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A Festivus For The Rest of Us


 First semester is in the books…sort of anyway.  Law school isn’t quite like what happened at UMass.  Here we have to wait until about mid January for our grades.  I thought at first that I would think about how I did during the break, but I haven’t given it much more than a fleeting thought.  I figure I can stress out later when they actually come in and worry about how well I need to do on the final exams so I keep my grades up. 

 Thanks to you out there who gave me some advice on how to prepare and focus for the exams.  I followed it as best I could and feel as though I did pretty well on most of the exams.  Many of you who read this have Facebook or participate in some other social media; the students in my section are no different.  I stayed amused by those in my class who posted their anxiety, funny videos, and study break distractions.  The Suffolk Law Dean of Students told us that we should continue to do the things that we did prior to finals starting; so I managed to watch almost every Bruins game.  It gave me some time to cook a real meal and relax.  Thanks to the Bruins for not playing like crap and raising my blood pressure. 

The next semester starts on 9 January, just a few days to enjoy the New Year and get back to it.  This semester our class will substitute Criminal Law for Constitutional Law.  Our section has not received a reading assignment yet, but from what I hear the reading is extensive throughout the semester.  I enjoyed Criminal Law and expect the same from Constitutional Law as well. 

While grades are the true measuring stick of success in law school I feel as though I learned a lot of new information and can feel the way that I analyze problems evolving.  After finals, I was sitting in the room that I use as an office in my apartment wondering what the hell I was going to do with myself for three weeks with no actual reading assignments, briefs to prepare, or LPS papers to stress out about.  I will likely take a few trips this vacation to get in some rest and relaxation, take my mind off of school, and recharge my batteries.  I can’t imagine going back and not making use of the time to relax. 

Enough about school…more about Christmas America’s most celebrated holiday.  There are some stores that have been advertising since Halloween for this all important day.  I think it’s a bit of over kill because it doesn’t matter if they advertise in June most people are still shopping all the way until the day prior anyway.  They could start on December 20th and save us all the trouble.  For instance, the only Christmas music I will humor is Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker (Waltz of the Flowers may or may not have been playing while I typed this) and possibly Maria Carey (and only because I was in my early 20’s when she was still a smoke show) all that other stuff can be muted.  I did a good portion of my shopping with headphones in jamming something acceptable in order to not lose my mind in the stores. 

I will not give previews on what I bought anyone that has the ability to read.  I put the most effort into the kids gifts anyway.  The oldest niece will be stargazing, the next oldest will be making a mess, and my nephew will be good and noisy the way a boy should be.  My youngest niece is a fan of things that make noises so I found her something that was noisy enough to make her happy but not drive my sister crazy.  I went to Toys “R” Us and was happy that I only have to go a few times a year.  I get a little bit excited.  The only way I think I can describe my behavior is that I’m a child with a credit card and poor self-control though I did manage to stay out of the Lego isle, but that’s only because the kids aren’t old enough to play with the really awesome Lego’s yet. 

I think that’s enough for now.  I’ll keep everyone posted about the Christmas break; I’ll likely be in D.C. for a few days hanging around.  I will likely not drive down so I’ll be able to meet anywhere the Metro will take me.   Merry Christmas, Go Pats, Go Bruins, and HAPPY FESTIVUS!

The British are Coming…or Finals


It’s true; the dreaded mid-term/finals period is upon us. Moving in quickly are the sleepless nights either studying or worrying about being unprepared. Lucky for 1L’s at Suffolk Law the administration has taken pity upon us.  They have scheduled three days buffer in between exams, leaving the Criminal Law final for last. As stupid as this is going to sound, I’m glad the tests are coming up soon. I for one like to know where I stand when it comes to school and have found it difficult to figure that out when there have not been any tests. Enough about that whole mess, but if you are one of those people who see me often, I will likely be hiding in a library or the Starbucks on Commercial Ave by my apartment.

Speaking of the Starbucks on Commercial Ave (where I currently sit) a few of my favorite customers have strolled in, more like limped bitching and complaining about every ache and pain they have ever suffered.  Nothing like a few old school Italian women who swear like truck drivers and talk more smack than the New York Jets before a Patriots game. Just my luck they’ve moved closer giving me the opportunity to hear them loud and clear and encounter that sweet smell of cheap perfume and cigarettes.  And so close to Thanksgiving…nothing like a reminder of what I should be thankful for.  If I have a newsbreak in the middle of this entry it’s because the girls next door have something colorful to say that must be shared.

