Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm done

See you in September. Yeah, school starts in August, but I'll roll up around Labor Day. I'm post-PC, so I'll do what I want.


I'll be at the Baylor Law School Summer Commencement Exercises on July 29th, so don't think if I haven't said "so long" it's because I hate you. If I don't say "so long" next Saturday, though, it is because I hate you.

Here's a preemptive (and as per Baylor, provisional) "Congratulations!" to all of my classmates graduating next weekend, and a hearty "Good Luck!!" to all of the same who are taking the bar exam next week.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

One more left

I believe it was our Lord who said "man shall not live on professor-posted Products Liability slides alone." I'm about to try to prove Him wrong when I roll up for my final final of the quarter on Thursday. Let's just say that while my attendance record was worse in Conflicts of Laws and Securities Regulation, it wasn't worse by much.

That said, I feel empowered by my PC-ness, as evidenced by the bitch-slapping I gave the Appellate Procedure exam. Here's a memo to those of you who haven't yet taken that one-unit wonder (I mean course hours, not like Lance Armstrong):

Everyone in PC II (or who is post-PC) should take this gift of a class, er, I mean this Practice Court seminar in preservation of error. Take it, that is, if you need one unit. Along those lines, I would advise against taking it if you haven't had PC yet. I can't imagine trying to wrap your head around what a restricted appeal is if you haven't had PC yet.

Just some advice from a guy who hasn't gotten his grade back yet.

Hmmm...maybe you'll want to wait on that, first.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Manning your Damus

Apparently the Appellate Procedure final is an open-book affair, which means you can bring in the Rules of Civil Procedure, the Rules of Appellate Procedure, the course supplement, as well as the third Harry Potter book.

My esteemed PC partner found out it was open-book when he rolled up to the exam several quarters ago sans book. And then he churned out an exam that had Prof. Appellate thinking he was the second coming of Justice Calvert himself. You see, kids, that's a funny legal-insufficiency-review inside joke. Damn, I love law school.

So anyway, I've got this test thing tomorrow at 8am. After that, I have to pick up my final exam/project in Equal Protection & Voting Rights on Tuesday, and then take a final in Torts II-and-a-little-bit-of-PC (er, I mean Products Liability) on Thursday. Then, I'm outta here 'til late August.

Friday, July 14, 2006

PC redux

Good luck tomorrow, everyone. And how much does it suck for bar exam takers to get to go straight from the PC II final back to their carrels sans a nice 'rita buzz? A lot.

For the record, I'm not taking the bar in July. So you might see me at the bar by 10am tomorrow.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Everyone but Forrest Gump

There's a space on the left next to Professor Powell that's just begging for someone to be photoshopped in. Since I actually appear in the picture, I suggest the following candidates for digital addition:

1.) President Bush
2.) Professor McConnico, to start a tradition
3.) Genghis Khan
4.) Another picture of me
5.) A preggers Heidi Klum
6.) Speed Racer

Or perhaps that space was just vacated by the PC assistant who is actually taking the picture. Still, if someone wants to add someone funny and send it to me, I'll post it.

Now I'm wondering who we can fit in the hole on the right side, second and third rows...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Science salt beyonce

The Tommy Smyth to my Stu Scott, my college roommate Tom has this funny post, which is part of an ongoing series that examines the Google searches that result in his like 12 hits a month. Just kidding, he's up to like 24. [Sidebar: how lame am I for turning hit count into a pissing contest? Whatever.]

Nothing left but a couple tests

Today was the last day of class (hopefully) for dozens of my classmates, and for their sakes, I honestly hope I never see them class. And for me, the wonderful era of "post-PC" has (again, hopefully) begun. That, or at least it will after Saturday's PC II exam.

There's not much to say, as the anticlimactic nature of "last days of class" at Baylor has been well-documented. Yeah, no more PC class. Yay. Just a bitch of a test in a couple days. Then (don't laugh) Products Liability and (I told you, don't laugh) Appellate Procedure. Rough stuff compared to that "bar exam" some of my classmates have to worry about.

