Monday, April 30, 2012

Knox This Week

Hmmmmm... what- am I going- to write- today...?

I guess I'll just let you know what's been going on... on some fronts.  Several fronts are secret: Wahahaha! 

So, I was supposed to take Knox to see the monkeys yesterday, and he was really excited, but it was raining, so we couldn't go.  But, he was just as excited when I said we could go outside and play in the mud, and we did play in the mud on both Sunday and Monday.  We did tons of stuff in the past few days, and we hung out with friends.  We have been delightfully busy eating at restaurants with friends, going on walks, cooking meals, checking out the new Kaldi Coffee Company (a foreign foods store) at Wasada town (where I let loose with the pocket book), and going absolutely ape-nuts in the kids play area (Knox, not me, as I had a friend to talk to, but I have been known...).  We've been to the onsen and gone shopping and watched all three Toy Story movies... not to mention rousing good bath times and tickle fests.  I can't believe I have a 3-year old little boy!

It is Golden Week in Japan, when we have three national holidays in one week, and many of my friends are all over the eastern world right now, but I've had a wonderful few days right here at home with my precious boy, and when I decided not to go on an expensive trip, I bought a TV, which I am enjoying.  I've gotten to spend time with some friends that also stayed in town, and I hope to take a little trip on Thursday and Friday to visit another, and I have a girls night planned for Friday... and I thankfully didn't have to get on an airplane to do any of it.  Airplanes are just death traps that get lucky most of the time, in my terribly uneducated and anxious opinion.  LOL.

Knox is great.  I get e-mails from BabyCenter.com that keep up with Knox's age, and today's talked about colors and how he should know them by mid year, which sounded crazy to me since he has known his colors like forever.  One day in the car we were talking about dinosaurs and he busted out with, "Carcharodontasaurus," which is in one of his books on his favorite dinosaur, the T-Rex.  He got an awesome T-Rex at his birthday party, which I thought was huge, until he got another one from my mom that is twice the size.  He loves 'em.  And pirates.  I'm a little concerned cause he always likes the bad guys and wants to pretend to be the bad guys, but I'm sure I have no reason to worry.  He also pets my face and says, "Mommy, you're soooo cute."  I could die happy when he does stuff like that.  Yesterday, he put his little hand on my cheek and said, with a very engaged, enquiring look, "Mommy, are you going to take a bath with me?"  Like a friend of mine said on Facebook, being a parent is tough, but I wouldn't not be a parent for the world.

Bedtime.  Mostly, I like going to bed with Knox.  I love that it makes him feel happy and secure, and I love that he likes to hold hands as he falls asleep.  But, most of the time I can not and should not be going to bed at 8pm, and sometimes I have friends over who I don't want to leave on the couch for 45 minutes while I get Knox to bed.  Even when I stay just until he is asleep, reading in the dim light and then laying in the dark for 10 or 15 minutes really kills my energy and motivation.  I usually have some necessary tasks to take care of from 8pm to 10pm, when I try to be in bed myself.  So, even though I want to stay with him, I have started to go out once I have read to him and turned the light out.  It's probably best for both of us.

In case you don't know, I'll be working in Japan until July 31st, 2013, and then very likely returning to Florida.  The details are as yet uncertain.  My Mom is visiting Japan in July, a good number of the friends that arrived in Japan with me are returning to their home countries at the end of July and early August, I will visit the US in December/January, and then there will be 7-ish months until I'm back in the United States to live.  It will go slowly day by day, but I'm sure the next 1-year and 3-months will fly. 

That's all for now.

From Japan,
Tiffany    




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Law School: Thinking it through

This is partly a response to a comment on my post about going to law school found here, and partly some topics that I want to work out in writing for myself.  If you click on that link and scroll down, you can read the thoughtful comment that I am responding to.

The topics in the comment are things that I have thought of.  I have thought of them, but I can never come to any crystal clear conclusions.  My thoughts surrounding these topics never form a clear picture.  I can articulate my thoughts and feelings well a lot of the time, but my thoughts and feelings about this stuff never come clear.  There are too many variables.  There is so much that I cannot know.

I have thought about the cost of law school.  I actually didn't know that UF was so inexpensive.  I thought all law schools came to about $100,000.  I'm glad to hear that UF is in the $45,000 range.  When I think of the cost I have to think of my alternative routes to avoiding that cost... and I can't think of what I might do if I didn't get a higher degree, which even if it isn't law school, will cost.  I think of the jobs I have done.  What would I do now?  How would I support myself and give myself the best chance of upward momentum for the future?  Not getting a higher degree means finding a job.  I've been in theatre my whole life.  This is where my ideas get muddy, cause I've rarely had a regular job.  I don't know what I would do now if I don't go to school.  And besides that, I do WANT to go to school.

I have read the statistics about law school graduates.  Many people don't find jobs.  Many don't find jobs that support their student loan debt.  Nothing I do will automatically mean PAYCHECK, unless I go back to Starbucks and get a paycheck that will just get me by and make me miserable.  Again, there are so many variables and so much that I cannot know.  Should I let these statistics change my course?  Right now I see a fork in the road:  Down one side I see school, down the other I don't see anything.  I can work toward school.  I can plan for the next step in my life.  I can anticipate good things from a realistic perspective.  I can't flounder aimlessly down that other path that, at the end of which, I see nothing.  Again, my choice after these considerations would be school.

And of course I think of Knox, and have thought of him in regards to this decision.  I would love nothing more than to be a stay at home mother, but unless I win the lottery or get swept up by someone wonderful who wants to take care of us, I can't be that, so no matter what I do, I will spend a lot of time away from him.  And again, I see these two paths.  Do I walk Knox down the path that I feel confident about, which is going to school (and the school I feel drawn to is law school), or do I walk my baby down a road where I don't know the monsters ahead?  With school, it will be hard.  Anything will be hard work.  With school, I will spend time away from him.  With anything I do I will spend time away from him.  I'm torn by everything I do that is away from him, but I can't halt my life over it.  When I look down the road that includes school, I know the monsters and how to slay them, and of course there are always the variables that no one can know ahead of time, but I feel equipped to handle what unexpected things may come in that world.  Down the muddy road with no goal, I suspect what might be down there... jobs that don't suit me with little potential for advancement.  I feel that if I go down that second road, at each road block I will begin again where I started.  With law school, I will never again be without the education I received.  I will grow.  I will strengthen my mind and improve my knowledge.  I will learn so much about how to handle myself in the world, and how to succeed.  No one will be able to take that from me.  And that's the woman I want to be taking care of Knox.  The world with more potential is where I want Knox.

I have attended a law school class in the past.  I have taken tours of law schools.  I think I happen to have a few of the most successful friends I could have that have been through law school, and therefore my pool for observation is skewed, but I understand the risks, and I have been weighing them for years.  And, I will shamefully admit that being from that same pool enhances my confidence a bit.  I have talked to very successful people, as well as friends who say it's a waste of time.  As with anything, experiences are what you make them, and experiences are different for each person.  Again, life is full of unexpected things and so much that we cannot plan for.  I took the LSAT in 2003 or 2004.  I have to take it again because my score is expired, and of course I hope to improve upon that score the 2nd time around.  I have been thinking about this for a very long time. 

You are so right, my friendly commenter.  There is a boat load of stuff to think about; and I do.  I try.  There is so much I don't know and can't know.  So, I do my best with what I do know, and in the end, follow my instincts.  What more can I do?

Thank you for your caring words.

From Japan,
Tiffany







Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OWN UP, MAN. Fear not.

Ever heard this?

"Oh, sorry, I didn't have a chance..."

Just say it like it is, man.  I forgot.  I didn't make time.  It was not high on my list of priorities.  I didn't do it not because "I didn't have a chance," but because it wasn't important to me.  The truth is SO much more satisfying.

It is not my habit to talk this way, to pass things off with bullshit, and I'm going to put my money where my mouth is, as they say, right now.  (This next info could change, of course, cause I'm human and I change my mind like everyone else, but) As of today, I am not going to take the GRE.

I could say a lot of stuff, like:

"Oh, you know, it's not really geared toward my desired field."

"I'm not good at standardized tests."

"I'm just not sure what I want to do right now so I'm gonna wait and see."

No, I'm not going to make excuses.  You know why I'm not going to take the GRE?  Because I DON'T WANT TO.

But, I think I am going to take the LSAT...  again.  I get excited about the idea of taking the LSAT.  No math!!  And as much as I think about grad school and the various things I could go for, it just feels like grasping at shit I don't really care about because there happens to be a school for it.  I COULD get really crazy and go to NYU Gallatin with a major in Tap Dancing.  But those crazy days are kinda over for me, one, because I've put myself through enough by now, and two, because I really want to be near my family in Florida, an awesome place to be.  In previous years I would never have settled for a life in Florida because it was what I had always known.  Now I desire a life there because it is beautiful and there is so much to do and honestly, I've been out in the world doing crazy stuff for a while now, and the comfort of that is very desirable. 

There are several Law Schools in Florida that I would be happy going to, but if I could get into UF, I would thoroughly enjoy getting reacquainted with the #1 place to live according to the 2007 edition of Cities Ranked and Rated, and one of National Geographic Adventures #1 places to live and play.  Starbucks Coffee shops abound.  I wanna sit in that van at Satchel's and eat awesome pizza.  I want to pop in to Leonardo's for a vegan chocolate chip cookie.  I haven't seen a football game in too long.  It's time to stand up with 90, 000 of my closest friends and scream at the top of my lungs at a bunch of guys in spandex.   And every once in a while, I'd like to have a drink in a dirty bar, of which there are probably a hundred.

I do hope I can get in to law school, somewhere.  I'll go to Nova if I have to.  Hey, it's on the beach.

But whatever I do... I'm not scared.  I have taken that whole "do something that scares you everyday" thing to an extreme, sometimes.  What's great is that usually when you do something that is scary, the biggest thing you learn is that it isn't actually scary.  I'm open.  I'm willing.  Even in the midst of a fall I'm ready to jump.  Even as my stomach feels in my throat from downward momentum, I'll take the leap.  And when it comes down to it, I'm not scared.  All that's out there is room to learn and grow.  I'm not missing out on that.  Not for fear.  Not for anything.

From Japan,
Tiffany 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Knox: Approaching 3!!

Hi family and friends!!

Knox will be 3 years old on April 20th.  He was born 3 years ago at 3 in the morning in Tampa, Florida, USA (at Labor of Love Birth Center in Lutz, to be exact).  It's almost time to celebrate his birthday!  Yay!!

He was 7lbs 4oz, and now he is 14.3kg (31.5lbs).

He is about 93cm tall (3ft).

He has gotten big! and he goes on the potty most of the time.  Japanese people love his blond hair and literally stop me on the street to take pictures of him.  I've even had one guy stop me to show me a picture he had taken of Knox several months prior, and then he got a fresh one.  He's the most beautiful boy in the world.  No matter how hard it has been being a parent to a toddler, he's funny and smart and vibrant and I always find myself smiling.

Knox loves T-Rex, dinosaurs, pirates, Peter Pan, and Tom & Jerry.  He likes building castles and other things and of course he loves cartoons.  And he loves books and reading, especially about pirates and dinosaurs. 

He has these pirate socks and he would have a fit if they were dirty or drying and he couldn't wear them, so now he has three pairs so he can always be wearing his special pirate socks.  Knox is also pretty athletic.  He can kick a soccer ball and throw a baseball with the power and accuracy of a five year old.  No lie.

We are planning a party for him.  Family in the USA!  You have just enough time to send Knox a birthday card or gift if you can.  I know he will be very excited about his cards and presents and it would make him feel so special.  I'll be sure to post pictures and videos of his beautiful face lighting up on his special day. 

I also plan to get his 3-year-pictures taken this year, again in Japanese gear. 

Friends in Japan... Knox's party will be on Sunday, April 15th, in the morning.  Location to be determined.  That's 5 days before his birthday, but the next weekend is too busy with the Frisbee tournament on both Saturday and Sunday.  More details and plenty of chocolate cake to come.

I hope you will be able to help me make Knox's birthday very special by coming to celebrate with us, or by sending a card if the commute is too daunting.  :-)

Thank you for your love and support now and always.  My baby is almost 3!!!

From Japan,
Tiffany