About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

Message Services
(Please see the notes below the Comment Policy before sending me a message)

My CafePress Designs

Even More CafePress Designs

Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page

NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Saturday, December 31, 2005
The Finish Line!  
I offer a challenge to members of the Church throughout the world and to our friends everywhere to read or reread the Book of Mormon. If you will read a bit more than one and one-half chapters a day, you will be able to finish the book before the end of this year.

Well, that was issued in August, but I didn't start till October 16th. And, as of today, I still hadn't read anything past the end of 3rd Nephi, leaving me with 35 chapters, or 130 pages, to go. My copy of Excel started freaking out around 8pm -- it said I needed to average 769 chapters a day to finish on time! It said I wouldn't be done till January 13th at this rate.

But it was wrong. ^_^

Completion Dates (by book):
Title Page -- 16 October 2005
Introduction -- 16 October 2005
The Testimony of Three Witnesses -- 16 October 2005
The Testimony of Eight Witnesses -- 16 October 2005
Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith -- 16 October 2005
First Nephi (1 Ne.) -- 26 October 2005
Second Nephi (2 Ne.) -- 27 October 2005
Jacob (Jacob) -- 9 December 2005
Enos (Enos) -- 9 December 2005
Jarom (Jarom) -- 9 December 2005
Omni (Omni) -- 9 December 2005
Words of Mormon (W of M) -- 9 December 2005
Mosiah (Mosiah) -- 15 December 2005
Alma (Alma) -- 20 December 2005
Helaman (Hel.) -- 20 December 2005
Third Nephi (3 Ne.) -- 30 December 2005
Fourth Nephi (4 Ne.) -- 31 December 2005
Mormon (Morm.) -- 31 December 2005
Ether (Ether) -- 31 December 2005
Moroni (Moro.) -- 31 December 2005

Erm, yeah, that book of Jacob was a rough one. Not to mention Helaman. Heh.

Anyway, though my powers of procrastination were great, my powers of determination were greater. Whee! And with nearly two hours to spare!

Now I just have to find a job, and I can change my signature at LiningUp.Net to something other than my current to-do list.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005
My Own Law School Rankings!  
Celebrate my brilliance with me! My sisters don't care and my parents are watching 24 (hi, Mom!) and I've come up with my very own rankings for law schools. This is just one of the several dozen different rankings I'm working on: Columbus Recruiting/Law Firm Reputation.

I went to the NALP site and copied down all of the places that the fifteen employers listed in Columbus said they did on-campus interviews at. I gave each school a raw rank, based on the number of "votes" -- Ohio State, unsurprisingly, came in first (Capital, Case Western, Michigan and Vanderbilt rounded out the top five, in that order.) Then I weighted each vote: the three firms with the largest pool of schools got a 5, the next three got a 4, etc. The top 5 schools stayed the same; Cleveland Marshall and Notre Dame fared worse, Akron fared very badly (dropping from 21 st to 30th.) Then I weighted the scores for each school by region/big name: big name schools were penalized by dividing by 6, Columbus area schools by 5, etc. Lots of changes came in that round: Vanderbilt moved up to first, and Michigan moved up to second, tying with Washington & Lee and Boston College.

Then I thought about it, and decided that on a practical level, given that the whole idea is to measure Columbus area reputation (I'll be doing something similar for Washington DC, Salt Lake City, and a few other markets I think I'd enjoy living/working in,) I should weigh those original votes a LOT more than the others. The final composite ranking is...

Composite Rank/School Name/Composite Sore
1/Ohio State/4.6
3/Case Western/5.8
9/Cleveland Marshall/15
11/Notre Dame/17
12/Boston College/17.2
12/Washington and Lee/17.2
15/Washington University/19.8
21/American University/26.6
21/Boston University/26.6
21/George Washington/26.6
25/North Carolina/30
26/Wake Forest/31
27/Indiana - Bloomington/31.8
31/William and Mary/41
*** Recruiting Fair ***
*** Recruiting Fair ***
40/Ohio Northern/48
42/Catholic University/54.4
44/Franklin Pierce/57.8
47/Boalt Hall/60.2
*** Recruiting Fair ***
50/Salmon P. Chase College of Law/66.8
*** Recruiting Fair ***
*** Recruiting Fair ***
54/SUNY at Buffalo/72

Yes, that's right, Yale was only given about as many on-campus interviews as a couple of career fairs. Obviously, their reputation would win out over the whole "we never came to your school to do interviews" thing; the point of my own research is not, generally, to try and convince myself that I'll have a better career than a Yale grad (as I'm not, clearly, going to Yale myself.) The point is all those other schools -- the ones I don't know much about, like Vanderbilt or Dayton -- that you wouldn't necessarily think of as "feeders" to Ohio law firms. Schools where I might actually be a good fit (both for admissions and afterwards,) and by the way still have a good career back here, if this is where I decide to work.

