The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Friday, June 29, 2007

All growd up

Today marks my 30th year on God's green earth.

To celebrate this milestone, I will be taking a simulated bar exam from 9am to 4:30pm. Woo-hoo!

After recovering, I will be in Chinatown indulging in a few adult beverages. Cause I'm an adult now.

On second thought...nah, I think I am always gonna be this kid.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dear Self-Important Asshat at the Indian Embassy This Morning,

You poor thing. The way you were treated at the consular's office was really just abominable. I mean, the nerve of them making you wait in line with all of us commoners! I did notice your frustration, as did everyone else waiting patiently in that line. We felt bad for you, really.

I quite liked the little routine you were doing and I was just surprised it didn't work. How did it go again? Oh yes...sigh loudly, lean on the chair to your right, then to your left, sigh, pull out blackberry and make phone call, put blackberry back in pocket, sigh, push your sleeves up one at a time, shuffle papers, sigh, pull out blackberry and send email. I really have no idea why that didn't make the line go any faster. I mean, you repeated the routine a few times even mixing things up a bit. Perhaps next time if you sigh a little more that would work.

Oh, and to top things off, the nerve of the woman at the window! How dare she not accept your visa paperwork because you didn't have two photos stapled to it. I mean, this tidbit of information is only available on the website, the checklist, the signs in the room, and inside the big empty box on the front of the application reading "STAPLE TWO PHOTOS HERE." How were you supposed to know that the photobooth when you walked in actually served a purpose? I mean, to make you get out of the line and properly finish your application before turning it in? Absurd!

Sir, on behalf of all of us peons, I really do apologize for any inconvenience you encountered. It was such a pleasure spending 45 minutes of my morning with you,

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Sunday, June 24, 2007


Every so often, you get a comment on an older post that means more than anything currently going on in your life.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How to handle Chemerensky

I had been warned about this guy. I was told that I would sit in a classroom for 7 hours over two days while he regurgitated the outline he had memorized (an outline I have printed in front of me). I find this method of learning doesn't suit me very well.

The first main problem is the "reading straight from the handouts" issue. I find it a general waste of time to be given the information in hard copy and then sit for four hours while someone reads it to you. Someone who speaks at a muuucchhhh slowwwwer paaaaace than it takes you to type.

Second problem is that while I do appreciate the effort to organize the information into outline format, I need that to be in my computer, not in a 44-page handout sitting next to my computer. Over the next few weeks, I will be learning the law in this outline by bolding, highlighting (possibly re-organizing) and condensing the information. That is not so easy to do in "workbook" form without using scissors and Elmer's glue.

I was really dreading today. I figured if nothing else, I could hopefully make some progress during class typing in the 44 pages of notes. I wanted to give Chemerensky a chance but knew I could always leave and type my notes up at home. Upon arrival, my very best Barbri friend in the whole wide world gave me a digital copy of the the very handout sitting next to me. I spent the next four hours with Chemerensky in the background reading* while I bolded, highlighted, and condensed that outline already in my computer. Got the notes down to 10 pages and now get to take tomorrow off. That, my friends, is how to handle Chemerensky :-) Oh happy day!

*To give the man credit, he doesn't actually read the outline...because he has all 44 pages memorized.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Girl Therapy

When I was younger my mom used to go to "therapy". She'd usually come home intoxicated. You see, it wasn't the usual kind of therapy with a doctor and a sofa. It was girl therapy. She and the ladies from her softball team would get together once a month or so and have their therapy sessions. I never knew exactly what went on, but I knew it involved wine and giggling and a bunch of ladies getting away from their lives for the evening. I knew it was important to my mom.

And now, I have realized how important it is to me. I have a couple of friends that I get together with monthly to play poker. There's food and drinks and cards and only the four of us. This is a fairly recent tradition in my life but last night made me realize just how important it has become to me. These monthly evenings with these gals has become my girl therapy. I knew this summer was going to be stressful and I would have to give up a lot of social events, but I also knew that poker night is one I would not be willing to do without.