We took the PC picture, and I will not have to be photoshopped in. I showed up for class, but in true Fahrenthold style, promptly skipped Products Liability afterwards. I gotsa be me. It was a windy day outside on the law school steps, and it was amusing to see, after a gust, fifteen or so female hands shoot up to their heads to perfect their coiffures.

Lord willing and the saints don't rise, I will never set foot in the Practice Court room ever again.

Y'all have fun in the fall.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Deep breaths

PC II exam: 5 days away

Bar exam: 15 days away

Friday, July 07, 2006

For posterity

So that some Robin Williams-like Baylor Law School professor in sixty years can give a carpe diem speech to wide-eyed 1Ls, we're taking the Spring '06 PC class picture next Wednesday at 10:00am in front of the law school. More importantly, that leads me to think that there won't be class that day at 9:15, or that it will at least be abbreviated.

But I'm thinking I may just sleep in late that morning. If they can photoshop in Prof. McConnico, surely they can put me in later.

To the graduating seniors:

Today is your last Friday of class in law school. Enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

To Kenneth Lay

Old Kenny Boy, the pipes are calling
The time to pay the piper came.
Your end though timely's no doubt galling
To those whose nest eggs fed the flame
Of yours and Skillings' golden parachute;
I'm sure in hell, you think it's quite a hoot.
You cheating cheater, you've made bail,
Your friend the reaper's spared you jail.
One wonders what they do in Danbury
To CEOs who cook the books
Do gay accountants give you looks
Like biker dudes in high security?
But now, alas, we'll never know;
You've left us, now meet you-know-who.

July 7th, 1776

The "rain or shine" 4th of July fireworks on the Brazos River have been rescheduled for Friday night at 9:45. So, everyone prepare for a Happy Seventh of July, which is the 230th anniversary of the day that Thomas Jefferson woke up from his post-Declaration tequila binge.

Viva America!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Good riddance

I am not necessarily a fan of the War in Iraq. I think it was conceived in negligence, pursued with haste, and carried on with questionable foresight. I do, however, believe the government's goals were good, and the removal of Saddam Hussein (and the franchise being extended--gasp!--to women) was a good thing.

I am, however, a decided opponent of Cindy Sheehan, who is now (along with 150 others) going on a hunger strike until America withdraws from Iraq. Great. If her actions were reflective of some genuine moral compunction, some actual conviction that the use of force in Iraq was wrong, tragically wrong, then that would be one thing. Sheehan, however, is an egomaniacal nothing searching for meaning in her post-menopausal world. Those who serve peace don't meet with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela; that's something an attention-seeking Bush-hater does. And fine, you can be one of those--there are quite a few already--but don't pretend to be something else.

Carry on, Cindy. Don't eat. Fine by me.

Here's a funny bit from the end of the article: "Dearborn said 2,700 other activists nationwide, including actors Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, would work as a relay team passing the fast daily from one to another."

A relay team passing the fast from one to the other each day? Is that a hunger strike? It sounds more like me on trial days. That's as if Dr. King rotated the Montgomery bus boycott each day, so that just a few oppressed blacks a day had to walk. What sense does that make? Another example of token look-at-me-ism. I know it's tough, you post-Baby Boomers, with no uniformly evil war to fight against, no great cause to stir you into righteous anger. But you're just going to have to cope. Woodstock came and went. Seargent Pepper's is almost forty years old. Bob Dylan found Jesus.

Spicoli and Tim Robbins' mom? Please.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Be like Nixon

Though I seem to be the only fan of that bellicose Orange County Quaker, here's something from Richard Milhous Nixon that goes out to the 1Qs studying for finals. In Nixon's two-volume, 1358-page memoir of his life until 1974, exactly three pages are devoted to his time at Duke Law School. On the first of those three is this little excerpt:

"From the first day I knew that I was on a fast competitive track. Over half the members of my class were Phi Beta Kappas. Duke had adopted the Harvard case method which involved memorizing the facts and points of law in hundreds of different cases and being able to stand up in class, recite them, and respond to sharp questioning. My memory was a great asset here, but I had never been faced with such an overwhelming mass of material. I sometimes despaired of pulling the memorized facts together into any meaningful knowledge of the law.

