Thursday, May 28, 2009


I watch movies and read books about people from ancient cultures coming to the US and trying to adjust. They try to hold on to their past while raising a family influenced by all things American. They grew up amidst the mysteries and sustenance of rituals, traditions and a different world view. Here, a new way of life bludgeons you almost from the moment you step off the plane.

I am not of Carib or Arawak descent, so I can hardly claim being from an ancient culture. While I feel close to my Indian ancestry, I didn't really grow up in those traditions. I have always considered myself a Trini, even before being a woman.

I loved being a Trinidadian. Hard as my life was, I was very connected to where I lived. It was, and still is, a part of who I am. I had my complaints, who doesn't? Trinidad needs improving, no question, but so does the US, England, Zimbabwe and China. 

I miss the heat. I never thought I'd hear myself say that. But the day I walked down a hot NY street with a hot cup of coffee told me a lot about who I am. Also, the day I felt that biting wind told me a thing or two as well.

I wish we could go home more often. I had never orignally intended to make anything like a yearly trip home, but now with law school looming and the possibilty of not going back till I graduate it's killing me not to go. 

I find here to be isolating. I have a mind-set that removes me from everything. It doesn't help that John constantly tells me how to think, how to behave, what to say. It's not like "Sleeping with the Enemy" or anything that bad. I know where he is coming from. But I find my nail digging into my hand every now and then and forcing my poker face on and telling myself to shut up. I know he's coming from a good place and doesn't mean to be annoying and it's not his fault I am annoyed. 

Sometimes, I just shut down. I cannot bear people. Sometimes, I wish I could just pick up the phone and chat. But I know I want to talk to Bellie and Anu and no one else will do. I miss my friends and I have so very few friends here. Certainly none of that caliber. John's friends are sweet, but all of them that I know are pregnant. No shit. All of them. I cannot imagine what our baby-buying budget is going to look like later this year! 

It's not that I don't want to talk to them. I do. I'd love to tell tales about when Pie was a baby and all that. But I am late in the game here. All these women have had support from early on. In a way, I envy them, because I didn't have that. Definitely not with Pie and in a backhand, (now-I-see) underhanded way with Chris. Sometimes, being around them is very, very hard. I feel physical pain in my chest to see their happy homes and babies and grandparents.

I've found it much harder to let go of the time before John and after Pie. Maybe if I were younger, it would be easier. But, then again, there's a lot of shit that still angers me and years span a chasm between now and then.

I hate that I took things for granted back home. I hate that I didn't eat more doubles or jump in a Peter Minshall mas. I went to Panorama once and never Dimanche Gras. I should have gone to more cricket and fete at Moka. I miss "Soca Santa" and Double Ten at Excellent City, which was perfectly positioned two streets away from D'Guardian. But I didn't know I'd be missing them. They were always there and I could do them whenever.

I don't even know when Divali and Eid are here. I get some messages from home on the day, but it's so far removed from me here. I held my own Eid once at my flat and all I served was sawine and I think most people I knew came by. It was just great. One of my friends even dropped HER sawine off and took away some of mine!

I worry about my friends. Who does Bellie call now when she needs cheering up? Why is Anu asking me to "come home tomorrow"? I wonder about Table 5, whom I pretty much lost touch with after I left home. I hope they are all doing well.

Ok. Sad sack post over. Back to the books.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the last chronicles - endurance

I'm in the home stretch, but it doesn't feel like it. It's May 27 and the exam is on June 8. I have my last tutoring session this morning and Tutor is going to go over LR questions in the assumption family, where I am still have problems less than 2 weeks before the test. This worries me.

I'm a little tired of class and going to class. It's not that I am not learning and find the work done instructive, I'm just tired of going. There is no bond with this class as there was with others and half the class isn't even taking the test in June. I don't know why that bothers me. I think I wish the class could be a little more intense and I feel it's getting a bit laid-back. Maybe it's me who should be more intense.

Still, I am very glad I took the class. Kaplan knows its stuff and Tutor is, naturally, a heavy advocate of the method. On occasion, rare ones, that does get a bit annoying, especially when someone suggests a small deviation that has been found helpful. I did that once and I felt he was quick to knock it down without really giving it some thought. He said if I found it to work, I can go ahead but he made it clear that it was an aberration and one else should give it a go. I found myself feeling more insulted than I should. 

I suppose he should be advocating anything other than the method because, as he himself pointed out about another matter, people who didn't do well would be very happy to blame Kaplan for something and sue.

That really depresses me. Shit like that makes me miss home more than ever. I come across thinking like that so very often and it makes me retreat into myself. I really feel like I am losing myself in this country. It's been too long since I've been home and I need a shot of Trinidad like I need my caffeine every morning. It does not help that one of my closest friends keeps asking me to come home tomorrow. I want to, honey. More than these inadequate words can describe.

I must try to compartmentalize that until June 8. No birthday, no Trinidad. But I made the choice and I am committed. I am not dealing with anything that I did not know was going to happen. I can do this.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the lsat chronicles - slow progress

I am seeing some improvement in both Logical Reasoning and Logic Games. My grasp (finally!) of Formal Logic is key to this. I am still having a bit of a struggle over "X unless Y" but I made Tutor text me an example and I have it saved on my phone so I can check it often. And I do.

Tutor has been great. He sent me some good advice and he is very encouraging. He has developed a great rhythm with the class and he is very dedicated, even when I think he should just leave the people who come late and leave early. How serious can you be if you do that? But he might be a better man than me.

I was talking with a classmate today and she, like others, think I am worrying too much. But I know why I worry. I really don't feel as confident as I should and I realize I really want to go to law school. If I don't get a good score to get into a good school and get some funding, I feel like I wouldn't be able to face John. 

I don't know how I can look at him and tell him that I might need to re-sit the exam in September. I know I shouldn't even be thinking about re-sitting but I have to be realistic as well. I will have to pay the exam fee again, but I will be able to take the course again for free. But I feel just having to tell him that will cause me so many problems: the money; the time away from the family; John having to do more; a stressful summer with Pie that should be carefree and fun.

I also realize how much I want this and I'm so worried I might not get it. 

I also went to have a look at New York Law School today. I went to NYU last Friday for an IP seminar and will be going to Cardozo on Thursday. I lined up two terrific recommenders from home. After Thursday, my focus will solely be on the LSAT. I pounded out a draft of my personal statement before I started the prep course, so I have a board to jump off of when I'm done with the LSAT. New York Law also requires a second statement but I can worry about that later.

After the LSAT, I am going to sit and write a post comparing the six schools I am going to apply to. I'm really looking for a good fit for me and my foray into copyright academia. Until then, I'm working on "X unless Y".