In case you're wondering, these are the employers in Columbus that I looked at (the number of places they reported recruiting at is in quotes; one of them put at the botton of their list of 25 or so locations that they interview at "over 40 schools," but they didn't say which ones so I could only count the ones they listed):

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP -- "Very Large"
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP -- "Very Large"
Thompson Hine LLP -- "Very Large"
Frost Brown Todd LLC -- "Large"
Baker & Hostetler LLP -- "Large"
Bricker & Eckler LLP -- "Large"
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP -- "Medium Large"
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's Office -- "Medium Large"
Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP -- "Medium Large"
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP -- "Medium Small"
Schottenstein, Zox, & Dunn Co., LPA -- "Medium Small"
Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter -- "Medium Small"
Ohio State Legal Services Association -- "Small"
Chester, Willcox & Saxbe, LLP -- "Small"
Bailey Cavalieri LLC -- "Small"

Obviously some of those firms are probably larger than what it seemed from their lists; I decided against ranking them by actual size or the number of lawyers they recruited because, well, the spreadsheet was already quite large, and an initial glance indicated it wouldn't change the top rankings much. I mean, considering that the three firms classified as "very large" interviewed at almost every school on the list (every single one of them, at a minimum, interviewed at Ohio State.)

Oh, I found out my official, final GPA at OSU (unless they make me take more Russian -- I'm hoping they don't, even if it could help my GPA) -- 2.891. Slightly higher than I thought, and depending on how LSDAS calculates my GPA I could actually get up above 3.0 with all those A's from everything I've done since 2001. A 3.0 and a 170... that really doesn't sound that bad. Sigh.



Sunday, December 25, 2005
Oh, yeah...  
Forgot to add, I've put myself on this site so I can compare myself to other people who are applying to the schools I'm looking at. The best part is the little graph logo next to each school's name -- you can see acceptances and rejections on a graph where the X axis is GPA and the Y axis is the LSAT score. It's an easy way to see that while I've got next to no chance at Georgetown, I have a very good chance at Cooley and a decent chance at, say, Case Western.

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Tier 4, Here I Come...  
[warning: whining ahead!]

So, I got a 170 on the LSAT (that's it -- next standardized test I take, my goal is going to be a perfect score; my goal for the SAT was 1350 and for the LSAT was 170, and I got 1380 and 170, respectively.)

But, my undergraduate GPA is something around 3.0 (I have to try and recalculate it using the LSDAS method to know for sure, but it'll be between 2.95 and 3.05, unless I've totally messed up my estimates or forgotten some "A" grades, which is possible but unlikely.)

Now, as far as I remember, these are my grades (very roughly):
Freshman - 3.4 (1997-98, age 16/17)
Sophomore - 2.1 (1998-99, age 17/18)
Junior - 3.5 (1999-00, age 18/19)
Senior - 3.7 (2000-01, age 19/20)

[Sophomore year could be lower, I don't have one of my grade reports so I can't be 100% confident that I got that year's GPA over 2.0 at the end of Spring 1999; Freshman year includes a repeated course (Calculus) that I got a D in the first time, so that might hurt me more]

My Sophomore year was... bad. Very bad. Mostly in the form of a quarter where I got two E's and a C- (there is a medical explanation that I'd rather not go into here, but I don't know if it'd be especially persuasive and my parents say that won't matter.) At the end of that quarter, I changed my major to History and Political Science (from Computer Science Engineering,) and got mostly A's with a few B's and at most two C's (I don't think it's that many, but it's been a while since I looked) after that.

I also did some good social stuff (e.g. volunteering at an AIDS charity) and career enhancing experiences (e.g. internship at the Department of State.) I took a lot of 500-level social science classes and got all A's in my majors (I dropped the History major in 2001 because I didn't want to take on loans for another full year of study.) I took the last 6 low-level classes I needed to graduate (Russian 2 and 3, Marine Biology, Geology, Environmental Geology, and World Regional Geography) at UCLA and some California area community colleges (think $11 a credit hour vs. $135, and semester versus quarter credits at that.) Except for Russian 3, I got A's (B in Russian 3.) Incidentally, I worked a lot harder on those community college classes than I would have had to at OSU. I haven't taken any college classes in two years, but haven't done anything remarkable professionally either (though working at Disneyland helped me figure out a lot of stuff.)

And my undergraduate GPA reeeeeally bites.

Meanwhile, my mom's law school has a really good deal for people with high LSAT scores. It's not a highly-ranked school, but it's hard to justify not trying for free tuition (or going to a place that's higher-ranked but incurring 4 times the level of debt.) And though it seems like it's really hard to get good grades there, I'm good at overworking classes and doing well when no one else does (in Marine Biology, I had the only A, and most of my friends got C's.) And now they've had someone go to be a circuit court clerk, and there's a graduate who's now teaching at Notre Dame. So. Maybe, if I decide to go the academic route (*) I can go to some place I'd really like to (e.g. Georgetown, where my great-uncle taught for a very long time) for an LL.M. program or something.

(*) people who try and convince me that that dream isn't feasible will be sh -- that is to say, their comments will be deleted. With prejudice. Grrr.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005
Another year, gone!  
Well, okay, not quite, but I'm wrapping up the final touches on my last lesson in Primary CTR-7B. They just changed presidencies, and I'm going to be teaching CTR-8A next year; it'll mostly be the same kids but I'll be doing a lot of things differently (the biggest change will be administrative: this year they'll be divided into teams, and will be competing for points in behavior and helpfulness and Gospel knowledge.)

