Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bar Review Of Doom

So I've made it to my bar review classes. I paid $2300 against my better judgment and so I'm going. This is one of the ways that lawschool and its associated industries get you. They don't sufficiently explain what's going to happen or what the next appropriate step is and then offer you a product at an inflated price. No one knows if it's worth it or not but it appears to be the only source of information about whatever particular anxiety they're crassly exploiting. So you buy it b/c everyone else is and you don't want to fall behind or end up disadvantaged. Usually there is only one provider of the service, or if there are multiple providers they are all substantially similar, so they charge whatever the hell they want and you have to put up with it.
So I'm going to these tedious classes that waste three hours to cover 45 minutes of material. I've got nine work books, bound cheaply and made with low grade paper, I get the opportunity to watch these lectures or listen to CDs of them later, and I get practice tests. The practice tests and the books are actually worth something, not $2300 but something. Eventually they will grade our practice essays as well. I don't know if that will be worth it or not, but one can hope.
So, I paid $2300 for a product worth maybe $400. I'm feeling pretty good, now they just have to show a little respect and I'll bite down on my "MTC workbook" or whatever three letter acronym they're using. But wait, do they show me any respect or do they just bald faced lie to me right out of the gate?
They lie.
But Antonio, it must be a pretty good lie that only you are able to see through b/c of your work with criminal defendants and police who are constantly shading the truth. Right?
No, it was a dumb lie. A really dumb insulting lie.
They tell us that they want us to ship our materials back after we get our bar results. I figure fine. They're running a monopoly and the only way they can maintain it is if people don't have the opportunity to review their materials and evaluate their program. Fine, I've got no problem with that. You give me a refund of a couple hundred dollars and I don't make my materials available. You get to make another $2300 off of some sucker like me and I get a little bit of money to console me.
But that's not their reasoning. They say they want us to return the books so that they can recycle them b/c they care about the environment. Now I'm not one of the enviro geeks who took every E-Law class they could. So maybe I'm off on this but it seems to me that if that was their concern we could just recycle the books and they could give us our check instead of having us use extra packaging, probably made out of new trees that have to be cut down, and then shipping the package, probably on several trucks that burn diesel fuel, all the way down to California. I mean if the environment is the concern lets not burn more fuel and use more packaging. Just have us drop the books off in our recycling.
We aren't all idiots. We graduated from freaking law school. That takes some amount of smarts. Don't tell us a fucking dumb lie. I rank this lie on the stupidity scale with the guy who told me that someone must have forgotten several thousand dollars worth of drugs at his house after a party or that the 20 bindles of heroin were for personal use.
Anyway, I'm pissed and insulted and they want me to evaluate the class. Christ, double Christ. I'm going to write that when I'm in a better mood.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bar Review

Bar review is not unlike finally stepping into the sun and having someone poke out your eye with an umbrella.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Free Puck Night

I used to like to go to the hockey games when I lived in Salt Lake on free puck night. I showed up at school today to talk to Prof. Civ Rts Lit about my paper, which I'm still working on. They were giving out free black dresses! I was psyched. I also got a goofy hat.
Apparently I don't get to keep it. They hand these out every year and I'm supposed to wear it on graduation day. I'm looking at my black dress in a bag and it looks heavy and hot. I'm thinking "If I wear this outside in the sun and have on regular clothes underneath it I'll be sweating like a whore in church." How many people before me have worn the dress? How many of them were sweating like mad in it? Is this thing going to smell like the puffy leopard suit that the highschool mascot had to wear? B/c that thing stunk.
I don't need to be importing "stank". I'll smell bad enough just by sitting in the sun and sweating. My mom is probably going to spray me down with febreeze at graduation.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No L

So I don't think I'm a 3L anymore. I just finished my last final. I've still got a little work to do on my paper but other than that I'm done. It's margaritaas and deck chairs for me.
So I plan on reading a bunch and watching as many episodes of Arrested Development as possible. BTW a little tip from me to you, to maximize your netflix membership it's best if you immediately mail your DVDs when you're done watching them. Putting them in the car and driving around for a week until you go right past a mailbox keeps you from getting anymore DVDs. Try and work on that.
Here's a bonus tip. If you're arrested for some kind of drug crime it's best to wait until you've detoxed, come down, sobered up, stopped tripping or whatever before you tell the police your lame excuse. So if the cops find 100 grams of coke in your apartment and you sobered up before making up your excuse you would probably be able to realize that "We had a party and someone must have forgotten all those drugs" is not a good excuse.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

