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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Home from NYC. Tired. Computer fixed. Happy. |
 

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Between serious computer problems, Christmas, and going out of town, I haven't had much time or ability to write. I think I'm about to switch ISPs. I have used AOL for the last 10 years, and truly have had no complaints. I know it's overpriced, but since I had no problems, it seemed worth it to me in order to maintain the same email address, if nothing else. Well, I tried to download AOL 9.0 Security Edition, and that caused all of my internet connectivity to be destroyed. I can no longer use high speed anywhere, and I can't even use dial-up. And after hours on the phone with AOL people, they have no idea how to fix it. It also caused my computer to start giving me error messages and no longer recognize what is in the CD drive. These are not good things. I expect that a computer person will be able to fix these problems, but I am seriously considering cancelling AOL. They should be able to fix my problem. And they should have told me to back up my files before telling me to delete all versions of AOL. Do they have any idea how many emails from guys I deleted that I wanted to save forever? Not to mention emails with passwords to random sites or financial aid information or other important emails. So, I'm angry and I need to decide what to do.

At the moment I am using an actual desktop computer at a relative's house in New York. It is kind of fun. I'm here on a girl's shopping trip with relatives for the next couple of days. The shopping would be much more fun if I had money. I guess I'll just pretend like I do. |
 

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Well, I am back to my regular routine. Get up too early (but not as early as intended), go to work, check my email, read every single MSN homepage news story (except some about cars, but especially the celebrity gossip), check my email, work on whatever assignment is most urgent, get another more urgent assignment, check my email, work on the more urgent assignment, get a phone call from my best friend desperately needing to discuss some romantic crisis that consists of “He kind of seemed grumpy yesterday,” finish the more urgent assignment, check my email, go get lunch at my very favorite lunch place, or if it’s too cold, get soup downstairs, eat at my desk, repeat until it’s time to leave. This routine is of course the non-school routine. School only alters it by adding in somewhere, go to class for fifty minutes, check my email, listen, don’t take notes, check my email. I like routines.

I got an email from the prosecutor I saw over the weekend (actually I've gotten four since I left, but there is only one that is the subject of what I’m about to write). How can guys be so offensive without even trying? He wrote me an email that for his sake I am assuming was written when he was drunk that seriously confused me by its complete classlessness. And I don’t expect that much. Really. I wasn’t upset by it at all, just disappointed, as usual. It wasn’t even anything that if he had real dating potential (i.e., lived here), I would especially hold against him. I would just need to gently instruct him on what is and is not appropriate. This has made me think I may need to slightly expand my list of requirements to: taller than me, non-smoking, a sixth-grade level of refinement (that’s the addition). I have officially decided that I want to "date" someone. The interaction with various boys over the last few months has been fun, and I would like to have fun consistently. By "date," I mean see someone on a regular basis and have an open mind that it could be a good thing. I do not mean fall in love. In fact, I was just thinking that I can’t even imagine/remember what it feels like to be in love or what it is someone does that tricks you into thinking you’re in love. I genuinely don’t believe I’m jaded, just sufficiently wounded to be disbelieving. But my outlook is moving in a positive direction, I think. |
 

Sunday, December 19, 2004

It was a great weekend. Great. Like 12 straight hours of being adored and entertained can't help but be great. And there was shopping and really good food, too. I don't want to wake up and go to work tomorrow and have the weekend really be over. :( |
 

Friday, December 17, 2004

The paper isn't finished yet, but I have decided that I am not working on it on the plane. I still have Monday, and it's in pretty good shape. I just don't want to carry my computer through airports. This will be the first time I've flown without a laptop in probably eight years. How freeing. So now I can go away for two and a half days and just have fun and relax...and shop. Then Monday, back to reality. At least until I go away again on the 26th. This is turning out to be a fun break after all. |
 

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I have "heard" that Dressler's crim pro class in the spring is really hard. And I've heard that it's boring. And I've heard he gives lots of Ds. And no As. I would strongly recommend that any OSU student reading this seriously consider dropping the class before it's too late. Disclaimer: There is a slight possibility that I have a personal stake in this. |
 

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

So Scott Peterson got the death penalty. I'm not shocked at all, but I think this case really points out that proponents of the death penalty really ought to be arguing that it is underutilized. I so often hear people say they approve of the death penalty, but "only in the worst cases." But I bet if you ask most of those people, they will say that Peterson deserves the death penalty. And yet, he is so clearly not one of the "worst cases." According to the jury's verdict he killed his pregnant wife. Horrible, but not really that unusual. He isn't a serial killer; he didn't chop his wife's body up and all her parents had to bury was an arm; he didn't torture her for weeks before killing her. Basically, this was a run of the mill murder. Horrible and deserving of punishment, but not a worst case. Publicity made it somehow seem worse I suppose. His "lack of emotion" and "remorse" during the trial made it seem worse I suppose. But he was maintaining his innocence, so what do people expect? Maybe this is just the ultimate case of victim valuation. Whatever the explanation, anyone who truly believes Scott Peterson deserves to die for murdering his pregnant wife should be advocating that every other convicted murderer die, too. Inequity in application is one of the many reasons I oppose the death penalty, but it's not a point I like to argue because "fixing" that problem could only increase the number of executions. |
 
