In the past few weeks, I've had a few students tell me they wanted to go to law school & a few current college students tell me they were registered/taking/hoping to take the LSAT. Mostly, I just smiled and said "that's great!" or something similar while deep down I was thinking "are you sure you want to do that to yourself?"
As the semester is barely two weeks old, and I have a pretty light load this spring, law school feels like a totally realistic endeavor. Friends see that I'm sleeping and eating regularly, having date nights and Disneyland marathon weekends with Mike and think this is the law school experience.
I will admit, this year has been pretty good. I spent the summer in Europe "learning" about international legal concepts and visiting some amazing places. Then fall the first semester in the past 3 years that I've felt I've actually had time to breathe.... and exercise. This spring is looking to have a similar feel to it. I only have two classes during the semester and a weekend seminar class in March - which gives me a lot more free time. I had a similar schedule last semester, except two of my classes required me to write papers, which was incredibly stressful.
I realized today that I've been in school non-stop for the past 30 years. I've always liked school -- clearly enough that I'm not able to leave. I went straight to college from high school, then started teaching, started (and finished) grad school, and then went to law school. I teach summer school, sometimes take summer classes... it has been a non-stop educational roller coaster since 1985. That was a long time ago.
I'm actually to the point in law school where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm taking my last required courses right now, which means for the next couple of semesters, I'm just taking credits. I hope to extern at the public defender's office over the summer and then who knows what I'll do next year. I'll take some classes, apply to be (successfully, if I'm lucky) a law review editor, and hopefully continue my low stress path.
At the same time, it's terrifying. I've spent a decade teaching and most of my life in school. Transitioning out of school will be the first time in my life I'm doing something else. Despite the fact that everything else in my world has changed a thousand times - marriage and divorce and moving from state to state - I've also ways been in the world of academia. I'm not sure what my life will be without that. I'm also not sure how I'm going to work during the summer without thinking it should be optional. I've spent my life as a semi-responsible free spirit, and now the idea has entered my mind that I have to be totally responsible. <shudder>
I'll think more about that later...