Jim's Polka

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Friday of OCI week I headed back East for a vacation. I had a wedding to go to in Maryland the following weekend, but I figured it would be fun to go back early and visit my friends. So, the plan was for me to head out on Friday, with D coming out the following Thursday.

But first, a little interlude in which I tell everyone how I'm a big idiot. I thought my plane was leaving at 11:55, when in fact it was supposed to leave at 10:55. As a bonus, it was raining that day, so the bus to the airport was delayed. I actually checked my bag at about 10:55. Then I went to the gate, where there was a sign saying that departure was delayed until 11:40. "Hmmm... That's strange. How could it be delayed until 11:40?" And only then did I look at my ticket. And felt sick to my stomach. The delay saved me from my own stupidity. Then, my connecting flight was delayed, too, so I had no problems making the connection. All in all, it was a pretty lucky day for me. (Not so for my sister, who had her flight to Italy cancelled.)

My first reaction when I got out of the airport was "Oh my God. How did I ever live with this humidity?" So, apparently, it doesn't even take a year of living out here to turn you into a weather wuss. In my defense, the temperature got up to 92 in DC last Friday. Ugh.

I used my vacation time well, I think. I went ballroom dancing on Saturday night. Some of my local friends came along, and there were a ton of college students to dance with as well. (And to make me feel old.) Then the family and I went to my dad's weekend place on the Eastern Shore for a few days. I went sailing with my dad and my stepmom's nephew. I don't know why they bring me along - I'm bad luck. Most of the time, my presence means that there will be no wind. And then there was the time with all the rain. This time, there wasn't much wind, so our trip that we thought would take 4 hours took 7 hours instead. Still, it was a nice trip, and I managed to make it through with minimal sunburn. It would have been better if we'd brought beer, but that's what happens when my stepmom packs, I guess.

Anyway, this post has already gone on too long, so I'll summarize the rest of the week. I visited the old office on Tuesday and wasted many productive programmer hours talking to them. I had lunch with my grandmother and dinner with my best friend from high school. And, we went to the wedding on Saturday. I had a nice time, and it was great to see that group of friends (from college), since I don't get to see them often these days. D and I danced a little bit, including a very fun Lindy Hop (although she wouldn't let me do any lifts).

Then back to TVPNM on Sunday, just in time to start school yesterday. But, that's for another post, cuz I'm done now.
It's been so long since I wrote about OCI, I actually have some results to report. Mostly bad, but still... There was one firm that I'd heard enough bad things about that I was sure I didn't want to work there. After the interview, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be a good fit there. Luckily, they felt the same way and sent me a rejection within two days. I've also gotten rejections from 2 other places. Only one callback, so far.

The most exciting bit of the week was when my bus got stuck in traffic and I almost missed my first interview of the day. That was with the firm that I have the callback for (a patent boutique). They spent a large part of the time making fun of one of the partners I worked for this summer. It was joking, since he used to work for them, but it was still a little weird. The same day, I had another odd one. The guy they sent had only been with the firm for 6 months. He spent the whole time telling me other firms I should be interviewing with. Then he closed out by telling me that they probably wouldn't be hiring anyone for the summer anyway. Everybody I've talked to had about the same experience. Surprisingly (ha), I still haven't heard back from them.

The summer firm is looking better all the time. Maybe I'll just go for a few extra days on the beach in Greece...

Monday, September 12, 2005

After 2 weeks of slacking off, I finally have something to do today. Specifically, my first two interviews for OCI are this afternoon. Inconveniently, I probably don't want to work for one of them and I'm doubtful about the other. Both firms have their good points and they're fine, prestige-wise, but what I've heard about them leads me to think that they won't be good matches to my personality. Actually, there's only one firm that I think could be a good fit. I'm interviewing with them on Wednesday. Regardless, this should be fun.

I'm not too worked up about this because my fallback option is pretty damn good. My summer firm called me on Thursday to invite me back for next summer (and to work during the year, if I want). As I've said before, I really liked working for them and I think there are huge opportunities to build a really good career there. In addition, one of the partners I worked for would be a great mentor (and expressed some interest, in fact). So, tell me again why I should look at other firms? Plus, there's the trip to Greece to think about....

Monday, September 05, 2005

OK, so what have I been doing with my time since I last posted? Well, I had my last day of work a week and a half ago. My final week ended up being pretty dull. I finished up my major assignments the middle of the second-to-last week, so I picked up a time-filler assignment. Basically, read all the comments on a particular proposed rule-making by an administrative agency and then summarize them. The subject matter was very interesting, but the actual work was pretty brain-dead, which is not such a bad thing going into the final week. At least there was no danger of not finishing. As it happened, I finished on Wednesday morning and had a day and a half with nothing much to do. Like any good summer associate, I filled it with coffee, smoothies and free lunch.

That weekend, my brother Andy, my sister Christina, and Christina's boyfriend Alfio came to visit. This was the first time any of them had come to visit since we got to town. We had a great time, although it wasn't really long enough. Christina and Alfio have a lot of ground to cover before they head back to Europe, so they couldn't really stay. And Andy started a new job in a new city last Thursday, so he definitely didn't have much time to spare. He's just started a new blog, so maybe I'll be able to point you to his side of the story soon. Anyway, the visit was excellent. We didn't do much in the way of activities, as such. We did more of just walking around the cool neighborhoods in the city and looking a street art and stuff. Christina and Alfio particularly liked the used record stores - Alfio even bought Inagadda Da Vida on vinyl. I'm not even sure he has a turntable, but there you go. I was sad to see them go.

My dad has a plan for next summer that could be even better, though. He's decided that he wants to get the whole family together for a vacation - in Greece. He's even offering to pay for housing and food while we're there. This sounds so good that I've decided that whatever work I do next summer will just have to fit in around the trip. Some things are just too important. I'm sure I'll be writing more about this in the coming months.

Finally, OCI is next week. I have interviews with 6 firms, out of the 10 I bid for. (11, actually, but one decided they weren't hiring.) I'm only really interested in one of them, but I'm at least going to see what they have to say for themselves. A really big part of me wants to just blow them all off and go back to the same place as this summer. (Assuming they make me an offer. I'm supposed to get word on Thursday or Friday. So far, things are looking good.) Anyway, it'll be two per day Monday through Wednesday and then done after that. I have a friend who has 15 interviews, including 5 on Thursday. He's a really good guy, so I'm happy for him, but I hope he doesn't forget who he's talking to by interview 10.

This week, however, I have exciting plans to get in some quality video game playing. I started playing God of War last week and it's definitely living up to the reviews.
A lot of things have combined to keep me from blogging for the last couple weeks. Katrina is the most significant of them. It just feels ridiculous to talk about what's going on in my life in the face of that horror. So, I've spent the last week reading, praying for the survivors and getting angry. I didn't think it was possible to dislike the President any more than I already did, but somehow the Bush administration managed to take it to the next level. D and I have already made one donation to the Red Cross and I think we're going to make another one soon. I hope that everyone who has the ability to do so, will.