Wednesday, January 30, 2008

WTF, Mate?

Sometimes I keep the tv on in the background while I study (especially today watching last season's season finale of LOST). Normally, I don't pay much attention and don't get distracted. Then again, when you hear "When a girl in Southern Africa has a period, she has to miss school for a week." WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWait! Did I just hear that? A girl has a period and has to miss school for a whole week? I mean, I know my girlfriend is a firm believer in doing nothing but slave driving me around for a whole week and doesn't go to class, but in all seriousness a girl in Africa can't go to school for a whole week because she doesn't have pads?

Tampax certainly suggests so. Their newest marketing pitch is that if you buy their pads, they will send pads to girls in southern Africa so that they can go to school the week of their period. The modern menstrual tampon has only been around since the 1930s (previously a tampon was used to treat bullet wounds), but women have been having their period since, well, forever. According to wikipedia. Now, I may not be a rocket scientist, or a Gyno, but I am on law review (and I'm still looking to figure out where that counts for something, so I will try to make it lend me credence here), can't these starving, cramping southern African women just wrap a rag around their "bathing suit area" (That famous phrase had to come from somewhere-or some practice)? I mean, I have picture of me walking around in a non-disposable diaper (I think they were all the trend back in 84)- I turned out fine, after all, I made law review (Oooh, twice!) Did a little poopy diaper keep me from terrorizing the neighborhood? Heck no! If these southern African women are as dedicated to school as they claim on tv, should a little rag keep them from going to school? Wear your red skirt that week (Maybe one day I'll share the story about the kid in kindergarten who was not potty trained and had to wear brown pants everyday).

Anyway, check out the sight for yourself Protecting Futures - Tampax.

A bit of disclaimer: This is slightly,errr mostly, tongue in cheek. By no means do I flippantly disregard the importance of sanitation, health, and medical concerns in Africa . . . nor the utmost importance my girlfriend's many needs

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pez Dispenser of Despair...and Irony

I like to say that law school occasionally doles out little pellets of encouragement, but it is generally a Pez dispenser of despair.  Today provided a prime illustration of this point.

First, I got an e-mail about getting a Best Paper in Prof. Hair Club's Administrative Law class.  Hooray, another irrelevant item to put on my resume!  This was the encouragement pellet for today.

I needed to move up exactly 6 spots in the rankings to move across one of those "cutoff" points in the class.  Of course, most students' GPAs increase after the first year because not all the classes are graded on a strict curve.  I was a sucker and took a couple of the big curved classes, the combined effect of which was to lower my GPA very slightly.  However, my overall GPA went up enough to make me confident that I could move into this other bracket.

When I got my ranking, I couldn't help but laugh.  I moved up precisely 6 spots!  However, our class somehow managed to lose 12 students despite gaining at least that many transfers.  Therefore, my current rank leaves me a grand total of 3 spots outside this cutoff.  As was the case last spring, my last reported grade was a lot lower than expected, and it probably bumped me far enough to keep me out.  I knew the material and the exam was easy, so I expected an A.  However, the registrar initially pressured the professor to lower his grades because there were too many A's, which means my B was probably an A but for forgetting to mention one or two tiny points in a 25 page document.  I won't know until exam review period.

Anyone who has read this blog much (I think there are roughly 5 of us) knows that I don't think grades mean much about any particular individual.  I don't think anything different about myself or anyone else based on grades.  Unfortunately, employers don't seem to feel the same way.  The practical reality is that good grades can be an enormous help in the job search, and some (bastard) employers round-file resumes based on class rank cutoffs.  

I don't think it's even the employment aspect of things that is disappointing.  I think it's that same disappointment that every law student who is close to one of these big cutoffs (and probably most other law students) must feel.  It's the disappointment of genuinely busting your ass to get somewhere, doing well enough to get there, and finding out that circumstances have changed and you can no longer get the satisfaction you sought after a semester of holy hell.  My reaction at this point is genuine laughter.  I should probably just file this away under the "Ironies of Law School" heading and forget about it because thinking about it will not accomplish anything.  At least I can laugh about it right now.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snubbed . . . again.

I've been in communication with a BigLaw firm (hereinafter "BigLaw") since early in the fall. My contact had been someone from my very small hometown who wound up a BigLaw partner in the state where everything is bigger. BigLaw wanted to see my grades from fall semester before I got a flyback interview. Well, my grades, of course, were again at the top of the class and they scheduled a fly back. I get a letter over the weekend saying that they have filled all of their summer associate positions for the summer. A lot of cursing and angry thoughts ensued. Accordevery other interview in my law school career.