So last night I took time away from life to go to therapy. We feasted on yummy foods and even more yummy vodka concoctions; we talked about boys and who should stay and who should go (consensus: the Chanuck is the only one worth keeping); we played some TX hold'em and made up rules as we went; we jammed to the best of Toni Toni Toni and danced our way to the restroom all night; we talked about everything ranging from duck-taped bras to tipping to mistress horses; we got quiet and serious over a couple of sad moments; we got right back up and started dancing. At the end of the night, after we cleaned up the strawberries and whip cream from the table, floor, and ourselves, we said our goodbyes. I realized I had not stressed about studying all night long. I walked away feeling refreshed and balanced and damn lucky to have found such great friends who have given me my very own means of girl therapy.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Is My Price Right?

Okay all you travel buffs...I need some help again. Since everyone was so helpful last time, I figured I'd put it out there again (keeping in mind I've lost a lot of readers since then because my life has become boring and filled with Bar study). We have been working diligently to make our post-Bar Exam trip happen (and by "we" I mean our travel agent). I have never used a travel agent before nor have I traveled so extensively. I just want to make sure we are getting a good cost. The following is the current itinerary and I would love to know approximately what folks think this should cost. I should note that I have no intention of divulging what we are actually paying in this public forum. Rather, I just need your input so I know where our projected costs are falling.

Including all of the above flights, hotels (all with breakfasts), hotel taxes, cruises (with meals), three day-tours & transfers to hotels...how much do you think we should expect to pay? What about for just flights alone?


Friday, June 15, 2007

Basic Non-Moron-Behavior Tips

Dear Girl that Sits One Row in Front of Me and One Seat Over,

You are really starting to annoy me. Okay, truth be told you have annoyed me from day 1, but the closer we get to July 24, the less I feel like putting up with stupid sh*t. You see, I feel like at this point in our (post law school) adult lives, there are certain amounts of classroom-etiquette we should just know. Oh no, darling, this is not me being unreasonable, this is you being a j*ck*ss.

Okay, the entire row behind you gets that you have some odd fixation with your own hair. Fine. I've seen girls twirl, tie, chew, brush, etc. However, there is never a need to flare your long mane out to the side, then the other side, then flip it backwards, then put it in a rubber band...only to take it down and repeat 2 minutes later. Then again. And again. While I am not keeping observed scientific records, I think I counted 14 times yesterday...during a 3 hour class. Unnecessary.

While the hair thing is annoying, the stretching is even more bothersome. All of use are sitting in the same classrooms for extended amounts of time each day feeling the need to stretch out. That is why we have a ten minute break every hour. To stretch. Now granted, there may always be a need for intermittent stretching. Fine. But really, do it with a little less disruption, will you? If your arms are stretching in a manner that results with your finger in a position to pick the nose of the girl behind you, then you are doing something wrong. Try stretching forward into your own damn personal space.

Don't get me started on when you do the mane-flipping in conjunction with the stretching. If my friend is finding your hairs on her space bar, again, you are doing something wrong.

I apologize (no I don't) for the tone of this email, but I must say that if the other 100 people in the room know this basic etiquette, I don't see why I should have to explain it to you.

Your BarBri Classmate,

P.S. If you think I'm annoyed, you should hear from my friend who sits behind you. All I'm saying is that when I offered to bring some hair-cutting shears to class, she said there was no need, she would simply pull it out next time.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A few threads short of a sweater...er, pants

Oh man, how did I not hear about this already?

Pearson, who apparently side-lines as a lawyer/judge, is suing a DC neighborhood drycleaner for a lost pair of pants...to the tune of $54 million. (I should note that he reduced his initial claim of $65.) Of course the concept in-and-of itself, while frivolous, is quite amusing. More amusing, however, is reading about the trial so far:

...Pearson, an administrative law judge, broke down while testifying about the emotional pain of having the cleaners give him the wrong pants. It was before an 89-year-old woman in a wheelchair told of being chased out of the cleaners by an angry owner. And it was before she compared the owners of Custom Cleaners in open court to Nazis....

Seriously, the guy had to take a 5 minute break to dry his tears during his testimony about his pants. If you have a spare moment, I recommend reading Emil Steiner's live blog of the trial.

