Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Last year, at about this time, I plugged the law school parody show like this: "For anyone on the Harvard campus... check out the law school parody show, opening tonight and running through Saturday. I was one of eight writers; after all the meetings and read-throughs and revisions, I'm not even sure I know for certain which lines were mine and which weren't, not that it matters. It's a solid show. It's a two-hour musical comedy poking fun at law school life, students, and professors -- with some cool cameos by professors and some nice singing and dancing. Better than a movie, and only slightly more expensive."

I can do better than that this year, because, really, the show's a whole lot better this year than it was last year. I really do believe that, and it's not just because I'm a lot more involved than I was last year. I mean, I want to believe it's better than last year's show even if it isn't, because if it's not then I've wasted a good chunk of the past two months or so, but I really do think it's a much better show. Funnier. But the audience will be the judge. Opens next Tuesday, the 8th, and runs through Saturday the 12th. Tickets available in the Hark this week. Sit on the left side instead of the right, so you're not next to the band.

And now I've got rehearsal. Reading can wait. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Okay, I don’t have anyone to blame but myself. I should have taken the MPRE in the fall, but I was lazy and saved it until the spring. On the plus side, had I taken it in the fall I would have had to go to downtown Hartford to find an open testing center. On the minus side, if I fail it now, I don’t get to take the bar exam. On the plus side, who wants to take the bar exam anyway? On the minus side, who wants to take the bar exam a year from now? On the plus side, maybe the world will end by then. On the minus side, uh, if the world ends, I’m in trouble.

Here’s what I don’t understand. In one breath, everyone says that the MPRE is nothing to worry about. But in the next breath, everyone has a study strategy. And in the third breath, everyone knows fourteen people who failed. And in the fourth breath, we stop talking about the MPRE because it’s a hella boring test and no one wants to spend more than eight seconds talking about it.

The friend whose book I’m using said that all I need to do is read his outline from the class, and that’s all I need to ace the test. The first person I told that to said no, that’s all wrong, I just need to read the mini review in the book and I’ll ace the test. The next person said no, ignore the outline and the mini review, just take the practice tests and I’ll ace the test. The next person said no, just use common sense and I’ll ace the test. The next person said I’m going to fail because I didn’t pay for Bar/Bri. Shut up, Bar/Bri representative. I don’t believe you anyway.

One of my professors last semester said we should be able to pass the MPRE with our eyes closed. I don’t even think I can find my #2 pencil with my eyes closed, so I don’t think I’m going to try that. But this whole thing seems a little ridiculous. If the test is so easy, why do we have to take it? And, even worse, why does everyone know eight people who failed? And, even worse, why is the book so hard to read? Oh, wait, I’m holding it upside down. There, that’s better.

I found a web site with some practice questions. I’m now going to make fun of them. Here’s one. “Attorney recently graduated from Bluff Law School and successfully passed the Bar Exam. Prior to going to Law School, Attorney practiced as a dentist for the past 15 years. As a result, most of Attorney’s contacts are in the dental field. At the last Dental Conference, Attorney approached his old cronies and said, ‘If you refer your patients to me who are in need of legal services, I will retain you as an expert witness in all of my dental malpractice cases.’ Is Attorney subject to discipline for making such an agreement with his old dental cronies?”

First of all, Bluff Law School? Could they do no better? I don’t know how high my expectations are for a lawyer’s ethical state if he went to a school called Bluff. And a dentist-turned-lawyer? This sounds like an idea for a sitcom, not a legal ethics practice question. In any case, there’s no need to even think about this one, because the mere use of the word “cronies” gives it away. Of course he should be subject to discipline. Otherwise his fellow dentists would have been called his “colleagues” instead. I mean, this is Beating the Standardized Test 101 here, folks.

Okay, next question. “Judge and her husband are interested in selling their home. They contacted Agent and Agent put Judge’s house up for sale. Last Sunday, Buyer’s agent took her client, Attorney, to several houses. The last house on the tour was Judge’s house. Attorney desired Judge’s house and made an offer the moment the tour ended. The offer was held open for one week. Meanwhile, on Monday, Attorney was assigned to Judge’s courtroom for trial. Is it proper for Judge to preside at this trial?”

They’re so freaking gender-neutral over in MPRE-land. “Judge and her husband.” Like there are really any female judges. I think Larry Summers would have something to say about this. In any case, I share this question only because of Answer Choice A, quite possibly the dumbest answer choice I’ve seen since “17” on the Math SAT II. 17? Right. Everyone knew it was 3 and a half. Everyone. Anyway, choice A: “A. No, because Attorney may have discovered Judge’s secrets while touring his house.”

What? Judge’s secrets? What kind of secrets do they even want us to imagine here? The pile of bribes she left on the kitchen counter? The tortured child locked in the bathroom? The denture paste? This is an obvious wrong choice. The real answer is “E. Client needs to find a new Attorney, because if all Attorney can afford is Judge’s house, then Attorney’s not doing so well, and must not be a very good lawyer.” I mean, what can Judge possibly be making here? A hundred, a hundred fifty... Attorney’s gotta be making more than that or Client needs to shop elsewhere. I mean, seriously!

One more. “Attorney fails the MPRE. Judge finds out. Judge tells Client. Client fires Attorney. Attorney goes to dental school. Judge goes to get his teeth cleaned. Chaos ensues” Okay, clearly I’m not taking this seriously enough. My fault. I should’ve taken the MPRE in the fall. Oh well. But on the plus side, at least I don’t go to Bluff Law School.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Fascinating New York Times Magazine piece about the author Jonathan Safran Foer, whose books I haven't read, but the article makes me want to read. Isn't that the mark of an effective article about a writer? It makes me want to read what he's written. Can it even strive to do any better than that?
Okay, I'm just going to start writing about some randomly-disconnected stuff, and I'm not sure where it's going to end up, or if I can tie it all together. This is going to ramble for a bit, but I'm playing with some thoughts in my head, and trying just to see where it goes. The New York Times has an unusual article today about Harvard president Larry Summers and his personality. "He is reading tomes about leadership. He also recently took his children to see 'Hitch,' a new movie, as it happens, about men who are trying to improve their social skills." It's interesting. I feel like usually someone's personal battle to keep his jobs isn't something that's in the news so specifically. We read about people doing bad things, people being fired, people dealing with consequences... but this is much more of a Process article, not an Outcome article. I'm making up article categories that may not make sense. Apologies if I don't make sense. But this, to me, makes the article -- and even just the fact that the article exists -- really interesting. Even when we read about problems at the highest levels of government, with Presidents and Cabinet secretaries, I feel like we read about external uncertainties -- what will happen if X happens, what has led to Y. We don't read about President Bush's crisis of faith while it's happening and we don't know the answer yet. There was a great Newsweek series on after the election about Kerry's campaign and what went wrong. But that was once we knew what had happened. News tends to do that. We don't find out that Kerry's top advisor was struggling with choice A and choice B until after the fact, and after we know which choice he made and how it worked out. But this Summers thing is very much uncertain, right now, as the news is happening. From the article: "'To some extent, this controversy has put Harvard in a lose-lose situation,' said Sidney Verba, a senior professor of government and director of the university library, who is sympathetic to Dr. Summers. 'I think it would be a bad idea, and we would lose a lot, if Larry were to resign now or forced out. On the other hand, there are clear downsides right now, because he is damaged, and people are so upset, and the way forward is unclear. I think everyone is really concerned about that.'"

