Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ahead: Upstate

So I feel like writing a more reflective post, now that I am past my initial state of shock and crazy happiness. I mean I burst into happy tears when Justin got off the phone with the judge Friday morning. I complain about New Haven, which rivals Berkeley for my least favorite place I've ever lived (for different reasons, mostly), but it is an awesome thing to get into Yale Law School, and an awesome thing to clerk for an appellate judge. Everyone who gets to do these things is qualified, but not everyone who is qualified gets to do them, so it is all a mix of luck and timing and fitting someone's idea of what they want their entering class/group of clerks to look like. So we are really fortunate. I keep saying "we" when of course Justin's doing these things and I am here because he's here, while doing most of the caretaking for Auletta and my own studies, but obviously what he does affects me, and I can't tell you how glad I am that he will be clerking for a federal judge, who is really just all around a great person and a good fit for Justin professionally and personally, and in Geneseo, which is 1. not here and 2. in upstate New York, where as you've probably noticed we spend a lot of time already.

Now, I totally stole this map off the Internetz and modified it so those of you who aren't familiar with upstate NY could get an idea of where we are headed and where it is in relation to the other places we go upstate. I placed green dots over the towns of Ithaca, Geneseo, and Syracuse, and also over the approximate location of New Haven over in Connecticut.

As you can see, Ithaca is in south-central New York, on the southern end of Cayuga Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes. Syracuse, where I'm doing my MSLIS and where I'm spending some time physically even though it's a distance program, is about an hour northeast of Ithaca. Geneseo's not much farther in a northwestern direction from Ithaca physically, but since there are a bunch of lakes in the way, it takes about two hours to drive there. And a little under two hours from Geneseo to Syracuse. Geneseo is a town of about 9,000 people with a SUNY school, so it's small but it's a college town, which is the kind of place we like (except it's really small, even compared to Ithaca, so maybe we don't know what we're getting into). That's about all I can tell you about it. Also it's about 45 minutes from Rochester, where I have some family and where we'll fly in and out of when we fly places. No more I-95 to get everywhere, thank goodness (the worst part of being here is getting out).

Now, going places. The Second Circuit's seat is in New York City, so the judges hear arguments there for a week each month and the clerks go along. That means I'll be alone with Auletta in Geneseo for a week each month, or we'll hang out in Ithaca, or maybe I can come along...but this all depends on what I'm doing--I might take a class each semester at Syracuse (feasible if it meets once a week), and I will probably do an internship in/near Geneseo at some point. But this, on top of the fact that a Job is much less flexible, schedule-wise, than law school, means daily life will change a lot, so it will take some getting used to.

Also it will be cold, the full import of which I have not yet realized, although winter here hasn't been a picnic either.

But I am so excited! We are really both small-town people, or at least suburb-type people. I loved Charlottesville to pieces, although it was the sort of place that drove some people crazy because it wasn't a very big city and it was a couple hours from the nearest metropolis. I think this next year will be great for us, and I'm just hoping we like wherever we're headed after that as much.


Deanna said...

This is very exciting for you guys and I know that you are happy to be leaving New Haven behind! Will Justin ever have to go back to officially finish up?

Two hours is much more doable to drive to Ithaca. We drive that to Morton - and most of the time we turn around and drive back on the same day.

Juliet said...

I think once Justin graduates in May, he has nothing further he needs to do here--it's not like he has a dissertation to defend (except Berkeley doesn't require a dissertation defense, oddly, so he doesn't really have to go back there, either). He will take the bar exam in Albany at the end of July. Right now we're trying to figure out where to spend the summer while he does studies for it. I am eager to get out of New Haven, but I need to do an internship for my degree and Yale has fabulous libraries, so, there's that.

Oh my gosh, a two-hour drive is a cakewalk for us. And as long as the weather's not too awful, it will be a nice scenic drive too. There's no direct way to do it, but there are any number of indirect ways. :)