Friday, April 28, 2006

Thanks to all

(BTW- What has this world come to when your blog gets high-jacked?)

Thanks to all who posted or sent me personal Birthday wishes, and a special thanks to Hadas, who led our Civ Pro class in a rousing version of "Happy Birthday." No, I don't hate you. Yes, it was embarrassing, but what the h*ll. I'm sure I will embarrass myself much worse in the law school years to come.

My son woke up very excited to open my presents yesterday morning. He managed to wait until the rest of the family was awake, and then I somehow slowed him down enough to let his baby sister help out a bit, too. One of the gifts was an outdoor game set, so we had to immediately go outside and play. Mind you, this was about 8:00am, and I was still working on my first cup of coffee. Still, it was already warm outside and we had fun. Thanks to my wife and kids!

The morning was spent with my family and by noon I was on campus to study. Being my lucky day, there was a BBQ/party happening on campus so I got a free lunch and the opportunity to hang out with a group of fun day students who were very happily intoxicated. I could have joined in, but pretty sure that would have effectively defeated by study session. Besides, the only way to stay awake would have been to continue drinking and as it was only noon, and my classes would not end until 8:30 that night, that just seemed like a bad idea for me. I'm glad it worked out for some of my classmates :)

There was a small amount of drinking, a minor rumble of panic over how much I do NOT remember of Civ Pro, and some great time commuting listening to my new CD - the soundtrack to Rent. Way fun! All in all, a good day.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

**hijacking the blog**
She said not to do this but since when have I listened to what I shouldn't do? :)

This is Casey, partner of the one and only Law School Mama. I'm interrupting your regularly scheduled blog to say:

Happy 40th Birthday, Dakota!!
We love you and would be lost without you.
Casey and the kids

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thought for the Day

Is it just me, or is it amusing that there is a class listed on the 3-year planing schedule listed as "BS Principles for Lawyers"?

(OK, so it probably really stands for "Basic", but I am amused nonetheless.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Finals are Coming! The Finals are Coming!

So, I’ve been a bit absent since finishing orals last week. Despite my assurances to the contrary, a good friend insists “orals” has something to do with sexual prowess and backs up her theory with the fact that "everyone knows lawyers are out to screw everyone. It’s just part of the training.” I’m leaving that one alone now.


It’s been a recurring theme all year for me. Not just me, but hey, it’s my blog. My “intro paper” for two of our classes last fall was a graphical depiction of the areas of my life that I’d need to balance over the next year. I’ve written about it a few times. I’ve managed balance sometimes better than others, with the overall feeling that nothing got as much attention as I wanted to give it, but I’ve somehow almost managed to survive my first year of law school with my life mostly intact.

This week, I am definitely out of balance, but with finals coming up, I know I am in good company. Hard to focus….mind wanders…much to study and yet, now seems like such a ripe time to be contemplating the future. What?! Student loan paperwork arrived. I can go another $35K in debt next year. At this rate, I will owe over $140K in student loans when I am done. If I am fortunate, and plan all of the “right” experiences and make some “good” connections, I will find a job shortly after graduation (or before) that will pay back the loans and keep my family in the lifestyle we currently have. Chances of any real net gain? Hmmm…..probably not high. A bit, I hope, but really, it can’t be all about the money. So, what is it about…..power, prestige, pretty initials after my name? Maybe it’s the experience, moving forward, a journey to a place I could never have gone before and now can, a feeling that this is the right direction and it really will pay off, both monetarily and in other ways. Yes, I guess that is it.

A friend of mine has a blog: The Journey. The title highlights that life really is more about the journey than the destination. We need to all make sure we are making the most of the journey and enjoying where we are while we are here. Ambitious in this fast-paced life we lead, but so important. Sometimes, I do a great job of it. Others, I see that I appreciate the theory more than the practice, and I have a short attention span for too much of almost anything. Maybe I am a product of too much network television (see "too much" is a theme cropping up), where a multitude of problems are tackled and resolved in 30-60 minutes, and next week, we’re on to something new and exciting. I’m not really going anywhere with this...just enjoying the scenery.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Orals Rocked!

