Friday, April 24, 2009

The Law Thing

During the last week at Georgetown Law, right after our last final exam, a group of us sat around a table at the Cheesecake Factory. Someone asked, "How long do you see yourself doing the law thing?"

We had just spent the past three years in classrooms, working toward our JDs. We had each invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I had accumulated a $90K debt. We had passed many nights at the library, preparing outlines, stressing over exams, pouring over the Bluebook. After all that, each of us had been lucky enough to secure positions with big law firms in different cities around the country.

Despite that, the responses were almost uniform. "No more than three." "Two years tops." Not ten, not the rest of our lives. Only two or three.

No one wondered how that made sense. To spend three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars toward a career of two, three years? Instead, we all nodded matter of factly.

I was the last in the circle. I too didn't think to question it. I had no idea about my future, so I just said, "I guess two."

Then one of the guys turned to me, pointed his finger, and said, "I give you no more than one!"

I wondered why he singled me out for just one year.

Well, it turned out to be more than one. More than two or three. It took three years to pay off my debt alone. Then another few to dawdle. Then a few more to talk myself into staying with the well-paying career in which I had invested so many years.

By the time I was fired, most of my friends had already left big law firms. Many had in-house positions. A few went into government, another few to academia. A couple of others were floundering visibly -- although almost all of my friends had wondered quietly at one point or another what the hell they were doing and how much longer they could do the law thing. Only one or two made it to partnership.

These days, I find myself meeting with friends who are starting their own shops. We wonder why it seemed so daunting to move on. Why we wrung our hands so many times wondering what we should do next. What it meant to have our self-esteem tied to a big corporate name. When a friend announces, "She works at Google" as her eyes enlarge and that knowing look appears, I now notice.

I'm now on the other side of that world that seemed to represent a sense of security. It had to happen sooner or later. And it's a relief to find that it's not so bad over here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Miscarriage Survey

If you have miscarried in the past six months, please take this survey being conducted by Lisa Rosenzweig, a doctoral student at Columbia University. This survey is designed to help medical and mental health professionals provide better support to women who have miscarried. I feel that miscarriages are far too often treated as non-events, and attitudes need to change. This can make a difference.

Thanks to Lisa for tackling this issue. Please see the intro from Lisa below.

(If the link above does not work, please cut and past this url:

* * *
Everyone has a unique experience with miscarriage and many find help and support through websites like this one. Unfortunately, little is known about women's experiences of support and how this may affect responses to miscarriage, and so I invite you to participate in my dissertation research study examining women’s experiences following a miscarriage. Although there is no direct benefit to you, survey results may help healthcare providers better understand and meet the needs of women following miscarriage. This online survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes and is open to women who have miscarried a wanted pregnancy in the previous 6 months who are 18 years of age or older, living in the United States, and involved in a relationship with a significant other. Participants are eligible for a raffle for a $50 American Express gift certificate. For more information, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Lisa Rosenzweig
Teachers College

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Susan Boyle

I don't usually comment on pop culture since I'm always behind or completely clueless, but the other day, someone sat me down to watch Susan Boyle's YouTube video. Since then, I've watched it no less than 30 times. Not only because Les Miserables is one one of my favorite musicals. Something about that lady standing in front of an eyeball-rolling audience and belting out her talent is strangely appealing. And watching the judges' faces transform.

There's a slightly righteous side of me that says, She showed them! Why do they even think appearances are correlated to singing? But a larger part of me feels so inspired by her. She could have told herself that she's 47, who cares to see some middle-aged woman sing, what are the odds of being discovered at this point, and why even bother? And fears of being judged by a hostile audience could have easily kept her at home.

If I were to project all my fears onto her, I could see myself ruing the years I had to spend looking after my mother, rebuking myself for letting the pounds creep on and for having passed up my youth. And I can easily imagine myself slowly caving into myself, forcing myself to accept that this is my lot in life, and becoming a little crotchety in the process.

Maybe in her private moments, she fretted about the years that passed - or the opportunities she missed. Maybe she had fears up to her ears. Maybe others had to cajole her to sign up for the audition. But whatever happened, she did it. And that is so damn inspiring. Good for her.

Monday, April 13, 2009

CVS Results

We received our CVS results on Thursday. Everything is normal. And it's a boy.

We are so relieved. Now, we have to have the baby tested for spina bifida, and once we are cleared of that, we can really start breathing.

We started thinking of names. And pulled out the mound of books I had bought during my first pregnancy. And reviewed the To Do List to get ourselves ready for the little guy. And even bought a pregnancy magazine. I hear it has the powers of a talisman.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Hi, Everyone,

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be out of town this week, so I'll be back here sometime after 4/11. Hope you have a great week!


Thursday, April 2, 2009


When we went in last week for our CVS, the doctor couldn't perform the procedure because of the position of the placenta. They just did an ultrasound and assessed the risks based on a blood test and the measurement of the baby's nuchal translucency. The odds look incredibly good: just one in 1400 chance of having down's syndrome and one in 4000 of having trisomony 8 or 13.

We went back in this afternoon for the CVS. The doctor who met with us today was the same doctor who was supposed to perform the CVS last November when we found out that the baby had died. He remembered us and greeted us with the warmest smile, a pat on the arm, and a hearty, "Looks like you're doing much better today!" The CVS was quick and painless, although my heart seemed to stop when we saw the catheter probe so close to the baby. It'll take about a week to get the results. In the meantime, I get to lie in bed for the rest of the day, bug Jeff if I need anything, and catch up on my old New Yorker issues. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon...