The week that we had off for Thanksgiving was filled with much stress, tears, and constant studying. The first final I had was Torts. The studying for this test was memorizing 17 pages of information verbatim. I could not remember anything. I had it printed out, I wrote it all on note cards, I made recordings of it and listened while I was in the shower. (Yes, even taking a shower was not free of studying. Every minute counted). The day before the test, I still didn't have it all memorized. It is only because of GOD that I was able to somehow remember it all and get it out of my head and onto the paper for the test.
The morning of the first test, I got up at 4:00 a.m. (Basically the middle of the night) and headed to school to continue studying. It was still dark, I was exhausted but too nervous to sleep. Of course my professor was late due to the miserable traffic so it just added more stress. Finally, it was test time. I was handed my test packet, I opened it up and started. I started writing it all out, analyzing it, answering the questions and then I hear the professor say "Ten minutes left". In my head I am screaming "NOOOOOOOO!". Had four hours really gone by that fast? I still was in the middle of writing stuff out. I had literally about an hour left of work to do and apparently ten minutes left to do it. Somehow, it all got done in ten minutes. I left feeling completely drained. I went to eat lunch with a friend which consisted of pouting over a salad about the test. Realizing some of the mistakes I made and making way more of a deal about it than it actually was. After the self inflicted stress of lunch, I went home and went to straight to sleep.
We had one day between finals. Since I spent so much time studying for the Torts exam, I hardly studied for anything else so those days between finals were essential. Each study day was also very stressful and irritating.. I would go to bed feeling like I knew nothing, sleep for a few hours and head to school. My sleep was so horrible too. It's like I was sleeping but my brain was wide awake. When I woke up, I remembered that in my sleep, I was going over legal terms, concepts, definitions, etc. It's like I was in that place between sleep and awake still quizzing myself. (Crazy, I know).
My Criminal Law exam was on a Friday and the only afternoon exam which ended at 7:00 p.m. which was insane. After that exam, I had five days before my last exam. Those days were stressful, but not nearly as stressful as that week of Thanksgiving. Test day came and went. Finally it was over!
I took that last test a few days ago and have been busy ever since. lol. The day after the test, I volunteered to pull a beautiful dog from the pound about 30 minutes from where I live and transport her to a shelter about 3 hours from where I live where she will be able to find her forever home. I have never been to the pound before. It was a horrible place. When i got out of my car there was a kennel with so many dogs barking. I spoke softly to them and they all got so silent and listened. The same thing happened when I left. It was so heartbreaking to take one and leave the rest. In that moment, It hurt so bad to swallow the knot in my throat. I had to fight back the tears because the girl I pulled that day was shy and it was her happy day. So, I made myself smile at her while my heart broke a million times over for the others.
When the man brought her to me, she was filthy and covered in feces. He said to me "Where are you going to out her?" He clearly saw I had a little two door Honda. Could he not see that she was going to be sitting in my car? He said, "She is covered in dog mess." I told him that I could see that. Wanting to get her out of there right away, I tried to put her in my car. I looked into her droopy eyes and thought that this poor, beautiful soul did not deserve to ride for three hours covered in that mess. I got her out of my car and went back into the building and asked if i could clean her. They told me that there was a hose outside. WHAT?!?! A hose?!?! NO! I told them I was taking her to the bathroom. Once in there, I cleaned her the best I could with soap and water. After she was as clean as I could get her, we got in the car and were off.
I brought her a baggie of food from home, some water, and treats. She ate the food, and drank all the water I had. She had her treats and then the most beautiful thing happened. She kissed my face, placed her head on my shoulder and went to sleep. I will never forget the blessing I felt at that exact moment. I fell in love with her a million times over. She felt relief and it was because of me.
We stopped and got more water along the way. She drank two bottles full and we stopped so I could walk her. She did not want to get out of the car. For her, the car had become some kind of safe sanctuary. It was clean, cool, there was food, water, and love. Who would want to ever leave that? Any we finally arrived at the shelter and heartbreak came upon me again. How was I going to let her go? I was never going to see her again. Was she going to think I abandoned her? Would she ever forgive me for leaving her after so much love had been shared? These thoughts took over my mind as I walked with her to the shelter. She was walking and sniffing everything. This was all new to her. Again, my heart broke just watching her. A truck drove by and made some loud noise and she was startled and came back to me. How was I ever going to let this girl go?
When we got to the shelter (which was also a nonprofit vet clinic), she hesitated but came in. I sat on the bench and kissed her goodbye. She kissed me back. The staff thanked me and then she was gone. My sweet girl was gone...
Needless to say, I walked out into the street and sobbed. Sobbed in front of people passing by, in the middle of traffic while crossing the street, and all the way back home. Even now as I write this, I am fighting back tears. Even for me, that time with her was care-free. Finals were over and all that mattered for that chunk of time was her. For that time, she was my dog and I loved nothing more than her. I hope and pray that her new family, whoever they are, love her as much as I love her. I also, urge all of my dear readers to do your part. Adopt, don't buy dogs from breeders when there are beautiful dogs who are killed everyday in pounds. If you can't adopt, then volunteer, donate, transport. Whatever you do, just don't hurt them.
It was a very heartbreaking day but I am beyond blessed to have been able to be a part of something much greater than I will ever be. Something so beautiful, words can never express the gratitude and pure love I felt that day. I will always love her.
Anyway, the next day, I went to a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) in the same city. (Much driving). Attorneys need a certain number of hours per year to maintain their license. This one was really great! I was invited because I am a member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. I of course got no credit, however I gained so much. I learned about areas of animal law that I had no idea were even a thing... I got to hear the celebrity of the animal law world speak which was a real treat! I made new friends and even spoke to an attorney who works in Seattle. She gave me her e-mail address and said I can contact her and she may be able to help me find an internship! How cool is that? God is totally at work in my life and I am so happy.
We were served a vegan lunch which was delicious! I was so tired but too too exhilarated to think about it. I just can't wait till I get out of law school and am like all of those attorneys who fight to make a difference for animals.
Ok, so yesterday, my aunt and uncle came in and my mom and I had lunch with them and went shopping a little. It was nice to be able to sit with people and not be constantly bombarded with thoughts of school. Also, I won more tickets on the radio. (I know, I have been amazingly lucky at winning tickets on the radio). Last night, my best friend and I went to the concert that i won tickets for. The band was horrible but I had fun because I was with her. It was so good to see her. I had missed her so much. I am hoping to get to see her a lot more over the next few weeks. :)
Today was the first day of just doing absolutely nothing and it was fabulous! I did take today to rest. I took an amazingly long nap today and am just waking up. I'm just making food right now and about to watch a Christmas movie with my pups which is basically heaven on earth. Tomorrow will be a busy day though. I have to catch up on all the stuff that I neglected throughout the semester like: laundry, doctor appointments, cleaning, exercising, and just general errands that got pushed to the side. I also will have to do a little Christmas shopping.
Anyway, I will end it here. Thank you all so much for reading and for all the love and support over this past semester. My first semester of law school is officially over! Time went by so fast and my life is completely different from how it was just four months ago. I am exactly where I need to be and would not be here without God. Talk to you all in the next post. Merry Christmas guys!