Jim's Polka

The life of a former software engineer, now a law student

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

So Bad I Had to Leave the Country

Well, not quite that bad. Contracts was not fun. The fact pattern question was absurdly long and took up 3.5 out of the 4 hours we were given. The policy question got the rest. On the bright side, everyone else was in the same boat. And given that she did the same thing for the midterm, it's not really a big surprise.

The one nice thing was that it put us all in the mood to go drinking afterwards. SBA even paid for the first couple pitchers, which was pretty nice. Probably a third of the class passed through the bar at some point during the day, so there was much bonding. I found out some about who people like and who they don't in my section. (The good news is, at least I'm not in the second category.) I drank more than I had drunk in one sitting in 10 years. My friends were still disappointed, though, because they really wanted to see me drunk. My friend M even offered to buy all my drinks for the rest of the night if I stayed to drink with them. Sadly, I had to disappoint them.

On Saturday, we did actually flee the country. After D's knitting class in the morning (she's learning continental style), we set off for Vancouver. We were only going to be there one night, so we stayed at a pretty classy hotel. They had a turn-down service and everything. I had tried to convince D that we needed to stay at the Four Seasons, but I didn't win with that one. We were only there for 24 hours and it rained almost the whole time, so we were limited in what we could do. We had a very nice dinner at a restaurant called Cin Cin. We chose it based on convenience and looks, but it turned out to be surprisingly good. And they didn't seem to mind that I wasn't really dressed nice enough for the decor. After dinner, we got dessert at the appropriately named Death by Chocolate, which was spectacular. We were so full from dinner that we had to split dessert, but it was all worth it.

On Sunday, we walked around town a little more and did a little shopping on Robson St. We actually got the British editions of all of the Thursday Next books. I don't know if they're actually different, but D feels that the authenticity is important. (We have the British versions of Bridget Jones's Diary and the Harry Potter books for the same reason.)

I was a little surprised by the border crossing. There was a really long wait to get into Canada and a semi-long wait to get back to the US. The guy in Canada asked what we came to do, but never asked for any ID. The US guy just checked our passports and asked if we bought anything. He didn't even look in our trunk.

Of course, the rain stopped as soon as we got home. *sigh* At least I have nice weather for spring break.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Where Have I Been?

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Clearly I've missed a few in the middle. This map would have a lot less red if it wasn't for the drive out here last summer. That accounts for almost everything in the middle except for Colorado and Utah.

Close Call

As I was writing the last post, I got an IM from my classmate who lives in the house next door to me. All she told me was that someone ran a car through our fence. I had heard a loud noise earlier, but we live pretty near a main road so I didn't think much of it. But, I went out to investigate and sure enough, a car had gone right through the fence. Basically, somone parked a van in a driveway across the street from our little community and forgot to put the parking break on. The van rolled down the driveway and across the street, possibly hitting a car in the process. It went through the fence by another neighbor's house, hit their car and drove the car into the side of the house. The car is probably going to be totalled and there's a big bulge in the inside wall of their garage from where the car hit it.

It could have been worse, though. If the van had missed the house, it would have picked up a lot more speed heading downhill and could have done some serious damage to the house at the bottom of the hill. And, just as important, there were no pedestrians in the way either.

Anyway, such is the joy of city living. Never a dull moment, even when you're studying.

One Left

Civpro was ok. As exams go, it was pretty dull and seemed straightforward. In a way, it was kinda disappointing, because it was so much like our midterm. Some of the prof's old exams were pretty interesting, so it was a letdown to get what we ended up with.

I kept up my pattern of showing up several hours early for afternoon exams. I'm a pretty strong extrovert, so I've found that being around people and talking settles me down. Of course, that only works if we don't spend the whole time talking about the exam. Happily, on Monday and Wednesday, I ended up talking with O, who's a pretty laid-back guy about class stuff. We were doing fine until our class gunner showed up to hang out. I do actually like him, but he's kind of a pain. In this case, he couldn't seem to stop talking about the exam. I tried to distract him by asking about his kids, which works on every parent I've ever met, but it only distracted him for a few minutes before he was back to talking about compulsory counterclaims. One of my classmates think's he does it to psych out the competition, but I'm not sure. He was even worse on Monday - he came up to us and started talking about secondary implied assumption of risk 20 minutes before the exam. I walked away after 3 sentences of it. So, I've decided that if he is doing it intentionally, I should take it as a compliment and move on.