I think part of why we can have an article like this is because university politics moves at a slower pace that presidential politics, and with fewer implications for national security, and those two factors combined mean that we can know what's going on behind the scenes, and there's time for things to play out, at a pace that can be covered by the news media.

Raffi Melkonian wrote in this week's Record, the newspaper here (Articles not Online yet, so no link), a piece that posits that maybe President Summers is a little bit autistic. There happens to be another article in the Times today about autism, not related to the President Summers piece. If he is autistic, he's highly-functioning, clearly. Maybe he lacks social skills. Maybe he lacks empathy and understanding of the people he's dealing with. Maybe that's an idea for the next piece in the Times' series on Summers, as they get closer and closer to becoming his public therapist. That sounds like a snarky comment, but I don't mean it that way. I think reading about people's internal monologues is cool, and probably more interesting than reading about plot, and stuff they're actually doing. Thoughts are sometimes more interesting than actions. Sometimes.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I saw the Harvard Hasty Pudding show tonight. It's student-written musical comedy. I thought the music was pretty solid, the script was kind of weak, the production values really good. Worth seeing, although I think I liked last year's show better. The interesting thing about Hasty Pudding shows is how interchangeable they are. I've seen three of them. There's no reason why they couldn't have been performed 50 years ago. What's kind of disappointing about them is that there's no point of view -- not that every show needs to have a message or a lesson or something to say, but it's kind of nice when you feel like there's some idea at play, some reason why the author might have been motivated to create the work, some insight into something, even something small. Hasty Pudding, as a form, doesn't seem to have that. The shows are fun, but ultimately kind of unsatisfying, I think, because there's nothing more than what they are. But I did like the music, and I did enjoy the show. So I'm not really complaining. Just thinking out loud.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

When I first came across last week the article linked to below from the Daily Princetonian, about the offensive top ten list, I also saw an article that really saddened me, about a former professor of mine being badly burned in a house fire. Finding the link for that just now, I saw an article from yesterday's paper that the professor, David Bradford, an economist, had passed away. I didn't know him very well -- I took a class from him junior year in Environmental Economics, about 25 people in the class, I went to office hours once to talk about a problem set since I'd missed the class where he'd handed it back, I think -- but I've always remembered him as one of the best professors I had at Princeton, and, honestly, as one of the most human. A couple of months ago I exchanged e-mails with a Princeton freshman who e-mailed me about my blog, and I gave him an unsolicited course recommendation, since he said he thought he'd be ending up on the law school path. I told him to take Bradford's class, because, not knowing it at the time of course, it ended up being a lot like the kinds of economic analysis we do at law school, and, besides, that Bradford was a super-nice guy, and a really good professor.

What made him stand out -- and I feel it's going to sound like this is just the kind of stuff people try and write when someone passes away, but, really, I'd thought about this before, and he really did stand out as one of the professors I remember, and remember fondly -- is that he really just seemed like a good guy, approachable, decent, one of the professors I wish I'd have actually gotten to know as a person. I remember there was a class when we were locked out of the building -- the class was in this seminar room in an old building, that we got into through a side entrance, and he needed to find a security guard to open the door. And I felt like a lot of professors would have gotten flustered or annoyed, or at least seemed impatient, but I remember he was totally pleasant about it, thanked the security guard, didn't make it into a big issue. He seemed at peace and like he had perspective, I don't know. He explained things really well. He didn't take it all more seriously than he needed to. I can't name all of the professors I had in college. Maybe if I think hard enough. But he stood out. And it's sad to read the news that he passed away.

There's a Princeton news release here that paints a really nice picture of him as a scholar and a person, with some excellent quotes from his colleagues. The New York Times has a piece, and here's the piece from the Daily Princetonian.
I read an article last week the The Daily Princetonian about another Princeton publication, the Nassau Weekly, which published "a list of 'Top 10 Holocaust movies I've never seen but would like to,' which angered some students. It was called "undeniably offensive" by an associate dean, and it probably was, but I was surprised that they were talking about possible disciplinary sanctions. It was apparently meant to be funny, and it apparently failed. I think they should apologize if people were offended, but I'd be kind of disappointed if Princeton decided to actually take disciplinary action. It's interesting -- because if the students who wrote it weren't Jewish, and it wasn't clear they were going for humor rather than hate, I guess my reaction might be different even if the words on the page weren't any different. That feels like a bad thing.

There's a post here, on a blog by another Harvard Law student, that talks about it too, and about how the negative reaction is probably enough punishment -- the authors are appropriately shamed, and the free market has taken care of it. I wouldn't have thought about it in those terms, but I guess it makes sense, and I guess I agree with that. There are some interesting comments on the linked post that go back and forth about free speech a bit. I'd be a little concerned about stuff that crosses the line in student publications being subject to punishment when the intent is clearly to be funny, even if it fails to be funny at all. That said, I may have a vested interest in a policy like that, because even though I feel like I'm fairly careful, I know there's stuff I write that crosses lines, and sometimes it's funny, and sometimes it's just not, and sometimes it's a risk. Public shaming seems better than expulsion when the risk fails. In any case, I won't be writing a list of the top ten Holocaust movies I'd like to see, at least not anytime soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I'm in a seminar this semester about Law and Psychology. Our assignment for next week is to ask a couple of friends to give you "some advice about finding or keeping love." So I figured I'd throw it out there to anyone who wants to e-mail me. It's all anonymous, of course. We have to write a 2-page paper commenting on the advice we get. Not a huge deal. But if anyone's inspired to share, shoot me a note. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I'm at an a cappella rehearsal right now, and there's an announcement on the chalkboard for a lecture/discussion that happened last night. This is real, I swear. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Broken Scales: Obesity and Justice in America
Dinner will be served!

Broken Scales??? Dinner will be served??? At an obesity lecture???
I've been slowed by a cold the past couple of days. Sorry about that. Here's a bizarre CNN article about how the Jennifer Aniston / Brad Pitt breakup caused problems for a wax museum that had to split up the two wax figurines, which had been intertwined together. Shows what happens when you rely on Hollywood couples to stay together... not sure what they did with the OJ Simpson / Nicole Brown Simpson figurines when that all happened...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

This is what happens when I write an hour after taking a Sudafed. My apologies.

Yesterday, I went to a monster truck rally with some friends. Seriously. Not my idea, of course, due to a fear of monsters ever since I was three years old and there was one in my bedroom. It took like a week before I realized it was just the shadow from the evil clown needlepoint my mom had made for me. It looked like a portrait of Ronald McDonald from before he got the fast food gig and was shooting up in back alleys, supporting himself by posing for needlepoint patterns. It was a sad time in history, but luckily the Reagan administration came in and solved all that.

Anyway, my activity suggestion would have been something slightly more cultured, like driving to the liquor store on the side of the highway just across the New Hampshire border, or going to Denny’s. Instead, we went to Worcester, Mass (pronounced Wuss-ter, as in, “Stop being a wuss! Ter-n that car back around, even though it’s quite clear we’ve exited the highway and entered a city that hasn’t been wired for high-speed Internet yet and only has fourteen Starbucks.” Imagine, only fourteen Starbucks. And one of them is a combination Starbucks / bait shop, which is totally confusing when someone asks for extra whip. And when someone claims to be “hooked.”). Christo’s next project, in fact, is to permanently drape the entire city of Worcester in fabric. Not for artistic purposes, but just to hide it from view. It’s keeping the aliens from contacting us when they look at satellite images from outer space. “No signs of intelligent life there, Mork. Back to Zeptar.” It’s already cost us the discovery of a healthy substitute for trans fat, and battery-powered dental floss.

So we got to the monster truck rally, and drove into the garage to park. I got confused, because while I was pretty sure the monster trucks were supposed to be inside the arena, three-quarters of the cars in the lot could crush a Camry without even bending a fender. Pick-up trucks, SUVs, hummers, and a UFO on loan from a red state. As we walked across the street to the stadium, we noticed everyone was wearing industrial-strength headphones. My first thought was just that the iPod hasn’t made it to Worcester yet, but then I realized that, while true, the reason for the headphones was that trucks are noisy. Being a law student, no one ever told me that before. So we didn’t know. I was also concerned it was going to be very cold inside the facility, because everyone had a beard. Even the children. And there were lots and lots of children. I was surprised, since when I was a kid, I was scared of the Reddi Wip, so I can’t imagine what a monster truck would have made me do to myself.

We bought our tickets – the “good seats” were $27; we opted for the cheap seats for $12. As we walked in, we were immediately pleased with our decision, since the lower half of the arena was filled with fog. I’m still not entirely sure whether this was dirt, exhaust, a combination of the two, or just some sort of monster truck airborne discharge, but it was coughitudinous, and chokidiferous. Luckily, where we were sitting, we were only going to ingest the toxic particles instead of actually having to look through them. The concession stand didn’t sell gas masks.

Unfortunately. I think they would have been a big seller. To me. Okay, only to me. Because I’m a wuss who likes to breathe clean air and disturbed enough by the lack of it that pre-smoking ban, the first thing I would do when I got home from somewhere smoky would be to take off my clothes and get in the shower – before touching anything – and then put my clothes in a plastic bag until I did laundry, so I wouldn’t contaminate anything in my room, and the clothes wouldn’t contaminate my other clothes. I would also use a separate washing machine. If I did not take a Sudafed an hour ago, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have shared all that. Your gain, my loss.

I went to search for food, but first I went to the bathroom. For the first time in the history of spectator events, there was a line of about thirty people for the men’s room, but the women’s room in fact contained the original paper towels placed in the dispenser when the structure was built in 1964. I went to the bathroom, observing normal crowded-bathroom urinal rules – look at ceiling or die – took the lead from my fellow restroom users and didn’t wash my hands, and then went to get some food. I got the chicken nuggets, which were actually chicken tenders, but I didn’t correct the cashier. There was a sign advertising McDonalds that said “there are 18 McDonalds locations on your way home.” I have no idea how they know that. Still, I cannot figure it out. What if I live in Nebraska? Which the majority of spectators at the event did.

Everyone stood and removed their Nascar hats for the national anthem, Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” while the scoreboard displayed a montage of images of soldiers in Iraq alternating with timed-to-the-music monster trucks crushing little wuss cars. Nothing in that previous sentence is an exaggeration. I have no idea when Lee Greenwood’s ode to the lakes of Minnesota and the hills of Tennessee (but not the Academy Award voters of Beverley Hills) became the national anthem, but who was I to argue. After all, I was dying of lung cancer. Then they played the slowest version of the Star Spangled Banner ever (I think it was a recording by Martina McFriedFood-is-all-we-sell-at-this-goshdarned-stadium), the announcer said “Let’s Get Ready to Monster,” and the trucks began to crush the cars.

I was disappointed that the trucks (including Grave Digger, Black Stallion, and the Equalizer) crushed junkyard cars. I thought they were going to announce six lucky fans whose cars had been picked from the parking garage to get demolished, but, since every car in the garage was an SUV, they had to skip that part of the festivities. I was also hoping there’d be people in the cars, but no such luck. Or at least they’d drive in some new cars, rigged with cameras inside, so we could see the airbag deploy, and the leather interior crumble into dust, and the six-speaker surround sound surround ground. That sentence would have made sense if not for the Sudafed.

At halftime, everyone aired out their ears and miniature remote control monster trucks did some tricks on a ten-foot ramp. That was the most fun part for me. I think that means I’m an idiot. Oh well. So, like every other law student, I will probably not be visiting monster truck land again anytime soon, or at least not until I stop coughing up diesel.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I went to a monster truck rally today. Bizarre. 800 words about it coming tomorrow, along with some other funny stuff, I hope.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Ten Worst Souvenirs They're Selling Outside "The Gates" in Central Park

1. Hula Gates
2. G.I. Gate
3. Tama-gate-chi
4. My Little Gate
5. E-Z Gate Oven
6. The Great Gatesby Action Figure
7. Cabbage Patch Gates
8. Tickle Me Gate
9. Gatesy Wetsy
10. Chia Gate

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Not a good day to be President of Harvard University. The New York Times and the Harvard Crimson have some pretty frightening things to say. Well, frightening if you're related to Larry Summers.