Today was your average day from hell. Prof. ConLaw decided to go very fast and I have to have a brief in tomorrow (a few days early), of course I haven't even started. My moot court brief is due to my partner a week from today. The prof. I research for has been stopping me in the hall "to see how it's going" (i.e., hurry up with my research). I haven't started editing the treatise for my employer from last summer that is due in 3 weeks. Law review hands out another citecheck. Then law review decides to throw in another assignment that wasn't on the schedule.

I get home about to binge on some Cherry Garcia and then I check my email for the 53d time today. BigLaw from SmallHometown sent me an email saying that she had lunch today with a friend, mentioned me, and friend said that I should "definitely" send my resume to her. I looked her up and she (hereinafter "BiggerLaw") turns out to work at a Bigger BigLaw law firm. Turns out BiggerLaw is the hiring partner. Is there redemption afterall, is this my Damascus Road experience?

Crown Passed

I was in the law review office just now and saw something on the office sign up sheets that almost made me pass out. Phaedrus, you are, the biggest sucker of them all.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Biggest Sucker of All

I told myself when I entered the moot court competition I didn't have to win. I told myself that I just wanted to do well enough to make the board. I wish I knew how to go just as hard as needed.

I find myself wearing dents in my sofa briefing cases that are off the beaten path and organizing this argument for one hour of credit when I have WAAAAY to much stuff due this semester already.

Why can't I just take easy, high credit classes that get you to the JD quicker? Why am I such a sucker for competitions?

Oh, and I picked up a job on the side. Good work. Good experience. I just wish I had time to do it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The only reason I don't trash the phone book

I feel kind of bad

Between my law review comment and moot court I have printed probably 6 boxes of papers. I'm starting to feel bad. Not to mention for every item I print in Lexis it wastes 2 pages as a cover sheet and an end sheet. 

I wish I could use my rewards points to plant a tree or something. Something like the Carbon Offset where you buy more points for your carbon footprint. 

All else aside, I've got very little to complain about . . . or at least I am so busy that I don't have time to complain. January and February are going to be busier than any other time in law school. On another note, I sent my resume back out to a firm that rejected me in the fall with my new grades (slightly lower) and got a really contrite email asking me to come interview at their expense. They said that my resume had been "misplaced" (I guess we both "forgot about" that rejection letter they sent me). I should have some more fun posts coming up soon, I've somewhat started on a few in class, but then I get distracted by the LA Times crossword. I'll be free around Feb. 15 and maybe I can actually blog. I do love how I get the reputation for disappearing because of the woman. At least we don't disappear to make salads.

New Semester...

...but pretty much everything about law school has stayed the same.  Professors are actually bigger slackasses than students, so grades aren't entirely posted until three days after they are due.  Grades are still arbitrary, and they start out well but end with mild disappointment.  Rankings still aren't out.  The holidays almost let us forget about law review, but it's still around.  In fact, managing board elections are next week, and I'm going run for a couple of positions.  As El Guapo would say, I'm probably the biggest sucker of them all.  I suspect that the "resume builder" of being on managing board will turn out a lot like being on law review on the first place (read:  it hasn't yielded any tangible benefit, but it exponentially increases one's stress level), but we shall see.  I'm still bitter about things I can't change and incredulous about others' ambivalence to those things.  I still refuse to use a thesaurus for blog posting.  Ever.
A few things have changed.  It's no longer football season, which means we have one less "fun" thing to do, but we actually get to rest on the weekends.  Instead of spending every minute of class time blogging, the All Against All Bloggers have gone weeks without a genuine substantive post.  El Guapo loaded his schedule with criminal law classes, so this is the first time we haven't had at least one class together since starting law school.  It's strange to look to the left and see one of these crazy transfer kids I've befriended instead of El Guapo.  

Phaedrus has vanished into his girlfriend, both literally and figuratively.  Phaedrus' disappearing act when he has a girlfriend actually isn't anything new, but it's a change in the law school context.  She goes to what Phaedrus likes to call the state's "short bus" law school in the larger city roughly an hour away, so Phaedrus is routinely out of town.  This is the same girl whose friend caused quite a stir at the Halloween party, an incident that almost got Phaedrus put in the Honor Court pillory.  Perhaps this incident is related to why Phaedrus is constantly out of town instead of having his girlfriend in town.

