Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My friend has cancer and it sucks

My friend has cancer. Prostate. He's only 41. He has a new wife and two daughters and they just had a new baby, and it just isn't fair.

This isn't one of those stories where he starts treatment and the cancer retreats into oblivion, off to victimize someone else. This is a story where the fucking cancer hangs on, and spreads and scares the shit out of me and the rest of his family and friends. This is a story about what happens when you watch David battle Goliath, but you are so close, you see the fear in his eyes and it makes you doubt whether everything really will be OK.

But this is no time for fear and doubt. So you both buck up and try to act like those feelings don't exist and keep shoving hope in their place.

So anyway, my friend has cancer and it sucks. But he won't for long. And maybe the one good thing about this is that for all of us, it puts all of the petty bullshit back into its place - to the "it doesn't matter" pile, and reminds me that the really important stuff are the simple things.

Family, friends, laughter, love. Hope.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Oscars

Unlike the more prolific blogger, Ms. Althouse, I don't think this show sucks. Their little montages of past Oscar telecasts have actually been a welcome relief from the poorly written, and not very funny little vignettes they normally do.

I also found some of the past speeches (and the one by the girl from "Once") to be very inspiring. Must be because law school isn't providing much inspiration these days.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My life has turned into a Hitchcock movie

I have been having sinus headaches of increasing intensity all month. On Thursday, everything really got bad. I woke up with a killer headache. I threw another fistful of ibuprophen in my mouth and went on with my day. I have gotten used to having a slight throbbing under my cheeks all day. I went to my 4:30 meeting, but was feeling a bit nauseus, which I chalked up to over indulgence in coffee.

Then, I was sitting in the law library afterward, doing some reading and taking notes. I looked down at my book, and it looked crooked, like things do when you are drunk and get bed spins. I felt incredibly ill, like I was about to pass out. I was so dizzy, it took me a few minutes to collect myself enough to go outside and call the school health clinic.

The nurse who called me back says that I probably have an inner ear issue caused by the sinus trouble, which is causing (wait for it) Vertigo! I have seen the Hitchcock movie before, but I never realized what was involved with this ailment until it happened to me.

Needless to say, I haven't been able to work on the second draft of my law review article, which is due tomorrow. I haven't really been able to read anything at all. Just typing this blog post is making me feel sick.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I am rocking the earth

Rock the Earth is a grassroots organization started by my friend Marc to respond to threats to the environment by using the legal system to create change. It raises funds and educates people about its mission by tabling at music concerts and festivals all over the country and by partnering with a variety of musicians. The dedication of Rock the Earth's staff and volunteers is truly inspiring!

There is a contest by Patagonia to give a non-profit $5,000. All you have to do is click the radio button for "Rock the Earth"

Please click here and help a terrific organization get more funding!

The legal clinic

This semester, I am working one of our school legal clinics for 3 credits. That means 12 hours week, I have to be in the clinic working on cases. The problem right now is that I only have one case. And there is nothing to do for it right now. I have a letter to the client that is awaiting approval from my supervising attorney, but that's about it. I haven't talked to the client in over a week because I have to send the "Terms of Representation" letter first.

We are also required to keep a journal of our experience. While blogging is kind of like keeping a journal, my blog is about law school and life during law school, not a super narrow topic like the clinic. Our journal entries have to be turned in weekly, in "memo" format, and include suggested topics like, "things that made me feel like a real lawyer this week" or "what being a good lawyer means to me." Very corny, and very difficult to write when my clinic experiences have been so limited.

I am hoping that I get more clients soon. I consider the clinic to be another "job" and don't like being idle during my workday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Forced participation

My unpopular opinion: I love it!

I love the Socratic method or having members of class "on call" but I greatly prefer to "suprise" method most.

I think that forcing people to participate makes the class go faster, and raises the bar as far as my own learning. Sometimes, I think you need to be "under the gun" in order to make sure you do your reading on time, and actually think about the material.

It can be downright painful when a professor asks a question and no one answers. While other students seem to hate being called on, I would rather be slightly nervous about it than be embarrassed that people don't respond.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Have to vote today

So basically, my disappointment in the Obama rally means that I will probably vote for Clinton, but I am not 100% right now.

I really wish that I felt more strongly about either one.

I did laugh at the student who had a banner on the overpass this morning reading, "Hope doesn't pay my tuition."

Have an opinion on the policies of both? Comment and help me decide!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is the legal profession filled with ignorance?

I found many of the comments regarding this story at Abovethelaw.com to be terrible.

The post describes a student at the University of Alabama law school having what appears to be a problem with mental illness during class. Funny that a few people use the archaic term "nervous breakdown." I find it interesting that a profession so obsessed with using exacting language is so sloppy when referencing what occurred with this poor student.

The comments seem to reflect a lot of ignorance regarding mental illness and a TON of insensitivity. I worry that I will be practicing law with these people in a few years. The worst part is that many of them seem to hide behind the anonymity of the internet. What does that concern me? I would rather know who the jerks are rather than have them hiding among us.

Another view is that the posters who were so rude may have been expressing fear of mental illness couched in insensitivity. Maybe the ignorant comments were really made by people suffering from some type of stress disorder themselves. It's a shame that the members of this profession can't be more sympathetic and put competition aside in favor of collaboration and caring.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am an emotionless robot (aka: I wasn't moved by Barack Obama)

So, I went to the big Barack Obama rally here last week. After standing in a really really long line and getting to my seat, only to have to sit there for another 2 hours, I will admit that I wasn't in a great mood. I was hoping I would be inspired though. I also incorrectly assumed that I would be treated as an educated American and have the candidate's policy positions elaborated upon. I was wrong on both fronts.

The rally was aimed at brainless college students. There was no real policy discussion at all. Just Mr. Obama saying the equivalent of, "war sucks, and I am cool" and "I will help you with stuff you want." I was unimpressed, but this strategy seemed to work well on the army of 18-20 year old students there.

I know, I know - I live in a college town and candidates cater to their audience. I just felt like I was in the midst of a commercial, not a political event. They even alternated songs from various music genres to ensure that everyone would feel "included." This just felt fake to me.

Hillary Clinton was supposed to be here today, but that was canceled due to bad weather. I guess I am going to continue being undecided and make a game time decision at the polls on Tuesday.

Please dear readers: convince me! If you feel strongly about either candidate, please comment. I need help making a decision and soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I am an undecided voter

For the first time in my life, I am an undecided voter. I know! It shocks me as much as it must surprise you. I try very hard not to make politics about stupid stuff - whose hair is cuter, or who can spew the most rhetoric. I try to make it about issues, but the candidates sure don't. Primary season seems to be more about sound bites than anything, and that doesn't make it any easier to make up my mind.

When I do those "candidate selection tools" they always seem to say that I should vote for Hillary Clinton. But she was on the board of Walmart, and we all know how much I (and others) hate Walmart.

It seems that Obama has "captured the youth vote," but he kinda freaks me out. He is pretty young (46 or so) to be spouting all of this MLKish rhetoric. Hillary is only 5 years older, but isn't fortunate to have the "boyish appeal" that Obama does. Many of my classmates seem decided already, and they are voting Obama. I am nervous about his lack of experience. I just can't see myself voting for someone who has only 3 years of Senate experience. I am not convinced yet.

I also find it funny that people don't call him by his first name. Only her. I wonder why that is? To differentiate from Bill Clinton, or is it something else.

Anyway, Barack Obama is going to be visiting on campus today, and I want to check him out in person. Maybe my women's intuition will tell me who to vote for if I am in the same auditorium as he is. I want to see a Democrat in the White House again, but is Barack our man? I think I should see for myself!