Last night was the culmination of an entire semester, really, an entire year of Legal Writing and Analysis: our oral argument at the downtown courthouse. I remember in the Fall when our prof and TA were giving us an overview of the year they mentioned that in the Spring we'd be completing a 30+ page brief and then presenting it in an oral argument in front of judges at the courthouse, it seemed so remote and nearly impossible. (Thank God my brief writing was not filled with sentences resembling that last one.) We built our knowledge and confidence up along the way, and now, here we are: done.

I was not nearly as nervous as I was afraid I would be, and was happy with my performance. (That is what it is, when you get right down to it - a performance.) I got nailed with a very direct, confrontational question exactly two sentences into my introduction that I had spent days practicing. Still, I was able to answer the question, and all of the questions that were directed to me, and it was fun, partly because I KNEW the answers (Damn, our prof. was right, by the time we did orals, we really did know our case inside and out.), and partly because I remembered them under pressure. We all did well. I was impressed with and happy for my classmates and wished I could have heard more of them do their argument. Our judges asked tough questions, but they also threw us a lifeline now and then. You could tell they wanted us to succeed, but also wanted to push us a bit. Being totally done and having done as well as I had hoped was a total rush. Good thing, because I'm operating on about 4.5 hours of sleep today. (Thanks, in part, to going out with several of my classmates for drinks after arguments. Took longer than we thought since the place that had been pre-arranged by our legal writing dept. for everyone to meet was way too loud and hot and smokey for us to actually talk to each other, which is what we really wanted to do, so we had to walk to a different place. How could we recount our war stories if we couldn't hear each other? Then, on the way home, I remembered to pick up milk like I was supposed to, and added some "Thank-you-for-sacrificing-yet-another-night-to-law-school flowers, for my wife.)

My spouse, one of the few people, it seems, who has not heard my argument - mostly due to lack of time spent together- was waiting up for me when I got home, and was happy to share in my excitement in recounting the evening. Hers, filled with getting cranky kids to bed, was not nearly as entertaining as mine, and I know that is the case with much of our lives these days. She has the day-to-day routine with the kids while I am off interacting with the working world and world of new knowledge, classmates, and mysteries of the law. I will follow Hada's example here and say thank you to her, and to all of our significant other's who are putting up with us law students. We know it is not easy. THANK YOU!!

So, one class done, three more to go! Now the craziness of serious studying really begins. We sure don't get to ride the high of being done with orals for long, do we?
Hang on tight, here we go!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Inappropriate Comment at the Coffee Pot

Excuse me? Did my supervisor really just tell me to add more beans to the coffee grinder while I was in the process of making coffee, primarily for myself? Making coffee in the kitchen at work is not a hierarchical thing, for the most part (other than the dean does not make it, claiming she doesn’t make it very good. Right. Lame excuse.) There are three of us that tend to make a pot of coffee for anyone that wants it – and it is based on when you get to work and how much you want coffee. Many mornings, it seems like too much effort for me and I’ll wait until 9:00 or so to get a cup after someone else has made it. I arrive at work prior to 7:00 though, and some mornings, like today, I am so tired I need something to get me going, plus I figure I should take a turn from time to time. Today, partly because it is so freaking cold outside, coffee seems like the perfect remedy to this sleepy morning. (Did we cover THAT remedy in contracts?)

Back to my original question – as I was putting the bag of beans away, did my supervisor really say – “fill it up to here” and indicate with her finger how high I should fill the grinder? Now – I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “Even the dean thinks you make it way too strong,” or, “We aren’t really supposed to fill it so full that we end up with coffee grounds in the coffee,” or even, “Excuse me?” with the proper inflection. What did I say? Nothing. Too shocked. Too tired. I would say she should not expect there to be a pot already made when she arrives shortly after I do for quite some time. I can drink tea. Don’t like the way I make it? Make it yourself. Oh, right, then I have to drink it. (It’s not so bad as long as you dilute with hot water.)

