Friday, November 23, 2012

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them" – John F. Kennedy

Well, I am long overdue for s a new post! Things have been crazy (per usual) but in a good way, of course. I'll try to touch on the highlights of the last couple of weeks.

It was really interesting being in a city at the time of a national election. You definitely see a lot of mixed visions. There were a lot of campaigns trying to encourage people to register to vote and of course to actually vote. My office was closed on Election Day as it aligns with the mission of our agency to have your voice be heard. I had mailed in my absentee ballot so the day was relaxing for me and a chance to catch up on sleep and LSAT prep. That's where the majority of my life has been these last few weeks - between work and LSAT prep I don't have a lot of free time. But the test is in a week from tomorrow, eek! I think I am as ready as I'll ever be. Standardized tests have never been my cup of tea unfortunately, but it is what it is. I am excited at the prospect of attending law school with either an international focus or grounded in the public interest/pro bono sphere. I am sure at some point in my life my passions will merge and I will find the right path. For now, I have both direction and an open mind, which I think are two valued components of starting the admissions process and then seeing what opportunities present themselves.

I should mention that one of my community members and I watched the Election results with a few of the friars who live next door. They were so funny to listen to - I think I had the preconceived notion that they would be very old-fashioned and also very conservative, but it just wasn't the case. All in all, an entertaining evening. I won't get into any political views on here because it's not the place, but I was really happy to see how many people took the time to vote and valued the importance of democracy. There are so many people in the world who fight and die for the chance to participate in an election like ours, so if just for this reason alone I feel you can not throw away the opportunity to be simply go to the polls and cast a vote.

Things at VIP have been great. I have a lot more cases now but I am learning to time manage better. It seems the day ends and I am so surprised, as I have barely noticed the clock creeping to the evening hours. I even have some different types of cases right now, like a fraudulent deed transfer and an adverse possession claim. I have become more comfortable and confident speaking with clients and attorneys. There is still so much to learn but I enjoy knowing that every day I will be speaking with new people and working on old projects as well - so it's a great mix. I also volunteered to help a coworker with Corporate Pro Bono Day. It was a training for small business and corporate attorneys to meet with young women who are in a business class. They all are wanting to start different types of businesses so the attorneys met with small groups and helped them to get started and answered their legal questions. I don't typically see our volunteer attorneys working directly with clients so it was a really rewarding opportunity. So many volunteers give their precious time to help the marginalized and it's such a humbling thought. I know that when I am an attorney one day I will remember this and hopefully dedicate some of my time to people who really could benefit from the expertise but cannot afford the price tag of the service. If you go into law, there has to be some desire to help people, I just never want to forget that grounding!

I went to a party at a coworker's house last weekend with one of my roommates. It was an adventure getting there, as she lived in a different part of Philly. But we had a lot of fun and it was good to get out and actually meet some new people. There are two girls that I work with who just graduated from college in May and although they are not working at VIP in a service capacity, we still have a lot in common in terms of our age and interests. I am beginning to be more comfortable with the people that I work with and also look to them for support and guidance. Many of the attorneys on staff have gone to a wide array of law schools and had many different types of experiences before coming to VIP, so it's great to talk with them as I am in this transitional part of my life. And hey, there's always some networking and connections to be made, right? :)

My coworkers Cindy & Mariana

I guess it's time to discuss Thanksgiving weekend! I was so excited to have a four day weekend. Tuesday and especially Wednesday at work were just so strange because a lot of people were out and there was the anticipation of the break. We actually had about 6,000 envelopes to stuff for fundraising so the entire staff worked on that for pretty much all of Wednesday. Needless to say, I don't want to see another envelope or letter for a while! Paper cuts galore. Wednesday evening one of my community members and I went to see Breaking Dawn Part II. I usually see the Twilight movies at the midnight premiere but now that I am a working woman I am just too gosh darn tired! It was really nice to relax and watch a movie at a theater though. Thanksgiving Day morning we went to the parade in Philadelphia. It is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in national history, though Macy's kind of outshines it, haha. Nonetheless there were thousands of people there and I saw Boyz II Men and Justin Guarini perform. And no holiday parade is complete without Santa at the finale! Then we came back and cooked up a feast. I was surprised it only took us about two and a half hours to prepare everything. Cooking for just three people is not too much of a hassle, but we certainly have a ridiculous amount of leftovers. We bought a six pound chicken breast, although I think it came with two breasts, but I am not complaining since I only eat the white meat anyways and it made it cook a bit faster. I also attempted to make a chocolate pudding pie by myself. It's still in the fridge but I'll let you know how it tastes today. It was sort of strange not being home for Thanksgiving. It only kind of felt like the holiday, but we set the table nicely and drank good wine and feasted and said what we were thankful for. We watched the Charlie Brown special at night and took after-dinner naps. We had brownie sundaes and ate some more. All in all, it was a great time. If you can't be at home, as long as you're in the comfort of other people you care about it's a good feeling. Here's some photos from Thanksgiving:



OH! I also got my business cards on Wednesday at work! It was pretty exciting to receive my first business card set.

Well, this post was a good distraction from my LSAT studying, but with the test being about a week away and this next work week going to be busy and having a site visit from our Augustinian Volunteers supervisor during the nights, I better make really good use of the next three days. Wish me luck!

I hope you and yours had a blessed Thanksgiving!