Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Day After... The Party!

So this past weekend was Halloween, right? Aside from being a great time where women dress in next to nothing, it's also a time to come back to class/work on Monday morning and look at all the people you did inappropriate things with over the weekend and feel embarrassed.

That statement, of course, assumes that your job/school had a Halloween party involving a great deal of alcohol.

Now that the weekend is passed (like a kidney stone), I shall enumerate some of the more embarrassing events.

First, thanks to the magic of facebook, you can clearly see me destroying a very cute picture of a Couple by standing in the background and cheesing it up.

Actually, I still haven't decided how I feel about that picture. On the one hand, if the girl of the couple were only able to take the stick out of her a§§ for about 3 seconds, she'd think the picture was funny, so I'm irritated at her for being such a stick in the mud who gets pissed off when you disrupt her world. There's another word for that, but I'll refrain.

On the other hand, I hate to piss people off, and I'm sure she spent half an hour crying because such an important moment was ruined forever.

Second, when I get in a "state," (meaning drunk) I find myself getting very handsy. I believe this results from several factors. A) I naturally like people. B) I'm a lonely guy. C) Due to the dearth of ass in my life, I have to find other ways to get me some.

The wild thing about this is drunk people tend to react pretty positively to handsiness. At least, in the short term. Oh, nothing serious ever comes of it - at least for me - but the overwhelming negative reactions of sober people just don't exist.

Then Monday rolls around. Ah, Monday. The nervous grin. The ridiculously uncomfortable wave. The fleeting thought that probably passes through the girl's mind, "Well, at least I didn't wake up in his bed...."

Yes, no one likes Mondays.

Or maybe I'm just in a bad mood, because I've managed to convince myself that what's-her-name is not, in fact, interested, when I had myself all certain that maybe she was. That's also possible.

Of course, if I go down that thought process, I'll start to get all depressed and start crying about how fat I am.

And no one wants to hear that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Social Rejects

A funny thing that is often pushed home while wandering the pilloried halls of the law school is the fact that law students, as a whole, are introverted people. We aren't really flashy. We aren't out to make a million friends like MBA people. We simply do our best to fit in and try not to be too socially retarded at the same time.

(At least two words in the previous paragraph have multiple meanings, depending on my intent. Can you name them?)

This comes out in any number of ways. There are those who don't like going out. There are those who always go out, because they want to learn about this "being accepted" thing. There are those who say WILDLY inappropriate things, because they haven't mastered the art of social situations. There tends to be an overall lack of communication that can come out in the most unexpected of moments (like all good lacks of communication do).

You often hear, when people talk about law school, that it's like going back to high school. I really can't think of a more appropriate idea. The thing about high school is the uncertainty. People don't know what they are supposed to do and who they are supposed to be.

Law school, as far as I can tell, consists of those people who still haven't really figured that out.

But then, maybe I'm being a little too harsh on law students. Maybe this uncertainty goes beyond law students. Maybe the world is filled with those who have it figured out (dumb, unimaginative people) and those who don't (smart, creative people, who realize just how tricky the world can be).

Or maybe the fact that this post is written by a law student makes it wholly unobjective and one sided.

Or maybe you need to suck it, reasonable side of my brain!

Monday, October 15, 2007

a tough break

Hey! I just wrote something. Now I'm back.

The hour break just now was unexpectedly difficult for me. If I haven't mentioned this before, I have three car pool buddies. All of them have jobs for the summer. I don't. All of them have GPAs better than mine. And all of their jobs are with high paying firms that practically guarantee, no matter which firm I work for, I will probably start around at least $30k/yr lower on the pay scale.

That all sucks, but I've been dealing with it.

The break brought a new thought that really drove home the disparity between myself and my friends. One of them had applied with the IRS. He got an interview; he got a call-back; and he got an almost immediate job offer. Unfortunately for the IRS, he had decided to go with another firm.

So today, as we were studying income tax law, funnily enough, the IRS called him back, said they were sad that he couldn't work for them, but further said that, if he wanted a job next year, just about all he had to do was ask.

I also applied to the IRS. I did not got an initial interview.

In retrospect, it's almost painful to see how important one year of law school is. The career services guy thinks that I shouldn't have a problem getting a job in the small to midsize firms over the summer. Probably not at a place where they tend to make offers out of the summer program, but I'll at least get experience.

To get this job, I'll need to write about 100 letters, identify 100 firms, pray to whatever god I believe in, and wait.

