut it. I improved the following semester, but my efforts didn't last and I was back to my old ways by third semester. Why? I  think I had convinced myself that I wanted to be a lawyer. It was THE thing to do. I loved law afterall... Or did I? Today I realise that I love the essence of  law, I should say I love the idea of  justice.... but there is very little justice in the field of law. It's a brutal area where one has to work 60+ hours weekly, devote ''home'' time to research, in cases so dry, so dry... 

Writing this post, I realise that not pursuing a legal career is probably the best decision I ever made, without ever really making it. My lack of motivation and devotion towards my studies, .... albeit, very negative characteristics, were probably a tell-tale sign that this wasn't for me. My subconscious was communicating with me... and it took me a while to listen. I should have realised this sooner, I guess I just attributed my bad habits, to my previously mentionned cockiness. Considering that I was one to be devoted to what I loved, I should have realised sooner that I hated law school, that I did not want to be a lawyer. What have I learned from this? Knowing how I am usually totally devoted to what is right for me: I'll put in the necessary hours and effort to accomplish what I undertake. If it's not working out... I have to acknowledge the signs and not ignore them....perhaps I need to work harder... perhaps. But, perhaps I'm also undertaking something that is not for me....
Now to start reading regularly for the fun of it again... Where's my book?

Post a Comment

3 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...

WoW... same "study" patern... why pre-read when you will read it again for the exam?!?! Why prepare when you're so good "under pressure". You hit a nerve here, Kat! :)
Stef

K said...

aye! That's what I thought (*probably still what I think now).. it just didn't work out so well in Law School in French... perhaps catching up on 1000 pages of reading a week at the end of the semester was a little overwhelming?? Perhaps... :-)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps????