I had read all the cases over again and was now getting a glimpse at federal jurisdiction. A. suggested that wasn’t the best way to study; instead, at this point, I ought to just read somebody’s outline. I have a method though, I told him, which was to read everything again and make an outline myself. “That’s a good method,” he said, “for half way through the quarter,” which we were not. At this point I ought to be condensing my broad base of knowledge.

But my notes made little sense, as I had not done the reading before each class, but after it, and I was falling asleep a lot in fed jur. Understanding the material at this late stage was a terrible rush and I was in its thrall and would not leave it.

I’d like to say that somehow I knew it would come together in the end, but I had no idea, and was driven, as with most things, by equal parts exhilaration and terror.