Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oh Grindstone...

To be perfectly honest, I have very little to talk about today.

I holed myself up in my dorm room early this morning after discovering that I could access Columbia's law library from the Internet in my room. I realized late last night, when I actually sat down and wrote a proper draft of my paper instead of the rambling paragraphs and outlines from before, that my research wasn't as thorough as I'd thought. There were still gaps missing, and a read-through of my draft showed that I relied much more on court philosophy than on precedent and legal arguments, a big no-no in the legal arena. Some court philosophy is good as it adds flavor and dimension to an otherwise-dry paper: but too much hurts more than helps. I spent most of my morning (counting the pre-dawn AMs) trying to remedy that, pouring through Lexis Nexis (an utterly wonderful research tool) for opinions and decisions to back up my arguments.

I've stepped outside my suite a grand total of five times today. Twice was for food: once in the morning, to pick up coffee (my breakfast) and some cheap sushi to save for lunch, and once in the evening to grab a 3-dollar slice of pizza down the block to wolf down for dinner. The other three times? Trips down to the basement for laundry. Thrilling, I know. Well, at least my clothes are clean now.

I've actually requisitioned much of my argument from the debate on Friday (was that really only yesterday?) for use in my paper, as they both involve the right to free speech. Fixing up a few sentences here and there, changing “pornography” to “KKK literature and symbols,” rewording and juggling about to make the ideas flow within the larger essay. Not cheating, I think: after all, I'm not just copying-and-pasting and besides, I wrote the thing in the first place. The argument applies, and since its my own opinion, what I would end up writing off the top of my head would sound almost exactly the same anyways.

I wouldn't be locking myself in my room today and most of tomorrow if I didn't want this thing finished. I could be leisurely finishing the paper at my own pace, taking up more time but allowing myself proper breaks at frequent intervals. But I plan on actually enjoying myself tomorrow night, not frantically pressing my nose to the grindstone in the hope of coming up with some brilliant genius to hand in on Monday. It doesn't work like that. Or, if it does, only on rare occasion when Fate decides you've earned a lucky break and some inspiration. And I find counting on her to rule in my favor can get messy real quick. Like I said, I'm planning on enjoying tomorrow night, as I've got tickets to go see Billy Elliot: but, if I'm not finished by then after devoting almost 48 hours straight to the paper, then I've still left myself wiggle room to complete it on time.

Anyways, good night to all of you, and its back to work for me!

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