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multitaskWhy is this stuff so hard? I just finished another paper for school, and I think what I wrote is crap. I probably will get a fairly decent grade, but I just don’t get why doing this stuff has become so hard to do. Wasn’t it easier when I started?

I have a fairly complicated day job where I have to keep track of many, minute details. If you ask me where a file is located our office, I can point you in the right direction (and we have hundreds of files to keep track of). If you ask me the status of a file, I could probably tell you without even looking at the file. If not, I could tell you within seconds of picking it up. I remember file numbers. I refer to most of them by their 5-digit matter number. I keep track of complicated docketing instructions. I have spent most of the year training a new docketing person. I answer questions all day long and can pull up all sorts of details and rules off the top of my head without even trying hard.

As far as schoolwork goes, I’m hopeless with the details lately. The courses I am taking are 7.5 weeks long per class. They are fast, and they are intense. We research details and case law over the course of each class. By the time we reach the seventh week, we are summarizing everything we’ve learned and researched into one final portfolio project. When I stop and look back at cases I pulled and papers I wrote during the first two weeks, I can’t recall doing them! I usually waste time having to re-read what I did or what I found. Today I looked at an assignment with case analysis that I did in the second week of class, and I don’t remember making those arguments or writing those words. It’s as if someone else did them.

I think my problem is that my head can only hold so much information, and as soon as the school information is used and posted, I forget it. It’s only needed for 7.5 weeks and then I don’t need it again. The work information has been part of me since 1997. I started working in the Intellectual Property law area in 1997 and did it for 4 years at one law firm. I left there and went to work at a start-up company where I loosely kept track of their patents for 9 years (I did many other things besides the patent tracking). I’ve been in my current job for 5 years, working in an IP law department at a different law firm. When you do something for so long, I guess it sticks with you.

I also have all the details in my head from my book-writing efforts. My characters have been with me for over 5 months. I’ve taken them through 10 months of their fictional lives thus far. Those details, facts and characters are very important to me, and I’m always plotting what they are up to. They reside in the back of my mind, and I spend a lot of time considering what they are saying and what they are doing next. I think they are more important to me than the schooling is right now.

I only have four more classes to go after this class ends – a torts class, a corporate law class, an advanced legal writing class and a capstone course to summarize the entire program. I will see it through, but it doesn’t mean as much to me as it did when I started. I have other things that are more important to me now, and procrastination has become my best friend. I put off assignments until the end of the week and then spend Friday evening and most of Saturday in Hell while I attempt to grind it all out. I will be glad to see the end. I can’t lie to you there.

My poor, tired mind will breathe a huge sigh of relief to be done. It’s been great, and it’s been very good for me personally and professionally. I just didn’t know it was going to be so hard to finish up!

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