The crazy thing about all of this is that I'm in the top third of the class. Not the top quarter, just the top third. I don't have any idea what people with worse GPAs are thinking right now.

In retrospect, this may be a hard life I've chosen.

But what else am I going to do?

What is a blog? and other law organization questions

Today I learned that blogs consist primarily of people with a specific background providing context to world events using their own experience. Now, if that means blogs are basically a bunch of people yelling about how pissed off they are and/or showing pictures of their cats, then I completely agree.

This is not my cat, nor it is my family's cat.

Anyway, an odd part of law school is the way real things are going on that actually affect peoples' lives, but at the same time there's such a strong high school aura that permeates everything. So, for example, today we had a meeting of the leaders of all the organizations. We all knew each other. We were all good buddies. And yet our discussions and actions are likely to move thousands, possibly even tens of thousands of dollars in various directions.

I think there's something reassuring about working with strangers in that regard. The threat of GroupThink shrinks, because assigned roles are not as easily fallen into. At least, I think that might be the case. That said, it's not like there's a crazy amount of money being tossed around in the first place. We're certainly not NASA.

I don't know. I don't really have a point today, just a random set of thoughts.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Background

It seems that if I take too long to write a new post, crickets begin to chirp. Or else anonymous is making some other kind of statement that I am misinterpreting.

And so, you might ask, what shall I talk about? Should I talk about how KU is ranked for the first time in over 10 years? Nah, that's pretty adequately covered elsewhere. What about the fact that I'm watching Bride and Prejudice, just going to prove that I really, really want to be Mr. Darcy? Definitely not. In fact, I should probably delete that last sentence.

Actually, I will say this: Jane Austen simply did not get self-effacing humor. This ruins my personality for generations of women who read her novels. Truly a tragedy.

Back on point, what should I talk about? Only two things of interest come to mind. I'm currently doing a small to mid-size firm job search, and I like background characters in movies who have few lines but say a whole lot with their eyes.

Case in point, if you've been watching the Harry Potter movies, you should have been noticing Ginny. She's cute. She's tiny. She doesn't say much. Yet she's always in the background. Somehow, the camera always manages to pick her up and catch her unreadable expressions.

I totally dig that. Even better than that, I like two characters to sit in the background, one clearly hurting because of what is going on in the foreground and the other empathizing wordlessly. In my opinion, that is the most magical of storytelling moments. The thing that tugs at my heart strings is rarely the main plot. It's the side characters. The people who sit in the background and open the world of the story up for the audience. For those of you who enjoy Harry Potter, that character is Looney Lovegood. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its Xander.

These are the people we know. Who really identifies with Harry Potter? Who identifies with Ender? Who sees Edmund Dantes in themselves? No one. None of us sees within himself the hero. We are those other people. Looney. Bean. Jacopo. We are everyone else.

I fear that this entry is a little too random and probably overly repetitive, so I suppose I'll end for now, but don't think I'm letting you all off the hook on this one. I definitely feel an important point coming out of this. I just need more time to think it through.

Have a good fall break.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why unofficial law blogs rock

I'm sitting at the bookstore right now, helping no one, doing nothing, and watching the 1Ls all vote for their SBA reps, class presidents, etc. Way to go, those guys.

Anyway, the next thing I'd like to talk about is the difference between official and unofficial law school blogs. I just spent an hour checking out the official Harvard recruiting blog and the official Chicago recruiting blog, and I can tell you one thing right now, for all that they might offer some interesting content, none of them can compare with this.

That's right. Some law student out there wrote a blog entry all about Pandas not be copyright-able because they aren't a fixed medium of expression.

THAT is why I wanted to go to law school. Actually, THIS is why I wanted to go law school, but surely that is a close second.

Now compare those with the Harvard Admissions blog.

One word:


I mean, really? Newspaper-style blogging with quotes from other people? And properly done quotes, at that? That's not seat-of-your pants blogging. That's not the random thoughts of a guy writing stream of consciousness.

Worst of all, the writing is done is big, block paragraphs. Who wants to read a paragraph longer than three sentences? Tools, that's who. Tools.

I don't claim that my blog is actually funny. It is, but I don't make that claim. I am, however, happy to claim that it doesn't sound like an infomercial wrapped in a news item.

Am I happy about having gone to KU for law school? Yes. Do I plan on pulling any punches about KU? Only to the extent than I don't get yelled at.

