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Round Two

The spring semester has arrived quickly after 3 and a half weeks of break. Those were restful weeks but definitely only provided enough time to recover and not a whole lot more. At least on my end, that was the feeling. It took a while to get out of the nocturnal habits that dictated the last week of finals, and catch up on all of that lost sleep as well.

We have already had our first few days of classes for the spring term. It has been really nice to see the familiar faces of the MELPs again. I think it is the best part about coming back to South Royalton in some ways. Its hard not to be inspired by the interests of the other students around you. I know that it has helped me maintain enthusiasm for the program through some of the drudgery.

An interesting thing about starting classes up again so early in January is that we don’t have all of our grades back yet. The professors were not required to have their grading into the registrar until the third day of classes. Most of the other students have all of their grades back at this point but the MELPs are still waiting on their Natural Resources grade. It makes it difficult to find the energy to start up another 15 weeks of hard work without knowing how the first round fared. (I’ll try to remember to write more on my thoughts about the grading in the next entry.) Apart from grades, the spring classes look to be very interesting.

All of the MELPs are in Environmental Law and Environmental Writing and Advocacy together this spring. There is much more diversity in how the MELPs are using the rest of their time this spring. Last fall it felt as though there were a lot more masters students in the elective classes I chose than there are now. I think some students are trying to take care of their distributional requirements so they have more freedom for the summer course options. Others are focusing on other specialized topics that are different from those that I chose. And then there are a handful that are doing an internship. It was really nice to have that camaraderie in the elective classes last fall. I am sure that feeling is shared by many of the others as well.

Instead of finishing my distributional requirements this term I decided to take some of the specialized electives. My main interests are in contamination and toxic cleanup issues. For that reason, I chose to take CERCLA (the Superfund Law), and another class on Risk Assessment. CERCLA is taught by Professor Judy who also was the professor for the Natural Resources Law class last fall. In addition to those four classes I am working to set up some volunteering with the Toxic Action Center out of Montpelier. It will probably look like more of an internship with the work I am hoping to do with them but, I am trying to save my credits for the summer and fall so I wont be registering it.

There is going to be another extremely full semester ahead. It will surely fly by just as the fall has. At the moment I should sign off so I can dig in to that CERCLA reading for my next class.

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