Thursday, February 28, 2008

On the road again

Tomorrow begins spring break and for 21 of us, the long journey to New Orleans. The majority of those on the trip will be working at the N.O. City Attorney's Office, with the remainder at the Center for Racial Justice, the American Red Cross and Desire Street Ministries, which is where I'll be. I'm told it's possible that the three of us working for Desire St. will be working on a house in the lower Ninth Ward, which is about the equivalent of Ground Zero in New Orleans.

I don't know that any of us are prepared for this journey, as we've all been extremely busy with second semester work. Regardless, we'll be jumping into two 12-passenger vans tomorrow at 5 p.m., and driving straight through to our destination, a bed & breakfast called Creole Gardens.

The summer job hunt continues. Many have found work already, and on-campus interviews are a regular occurrence. It's possible that I will have a job tomorrow, or next week, or when I return. I'm not worried.

Shortly after my last post, two weeks ago, my computer crashed, which put a dent in my February blogging. Fortunately I backed up my data the day before the crash. Chalk that one up to having experienced a crash and losing everything at the West Branch Times. Never again, I said. So, my debt load is a little larger now, but I'm loving my new MacBook. The way I see it, I'm doing my part to help the economy.

Alright, off to one final pre-trip meeting, then it's time to pack. Bon voyage.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Whirlwind weekend

What a weekend. The last four days, from Friday to Monday, will go down as some of the most memorable ones of my first year.

On Friday morning, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the only retired Supreme Court Justice and the Chancellor of the College of William & Mary, came to Marshall-Wythe School of Law for several hours and spoke. More accurately, one of the constitutional law professors here arranged for O'Connor to hold a Q&A session with first-year law students for 45 minutes on Friday morning. She is aptly described as a firecracker, a word I heard several people use after her visit. She is quick-witted, both confident and humble, proud of her Western roots, and just a wonderful person to be around. A fellow student took my picture with her, and as soon as she emails it to me, I'll post it.

I spent all day Friday and all morning Saturday at the first-ever Citizen-Lawyer Symposium. Again, I'll be writing about that for the Advocate, when I can find the time. Briefly, it was a highly academic discussion but well worth the time.

On Saturday night I MC'd the Public Service Fund Auction. There was a live auction and silent auction --- so far I know that we raised over $13,000 from the live auction, which is a $4,000 increase over last year. The silent auction raised $7,000 last year so I hope we can make it to $20,000. The money gets divvied among students working at unpaid summer jobs and internships. I'll likely be one of those students. Anyway, the auction raises money because it's a variety show, with law students doing all sorts of absurd and hilarious acts, then people bid on donated packages. The most expensive one, four box seats at a Red Sox game, went for $1,050. In addition to being the MC, I participated in a Jackson 5 lip-sync with four of my friends, wearing afro wigs and ridiculous '70s clothing. Maybe if I get the courage I'll post a picture of that as well.

On Saturday afternoon I also made my first trip to Jamestown. Sometimes I forget that I live 5 miles from the oldest European settlement in the New World. It's a fantastic place to go for a run, so I hope to get back there soon and see more of it.

On Sunday night I went to a Barack Obama rally in Virginia Beach. Six of us from the law school stood outside for nearly two hours before they opened all the doors and let us into the convention center. The line stretched for close to a mile, but everyone got in. I haven't seen any estimates, but Obama has drawn crowds of close to 15,000 in Boise, 15,000 in Seattle, and 17,000 in College Park, Md., so suffice it to say there were thousands of us. He's giving more detailed, policy-oriented speeches now, and talking less about his biography. I imagine that's because more people know who he is and want to hear more details. Obama is giving details about what he's going to do as president, but the press is more focused on the enormous crowds and energy at these rallies. Oh well, I guess that's not such a bad thing. The Virginia, D.C. and Maryland primaries are all today, and he will likely do well in all three. Go Barack!

Finally, yesterday afternoon my computer went kaput. Thank goodness it started acting a little funny on Sunday, so I backed up my hard drive. Like about four other people at the law school, I've been taking paper notes in class. Being without a computer at law school is a bit like being without a car in the working world. You can do it by leaning on other people and using public facilities but it wastes an enormous amount of time and gets harder to sustain by the day. Because my computer was refurbished, it didn't have a warranty. A new logic board would cost almost half as much as a new laptop so I ordered a new Mac (with a warranty, of course). I hope to get it tomorrow morning.

What a crazy four days.