Monday, October 19, 2009

when it rains

The Hwangs felt it this weekend. Crawling internet access, poor LSAT score, sicknesses, pet passing.

The only good thing was that Pie's EBT results came in the mail and he scored in the 99th percentile. At least I know my smarts went somewhere other than my foot.

I woke up Saturday morning to take a Pie for his first round of H1N1 vaccination. I checked my email and saw my LSAT score. I stared at it and walked back into the bedroom, woke John, told him and began to bawl. Pie ran downstairs to see what was wrong with Mummy.

I got it together fast for him and sent him back upstairs. I cried quietly in John's arms and then we decided to go ahead with the application processes and hope the strength of my essays will wow the crowd. But I was, and still am, crushed. I've never done so poorly in anything academic since Spanish in high school. And even that didn't disappoint me this way.

John spent the weekend being miserable from the cold. But he and Pie did go to see "Where the Wild Things Are" and he said James Gandolfini pretty much ran away with the show. Pie got a crown from his gymnastics class and he looked pretty cool wearing it. He wore it for a about 2 minutes when the movie started and then told his daddy it was making his head sweat, so he took it off.

Most of Friday and Saturday had me swearing and jonesing for the internets. We called Time Warner Cable and they did whatever and eventually John agreed to an appointment for Thursday! Thursday! I have to fill out forms online. Fuck Thursday.

But then John thought the cable itself might be bad and changed it. So far, so good. We're going to wait a couple of days and see how it goes before we cancel the appointment.

But last night was the worst. I went to bed early. I felt that John was snapping at me and I wanted to snap at him and my head was pounding and he was sick and the Pie was making too much noise and it did me in. I fell asleep in minutes. It felt like was only asleep for minutes when I heard, "Petal. Petal. Felix is dead."

There was much what-ing and Felix-is-dead-ing until it sunk in. John sounded like he was in shock. He couldn't even break it to me gently, he just had to say it. For a while, everything he said sounded like it came from outside of him. Felix is my... was my favorite pet but nothing I was going through was compared to John, who had him from a baby.

We put him in a box and woke Valentine. She clambered into the box and sniffed him a bit and then curled up next to him. That's when I lost it. Both Jackson and Mollie came downstairs and having all 4 pets in the same square foot made my allergies rise up something fierce. John's hands were already itching as he is slightly allergic to Felix. He was slightly allergic to Felix.

Felix. Past tense now.

We decided against telling Pie last night. I tried going back to bed twice but my right eye was itching so bad, I wanted to dig it right out. I'm pretty sure I scratched my cornea. We had no non-drowsy med so I had to wait it out. It hurt when I blinked. I washed my hands and face and stayed up with John for a bit while he was on the phone with the internet people. When he changed the cable, we played around online and then I went to bed.

I woke up to see Valentine still curled up next to her little brother. I'm not sure she closed her eyes all the way last night. It hurts to even think about her.

I told Pie and he was so unhappy. We'd already told him that we'd have to put down Valentimes (what he calls her) but Felix was a surprise. He didn't want to see Felix and I wasn't terribly unhappy about that. I didn't want his last memory of him to be all stiff in a box.

John's awake and we're going to call the vet to see about cremation and disposal. We also decided we might have to move up Valentine's trip to the beyond. We were so distressed at the thought of having to go through this another 3 times. I'm so glad I made callalloo yesterday. I need all the comfort food I can get.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Le Pie est ici

In an effort to not think about the LSAT score, I called Shelly. And talked about the LSATs. Sigh.

However, we did manage to talk of other things, including her trying to get me to take a train to Maryland to help her unpack. More sigh.

The Pie came up and I was telling her how we live a fairly quiet NY life, as compared to the frantic idea that most people have of New Yorkers. We don't have small children, two jobs, have to walk up several flights of stairs to get home. Only one of us has to be in rush-hour traffic and both my husband and child can come home to hot food most days of the week.

And the Pie is in a school he truly loves. That is so foreign to me. I hated school. Not just like everyone else. I truly hated the place. Elementary school holds no good memories to me. I went to 2: Aranguez Islamia and San Juan Presbyterian. All my older siblings went to AI and were very well-known, and my mother was adored there. I hated that school. I had a couple of friends, but most of the other kids didn't like me because I was bright.

SJP was no better. There, my father was revered. My absolute worst memory comes from that school and my sainted father is right in the middle of it.

I hated getting up in morning. I hated putting on that garbadine uniform. I hated walking up the steps to my classroom. I hated the feeling of wondering if I was going to get hit by the teacher, with a stick, a ruler, his hand or the back of a handbrush. My 5th Standard teacher instituted the tap: students were allowed to "tap up" (slap behind the head) of any other student who was standing to answer a question and made a mistake. One girl's mother was a teacher in the school and after her daughter got her first tap, her mother came to our teacher and told him that the child gets headaches and to not tap her anymore. The rest of us could go suck duck egg. I still remember the first and only time I ever got hit on the back of the head by the boy sitting next to me because I made a mistake reading from a science book. I wanted to close that big, thick textbook and slam him upside the face. I have no idea to this day how I managed to contain myself. I didn't blame the boy, who told me he was sorry afterwards. No one enjoyed doing that to the person standing up. It was a tiny way of sharing the licks, especially among the kids who were beaten more often than others. I just hope that teacher died a slow and painful death.


I digress.

Pie just does not have this experience in school. Neither did Chris. Pie just has the best damn time in school. He does not know how lucky he is. He wouldn't have this experience in public school, or in any other private school for that matter. He does so much in a day and it never feels oppressive, the way my school work did. He's allowed to think for himself and express himself, not a wild way, but in a controlled, creative way that still gives him freedom.