I am having lots of computer problems of varying sorts. Please, someone, help me. Most annoying is that for the last week, about 75% of the time when I go online at home I cannot open any websites. AOL opens fine; I can email; I can IM; but I can't actually do anything else. What is going on??? Also, this past semester I took the law of cyberspace seminar, which you might think would only improve my computer knowledge/use. In the first or second week we were casually talking about various computer scanning software and people recommended good programs. Having been previously indoctrinated into the paranoia of cybersecurity, I already kind of did this stuff, but not that frequently. So, I diligently started scanning my computer (and also got updated virus protection, again). And ever since, there are so many pop-ups that I virtually cannot use my computer. This is especially a problem when I'm using wireless, but it is a problem even at home. I'm close to paying someone to make this stop, if that's possible.

On to non-complaining topics...

My one and only exam is done as of 4:30 yesterday. It wasn't bad at all, but in law school that doesn't mean anything. What it means is that everyone thought it was easy, so grades will be completely unpredictable. I much prefer (no, I don't) harder exams, where at least you have some idea how you did in comparison, even if it is bad. Now I desperately need to finish my seminar paper. I don't have that much to do, and yet I do. This isn't a seminar where I can turn in something that is not 100% polished. I care too much about what individual professors think of me. Of course that works in reverse if I take courses from professors I don't like, but I've stopped doing that. My goal is to have my paper finished by Thursday night, because I am going out of town Friday morning. But there is always the possibility that I could end up working on the plane. I would just really like the freedom of leaving my computer at home for three days.

And speaking of those three days... It is just bizarre that the out-of-town prosecutor is so excited to see me. Hello. I live in Ohio. It is completely random that he is getting to see me again at all, and such randomness is unlikely to repeat itself. I may very well go visit my friend again, but generally I only make it to see her about once a year, so he shouldn't hold his breath. But I shouldn't complain. It will be fun. And at least I have someone to pick me up from the airport. |
 

Thursday, December 09, 2004

This afternoon I will be helping coach a mock trial team. Hmmm, I'm not good enough to be on one, but I can coach. Hopefully I won't screw up these kids' chances. It is some dull, civil problem, but I still think it should be fun. You know, the kids who want to do things like mock trial are always the cool kids. Right?

But first, as always, more journal work. |
 

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I am so frustrated by my DV case. Why do these women back out? It's not like it's a surprise, but it is still so frustrating. I don't appreciate being made to feel like I'm doing something wrong. If the marriage breaks up, it's their doing, not mine. It isn't just that it is domestic violence either; I have really strong feelings about violence in general. Violence is never appropriate and I am glad I have this brief chance to take a stand.

I got to have an interesting conversation about it with a prosecutor I know from out of town. He was quizzing me about how I would get different evidence in if the victim refuses to testify or lies. It was pretty funny really. And pathetic when we started making hearsay jokes. I always think that dating a lawyer would be ideal because nothing (conversation wise) makes me happier than discussing law, but when I talk to him I always wonder if he thinks I am boring because we never talk about anything else. (I can talk about other things, really!) I kind of have a date with him in a couple weeks. Only kind of because he lives hundreds of miles away, but still fun. |
 

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

If you subtract the time spent gossiping/predicting the difficulty of exams, I spent a good seven hours preparing for my crim pro exam today. I'm so proud. I have outlined all but the last two sections in a manner which for me is pretty thorough. I should be able to easily finish outlining tomorrow and then review over the next several days. I am glad it went well today because I have so many things to do this week besides study. My most pressing obilgations are to finish my externship assignments, finish an assignment for work, and enter changes on 17 journal articles. Plus I'm having a Christmas party which will require shopping and cooking. If you are male, single, and tall and want to come to my party, you're invited. Seriously. |
 
If my computer battery says I have two and a half hours of power, but then the power mysteriously disappears faster and I really only have 45 minutes, does that mean I need a new battery?

