?

Log in

Non · compos · mentis


Impressing with Latin since 1982

Recent Entries · Archive · Friends · Profile

* * *
People told me, I thought they were exaggerating. People said it was the worst two months of their lives, I figured they just over-studied. One lawyer even said she repressed the memory of the summer after graduation, it was so painful.
.
.
.
.
.
They. Were. Right.
.
.
.
This is probably the worst thing I have ever done, and I'm not even taking the test yet. My brain is tired, I have giant black bags under my eyes, I can't sleep, I can't talk correctly anymore, and my emotions are frayed to the point of breaking. It's not the enormity of the test (although it's enormous!), it's the fact that you just possibly can't know everything on it. That's not a good feeling. It's the feeling that so much of the past three years is riding on not freaking out. 

Logically most people figure out that the odds are on our side. But that doesn't make it any less intimidating. Think of all the over-stressed, over-worked soon-to-be-lawyers Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We may need it.   
* * *
The years of waiting and complaining have finally come to an end....We got a good thunderstorm in Austin. I was one of the unlucky ones caught in it - driving back from Hole in the Wall. So, the car looks a little like a golf ball. It was quite the adventure, though. 

On another note, Congrats to our class for graduating today! Here's to success studying for the bar exam, success finding/keeping/working at our jobs, and not tripping when walking across the stage today.  

* * *
When driving on I-35 between major cities in Texas (or any other major highway, really), the left lane shouldn't be used for going the EXACT speed limit. That's what the right lane is for. See those signs? Those signs that say "Left Lane for Passing Only"? That means don't go just 70 mph in the left lane for 30 miles. Also, maybe if you would look in that nifty "rear view mirror" and see a giant line of traffic behind you, that could be signal to get in the other lane...

<grumble grumble grumble> 

* * *
As a child of the 80s, who grew up playing with Transformers and watching the original movie many many times, I have to admit loving last summer's Transformers movie. Is there a cooler moment than when Optimus Prime becomes the 18-wheeler? (And I know I'm not the only person that cried as a child when the original Optimus Prime died.)
* * *
As a Bucs fan, ouch. True, but ouch.  
* * *
* * *
Amusing. Orson Scott Card (author of the brilliant Ender's Game) decimates JK Rowling. She sued because another author is publishing an "encyclopedia" of sorts on the entire Harry Potter series. I think OSC definitely has some valid points here, and I never realized/remembered how similar the two books were to each other.
.
.
.
But don't get me started on how The Wheel of Time bastardized Tolkein.  
* * *
I do not live in the nicest or lowest-crime area in Austin. In fact, I live less than a block from one of, if not the, highest-crime intersections in the city. Despite that, my current neighbors are nice enough people. For the two years I've been in this house, one next door neighbor has been the same - an older gentleman that I believe just lives on pension/government checks (probably retired at this point). He's the kind of neighbor that's quiet, keeps his yard and house in good condition, waves when you drive by, but doesn't make a point to come over and talk every time we're outside. So in short, a great neighbor. Except for one thing. One nice days he has friends come over and they talk for HOURS in his front yard. Unfortunately, nice days always seem to coincide with days I'm stuck in my house studying for finals. My windows face towards his front yard, and let's just say the guys are "animated" in their conversations. Often they're yelling at each other, but I can never understand enough to get the words. So it just serves as yet another reminder that while I am cooped up, a shell of a human being; others are enjoying this beautful weather with friends. 

Thank God it gets better and less stress when I graduate and head to my firm job!!!!   
* * *
This story has been making the rounds on the interwebs today (and because I'm "studying" for Oil and Gas, I've read all the variations of it). But I just can't get over how ridiculous it is.  Basically, a professor at Dartmouth informed her class she would possibly be suing them for discrimination, because they were mean to her. I'll repost her emails for the full hilarity (and some analysis). 

Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 20:56:35
From: Priya Venkatesan
Subject: WRIT.005.17.18-WI08: Possible lawsuit

Dear former class members of Science, Technology and Society:

I tried to send an email through my server but got undelivered messages. I regret to inform you that I am pursuing a lawsuit in which I am accusing some of you (whom shall go unmentioned in this email) of violating Title VII of anti-federal discrimination laws.

The feeling that I am getting from the outside world is that Dartmouth is considered a bigoted place, so this may not be news and I may be successful in this lawsuit. I am also writing a book detailing my eperiences as your instructor, which will "name names" so to speak. I have all of your evaluation and these will be reproduced in the book.

Have a nice day.

