Friday, April 30, 2004

Passions

Whoever that was that took me up on my sexual offer, thank you...you were great. And a big thanks to whoever it was feeding me during the romp...my two passions combined into one magical evening!!! Watchful Investor Pilgrim's Products Golden Girls Quotes Redhead Hair Site Hurdler Page Bulls Blog Saints Car Club The Chess Haven Jake Gyllenhaal Fan Club link Soda Traders Myanmar Institute of Technology Dancer's Domain Ikea Olympics Page link link Fusion Recipes Oregon Lawyers Internet Data Integrity Library Rent Empress link Fashionably Green Moon Rider link link

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I’d like to be able to say that I haven’t posted in such a long time because I’ve been too busy studying for exams, but that would be a lie, and I don’t lie when writing under a pseudonym (I do, however, occasionally lie to people’s faces, but that’s different...) Exams are finished (notice the passive voice.) I don’t feel a great deal of emotion about the end of 1L year, and I think I have figured out why. Quite honestly, my exam preparation was pretty inadequate. I really only spent one and a half full days studying for my final two exams. I don’t feel the same level of relief and jubilation to stop working because I wasn’t really working that hard. Sure, I had some fun during my wasted hours: inasmuch as I don’t have a car here at school, a trip to Target (where I purchased colored Tootsie Rolls) and the Olive Garden in Bala Cynwid (I have no idea how to pronounce that!) on the Saturday before my Crim final (a subject about which I knew next to nothing) was on balance a good thing (far more fun than any restaurant or bar I've been to in Center City in a long time), and worth whatever damage to my Crim grade it may have caused. However, most of my time was just wasted, doing nothing I couldn’t have done after I had finished my exams.

I wonder how this bodes for my future as a lawyer who will be forced to account for his time in ten minute increments. It’s 3:30pm, and I’ve done absolutely nothing of substance (other than go to the gym) in the 4 and a half hours I’ve been awake.

I recount this tale not out of some sort of sick lazy law student braggadocio; this is more for me to look back once I actually have a job. I truly have no idea as to how I performed, so it’s not as if I’m saying that I did no work and got all As; my final exam grades may accurately reflect my preparation level.

There’s a certain type of college student who needs to be the busiest bee on the block (they exist in law school, too, although in smaller numbers than they did in undergrad.) Overextension becomes a badge of honor. If you have one exam, she has two; if you’re going to be in class for four hours with a half hour break, she has 6 hours of back-to-back classes. You have a 15 page paper to write this weekend; he has two papers, and three articles to write, and a fellow student to defend in a judiciary trial. Of course, he wrote the papers in 2 hours, and received As on both, helped the student get a not guilty verdict, and got hammered Friday and Saturday night. Those students always have infuriated me, not because I believed they were lying (although many were), but because they felt it necessary to talk about it so much and compete with each other so publically. I’ve always been far more impressed by the (very rare) student who does as much (or even more) as she claims she does, and those (unlike me at the present juncture) who are lazy in silence.

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wow.

done with 1l.

allow me to be the first to (officially) congratulate the UPLS class of 2006 on its accomplishment.

kind of scared, now.

well, that, and...

...the hangover has come early....

(but, i'm making good use of the four-period ellipsis--ha! take that, law review!)

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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

WANTED: Post-finals sexual companionship. No strings attached. I am a sensitive, caring, 20 something drunk who will be more than willing to buy you excessive amounts of drinks if that is what it will take...In the spirit of anonymity, I am between 5'8 and 6'0 and roughly 180 lbs. I may be a bit on the scrawny side, but a stallioin in bed and VERY experiamental. All fetishes welcomed. If interested, respond to this post by 4 p.m. because, I will have to watch my consumption level...for obvious reasons. Ok. Great.

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Monday, April 26, 2004

Back From the Dead (a.k.a. the Epitaph Strikes Back)
Well, after a considerable amount of time away spent cavorting with supermodels, working on my dual Ph.D. program in the psychology of procrastination in early adulthood, and learning why daddy is in jail (studying for crim), I return. I wish I could say triumphantly, but we still have a 4 hour Con final Thursday on which we are not supposed to get too detailed, we can write in incomplete sentences, but provide plenty of detail and explanation. Those were our exam instructions, in case your powers of deduction are weak from over- use, under-development, or malted hops and bong resin. Anyway, I am not staying around long. I have to nap, call dad to tell him we may be able to get him out on a legal impossibility issue, and then learn Con Law in two days. I rule. Here are some thoughts that I would like to leave you with:

a. Liberals have great points about many things...I can finally admit this. It is certainly refreshing to hear SOMEONE point out, correctly I might add, that writing discrimination in the Constitution is a BAD thing, a blind dependence on incarceration will NEVER work, and that it is ok to be disgusted by Corporate America. However, your stinking big-government nonsense ain't the answer pal...just stop, you're wrong. Government is heinous and the only reason you support their overbearing existence is so, one day, you too can have a job...that is, after your stint in public service.... There. I feel better. If you have an issue with any of this, take it up with my North Philly office...in-person inquiries only please.
b. Sorry about that. Post-exam stress relief.
c. I have officially opened my post-exam betting window with these odds on the following bets:
1. I will be drunk within an hour of the end of the exam 1:1
2. I will be drunk 15 minutes after leaving the exam room 3:1
3. I will be drunk before leaving the exam room (time frame will be from the time exam time is called to my natural exit...no rigged delay will occur) 6:1
4. Someone will cry during the exam 3.5:1
5. It will be Prof Con Law (assuming that 4 occurs) 2:1

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Tomorrow is Crim Law. This has inspired my roommate to IM me this:

"i want to go up to professor Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell with a gun that shoots a flag that says "fuck you" while wearing a 'mens rea that!' tshirt."

