My photo
Secret Place of the Most High, Kingdom
Learned Student, Honest.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 4: Constitutional Law

*singing* "Our God is the Awesome God. There is none like You. With Him we win, He’s our Champion oooooh-oooooh! Our God is the awesome God, He is the greatest in all the earth, with Him we come in first, He’s our Champion!!!!"

My theme song during bar prep is ‘Champion’ by Tye Tribbett featuring Israel Houghton. I initially heard the song when my cousin posted it on google buzz a while back. Recently, a friend played it, and sent it to me through BBM = perfectly timed! It was on repeat during my commute this morning. Five miles in 10 minutes – the purple line is nice like that – Belmont to Howard.

Day 4: Constitutional Law - First Amendment, Equal Protection and host of other topics; it’s all coming back. Apparently we’ve learned thousands of rules during law school and we will review/learn many of them these next two months. The exam will be complete in exactly two months! Amen! Efficiency is the key. There is a lot to learn but the key is study efficiently and effectively. “The bar is all about testmanship and confidence. Confidence Cayenne in the house. Also “it’s not enough to just know the rule, you must know the exceptions.”

Technically, we have a break tomorrow for the holidays. The break just means we don’t have a live session in downtown, but there is still work to be done. Multiple choice questions every day. Tomorrow, I’ll scope out my study spots for the next 9 intense weeks. I also decided to incorporate exercising into my schedule after a reoccurring theme in the advice from recent bar takers. I've also been advised that blogging is not part of my schedule either so after this week, it's foreseeable that I will not post as frequently.

My foundation course professor is the eldest of seven children – none of them are twins, I asked (seven separate births, one couple - wow - Naija style). She was also a whiz kid – finished undergrad at 19 and law school at 22! Her parents were very active in invalidating the bill of attainder. The legislative punishment of a named group or individual without judicial trial is unconstitutional = bill of attainder.

I signed up for the live class for the rest of the course as opposed to my initial decision to take the remaining weeks of the class on demand. I think having other students around will add more to the structure. I don’t know any of them though, most of them are graduates from the city law schools, but I’ll meet them soon enough. Although, the group seated near me today, spoke so negative and pessimistic. I had to tune them out, because that’s not my portion.

Also, I do appreciate my friends checking up on me and helping! I tend to turn off my phone since it proves more effective than keeping my phone on silent. Although, sometimes it delivers texts late, or not at all – it is a crackblackberry *shrug* I might not be able to respond as timely, in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, I appreciate ya!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 3: Evidence

It feels like it’s been a week already. I’m still working on my schedule and where I'll study when class ends at 1. Since it only took about 40 minutes to commute downtown the last two days, I tried leaving a little later today. But those 10-15 minutes makes a huge difference because now I’m competing with all the people that begin work at 9am and apparently a majority of them work around Clark and Lake.

This one girl always dresses up to class (it’s only been 3 days, but still). I don’t know how she does it but fist pump to her. Maybe it adds to your psyche. There is only one state that still requires you to dress up to sit for the bar exam, I think it’s Maryland or Virginia. They also make you dress up to class everyday in Nigerian law schools. Law school over there is one year though.

As for me, I’m layered up in boots, tights, cami’s and sweaters and I’m still cold. I would seriously send someone to the store that doesn’t mind going to get me appropriate winter stuff. This Chicago winter is something else. I haven’t really been in it in years. When I come home it’s my house to my car and my car to my destination. My destination for the next 10 weeks is downtown, I’m not driving downtown. Although, each time someone on the train coughs I really wish I had an anthrax or surgeon’s mask. I cannot get sick. Spring semester I got sick about 3 times, this past semester I don’t recall being sick at all – thank God. I want to keep it that way – which is why I also need appropriate winter stuff because this is not cutting it.

I’m thinking of which social networks I’ll keep on and off during this prep. I’ve already taken facebook off my phone as an initial step. But I like the interactive-ness of it but then again that might be a problem in and of itself so that might have to go. I might keep tweeting. I probably won’t BBM as much but I don’t have too many contacts on there anyway, so that’s okay.