I also have the summer covered in employment terms.  One half is with the state AG's office, which is an unpaid position, but I will get paid at least a little bit working for the Office of General Counsel at a large university.  It's amazing how much less stressful this semester has already been simply because I'm no longer looking for a summer job.  It's also astounding how much easier the job search became when I said "fuck it" to working at a private firm and took advantage of the minimal connections available to me.  I don't hold connections against those who take advantage of them, but dear god, it sucks to be one of the people without any obvious ones.

Over the holidays, I visited Austin, Texas, a glorious city that has a gem called "SPEC's."  This place is quite literally a supermarket for gourmet food, beer, wine, and liquor.  I'm a liquor drinker from the Bible Belt, so this place was like nirvana.  I dropped roughly $250 on liquor that would have cost over $550 in my home state.  Hopefully transporting large amounts of liquor over state lines is not a crime.  If it is, the prohibitionists can go fuck themselves with their "sin taxes."

One other thing is different.  It SNOWED.  None of it stuck to the ground here, but there were actual flakes.  Of snow.  The snow came less than one week after temperatures were in the mid-70s.  My Environmental Law professor blames global warming.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sometimes Online Bots Win in Real Life

Here is a copy/paste of a bot post on an online forum I read. The porn bots hit this particular forum in force recently, but this online-pharmacy-virus/trojan post takes the cake. Read the entire post. It's worth it. My favorite is "[i]nstead of asking your babe about his or her friends, launch a barbeque organization and interrogate your baby to invite some of his or her friends."

"Statistics compass shown that instances of teen drug addiction escape in continued chains from parents to children. This is why like now is the day to either cleft the chain of teen drug addiction or mark it from forming. No proportions of dense work, money, renunciation is payment another than breaking a chain of substance abuse or preventing one from forming.

For some, the vicious cycle of teen drug abuse begins at familiar when they are influenced by the addictive behaviors their parents exhibit. For example, children of alcoholics (COAs) are a party of individuals who suffer the plight of their parents' alcoholism.

As a teenager, the likelihood of exposing to drugs and alcohol is genuine high, and there is a congenial chance that you testament effort drugs and alcohol.

Much though you impart yourself that you will lone buy tramadol slap drugs once, you engage in it one aggrandized time, and then one deeper future after that, and before you discriminate it you are developing a drug problem. One of the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse is addiction. Most teens don't envisage that they will mature addicted, and simply benefit drug and alcohol to own a bad time.

However, the deed of addiction to drugs and alcohol can conclusion in some appealing undesirable consequences, such as loss of friendships, health problems, behavioral problems, alienation of family, and a loss of care in sports, academics, hobbies, etc. Substance abuse and addiction can emphatically modify behavior, and a latest preoccupation with drugs can assemblage absent activities that were formerly important, adore sports or academics.

End this is a discreet and non-invasive way. Always enshrine that teenagers can be fully protective of their privacy. Instead of asking your babe about his or her friends, launch a barbeque organization and interrogate your baby to invite some of his or her friends.

Inviting your kid"s friends over to the apartment is the ace conduct to shop for to apprehend them better. You may further embolden the kids to hang environing the co-op every instantly and then so that you can inspect them without truly appearing as well nosy or something. Duration busy in some worthwhile activities can cure grip your girl elsewhere from drug addiction."

I couldn't make this shit up. It would take days.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tornado Warning

Today law school shut down due to a tornado warning. Thanks to my schedule, I wasn't on campus today. It did remind me of last year. After the high school in Enterprise got hit by a tornado, our school decided to close campus down due to tornado warnings. So now instead of being relatively safe inside a large 1970's architectural nightmare of a school/bomb shelter made of concrete and brick, I'm in a Toyota Camry driving home. I felt much safer thank you.

I know that we're all trying to avoid liability here but for the commuting students, and those in cheap housing, clearing campus endangers more than it helps.

Free Books, In MY Law School?

There are three texts for the Military Law:  Global War on Terror, but we didn't know this until we came to class.  Apparently the Air Force has been kind enough to provide our course materials for free because they're using the same materials they use to train JAG officers at a nearby base.  This was quite a refreshing discovery after dropping a few hundred dollars on books for all my other classes.

This makes two positive occurrences directly related to the law school itself in one week, while there has only been one notable dismal failure.  The pessimist in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I can't help but think that this could be a good semester.