I think the craziest part is Pearson seems to actually believe that he is representing every resident of DC in his quest to become a millionaire off of a mom and pop Korean drycleaner. Today is cross-examination which is the defense's opportunity to impeach Pearson's credibility. Oh this should be good. Seriously, why else would someone work over 1400 hours on such nonsense if he wasn't a little "off"?

Thanks for the head's up, DCSC!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I feel like I'm losing control. Not in the "I'm in the middle of the ocean with no one around and the water is rising over my head" sorta way. More like the "I'm sitting on the roof of the building at the local trash dump watching the bulldozer move things around and load up the pile that use to be my life into an unrecognizable heap" sorta way. I knew the end of law school would bring about changes. I love change. I used to re-arrange all the furniture in my apartment at least once every six months so it felt "new". Well, I usually love change.

For some reason, the bulldozer's act of taking from so many other piles and dropping it onto my formerly organized pile is really getting me unsettled. Each of the changes in isolation are good things (or at least not bad) and easily handleable. But taken together, I'm beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed. Good friends are becoming distant friends, weekly friends are becoming daily friends, contrasting personalities, merging worlds, learning at a different school with a lack of familiar faces, completely changed study habits, new living situation (I love you, V), and I have no time for the people I need most right now. Did I mention I am taking the bar exam in a couple of months then am embarking on an entirely new career? Again, bring on one or two of these, and I wouldn't blink an eye. Taken all together, I feel like an outsider looking into my own trash-pile-o-life.

I really need my groove back! Just not sure how to do that.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm all cashed in

Somewhat symbolic of the actual end of law school, I cashed in my Lexis Nexis and Westlaw points last week. Yep, I've been accumulating points for three years for using websites that I really had to use anyway. Hey, that's cool with me.

Lexis sent me some really sweet speakers for my Ipod:

And hopefully, my Westlaw goodie will come in soon as well:

These make me very happy. Much happier than the envelope I got in the mail yesterday talking about the (over) $160,000 in loans that I must begin paying off soon. Hey, at least my neck will not be tense and I can crank up the volume to drown out the sobbing as I write those checks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

50% ain't bad considering...

Dear BarBri (who needs to get your sh*t together),

I am a bit angry and confused with you right now. You taught me criminal law and criminal procedure for the Multistate portion of the Bar. This is the NON-state-specific part. Okay, got it. Learned it. Worked lots of questions.

Then, you gave me a graded practice crim. law essay to do last week. You told me how important the practice essay was to determine my progress and abilities. I took it seriously. I "studied" first. I timed myself. I wrote in "CRAC" format.

I got my grade back today and your grader told me that my defense is not actually available under Virginia Criminal Law. Furthermore, my grader asked me why I didn't discuss arguments the Commonwealth would bring up.

Um, well...could that possibly be that I worked this essay LAST WEEK and we will not learn Virginia Criminal Law until TOMORROW?


Irritated at your inability to schedule,

P.S. I'd also love to know why your "Average Grades and Common Errors" online that are allegedly specific to OUR essay are actually the grades and errors for the Civ. Pro. essay, which we have not done yet?

P.S.2 To answer your question...yes, they do my friend:-)

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Ruining my Ipod

My playlists have transformed from Study Music and Beach Mix to Criminal Law and Evidence. Yep, I loaded up the PMBR CD's onto my Itunes. (For those non-Bar Exam takers: PMBR is one of the two large companies that fight for our attention and charge way too much money to teach us what we need to know for the bar exam.) While Barbri gets my daytime attention with actual classes, PMBR gets my nights since they gave me notecards, practice books, and most importantly, CDs.

My friends, I am ashamed to say I feel like I hit a jackpot with these CDs. They're like books-on-tape of the law! Everything you could possibly want to know about the federal rules of evidence and contracts and torts. Oh the joy. Jealous? In all honesty, it is a nice little break to put a playlist on my new Shuffle and listen while I cook, workout, clean, etc. I am not sure how much I am actually retaining, but if nothing else, it takes away those pangs of guilt when god forbid I take a breaks to eat or walk to class or some other non-studying activity.

Okay, off to start evidence. Itunes tells me it's 5 hours and 30 minutes long. Going to be a fun night.