September 14, 2006

Rushing All Over Again.

Posted in Learning the Law at 9:00 am by Brooke

We are back in school – 2L year is in full-swing. Every day a different group of people wear their suits to school, ready for interviews. As much as I dislike wearing a suit, everyone does look a lot nicer these days. Usually we’re all in Tshirts and jeans, so to see people in suits is somewhat startling.

The problem with OCI (on campus interviewing) isn’t the interviewing though – and along with it the missing class – it’s everything else that comes along with it. You need to think ahead to where you will put your suit and bring clothes to change into or out of; you have to either go to the receptions the firms have the night before, or feel guilty when you skip them. And, not only do you have to wear the suit, you need to wear heels and make up – all with a large backpack on your back. It just seems silly… silly enough to remind me of my sophomore year of college – and sorority rush!

Of course, I survived rush before, and I’m sure I can do it again – just didn’t know I’d have to.

June 26, 2006

Robert Earl Keen and Watermelons

Posted in Finding Lyle at 10:27 am by Brooke

At the show

Originally uploaded by Brooke214.

Saturday night Jocelyn, Robert, Knox and I headed to Luling, just south on 183, to go to the annual Luling Watermelon Thump! Though we could have entered the watermelon-seed-spitting contest (world record set in Luling – 69 feet!), instead we wandered around eating food-on-a-stick, going on the ferris wheel and then watching Gary P. Nunn and Robert Earl Keen.

June 21, 2006

Dartmouth Reunion!

Posted in Finding Lyle at 3:43 pm by Brooke

The gang set out for a nice walk along Mink Brook Trail!

Dartmouth Reunion: 5 Years Later, Still Trying To Stay in College

Posted in Adventures in Liermanland at 3:34 pm by Brooke

Last weekend I returned to Hanover, NH for my 5-year college reunion. To say it was wonderful is an understatement. It was utterly transforming. I don't know if it was simply being back in NH, seeing so many friends – in the place I had originally met them – or drinking more beer than I had in the last three months combined, but it was a weekend I will never forget.

I flew up on Friday afternoon and landed in Manchester, jumped giddily in my rental car and drove the drive that I had done countless times during my four years at school – it is still, I think, one of the most beautiful drives I have ever done. (Partly b/c of the expectation I suppose!)

As I got closer my phone just started ringing (which is also weird in and of itself b/c when I was in hanover no one had ever had a cell phone and they didn't work there at all, if somoene, like my work-addicted father, brought it up) with people calling and saying " when are you coming? are you almost here? let's play pong!" it was very fun.

Then I checked into the Wheeler dorm. I had only ever been in the Wheeler dorm once before – when I had been streaking the Green one night in October and Safety/Security saw me and I couldn't find my friend who had my clothes so I sprinted away from S&S and ran into the Wheeler dorm where I hid scrouched down behind a door. No, I didn't get caught. Awesome, huh? So, with my bag I trudged up to the fourth floor of Wheeler and unloaded, changed and raced back down to the '01 tent for some cocktails and pizza.

That night was pretty chill actually, it was nice – people just wanted to catch up. I saw SO MANY PEOPLE. I mean, people I'd forgotten existed but that I am sure at one time I was drunk with, or danced with, or something, were all there. it was really cool. There was a general consensus that the women all looked better and the men had all gained about 15 pounds. except, funnily, my ex, Eben, who had lost the gut he gained when he joined his frat (psi u). There were many engagement rings, but very few spouses. There was one baby only, of a guy named Jesse. Jesse and I led a campign/hiking trip of freshman my senior year that was awesome. And now he has a baby. weird.

Then we went over to AD, the frat that animal house is based on actually, and as I was walking downstairs in my new blue flip-off sandals i slowly but surely felt my feet slip out in front of me and WHAM, my butt hit the stairs. I tried to be as graceful as possible, but this was hard b/c i had flung off one of my shoes and so had to stand, when I finally landed, on one foot (i mean, they clean this floor by peeing on it i think. SO GROSS. So my friends and a bunch of random old men, who were AD brothers i guess, looked for my shoe for like 10 minutes and finally found it WAY across the room. YIKES. So i then convince my friend Josh to leave with me and we go get pizza and get home around 3am. (I was standing there, with one shoe on, when i got all those text messages by the way. it was pretty funny.)

The next day some friends and I head out for a little hike, so lovely, and a swim int eh river. very wholesome, very nice. then I go to a bbq at the boathouse specifically to see the award I won freshman year that i have NEVER SEEN and the house is locked. boo. So then Katie/Amanda/Beth and I go play pong at Sigma Delt (sorority). We play three games of shrub (7 beers each; not to be confused with Tree, which is 11, or Ship which is 15). i DOMINATE, it is amazing. seriously, all this absence-of-playing-pong has made me so much better for some reason! I have no idea how/why, but i have gone from a mediocre pong player to a top-notch player. Which is fortunate, b/c I was drunk enough after three games that if we'd lost i'd have passed out.