I did double duty this Thanksgiving visiting my Dad’s side first for some tasty bird and a few trimmings.  My strategy was to not over eat at the first stop (I failed) and ensure the variety of selection was such that I would get to try a few different dishes at my sister’s place.  Essentially mashed potato at one but not the other etc.  My sister’s husband brined the turkey this year and I must say I think this is the way to go.  While the food was tasty at both my fathers and sisters houses the highlight was the battle royal between my nieces and nephew.  No one is really sure why the melee ensued but in a flurry my oldest niece was being pummeled by her younger sister while my nephew (whose crying I believe started it all) stood in disbelief that such a small person could open such a large can of whoop ass.  I recorded some of it…pretty funny stuff.  Once the parties were separated and sent to their respective corners my sister stepped in, turned off the football game, and put in some DVD that only adults who are parents are allowed to watch.

Oh no, here comes their favorite punching bag.  A nice old woman who somehow stops in to Starbucks every time I’ve ever seen them in here, they didn’t get the jump on her arrival like they usually do (which typically begins the gossip of how much they hate something about her and finishes with hey how are you? we love your coat, how are the kids)?  The best part of this interaction them trying to block her from sitting down at their table, there must be some reality show mogul out there somewhere capable of turning this into money.  **Update** The newcomer has been sitting with them for 20 minutes and just acknowledged by the group.  I can’t help but wonder if she knows they hate her.  I can’t imagine why…she’s seems like the nicest one!

Keeping with the holiday theme, does anyone out there do a “Secret Santa” drawing to keep the Christmas spending down in their family?  We started last year and use some online program that does all the picking for us, we keep the limit to $100 and you only have to purchase for one person. It’s a pretty good idea and allows you to focus thought process of picking out a gift for only one person.  From what I’m told, my sister tries to figure out who has her every year, so much for keeping things a secret.  I’ll never tell.  I’m soliciting for general ideas; I know what my person likes but I’m always open to suggestions.

I have somehow managed to finish the second to last draft of my LPS paper.  What a pain in the ass this thing has turned into.  I generally like writing but these things are pretty tedious.  I am devising a strategy for the next memo so that I don’t want to toss my computer across the room while writing it.  It’s been a decent first experience but I do wish the conference with our LPS Professor were a little longer.  At least on here it’s not open season on my poor grammar.

Well it’s been real people, but I will likely be out of touch for a few weeks to study for tests, as usual I will be notified by email of any comments.

The British are Coming…or Finals


It’s true; the dreaded mid-term/finals period is upon us. Moving in quickly are the sleepless nights either studying or worrying about being unprepared. Lucky for 1L’s at Suffolk Law the administration has taken pity upon us.  They have scheduled three days buffer in between exams, leaving the Criminal Law final for last. As stupid as this is going to sound, I’m glad the tests are coming up soon. I for one like to know where I stand when it comes to school and have found it difficult to figure that out when there have not been any tests. Enough about that whole mess, but if you are one of those people who see me often, I will likely be hiding in a library or the Starbucks on Commercial Ave by my apartment. 

 Speaking of the Starbucks on Commercial Ave (where I currently sit) a few of my favorite customers have strolled in, more like limped bitching and complaining about every ache and pain they have ever suffered.  Nothing like a few old school Italian women who swear like truck drivers and talk more smack than the New York Jets before a Patriots game. Just my luck they’ve moved closer giving me the opportunity to hear them loud and clear and encounter that sweet smell of cheap perfume and cigarettes.  And so close to Thanksgiving…nothing like a reminder of what I should be thankful for.  If I have a newsbreak in the middle of this entry it’s because the girls next door have something colorful to say that must be shared.

I did double duty this Thanksgiving visiting my Dad’s side first for some tasty bird and a few trimmings.  My strategy was to not over eat at the first stop (I failed) and ensure the variety of selection was such that I would get to try a few different dishes at my sister’s place.  Essentially mashed potato at one but not the other etc.  My sister’s husband brined the turkey this year and I must say I think this is the way to go.  While the food was tasty at both my fathers and sisters houses the highlight was the battle royal between my nieces and nephew.  No one is really sure why the melee ensued but in a flurry my oldest niece was being pummeled by her younger sister while my nephew (whose crying I believe started it all) stood in disbelief that such a small person could open such a large can of whoop ass.  I recorded some of it…pretty funny stuff.  Once the parties were separated and sent to their respective corners my sister stepped in, turned off the football game, and put in some DVD that only adults who are parents are allowed to watch. 