Damn.

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Friday, April 23, 2004

It's my birthday! And yet, I still have a 4-hour Labor Law final today.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Magic Eight Ball never lies. Go ahead. Try it.

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Law school has made me insane. I wake up at 5:30 every morning after dreaming about falling down in pointe shoes.

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Monday, April 19, 2004

I've finished my paper, but my resentment at Prof. L&S for having assigned it is nowhere near over.

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Saturday, April 17, 2004

An IM Conversation at the Library

Bacon’s Roommate: i just asked magic 8 ball if i'm going to get an A in Con law and it said, no
Bacon: It means A+!
BR: no more questions about grades!
BR: i just asked it if K wants to date me and it said, Yes
B: See?
BR: i just asked it if he's going to ask me out this semester and it said, outlook good
B: The magic 8 ball never lies.
BR: it's predictable! it goes in the same order
B: No it doesn't. It's magic.
BR: i just asked it if we're going to have sex before i leave for NY and it said NO
B: See? It's right.
BR: haha. how very sad.
B: No, ask it a question about Star Jones.
BR: i just asked if Star weighs over 300 pounds and it said, Very doubtful.
B: I think that's true. 300lbs is a lot.
B: She's only like 5' tall.
BR: i just asked if Star is thin and it said, ask again later
B: Okay, stop asking the 8 ball.
BR: it's addictive
B: See, you probably weigh about 100lbs. Star is like 3 of you. Right?
B: I'm right.
B: I know.
BR: Star is like 10 of me
BR: woah, my nipple was showing just now
B: I missed it.
BR: it tends to poke out of this dress at times.
B: You should get that dress tape.
BR: but the stickiness!
B: I can't wait until all the dust settles. I hope Shady Personal Injury Firm gets back to me soon. I called today -- he's out of the office. HE NEVER WORKS.
BR: that fucker is out chasing ambulances
B: He's setting booby traps on the subway.
BR: yeah, he's a busy man. he's got to make these victims whole.
B: Whatever. He's just loosening manhole covers in Soho.
BR: he's a hands-on kinda lawyer
B: Yeah, I wonder if he's an ass grabber.
BR: you KNOW he is
BR: he probably wears pinstripe suits and cufflinks. with slicked back hair
B: There's a picture. http://www.----.com/attorneys.htm
B: Mr. Hiring Partner, middle left.
BR: this is such a cheesy web site!!
BR: But the guy on the right looks SERIOUS
B: I want to pose for a picture with them. I can cross my arms and scowl.
BR: you should hold a hairless cat in your arms too
BR: none of these fools went to an ivy league law schools
B: None of them even went to a 3rd tier law school.
B: What the hell is New York Law School?
BR: i took my LSAT there. it is very suspect.
BR: if these fuckers pass law school, WE CAN.
B: Yes, but only I actually want to work with these people.
B: They should want me too!
BR: shit, that dude looks serious.
B: Totally. He looks like he has POW/MIA tatoos.
BR: He is one serious motherfucker!
B: He kills people for fun.
BR: you know he probably owns hamsters, though
B: Mickey and Mr. Fluffy.
BR: and they run on their wheel
B: He hand feeds them pellets at night.
BR: yeah! he pets them with just one index finger
BR: he'd do something whack like dress you up in a pink bunny costume while you were sleeping
B: and then kill me with a gun he'd been saving since WWII.
BR: yeah, a gun that he calls "sheila"
B: He cleans it every night after putting the hamsters to bed.
BR: he closes his eyes and kisses the barrel
B: oh sheila . . . the one who understands me.
B: No! Mr. Fluffy! Leave Sheila alone!
BR: 'he personally supervises a staff of lawyers and paralegals who devote tremendous time and energy to helping these victims to restore order to their lives during this difficult and painful time"!
BR: yeah, his picture looks SO sympathetic to people's problems!!
BR: that picture says, "what the fuck you lookin' at??"
B: POW MIA 4EVA!
BR: that's on his left cufflink
B: He's probably a Mason.
BR: i bet! he wears druid capes and shit
B: But maybe dresses up as a hamster at home.
BR: i want his picture on our wall.
B: He's not a name partner.

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As you've likely deduced based on the last few posts by my co-conspirators, classes are finished and exam season is in full swing here at Penn. We had a very nice end-of-semester cookout (I recall reading somewhere recently that a barbeque requires food with actual barbeque sauce; when only hot dogs and hamburgers are served, cookout is the proper moniker) in the courtyard at school. Friday was beautiful, and the cookout was a great way to end the semester. I spent the rest of the evening in the library, since I have a paper due Monday in place of an exam for my law and society class (Bacon and I share an elective). It's not going well...and I have other subjects to learn before the exams later in the week. I'll survive the next few weeks, but it's not going to be pretty.

PS. I was looking at a book written by my Crim professor this morning entitled Bad Acts and Guilty Minds. If you omit the very last s, I think it'd make an excellent title for my autobiography.