From The Crimson: "'[We must] show the public that we are not cowards, we are not spineless, and we are not with you,' said Arthur Kleinman, chair of the anthropology department, addressing Summers in the early minutes of the meeting.... 'The president has been challenged to either fundamentally turn around his style of leadership or to leave the institution,' said one senior faculty member who attended the meeting."

From The Times: "'It's as if the business of the university has ground to a halt until this matter is resolved," said Prof. Henry Louis Gates, the chairman of the African American and African studies department, adding, "It is clear that much of President Summers's legacy will be determined by how he deals with this crisis.'"

From My Stream of Consciousness: "Wow, sounds like President Summers is going to be Former President Summers soon. I wonder how they choose a new President. Maybe there's a raffle. Or a bake-off. That would be fun. Or maybe if I send in fifty UPC symbols from my favorite Kellogg's cereals, along with $7.95 for shipping and handling, I can be Harvard's next President (thanks for letting me steal that one, Justin). Or maybe they'll make it a prize on the next Real World / Road Rules Battle of the Sexes. Eric Nies would make an awesome Harvard president. I wonder what the President's office looks like. I bet it has nice carpeting. I wish I had carpet in my room. Next place I live will have carpet. Yes, that's a decision. Fixed in stone. Carpet. Carpet's a funny word. It has nothing to do with Cars or Pets. Like Grape-Nuts. No grapes, no nuts. I'm hungry. Maybe I should go eat something. Yeah, a Presidential bake-off would be the coolest. They could televise it on the Food Network and then re-run it twenty-five times a week. Harvard President Unwrapped! They could do a bizarre episode of Unwrapped about those projects Christo did before the Central Park gates. Well, a bizarre episode of Wrapped, at least. Hmmm. Carpet. Hmmm."
Okay, I missed something. Monday was Valentine's Day. I guess I forgot. :( Or at least my weblog forgot. The best thing I read on Valentine's Day was this post by Sherry Fowler. It's really good, and captures the feelings I think everyone who writes something like this feels about his or her readers. Thanks for reading, really. It's cool to feel connected. It's nice to feel like there are people reading my words and engaged in what I'm thinking about. And it's nice to hear from people reading and be able to engage in other people's lives. I haven't said it in a while, so, thanks.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I know a couple of people going down to New York specifically to see The Gates. Not Bill Gates. The 7,500 saffron-colored (read: orange) 16-foot tall gates draped with fabric that have been installed throughout Central Park, an art project by Christo, an artist known for wrapping things in fabric. The New York Times has a whole feature on the gates, in case you want to read / see / experience. They actually look kind of cool.

Five more projects for Christo:

1. Sprinkling fourteen tons of glitter on Stonehenge.
2. Covering the Egyptian Pyramids with a giant purple hat.
3. Obscuring Mount Rushmore with eighty-five thousand pounds of cucumber peels.
4. Covering Mount Everest in aluminum foil.
5. Wrapping a birthday present for his wife in "Happy Birthday" wrapping paper.
Ten Poorly Selling CD Compilations

1. Passion of the Christ: Songs
2. TV Guide's 50 Most Annoying TV Theme Songs
3. Totally Crap 2004
4. Now That's What I Call Indian Buffet Music! Volume 17
5. Music from the O.C. Mix 0.5
6. Music from the O.B. G.Y.N.
7. Now That's What I Call Background Noise! Volume 9
8. 101 Elderly Favorites
9. Pure 1880's Love: The Hits
10. Wow Worship: Yellow

#1 and #10 are both real. Sorry.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Okay, I'm watching a train wreck on TV. I happened to read an article earlier that the WB show, "7th Heaven," was renewed for a 10th season. I want to make a joke here about how all of the children must be about ready for retirement, but I'm having trouble making that work. Anyway, I went to the WB home page, just out of curiosity, and there was a promo for tonight's episode, a special "musical" episode. So I decided I'd check it out, just to see what I was missing by not watching the show since, I don't know, the last century. And it's a train wreck. It's actors who can't sing at all doing terrible renditions of songs from the big band era, awkwardly shoehorned into the scenes, without anything entertaining about it. I can't imagine this is actually the best they can do. They just had the mother sing to the son's new girlfriend a spiritual about praying, and some extras came out from the trees and started swing dancing. This is really bizarre.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A couple of weeks ago, someone e-mailed asking me to post some information about a legal writing contest, and I flagged the e-mail and forgot. But the deadline isn't until May 31, so I don't feel too bad about being 2 weeks delayed on this. I hate feeling like I'm being used as free advertising space, but this seems like someone really could find this valuable, so here goes. I have no idea what they're actually talking about, so please don't ask me any questions about it.

Pacific Legal Foundation is awarding $9,500 in its Sixth Annual Program for Judicial Awareness Writing Competition. This year's competition includes three essay questions, regarding the applicability of the Supreme Court's "rough proportionality" takings standard; whether the GDF Realty Investments v. Norton decision can be reconciled with the Court's modern Commerce Clause jurisprudence; and whether the concept of "regulatory givings" is consistent with the purpose and function of the Takings Clause. More information is available at this link.

$9,500 is also the cost of almost a hundred eulogies on a 6-hour turnaround. Just in case you were wondering (see post directly below).
Yesterday, while working with someone on something completely unrelated, we came across an entire Internet industry I never realized existed: the pay-Eulogy. At, you can "Get Your Hands On Warm, Loving, and Sentimental Eulogy Speeches In Just 3 1/2 Minutes," as well as learn "What's Proper Etiquette and What's Not -- it's not what you think." Well, that's good, because I would think maybe buying your eulogy is not quite proper etiquette. Guess not. His package includes "Humorous quotes to lighten the mood." Perfect. Right. And it's on sale if you act now! Plus, "If you order by midnight, February 15, 2005 , you'll get 3 FREE Bonus Gifts! These little gems will make your day!" You know, in case you're feeling a little down because you have to deliver a eulogy. Gosh.

The best of what I found, though, is a site called, which sells "Instant EulogiesTM." You can get a eulogy specifically tailored for your:

Parent with Alzheimers
Father who Reconciled with Abandoned Family
Co-Worker....and more
Curmudgeon??? But don't take their word for it. Check out some of the customer testimonials:

"That Eulogy was awesome! Everyone said it was PERFECT!"

"The funeral went as well as it could have"

"Thank you for the fast turnaround. I think you did a very fine job in the eulogy. She was my sister but she could be tough to get along with at times."

