Just Gotta…

This is how I feel right now…


Random Essential Thoughts

We can not teach something that we haven’t learned, the same way that we can’t give what we don’t have. When we teach, we give others the chance to learn what we have learned.

“I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face…I say to myself, I’ve lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

“Be free from the past; abide in the present; detach yourself from the future; and live in the eternal now. Evil has no source, unless the source of evil’s seeming be ignorance itself. “~Gurudeva

“Write down anything from your past that concerns you and burn the paper, holding the intent that the memory will be neutralized. You will still remember, but without the attending emotions.”
~Excerpt From: Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. “Gurudeva’s Toolbox for a Spiritual Life.”

“Will means that if you’re going to complete something, you complete it. Finish that which you begin. Finish it well, beyond your expectations, no matter how long it takes. “~Gurudeva.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

“Success is a journey, not a destination.” – Ben Sweetland

“Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.” – Dale Carnegie


I have just begun Unit 3 of 10 units for the Capstone course required to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies. For this course I am required to research and write a 30-35 page paper on a legal topic of my choice.

Last semester I took a leave of absence from school, expecting to have surgery to repair damage done to my left hip in an auto accident and expecting to have plenty of time to recover from that surgery. Ideally, the surgery would have been performed in mid-August and beginning the semester that began November 7th would have been no problem. Unfortunately, the surgery was not done until October 29th, and now I’m struggling not only with recovery, but with writing anything substantial about law.

While the doctor has approved certain “training” that I am able to do now, it is nowhere near at all what I would normally consider “off-ice training” and the only thing that motivates me to do the approved training is that I simply cannot sit and do nothing at all about getting back to the rink. Today is Thanksgiving, and besides the usual things all of us say we’re thankful for, I am thankful that my coach is coming to visit me and work out a plan for what is obviously going to be a long recovery and eventual return to competitive skating.

I am also thankful that about a year ago I took a class which required me to develop a Big Idea: “What is a problem in the nation or in your community that needs changing and why? Do you have any “big ideas” for addressing this problem? This problem could be tied to your field of study or it could be something with more personal implications.”

My Big Idea last year was “to make legal representation affordable for more American citizens than it is now. My
working thesis statement [was]: While it would be ideal to dismantle the ABA approval system for law schools, a more direct approach to making legal representation affordable would be to eliminate any state’s requirement that law school students must graduate from an ABA-approved law school in order to sit for a state bar exam.”

For the paper I am working on now, this is what has played out thus far:


All lawyers are not created equal. Outside of the legal profession, it is not well-known that there are two types of law schools, and that graduation from one or the other type leads to dramatically different outcomes not only for lawyers, but for society as well. Most states in the U.S. require that law students graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to take the state bar exam and become a licensed attorney. Graduates of law schools which are not accredited by the ABA are not allowed by most states to sit for the bar exam and become licensed attorneys. The ABA accreditation system has led to an increasingly costly track to becoming a lawyer, with the end result being a legal system which is unaffordable for a majority of the U.S. population

This is my thesis statement:

If states were to set aside the requirement that law students must graduate from an ABA-approved law school, the cost of a legal education would be driven down, leading to a legal system that is more affordable for a greater number of people than the same system is now.

To support this thesis, I am going to have to present reasons why ABA accreditation is not relevant to legal education or legal practice. I will also discuss how changing the legal education system will impact society, and the particular change I have in mind is the ABA accreditation system as it stands now.

This is a touchy subject for lawyers and law students, past and present. The research I’ve done so far suggests my idea has substantial support as well as vigorous disagreement. The common ground is that the present system is not sustainable, and some change is in order. I believe abolishing the ABA accreditation system would be a good start.


This statement from your writing above is much closer to your real TS:

” ABA accreditation is not relevant to a [credible] legal education or legal practice.”

It isn’t about saving money. It is about a self-serving system that is over priced.