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I'm up to a page.

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Friday, April 16, 2004

ok, so i'm at the law school, cramming the finer points of civil rights protection into my head, on the friday of spring fling. highly upsetting. but i had my fun last night at the aforementioned open bar, so i suppose i shouldn't really be complaining.

the one saving grace is the fact that i have the company of Beatallica! (combo of beatles tunes and metallica sound). many thanks to the folks in the IP class for the tip.

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I have written one sentence of my final paper for Law & Society.

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A poem about discrete insular minorities from a particularly brilliant classmate of mine (we may call him Sausage):
Midgets are discrete
They fit under my feet
And they are insular
Fifty fit in a car

A limerick from the same brilliant classmate:
There once an old man named Blackstone
Who wrote a very lengthy tome
it was widely read
by judges now dead
But Boring Blackie still died alone

And a con law limerick from yours truly:
There once was a lassie named Brown
Who lived in a segregated town
This pissed off her dad
who sued Board of Ed
and the Board of Ed got a beat-down.

(and this is ALL I know about con law. Professor Con Law, if you get an exam with this limerick on it, please don't give it a C. Please?)

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Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Graduate and Professional Student Association is having its last social gathering of the year, and no one will come with me. Sure most of the people there will be socially awkward and talking in robot voices or wearing their new Spock outfit, but there's an open bar! Come on people, OPEN BAR! And no recruiting attorneys to stand in the way.

Everyone says they're studying, but finals aren't until next week. And if last semester is any indication, studying is way overrated. You study one night, you go take the test, you collect your B+/- and you move on. But fine, if no one else wants to go, I'll just drink your share.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Hard Times at Penn Law High

The semester is ending and everyone's poor. Luckily at Penn, you can charge things onto your bursar's
card. This week, I've managed to spend about $2.00 in cash and $60.00 on my bursar's card. Breakfast,
lunch, my new umbrella -- all on the bursar's card. Commercial outlines? Bursar. Lightbulbs? Post-its?
Pudding? That's right, the bursar. It's even a verb -- to bursar. For usage, please see this afternoon's
conversation.

Bacon's Roommate: I'm going to Stern. I need coffee and I don't have any cash.
Bacon: I want a cafe au lait; they don't have that at Stern.
Bacon's Roommate: Yeah, but I have to bursar it.
Marguilis: Go to the bookstore! They espresso drinks and you can bursar those!
My Pal SF: You guys are making me sad.
Marguilis: She's sad because she used her whole bursar allowance.
Bacon: What?
My Pal SF: I bursared all my Christmas presents, and some appliances.
Bacon: Appliances?
My Pal SF: And some CD's.
Bacon: Damn, I only got pudding. Let's go to the bookstore!

Note to self: Do not wave and smile at Prof. Con Law while writing blog post. He will notice and comment.

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moral fascism's crusade continues...
FBI declares war on porn
human-interest story on same... about an FBI investigator on the case
indecency bill gets fast-tracked in congress
Mississippi bans sex toys (thanks to How Appealing)


But we're fighting back...
the details on Ashcroft (composite photo of little porn pictures) - thanks to Legal Underground for the link

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While this blog exists primarily for the benefit of its readers, a subsidiary purpose is to chronicle the law school experience for its authors. I really think we’ll all enjoy these rantings (described by one of you in the comments as “Precambrian”) so much more ten years from now. In that vein, I’ve decided to share with you all a law school story from last semester that is near and dear to my heart.

I Just Went Splat

The signal event of my first semester of law school has already entered into Penn Law lore; it will be known forevermore as “The Fall.” It all started innocently enough, on a day just like any other day. I was rushing to class one weekday morning from my apartment in University City, doing my best to be on time for Property (Oh, how I loved Property!!! :)) when all of the sudden, the ground beneath me gave way. I felt like I had fallen into the center of the earth, but it was “just” a pothole. A massive, Philadelphia pothole, which had had swallowed my leg right up! Even though I flailed my arms back and forth, those damn Philly drivers refused to stop and help me up; they just kept driving around me like they were on some sort of obstacle course. I felt like the old woman on the Life Alert commercials who cries “I’ve fallen! And I can’t get up!” No one hears her, of course; she lives all alone, just like me. I limped for more than a month.

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I chose Penn Law over FIT. It's now finals time. I wish I had gone to FIT.

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Monday, April 12, 2004

onward christian soldiers?

after all this sturm und drang over abortion, and the widespread use of "Christian" as a perjorative for the more literal-minded among the faith, i've decided to take back the title "Christian" for the mainstream. now, admittedly, as a protestant, i'm a bit uncomfortable with the term. It does seem to connote a certain proselytizing mindset. however, the idea that only bible-beaters have a claim to the name makes about as much sense as reserving the term "lawyer" for only litigators, or, say, "communist" for only Democrats (well...).

christianity generally, not to mention a great many adherents of the christian faith specifically, has provided this world with a lot of good stuff. viz., humanism, individual liberty, equality before the law (and god), etc., not to mention a general commandment to love other people. christianity, in the long run, has been positive (albeit not overwhelmingly) for the world.

to argue that christianity belongs directly in acts of the state, however, starts raising problems. and not just from a individualistic your-god-ain't-my-god standpoint either. that's pretty familiar ground, so i won't belabor that point.