All I have left is Contracts tomorrow morning. I'm not sure I know it all, but I'm pretty sure that I can't do much more studying. Instead, I foresee a pleasant night of watching The OC, so I can spend my brainpower more usefully to answer questions like "Could I ever be as cool as Sandy Cohen?" (Answer: no)

If you happen to think of it before 12:30 PT, send happy Contracts thoughts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Uh oh

I think I may have peaked too early. Or just spent too much time studying this weekend. I just can't force my brain to think about this anymore. Apparently, the intricacies of subject-matter jurisdiction are no longer worth considering. Venue is a lost cause. And as for discovery, forget it. My brain just keeps reminding me how comfortable my bed is. And wouldn't it be nice to go to sleep.........

Oh, but I forgot to mention the most inspiring moment yesterday. As we're sitting in the law school cafe in the morning (around 10, I think), a 3L comes up:

3L: "OK, I need some help with this, cuz my brain is totally fried. The exam started at 8:30 and I'm supposed to have 3 1/4 hours. Does that mean I'm done at 11:45?"

Us: "Um, yes......"

3L: "Great! That means I have time for a smoke break. I am taking the shit out of this exam....."

So, now I have something to aspire to. It's important to have goals.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Torts? Done!

I just got back from my Torts final. Actually, I got back, watched the second half of Gilmore Girls, and caught up with blog reading. But, regardless...

The morning was particularly nice. I never know what to do before these afternoon exams. I've taken to coming in a couple hours early and hoping that someone I know will show up to talk to (about things other than the exam). Today I found a couple people complaining about how they run our BLS class. I figured it was better to be annoyed then nervous, so I joined in.

Oh, but before that, I came really close to locking myself out. I had the computer and I was at the door, ready to head in to school. I stepped outside and was about to close the (already locked) door when I did a quick pocket check. And sure enough, no keys. In fact, not only didn't I have my keys, I didn't have my wallet (with my bus pass). And, I didn't have my cell phone since D took it for the day. That would have made the exam a lot more fun, I guess.

Anyway, the exam was alright. So far, I've been pretty good at not dwelling on my exams after they're done, so I'm going to try to maintain that pattern. There was a small issue-spotter, a big issue-spotter and a policy question. We didn't really talk much policy during the class, so I have no idea how that'll come out. I also wasted 20 minutes talking about issues that weren't part of the question for the smaller issue-spotter. I'm pretty thrilled with myself for that. But, I feel like I did alright, generally, which is the best I could hope for.

So, onward to Civpro.....

Thursday, March 10, 2005


My class has one kind of experimental section that's taking a combined Contracts/Torts class. The people in it self-selected, so they're a little bit odd. To celebrate the last day of class today, they got section T-shirts made. It's especially disturbing when they're all hanging out in a group. It's like a very dorky cult, minutes away from a really annoying form of mass suicide..

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Unfortunately, another set of exams is approaching. We had our last Torts class today. Tomorrow is the end of the line for Contracts and Civpro. And unlike the fall quarter exams (which account for about 10% of the grade in those classes), these exams really count.

After the last set of exams, I decided that I was going to do better in the winter with outlining and reviewing classes as I went along. This resolution, like so many others made at New Year's, didn't really work out as I hoped. I think I did a little bit of outlining at the end of January, but aside from that, it's all happened in the last week or so. Happily, I'm almost there. Contracts has been the hardest, just like it was in the fall. I've spent a lot of time bonding with the Examples and Explanations book. I'm starting to feel like I understand parol evidence. This probably means that I'm doomed.

At least I don't have to worry about looking for a job. Half of my class is worrying about their application to the state AG's office, which is due by Friday.

Oh, and a little shout-out to my Prof Property, who is the best professor ever. On top of being really smart and really excited about the subject (how often does that happen?), he's being extra-nice to us this week. He stopped by to say hi to a couple of us on Monday morning and found out that we didn't have any time off to study. Within 20 minutes, he had sent out an e-mail halving the reading for the week. He's also let us out of class early the last 2 days. And did I mention how he's managed to make property interesting? (not covenants. I don't think anything could help with covenants.)

Movie Quotes Game

Just give the first 5 movie quotes that come to mind. Don't think - just write.

"Your overconfidence is your weakness."
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
"Show me the Paso Doble."
"Teach me to dance, will you?" "Did you say dance? Come on, my boy!"
"Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes erroneously."

This came dangerously close to being all Star Wars.

(via Begging to Differ)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Random Bits

In the comments for this post, my brother Andy suggests semidefenestrate as the right word for what we did to that couch.

I had never heard of Dr. 90210 until ESpat mentioned it the other day. Then yesterday I found out that D knows one of the doctors on the show. Weird, but not enough to make me watch the show.