Today’s diagnostic test was better as far as time and percentage correct combined. Each day has gotten progressively better with time and I feel good knowing I’m where I should be at this point. I’m trying to see if there is a correlation between the grade I got in the class and how I do on the diagnostic years later. I guess it also depends on subsequent courses which built upon the initial core class.

Our professor is a public defender. She used to tell her clients to dress like they were going to church until one guy came in a bright suit, alligator shoes and a fedora. Now she tells them to dress like a nerdy white guy. End quote.

Favorite quote: “Child custody is a case where your character is at issue ex. A case called Spears v. Federline (ba-dum-bum) that was cute. "Also in negligent hiring and firing – chester the molester cannot be the new school monitor and crossing guard.”

Also, I have the greatest friends ever, very supportive and their neighbors too!!! THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 2: Torts

I’m getting used to waking up at 5:30am, or I'm trying to, I will try to start my day that early. I was pretty consistent with waking up that early for a good part of the semester but then finals came and that kind of changes everything. Sometimes you get excited and sometimes you start to think too much. It’s like an emotional kiddie roller coaster or a swing set -- not as drastic as a regular roller coaster. I'm just going to focus on the positive and remembering everything that everyone expects you to know since "you're a lawyer now."

I think I've decided to take the class live. I was debating whether to take the class on demand after the first week but I see the value in having a live professor at your disposal to ask questions immediately.

Today was much better than yesterday. It's like studying for the LSAT mixed with being a 1L but with a little more wisdom.

By the way, I am sure once this week is over I probably won't be able to update this everyday. This week is the foundation week so we're supposed to take it "lightly" comparatively. But I seem to be getting a 12:30 feeling. I might need to pick up a caffeine fix until the end of February.

Favorite sound bite: re: contributorily negligent: "has more legal fiction than John Grisham can write in a lifetime" - I like John Grisham's legal fiction books.

By another way, did you know that mink eat their young? You learn interesting random facts from the multiple choice questions. Our professor said it's true. She's pretty funny which helps, but she is another lawyer who married a lawyer and is now divorced. I've heard that story too many times - what's really good? On a slightly brighter note, she is a female attorney, with children -- that's important.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 1: Criminal Law

We’re taking diagnostic tests this week in the core subjects. Today we took criminal law.

I'm trying to figure out my schedule, it will be an intense 10 weeks. I’m getting a wealth of advice from my classmates who took the Bar in July and last year. I’ve been told to eat healthy and make sure I exercise. Apparently, the last couple of weeks are 18 hour days and it’s all studying. So I’m just getting mentally prepared for that. Part of me wants to start the 18 hour days now but I was advised not to so I don’t burn out by the time I really need to; save my energy for the final stretch. So we are in boot camp for the next couple of months.

Some of my favorite quotes of the day.

“Somebody is going to run out of the room to puke and hopefully, it won’t be you but somebody will.”
"It's Chicago, it's winter, it's cold, so someone next to you will have whooping cough" - part of a spiel to get us to invest in some ear plugs.

I'm trying to get my northside friends to make meals for me -- they think I'm joking but I'm so serious. I need to maximize my time.

I will be studying the notecards I make on the train rides. I haven't had to ride the train consistently like that since highschool apart from a short stint one summer junior year. Many characters and hustlers on the CTA, I try not to stare.

Friday, December 17, 2010

And so it begins . . .

The beginning of the end, of my law school journey: the Bar!

All glory to God I have completed my academic requirements for my Juris Doctorate. Now all that's left is the Bar exam to get my license to practice law. I take the exam on February 22 and February 23. Two full days of examinations. During the preparation period I'll be on sabbatical but in hibernation mode!

I start my bar prep class this week and I plan to document this journey as much as is feasibly possible with the studying. I hope this will capture some of the tips I have gained as well as my first time back in Chicago besides the summers since high school.

This weekend is my only "break" in between my last final on Friday and class on Monday. Thankfully, I get to enjoy it with some of my favorite people! Saturday I'll celebrate Emiola's graduation and Hanna's birthday and Sunday, ACF YA Chicago has our end of the year potluck. All that while officially giving Champaign the two fingers! It's been real!

