Monday, June 16, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I worked my tail off.

I'm still trying to read through all the handouts I got in my government documents and law libraries research course at Samford University's Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research.

They asked for comments on the evaluation, and my main comment was: Give us the handouts a week early. Then maybe we'll have time to read them before the class is over.

It was a terrific week. It gave me lots of ideas for future research and exploration. And it even provided me with a few clues to follow up on research I'd already begun and had thought I'd probably exhausted. Turns out there is a lot more there.

And, of course, I determined that Natalie dropped out of law school. Always a plus. Now I just have to figure out why she would have thought it was a good idea to go there in the first place.

And I need to think about more of the back story. Maybe do some writing. Scratch a bit -- like Twyla Tharp in The Creative Habit. And I'm reading a book by Sol Stein called On Writing, which I've had for years and which I've only dipped into a few times. It looks like a good book.

I've got photos to download -- including a lovely one of Tess Gerritsen from her visit here two weeks ago. And I have a signed copy of her book, The Mephisto Club, to give away, which I will be doing on Friday. Make a comment and get in the drawing for Tess's book.

If you can give me a good reason why Nat dropped out of law school, you get two spots in the drawing.

I noticed that Anne Gracie is blogging on Tote Bags 'n' Blogs today about being a serial killer. She's pretty much a softie, so I think you can take that with a grain of salt. But there's a great tribute there to her dad on his birthday as well, and that's absolutely heartfelt. Check it out.

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Blogger Jill said...

Hmm, my husband who has been to law school, suggested being falsely accused of cheating.
I'm not sure why she wouldn't fight it though.
The only other thing I could think of was to care for a sick family member.

17 June, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Jill
Being accused of cheating would certainly leave a bad taste in her mouth. I don't think it's that, but thank you for checking with your husband!

I think she probably dropped out because she realized that she didn't really like doing what lawyers do. I think Natalie is pretty opinionated, and when she was younger she may have thought that being a lawyer was a way to right all the wrongs in the world. Now I think she's just determined to live her life independently and not let anyone take advantage of her.

We shall see. Thanks for giving it some thought. I appreciate it!

17 June, 2008  
Blogger lidia said...

Perhaps she doesn't have the "stomach" for it? Depending on what type of law she was planning to specialize in, you do meet up with some unsavory characters. And in the U.S. at least, "innocent until proven guilty" can mean that she would need to possibly defend people that she didn't like or didn't agree with their principles. It is a "strange" wake-up call.

17 June, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I think you've captured an aspect of her attitude, Lidia. She isn't the sort of woman who can divorce how she feels about something (whether it's 'right' or not) from whether a technicality will get someone off who is morally culpable.

I don't want to push this too far, because it's not a huge aspect of her character. But while I was at Samford in the law library, and I loved using it for what I was using it for, I still felt like a fish out of water, and I expect that Nat would as well.

17 June, 2008  
Blogger Madeline said...

Anne, I think it depends on what year she was in law school. The first year was the hardest ever. I spent more time in the library than in actual class. Looking up court room cases and writing never ending papers on them, only to have the Professor tell us that the test we were going to have, wasn't on any of the material that we researched. Nor was it on anything that he taught in class.

Also a first year Law student has no social life at all. Unless you count meeting the librarian daily as a date.

Natalie probably dropped out because she wanted to spend more time with real people than keeping her head buried in Law books. No social life makes for a very unhappy student.

Of course you have to be a little hard to be a lawyer. Dealing with criminal cases is no picnic. Natalie might have had too soft a heart to deal with what lawyers deal with on a daily basis.

I don't know if this helped you but, I know that my first year in Law school was the hardest thing that I ever did. Lots of late nights buried in books, no social life and very little sleep. You have to be very dedicated to want to be a lawyer.

Most people go to Law school because they think they will make a lot of money as a lawyer. They don't realize that they will have to start at the bottom and work their way up. Was Natalie going to Law school because she thought it would give her a good salary or maybe to make a name for herself, like big money lawyers do? Did she go because most Law schools have a lot of good looking men in the classes (most of whom come from rich families)?

I'd have to know more about Natalie's background to help you on why she wanted to go to Law school in the first place. I hope my comments helped you at least a little. Keeping my fingers crossed that you get all the answers you need to get this book moving along.

Hugs, Mads:)

18 June, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Mads,

Thanks for the background on going to law school. I knew it wasn't for me!

Natalie was going to do it because her dad did it and she had admired him a great deal when she was a kid. Then he let her down in a big way and she had to rethink a lot of things. I think 'being a lawyer' was one of the rethings. And it was a smart move for her when she switched. She still has issues but that's not one of them!

19 June, 2008  

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