Monday, February 27, 2006

My learning expectations have changed dramatically since entering law school. My first year I was worried that I didn't have any midterms. It seemed unfair to just expect me to get everything on the final when I had had zero input on what I should have learned up to that point.
Tonight I've been studying for a midterm. I think that it is an extraordinary burden to expect me to take a midterm. Where does Professor E get the gall to expect me to know anything by the middle of the semester. Dead days are for learning the entire semester's lessons. Why would I know anything at midterm?
First year I wondered why the textbooks wouldn't come out and tell me anything straight. Why did I have to decipher all the cases to figure out the rule. Now when I read immigration law and there's another law review article I flip out. Jesus Christ, just give me a case. Why the hell would I care what some pinhead academic thinks the rule is. If he's not wearing a black robe he can shut the hell up.
First year I wished there was some kind of homework besides reading so that I could measure my progress. Now my feeling is that the professor should be happy that I show up. I'm a freaking Third Year. The only person I do homework for is my boss.
I no longer feel like I'm learning very much at school. School is standing in the way of my learning. I took the day off of work so I could prep for my midterm tomorrow. I lost a whole day of going to hearings and learning what my job entails. One may argue that my job will entail what I studied today, but the chances are slim. I don't want to sleep with my meth head clients and I'm sure as hell not going to be able to steal what little money they have.
Legal education is frustrating. It needs to be reformed and it needs to be more relevant. Actually I might say that about the whole legal system.

To highlight my point about third year being a waste of a lot of time, I was just at the pub having a beer with my friend to celebrate his birthday. The party was moving to another bar and I said I had to go home b/c I had a midterm in Ethics tomorrow. Mr. B, the birthday boy, looked at me and said, "You have a midterm? Why the hell aren't you at home studying?" There was a pause, and then the law students and lawyers present broke in to laughter.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I was on the bus the other day and I have some basic bus etiquette rules. I give up my seat for old people, people with kids, people with lots of groceries or stuff to haul, and women. This is partially b/c I'm a freakin' gentleman and partially b/c I don't fit in the stupid bus seats anyway.
I'm in my seat and this transvestite gets on the bus and I instantly get up and offer him my seat. Now there's no transvestite category in that paragraph up there. I had just got my coffee and didn't have time to drink it yet. I think my brain didn't quite put together that just b/c the dude had women's clothing on he wasn't a woman.
Now I'm wondering if it's rude to do that. I thought transvestites just liked to dress like women. Do they want doors and stuff opened for them too? Do I have to stand up every time a transvestite leaves the dinner table? Why would I be having dinner with a transvestite in the first place? Should I email Emily Post about this? Is Emily Post still alive?
I think next time I'll keep my seat and see if anyone else gives up their seat or if the transvestite looks around with a frown b/c no one gave up their seat. I'll take my cues from the other bus passengers.
Modern living is complicated.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A bunch of random stuff has happened to me recently. A judge told me to get a wife and start having kids. He was Raza. That's the Chicano plan for educational advancement. If the sharpest Chicano's breed like good Catholics it'll raise our test scores across the board! It sounds good to me. I just need a wife. If anyone has any clues on how you go about that I'd like to know. Thank you.
I want to explain that just b/c you have a driver's license, it doesn't necessarily mean it's valid. Say you've got a driver's license but you've also had 6 DUII's. Your license, even though you've got it in your pocket, is probably not valid. You were probably also cited for Driving While Suspended. If that's the case your primary worry should be jail time and not license suspension. Another friendly tip from me to you.
Today I learned that the words "who's" and "whose" are like "it's" and "its". No apostrophe on the possessives, just on the contractions. It only took the third year of graduate school for me to figure that out. Man, where's my trophy for being a real smart guy.
Does anyone want to let me live in their house in Guadalajara this summer? For free?
Will anyone let me crash at their place in Berkeley, Oakland, or SF on the weekend of March 4th? I'm paper trained and don't take up much space. I'm warm if you have cold feet.

