Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Happy List? Ridiculous Endeavor

Scheherazade writes about making a list of the truly happy people she knows. She realizes, to her dismay, few people she knows are truly happy. She laments at this. I say, the whole notion is a ridiculous endeavor. Although I know the key to true happiness for the remainder of your days, I also know that you will never be able to find it in others - accurately. How can anyone else know who is truly happy? A brooding oaf in the corner? Will he make the list? What about the carefree dude, bopping around, always willing to lend a helping hand, then runs his car into a tree? Nonsense. Want the key to happiness now? Here it is: You will never fill the hole inside of you - never. All the things you want to do, to buy, to see, to be, they will never fill the hole that aches deep inside of you. For some people the hole is huge, it pains them everyday, and they desperately try to fill it up - for others, it pangs only every so oft, but when it does, they pause, the get melancholy. The KEY TO THE WHOLE THING - is understanding that the hole will never be filled. And to understand that the feeling of boredom, sadness, despair, depression, whatever that comes along with the hole, it will keep coming back. No matter your success, the size of your house, how many smoking babes you rock - the hole has a ravenous appetite. If you understand this, understand that sometimes the hole is content in whatever success you fed it last, and that the meal might last for years, that eventually, inevitably, the hole will be back, because it always must be fed, well that is the key. Know it is there, it is a part of you, and know it will always remind you that there is more to do, like it or not. This hole is what made Einstein spend the last half of his life working on the Unification Theory, it is what makes millionaires reach for more and more projects and adventures, what makes law students strive for the A, it is what drives all of us. If you know this, embrace this, and don't despair at this - well happy you will be.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Cyborgs

All of you with ear pieces in your ear for your phones. Those little Bluetooth ones, you know those cool little ones that put the world on notice that you, my friend, you are with the times - technology, well, it has not passed you by, no sir, quite the contrary, 45-years-old you may be, but that doesn't mean you aren't "with it" - you embrace technology, you are in the age, baby - YOU LOOK F*ing STUPID!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

4th Amendment in the Real

Seems that the person above me who kept dropping things at all hours of the night was not some sort of troglodyte with a neuro-deficient disease. Rather, they were just a group of crazy kids running a hydroponics marijuana lab. There was a blowout in one of their pipes and the entire laundry room was flooded (they have a 2 bedroom partly above my apartment and the laundry room). When the landlady got word of the deluge she went upstairs to see what was occurring. She was denied access by the occupant, so she called the fire department (probably the police too, but the FD got there first). The FD came in, opened the door, and stopped the leak. Of course, they saw all the weed growing. Well, the FD did one thing before they left, they opened the blinds on the front window nice and wide – you know to have better lighting in order to rectify the leak… right. Now the police arrive, ah, but the exigent circumstances have passed and there is no reason for them to go into the apartment (at this point the occupants had – intelligently – left). So, they get a statement from the fire department, look through the window and see plants, bongs, Reservoir Dog posters, and go see the judge. They plant a cop right in front of the door to stop anyone from going in. A few hours later and the whole crew is there, with warrant in tow, tearing up the joint. The news crew on the scene is playing up the “Day care center right next door to this house of sin – are your children safe anywhere?” angle.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Big dumb lawyer. Big.

This guy is a moron, but look at his picture. Damn, that is a big lawyer. http://www.theolympian.com/home/news/20050419/topstories/128456.shtml

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mrs. Lovejoy: "Will someone please think about the children!"

I went to this Educate Tomorrow thing at the school today. It came at a very bad time as I am hard at work readying for finals. However, I want to help and there ain't no time like the present. I saw very few law kids there. What happened to changing the world, people? It was funny to see many of my fellow law students abandon ship when all of the mentees invaded the bricks for lunch. The idea is that these foster kids are aged-out at 18. They need help getting into schools, filling out financial aid apps, getting funds from the state, etc... Since the kids are of no value to the foster parents once they turn 18 and the money stops, the program seeks individuals to be mentors and see them through the process. So the one guy I know got a 16-year-old kid who has aspirations of being a pilot or chemist or something one day. The second dude I know got a kid who is real active in sports and has a few schools already picked out. I got a 19-year-old who is already aged out. He is getting his GED, but hit a little bump in the road, what with his strong arm robbery trial coming up in about a month. Apparently, my mentee (God help both him and I) showed up at the end of all the classes that this program puts on. Life management stuff, motivational speakers, good stuff. Well, he is not "allowed" to have the info packet because he didn't attend the meeting. "Come back in October" one lady tells him. Give me a break. It is hard to help these kids out when you have disdain for them - not everyone is cut out for this shit. Obviously the woman giving "Come back in October" advice is one of them. Okay, he didn't take the classes, so he doesn't get a backpack - fine. But I was trying to set him up with a bank account so he didn't have to keep giving 25 bucks to the check cashing store and then holding 800 bucks in his pocket for the month (or few days, since I'm sure it is spent pretty quick - I mean, if he held onto it for any amount of time, the strong arm robbery wouldn't have gone down, methinks). Well, turns out that they give these kids 50 bucks for their bank account - fine, my guy doesn't want the 50 bucks, he just wants a bank account! Now he needs to wait until October. I was about to drive him to the bank myself. Finally the woman relented and allowed him to fill out the bank paperwork, but NOT get the $50 voucher. Fine. I told him to "strong arm" a few of the other kids' vouchers on the bus back home. Also, I didn't notice very many students from the Children and Youth Services group from the Ethics and Public Service program. Hmm... strange... in their interviews they were all about helping the youth succeed. Funny how things work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Foreign students seem to know way more about the politics of the world compared to many of their American counterparts. I guess that’s what comes with us Americans having the world’s current longest running continuous method (active method) of government (I think that is right unless there is some little principality somewhere – the Vatican maybe, San Marino or something – maybe I should qualify it further by saying out of the countries that hold sway in the world…and are bigger than 10 square miles) in the world. It is fun to here them talk about those East European countries that no longer exist and realize that many were born citizens of a country that has vanished into the world’s history books. A couple guys insinuated (well, came right out and said it) that my 4th amendment disposition was tilted towards raging liberal. They couldn’t say just what I had said over those weeks, but they said they were flummoxed by my apparent “switch” when it came to the Miranda/Massiah line of cases. Nonsense. Although I’m not quite ready to abandon the exclusionary rule like Scalia or Thomas when it comes to the 4th amendment, I have yet to hear of a better way to insure my rights are protected other than civil lawsuits. Until then, I’m okay with the way things are going – shit, there are so many exceptions to the exclusionary rule, the cops should be able to get the job done pretty well – As for Miranda, I think it is a wee bit on the lame side. This blanket rule about un-mirandized confessions being per se coerced is just wrong.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Rant

