I hate how we all judge each other on what we say in class, or what we say in an awkward moment at a cocktail party, rather than by what we say an do when we are more in our element.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and I brought up that I saw another classmate, Matt, outside of school.  My friend commented that he didn’t like him, and when I asked why he said that because in his small section last semester, Matt had made a irksome comment about a philosophical theory.  This is why my friend does not like him.  In all my interactions with Matt, I’ve felt that he was a pretty nice guy, and maybe that we even shared some similar interests.  But he made a dumb comment in class, so my friend doesn’t like him.  And the thing is, maybe he just didn’t understand the theory or maybe he was just having a bad day.

But that’s how it goes in law school. So many people to compete with, so many people to judge.

I left town this week to visit a friend who goes to grad school at a school with a top ten law school.  I met some of the students at a party, and I can’t get over how much of the time I spent talking to them I spent bellowing the flames of my insecurity.  I couldn’t really talk to them as people because all I saw of them was competition for internships.

I’m back at school now and–suprise surprise–I can’t sleep.  I am thinking about how I don’t really like to talk to people anymore, and wondering if I should be worried.  Maybe, though, it has to do with all this comparing.

Over and again, I read or hear that comparing oneself with others makes for unhappiness, and so I let my mind trail off to what it might be like if I just let go and didn’t compare.  I am  snapped back to my insecure thoughts by the reality of the job search.

The fact seems to me to be that the whole job market is all about comparing, and I must constantly compare myself with others to make sure I am keeping up. Maybe this is too deterministic, and maybe one can not compare oneself with others while at the same time be compared with others and not have it bother him.   Maybe.  I’d like to know.  If you have achieved this, please comment!

I am still not doing school work. Instead, I’m reading about why American’s eat too much. I found this article from Harvard Magazine.

“In some ways, you can see obesity as the tip of the iceberg, sitting on top of huge societal issues,” says Willett. “There are enormous pressures on homes with both the husband and wife in the work force. One reason things need to be fast is that Mom is not at home preparing meals and waiting for the kids to come home from school any more. She is out there in the office all day, commuting home, and maybe working extra hours at night. This means heating something in the microwave or hitting the drive-through at McDonald’s. There really is a time issue—people do have less time. Yet, look at the number of hours spent watching television. Somehow we’ve lost an element of creativity and control over our lives. All too many people have become passive.”
The Way We Eat Now, Craig Lambert, Harvard Magazine

I just watched The Wicker Man on HBO.  Now if that isn’t the picture of a male nightmare of a female-dominated society, I don’t know what it.

So, in proper procrastination style, I’ve spent the last hour or so reading about kicking the habit of compulsive eating. Over and over again, I read the advise, “listen to your body. ” The claim goes that if I would only listen to my body, I would hear that it is full and presumably that it wants to be no fuller.

And, I agree. I think listening to my body would do a fair amount of good with regard to compulsive eating. But, I spend just about my entire day not listening to my body. I have to.

My body says it’s tired. My body wants to go for a walk. My body can’t sit in this chair anymore. My body wants a desktop because this laptop is killing its neck. My body gets hungry in the middle of a three hour lecture. But in all these occasions, I tell my body to shut up and deal.

If I made a habit of listening to my body… I don’t know. I’d have to quit law and become like an acupuncturist or something.

Anyway, for those who are interested, here is an online book about nondieting, self-acceptance and all that.

I can’t stop eating. I just can’t. I haven’t weighed myself, but since coming to law school I’d venture that I’ve gained about 15 or 20 pounds.

I’ve tried various tricks to get myself to stop, but none of them have worked.

Though I generally have an internal locus of control, I can’t help but notice that many of my fellow Americans have trouble putting down the ho-hos. So, I suspect that part of the trouble with my eating is cultural.

Several aspects of our culture, I think, are suspect: advertising, unfulfilling work and family lives, too much work, etc. But one is the one upon which I will latch tonight: too many food products. How could you possibly get tired of eating chips, for example, when there are 28 different kinds of chips at CVS, 40 at Giant, and 65 at whole foods? You couldn’t. So, my new plan for curtailing my eating is that I will never eat a new food product again as long as I live. R&D all you want, Kraft, but if you didn’t have it on the market and in my stomach by today, I’m not trying it.

I realize that it will probably take me about 30 years to get tired of all the foods that I have tried up until now, but hey, at least I’ll get tired eventually.

Now I have to go finish my Black Bean All Natural Tortilla Chips with All Natural Black Beans.

EDIT: Oh, except you, Coke.  Make a diet soda with a sweetener that won’t give me brain cancer and I’m all over that.

I was having lunch with a 1L friend today and we were discussing the legal reasoning I struggled with below in my brief. I have an oral argument tonight, and I am pretty nervous, because the judge’s questions really throw me off.

The standard that I am arguing is that the police officers knew or should have known that their actions would elicit an incriminating response from someone they were holding in their custody—that is, that the man in custody experienced the functional equivalent of interrogation.

But this confuses me, because this seems to be an issue of fact (and this is an appeal). Whether a person should or shouldn’t be expected to know something seems to me to be a question for social scientists to weigh in on more than just random cases in different circumstances that were decided in the past.

But in describing my woes to my friend, I had a (possibly incorrect—is there a lawyer in the house?) breakthrough. If we say that this standard is a matter of law, then I guess it is like saying ‘what does the law think a reasonable officer should expect.” So, it’s like imagining the law as a person, we’ll call him Law, and then arguing what he would think a cop should know. We figure out what he would think from what he has written on the subject (i.e. the case law).

Maybe this is really obvious to everyone else, but to me, it’s a breakthrough because it is much easier (and more interesting) for me to try to get into someone’s head (Law’s) then it is to imagine a headless, faceless, amalgam of opinion (law).