Then we walk across the lawn towards Wheeler to change for the big dinner, which is fun and has good food though no chocolate dessert (WTF??) and then we go back to the 01 tent for a band and dancing until 1am. The dancing was fun and many, many pictures were taken (unfortunately. i am sure they will look fairly ludicrous) and it was fun except for some random business school student who kept hitting on me. he was so weird – and old – and NOT in our class. lame. And also, all of Eben's brothers kept coming up and saying "where's Eben? Where's eben?" And I just wanted to say, "I don't know! We broke up FOUR years ago!" it was fairly amusing.

So then, the band is over. Bummer. But amazingly, Phi Delt, a frat that had been expelled for awhile is back in business and are having Phi Reds! What are phi reds? I have no idea. All I know is that there is a huge wastebasket full of red liquid that makes you feel great one night and like dying the next morning.

The weirdest thing – besides being 27 years old but, due to my surroundings feeling like i was having deja vu for a weekend (but not) and actually starting to feel 22 again, was that there were all these OLD PEOPLE THERE. they were all from class of 86 or something and were back at their house hanging out. Like, when we were playing pong a woman brought her three CHILDREN – all under age 12 – down to watch us and she asked us to explain the RULES TO THEM! and this was a woman who totally looked like a soccer mom. it was really weird. at one point i missed a save and i just said FUCK! really loudly and then was like "ohmigod, i'm soo soo sorry, ohmigod." really weird. basements are no place for children. the other weird thing was how easy it was to slip back into that life – to sort of forget about everything that has happened since. after the in itial catching up where i say "I live in Austin, Texas" and people say "huh. really?" then i would start forgetting about it and it was like we all lived there again – i mean, hell, we were staying in dorms! the other funny thing was what men apparently feel the need to tell you, 5-9 years after the fact.
I also did remember at some point that i had friends in austin on saturday night b/c i left some messages that will never be replayed again on a couple of message machines. Sweet.

June 7, 2006

Wright’s Federal Practice & Procedure

Posted in Learning the Law at 4:34 pm by Brooke

I had never used Charles Alan Wright's great contribution to the world of the law before starting my internship. Now, I use it every day!

What's not to love about these books? They may be the only books I know of that are actually worth over $2000.
For instance, today I was looking up judicial notice and came up with this question: When can a judge look up something and still call it a "generally known fact" within the meaning of Rule 201(d)?

The answer: When it applies to music!

"But judges are old and foregetful; even a judge who things that the names of the The Beatles are generally known may need to resort to an album cover to recall George Harrison. Similarly, a judge may well suppose that a fact is generally known to others even though unknown to her; e.g. what "Pearl Jam" is. (The writer believes this to be some kind of musical group, but would need to ask one of his children to be sure.)" 21B Wright/Graham Fed. Prac. & Pro. 5108 (2 ed 2005)

I swear, if I would have known about this during my civil procedure class, I would not been half as confused as I was – Wright explains EVERYTHING…

June 6, 2006

Real People?

Posted in Finding Lyle, Learning the Law at 11:02 pm by Brooke

Today I got a shitty grade in my brief writing class.

And so I was (of course) crying to my mother about it over the phone (do people ever stop doing that? if so, why?) and she went thru the usual mechanics of reassuring me that it would be fine, etc and that I was at a really good law school so it was only bad compared to the people around me, not real people.   As in, compared to the general population – "real people" – I was very smart and had done very well.

Well, i thought for a moment about why that was not more comforting as a fact – because probably it is true.  But, really, it doesn't matter. Who cares how I would do against the general population? That isn't what counts as a measurement.  Never in my life have I been measured against the general population (except maybe when they tell you what percentage you are in with regards to your height).  And I'm trying to explain this to my mom – "You raised us in Bethesda, Maryland – one of the wealthiest towns in America; you sent us to public schools, but they were the best public schools in the country; I didn't play baseball, I rowed – and went to National Regattas; and then I went to an Ivy League college; and finally, I worked on Presidential Campaigns – in what part of my life did I do something with real people?"  

It doesn't matter how I do among real people somehow because the firms I want to work for are not firms that real people want to work at. Am I qualified to work at them, despite my grade? I think I am – but that also doesn't matter. It only seems to matter if they think I am.

I concluded basically, that the only time I have been around real people has been when I was organizing, when I worked at DREAM and when I went to St. Ann's for grade school.  The desire to find real people is part of the reason I left Washington, DC, actually… but it seems sometimes real people are hard to find.

May 30, 2006

And It’s Back: Summer Vacation

Posted in Finding Lyle, Learning the Law at 5:27 pm by Brooke

It's Memorial Day.