much of christianity's strength comes from its separateness from the state. unlike nation-states, which are chiefly concerned with the transient causes of the world, christianity (and religious morality generally) is immortal. in fact, a great way to doom a particular religion in the long run is to bind it to a government. you don't see too many theocratic adherents of Ra egyptian-walking down 5th ave these days.

but it can get worse. once we start importing religious doctrine into our statehouses, we run the risk of putting elected civil officials in the position of determining the rules of that religion. what's to prevent secular power from codifying the entrance exam to heaven, once it starts invoking religion as policy? no, far better for religion to reject the power of the state, than run the risk of becoming entangled in the vicissitudes of politics.

this brings me back to my original point. yes, i'm a christian. which means, inter alia, that i'm pretty damn optimistic about individuals' potential. furthermore, it means that the church (and that's deliberately lowercase) has come up with certain moral structures that seem to work pretty well for organizing human relationships.

but while individuals can take this view, the state absolutely can't. in addition to all the other problems with mixing church and state, government simply cannot afford to take a christian view of its citizens--no, the state has to assume that people are greedy, mean, selfish, petty, etc., and guard accordingly, by dividing and restraining power: its own, certainly, but also that of its citizens.

of course, this is another strongly held tenet of christianity--the idea that God and caesar (the state) rule separate spheres.

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Sometime last semester I invented "Willful Deafness." Willful Deafness came about during Torts when the shrill voices of my classmates asking for multiple hypotheticals illustrating res ipsa doctrine made me insane. (How is Byrne v. Boadle not clear enough? The man got hit in the head with a barrel of flour while he was walking past a flour dealer. Whatever.) Rather than punching them all in the face, I turned inward and willed myself deaf. I'm now at Stage 3 of the process -- I can appear as though I'm paying attention, even turning toward the person speaking in class, without hearing anything. It's sort of zen.

Even so, every now and then something gets through. I didn't realize this until my oral arguments last week. My client was Friendly Officer Moses, the prison guard who maced an asthmatic inmate in the face. I had to somehow defend Friendly Officer Moses against an excessive force charge. So naturally I ignored the actual macing and just argued procedural default -- unfortunately for the asthmatic inmate, he didn't file his claim timely. During the argument, one of the judges asked me about the general fairness of allowing the prision board itself to set procedural requirements which the board intended to be giant obstacles in the path of inmates seeking truth, justice, and the American Way. I told him that would be an entirely different claim altogether, a due process claim. Apparently this was the right answer. Apparently I learned things in Con Law even while practicing Willful Deafness. Now I feel obligated to thank Prof. Con Law. So, thanks Prof. Con Law, I actually learned something in your class.

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

We’ve turned up the heat a bit recently here on Notes, and I can tell by the increasing frequency and intensity of the comments that you, our readers, have noticed. Our posts are meant to make you laugh, make you think, and yes, to provoke you. (NB: provocation as it is used here does not entitle you to respond with deadly force.)

This is an unedited group blog, and its authors have widely, sometimes wildly, divergent views on all sorts of subjects (except, of course, for Penn Law…we universally appreciate its “unique, collegial atmosphere,” and not one of us would have even considered attending Columbia if he/she hadn’t been "reserved" there.)

In all seriousness, there is no one political agenda or point of view here. We’re a motley crew of lovable libertarians and sexy statists. Sometimes our posts will be serious, sometimes they’ll be substantive, but most of the time you can expect to find the same jejune and frivolous posts for which we’ve become (in)famous.

So, if one of you is inspired by something we’ve said, comment or email. If one of us writes something that you think is idiotic, feel free to kvetch. If your rejoinder is good, we’ll post it. We don’t (often) intend to offend. And when we do offend, remember where we are and what we do (the answers are 1) in law school and 2) law students, respectively, for those of you with brains addled by one too many LSAT 180 logic games.)

Law school is an unavoidably contentious place; even an outwardly dry subject like Civil Procedure is sometimes heavily ideological (is it true that the 4! dissenting justices in Martin v. Wilks “simply failed to comprehend how our system works,” like my section learned in class? Can you get a seat on the Supreme Court without understanding basic Civil Procedure? If so, I really can be Justice Pork Roll!) You may find some of your classmates offensive (ideologically; odds are you will find the vast majority physically offensive.) I hope you’ll learn to deal with it. It helps to keep in mind that almost everyone believes that her ideas are right, good and true.

Upcoming Post: Oh, to be a Nerdy Nebbish! (also entitled: Why I plan on participating in the writing competition.)

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Saturday, April 10, 2004

Guest Frustrated with Beef Rides Again

After three hours on two footnote exercises at a bluebooking session in a room full of anal-retentive 1Ls, my new beef, Ms. Christian-1L, (a woman who, incidentally, told a friend of mine that the fact that he and his girlfriend live together might be risky to their relationship because 3 out of 4 couples who have pre-marital sex and live together end up divorced) was overheard deposing a 2L about his summer associate job. This guy is on the Journal of International Economic Law and will be working for a firm that is notorious for only taking law students with the straight A’s. These apparently were some of her priceless questions:

"If you don’t make law review, does JIEL look good on a resume?”

“So, you’re working for the DC office [emphasis on DC]… Aren’t [big law firm]’s headquarters in New York?... Do you think that working for a prestigious law firm in a less prestigious city looks bad on your resume?”