"your service has freed up hours of time I would have spent today writing my eulogy"

"I will refer others to you." (Because that's a conversation that we have all the time, right? I heard you need someone to write a eulogy for you...)

"It was very, very good. Everyone applauded at the end. It was definitely not a somber affair. It was pretty upbeat." (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

As I understand it, today is election day. Not for something silly like the President of the United States, or the leader of Iraq, or the head of the local school board, but for the person who will lead this nation’s -- nay, the world’s -- most important student-edited legal journal for the next twelve months, through all of the trials that a student-edited law review must face: whether to run the article about reconciling sovereignty and global governance through global government networks, or the article about organizations as internal capital markets: the legal boundaries of firms, collateral and trusts in commercial and charitable enterprises. Or to run both. The fate of dozens of professors at third-tier universities around the country lies in the hands of the student elected today, as he or she will make decisions that impact the entire planet. Which recent publications will be reviewed? Will we switch to recycled paper? What size font will we use when printing next year’s competition packet?

I apologize if I’m trivializing the role of the Law Review in our nation’s consciousness. I know it's important that the process be allowed to work, no matter if it takes 96 hours in a classroom here in Cambridge, the current members dressed up in their finest breeches and topcoats, wearing their most fashionable wigs and wooden teeth, and making sure to carefully scrutinize every comma each candidate changed over the course of the past year, every semicolon he or she added, and every sandwich order called into the local delicatessen. Mistakes can be costly. Forget the extra mustard, and you may have just disqualified yourself, and forced upon yourself a year spent as Page Count Editor instead of the all-important, all-knowing, all-powerful Editor-in-Chief, able to make or break young legal careers at the drop of an issue of the California Reporter, making the decision between whether each young and eager 2L will get to work with Judge Posner, or Judge Judy. Judge Easterbrook, or Judge Wapner. Judge McConnell, or Judge Reinhold.

I've been able to obtain a copy of the candidates’ statements, and would like to share some highlights. “Enjoys fluorescent lighting,” “Has memorized the entire bluebook,” “Is able to produce energy through photosynthesis.” “Is allergic to the outdoors,” “Reads thirty-seven pages a minute,” “Makes a really good cup of coffee.” “Has dreamed about this position since childhood,” “Has dreamed about this position since birth,” “Came out of his mother’s womb with a marked-up version of her pancreas.” “Never sleeps,” “Doesn't need to use the bathroom,” “Has invented a machine that gives the day twenty-six additional hours.” “Eats legal scholarship,” “Breathes legal scholarship,” “Is married to a ream of printer paper; daughter is a file folder.”

In prior decades, the Law Review was known as a place where young scholars spent long and grueling hours editing manuscripts that were perhaps thirty-six thousand, even thirty-seven thousand words long. No more. Not since the recent reform, announced in bold type on the Law Review’s web page: “The Review will not publish articles exceeding 35,000 words -- the equivalent of 70-75 law review pages -- except in extraordinary circumstances.” This decision, of course, marks a whole new generation in legal scholarship, and was met with a great deal of resistance from the broader Law Review community. Seventeen million readers cancelled their subscriptions, arguing that the Law Review was their publication of choice for articles exceeding 35,000 words, and where would they now go to get their book-length-article fix. Others argued that this was a policy with no teeth. After all, in the past year alone, “extraordinary circumstances” under which the Law Review has published articles exceeding 35,000 words have included: “it tackles an important issue in jurisdictional frameworkitude,” “it’s a short sixty thousand,” “someone famous wrote it,” and “article was really long.”

One American institution that will be sad to see the changing of the guard at the Law Review is the venerable U.S. Postal Service. In a coup for the Postal Service, after years of stalemate and intense negotiations – we all recall the Berlin Summit of 1993, where the process broke down completely after the Law Review Submissions Editor removed his hat in front of the Postmaster General – the Service was able to achieve its dream of a world where it would be the preferred – nay, the required – carrier of all Law Review submissions packets completed by 1Ls taking the competition outside Cambridge. To great fanfare, the following language appears on the Law Review web site: “Students taking the competition outside of Cambridge must mail their competitions to the Law Review via U.S. Post Office Express Mail, postmarked no later than May 28, at 5 p.m.”

A victory for all, it seems. Unlike today, which will be a victory for only one. Unless, of course, the victory doesn’t happen until tomorrow. Or the next day. Who knows how long it will take. It is, after all, the most important election in American history.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

This may or may not actually be funny. It's a rejected lyric from the Parody show. To the tune of "Rent" from, obviously, "Rent." The reason it's funny (to me) is because there's a tent here that they hold all sorts of events in, and Tent rhymes with Rent, and to get all melodramatic and earnest and over-the-top about a Tent is kind of funny, I think. Maybe.


How do you hold events outside
When outside's getting more
Like winter each day
Brunches -- lunches
and bowls of punch
There must be a way!

How do you feed alumns
When the rain cloud comes
And no one wants to -- stand outside
When you want donations
No frustrations
You need somewhere warm to hide

They are hungry and dripping
Morale here is slipping

Come and help us build
Come and help us build
Come and help us build
Our Big Tent!

How do you host a barbecue
When there's a wind that's swirling round and around
How do you keep alumns contained in one small place
Till donations abound!

Where can you construct a small stage
Where speakers, lectures, panels
Big events can take place

What keeps the students together
When the boring, endless things we say
Are floating through space

Put some posts in the ground
And pound 'em all down

Get some wood from the shed
Don't hit your head

When canvas rips
You get some clips

Come and help us build
Come and help us build
Come and help us build

Our Big Tent
Our Big Tent
Our Big Tent
Tent tent tent tent tent
Come and build the tent

'Cause everything is tent

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Painful Reading Assignments

"Pages 1 through the end"
"Only the odd-numbered lines"
"Skip the words that end in Y"
"All the books by Smith"
"Read it backwards"
"Lexis Cases 4D5Y812 through 4D6SZ127"
"Just the footnotes"
"The entire Internet"
"Everything ever written by that guy who wrote the Bible, I forget his name"

Monday, February 07, 2005

One of my friends just put some mp3s up on the Internet over here. Check 'em out. I'm glad to be able to share them. Musically, he's absolutely the most talented person I know, to a ridiculous extent. I wrote with him a fair bit in college, and was consistently in awe of his ability to sit in front of the piano and create something brilliant out of nothing. And I feel like I'm not in awe all that often. Anyway, check out the mp3s.
Don't Call on Me

“Isn’t it enough that I even bothered to show up? Why are you making me avert my eyes, stare intently at the pages of the casebook, fake a sneeze, tie my shoe, and take a bite from my imaginary sandwich? The class enrollment is sixty-two and there are thirteen people here. Please don’t call on me.”