I am so glad neither of my children had to go through what I did. Corporal punishment was against the law by the time Chris went to school, but I still made it very clear that I would not tolerate any teacher putting God out of her thoughts.

Ok. Back to Bom.

law school applications

I'm not sure that filling out law school applications was the way to get my mind off the LSAT score. My heart speeds up whenever I see Inbox (1) in my email tab. I wake up in a panic every morning, wondering if today is the day. I read in someone's law school blog that she did amazing as an undergrad and had all kinds of stuff going for her but she didn't get a great LSAT score and saw more rejections than acceptions.

I'm only applying to 6 schools, in the New York City area: Cardozo, NYU, NY Law, Fordham, CUNY Law School and Columbia. Anywhere else is too far and would require me to move. Actually, even CUNY is far, but...

Fordham means I can come home during the day. Columbia, too, but I don't have the highest hopes for Columbia. NYU is one of my favorite places and there are 2 wonderful scholarships that are right up my alley. NY Law has massive classes. Cardozo has small classes and is the front runner, just ahead of Fordham and NYU, as they are all terrific intellectual property law schools. I think I'm really going into international IP, which might be helpful if I ever have to move back home.

So I've been filling out applications and writing down everything that had to get left out or is needed specifically for a school. The 2 schols for NYU require separate essays, I also need to write 2 Addendums for all the apps to explain why there are 2 LSAT scores and why I there's an employment gap between 2005 and 2009.

[John gave me a small journal yesterday and it is coming in so handy to jot down all these things. I am also waiting on a plug for my Mac. It's okay to fill out the forms on Derek's laptop but I need a lot of stuff that's saved on my hard drive to write the essays. John's computer is on the fritz as well and he is waiting on a video card. I can do research on his, if it were working, but I cannot type on his weird ergonomic keyboard. I need the Sexy Beast for my juices to flow.]

I'm also trying to get the feel of where IP is going and what is needed to get into an academic career. I attended a terrific IP conference at NYU over the summer and am going to a conference on teaching law at Cardozo next month.

Ok, enough of this. Must get back to filling out forms.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

the lsat chonicles - the aftermath

I am so afraid of these results. I am trying to prepare myself for a score that just won't cut it. I can't put into words how I feel about this test. I felt I did so many things wrong, things that never went wrong before.

I forgot to set my watch before the first section, which was Reading Comp. I had the dials set to 12 but I forgot to press the knob when the examiner said to start. As a result, I had no idea of the time I was wasting and only had 5 minutes to do the last passage. I'm not even sure I aced the first 3 passages.

Then there were 3 Logical Reasoning sections, one of them being experimental, 2 before the break and one after. I was dead tired by the break and it didn't help that the door slammed into my toes and I wanted to faint from the pain. I just had to suck it up.

The proctors made a huge deal about not lining up for bathrooms. I took the test in a high school. Very nice facilities but I had a side-along desk, bigger than the ones I took the tests on at Kaplan, but cramped all the same. All of my stuff kept falling off. It was so irritating.

Anyhoo, we were told there were bathrooms on all the floors (tests were on the 4th and 5th floor and I was on the 4th) and not to line up, just go use the others. Fine. But we weren't allowed to use the elevators, even though the proctors made full use of them, lazy gits. What the fuck where they saving their energy for? To call 5 minutes? To walk around and pick up 20 or so books in a room.

Again, I digress. So I went down to the 3rd floor before the test started to use the bathroom, only to find it locked. I knew the one on the first floor was open, but I didn't want to walk up 4 flights of stairs yet again. So I went back to the line on the 4th floor and the woman who was in front of me let me go in front of her because she said I was there before her. So nice.

At the break, when the proctors again announced not to stand in line, I shouted that the bathrooms on the 3rd floor were locked. I had to shout because they refused to listen when I spoke softly. By then I was so irritated and vexed (and I hadn't even hurt my toe then) with their stupid proclamation, that I just shouted. We got the staff bathroom on the 4th floor open but the lines were long everywhere. I guess the proctors wanted to go home by noon or something, but they had no choice but to wait for everyone to use the bathrooms.

I was so tired after the 3rd Logical Reasoning. I was so looking forward to the Logical Games section but by the time it came, I was exhausted. And it was so easy. Again, I mismanaged my time and wanted to throw the pencil when time was called.

I got through the writing sample. I was so upset. The test was so easy. It should have been easy for me. Nothing in it was a surprise or undoable. I don't know what happened to me. I just felt crappy.

The rest of the day was great. I got home by 1:20 and John was so surprised when he and Pie came home from Pie's gymnastics class that he thought I left the test early or something. The proctors were efficient, minus that bathroom thing, and we started on time and moved very quickly because each room only had about 20-25 people. There were no problems in my room and seemed to be few all-round, judging by the fact that nearly everyone left the building at the same time.

We hung out at home. I went to Old Navy, tired as I was, and bought a Cardy Coat. I missed Shelley because I had no one to model it for but John liked it. I'm trying to get him to buy me another one.

We went to dinner at Ollie's and had a good time. We brought home enough food to eat the next day.

Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning with a sore throat. By the next day it was a full-on cold and I've been laid up all week. I feel better today than I have since Sunday and I don't want to over do it but we have company on Friday and Sunday and I have to get a-house-cleaning. John has been terrific, taking the Pie to school, picking him up, doing dishes and being sweet to me, even when I mouth "I AM SPARTA!"

I am hoping for the best re the LSATs and, after this post, will try not to think about it till the scores come in. Think good thoughts for me.