Tuesday, not quite Friday

by Jinryu

When I was in first semester of Law School, I was assigned a tutor.  It was an extra little bonus for International law students.  My tutor, [Marino], was a German who a few years ago apparently spoke terrible English.

I didn’t learn much about the law, but he did teach me about a lot of random life things– in a way, he was more of a mentor than he was a tutor.

“It’s a jungle.  It’s an endurance sport, that’s what law is,” he explained, more than once.  “It is not just whether you know your material– it’s not just brains, but it’s your body.  It’s how well you can deal with stress, and how you push through suffering.”

And it’s true.  The amount of work that is assigned to a student in law school is, frankly, insane.  It’s not humanly (or, for that matter, humanely) possible for a student to ever do all the work that prescribed.  If you did nothing but do schoolwork in all your time outisde of school?  You’d go insane– the basic mechanics of your brain would break down.  Depression would ensue.  Chemical and hormonal balances as a result of sleep deprivation and poor eating will compound the effects.

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So, just as much as it is about hard work, law school is about time management– and that means taking the time to specifically not work.  And unwind.

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To be honest, I’m not sure what I’d do without [CM] in my life.

This morning, I woke up and checked my mail.  Usually, I wake up before CM.  Left to our natural devices, she’ll usually sleep about 10 hours, wheras I’ll usually sleep for 7 or 7.5.  I checked my mail– apparently my grandmother is in a hospital back home due to a low blood count.  Transfusion has made things better and she’s feeling much better now, so that’s good.  But she’s still under observation, and while anyone is in a hospital….

I’ve worked these places.  Things happen.  People who work in hospitals are generally good people who try their best– but you never know.  Despite being comfortable in all realities of hospital environments, the truth is, when it’s personal, it’s personal.

I sometimes tell myself simply, “there’s nothing you can do– put it out of your mind.”  But that kind of utilitarian taoism denies the strength and importance of human connections.

At the same time– I’ve got so much on my plate right now.  I’ve been waffling about putting the final touches on an Administratie Law paper due Friday, and I haven’t had any time whatsoever to start the research proposal that’s due on Saturday.  I’m not sure how the news about Grandma is affecting me, because it happens on a subconscious level, but I know that it’ll start showing symptoms soon.  And I don’t know if I have time for those symptoms.

A lot of people who know me closely will probably say that I’m extremely strong willed, and have a lot of mental toughness.  Relatively speaking, I think this is true– but what it also means is that in the situations where I do feel oppressed, they’re circumstances that are pretty damn tough that nobody can help me with.  Situations of oppression to me are things that only I can take care of, because it’s a question of trucking on.

Depression?  I do get depressed every now and then– or just overwhelmed, however you want to put it.  WHen I’m depressed, my personality is frankly poisonous.  I don’t like feeling sorry for myself, so I tend to refocus any feelings of inadequacy and grief into anger and cynicism.  Green grass and flowers wilt in my wake.

It’s old news, really– I’m no stranger to all that.

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The difference this time around is that at the end of every night and at the beginning of every morning, CM is the person in front of me.  She helps me to add balance to my life.  She anchors me in simpler times that we share, despite the complexities of the responsibilities demanded  of us.

In another life, if I was in this situtaiton, I might get through it all, but at the cost of becoming, irrecoverably, a little less human with each joule of anger I rely on.

Now?  Now it’s not so bad to just feel a bit down, because the fact that someone is there to pick me up makes things nice.  I mean, certainly, I shouldn’t overdo it, but for what it is, it is nic

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