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First Semester Down!

Well I’m done with 1/3 of my degree, minus a few papers and one final. It’s exciting to think that I have only two more semesters to go. The advantage of this degree is definitely efficiency. I enjoyed my classes, and more importantly discovered that I am not interested in going on for the J.D. It was a realization made over the past semester, when I found myself getting more excited by the policy aspects of my courses than the legal ones. This came as a surprise to me, since I have sort of assumed my whole life that I would go into law. Years of high school and college mock trial had me assuming I knew what it meant to be a lawyer. There’s a lot that goes on outside the courtroom, and the process is so different to arrive at the same place eventually.

It’s not to say that I’m not enjoying my degree, I absolutely love VLS, and I have been pleased with the classes I’ve been taking, they’re stimulating and I’ve learned a lot already – it’s just that they’ve made me realize that law is not my path to environmental work – it lies elsewhere. Professor Judy gave us a motivating speech at the end of our Natural Resources class yesterday. The message was essentially that we are all important to the environmental movement, there is a place in it for all of us, with our various backgrounds, strengths, and interests. She wished us luck, and encouraged us to go out and find the job that allowed us to make a difference. I enjoyed her course, it taught me a lot about the agencies I thought I already knew but didn’t. It also showed us that there’s a lot more going on when legislation is written, agencies are created, and cases are brought, than simply what’s best for the environment. Discouraging news for those of us biocentrists who feel the health environment should come before all else. Reality check.

Time to write my 15 paged single spaced paper you’ve all heard so much about, edit a draft of another paper, and a memo, and start on my outline for my Nat Resources exam. Semester isn’t over yet, but the end is in sight.

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