This girl probably lists things like “Contracts” and “Corporate Law” under the Interests section on her resume. I personally think she should add “gangja” and “codeine” to that particular section. I think both would make her a more tolerable and maybe – just maybe – a more interesting person to interview.

I was also blessed this morning (perhaps by Ms. Xtian’s “God”) by making it to class just in time to hear her say that a woman’s right to choose is not a fundamental right.

And, yes, I am kicking myself for not having booed her… or having kicked her… or just telling her that after Roe, abortions should have been available on demand, but they’re not and both my aborted bastard embryo and I will have a grand old time in hell.

What really gets me riled up is why women like Ms. 1L-Xtian feel entitled to tell us what we can or cannot do to our own bodies. If someone gets knocked up, that person can just say, “I prefer not to.” Go back to your gold-embossed bible pages and pray for our souls, but don’t tell us that we don’t have this basic right.

Ah pro-choice! Ah humanity!

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If the Comments section is just too small to hold your beef, email us your post. We'll probably put it up.

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Thursday, April 08, 2004

I'm supposed to be in my 3-hour extended super-makeup Con Law class, but I couldn't get up in time. It started at 9am. 9am is early. And 9am feels even earlier now since 9am is really 8am in dog years or daylight savings time or whatever. And who holds a class at 8am? That's right, nobody. Nobody who wants anybody to go anyway. But I'm feeling slightly guilty all the same because I went to dinner at Professor Con Law's house last night. He served fish. And lots of vegetables. And macaroons. He made me set the table, and I think I set it all wrong, but that's not my fault since I usually eat out of paper bags, and it's unfair to expect someone who doesn't even regularly use forks to be able to figure out where the fish knife goes in relation to the cream soup spoon. In any case, I'm hiding in the library now, buzzing from all the caffeine I ingested from drinking a medium cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee instead of my once-a-week small cup. I have half an hour until my writing competition review begins. Hopefully my heart won't stop in the interim.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Gunner Cold Gruel Sends More Mail & Bacon Dutifully Answers

shit. the housing thing is a pain. i've asked like six people about whether
to live on or off campus and one said on, one said off, and the other four
were no help at all. i had just made an ultratentative decision to live on
campus when i got your last. argh.

where do you live then? center city? i can't imagine you'd live in west
philly. they tell me it's the brooklyn of philadelphia.

Cold Gruel

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Dear Cold Gruel,

Comparing the appeal of Dorm Life against that of Brooklyn, I'd marry Brooklyn (like Bed-Stuy Brooklyn) before I'd touch Dorm Life. Twin extra-long plastic coated mattress? Group laundry? Your roommate who insists on stapling Indian print cotton to the ceiling? Though it's called the "Grad Tower" it's still bunkbeds and undergrads vomiting in the shower.

I do live in Center City, and I have a chandelier. And a garden. And I still pay significantly less than my Grad Tower bretheren. But you know who I'm jealous of? My pal, SF, who lives in West Philly -- the girl's got her own paneled library and stained glass. All for less than it would cost you to clean the dorm filth from your shower shoes.

Don't be a nerd; don't live in the dorms.

Love,

Bacon



And a Special Guest Entry from Frustrated with Beef

Why is law school so contentious? Why all the questions? I just want to pass a joint and say, “Chill out. Let’s be friends.” With that said, while first-year law seems very litigation-oriented, I am not. Take me in-house, please!

I find that I am only really happy to be a law student when I’m reading Processes of Constitutional Decision Making and law review articles on the history of discrimination against women and on abortion. But I hate being called on in front of 90 other assholes. And that reminds me – I ran into a fellow female 1L who went off about her religious beliefs and trying to stay steadfastly pro-choice, but wondering why women don’t just give up their unwanted babies for adoption because there are so many infertile women who want babies. She went on to lament about some woman who “cried” after her abortion procedure and that pro-choice women might question their position on this issue if they had actually had an abortion. To which I said, “Well, I have. And I’m still pro-choice.” Suffice it to say that Christian-1L’s wide eyes bespoke her shock.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

After the oral arguments . . .

So it's over. I didn't faint or throw up. And my Tourette's didn't flare up once. I did make the hugely enormous faux pas of forgetting to turn off my cell phone, and, just because God doesn't like me much, my mother called me in the middle of my opponent's argument, filling the room with the electronic sounds of Mozart. But I just turned it off, and I didn't even get my hands rapped. (OK, seriously, I do know how completely dumb it was, but better to have this happen here than 5 years from now, in front of an actual judge. Shudder.)

Today, I was told, as I have been told at least eighty million times in my life, that I talk too fast, especially when I am nervous. Which kinda sucks, except that I can now claim to be a real fast-talking shyster. And isn't that the whole point of this masochistic 3-year odyssey?

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Today was an activity-filled day.

First, I woke up at 7 a.m. in New York. I had stayed home for Passover. (Yes, I am a kosher pork product.) Then, just as I was about to head out the door to catch the 9 o'clock Chinatown bus to Philly, I realized that, sometime between my departure from my apartment on Friday, and 9 o'clock this morning, my Penn Law ID, apartment keys, and the attached snazzy lanyard had all vanished into thin air. An exhaustive and exhausting search proved fruitless, and I finally caught the 10 o'clock Chinatown bus to Philadelphia. (Sometimes called "Phiraderphia," but for a $12 ride, I'll call it whatever they want me to.)