One of the big arguments against more immigration or why it's so import to deport undocumented people right now is that they don't contribute enough in taxes to pay for the services they use. This seems like a pretty straight forward argument, they put in amount X and the schools, medical help, food assistance, subsidized housing, etc cost X+N, therefore there is a deficit of N.
Well, I was looking at the Department of Defense's website today. This is a link to the Fallen Warriors section of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is only the army's casualty list. But look at it. I can't say that everyone with a Hispanic last name is the son or daughter of an immigrant but probably a lot of them are. If you just look really quickly at the A's, or browse down to the G's, you can see that at least 20% of the casualties have Hispanic last names.
If even half of those people are the sons or daughters of immigrants then they are contributing far out of their proportion in terms of their population. Only around 12% of the U.S. population is Latino and a big chunk of that, I think 60% but I can't remember where I read that, is under 18 years old. A smaller percentage of that are immigrants. Yet it looks like 20% of the casualties of Iraq are Latino.
I know this isn't very scientific but I think it's a more realistic way to look at how much immigrants contribute to the U.S. Maybe in dollars immigrants cost us but it's these other things, like providing soldiers for the army, that probably have more of an impact on the U.S. economy and culture. I've got three cousins in Iraq right now. Maybe there was a time when my family didn't pay as much in taxes as the services they used, I doubt it but maybe, but I think my family as a whole is now contributing more than most families.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Well, I just finished a final. I've still got three more and a rewrite but I'm getting stuff done. It makes me feel good though to knock one out.
Anyway some students are getting disciplined at one of the schools for participating in the walk out. I'm going to a meeting tomorrow to see what I can do to help. Thankfully most student manuals are on the net so I can read that tonight and get a plan together. Maybe I can help some of these kids. This is why I'm becoming a lawyer. Money is for chumps.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Here's some pictures from the Portland march. I tried to get a photo from the top of the march all the way down but couldn't do it. By the time I got to the middle of the march the top was turning the corner and the end hadn't turned the corner into view yet. Also b/c everyone was wearing white we all kind of blurred together. Anyway from what I'm hearing from organizers the Portland march had about 40,000 people. That seems high to me but I could never see the whole march and people who started didn't finish and lots of people showed up late. I'd probably put it around 17,000.

Now you might be asking, "Antonio, I appreciate your estimate but you suck at math. You're not even that good at counting. When you heard the Yogi Berra quote 'Half this game is 90% mental.' you said, 'Totally!'. So what's the official count?"
Well I went looking at the Oregonian, official newspaper 'round these parts, and they're saying 8,000. The march was over twenty blocks long. There's no way that's right. But, I guess we all do look the same so they probably just lost count. My second guess is that there were 8,000 people there with the last name Gonzalez and then another 9,000 people with other last names.

On top of lowballing the estimate it's in a small box underneath some story about the Trailblazers. Didn't the trailblazers finish last? How is anything they do more newsworthy than a huge march in Portland and a second, equally huge march in Salem. I'm going to go get a paper later on today. If the newsprint version is as crappy I'll be pissed. I might even write an angry missive. I just checked NY Times and the Washington Post and it didn't make either websites' front page.

The second order of business I want to discuss is Flickr as a form of political protest. I took a few pictures of the march, but nowhere near as many as Cindy did. She uploaded her pictures to Flickr and with tags you can see, now this is a technical legal term, craploads of photos. All the most popular tags today deal with the rally. Now I am not a member of Flickr b/c they are owned by Yahoo and I strongly disagree with Yahoo's policy of helping the Chinese government to lock up dissidents. But I think this is a legitimate purpose. I'm going to join up and post my few photos so that there's one more voice being heard one more way.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Estamos En La Lucha

I finished my A paper last night at about 4 AM. I still have to work on a rewrite. But I'm done, it's like classes, and I guess everything else in law. The general rule is I'm done except for the exceptions.
I started studying for finals. I've got four finals. I'll be able to knock them out pretty quick. May 12th isn't that far away.
I went to the march today. The Portland march was pretty big. I'd estimate about 12,000 to 15,000 people. There was another march in Salem which was about the same size. I got some pictures. This is an exciting time. I love being a part of it. The energy is great. I saw a bunch of friends, some of my professors, people I hadn't seen in years. It makes the end of school that much more fun.