Friday, June 22, 2007

May it please the court

After several false starts, I did my real first hearing today. I'd taken some pleas, dealt with some probation violations and a sentencing, but this was the real thing, It was essentially a commitment hearing. I had about an hour to get ready. It almost didn't happen because the defense attorney almost had the person talked into waiving the trial and accepting voluntary commitment. In the end, the person couldn't make a decision, so we had a hearing.

I called one witness for direct examination--a master of social worker. The State won. I think. It was very sad. Winning meant the person will be committed to a state hospital for a week or 2 to get some treatment. I certainly hope it all works out for the person and their family.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Resume+burritos=job offers

After not needing a resume for 20 years, I still find it strange that I now need a resume, AND I've got to keep it updated. But then again, that's law school and the pursuit of a different career.

After the first semester of law school, the school's career services office puts on a duplicitous dog-and-pony show to get everyone ready for their first round of on-campus interviews (OCI). In one breath, you are exhorted to get the resume ready and try to get as many interviews as possible. However, in the next breath, you are warned that hardly anyone actually gets a job from OCI during the first year. Unless you are in the top 10% of the class. I wasn't. The whole process is humbling and painful. And in the end, it's much like hitting yourself over the head with a sledgehammer--it feels so good when it stops.

At this dog-and-pony show, students are encouraged to be creative in assembling their resume and touting their strengths. One may not have had any legal experience, but if you worked the lunch rush at a fast food Mexican restaurant, we were told that fast-food experience was transferable. Transferable to what? A Greek eatery? I had to slap my hand over my mouth to keep my laugh under wraps. This fast-food experience we were told, showed leadership skills and the ability to handle stress and multi-task. Strangely, when one of the folks in career services scrutinized my resume a few days later, I was told that I didn't have any experience that showed leadership ability, even though I had worked in the real world for 20 years, managed a staff of seven people and $750k annually for several years, owned my own business, and had served on several civic boards. This career "counselor" also said that all of my experience was in newspapers and not in a legal setting. Really? I certainly wasn't going to apologize that I had a non fast-food career, or explain the obvious--that I was going to law school to start a career in the law.

What was even more laughable was this person's reaction to the fact that I share a small slice of a Pulitzer Prize from the 1981 Hyatt Skywalk collapse in Kansas City. This person said I should take any reference to the Pulitzer OFF MY RESUME. Sorry, not in this lifetime. I guess the lesson I took from this is that I should have worked fast food instead of having a newspaper career the past twenty years.

All of this leads to only one logical conclusion: If I knew how to make a burrito under time pressure, the job offers would be rolling in right about now.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Making the grade

Well, the dust has cleared and the grades are in. With two years down and one to go, I am exhausted. And exhausted from worrying about my GPA. In a few years it won't even matter. However, because we are our GPAs in law schoool, a lot of psychic energy is wasted worrying about grades. For the record, I had a very nice GPA with both surprises AND disappointments. Not major surprises or major disappointments, but surprises and disappointments all the same. But then again, that's life.

I had a little time to myself today, so I spent it looking at old images and making a few prints. There are 2 images from 1996 that will always stay with me. I shot them in Ireland while on vacation with the family. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Moving Day

Well, the day every parent knows will come, but still dreads, was today. Mallory and Alan loaded up the U-Haul and headed off into the world. They are not moving far away, so we can get there in an hour, and hopefully see them on a regular basis without becoming pests. But a chapter in our lives ended today and a new chapter began for all of us. The house will certainly seem empty without the two of them around on a regular basis. Sure, she moved out of the house for college, but you always knew she'd be back for holidays and summer. She is now on her own. She will come back to visit, but not to live here.

Teresa, Aimee, Alan's dad John, and I moved them today. So, I sit here tonight with a sore back, feeling just a bit empty. Teresa reminds me that this is just a natural progression--kids grow up, get married, move away--but that doesn't make it any easier. I am grateful that they head out into the world with the love and support of both families and a U-Haul full of the necessities to set up their home, which was not the case when Teresa and I got married 27 years ago. As she and Alan pulled away and I saw the lights of their car turn on, I suddenly felt very old.

The roller coaster ride continues--her youngest sister Kelsey heads off to college in the fall, so the process will begin all over again. And I will feel even older.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Wedding Day

My friend, Eli Reichman, delivered the files from Mallory's wedding today and all I can say is WOW. At least when I wasn't wiping away tears. Looking at the photos I am amazed at what three wonderful daughters Teresa and I have. They get their looks and intelligence from Teresa, so I am not sure what I added to the mix.