It hadn’t occurred to me that someone would get a “D” in a class as controversial as Elements. The grade distributions have been posted – and it seems that some students did, indeed, get a “D”. For those of you not in Chicago or Miami, the Elements course is - the ideas embodied in the Bramble Bush come to life - (sort of) I like to think of it as: “You’ve read the book now see the movie!” The idea (or, at least, my take on it) is to treat the study of law as a liberal art. The idea is that students should do a lot of outside reading, and that class should be reserved for a detailed look into a very limited range of cases. Really take them apart, line by line almost. See the tools a good judge has at his disposal. See how good advocates can work and bend the law to fit their cases. She how bad judges get it wrong. See how bad advocates don’t advance their client’s cause, but more importantly, how a good advocate can help a good judge effect change in the law. See the organic law creep and spring and wither and morph and on and on… Sounds great, right? Ah, but the devil is in the details, my friends. The premise is noble, but the assumptions supporting it have become eroded. The assumption is that law students are at law school ready to immerse themselves in the law; That many students who come to law school do so for the study and not simply the vocation of law. This is no longer the case for most. Law school has become all about the grades. With 100K dollars in debt accompanying many student’s degrees, you can understand why that might be the case. Basic market forces at work here. Supply and demand. There are lots of law schools out there and lots of law students within them. Factor in tradition and the law school rankings, and it becomes pretty clear, pretty fast, that a student better do well if they want to get off on the right foot. This does not lend itself to the noble pursuit of the study of law, rather, it lends itself to High Court Briefs and Emanuel’s Outlines. So you have Elements. The idea of what law school should be for all three years, stuffed into one semester. It is no wonder why so many students question just what the hell Elements is all about. One prof. suggested it be renamed Reading and Understanding a Court’s Opinion. This would do wonders to clarify just what in the hell it is we are supposed to be doing, because like it or not, that is all Elements has come to be. It isn’t a liberal arts approach to learning the law, it is one semester of a failed attempt to creat scholarly law students. There is no reason why anyone’s first year, their most important year, should be crushed by a “D” in such a course. Elements does not accomplish what it was intended to do, and it should not, therefore, have such destructive powers. I don’t argue that the student didn’t, possibly, deserve a “D” based on performance on the final, what I do argue is that if such a course be required, and is such a course fall so short of what it was designed to do, then such a course should be weighted accordingly. Elements is a square peg in today’s world of law school.

South Park

This doesn't look anything like me. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Misconceptions

I went to my first law school party this weekend. One of our section’s nicest girls was throwing it. She really tried to rally the troops and get everyone to come. Being that she is so very nice, and that I have yet to go to a single “gathering” (save for running the law school 5k, and by running I mean plodding along like a wounded sloth), I thought this would be the perfect shot. I had a really good time. Of course, I did get drunk for only like the 8th time in my life. JD puts it around 11 or 12 times, but I know several of those were faked so I didn’t have to keep listening to her yammer on about something or other. There are a lot of nice people in my section, and in law school in general, and when you have a little nipper going on, you tend to be more outgoing. However, there were still the few that have yet to even nod in my direction. What is their problem? Assholes? Jerks? Conceited? Probably a little of each, but then, the same can be said for me. What it really boils down to is misconceptions. I am not outgoing, at all. I talk in class, but mostly it is because I am interested in learning the law, not because I like to be noticed. Outside of class, however, I am reserved when it comes to meeting people at first. Once I meet you, we talk a few times, then I am more friendly, but at first, mums the word. This leads to misconceptions about me. Probably, I realize, the same misconceptions I have about others. I’m sure I appear arrogant, asshole-ish, jerk-ish, whatever… I don’t think there is much I can do about it though. I yam what I yam. So, you get a little drunk, you go to a party, you chat it up with this guy or that girl, and you have a nice time. However, there are still some who look at you with disdain at the party and afterwards – all I can say to them is… well, nothing. I’ll continue to be as sullen as ever. It isn’t that I think I am better, quite contrary, in fact, I find some of you to be smart, funny, and seemingly fortified with value-added insight – but, all the same, you can suck it. And, I too, will suck it all the same. This brings me to my next point – why can they, and me in reciprocal, suck it? Because, in the end (and the road to the end) respect and friendship just can’t be had by all. Some people will be friends throughout life, others will fall to the wayside, and others will simply be little puffs in our peripheral vision. The warning in law school is “Be nice for you never know who will be a judge one day!” Okay, but what the hell does that mean? Does that mean I have to be friendly and chatty when I’m not, because I don’t want people to mistake my silence as arrogance. Well, it ain’t ganna happen, so I’ll just have to take my chance that not IM’ing some person (or in my case, any person) will not lead to my demise as an advocate on the planet Earth.