Oh no, here comes their favorite punching bag.  A nice old woman who somehow stops in to Starbucks every time I’ve ever seen them in here, they didn’t get the jump on her arrival like they usually do (which typically begins the gossip of how much they hate something about her and finishes with hey how are you? we love your coat, how are the kids)?  The best part of this interaction them trying to block her from sitting down at their table, there must be some reality show mogul out there somewhere capable of turning this into money.  **Update** The newcomer has been sitting with them for 20 minutes and just acknowledged by the group.  I can’t help but wonder if she knows they hate her.  I can’t imagine why…she’s seems like the nicest one!  

Keeping with the holiday theme, does anyone out there do a “Secret Santa” drawing to keep the Christmas spending down in their family?  We started last year and use some online program that does all the picking for us, we keep the limit to $100 and you only have to purchase for one person. It’s a pretty good idea and allows you to focus thought process of picking out a gift for only one person.  From what I’m told, my sister tries to figure out who has her every year, so much for keeping things a secret.  I’ll never tell.  I’m soliciting for general ideas; I know what my person likes but I’m always open to suggestions. 

I have somehow managed to finish the second to last draft of my LPS paper.  What a pain in the ass this thing has turned into.  I generally like writing but these things are pretty tedious.  I am devising a strategy for the next memo so that I don’t want to toss my computer across the room while writing it.  It’s been a decent first experience but I do wish the conference with our LPS Professor were a little longer.  At least on here it’s not open season on my poor grammar.

Well it’s been real people, but I will likely be out of touch for a few weeks to study for tests, as usual I will be notified by email of any comments. 

Suffolk Law Update


Hello again,

I thought I would share a little breaking news. Just today an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk Law resigned. His letter of resignation and a podcast of the interview can be found on Michael Graham’s website. I have shared the link.

I think some will say he should have stayed and fought the good fight. It appears being there didn’t seem to matter to the faculty at all, since they didn’t feel the need to invite him to speak where he might have been able to articulate an opposing argument.

I for one am disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to take his class. Those of you who know my background know I enjoy his area of expertise.

Good luck to you Mr. Roughsedge, I’m sure we have not heard the last of you.

Read the Resignation letter here:

http://michaelgraham.com/archives/suffolk-law-prof-resigns-over-school-rsquo-s-handling-of-military-bashing-faculty/

Listen to the podcast here:

http://www.969bostontalks.com/podcast/Episodes.aspx?PID=1468

Top of the Muffin to you!


Hello out there,

A couple interesting things have been going on since the last update. The Bruins are perfect in November winning 8 straight games and the law school I attend was in the news for a few days based off of some comments by one of our professors.

First the Bruins…Nothing like coming home after being gone 15 years to a winning and competitive hockey team. My teenage years were ruined by Montreal led by a goalie I refuse to name that will never be welcome within 500 ft. of my present location at any time until one of us passes. After a slow start they decide its time to show the rest of the NHL who won last year. I’m going to assume they let the first few games go to give the sports announcers something to talk about for the first few weeks of the season. In my opinion they have looked better in the last 10 games than they did in the playoffs last year. I had the pleasure of attending on Tuesday evening to see them defeat New Jersey. Tuesday’s game was Military Appreciation Night. There were a lot of current military and National Guard members in attendance to enjoy the game, take down a few beers, and receive some much earned thanks.

Those of you in the Boston area and those that pay close attention to the news in other areas may have read a response one of the Suffolk Law Professors made in response to an email from our Veterans Association who were asking for care package items for troops deployed to Afghanistan (which includes one of our current students). If you haven’t read the email I have included the link to Michael Graham’s webpage and blog “The Natural Truth”. If you look around the webpage he posts updates. If you want to read a copy article and laugh your ass off at the comments go to barstoolsports.com and find what they posted.

My initial thoughts about the email were that of annoyance. After having a night to sleep on it and give it another good read, I cooled down a bit. I’m stealing this and likely paraphrasing from my brother-in-law but what he said rings true…you may have the right to say whatever you want but that doesn’t mean people won’t think you’re a nut. Oddly enough, a friend of mine observed Mr. Avery while smoking in front of our building and sure enough the faculty didn’t seem too interested in his company and chose to enjoy their break as far from him as they could. While many of you will be outraged by the comments and likely disagree on where Mr. Avery lays the blame, Suffolk Law decided to stand behind his First Amendment rights while assuring everyone his views were not that of the school and that they had a strong record of being friendly toward vets. It seemed to be a pretty weak stance but my assumption is that once alumni contributions slow down they will likely take a different angle. I’m sure there are many that called for his immediate removal but it is my understanding that he is teaching this semester and it would be unfair to the students enrolled in his classes to take their professor away before finals and be assessed by another who is unfamiliar with what material he covered during the semester.

