On using music as a tool for cultural assimilation and schoolyard survival

image via Republic Records

2008 was a weird year for me. I was nine years old and had just returned to my small Texas hometown from an unplanned year-long stay in Japan.

During my time in Japan, I had suffered some bullying for being the new kid. At first glance, I fit right in among my Japanese peers, but they all knew I was different—or American, to be more exact.

Spending a year in my home country made me painfully aware of how different I looked from my mostly white American schoolmates. …

Does owning a pug make me a bad person?

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

I don’t know how to say goodbye to my dog.

I don’t know when the “right time” is or how other families decide that they’re ready to let go of their furry best friends.

With Emmitt, things were simple. He was a miraculously healthy pug who had lived his younger, scrappier years as a stray before choosing my dad as his human. We never needed to take him to the vet for anything more than a routine checkup. Then, when his time came, he went quietly into the night.

Things are more complicated with Bianca.

On Easter Sunday, we had…


Two weeks ago, I moved from my hometown in North Texas to New York City. I’m still feeling like a fish out of water, but adjusting isn’t as tough as I thought… yet. Maybe the homesickness will kick in once law school starts.

Things are still a bit busy, but I wanted to sit down and share a couple of favorites and helpful documents from my moving process!

Handy Dandy Documents

Planning a cross-country move, mostly remotely, with a roommate who’s in another state is a lot of work. …

An aesthetic analysis of Tim Burton’s musical masterpiece

Promotional image via Hulu

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 2007 film adaptation of the 1979 Broadway musical of the same title. The original musical was by the great Stephen Sondheim and is widely considered one of his most famous shows. Tim Burton, Hollywood’s resident spooky-guy, was tasked with bringing Sweeney Todd to the silver screen.

Sweeney Todd is the story of a murderous barber (Johnny Depp) seeking revenge on a corrupt judge (Alan Rickman) who had unjustly sentenced him to exile in Australia, assaulted his wife, and took custody of his child. In his quest for revenge, Todd is…

And how fitness YouTube sent me into a tailspin over it

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

I’ve gained what some might call “quarantine weight.”

I’m objectively not fat, but I’m insecure about the softness of my body and the bit of squish on my tummy. If I’m still technically skinny, why don’t I look like the influencers I see on social media?

I obsessed over the aesthetic difference between my body and theirs. I worked out again. I changed my diet to include more whole foods and reduced my portions. But nothing about my softness changed.

Then, I encountered a new term: skinny fat.

The dangers of going down a fitness YouTube rabbit hole

Now I was watching YouTube videos about how to get rid of…

Suggested improvements for the TikTok “Main Character” trend

Photo by Mason Kimbarovsky on Unsplash

You have to start romanticizing your life. You have to start thinking of yourself as the main character. ’Cause if you don’t, life will continue to pass you by…

If you’re on TikTok or watch your fair share of Instagram reels, you may have heard this audio clip of a woman reciting the above quote over ODESZA’s song “A Moment Apart.” There are 78k videos using this audio on TikTok alone.

Around May 2020, Ashley Ward’s original TikTok video kicked off the Main Character trend. Longer videos on how to radiate “Main Character Energy” have cropped up all over YouTube…

My first five-star rating of the year goes to this essential read for law students.

For a long time, law school seemed like a black box to me.

Non-lawyers would go in, and after three years, they would be churned back out as lawyers. It’s obviously not as simple as that. Inside of that box is all of that scary, necessary, being-a-law-student stuff. All I knew as a first-gen student is that I wanted to come out the other end, a full-fledged baby lawyer, regardless of what mysteries lie in between.

But then I started learning more about what goes on inside that black box.

I learned about how law students have to compete for grades. I learned that my relationship with my family and friends might change…

Do I get an award for surviving the ’20-’21 cycle?

graphic by author

It’s no secret that the 2020–2021 law school application cycle was one of the most competitive to date. As of March 2021, law school applicants were up 20% compared to the previous cycle, and the number of high LSAT scorers had increased. This upcoming cycle is shaping up to be pretty dang competitive too.

To give you an idea of what to expect your law school admissions timeline to look like, I’ll be putting my whole experience here in writing.

This may be my most transparent post to date. I’ll reveal most of the schools I applied to (except for…

A story from the past for a world opening up again

Image provided by the author

I picked up my copy of Kitchen (1988) by Banana Yoshimoto at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The book was recommended to me by one of my senpai in the college jazz band at my small liberal arts college in Tokyo.

“I know Japanese isn’t your first language, but Kitchen is a short read, so you should give it a shot!”

I felt like I was letting her down by purchasing an English translation, but hey, it was better than nothing. As my flight took off into the sunset-steeped clouds, I settled into reading.

Death, Grief, and Loneliness

Death seems to follow Mikage…

I’m one month away from moving to New York for law school. It’s a little bit hard to believe sometimes.

The pandemic brought me back to my childhood home in the Texas suburbs. The daily, tangible life that I felt was “real” was coming to a screeching halt while certain aspects of it — namely work and school — came to join a new, busy, whirring digital life. Zoom school sucked the energy out of me, and I’m ready to be back in a classroom setting, even if it’s in an unfamiliar city.

Now that I’m in the summer before…

Sarah Ish

Law student by day, blogger by night. She/Her. Writing about life in law school and my various other interests. www.jaggedlittlejd.com 💌

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