As fate would have it, on the bus, I sat next to a 2L from this school. Furthermore, this 2L and I discovered that we shared an undergraduate alma mater. Our conversation revolved mainly around law school, which really shocked me, since law students hardly ever talk about law school. (Cut the sarcasm, baby, cut it with a machete.) He was nice enough to divulge some of the hidden truths about law school life. Here is what I learned:

- coming to class is a waste of your time. Most people who come to class do no better than those who never do. Speaking up in class is likely to lower your grade. So, either stay out of the classroom, or, if you are dumb enough to venture in, make like a fly on the wall.
- reading is optional and not recommended. You do not have to buy casebooks. High Court summaries and Examples & Explanations hornbooks are your friends.
- studying should only be done a week before finals. Maybe two. Anyway, it doesn't matter, grades are arbitrary, failure is impossible, and you'll get a job even if you accomplish the impossible.

And just think, I've been following all these rules since before I learned them. Although, I confess, I did buy casebooks. That must be why I didn't get straight As last semester.

Epilogue: Within an hour of arriving in Philadelphia, both keys and ID were replaced, and I just bought a brand new Penn lanyard. Also, a Penn Law decal for my dad's car. Sort of like "my child may have been beaten up by your child in elementary school, but if you bump my car, WE'RE GONNA SUE YOUR ASS OFF." But shorter. And less lame.

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Monday, April 05, 2004

road to the writing competition, part deux

so, i attended a writing competition/bluebooking event this evening. some wonderful people from BLSA, APALSA, and LALSA explained in excruciating detail the true joy that is bluebooking. many thanks to them, for putting up with yet more bluebooking, not to mention whiny snot-nosed 1Ls (e.g.: J. Random 1L: "why are there two abbreviations for 'federal'? i don't get it." eminently-patient-yet-somewhat-peckish law review 2L: "because we say so. now sit down, shut up, and like it. no more dumb questions, please.")

you may be asking yourself: "why, pork n beans, why would you subject yourself to this? don't you have exams to study for? or maybe some invasive dental surgery to undergo? why on earth would you practice this stuff for 3 hours, so you can do well enough on the 3-day editing test that you can continue doing it for the remainder of your 3 years in law school? you don't really need it to get a job..." (i don't know about you, but i'm noticing a sinister mathematical pattern here... 3+3+3 = 9 levels of hell, unless i'm mistaken...)

well, i'll tell you. i sort of like it. (maniacal laughter)
ok, seriously. i'm as bloodthirsty and ambitious as the next law student, and there's a certain elite status one achieves when one knows how to bluebook. yes, bacon, nerds have inherited the earth, and i mean to be one of them. (come on--the guy that came up with the four-period ellipsis for the end of a sentence must have lived in his mom's basement until at least the age of 42, but after that, he made a mountain o' money.)

of course, there's another session tomorrow, so we'll see at that point if i'm ready to gouge out my eyeballs with a wooden spoon and go do something real, like construction work.

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Mock Interview Day, the Aftermath

My fears relating to Mock Interview Day were fully justified. The only feedback I got: "Your glasses slip down your nose a little, and it makes you look too smooth somehow. It's a little Hollywood." I'm sorry, what was that? "Your glasses are stylish; it wouldn't be an issue if they weren't stylish."

Take Away Lesson: in law, the nerds will inherit the earth.

Oh, and . . .

A shout-out to Evan whose impeccable taste in blogs helped us get to where to are today -- not doing any real work and obsessively checking our online stats.


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Today we discussed defenses in Crim, specifically the permissibility of the use of deadly force in protection of one's self/jewels/bat cave. This is what I learned:

1. Never EVER sneak up on a Libertarian.
2. Some of my classmates will kill you for a dollar.

It's like going to school with hobos.

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In a recent post, I said that one of my long-term goals for this blog was to have at least 250 unique visitors a day. It's before 11am, and with a link from Howard Bashman's How Appealing, we've already surpassed that number. Thanks, Howard. Your link is very much appreciated; it's exciting to be acknowledged by the king of blawgs (Although I must point out that, strictly speaking at least, we're not all female!)

We'd also like to thank Evan at Notes from the (Legal) Underground (we couldn't have stolen a better name if we tried), and Professor Gordon Smith at the University of Wisconsin Law School for acknowledging us on his Law Student Blog Honor Roll. Our readership is almost entirely a product of links, because, as you can probably gather from the tone of our posts, we don't have many friends!

In all seriousness, we really hope you like what you read here. The 1L year is at once extremely bizarre and incredibly interesting, with lots of highs and lows, and there is copious material to satire. As much as I may poke fun at Penn and my classmates, I really have had a great time this year. I don't think there are too many 1Ls who can say the same.

EDIT: Yes, I changed "Honor Role" to "Honor Roll," after Pork N Beans pointed out my spelling error. Also, I just noticed Evan's latest post. We shall wear the title of his "favorite smart-ass law students" as a badge of honor. Heh.

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Saturday, April 03, 2004

I shocked myself by really liking the mock interview program. As Pork Roll observed upon bumping into me immediately after my two back-to-back interviews had concluded, "You seem happier today!" And I think I was, mostly because my interviewers had given me good feedback and had told me that I would have no trouble finding a job. Not that I'd trust a lawyer as far as I could throw one, but I opt for willful gullibility. (Gullibleness? Gull?)

