Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reminders as the semester winds down (and up)

As the semester winds down, and exams wind up, it's time to remind students of the basics.  I live in a very cold climate, but a frost is blasting the entire east coast, so these reminders may have a location bias.

1) If you are new to a colder climate, be sure to keep the heat on in your house, even when you go away, so the pipes don't burst.  Nothing is worse than waking up on the morning of exams to ice-cold water leaking from the ceiling or in puddles on the floor.

2) If you don't have enough warm clothes for yourself or anyone you live with, let someone know. There is no shame in asking for help.  Every year I have lived in a colder climate, either as a law professor or as an elementary school teacher, I saw people who moved from warmer climes and forgot to bring a heavy coat. If you need to borrow a coat, just ask. ASP or the student services office are the first places to look. If you need a coat because you can't afford one, look to the same places. 

3) As the semester winds down, so do funds, and food. Don't go hungry.  Exam period is not the time to show your fortitude by starving yourself.   You can not perform your best if you are hungry. If your school does not have funds to help you eat during exam period, they can refer you to places that can help. 

4)  If you are healthy and have enough money so you don't need to worry about these things, look around and see if any of your classmates need help. If you know someone is struggling, help them or direct them to help.  Don't let the competitive spirit of law school allow you to forget that these people are your colleagues, your support system, and your friends.  Be kind to those around you.  You can't imagine how much a person in need who is looking for direction will appreciate someone who asks how they can help.  All they may need is someone to talk to, someone to provide a sympathetic ear.  (RCF)

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