Prayers are welcome! I apologize in advance for not being as available, but I'll be back. :-)

The race you have to win

All glory and honor to Jesus! The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8. C'est fini! Today, I completed my last exam, as a student at the University of Illinois. After 7.5 years, it is time to say goodbye to Champaign! Thank You Jesus!

Saturday, December 11, 2010, I graduated from the School of Labor and Employment at the University of Illinois. The graduation took place at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the Colwell Playhouse. I gave the remarks on behalf of the Class of 2010 and the transcript is below.

Good afternoon, graduates, faculty, families and friends. Thank you all for coming to our ceremony. We are happy to have you here to share in this joyous time with us.

The title of my speech is called “The Race You Have To Win.”

In life, we are all in a race, yet each of us are in a different race with several supporters cheering us along the way. Many of those supporters are here today in this auditorium. Thankfully, along each of our races, we were able to cross paths for the past year and a half at the School of Labor and Employment.

Seven years ago, after my first semester in undergrad, here at the University of Illinois, I remember running down the stairs at the Weston Residence Hall exclaiming “one semester down, just seven more to go!” with a sigh of relief that I completed my first semester as a college student. Little did I know, in my capped off far-sighted vision into the future, that I would actually be at the University of Illinois for an additional seven more semesters after undergrad. This would make an additional seven years from my first semester.

Seven is also my favorite number. It’s signifies completion. Now seven years later, I stand before you today along with my colleagues, having completed our last semester, as a student, at the School of Labor and Employment at the University of Illinois.

So after seven years, you might imagine I would receive the “oh you must really like school” comment and the “What is MHRIR?” question. And you’re right. Just the other day after a student visit, I was talking to Brandon and Jen and after explaining that I’ve been here since 2003, Brandon asks “do you like Champaign?” And as a city girl, I never thought I would say this but I actually do and it will be sad to leave this place I’ve come to call home. I will miss the good cornfields. I will miss getting to places in 10 minutes and watching this city change and the temperature being slightly warmer than Chicago and gas being slightly cheaper than Chicago. I won’t particularly miss the parking enforcement though. More importantly, it will be sad to leave all of you.

I began undergrad in Champaign, as an 18 year old Psychology major; a familiar beginning for many of my colleagues. And like many of you, I also came to that turning point in undergrad where I decided to change majors. Yet at the same time, it is a very different story for many of my colleagues hailing from 94 undergraduate institutions and 13 countries! It would eventually turn out to be a different story for me as well.

After undergrad, I decided to stay pretty close for law school, as in down the street, which added another 3 years to my tenure in Champaign. And at the law school I met Professor LeRoy! Anyone who has come into contact with him, or taken any of his classes here, knows exactly what this means. He and other important people in my life, such as my mom, are the reason that I stand before you today being able to pursue exactly what I wanted to do.

We all began this lap of our race in 2009. I was so surprised that on the first day of orientation, Becky knew my name and everything about me. Then I quickly understood that this school cares about each person in the program and makes it a point to know you. On that first day, I also discovered the wealth that existed in the three-story brick building on 5th and Armory. I felt so fortunate to be in the newly-named-changed School of Labor and Employment. Here I found diversity of cultures, and schools of business and technology as well as an immense and supportive career service center, faculty and alumni base. On a Monday, I told Nell exactly what I was interested in and literally by Tuesday she connected me with alumni from across the country. These alumni significantly helped me change my perspective on my career for the better.

Here we are today December, 11, 2010, a year and a half into the race from where we started and the race is nowhere near complete. Some would even say our race is just beginning depending on your perspective and the School of Labor Employment gave us the best warm up laps. Now we are sitting here about to receive our degrees with many of our supporters and a cloud of witnesses happy to join us here in the audience. I think we need to give our supporters a round of applause because they were the ones that helped us to keep running this race.

As of Summer 2010, there were over 2300 School of Labor Employment alumni employed in 47 different states in the U.S. including, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and in more than 30 foreign countries. Among them are senior corporate executives, government officials, HR consultants, union officials, faculty members, and university administrators.