I will churlishly point out: 1) "Whom shall go unmentioned in this email" is an attempt to sound intelligent at the expense of grammar. 2) I've spent both my summer associate-ships working on labor and employment, and will be practicing it in the fall, and I have yet to come across this fabled "anti-federal discrimination law." 3) If this email is an example of the writing capabilities of the faculty at Dartmouth.....wow. 4) I hope this isn't a publicity attempt for this book (which I'm sure will be a best-seller). 5) So much for those "confidential" evaluations at the end of the semester. 

(As a side note, does it drive anyone else up the wall that she ended the email with "Have a nice day"? I think she's the kind of person that drives on I-35 at 55 mph in the left lane because she thinks no one else should be able to speed or even drive the speed limit. Argh.) 

But is she done? Oh no!


From: Priya Venkatesan
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008
Subject: Class Action Suit

Dear Student:

As a courtesy, you are being notified that you are being named in a potential class action suit that is being brought against Dartmouth College, which is being accused of violating federal anti-discrimination laws. Please do not respond to this email because it will be potentially used against you in a court of law.

Priya Venkatesan, PhD
From: Priya Venkatesan
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008
Subject: Class Action Suit

Dear Student:

Please disregard the previous email sent by Priya Venkatesan. This is to officially inform you that you are being accused of violating Title VII pertaining to federal anti-discrimination laws, by the plaintiff, Priya Venkatesan. You are being specifically accused of, but not limited to, harassment. Please do not respond to this email as it will be used against you in a court of law.

Priya Venkatesan, PhD

From now on, all of my correspondence will include "Please do not respond to this email as it will be used against you in a court of law." 

Finally, we get the reasons for the lawsuit in an interview with the professor: 

The students I am naming in this suit were mostly from Winter 08 term with a few from Fall. Essentially, I am pursuing litigation to see if I have a legal claim, that is, if the inappropriate and unprofessional behavior I was subjected to as a Research Associate and Lecturer at Dartmouth constitutes discrimination and harrassment [sic] on the basis of ethnicity, race and gender. This includes not just students, but a few faculty members that I worked with.

I love the strategy of pursuing litigation to see if she has a legal claim. The article claims she met with an attorney. I hope he points out that students are not employers of the professor, and are therefore not included under "anti-federal" law Title VII. Additionally, will someone explain to her that a "class-action" suit is one brought by similarly situated plaintiffs, NOT a suit brought against an allegedly guilty group of defendants? 

There are so many more dimensions of crazy in these emails, it boggles the mind. Hopefully it also highlights the ridiculousness of the topics (see e.g., postmodernism or bell hooks's writing) college students have to deal with all the time.
 
* * *
 Background for this story: There's something I love about a good thunderstorm. Being in Atlanta for undergrad and now Austin, it seems like the storms are less frequent and pale in comparison to those in North Texas. Excluding the massive storms that hit Atlanta during the SEC Tournament, I don't remember a true thunderstorm in Atlanta the entire four years I spent there. We've had a few in Austin (see: The Oasis burning down), but they're few and far between. There's something soul-cleansing about sitting on the couch and watching the lightning and listening to the thunder.
.
.
.
 Last week the husband and I travelled to Dallas to close on our house/move tons of stuff in. We closed on Tuesday and began moving things in on Wednesday night (due to a lease-back with the sellers). They had predicted storms for Thursday night, so we made sure to empty everything from the U-haul into the garage that afternoon, so we didn't have to be outside. Thursday night rolls around, we celebrate with a couple bottles of champagne and then decide to get back to work. Suddenly, the heavens let loose. It was pouring, and it looked like a fireworks show with all of the lightning in the sky (our house sits on a huge hill and has a wall of windows, so we can see for miles). Then, the hail started. My in-laws were at the house, and they actually have a nice car (unlike ours) so we scrambled to clear the garage so they could pull it in. As we scrambled, the wind picked up. The rain was "falling" completely sideways, and it reminded me of the hurricanes I was in when we lived in Florida. Then, the tornado sirens went off. In all my years in Dallas, we never heard the tornado sirens. They're extremely ominous (as they should be). So, the night we were supposed to spend celebrating, we spent in a closet, on the phone with my parents discussing the radar (because our house didn't have TV or internet yet), quietly drinking wine, wondering whether we should grab a mattress and put it over our heads, and hoping our new house made it through the night. 
.
.
.
In the end, we were lucky and there was no damage. The sirens went off because there was a funnel cloud sighted, but it eventually dissipated without consequence. I finally got my thunderstorm I've been longing for the past two years. And I have to say in retrospect, as always, be careful what you wish for.
* * *
Why, oh why, did I ever think three exams as a 3L would be feasible?  
* * *
* * *

Previous