Anyway, for my last lesson (which is on Christmas -- we're not having Primary on Christmas Day) I'm focusing on the 3 Nephi 1:13 line: "Behold, the time is at hand!" and especially on the idea that these people were waiting and waiting and waiting for so long, and didn't know when this huge great thing was going to happen, and then all of a sudden, it was happening. I'm dividing the class into two halves: Jerusalem and Zarahemla. The kids in Zarahemla will get Lamanite feather headbands (I know, I know, but I can't very well make them whole costumes) and the kids in Jerusalem will get shepherd's crooks. Tomorrow I'm making a star to turn on at the appropriate moment in the lesson -- it'll use one string of Christmas lights and some pieces of wood to give it shape. I'm still trying to sort out how I'm going to divide the classroom -- trying to decide if there's enough time and if I'll have enough hands to bring in a proper large body of water to separate the two sides of the room. I've already picked out how I'm going to represent each place: pictures on one side of a Mayan temple and the Madrid Codex and stuff, and on the other, a model of the Temple in Christ's time and a map of the old city and, well, a bunch of sheep. ^_^

The take-aways will be a Lamanite feather and a sheep, each, plus a cute bookmark with "Behold, the time is at hand!" in big letters and a cute star I made in Publisher. Oh, and unless serious fighting breaks out, they'll get to keep whichever props they're assigned. I'm sort of hoping less than 5 kids show up, just so I can keep some of the props for the future (though I can't imagine what I'd do with them, unless I put them in some kind of a portfolio for preschool teacher job interviews.)

Oh, and I'm just over halfway done with the Book of Mormon now; I'm in Alma 26. I'll be trying to finish Alma before we go to church on Sunday; that'll make the final push through to the end much, much nicer.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005
So, like, wow!  
I was just telling my sister Laura yesterday -- this is the first time since February, 2002, when I didn't have Some Big Thing hopping around on my schedule, demanding that other stuff make room for it. There are no more Star Wars lines, no more Lord of the Rings parties, no more entrance exams, no more cross-country jogs for potential career advancement, etc. It's kind of liberating, really. If I go to California or Washington DC or someplace else, it'll be on my own schedule. Yay!

Anyway, on top of that, I've also finally finished the Big Important Stuff that needed lots of my mental energy (most notably, the LSAT) -- if I have a spare half hour, I don't have to worry that I'm not practicing logic games, or something, anymore. And I can accept a job that might have wildly fluctuating working hours, or have me moving from location to location, without worrying about the long-term consequences. Whee!

As a result, I'm now fully engaged in my new job hunt. I've submitted about a dozen applications, most notably to the Hyatt on Capital Square and Medco (formerly called Merck-Medco.) I've even started going on interviews, if you can believe that. Today was the Hyatt; they're very nice and seemed to like me (I interviewed with two different people, for a total of about 55 minutes.) I should know if they liked me enough to hire me within a week. Meantime, I'll be hunting down other opportunities.

Anyway, that's it for now from me. I might come up with a more bloggy post later; I've also got to get back onto the novel writing horse, though, so we'll see.

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Friday, December 02, 2005
A stroke of (maybe) luck!  
So my stepdad (hi, Gene!) is driving me to the LSAT tomorrow morning. It's on the OSU campus -- it was, I thought, going to be in the student testing center, but it's not; they've moved it to a different room. And it turns out, I've been in that room before. I've been in that room very often, in fact. I was in that room almost every day in, I think it was, my very first term at OSU -- it's the room I had my (hideously boring) Chemistry 101 lectures in. ^_^

Hopefully, this will get me just slightly better luck on the LSAT than the similar situation with my Foreign Service Oral Exam did (I got 5.25 on that, with a required minimum score of 5.5 -- then again, that's like, 90th percentile right there.) I doubt the secretary in charge of the exam will be one I've worked with before, though (I've only worked in Maintenance, Astronomy, and Payroll at OSU,) which was pretty much the coolest part about the FSOE. Seriously, all the other candidates were impressed by the whole "she recognized you" thing.

Anyway, I'm doing laundry so I'll have warm AND clean clothes to wear for tomorrow (I might put them back in the dryer a few minutes before we leave; it's going to be near 0 tomorrow morning) and I'm going to take the night off of thinking about the LSAT and being on the computer, by watching Stargate while reading the third Harry Potter book (it can be accomplished, I've done it before!) Wish me luck!

Oh, before I forget, I'd like to dedicate my performance on the LSAT tomorrow to:

Arwyn (for extraordinary helpfulness and generosity)
Stephen (Ethesis) (for having written some seriously thoughtful advice)
My parents (for material support), especially my mom (who already did all this stuff -- I find that very helpful, psychologically at least)
eBay (for providing the means for me to get my critical PowerScore book)
PowerScore (for writing my critical Logic Games Bible)

And all my friends, for putting up with me for the last two months. Thanks, everyone! ^_^

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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.