Now graduates, look around, we are the new generation of HR and IR professionals, consultants, government and union officials, administrators and directors. I think you should also clap for yourselves for making it this far on your race. And as we finish our last final examination in the program next week, we will race out into the world to join these successful University of Illinois MHRIR alumni. Fellow graduates, we are very privileged to be in these seats. I am so honored to be in great company, having the opportunity to join the graduating class of December 2010.

I admit it hasn’t hit me yet, that we’re actually leaving. Maybe it will hit me when I’m stuck in traffic again in the big city on my way to work, or sometime next year when I no longer view the year in semester lenses. Or maybe, it will hit me when I’m not driving down Interstate 57 on a Sunday night for my 8am class with Professor Avgar. Although, it will be sad to leave, it is a bitter sweet leave. This program is the hardest thing many of us have done, it is the hardest thing I have done to date and we have successfully completed this lap in our race. The School of Labor and Employment has adequately prepared us for the next step, judging by the experiences from many of my peers this past summer as well as our antecessors who have shared their experiences with us. So in a sense it was our warm- up lap for our race. And although there are no official rankings, I am certain that this was the best warm up lap hands down.

Before I came to this program I somehow avoided the business classes, like the plague apart from the general requirements. Leaving this program, my business acumen has skyrocketed. One thing I learned in Professor Lubotsky’s Health Savings and Family Issues in the Workplace class is that generally speaking there are two assets that are very hard to diversify. One is your house and the second is your skill set; your human capital. However, at this program we are at such an advantage with the second asset. Our skill sets are already diverse. Our education at the School of Labor and Employment has opened so many roads of opportunities and given us several choices that many of us otherwise would not have had prior to entering this program.

Graduates, no matter where we are in this world, whether we are in small town, Ohio, to New York City to Beijing, China we will always have the bond of being Fighting Illini at this point in our race. And as I conclude, I would like to leave my fellow Illini with following words of advice. There is a race set before that you have to win. This race isn't given to the swift but to the one that can endure through the end. I started this year with many goals, and graduating from the School of Labor and Employment was one of them, we all made it!   More importantly, we are guaranteed a prize at the end of this race, so continue working hard and I know that we will hear of many of each of our races throughout the school walls and across the world.  As we leave this campus as alumni, continue to run your race.   Pace yourself through your race to run your best race, helping others along the way and know that you’ve already won.  Thank You.

Convocation Ceremony School of Labor and Employment at the University of Illinois

Reference: I Corinthians 9; Ecclesiastes 9.
Speech inspired by: Pastor Fola Oluwehinmi -- King's Assembly, RCCG.
Photo by: Lola Adegoke
Supported by: So many people: family, ACF, JHC, KA, friends, mentors, faculty!
Could only have done it by and through: JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

you *are in* my prayers

freely He gives and freely He takes away.

When someone closer along the degree of separation goes on to be with the LORD, I think about the people directly affected. I really consider the younger ones. There's a line between the appropriate time to call or visit to offer condolences, and the sign of respect you show by allowing the family to have their private time. I know this because these situations make me flashback to my uncle and my cousins last year. Out of respect I'd want to call right away to console my friends, but at the same time, I know it will not be the best time for them to talk, only to repeat a similar interview. I still try to ascertain the best time to cross that line. I'd imagine it's much worse to never cross the line and failing to call.

At the appropriate time, people tend to say "you're in my prayers." Earlier this year, a friend's mother mother also went to be with the LORD, and I still wonder how much weight those words carried to her when she reunited with many people who had lost touch with her over the years. More importantly, do people really mean that when they say it. I hope so. Needless to say, she is in my prayers and today I'll add another friend to that prayer.

I remember when Pastor Bimbo Odukoya was killed in a plane accident in Nigeria in 2005. I just met her youngest daughter that summer, on a trip to Great America. She was probably about 15. We were told that as soon as the family learned of the fatal crash, they immediately began praying. To my understanding, they were praising and worshiping God for her life. When I would assume they would be mourning, and wondering how her teenage daughters would process not having their mother around for the rest of their life, their faith was so strong that they were praising God. That in and of itself was powerful to me and I will never forget that.