Shit...Here Again

Triumphant Return and Class Schedule:

I learned over the holidays that non-law school time gives rise to very little blogging material.  There are lots of other things to do of course, but it really seems like nothing makes me think "oh shit, this needs to be blogged."  Perhaps this makes me a bad blogger.

The holidays were miraculous.  I swear it felt like there was a physical weight off my back.  The stress seemed to flow out of my skin and disappear into the surroundings.  I slept well, worked out a bit, and actually lost a couple of pounds.  Life seemed enjoyable in ways I had almost forgotten or at least stopped understanding.  Spending time in Texas with the girl was even better than usual because neither of us was stressed out.

In any case, we're back in the ninth circle of hell as of Monday 1/7.  I'm taking Law and Economics, Insurance Law, Environmental Law II, Conflicts of Law, and a military law class about the "war on terror."  I have no class before 10:45 AM or after 2:50 PM on any day of the week, and I have no classes on Friday.  It was miraculous that I was able to achieve this degree of streamlining while only taking one class I didn't initially want to take (Insurance).  However, even Insurance is starting to seem somewhat interesting, and I'll probably deal with it a lot in practice anyway.  All my classes this term have fewer than 30 people, which I definitely like.  Taking Bus Orgs and Legal Profession (ethics) in the same semester sucked last fall.

Obligatory Guy Fawkes Bitterness:

All this happiness and sunshine feels so out of character for my blogging persona, so here's a little bitterness.  Our grades aren't even officially due until January 15, and I will be astounded if they're all in by that time.  Consequently, many people have no grades posted yet, and I only have one.  Professor Hair Club had our Administrative Law finals graded within 5 days of the due date (meaning he submitted the grades well before Christmas), but the records office neglected to post them until Monday.  I was elated and somewhat surprised to see that I got perhaps the only A in the class (or one of two depending on the source).  Of course, this was too good to be true without some sort of fuck-up along the way.  After being posted online for two days, the grade was nowhere to be found when I checked grades again Wednesday morning.  Additionally, Administrative Law was no longer listed in the list of courses I took last semester.  Even worse, my friends' grades from the class remained unchanged.  As a typical Type A, pessimistic law student, my mind immediately envisioned nightmare scenarios such as the records office having entered the grade incorrectly or the professor revisiting my exam and thinking I had plagiarized something.  

It took most of yesterday to figure out what happened, but the records office finally informed me that another course had accidentally been added to my transcript during the semester without my knowledge.  I have no idea how something like that even happens.  To correct the problem, they had to remove last semester's records from the system and re-add everything.  Apparently it took a bit longer to get Admin Law back in there for some reason.   Fortunately, everything worked out in the end and my A is back in the system.  Looking at it is like a warm law school security blanket.  Imagine that, a happy ending for a law school problem.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What the Constitution Does Not Say (Excerpts from profound 1L comments in ConLaw) Part 1

Prof: Where do rights come from?
Profound Lawdolecent of the Day: Human rights.

I get to sit in on the 1L ConLaw class this semester. It's a new semester, the LawTots have matured into Lawdolecents. While a few LawTot gunners have gotten their grades and have learned to refrain from contributing their opinion, there are still a few who will never learn that their opinion is not as profound as they think. Since I'm on the downhill coast for the rest of law school ConLaw is very entertaining because people get involved and feel the need to defend their opinion. (Un) Fortunately for the (learning)entertainment process, this leads to a lot of opinions which represent what the Constitution does not say.

In the spirit of the inaugural  What the Constitution Does Not Say, here are a few more first day goodies:

Prof: Where do rights come from?
Profound Lawdolecent of the Day: Dignity. (Think about it)

Prof: Where do rights come from?
Profound Lawdolecent of the Day: I think the Creator, God. (You knew someone was going to say it.)
Phaedrus: (Thinking) aka: Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Thank you George Frederic Handel. Then again, as the song says (For Unto Us a Child is Born- Handel's Messiah) "and the government shall be upon his shoulder." Profound Lawdolecent May be onto something... nah.

White Collar Crime Field Trip

For White Collar Crime class we are taking a field trip to the Federal Penitentiary. The Prof. (who is a former US Prosecutor) told us that our assignment is to ask the inmates questions.

FROM: Prof. Prosecutor
RE: Field trip to see White Collar Inmates

Assignment: Be a dick to an inmate.

Friday, January 4, 2008


College bookstores are a scam. I caught my visit today on film.

I need to start shopping online.