Thursday, September 29, 2011

Juxtaposed: exploring the similarities, and differences, between law school and kayaking

Wild West: boating in Montana (before law school)
Wednesday is my push day in law school. Up at 6:30 to study, then it's Secured Transactions at 9, then more studying, then Negotiable Instruments at 1, followed directly by Selected Problems in Civil Procedure. So it was a welcome sign when a buddy called between classes yesterday and invited me on a quickie whitewater paddling trip that afternoon on Elkhorn Creek, just outside Frankfort. By 5:30, I was crashing through waves as I navigated the Elkhorn, surrounded by soaring sandstone cliffs and the occasional heron. Whitewater kayaking is sort of like law school, I realized later. The waves keep coming no matter what you do, and the only option is to keep paddling. In fact, surfing a nice river hydraulic is even more like law school: violent whitewater is rushing by your boat, surrounding you on all sides, and if you find just the right balance and steer upstream the right way, there is a beautiful feeling of serenity in the midst of the storm. But most of the time you're just trying to not drown.
The above comparisons notwithstanding, kayaking is actually nothing like law school. However, like many other forms of recreation, it does help to maintain sanity. It is absolutely critical that you take a break every once in awhile. I've written in previous posts about other short trips from Louisville, including the Falls of the Ohio and Red River Gorge. I also did a list of the Top Ten Things to Do on Winter Break, from bourbon tours to museums to local theater. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you remember to breathe. This morning, I'm breathing deep, feeling good, and ready to conquer the law.

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