Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Marginally Employed

I guess I blew my writing wad back in February ‘cause it looks like I’ve missed the entire month of March. I’m sorry. Or not. Maybe it doesn’t matter so much to you. That’s okay. I’m used to it.

No, actually, it wasn’t February that did me in. We’ve rounded the bend towards the end of the semester. I had an out-of-state job interview in the first week of March, followed by spring vacation – which didn’t feel like a vacation because I used it to catch up to a three-credit independent research project for which I had yet to write a single word. And there was also client work to do, believe it or not. And then I hit the ground running on my return because I had a court appearance the following week – culminating in an actual trial, the holy grail of clinical education. And now, today, this morning, in the final week of the month, I handed in an 8-page outline for that research project (took 9 hours just to write the outline!) and will be leaving for campus soon to gather documents for a Know Your Rights Workshop at which I’ll be presenting later today. Oh yeah, and isn’t it time to register for the bar exams!!? My regular class schedule has continued all this while. Well, not really. I haven’t read for my one substantive class in three weeks. But that’s usually the way it is by the end of a semester.

I was listening to an ad on the radio this morning, promoting a show about young adults. The guy in the promo called himself “marginally employed” and spent most of his time running a radio show out of his house. Hearing his story, I fondly recalled my own youth, back when I could afford to be marginally employed. When I had no debt, I didn’t need much for a salary, just enough to pay rent on an apartment shared with roommates, food and transportation (and I didn’t eat much when I was younger; in fact, I drank more than I ate). I could survive on approximately $24,000 a year. The marginal salary was the trade off for having the time and mental alertness necessary to pursue what really fed me – for this guy, his radio show; for me, it had been the performing arts.

I couldn’t accept a marginal salary today, what with my debt load, which will be crashing down on me in about two more months. I like to joke with one of my classmates that law school is the only thing you can do where leaving it to work full-time at just one job feels like a vacation. We can’t move backwards though, can we?

Soon, though. After today, I expect my workload to lessen considerably. There will be 3.5 more weeks of a regular class schedule, and then three weeks of exams, which always feel like a vacation, ‘cause all I do is study and sleep. And then graduation. Sweet sweet graduation…

1 comment:

Husher7242 said...

This might be the reason why I don't have an urge to do any post-graduate work (besides the fact that I don't know what I'd study): When I was in school, I think I devoted 20 % of my time to drinking and/or throwing up, 74 % of my time thinking, talking, wishing I was having, pursing sex, 1 % actually having sex (why don't we count making eye contact with a girl as sex) and 5 % of my time towards anything remotely academic. I have a feeling I couldn't, and wouldn't want to, get away with that in any kind of graduate work, law or otherwise. I envy your discipline.