As a 1L, I felt like my classmates would think I was stupid if the professor called on me and I gave a bad answer. As a 3L, I feel like my classmates will think I’m stupid if the professor calls on me and I’m there. Someone in one of my classes got called on earlier this week. Five minutes later, she packed up her computer and left in the middle of class. I’m hoping it was a protest and not just a coincidence. It’s more fun to think it was a protest. I can’t very well base a column on a coincidence.

As a 1L, gunners get a bad rap. As a 3L, I love the gunners. They keep the professors from bothering with the rest of us. I like class. I do the reading more often than not. But I have nothing to say. At least I’m not playing solitaire.

In another class, the professor said that he took making eye contact as the functional equivalent of raising your hand. I’m going to start wearing sunglasses.

It’s not that I mind getting called on. I don’t mind getting called on. Okay, maybe I do. But I didn’t used to. It’s weird. The attitude changes from 1L year, when everything feels important and the stakes feel high and the atmosphere feels kind of serious – to 3L year, when it seems like everyone’s just playing out the string, waiting to graduate.

But even though I don’t want to get called on, it’s not really like I want to graduate either. School is fun. Life is scary.
When I was younger, I used to think that one day people just woke up and magically turned into adults. That one day everything made sense, and you found that you had a job and a life and knew all of the answers, and things were suddenly easy – or even if they weren’t easy, that at least you felt in control, comfortable in the world, able to handle anything that came your way.

This is probably coming at it from the wrong direction, but the more adults I meet on a peer level – the more people I get to know who I really do think of as adults – the more I realize this just isn’t how it works. Adults wonder and worry and question and struggle. We don’t wake up one day with all of the answers. Which is kind of sad, but also kind of heartening, because it means maybe I didn’t just miss something on the road toward adulthood.

I guess I’ve started to think about these things because it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that this is probably the last semester I’ll ever be a student. I worked for two years between college and law school, but that mostly just felt like a really long summer vacation. I knew I’d be going back to school, for something, eventually. But this time it’s kind of for real.
And it just won’t sink in.

I feel like I’m wasting these last opportunities, both at school specifically – I haven’t done a clinical, I haven’t cross-registered, I haven’t been in a reading group, I haven’t gone out to lunch with a professor since 1L year, I haven’t gone ice skating, I haven’t really even done my reading this week – and in the world more generally. Being a student affords us a flexible schedule for possibly the last time, at least for a while. So I feel like I should be traveling, or going on adventures, or staying up all night – or at least watching daytime television.

Instead, I’m reading about the model ABA rules (legal profession class…) and going to class, hoping not to get called on. It hurts my head to think about this stuff too much.


A friend of mine got an e-mail from the registrar last week, because she hadn’t registered for her 3L paper yet: “The current degree audit does not find any registration for the written work requirement in your program. It is an HLS JD degree requirement and as a June 2005 JD degree candidate, your program must meet JD degree requirements by the close of spring semester add/drop on Friday, February 4, 2005.” Sounds pretty serious, right? The last sentence of the e-mail? “If necessary, you will be notified again after February 4 if your program does not meet degree requirements.” Ooooh. Another e-mail. Scary. Not even the threats are threatening. And I’m worried about getting called on in class?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Thought I could get 800 words out of 1Ls getting grades. Doesn't look like it'll happen. Here's all I've got so far.

The one (and only) downside of online grades is that you can't throw them out. You can't crumple the paper, for dramatic effect, and slam it into a garbage can. You can't shred it. You can't light it on fire. I mean, you could light your computer on fire, I suppose, but that would be a mess, and expensive, and the grades are still out there even if your computer turns into a pile of ashes. So this is why I feel bad for the 1Ls, who now have a set of grades and no way to dispose of them. They're online. They're forever. But they're all the same anyway, so it doesn't matter.

Gonna try a new topic. :)
I randomly feel like re-running a piece from about a year ago, just because I think it's funny. I'll have something new later today, but for now, if you missed this the first time around, here's something too long but hopefully amusing.

Law School Weekly Events Newsletter


Dean's Office Hours
The Dean welcomes students in her office to talk about issues facing the law school. She will hold office hours on Tuesday morning from 2:00-4:00 am. For an appointment, sign up in person with her secretary, whose office is in Borneo.

Mentor Program
The cafeteria is sponsoring a mentoring program for students wishing to become servers in the cafeteria. For more information, go to the grill during lunch hours and use the secret code, "Grade D Meat, please." You will then be taken into the potato shed for an orientation and peeling session.

Peer Counseling
Have a problem? Call us. We're here to listen. Our number's unlisted though.

Academic Calendar Available
For the 2006-07 Academic Calendar, just released this week by the Registrar to great fanfare, go to the law school's web page, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to John Cook c/o the Registrar's Office. A limited number of autographed copies of the calendar are available for a modest $10 processing fee. Cash only.


Bar-Bri: Sign Up Now before fees once again rise
Don't miss your fourth-to-last opportunity to lock in the special fall term discount Bar-Bri rate of $exactly what it will cost later and receive a copy of the 4-Book Set, "Stuff You Don't Need To Know Yet." Also, join Bar-Bri in celebrating its latest achievement. 90%. That's right, 90% of all Bar-Bri students pay $2500 to sit in a room and watch videotapes for six hours a day instead of having a live lecturer.


3L to 1L Summer Job Panel Discussion
1Ls are invited to hear 3Ls lie about how much fun their summer jobs were, and how easy it is for 1Ls to get them. There will be time for questions, but not answers. Dust will be served.

2008 Judicial Clerkship Season Is Here
Students seeking clerkships in 2008: the application process train is about to leave the station and you don't want to be left behind at the ticket counter trying to trade your stub in for the next bus to legal writing instructor land. Students interested in clerkships should have already secured eighteen letters of recommendation, ordered seventy-one thousand copies of their transcripts, and collected three jars filled with black sand from the beaches of New Zealand. Please bring four hundred postage stamps to this meeting; if your applications are not mailed by the end of the day, your next chance for a clerkship will be in 2045, and even for then there's a waiting list.

No Job? Oh Wow That Sucks
If the on-campus interviewing process has failed to provide you with any job offers, well, sucks to be you, we've done our job so there.

Employers Who Cancelled OCI Visits...
...are obviously in deep financial trouble. But we suppose it's better than nothing, so if you'd like a list of these insolvent and clearly headed for disaster law firms, stop by the office wearing the big scarlet zero you received in your mailbox last week and we'll provide you a copy of the list, along with some help reading the long names.