Monday, February 20, 2006

So, I think I need to make a business card with things my clients shouldn't say. It would be similar to the cards that the defense attorneys have advising clients not to talk to the police until they've talked to their attorneys. Mine would say "Don't wear a Jameson whiskey t-shirt to your DUI hearing", "Don't say you didn't hurt your girlfriend b/c you only hit her twice", "Don't tell the judge that you make a living stealing stereos out of cars", "Don't tell the judge that you didn't pay for the drugs" and "Don't tell anyone that you smoked a lot of crack".
I have ideas like this all the time. I'm an idea man, a thinker. I'm money. What if we feed tuna fish mayonnaise and celery. We can harvest them as tuna salad. These ideas, all the time.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I don’t remember if I mentioned this but I got some business cards made. They were a convenient way to give my friends my phone number, address, and email all at once in a handy manner. To personalize the cards a little and make me seem like not quite as big a tool the caption for my profession said “Lunch Winner”.
I would joke that I got the cards to drop them in the fishbowls to win free lunch. And I would drop them in the lunch bowls. I never won a free lunch though, until this morning.
Some guy called me saying I won a free lunch 6 of my friends and me. I thought sweet. I like lunch and so do at least 6 of my friends. He said he was from Brent’s Financial Services. Damn. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
I don’t have a house to refinance or money that amounts to enough to plan what I do with it. I write a check to the landlord, the electric company, phone company, and school. With what’s left I buy groceries. Woohoo. Plan that!
I still don’t want to go to the lunch b/c he’s going to think that I’m going to make money as a lawyer. I’ll get to have the fun of showing him how after expenses I’ll probably have less money each month than I do now.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I was talking to some attorneys and they were swapping stories and I was thinking,"Man, it'll be cool when I have a bunch of war stories to amuse my fellow PDs." One of the Attorney's said she had a client who got busted Driving While Suspended. He'd done a little research and saw that the statute had a defense if the reason you were driving was for a medical emergency.
He told his attorney that he had a medical emergency and that's why he was driving. He was trying to get his cat to the vet. He said "I can bring in a dead cat to prove it."
His attorney said, "You can bring in the dead cat?" At this point I imagine them at trial and telling the judge that they can show him a dead cat. Maybe they have a coleman cooler at their desk. "We have the cat right here Your Honor."
But he said "Well... I can bring in a dead cat."

I wonder how I get all this angst built up over how I'm going to swing this attorney gig when the guys I'm representing can't see what's wrong with wearing a "Gas Grass Or Ass, Bitch Better Have All Three" T Shirt to their domestic violence probation violation hearing.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I got this forwarded to me off of Craig's List. For a second I thought it was me, I've been wearing a black hoody for almost two years. Then I realized it's probably been about two years since I've been in the Boley library. I walk by but there's nothing I really need in there. Studying just isn't my thing. Reading client files in class and rocking it in court is my thing. At least I hope it is.
I love these guys. When I'm not bopping around to Waddlin Around I'm singing I'm Your Puppet. Any pachuco from Tejas to Califas would be thrilled to drop his ride and bob his head to these songs. Praise The Lowered and praise these cats.
So I've been thinking about the bar a lot lately, not so much about taking it but about after I've passed it. Not passed out at it, not that kind of bar. Anyway I think about Camus and facing the Chasm, I think about Nietzsche and ascending the Heights. This is neither of those things, this is a two day essay test. This is not a test of how I really am or how I really feel. This worries me. I'm not ascending the heights today. I'm not facing the chasm unflinchingly. Will I come out of this with a Sysiphisean understanding and acceptance of my life? Will I come out of this like the Eagle, or the Lion, or the Infant? I get the feeling that I'll come out as none of these. I'll be even more cynical, more exhausted, and less willing to question the purpose of my actions. Existentially why am I choosing this? I'm rolling over and accepting the Camel?
That's terrifying to me. I've read less since I've been in law school and haven't been able to pursue a lot of my interests. I'm taking an ethics class that seems completely devoid of ethics. This is the part where I watch my boss to try and figure out how does one behave morally as a Latino in a nearly all white profession. How do I create a morality in a vacuum and how do I find criteria for existence and being in this situation? What choices do I want to create? How can I become a Zarathustra or Sisyphus? Why is there no one who can guide me. Would a guide distract me or help? If you see Buddha on the path to enlightenment...
Is this a Kierkegaardian form of annihilation, or just a way to gyp me out of $700 bucks. Is this life or a problem. Do I try and solve this or experience it?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I went up to Washington on Friday and briefly met the Daily Texican. It was a busy night so it was a short meeting. But it was nice to go to Seattle. At Pike's market there's a small creamery. I got some Beechers cheese curds. In the fall one of my favorite things is to eat cheese curds and fresh apples. If you're not from the North West you probably have never experienced the awesome flavor combination of extremely fresh cheese curds and extremely fresh organic cameo apples. But keep hoping and someday you might get there.
I had to argue with the DA on Monday. I won the argument, sort of. He could tell the judge was going my way so he gave it to me, but I still took him, sort of. I got the case in the morning and scanned the statute. The issue seemed pretty straight forward. I checked the case law and it didn't seem to apply b/c of a small distinction. The DA didn't think that distinction was important. The judge thought it was and then the DA changed his mine. Woohoo. I'm not even a real lawyer yet. Woohoo. I also got a dismissal on Friday. Man, imagine when I'm a real lawyer. I might make it to trial and win.
I was assigned homework in two of my classes. I like the professor but she's killing me. Why can't she be happy that I show up. The other day we were trying to have a discussion and it was obvious that the whole class was burnt third years. We hadn't read. We tried, but it was late and we were tired. Painful conversation. I think that'll be the class I read for this semester.
I'm also pissed that there aren't any decent commercial outlines for immigration law. Someone smart should write one b/c that class is rough and I don't want to have to figure it out myself. I'd pay upwards of $50 for a study guide.
I want to plug Casiotone For The Painfully Alone quickly. They have a new EP out called Young Shields on Tomlab Records. He covers "When You Were Mine" which is my favorite Prince song ever. Check out his new website.