Today I decided to post an excerpt of a longer piece that I am working on for a class. It is the very first draft and only a fraction of the piece as a whole. But I wanted some feedback. And it explains pretty well what I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks now. I don’t know if I will end up posting the whole piece but here is what I have thus far:
“Can I hear from someone other than Marina?” That is what I heard practically every day in my AP Constitutional Law class in high school. It’s not that my comments or questions were wrong or inappropriate, I just always wanted to answer. There was something about that class. I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that I was raised in a house where politics and current events were always important conversations, or the fact that the teacher, Mr. Poole, seemed to really enjoy teaching, or maybe just the fact that I wanted to know what my rights were, but there was something about that class that I loved. Other students complained about having to read the text book or brief court cases, but I was interested in it.
The idea of being a lawyer was something that people had always joked about with me. My dad would say, “Well you argue enough to be one” or my friends would say, “You have no mercy so I could see you as a prosecutor.” See, my dad was a Denver Police officer for almost 30 years. He had always worked closely with district attorneys and would occasionally tell us about how he cracked a case or how he got witnesses to confess. While I always admired what my dad did and who he was, I knew that being a police officer just wasn’t for me. I signed up to take Constitutional Law because I heard great things about the teacher and the class itself, and I didn’t want to take Ancient Civilizations which the alternative for juniors that year. Little did I know that it would become my passion.
I remember the exact moment that this realization came to me. I had a rough day filled with drama and emotions that only high school girls can produce. I decided that I had to get my mind off of the impending doom that came from the latest rumor or argument. So I went to the library, somewhere I admittedly did not frequent very often, and I opened up my Constitutional Law book and just started reading. I read the homework for the week and then kept going. It was the first time in my life that I had decided to do something academic to avoid the harsh realities of life in high school. I thought to myself, “Hmm this is strange. This is not my usual way of clearing my head.” And then I remembered a quote that I had seen online: “The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” And that is the moment I knew.
However, like most people, I needed some validation. I went to Mr. Poole’s classroom and I asked him “Do you think that I have a serious chance of being a lawyer?” The question didn’t seem intimidating or scary at the time, I just wanted an honest opinion from someone who knew the process and myself. He said, “Yeah I think so. You clearly have an interest in it and can keep up with reading.” He asked me what I was planning on majoring in once I got to college. The only plan I really had at that point was to do fashion design and I wasn’t entirely sold on that idea, I said I liked to write and that English might be a possibility. What he told me next is what helped me make a major decision in my life. “Actually lately English degrees have been one of the most sought after degrees for law schools. They know how to look at a text, analyze it, think critically about it and obviously write.” He also reminded me that I didn’t have to decide right away and that law school will always be there if I decided to pursue fashion or some other avenue. But in that moment I knew. I would declare myself as an English major with the hope of later attending law school. And from then on, every major decision I made was made with my end goal in mind, and everyone knew. They could see my drive and my desire to get there.
Now here I am, four years later, set to graduate early, registered to take the LSAT and just trying to find that passion I had in high school. I never thought the words “I’m halfway to giving up on law school” would come out of my mouth, but they did, tearfully so.