Openings in Spring Courses
There are still a handful of open slots in the courses no one wants to take. E-mail Prof. Smith to sign up for his latest seminar, "All About Professor Smith," or his reading group, entitled, "My Books."

Add/Drop Deadline for all courses
The add/drop deadline was yesterday. Sorry for the late notice.


The Franklin Award
Alumnus Richard Franklin, class of 1913, is offering a $1000 cash prize to the student who writes the most comprehensive paper on the topic of shielding your assets from the young trophy wife who's great in bed but you're afraid is only after you for your money.

Franco-Prussian Law Review Seeks Submissions
The Franco-Prussian law review seeks articles on contemporary issues of Franco-Prussian law for its spring issue.

Franco-American Law Review Seeks Submissions
The Franco-American law review seeks articles about pasta in a can. Those authors whose articles are selected to be published will receive lots and lots of Spaghetti-O's.


Advanced Issues in Personal Jurisdiction
This course is still open.

Law and Roller Coasters
This 12-person seminar, which will include twelve all-expense-paid trips to theme parks across the world, still has space on the waiting list, which right now numbers just three hundred. You won't get in, but feel free to put your name down anyway.

Law and The Law
Professor Jones is seeking a more interesting name for this class.

The Law of Law
Professor Jones is seeking a more interesting name for this class also.


Like the last fifty-two weeks, there is no information in this section. Just thought we'd put it here to get your hopes up. Sorry.


Term Bills
Your term bills, which will be sent out tomorrow, are due today. A late charge will be assessed for any reason we feel like. To get this charge removed, you must pay it.


Concerned about that strange discharge?
Stay away from Jocelyn Brown, 2L. She's already got crabs and doesn't need anything else.

An Alternative Way Of Calculating the Sales Tax: A Roundtable Discussion with Ninety-Six Pre-eminent Legal Theorists
This discussion is open to all. In anticipation of the widespread interest we expect, we have booked room 14B for this event, also known as the "broom closet."

Need Help Preparing For Exams?
Grow up, you're in law school, fool.

Thanksgiving Virtual Food Drive, sponsored by the Office of Technology Services
If you go to the technology services web page before Thanksgiving, you can click on pictures of food that, in theory, you would love to see poor people provided with on Thanksgiving Day. They will then receive printouts of those pictures to enjoy as they starve.

Drop-In Times for "Ask The Proctologist"
The University's proctologist-on-call will be available for in-person consults on Wednesday in the same place they make the cafeteria food, where he will use cafeteria utensils to conduct examinations, and then, without washing them, put them back in the drawers.


Flu Shots...
...are for people, but computers feel left out. That's why we're giving out Virus Shots to PCs on Wednesday afternoon, at no charge. Like a flu shot, a Virus Shot is a small amount of a deadly virus that we'll inject into your hard drive, in the hopes that your computer's natural antibodies will fight off the infection and be immune from that virus strain. This event is being sponsored by the Committee For Idiotic Ideas and the Laptop Sale (see below).

Laptop Sale
Is your laptop infected with a virus? Buy one from us for just 15% more than you'd pay in a store.


Professor Madison seeks a slave
No experience necessary, no pay. Duties include: doing laundry, cooking dinner, and teaching his classes whenever he doesn't feel like doing it himself.

Professor Johnson seeks a "research assistant"
Professor Johnson has a "research project" that involves long hours of "work," mostly late at night when his wife is away. Assistant must be "patient" (Professor Johnson is old), and have a great "grasp" of research "tools." Also must be "flexible," eager for a "learning experience," and ready to dive in and get "hands dirty." Assistant must also be a young man with a long [rhymes with Venus].

Professor Harrison (James) seeks a student training to be a divorce attorney, specializing in situations where the husband has cheated, but the wife hasn't.

Professor Harrison (Jane) seeks a student training to be a divorce attorney, specializing in situations where the wife's cheated too, but the husband doesn't know it.


No Jelly
For the fifth consecutive week, we must remind you that jelly is not allowed in the library. It makes the books sticky. Please confine your jelly use to the cafeteria.


Lost: Soul
In the hallway outside career services. If found, throw it out, I don't need it anymore.

Found: 400-page outline
And I'm not giving it back. Ha ha ha.

Lost: My Lunch
After I found the maggots inside. Ew.

Found: His Lunch
In my locker. Ew.


Administrative Notice
Due to budgetary constraints on the number of letters we could afford for the door, the Office of Public Interest Advising has been renamed "Bob."

1Ls: Already Rejected At Firms?
Then come see us! We've got pages and pages of job listings no one looks at until they've got no other choice. We can help you secure your dream job collecting trash on the highway, fixing potholes, or changing bulbs in streetlamps.

2Ls and 3Ls: Really screwed?
We can help! Ever wanted to work in Moldova?


New Speaker Announcement
We have just purchased a new speaker. It is gray, four feet tall, and will be placed on the left side of the podium in Room 402. More information is available from the Speakers Office.

Harold Van Goblinbaker
The esteemed circuit court judge will be speaking about the role of judges in the coming war against the aliens tomorrow at 3:00 in the Center for Transnational Studies.

Law Student Republicans Present
The assistant deputy associate undersecretary for the department of health, taking questions tomorrow about the administration's policy on yeast infections. Don't miss this exciting event!

Finally, with no greater fanfare than anything else in this insipid publication
Bruce Springsteen will be performing live at the law school today at 4:00. This notice is printed in invisible ink and no other notice will be given. You will first hear of this event when the newspaper writes about it and you will kick yourself for not going, but no one will have gone, because no one will have heard about it, because we bury the interesting stuff along with all this other crap and so how do you really learn about the stuff that's cool and worthwhile?


The intramural badminton club will be having a scrimmage against the club from the Education School tomorrow at 6:00 on a slab of concrete somewhere.

Too cold. Not here. Should have gone to UVA.

Professors will be wrestling each other for tenure on Dred Scott Field on Monday at 2:00.


Manic-Depressive Club
Introductory meeting either tomorrow at 3 AM on the roof, if we feel up to it, or six months from now after we drag ourselves to the clinic and finally get some Prozac.

Racial Intolerance Society
Meeting tomorrow over dinner to talk about how much we hate foreign people and everything about them. Join us at Thai Bistro at 6:00.

Affirmative Action Club Accepting Applications
Limited slots available.

Michael Jackson Fan Club
Prayer vigil Sunday at 8:00. Children welcome.


