So, I saw this at Dr. Crazy's, and remembered I actually enjoy these year-in-review things. So I'm going to inflict one on all you guys.
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
The nice thing about being a student/new to your profession is that you do LOTS of things you've never done before. So, work-wise, I:
- argued a REAL case before a REAL court of appeals (and lost initially - but then the court of appeals got reversed! That was pretty cool.)
- graduated from law school
- got a federal clerkship
- took a bar exam
- passed a bar exam
- got sworn in as an attorney
- wrote an appellate opinion (okay, heavily edited by my judge, but I still wrote it!)
- started making student loan payments (I'm counting this as work)
Outside of work, I:
- started going to spin classes
- kept going to yoga after three classes
- went whitewater rafting!
- knit a hat
- started volunteering at the local humane society (I have volunteered for humane societies before, just not this one) (and so far I have NOT adopted any new cats, so I consider that a win-win!)
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I'm pretty sure I didn't make any... so that counts as keeping them, right? As for next year - eh. I'm not so big on year-long resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law, one of my husband's co-workers, and at least one online acquaintance.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not unless you count my law school dean. I liked him, and knew him, and it was very very sad, but thankfully we weren't particularly close.
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the good old US of A. For 2012, I'll at least be able to say Canada. Maybe the thing I miss most about leaving academia is the opportunity to travel abroad.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Some idea of where I will be living/working long-term after the second clerkship. Although I will probably have to wait till 2013 for that.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 6 - law school graduation.
July 26 & 27 - the !^%$@ bar exam.
October 23 - got sworn in as an attorney.
(Maybe October 6 - that was when I found out I passed the bar.)
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Passing the bar! I mean, I was never worried about graduating (I figured once I was in law school, I just had to fulfill the requirements not to flunk out), and getting sworn in just required filling out a few forms.
Although I kinda think maybe the biggest achievement was not letting my self-identification as a non-athlete keep me from going to spin and yoga classes for the last 2 1/2 months - for some reason I am always convinced in such situations that everyone else belongs there, but I don't.
And actually, I think really studying for the bar was a bigger accomplishment for me than passing it - because I passed very handily and after the fact, it's not that big a deal - just because of the way my mind works and the educational experiences I have had. It's a ridiculously stupid test, almost entirely unrelated to anything real about the practice of law (and it doesn't even test real law - just a made-up amalgam of all kinds of laws that can be "universal" enough to test across the country, but don't necessarily govern anywhere) (my state doesn't even test on state law anymore), which demonstrates your ability to take a multiple-choice/essay test rather than to be a lawyer. And there are a lot of people who fail who are or will go on to be completely spectacular lawyers. So not passing it the first time is nothing to be ashamed of, at ALL.
That said, given that I am traditionally a very good test-taker, but a fairly crappy test-studier, it was probably more of an accomplishment for me to slog through BarBri and the 8 weeks of study, than actually to take and pass the test, if that makes any sense.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Thankfully, I can't think of any spectacular failures this year. I was not the shiningest star in my clinic course, but I wasn't the worst. This time next year (or the year after that) I may look back and decide that not prioritizing staying in my current city over career interests (going out of state for the second clerkship) was a failure, but I can't say on that one yet.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
This is a little TMI, but: I suffered a RAGING UTI that first manifested during the bar exam (yes, really) and ended up making a red-eye flight to Boston and subsequent bus ride to Cape Cod a LIVING HELL. (But if that's the worst thing I suffered this year, I'll take it!)
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I should probably say the BarBri review course that got me through the bar, but I refuse to pick that because it was so painful; I'll go with membership to my yoga/spin studio.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
NLLDH, as always.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Thankfully, no one in my personal life. Just insert a long list of Tea Party public figures here...
14. Where did most of your money go?
Law school tuition, rent, food - the fun stuff.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Recurring theme, but: going to yoga and spin classes, probably. Finishing law school. Passing the bar.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
The Cave, Mumford and Sons.
Brooklyn, the Avett Brothers.
Rolling in the Deep, Adele.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier; thinner (just a touch); richer, in the sense that I have a salary, but poorer, in the sense that I have to start paying my student loans (at least I'm not incurring any more!).
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Between January and October, exercise; be sociable with my law school friends.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Well, I wish I'd studied less, but I don't think the results would have been that desirable. I'll go with the old standby: staying up late farting around on the internet.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it here, with NLLDH, and the morning of, I went to the humane society and cleaned out cat kennels. They were the beasties that, for whatever reason, owners had had to relinquish to us. There was one particularly lovable goofball - a great big flamepoint boy with pale blue, slightly crossed eyes, who loved to be petted would roll over and knead his paws in the air. He's been adopted already, yay!
Then I went home and we ate pan-seared scallops, coconut rice, haricot vert/pear/goat cheese salad, and chocolate pots de creme. And I think we watched a bunch of Shameless episodes. So it was nice. :-)
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Stayed in love.
22. How many one-night stands?
None, thank god.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmmm. Fringe, maybe? or Community.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't think so, except maybe the Tea Party line-up referenced above.
25. What was the best book you read?
Outing myself as a geek here, but probably G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka Game of Thrones et al.). If I had to pick one, I'd say A Storm of Swords. (I also didn't read very many books this year, sadly.)
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Tied between Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers.
27. What did you want and get?
A J.D.! Licensure in my state! A federal clerkship! A new apartment right by the park (with washer/dryer IN UNIT!)
28. What did you want and not get?
A federal clerkship in my city.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Contagion (but then, the only movies we actually saw this year were Contagion, Moneyball, The Adjustment Bureau, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, Bridesmaids, The Muppets, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was going to say I don't remember. But wait, I do! I spent my birthday taking a full-length practice MBE (part of the bar exam)! So! Exciting! (NLLDH took me out to dinner, too, but I don't think we did that on the day of.) I was way too old to want to say the number here.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning Powerball? Said it before, but, getting a federal clerkship in town, maybe?
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Layering. I got very big into cardigans layered over cute tops. Once I started my current job, add pencil skirts to that (last spring, while still in school, I just wore jeans most of the time). During the summer I just went with what was clean!
33. What kept you sane?
What is this "sane" of which you speak??
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Honestly, probably Matt Damon, to the extent I ever "fancy" a celebrity/public figure, because he came out with a few well-spoken vehement defenses of teachers and indictments of political ridiculousness that I quite appreciated. (But mostly I could give a rat's ass about celebrities, so...)
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I suck at answering these, because instantly any political awareness I ever had drains out of my head. I will go general, with "immigration laws."
36. Who did you miss?
37. Who was the best new person you met?
My co-clerk? Maybe the woman who teaches my spin classes.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
I'm not sure I learned anything specific. Besides the general "just keep going" kind of thing?
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Just do your best
It's the only way to keep that last bit of sanity
Maybe I don't have to be good but I can try to be
At least a little better than I've been so far
-- The Avett Brothers, When I Drink