Sunday, October 15, 2006

The sun really DOES shine after a B+

although it's not shining today. Fall has rolled into town. Dark clouds hover and threaten rain (but rarely deliver), the temperature has plummeted to the high sixties, and fire places across the neighborhood are roaring. What wimps! The women at the symphony last night wore fur - I saw them with my own two eyes.

It's the kind of weather that makes me want to put on a bulky sweater and thick socks, open up all the windows, crawl under a blanket and read. (Which is a good thing because I have plenty of reading to do!) It reminds me of college when Jen and I shared a small one bedroom apartment. And our late night study sessions which M would join around 9. M always brought decadent treats designed as motivation and reward for making it through the endurance study session. Most of the time, though, we'd end up eating our treats while watching Friends (it was in its heyday) and then falling asleep on our books.

Another fall, another semester of studying. The 'mere 70 pages' we were assigned in week one was no ordinary 70 pages. I had to read each case 5 times before I could figure out who actually won. The topic was jurisdiction and the cases started with Pennoyer v Neff - words said to strike fear into the heart of even veteran lawyers. I started reading Sunday night and by class had read only three of the five case, but the three I did read I meticulously briefed - which turned into its on discouraging fact in a way. The cases I had struggled over, read and re-read, repeatedly consulted the dictionary and law dictionary about our professor summed up in two sentences a piece. The following week was our first exam.


Here's a mere tidbit of the exam: "Joe runs a corporation headquartered in South Carolina, though he has sales people across the country. He owns a vacation cottage in California which he sometimes uses for work, but he lives in Road Island. A customer of his bought JoeCompany product in California and is now suing in that state. Does the court there have jurisdiction?"

And so begins the attempt to weed out the uncertainties and apply the case law to the various scenarios that could be created from the multitude of possible resolutions to the different uncertainties. That was a nice sentence, wasn't it? Well, that's what it was like to read these cases, minus the Latin! And if like me, you throw up your hands at some those uncertainties and make some darned assumptions so that there's a chance you can answer the question in less than 6 pages, you get a B+.

And the worst thing is, I knew I was making this mistake WHILE I was doing it. (There's a name for that isn't there?!?!)

So now, for almost a week John has had to listen to the moaning and groaning of a B+ student. It goes something like this:

Deep, guttural, painful moan bellows out of the bedroom. "KK, are you alright?!" John shouts as he makes his way down the hall. And I reply "I AM A B+ STUDENT."

"John, I can't get the TiVO to do what I want. But then again...I AM only a B+ student."

This has gone on for days, but it's lessoning now as we prepare to study NIED. For you non-lawyers out there, that stands for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Duress!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Math to Wow Your Friends - Part 3

There is an island containing two types of people:

knights who always tell the truth and knaves who always lie.

You visit the island and are approached by two natives who speak to you as follows:

A says: B s a knight.

B says: A and I are of opposite type.

What are A and B?

answer coming Tuesday...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pre-Law Chronicle

About two years ago I casually mentioned to our neighbor that I'm interested in the practice of law. His eyes widened and he said 'You should take my class.'

Besides being a philosophy professor my neighbor is also a lawyer, and he teaches a class to expose undergraduates to the reality of law school. Finally this semester our schedules meshed, and I attend his class each Wednesday afternoon.

We've now met three times.

Here are my thoughts the morning after our first meeting:

It was FASCINATING. As I promised Jen I would, I sat on my hand for the first 15 minutes, trying to blend in. But it proved to much for me – I had so many questions! If both the federal and state courts have jurisdiction how do you decide where to try your case? Where would your odds be best?

We considered the process of filing a lawsuit and began a discussion of how jurisdiction is determined. We also spoke with a third year law student who works part time in the law school admissions office. Her stories about the clinics the school offers were amazing - students at her school get an opportunity to practice law (supervised of course) as a public defender, child advocate, prosecutor, you name it – all while gaining class credit.

But then she said that taking the LSAT isn't fun. Are you kidding me? The LSAT is one big logic test. I TEACH logic. And dare I admit? I used to work LSAT problems for fun.

For homework we were told to read four cases, roughly seventy pages in Introduction to Legal Method and Process by Berch, Berch and Spritzer, part of the American Casebook Series.

II coming soon!

New Beginning

Today Annie woke me at 7am for our morning walk. We strolled past all of the usual places, old houses, tall palm trees, our favorite dogs and cats. One house we walk past every morning is an older home, humble but perfectly maintained with two huge oak trees and inviting green lawn. In its front window hangs a small cloth banner with a single gold star in the middle, denoting a family member who serves in the military.

As I approached, a car pulled up the curb and a beautiful young girl emerged holding a bouquet of flowers. She was smartly dressed in a black skirt, lavender sweater set and simple black sandals with a one inch heel. Just as she stepped from her car a young man in blue jeans and an army t-shirt ran from the house to kiss her. They whispered and then he took her hand and guided her to the house. As they walked I heard him say, "Everybody's awake and they're really excited to meet you."

Just then she glanced back with a look of apprehension that turned to determination.

I couldn't help being excited myself!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hi Mom, How’s the porn?

My eyes just about popped out of my head when I heard John say that to Billie Sue. She spends several hours a day on the internet researching her genealogy, but until a few weeks ago she didn’t even know how to send an email. Now her computer’s infected with spywear.

“John, I didn’t want to call Jasmine [the local daughter-in-law and computer resource] because I didn’t want her to have to see this. But then I thought, ‘NO! This might be the really bad stuff the FBI is arrests people for!’ So I called her.’