The beginning of April marked the halfway point in my year at the Public Interest Law Project in Oakland, Calif. I wouldn’t have noticed that milestone, except as I was reviewing some older time records, I realized that six months had passed since my first entries back in October. This was startling.

Maybe I was surprised because, sitting there at my desk, my office was still feeling pretty new — it took me nearly four months to decorate. Since it was my first longer-term office, I didn’t have a set of pictures ready to go. After a while, I figured out what I wanted to hang on my walls. I brought the pictures in as I commuted on BART, one at a time. That took a couple of weeks. Finally, in a burst of gusto and early-morning hammering one day in late January, I hung them all.