Yes, afraid that this is the most interesting thing happening in my life as of 7:30 this morning. I am not, do you hear me, I mean it, thinking about my oral argument that is tomorrow night. (Any of you out there recognize the first part of that sentence? Isn’t Judith Viorst wonderful? Did you know she is over 70 and her real life sons, Nick and Anthony are both lawyers? Alexander does community development lending for a bank. - and

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Coke Blak

After months of anticipation of the eutopian blend of Coke and Coffee, I have just finished my first Coke Blak. Thank you, Jen, for the heads up all these months ago, and the frequent teasers along the way. It was well-worth the wait. What's not to love, though, right? Coke plus coffee. Easy win. Smooth, sweet, bubbly. All that's missing is the chocolate and it would be the perfect food.

It is over-priced. Regular price is $6.00 for four 8 oz, stylish bottles. Safeway Club Card price through today only is $2.00 for 4! Score. I bought the limit of four. Hadas, Jen, if you've not yet rushed to Safeway after work, there will be bottles with your names on them before class :)

OK - I'm off to find out about the way the big firms hire in the fall for the next summer. Crazy!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Law 101 for Pre-Schoolers

My son will be 4-years old this Friday. Wow. Hard to believe he is getting to be such a big boy, but he is. He's quite interested in studying and my law school books. On Saturday while I was studying at my Mom's house (way easier than at my own house where said 4-year-old and his 1-year-old sister would constantly interrupt me), he called me. He said he was reading my school books that I'd left behind.

"Are they interesting?"


I was fascinated that he found these pictureless books interesting, but OK.

Then yesterday, he picks up my Contracts and Torts textbooks, carries them into the living room and declares that he wants me to tell him what they are all about. I sit next to him on the couch.

I start with Torts.

"This book is about how if you hit someone you can get into big trouble. Or, if you walk into someone else's yard and damage their stuff, you'll get in trouble."

That seemed to satisfy him. He moved onto the pretty red Contracts book, by Prof. Blum, who I am fortunate enough to have as my teacher, as well. (To all you other students using this book throughout the country - Prof. Blum speaks just as he writes and is an excellent teacher.) My son wants to know what this book is about.

"It's about how if you make a deal with someone, you have to keep up your end of the deal, or you will get in trouble."

"Like, if you promise to take me to the mall and you don't?"
(He totally came up with this on his own.)

"Yes, especially if we had our deal in writing. If I promised to take you to the mall and I did not, I'd be in trouble."

That was it. Torts and Contracts done in less than two minutes. If only our classes were this easy!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's Done

You know the part of Rent (the musical) - the 1996 version - where about three different people say, "It's over," all in different contexts about different subjects? The last one, as I recall, is Benny referring to Angel's battle with AIDS. Somehow, that phrase accurately reflects how I feel right now. "It's over." Last night, at 9:40, when I closed my laptop, the nearly-final version of our brief having been sent to my partner for a last review, I felt elated. Today, after some last minute printing challenges, it's merely exhaustion. (Why the h*ll is it on print preview, but won't print on the hard copy?) I guess that could have something to do with the fact I've been dealing with this stupid cold for getting close to two weeks now, and the last couple of nights not getting nearly enough sleep for mostly child-related reasons. At any rate, those things, combined with the HUGE relief of our appellate brief being out of our hands and at the copy shop, have left me wiped out.

Any ideas for how to stay awake during Contracts tonight?

Good luck to all of my classmates. I hope you already are, or are soon-to-be, done with your brief, too!

Monday, April 03, 2006

News in Brief

Ha! In my twisted state of mind, I find that rather amusing. Any of my classmates will probably at least know why, if not be slightly amused themselves. The real point: Our appellate brief is almost done! Very exciting stuff! Sure, there's still some stuff (that is the legal term, I am sure) to do, but the light is there, at the end of the tunnel, beckoning us forward. Yippee!

I thought I had more to say. I was wrong. Instead, I have a bus to catch.

Wow. That's entertainment, eh folks?