More times than not, death seems so unexpected, so unplanned, to us. We would like to think that God-fearing parents would get to live to their old age and see their childrens' children. Then once they get to their elderly age they would go on to be with the LORD. But whose plan is that? It just reinforces that He is in control. God knew everything that would happen up until our last day on this earth.

Although it is very shocking, we can't press pause to figure everything out or anticipate what's next. We will never know His ways completely. We can't press pause but we can press pray. It's more than an appropriate statement to say -- it's an action. The best thing to do is pray and continue praying.  I would venture to say the words do not mean as much, but the actions will, regardless if they have actual knowledge of it or not. So it goes without saying, but I guess it's the only thing you can say at a time like this. We just have to do it.

Blessed be the name of The LORD. 
My heart will chose to say, LORD, blessed be Your name.

Praying that God would comfort and strengthen a family of friends, as they mourn the loss of their mother, aunt, wife, and sister.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

It’s a simple Sunday school answer.

So when I was younger, like pre-teen, I had some questions for my Sunday school teachers. One of my questions was 'how many hours were in one day, during the age when God created the world?' My limited comprehension was that “yeah, I believe He created this and that in one day, but how long was one day back then? Was it 24 hours?

My “aunty’s” would proffer a typical Sunday school answer and I was never really satisfied with these answers. Frankly, the Sunday School answer was too simple for me, at the time. But it was in my best interest to let the question go, for the time being, in that setting; the setting being a predominantly Nigerian church.

In a predominantly Nigerian church, the culture is in full effect! Here’s the quick formula for addressing elderly people in my culture:
  • Aunty = any woman who is about 7 or more years > greater than you.
  • Mummy = any woman who is ~ near your mom’s age. Yup they are also referred to as mummy. You can have so many mummy's, it's fantastic. They can beat discipline you too.
  • Big Mummy = any woman that’s somewhere in between your mom’s and grandma’s age
  • Mama = any woman who has grandma status.

Anyways, I recently revisited that question and I found the answer to be so simple. Christina, for the simple fact that you know He has the power to create the whole world, trust that it does not matter whether there were 24 hours in a day or 24 seconds. God was still going to do what He did.

When I begin to think about how every aspect of God is infinite, I have something like a brain overload. They say the more you know, the more you don’t know. I guess that’s why many of the characteristics of many atheists I’ve met are philosophical, book worms, or science nerds (nerd in a good way, but ultimately to their detriment).

He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Job 5:13

As I learn more about these detailed events that took place in the Old Testament, I attempt to process the various wars, and differences in the kings that reigned. And then I think of how complex each of us are and His omnipresence in all of our lives.

Naturally, now I have more questions, and I would like to think that a satisfying answer would require much more thought and analysis than a simple Sunday School answer. This would help when I speak to atheists. I assume it would be easier to explain and contend for the faith with an understanding of every detail and anticipate their qualms.

Currently, as in at this very moment, and the past couple of hours, I've been wondering how and why. I feel like a Mary and Martha mix right now. I just want to find the answers to my questions, be it on my own research, someone else’s research via a online sermon or blog, or inquiring of my friends, but I have other things that need to get done too. I want to sit as His feet like Mary, but get to work in the kitchen, symbolically meaning my exams, like Martha, and the 11th hour is upon us ~ final examinations!

The instinctive route would be to inquire of various key people in my life; bible scholars, pastors and friends, that are likely to give me a satisfying and microwaved answer.

And although I think many of these questions will be great for fellowship discussion, I have to make sure that I don’t lose the forest for the trees. My civil procedure professor told me this, during office hours, when I was getting to analytical on the little details. The big picture of the forest is that God was and is in control of all of this!
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7
Still in all our understanding, who can really grasp this: His Infinite wisdom? I can’t. I can’t even focus.

It’s a simple Sunday school answer; we can’t. [full stop]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...