Doctor's office

Both the Bwun and jr had checkups today, for being 2 years and 4 months, respectively. I talked to the Bwun for a few days about going to see the doctor to “get numbers” (be weighed and measured), have vaccines to not get sick, and get a sticker. I told him jr would get her numbers too, but I’m not sure he really cared about that.

We haven’t been to the doctor’s office in a while. The Bwun loved seeing the fish in the aquarium out front, and liked playing with other kids. (I love that this office has completely separate rooms, divided by the giant aquarium, for sick and well kids.) He stood on the scale just fine. But as soon as we stepped into the actual exam room, he took one look at the nurse and started bawling. Apparently he DID remember our last visit.

So, we got to hold him down to be measured and have his eyes, ears, and breathing checked. The doctor tested his reflexes and confirmed what we already knew: the Bwun is strong. Oh yes. Quite so. When the doctor asked us if the Bwun uses two-word sentences, we almost laughed. The Bwun was counting to 10 on the drive to the office and he usually uses 4-6 words together. Not surprising, considering he’s our kid, and we’re both brilliant people, right?

Luckily the Bwun is up-to-date on his immunizations and didn’t need to get any shots. I brought the Romgi with me so I didn’t have to manage two kids who’d just been stabbed with needles, but fortunately only jr was subjected to shots today.

She’s growing well. Sure, she’s tiny, but the doctor said her strength is about what he’d expect for a 6-month-old. Strong again! I love our kids.

Here are the official statistics:

The Bwun

weight: 25 lbs (16th percentile)
height: 33 in (16th percentile)
head circumference: 18.75 in (23rd percentile)

 

jr
weight: 11.5 lbs (7th percentile)
height: 24.25 in (42nd percentile)
head circumference: 15.25 in (2nd percentile)

Yeah…jr is getting tall. The Bwun did the same thing – in the first few months he grew several inches, and then stayed the same length for a while. I want to say two things about jr. First, since her checkup at 4 days old – when she measured 18.25 in – she’s grown a whopping 6 inches! Also, her head is kind of minuscule. She barely fits into most headbands we have.


Law School – Good Choice or Bad Choice?

It seems like recently there have been a lot of articles criticizing law schools.  To be fair, the articles do bring up some valid points– for example, the high cost of attendance, the inflated employment rates, and the depressed legal market.  But if law school has taught me anything, it is to examine arguments critically.

Law school is expensive.  Taking information from the US News and World Report, the average cost of attending a top 25 school is approximately $40,000-$50,000 a year.  And that is for tuition alone.  When you factor in that many of these schools are in large cities with high cost of living, and it is not uncommon for students to take out $60,000-$80,000 in loans in one year.  Even schools which are relatively unknown are not shy about charging $30,000 (or more) a year in tuition.  Much has been made of the fact that many law students graduate with over $100,000 in loans that do not go away, even with bankruptcy.  In fact, over the past 25 years, law school tuition has increased at twice the rate of cost of living.

But is this any different than the inflation of cost for undergraduate courses?  Higher education in general is becoming more and more expensive.  The average cost of college tuition went up nearly three times as fast as the cost of living in the period from 1978-2008.  I believe this is due to the increased availability of loans to students and the government backing of those loans. I will say this as plainly as possible: there are too many law schools out there.  The current system allows for schools to charge whatever tuition they want. The schools walk away with cash in hand, and lenders are stuck with grads who can’t find jobs in a saturated market.

Many law schools add to the problem by intentionally inflating their statistics.  This makes the law market market seem more active than it really is.  Some of the third and fourth tier schools still manage to report 99.9% total employment after graduation.  So why shouldn’t students want to go those schools?  You have to keep in mind that many of these schools count ANY employment as “being employed.”  Working at a top 100 international law firm making $180,000 a year?  Flipping burgers making minimum wage? Employed.  Relatively few students, even at large prestigious schools, end up making over $100k a year.  I have even heard of schools hiring grads to work in the copy room of the law school so that the school can count them as “employed.”

The legal market is depressed.  But so is practically every other market in the US right now.  The American Bar Association has even issued a “warning” encouraging students to think twice about law school.  It reported that while grads entering big firms were previously making an average of $160,000 by 2009, the average salary for a grad was down to $65,000.  But look carefully at the report, because they are comparing vastly different jobs.  Large firm salaries have always been disproportionate to the average starting salary of all law school graduates.  Large firms may not be paying $160,000 any more, but they still paying over $100,000 for a starting salary.  As I have said before, this is like holding a lime next to a pomelo and shouting, “LOOK AT HOW SMALL CITRUS HAS GOTTEN!!!!”

So what should a conscientious, intelligent individual who is contemplating law school do?  Think about it.  Make sure this is something that you are interested in.  Law school is an arduous adventure, but I got into it knowing this.  I have enjoyed my law school experience, and came into it with no delusions about the profession I chose.  Be sure to weigh all of the factors that are important to you.  For me, that meant looking at the cost of attendance, and making sure that the school had an honest and complete record of employment.  Note how the BYU career report lets you know how many students got into degrees that are “non-professional” (that means burger-flipping jobs, folks).  Law school can lead to a rewarding career in a number of fields.  Like with many of important life-decisions, the decision to enter law school should be carefully and thoughtfully considered.