Earn 1,000 Points
Just look up the word "The" and make a list of every case it appears in, and 1,000 points can be yours.

New Prize
18,000 points now gets you a $5 gift certificate to the Westlaw Store, where you can buy pens and coffee mugs that say Westlaw all over them. Congratulations!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Apparently 1Ls got grades today.


The nice thing about the curve is that even the worst grades don't really look all that much different from the best grades, and barring something completely extreme, you can pretty much claim you're in the middle of the pack no matter what you got, and you're not really lying too much.

The only people who've seen my transcript are law firms, and it's really quite possible to get a law firm job coming from here, no matter what your grades are. It's hard for me to really, truly internalize this, but, for most things we might want to do in the world, it just doesn't matter. I like doing well. It feels better than doing badly. But beyond that split-second of "ooh, I faked the professor into thinking I knew this stuff," or, "oh, I guess maybe I didn't know this stuff as well as I thought I did," it doesn't have to be that big a deal.

So you get grades for the first time, you realize you're not going to fail out, and life hasn't changed. It's not until the law review competition that things really take on a life-or-death result. I'm kidding about that. Please don't think I'm serious.

Man, this post pretty much sucks. Sorry about that. I'll try to be funnier later.
From the Associated Press:

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) - The city's tax superintendent has been suspended without pay for a week for trying to inject some humor in the city income tax filing instructions.... The forms - with such lines as, "If we can tax it, we will," - were sent last week to all Middletown businesses and residents who pay city income tax.... Among the lines that city officials didn't think were very funny was this one: "Free advice: if you don't have a profit in a five-year period, you might want to consider another line of work."
Fun stuff.
Today's my birthday. In a fun coincidence, I have no Friday classes. Hooray. I'll do an all-request day to celebrate. E-mail me post ideas and I'll try and fulfill.

Also, happy birthday to Dan Quayle, who I feel privileged to share a birthday with.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

"I want to thank you all for choosing to take my class this semester. It means a lot to me. I know the Law of Fish gets a bad rap, pretty much everywhere, but it's my goal to convince you that it's a really exciting body of law, worth learning about, worth thinking about, and worth studying. To that end, I've chosen the most boring casebook I could find. I want you all to come to class. I'd like you to come on time, but even if you can't be here on time, please come anyway. Come for the first ten minutes, come for the last ten minutes, come for thirty seconds in the middle, leave if you're bored, leave if you're tired, leave if you're hungry, leave if you feel like checking your e-mail but the wireless network's not working. I'd like you to pay attention, but even if you can't pay attention, please come anyway. Talk to the person next to you, talk to the person across the room, instant-message with the sound on, download mp3s, listen to mp3s, create your own mp3s. I understand. I also realize that this class overlaps with the time that many of you might choose to eat a mid-afternoon snack. Mid-afternoon snacks are very important. Please feel free to bring food to class. You can bring crunchy food, drippy food, smelly food, it is all okay with me. You can bring fried chicken, spare ribs, rotten eggs, durian, it's all fine. Even though I myself am deathly allergic to peanut butter, you may bring it, and I will simply teach from outside the window and scream loudly enough for you to hear. It's all okay. I will assign reading, and while I would be delighted if you do it, I understand if you can't. You can do a page of the reading, you can do a sentence of it, you can just read one word. I may call on you, but I will never expect an answer. I may ask you a question, but I will never expect you to respond. I will try not to call on you while you are chewing, or while you are in mid-conversation with your neighbor. Finally, there will be an exam at the end of the semester, but you need not take it. You're getting an A anyway."
I just decided on my schedule for the semester. I was signed up for one extra class, but went yesterday to the two classes I was choosing between and decided to go with "Leadership in the Public Sector" instead of "American Democracy." Clearly I'm choosing courses with an eye on the bar exam. :) Leadership in the Public Sector looks like it has great reading -- it's case studies about government stuff -- why Clinton chose Barry McCaffrey as drug czar, problems with the CIA, etc. The downside was that it meets Wednesday and Thursday, and if I'd chosen the other class, I wouldn't have any classes on Thursday. American Democracy was described by the professors yesterday as a conversation between the two of them about the state of America that we get to mostly listen to. It seemed interesting, but I wasn't completely engaged, and don't really want to write the paper (and since I wanted to take it for 3 credits, I'd need to write two papers), so I decided that it would be the casualty. I may still go and sit in on some of the sessions, since it did seem interesting, and the room is so big it doesn't matter.

So I have that class, Health Care Institutions, a required Legal Profession class, and a seminar on Law and Psychology: The Emotions that seems pretty cool so far, and the professor promises food. I figure this isn't a bad set of classes for my final semester. Nothing I'm not at least reasonably excited by. Excited may be too strong a word.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I got a reader response to my post from Monday about how law school sometimes skips over the most interesting parts of some of these subjects we take, that I thought was worth sharing:

I have found myself frustrated time and time again in law school when we focus exclusively on the law and skirt the more interesting policy issues. It has gotten to the point that I wonder what the hell I am doing in law school.

I came to law school with the express purpose of learning as much as possible about health law and related issues. While the law is boring I think (or hope) that it will ultimately provide avenues for changing the national health care policy in this country. Perhaps this is too optimistic.

Ultimately I think the more interesting issues are related to policy, but legal education does not want to address these issues. I find this incredibly odd because every law will affect policy goals in some manner. Last semester I became incredibly frustrated at the myopia of legal education. While we certainly cannot fault law school for focusing on the law, we can concurrently push for greater inclusion of related issues. It is strange to me that so many of the great minds in law school are content with the shallowness of our education.

Thought that was really well-said, better than I said it, and so I figured I'd share it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Okay, I apologize for January. You can count the number of decent posts on a hand or two, I know. My bad. Been consumed with the law school parody show, which goes into rehearsal tonight, and it's taken the bulk of the material that's been passing through my head for the past month. Twelve-hour writing days for the past couple weeks. An awesome experience, but it's probably been shortchanging anyone still reading this. This is just to say I recognize that, and now that the script is done, new month, better posts. :)

Starting with a desperate attempt to come up with an idea for a newspaper column in the 30 minutes before I have to go to my legal profession class. The Daily Show does something like this, where they have Samantha Bee in front of a calendar reading off silly events taking place that month. I don't have the benefit of a six-foot-tall calendar. Just 800 words or so to play with. Here's my idea, and a very brief starting point. More later.

Upcoming February Events at the Law School

February 1: Celebrate the start of the shortest month of the year by paying tribute to the shortest provision of the tax code. This'll take some research.