Thank You, Professor,
I actually had that same thought once I wrote that post. The thesis statement I proposed is actually only a part of research for the thesis statement you have pointed out. And I agree that the current system is self-serving and overpriced.
So, my thesis statement is: ABA accreditation is not relevant to a credible legal education or legal practice..
Thank you again, Lyann
So there you have it…the thesis statement for the paper I am currently working on is ABA accreditation is not relevant to a credible legal education or legal practice.
Thankfully, I kept a blog last year of the development of my Big Idea, so I have a springboard for the work I’m currently doing. Ideally, my surgery would have been done at a time that would not have caused me to be struggling to simultaneously manage recovery and research; I did, after all, plan to have plenty of time to rest and recover from surgery. But, things happen, and things quite often do not go as planned. I should be used to that by now 🙂
So, in addition to being thankful for the standard things we are all grateful for on Thanksgiving, and being thankful for the upcoming visit from my skating coach, I am grateful that I thought to keep the blog Ideally (you can check it out here) last year…it is going to be a great deal of help to me this year!

If I’ve got to just sit, better to be studying than watching TV 🙂

I’m a lot more thankful for the blessings in my life than I appear to be here!


I AM grateful for this day 🙂

Life Lessons

I long ago gave up on “therapy” because it seemed always to center on trying to resolve the past. When I recently encountered someone from my past, with whom I had long anticipated again having a relationship grounded in the present,  I was surprised not only by how far I have moved beyond my past, but by the resentment and anger that was spewed at me for having done so. As I live now, even yesterday is the past, and while I enjoy reminiscing about many daily experiences, I don’t dwell on them, and I certainly don’t wallow in whatever negative experiences I encounter.

It is difficult to explain to those who have little life experience, that many times life demands that people make a choice between 2 really awful options. While there is no escaping having to make a decision, a choice, it is possible to escape a sense of guilt, to forgive one’s self – not only for the choice, but for even being forced into having to make an impossible choice at all. Being forced into such a situation does not make a person “guilty” or even responsible for the outcome – that responsibility, the guilt, lies with those who forced the situation.

Sometimes, the reasons for a choice make no sense to anyone who hasn’t had to make that choice. I touched on this in a previous post in this blog: we cannot judge anyone else because we have not lived their life. Some people, however, are determined not just to have you explain your reasons, but are determined to extract an apology for whatever choice you made, judge you, and have you accept responsibility for the perpetual misery they insist has resulted from your reasons or your choice. I don’t accept responsibility, or make apologies, for things that are not my fault.

I have learned that we simply cannot be responsible for the happiness of others, and those who expect others to provide their happiness are doomed to a life of unhappiness. I have learned, too, that this means I can’t expect anyone else to be responsible for my own happiness. And as much as this goes against the grain of modern parenting…I have learned that parents are not responsible for their children’s happiness. For those who have not yet had children, I caution against spending extraordinary amounts of money – or time – someday trying to make your children happy….you will end up broke and exhausted, I assure you. Children can learn to be happy, but you can’t make them that way, you can’t give it to them or buy it for them – and ultimately it boils down to the fact that “no one is the reason of your happiness except you, yourself.”

It took me quite a long time to understand that, really, “What others think of you is none of your business.” You can make it your business, but then you are only making your sense of happiness, well-being, or worth dependent upon what others think. For me, this has been the toughest concept to apply to my life. I wouldn’t doubt it to be extremely difficult for any human being who doesn’t live in isolation.

So much of what people get hung up on is not only in the past, but what there is in the present that is dissatisfactory. I have learned that satisfaction – happiness – depends mostly on what a person chooses to dwell upon.

Judge Not…

I have learned that people who tread the same path do not always encounter the same obstacles, have the same difficulties, or share the same perception of that path…treading the same path may lead to entirely different outcomes for different people. It boils down to the last sentence: you cannot judge others because you have not lived their life. And this is much easier said than done.