Friday, September 25, 2009

On light reading ...

True quote from page 320 of Contracts -- "actor" in this case meaning any party in a contract:

"[A]ctors are unrealistically optimistic as a systematic matter. (Lawyers do not realize this, because they are trained to be systematically pessimistic.) ... For example, the subjects correctly estimated that fifty percent of American couples will eventually divorce. In contrast, the subjects estimated that their own chance of divorce was zero."

I don't believe it. About the pessimism I mean. All my law professors are pretty happy people. Just today two of them brought out a couple student volunteers, a trumpet, a bass and a piano. One professor sang some revised lyrics to "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" based on the Papachristou v. Jacksonville case while the other one? Yup. He juggled.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This text book is based on true events ...

Page 284 of my property law book is similar to others in the book. There is a lot of text and a lot of orange (apparently the highlighter of choice of its former owner). There are dry rules, condensed cases and then there are problems to work out. Most of them sound something like this:

If A and B are joint tenants and B wants to pass on his claim in the property to his heirs but A ... blah .. blah ... and then you fall asleep sometime before you get to the end and hope the professor goes over that particular question in class before the midterm.

So it was a bit of a shock to find this at the bottom of what seemed like it should have been very harmless page 284:

Suppose that A and B are killed while riding in a car struck by a train. When witnesses arrive, there are no signs of life in A; B is decapitated and blood is gushing from her neck in spurts. Does B survive A?


WHAT?!!! I'm sorry -- but there is BLOOD gushing out in SPURTS in this scene and we're concerned about their property rights?!!! Shouldn't we call the authorities? And why is the decapitated person a "she." Why can't we just leave B an "it." We've never ascribed gender or hair color or hobbies or anything else that makes me want to connect with these fake scenario characters so why start now??? Especially if you're just going to kill them off as soon as I become attached? In any case, does the actual spurting of the blood make any difference in this scenario? Is there a legal principle I'm missing here? Maybe if it was only oozing it would change who gets the property. Maybe the spurting is an important legal fact in a property case. Or then again, MAYBE NOT!!! Why couldn't they just have worded the question: A and B die at the same time, who's heirs get the property? Why do I have to know B was decapitated??

It doesn't help that the BYU bells chime oh so sadly "Come, Come Ye Saints" in a minor key as I walk to get lunch. This is the hymn that has the words "And should we die before our journey's through ... happy day! All is well!!" Yes. Let's enthuse students as they walk to class by celebrating death. Law school's hard enough without being reminded the only reason my educational institution exists is because exiled citizens of our nation were willing to bury their children in frozen prairie wastelands with broken spoons to further the cause of their misunderstood religion. I'm going to petition they start chiming "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" or "There is Sunshine in My Soul." Better yet, maybe they could just chime tones to let us know the time like normal clocks. Sigh. I'm not bitter. Just confused.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On mature literature ...

BYU redeemed itself today ... in a BIG way.

I love the bookstore.

It smells liked baked goods and freshly printed paper. There are books about Michelle Obama, memoirs of escapees of fundamentalist polygamist cults and tales of Sudanese child soldiers all mingled together. There are cook books and gardening books and books on how to be a ballerina. There are books on car mechanics and personality disorders and books about religion. There are books on philosophy and entertainment and there are books that me angry at the world. There are books that make me smile. There are books that still have the same ability to transport me out of the bookstore and into another time and place the same way they did when I was seven.

The best find by far today was THIS. I love that "The Paperbag Princess" is now happily nestled in my bookbag between 1,102 pages of hardbound contract law and 572 pages of legal citation manual.

Of all the genres, picture books rock.

Oh, and Ronald? You really are a bum.

The End.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On health care ...

Health care vote doesn't take place until fall.

Mass rallies in the meantime.

Obama lies. Senator calls him out on it. Senator chooses really horrible time to do so. But something needs to be done. We have people in this country who are being denied health coverage WHO WANT TO PAY THEIR OWN BILLS!

In the meantime ... in Utah County, according to a Daily Herald opinion poll, about half of parents had a problem with their kids watching an address to school children by the president of the United States.

Herbert declares he will do his best to NOT follow the widely popular Huntsman's policies.

"Liberals take our money..." Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

"Conservatives take our rights..." Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

The only emotion left when I finish reading the newspaper is frustration.

I feel conflicted ... judicially conservative ... politically liberal ... financially moderate. What's a voter to do?

Is anyone else feeling all angsty about politics this time of year?

Friday, September 11, 2009

On forgetting ...

When I woke up this morning I didn't register that today is September 11th. I was more concerned with the memo that's due in my legal writing class. When I finally saw the date, I still didn't remember that eight years ago there was an attack on our nation. I didn't remember that today was an important anniversary and I failed to recall the feelings that crashed down on our 11th-grade calculus class when we watched the second tower fall or the stunned silence of broadcasters that followed on the air.

I didn't think about any of that ... until I saw this. Thank you, Natalie. Because remembering is important. And I almost forgot.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On taking eternity two years at a time ...

I opened our sole piece of mail today to find an invitation to Dave's family reunion, which surprised me because we just went to one a few weeks ago. Then I looked at the date.

We're invited to spend July 4-7 with my new extended family ....

..... in 2011.


When someone gives you almost two years notice for an event, I'm pretty sure it gives them permission to think you're slime and blacklist your unborn children from the geneaology charts if you don't manage to clear your schedule. And that's probably the point ... you will not get married this week, die this week, work this week or even think about being in school this week because we totally gave you enough notice to avoid any of those conflicts.

I discovered from Dave these reunions occur every other year. Attendance is mandatory. This group is big. They are loud. They are fun. They are loving. They still make me nervous. Sigh ... guess I know what we're doing in 2013. And just in case I forget? No worries, twenty-six months from now, just like today, a "save the date" magnet will arive in the mail so for the next two years I can be reminded of all the reunion fun we have to look forward to every single time I open the fridge:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bird flu ...

So I don't have the swine flu. Even though I was in Mexico three weeks ago and I spiked a fever of 101.3 this week, I seemed to have avoided the curse.

But one of the prescriptions I was put on at the student health center is called Avian in its generic form. So now every time I go to take this particular pill I think of bird puke. Which, to me, kind of defeats the purpose of giving a pill to someone so they're NOT nauseated. ..... Hmmm....