A person buys a product because of the sizzle. And for something to sizzle, it has to be interesting, original, jagged, different, scary, exciting, and, most of all, real.

The Harvard that I read about in the aforementioned blog isn't real. It's a veneer. It's law school behind a silk screen. It provides no additional reason to want to go to Harvard.

Mind you, we are talking about Harvard, so it isn't like there needs to be any additional reason.

But my point stands. A good blog wouldn't talk about the school in a general, generic way like that. A good blog would say:

Today, Prater got down on his knees, put on a paper hat, and yelled, "Vive La France!"


This week, S won in Gunner Bingo. It was a close race. The gunner who won it for him probably didn't notice all the groans in the room, because he is a gunner, but if he had, he probably wouldn't have known what was going on.


T seems to be listening to World Music at the 1L voting booth. Now he is dancing. It's official. Law School cracked T, and I don't care.

Speaking of which, they really are listening to World Music at the voting booth. One person is trying to form a one man drumming circle. Kansas Law: We have fewer hippies than the undergrads do!

The First of Many Things: KU v UK

Well, it's time for my friday entry, and I just have too many things that I want to write at length about.

too many things = two

The first thing that I was considering on my way in to school was the nature of the difference between a P and a J personality, according to the Myers-Briggs test, and how those personality differences can have an interesting effect on a person's type of law school success.

The other thing I'd like to discuss is an array of oddities. Namely, a recent court decision in favor of the RIAA, the difference between Official and Unofficial law school blogging, why Terry Pratchett is awesome, NJ gets rejected, KU-KSU, and the origin of the letter flip regarding KU rather than UK.

Alright, so "two" is a bit of intellectual dishonesty.

Let's start with that last one and work our way up.

Recently, as a result of this KU-K State game, an awful lot of people have been arguing back and forth about why KU isn't called UK. I think this is mostly because stupid people come up with stupid reasons to fight.

Anyway, when I walked away from the din of that ridiculous verbal battle, it occurred to me to actually try to find out why the University of Kansas is called KU, rather than the more obvious UK.

My first step was to dispel the myth that KU is called KU, because Kentucky already uses UK.

If we turn to the wikipedia entry on the Univ. of Kentucky, we find that UK first came into being in 1865. Curiously, this is the same year that KU came into being, though students didn't begin attending KU until 1866. Since then, UK has gone through a diverse array of name changes, including the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, State University Lexington Kentucky, and, of course, the University of Kentucky. In that time it has splintered in a few different directions and did not exist in its modern form until 1916.

Regrettably, the wiki page dedicated to KU focuses more on the present than the past, though a few things are notable. First, KU football dates from 1890, and basketball dates from 1898, when James Naismith agreed to coach here. UK football dates from sometime in the 1890s, and basketball dates from 1902, when it was originally a girls sport.

The man who put UK basketball on the map was Adolph Rupp, a Halstead, KS native who was a reserve on the KU basketball team under Phog Allen and who was mentored by James Naismith.

All of this indicates, at least to me, that neither team was particularly first out the gate athletically, or as a University in general. And, if we were to try to find the "first out the gate," I'd probably have to tip in favor of KU with the University name going through fewer perturbations and the athletic achievement settled first by dint of having coached the UK coach.

Which means we should look elsewhere for the reason KU is called KU.

Regrettably, from this point forward all I have is conjecture. Notable is the fact that former Big 8 schools that don't have a "State" in their name go by a similar naming scheme (e.g. Univ. of Missouri is MU, Univ. of Colorado is CU, Univ. of Oklahoma is OU).

This might mean that something about these specific schools lent to this change. Two possible theories exist. One is that these schools wanted to not be confused with their more populated coast-hugging name brethren. The other is that each of these schools have changed their name in the past.

KU, I know, may fall within this category. Old, old pictures in the law school refer to the university as Kansas University. This would fit with certain other midwestern schools, such as Indiana University and Ohio University. It may well be that the abbreviation was associated with the school (and especially the school athletic programs) LONG ago when sports were big, then the school changed its name, but kept the old nomenclature.

In fact, this theory helps to understand why UK is called UK, rather than some other crazy name. Sports programs at Kentucky did not become big until well after it had ultimately adopted its modern name.

Now that we have our preferred hypothesis established (KU was called Kansas University by sports fans, who don't go changing abbreviations simply because the school changed its name), we need only find, as the archaeologists do, one or two pieces of evidence that KU was still called Kansas University during the heyday of early university athletics.