"One night when I was studying in the library I poured out my fears and doubts to an upperclassman, Bill Adelson, who had noted the long hours I spent studying in the law library. He heard me out, sat back, looked me in the eye, and told me something I shall never forget: 'You don't have to worry. You have what it takes to learn the law--an iron butt.'"

See? You can worry about issue-spotting and still end up President of the United States (really, the George W. Bush joke is too easy, guys, so just let it go). Be just like Nixon, that's the moral. And, uh, have an iron butt, or something like that, but less weird.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Four feet of fun

I've been reading Vikram Seth's novel-in-verse, The Golden Gate, over the past couple of days. It is itself an homage to Alexander Pushkin's classic Eugene Onegin, which in addition to being memorized and recited by generations of Russian schoolchidren was set to music in the opera by Tchaikovsky. The Golden Gate (and Eugene Onegin) both consist of hundreds of sonnets in iambic tetrameter in an interesting rhyme scheme now called (aptly) a "Pushkin stanza."

A Pushkinian sonnet has fourteen lines in iambic tetrameter with the rhyme scheme ABABCCDDEFFEGG. Tetrameter is a much faster-paced, lilting meter (just four feet of iambs) than the English pentameter (five feet) which Milton, Shakespeare, Keats, etc. used for their major works. Also, a Pushkinian sonnet has a further layer of intricacy to its rhyme scheme, which makes it more difficult to write and more pleasurable to read.

Within the fourteen lines of ABABCCDDEFFEGG, there is a pattern of alternating masculine and feminine rhymes to end each line. Masculine rhyme is when the last syllable of each line rhymes and is stressed ("...knew a cat/...lying on a mat") while in feminine rhyme, the last syllable of each line remains unstressed and therefore feels somewhat leftover, in my opinion ("...short than weighty"/"...circa nineteen-eighty"). Anyway, a Pushkin sonnet's fourteen lines come down FMFMFFMMFMMFMM. Yet another matter of form to consider in writing them, which makes the fact that anyone could string together enough of them to fill out a novel (and a great one, at that) even more amazing.

So, now that I've talked up the form so much, and inspired by a bit of literary "yeah, I can do that" and Big Trial, here are four Pushkinian sonnets on the madness of Big Trial and its seemingly inevitable and attendant lack of perspective...

Saturday, 3:35am

I sometimes wonder, often nightly
And still more often as of late,
Are Baylor expectations likely
To make us think that "more" means "great"?
For instance, I've heard of Big Trials
With groundless verified denials.
Does PC prompt or else impose
Prodigious pens and pensive prose
Without regard to need or purpose
Because we have a form book and
Can e-file motions from the can?
And that just barely skims the surface
Of ways that playfight-trial tends
To sow discord and disrupt friends.

Here's how: the law is a vocation
And argument its stock and trade,
So with each cross-examination
A client's served and money's made.
But here, in faux court with real pressure
You might not think you've won unless you
Can unmask lack of diligence
Or else exclude their evidence.
And so we go from each one hoping
To be prepared for class each day
To something else--another way
To snidely screw and send them coping.
As if for real the judge drinks beers
With half the jury of your peers.

Which brings me to my final issue:
The tribunal's a neophyte.
This means less rulings and more miscues--
He might not know hearsay, she might.
I don't mean to suggest that judges'
(In practice) brilliance never budges,
But that there's far less confidence
In PC jurists' competence.
The anger's born of research you did
While lesser, wronger counsel leads
The court--despite you--into weeds.
As Ron White says, you can't fix stupid.
And your thought now, whoever wins,
Is "two more dolts and two less friends."

Before you think this missive petty,
I must aver 'tis not my plight.
I'd never write something so pretty
To settle scores or else for spite.
No, all this comes from observations
At large and some from conversations.
The gist, I feel, needs no such proof;
I preach my feelings, not "the truth."
My point, with roundabout digressions,
Is that each trial exercise
(I don't know why it's a surprise)
Breeds sour tastes and spawns aggressions.
Here's my advice--some cris de coeur--
"Just know your stuff" and "less is more."