The best part, of course, came after all the interviews were done, and there was a reception. And, apart from the buffet table (which, though reminiscent of Bread Day at a Russian grocery store, featured some VERY palatable sushi), there was the additional benefit of a sort of Firm Fair, which consisted of every law firm laying out informative material on tables. Now, I don't care about the informative material, because my criteria for my future employers are 1) be in New York City and 2) pay me. However, sprinkled among the CDs, the gold-leaf decorated binders, and the brilliantly colored brochures were lots and lots of freebies. Considering the variety of firm name-embossed edibles floating around the place, the analogy of the kid in the candy store is apt here. (They also gave out lots of free pens, which most of my classmates seemed to like, but, unfortunately, they were all ballpoint, and I only use rollerball or fountain, because ballpoint pens have slow flow. Yes, I am that loopy.)

So, here is what I learned about law firms yesterday:

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe gives the best presents, dude. Rather than just put out a few pens, or baggage tags (a la Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; because, really, don't you want everyone at the airport to know who you work for?), they prepared gift bags. GIFT BAGS! And these were stocked with: a stainless steel yoyo (I am not sure what the symbolism is here), a light-up keychain (featuring a green light; money?), a bouncing ball (again, the bouncing theme) with electric-looking filaments inside, that, upon bouncing, vibrates softly but does NOT light up as one might expect it to, a triangular highlighter, and some other stuff, which I can't remember now. One of the coolest things was the bag itself, which was large enough that I could toss all the other freebies inside as I wandered the room. Orrick is on my "nice" list.

The firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen LLP gave out Hershey Milk Chocolate bars in a firm wrapper, which was definitely different. I was very excited about that, until I realized that they had just slipped a Wolf Block wrapper over a regular Hershey wrapper, which I thought somewhat ghetto. Also, I prefer dark chocolate. So I'm iffy about Wolf Block.

Blank, Rome LLP handed out the best breath mints, hands down. Not too strong, not too sweet. It's the Platonic ideal of breathmintness. It was especially thrilling because, a few months ago, at a Reed Smith reception, I was given a small tin of mints, totally loved them, and had no idea who manufactured them (they were in a Reed Smith tin). Also, back then, my conscience was still vocal on the subject of taking multiple freebies. Upon cracking open a Blank, Rome box, I realized that they were the exact same mints. I guess they have the same supplier. So, of course, I swiped an extra box. Come hiring time, I will definitely keep Blank, Rome in mind, because, if I work for them, I'll be able to have all the perfect mints I want. Not like Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White or Choate, Hall & Stewart, whose mints taste suspiciously like Starbucks mints, which are too strong for my taste.

So, I guess the moral of my story is, I am well on my way to resigning myself to my fate of growing up, getting a job and relinquishing most of my personal freedom, because at least I will be doing it with a pocket full of free pens and very fresh breath. And, of course, a yoyo.

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Friday, April 02, 2004

Today is Super-Fun Mock Interview Day! Career Planning brings hiring people from a billion firms to campus to play interview with us and then critique our performance. It seemed like a good idea when I signed up. Now I don't want to go. Really, I know what's wrong with me. My mom used to tell me every day. And I can't even ask the questions I really want to ask, e.g. I just got my ears pierced last week, and I can't take out the hoops for another 6 weeks. Can you tell they're really for nipple piercings?

I looked up the firms I'm supposed to be interviewing with. They look like prisons. I hate the section of the website devoted to pro bono work -- who's supposed to care about that? If you really want to do public interest work, you'll go and do public interest work. If you're de-certifying a class of people who were maimed by an oil refinery fire, the minority business you help incorporate for free isn't going to keep you out of hell.

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For a myriad of reasons, I check our blog stats multiple times each day. I like to see how many people are reading our blog, and where they're coming from. It also keeps me busy during Con Law and Crim when I've run out of blogs and articles to read. I've heard that many professors don't appreciate the incessant web surfing that goes on during class, and the scuttlebutt is that some want wireless disabled during class time. This would be a mistake. Wireless access in the classroom is important inasmuch as it prevents me (and I can't imagine I'm unique in this regard) from lashing out at my fellow classmates and the "contributions" they insist on sharing each and every class. Would I were a professor, I'd be sorely tempted to laugh at some of the comments, which tend to be heavy on feeling and light on constitutional analysis. Far too often, students mistake their personal policy preferences for constitutional mandates. This is not to say I am any smarter than my classmates, or that my opinions are more insightful. I am, however, more discrete, and discretion is a virtue.

We've finally started to average over 100 unique visitors a day, which makes us all feel appreciated, and that the time we sink into this endeavor is worthwhile. This, however, is far from sufficient. We really need to ramp up both the links and the word of mouth advertising; I want a minimum of 250 unique readers a day by the end of the semester.

While I trust our dear readers benefit from the posts carefully and thoughtfully written by my colleagues, I must say I am somewhat upset by the lack of feedback. Besides Cold Gruel, the ever-present and inquisitive 0L, we receive very few emails, and even fewer comments of any substance. People, we added the comment section because we really want you to use it. Post, please! Bacon has suggested that we use a carrot instead of a stick to encourage commenting. If any of you can come up with an appropriate carrot, let me know. Some sort of contest, perhaps, with a prize at the end? A pound of bacon, or a gift certificate for Bangers and Mash at New Deck? This is the last time (for a while at least) that I'll bleg on this topic.