This is the third day in my first weekend off from work and I am flailing. I went to Home Depot and bought two big gallons of paint (creamy corn yellow and a very light lavender) thinking that if this is how much time I'm going to have off every weekend I need some home projects. If the fabric store would have been open I might have even bought fabric to make drapes with – i'm THAT desperate.

What? you say. Just one entry below you are cringing and bitching about your exams.

Yes, I know. But despite the awfulness that exam-season is, really I like having something to do. I don't like that the exams are so hard and count for so much – but I like having something to do all the time!

Being single and having fairly few hobbies, weekends sometimes loom large in front of me: I'll go for a row here and there, but it's so hot out now I don't even feel motivated to do much outside.

So what do I do? I plan. yesterday a bunch of us went tubing down the Comal River and had a lovely time – though I missed my book club and still feel badly about that. But it's not possible to fill every moment.

I have such high hopes too: on Friday I printed out a bunch of articles about Structural Reform Litigation hoping that I would read them – alas, they are still on the table on which I set them Friday afternoon. Such is life – either I have too much to do or too little. Perhaps I will someday find the in-between because this happens a lot (campaigning: too busy. non-profit: not busy enough), but for now, I suppose I will just keep planning and home improving.

May 8, 2006

One More to Go

Posted in Learning the Law at 10:50 pm by Brooke

We had our criminal law exam today, and though I don’t feel awful about it, I don’t feel good about it. I hope that before the end of these three years I know what it is like to walk out of something and just shrug and think “huh, yeah, that was no big deal.”

J. and I went for a swim in Barton Springs tonight then a few of us went to get some dinner. I had an entirely unproductive afternoon, so figured taking a coupla hours off couldn’t hurt. (Read: I am SICK of studying!!)

Over dinner we talked about why each of us disliked this whole exam-taking process. We each disliked it, strangely enough, for entirely different reasons. We each also seem to analyze our classes in totally different ways – my way, I will admit, whatever way that is seems to do me the least good. Or at least helps me the least on exams.

Daniel said my way, in one word, is “overly-practical.” I decided that yes, I am practical and I only understand things when I can see them – or at least see them in my head – in action. Hence, I was a history major, not a poli sci major: why would I want to know “theoretically” how the gov’t worked, when it doesn’t actually work that way? I wanted to know what happened, how, and why. At law school I want to know what rules I can use to someday help future clients, or figure out who the rules hurt and so I know what needs changing.

Daniel, philosophy major, likes to pontificate on the creation of the rules – contracts, for example, exists only because we have allowed it to evolve in a certain way. His way, consequently, seems to be much more helpful for exams.

Jocelyn, English major in college, looks for themes. She understands how things relate to one another thematically.

It is sort of amazing, and scary, how looking at our consciously-chosen college majors says about how we analyze the law. I also wonder, if, in 2 years we will look at it more similarly to each other than we do now. More like a lawyer, for instance. Right now I can see – and feel – that I am missing something. Something big. But I can’t get around the corner to understand what it is yet.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have turned that corner by the time we get to my Contracts exam either.

May 7, 2006

The Wise Words of Professor Dix

Posted in Learning the Law at 4:56 pm by Brooke

My Crim Law prof, Professor George Dix, may take criminal law less seriously than anyone I know. Consequently, as I have been studying my notes from the semester in anticipation of the exam tomorrow, I have found a few choice phrases:

“It is a crime to steal somebody else’s marijuana.”

“If he’s arguing this crap, he must be guilty as hell.”

“I don’t read the bar journal completely; I check to see if I’ve been disbarred and read the humor column. Sometimes it’s pretty funny.”

“This makes my semi-paranoid mind wonder ‘What the hell is going on here?'”

“Gangsters don’t seem to have any problem getting chicks.”

And, his favorite technical term, used to describe almost any attempt by a court to interpret the work of the institution that we like to call the State Legislature:


May 1, 2006

May Day!

Posted in Learning the Law at 8:56 pm by Brooke

Today we celebrated our last school day as 1L's and the first day of May by jumping into Barton Springs as the sun was rising – at 6:45am!  Yes, it was a little cold. But we were dreading the initial contact with the water (68 degrees year-round) so much, that it ended up not being as bad as we thought it would be. Afterwards we proceeded to Jocelyn's place for donuts, bagels and coffee (or tea, for me).  It was lovely.

By noon, we were all ready to go to bed.

But it was still fun.

Now I am reading Joseph Glannon's words of Wisdom on Civil Procedure. I don't know what we did before Glannon – did anyone actually understand joinder? or collateral estoppel?

The problem, we decided, with this semester, is that our classes were harder and we had more of them and so we didn't really learn most of the things as we were doing them – we are learning it all now – 2 days before our exams start! Not a great place to be, but better than learning it 2 days after your exams I suppose.

While taking a study break I came across this law-related article… Fuck

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