It should be interesting next semester since I am scheduled to be in Mr. Avery’s Constitutional Law class. Initially I thought transferring from the class would make sense since if one were to take out “veteran” from the email and put any one religion, race, color, national region etc. in it’s place and all hell would have broken loose. But since veterans are not a protected class I think it should be interesting to see how he handles himself when there are at least three that I know of who are scheduled to attend his class.

As mentioned in previous posts, law school limits testing until the end of the semester. Four of my classes are having midterms and there is a three-hour final in Criminal Law. The testing period is 7-20 December with a nice bit of time between each test. It should be interesting to see everyone freaking out, some hide it better than others but we will likely all have a look of weariness on our faces soon. I for one am looking to see how much I have actually learned. It has been a struggle at times but I have tried to continue with the enthusiasm I started out with. There are classes (contracts) that try to ruin that focus but I think I am keeping a pretty decent handle on things so far.

I’ll likely write something over thanksgiving…until then…enjoy your turkey and make sure if you’re going to fry it, that you do so outside the fire department will be busy enough putting out the fire at your neighbors house.

http://michaelgraham.com/archives/suffolk-law-school-prof-on-us-military-they-rsquo-re-ldquo-killers-rdquo-sympathy-for-them-ldquo-not-rational-in-today-rsquo-s-world-rdquo/

A week full of Birthdays….where’s my party hat?


So I’ve been reading contracts for the better part of 2 hours now. I decided to take a newer approach (if you’re not reading the previous posts or are not in my class you should know this is the worst class of my first year). I left my casebook and supplemental to the casebook at school and took only my Calamari and Perillo book and another supplemental I flipped through this summer. My hope was to look through the table of contents and find areas that I was weak in or couldn’t begin to explain. I’m not sure if it will work but it has proven to be more frustrating then fumbling through the casebook. Now I’m not saying that I don’t know anything about contracts, I just don’t know as much as I probably should at this point in the semester, which makes it difficult to start studying for midterms.

The need for change stemmed from receiving past exam questions from our professor. After giving them a good read I know I am definitely have an idea of what is being asked and the issues but feel like I am ill equipped to give a sufficient answer. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not the only one having difficulty but I am hardly one of those people to put my faith in the “law school curve.” Speaking to a few folks who had my contracts professor last year instilled little confidence the explanations were going to get any better. Anyone out there with a suggestion on a different approach is welcome to comment…I’m all ears at this point.

Someone is having a birthday party tomorrow…no it’s not me. I do need to find a gift for a seven year old girl, I was thinking a car but it’s a little early and they lose their value so quickly. I’ve had a pretty good run with niece/nephew gifts over the years but feel that slipping away; they’re outgrowing me so quickly. Tomorrow morning might be spent in Toy’s R Us trying to stop myself from buying Lego’s and GI Joes. I suppose if I cannot control my childish urges I can donate them to Toy’s for Tots which should be getting started pretty soon since Christmas shopping is coming up soon.

The Marine Corps will be turning 236 years old on November 10th. Congrats to those past, present and future Marines for being the finest fighting force in modern times. For those of you not familiar, there is a procedure for the Marine Corps Birthday. General Lejeune’s Birthday message is read along with a cake cutting ceremony that recognizes the oldest and youngest Marine present. When I first joined the current Commandant’s message was read but now we usually watch a video instead. This year’s video is pretty impressive and it’s posted to the blog. If you are lucky enough to be near a Marine Corps base or a large gathering of Marines you should ask if they are doing a pageant where Marines wear the uniforms of Marine Corps past and explain their historical significance. It’s a pretty cool event that many people around the world look forward to each year. Friends who have been on Marine Security Guard duty at U.S. Embassy’s around the world tell me that every diplomat in the country seeks out an invitation to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball each year.

My grandmother Connie will be turning 25 again this week on Veterans Day. She’s a spry 25 still jogging 3 miles a day and lifting weights. All right maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but she would if she could. She’s one hell of a puzzle finisher. Now if only my grandfather would stop hiding the pieces.

That’s enough for this week. I think I’ll study contracts at a coffee shop or the library so someone can stop me if I look like I’m smacking my head against the wall too hard ☺