OK, I'm off to get changed for my mock interview. I regret having signed up for this, but it's too late now. I feel sick to my stomach because I just ate a half-pound of Raisinets along with some sour watermelon candy to prepare; the requisite obsequious laughter at my interviewer's insipid jokes is going to require all of the energy I can muster. (And if you think I'm being overly harsh, just sit in the library for a few minutes. The sound of fake laughter pierces the air every 45 seconds.)

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Thursday, April 01, 2004

The cri de coeur two posts below was written by Pork Rind, not Pork Roll. While it is true that I very well may be a depressive neurotic, I have not chosen to explicitly share that with you all (although many would argue, convincingly, that I do so implicitly with each post.)

Like Justice Breyer in Gratz v. Bollinger, who managed the feat of concurring both with Justice O'Connor in the majority and Justice Ginsburg in dissent, I concur simultaneously with my esteemed colleagues Pork Rind, Bacon and Pork N Beans.

Pork Roll, J. Concurring...

Like my colleague Justice Bacon, I agree that law school is "way better than working for a living," and (at least most of the time,) I concur with Justice Pork N Bean's peroration that "life is pretty frickin' fantastic. [L]ife at this law school in particular." However, I do share Justice Pork Rind's fear about the closeness of adulthood, and general disgust with the idea of a full-time job. School life, and my parents, have been very good to me. In short, the conductor has announced last stop, and I don't want to get off. But maybe I will be ready when I get there. This assumes, of course, that I survive the next month, and at this point that is nothing but an assumption. You all know what happens when one assumes...

Perhaps the difference is that both Bacon and Pork N Beans have worked previously, whereas Pork Rind and I have not. Or perhaps they're just more resilient pork products.

PS. Pork Rind -- I'm only having fun with you. It's great to see you posting again! Our readership looks forward to more of your thought-provoking posts in the future.

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y'know, normally i make a point of not posting upon coming back from the bar.

but present circumstances demand it. pork roll and bacon drive me to it. i feel obligated (to cold gruel, the other 0L, who apparently shall remain nameless, and al, if no one else) to make the simple observation that, well, life is pretty frickin' fantastic. life at this law school in particular.

yes, pork roll, we will be able to maintain "student" status for only another couple of years, but, frankly, the real world isn't much different. it's still pretty petty and snarky, for all the adults' blather to the contrary. the fact of the matter is that it's mostly big words and puffery. yes, there are a few smart people who get out alive. but mostly, we just stop and smell the money.

where i'm going with all this is that, frankly, existence isn't worth getting irritated about.

...how boring. an optimistic libertarian. ah, well... maybe there's hope.

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So I've been in a total blue funk lately, and since I am running out of friends to bitch to, I figure I can terrify future law students.

I gotta tell you, I liked law school last year. But second semester sucks hairy, unwashed toes. It's a challenge to get the motivation to come to class, let alone do the reading.

Plus, more and more lately, it sinks in that I am teetering on the brink of adulthood, and that, in three short years, I will be forever stripped of the title "student," which confers upon its bearer the right to evade all responsibility. I will be a grown-up. With a full-time job. (Um, I hope.) I will probably marry someone boring, because that is what people DO. And then, before you know it, there will be kids, and then I'll NEVER be able to quit my job because, well, SOMEONE's gonna have to pay for their analysis.

Now, I've managed to get through high school, four years of college, and a semester of law school without anyone realizing the depths of my incompetence. But sooner or later, someone will find me out. The odds of probability are really against me. Considering how twisted God's sense of humor is, this will probably happen only AFTER I bumble my way through the end of law school. I'll get a job, and then I'll be fired. And I will be the shame of U Penn.

Sometimes, I wonder whether I'd be better off doing some work, instead of wallowing in my existential angst. But then, I just figure, it's all a matter of fate anyway. Pass the alcohol, please.

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My Conversation with Professor Law & Society or Why I'm Grateful for Anonymous Grading

Prof. Law & Society: So are we done talking about death?
Bacon: I guess.
PL&S: Maybe not looking at what you've got there. [He points to my half-open package of Eye Gels and empty Twizzler packet.]
B: Oh, my Eye Gels. Yeah, sometimes my eyes get puffy and I like to wear them in the library.
PL&S: Can you see with them on?
B: No.
PL&S: So that must be good for helping you study.
B: Sarah says they're not good for my Game either.
PL&S: Your game?
B: My game.
PL&S: Oh, yes, your "Game." Very nice.
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I have no idea what's going on here, so don't ask. I'm going out on a limb and saying the take away lesson from this is you can't have conversations like this if you 1) have shame, or 2) have to put your name on your exam at the end of the year.

BONUS: Cold Gruel says I'm paranoid and insults me by asking me if I live in the Grad Tower. If I'm not willing to live in Brooklyn why would I live in the Grad Tower? Also, he titled his email "beauty v. beast, 334 U.S. 2402982428428208204." I don't get law jokes, so anyone who can tell me what this means gets one of the papier mache baskets the Porkroll and I made last week.

DOUBLE BONUS: Another 0L writes to tell me Penn is her 1st choice. I hope she brings her beer goggles.

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