Last night we celebrated volume 2:2 of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law going to press. It was a fun night and was fairly well attended. We had lots and lots of appetizers, curtesy of Berman, who was unable to join us. I am glad that issue is finally behind us, but it was the most fun issue I have worked on because so many of the articles were really interesting. 1:1 was like that too, but as a 2L I didn't get to read nearly so many articles. I think one of the best things about our journal is that it is actually enjoyable to read the articles. Now let's see how I enjoy reading about criminal responsibility. |
 

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The studying didn't go so well today. But I did complete my weekend o' movies. I have watched Spiderman 2, Before Sunset, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Monster. I also really want to see both of the movies Chris saw this weekend. Spiderman 2 was overly violent for me at some points, but basically okay. Before Sunset was too talky without being well enough written, but also okay even though the ending was not at all fulfilling. Monster was good, though disturbing. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was really, really good. The structure itself was phenomenal and the themes were ones that can't help but be gripping. It made me think, it is only the people we really love who we want/need to erase from our memories. I remember that my ex used to ask me all the time if I would erase him from my memory if I could. This was when we were still together, or at least somewhat together. I guess it isn't that novel of a concept, but it always struck me as a little odd that he would ask. The worst part is that I always said yes. I would still say yes. |
 

Friday, December 03, 2004

Well, I got the "closure" I needed. Namely by Dylan acting like a prick, but at least there is no misinterpreting that. And I am about 90% fine with it too. So on to better topics...

Last night the prosecution practicum class had our final meeting (at a bar) and it was really fun. I had several interesting conversations with people who I had never really spoken to before and who are very different from me. The most shocking thing was that several people said that they often didn't know how I felt about issues we discussed in class. Normally everyone knows exactly how I feel, primarily because I make no effort to disguise what I am thinking from showing on my face. I am glad they didn't know though, because I already felt like the liberal pariah.

I would encourage every law student to take either the prosecution or defense practicum. There are obviously endless benefits to taking practical classes in law school. These two courses in particular I believe are especially worthwhile. For one thing, prosecution and public defense are honorable ways to serve. The old ideals of attorneys using at least part of their career to give to society and the profession through public service may be fading away, but this is a three month opportunity for law students to serve. Second, I firmly believe that criminal law is about what really matters: people's lives. Of course jobs and and medical bills and businesses matter and are often intimately tied up with people's lives, but criminal law is about liberty and justice and healing and stigma and the very essence of a person's life. Most law students will not practice criminal law, and I'm not saying that they should (I won't be, at least at first). But it is awesome to have a very brief impact on matters of such gravity.

For anyone trying to decide which practicum to take, I don't think it matters. Of course I say that not having taken the defense practicum, but many of my friends did last year (and they all wanted to be prosecutors). Even if you think you have a very strong inclination to one side or the other, either practicum will be valuable. In fact, taking the other might be more valuable. I am clearly defense oriented, but I think that I learned far more by actually prosecuting people than I would have by defending people. It was a chance for me to evaluate the good faith of the prosecutor's office. I had to confront that there are some (lots) people who clearly deserve to be punished. And of course it is always valuable to have insight into how the other side thinks. Neither side operates in isolation, so what you are really learning about is how the criminal justice system as a whole functions in practice.

I have enjoyed a lot of classes in law school, but so far this has probably been my most valuable experience and I would recommend it to everyone. |
 

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I saw Dylan tonight. It was good. He was totally friendly. But definitely not more-than-friendly. You know what I want to say to him? I want to say, when we are a little bit drunk, but not too much, "Dylan...I am disappointed by how things are between us now. And I am relieved. I was falling for you just a little bit. And I was close to running away too. Don't act weird and don't get too close." Sure, I would have liked him to come home with me tonight, but I am completely happy too, because things are cool between us and I am safer when he doesn't come home with me. I am smiling for real again. :) |
 
No more classes! Of course, the next couple of weeks will be far more demanding than the last fourteen, but it is a fabulous feeling not to have class again for over a month. I talked to my best friend tonight and told her I was done with classes and her very predictable response was, "so then you have nothing to do, right?" It makes me crazy. You know what I have to do? I have to study. I have to rewrite a paper. I have to revise my note some more. I have to work. A lot. I have to get ready for my Christmas party. I have to get my hair cut. I have to buy Christmas gifts. I have to do all the things I am too busy to do when I have classes. And I have to sleep.

I am so annoyed at blogger, like usual. Monday I wrote a semi-substantive post which vanished as soon as I hit publish. And now I can't even remember what it was about. Obviously it wasn't that substantive. I guess as long as my permalinks don't disappear again I shouldn't complain.

Tonight I am on my way to Franklin Park Conservatory for a candelight vigil in honor of World AIDS day. I haven't been to the conservatory in years, so this should be an interesting way to see it again. There is a brand new exhibit, and the conservatory always has a different feel at night, which will only be more dramatic given the occasion. |