Thomas Edison Weekend

There’s a story about Thomas Edison and inventing the lightbulb, and how it took him over 500 attempts. The last three days have been a lot like that – learning things by making a spectacular mess of them.

I was in a three day advocacy training course this week. Most of it I enjoyed and thought I did rather well at. The closing argument I prepared? Not so much… I choked. I managed to recover at the end enough to at least offer some rebuttal, but yeah – spectacular argumentative face plant last thing on a Friday.

Then this weekend, I thought I’d make a batch of Nadine’s amazing pumpkin pie fudge. What I learned after the 60 minutes of failing to reach the correct temperature, followed by too rapid of a temperature change, was I’d forgotten to double ALL the ingredients in the recipe for this double batch. The resulting disaster smelled amazing, but wasn’t even viable as a sauce.

Success and failure are only half of the equation. The other half, the HARDER half,  is what you do when you screw it up.

Treading Water

There aren’t enough hours in the day.

As I write it’s nearly 6 p.m. on an incredibly productive, incredibly busy day. I’ve cleared out my inbox and my to do list. I’ve sent long overdue e-mails to family and friends and sent a few more follow-ups (nothing escapes my To Do list. NOTHING). I’ve read slush and sent rejection letters filled with helpful edit comments and encouragement, as well as flagging up the next batch of acceptances. I’ve helped brainstorm ideas and baked banana bread and have the components for dinner defrosting in the kitchen. I also slept in late and only woke up when Alasdair brought me coffee in bed.

Have I mentioned he’s awesome? Because he’s awesome. Even if he doesn’t know the Peggy Ann McKay defense. Seriously England, you don’t read Shel Silverstain poems? Tsk.

However, I have not done any coursework.

Oh I’ve done plenty of school-RELATED work. Vacation scheme applications (almost ready to send!) and calendaring meetings and answering questions from classmates and the seeming endless mediation rep plan editing. I also figured out how I’m going to avoid Mass Effect withdrawal when I go to the competition (just ordered the third tie-in novel for bedtime reading).

But studying? Not yet.

This four week period of time is the roughest part of my entire academic year. The normal lecture and session schedule is plenty time consuming. With the weekly career events, spring law fair, vacation scheme applications, and mediation prep on top, it’s downright brutal. Something was going to have to give, and being 100% on top of the course work was it. I don’t think I’m falling behind, but I’m certainly not where I’d prefer to be.

Once Paris is finished, my schedule should get easier. I think it may stay about the same, because I’ve been offered a part-time job that starts up the week I get back which will take up two of my five weeknights. Or, if I’m lucky (for weird values of luck), it’ll get worse when Open Days and vacation scheme interviews start happening.

Just keep swimming, right?