Monthly Archive: September 2006

Simple Pleasures II

For the first time this semester I am sitting in my room wondering what I should do next. I outlined a few chapters for each of the class I am taking, I bluebooked what I have so far for my Note, I even dropped off my shirts and suit at the drycleaner’s. What next?

The new iTunes is a good improvement over the previous one, and its new fancy interface got me to listen to a number of CDs that I’ve long forgotten about. My third-floor window faces the street. The two trees right outside –one turning red and yellow and the other, a pine, remaining dark green — provide a stage for the squirrels that occasionally peek into my room as I gaze at them. Natalie Imbruglia’s voice mixed in with the noise of the passing traffic has a magical relaxing power, in a different way from Jack Johnson’s songs that by now I know too well. It is surprisng that in a city that’s at least 500 miles from the sea in any direction, the occassional noise of a passing car starts to seem like the calming sound of the ocean wave. Or is it because I’ve begun to miss the east coast? Adding to the simple pleasure of sitting by the window and listening to the street noise and random CD albums is Anna’s photo album, which I flip through from time to time to marvel at how much she has grown yet maintained the same sleeping position.

I am sleeping on average only 6-7 hours lately, even less than the 8 hours during the 1L year. It is difficult for me to go to sleep immediately after a busy day. Being mentally exhausted is a torture different from physical fatigue. With physical fatigue i could just jump into bed and it would be gone the next morning. But when I am exhausted from having spent the whole day reading, thinking and writing, it seems that I need a few extra hours to slowly unwind and decompress before I can fall asleep.

But I am really happy with the direction things are going now, and am glad that my choice to go to law school has proved right so far. I am enjoying law school even more than I did during my 1L year, which is a weird thing to say considering how many people hate law school. I guess the appreciation of those simple pleasures makes all the difference.

Simple Pleasures

Now in official reporters.

Rivers v. State, 903 A.2d 908 (Md. 2006).
Attorney Grievance Comm’n v. Lee, 903 A.2d 895 (Md. 2006).

I think I got really, really luck with my 1L summer job — I actually enjoyed it and the judge took me seriously. Rivers is a very interesting case. See Rivers v. State, 903 A.2d 908, 915 n.3 (Md. 2006).


Amazingly, I realized that, one month into the semester, I only have one last Part left to write for the first draft of my LR Note (other than the obligatory 1 page conclusion and to roughly edit my footnotes according to bluebook rules, that is).

For sake of my own sanity I will probably add a 5-page appendix full of math equations to explain in rigorous and succinct math language what I clumsily and verbosely explained in Engilsh in the main text. Actually, the 5 pages of graphs and equations are really all that’s necessary to prove my point, but I didn’t think that idea would go too well with my Notes Editor.

This semester has been extremely busy, but it seems to be worth it.

Email exchange of law students

What happens in the quad should not stay in the quad, so below is a snippet from today’s lawopen.

Email 1, sent out to the public mailing list

Did anyone find a golf ball in the quad the other night? I hit it off my tile floor and through an open window with an eight iron. The ball has sentimental value to me because it was part of the greatest trick shot in golf history.

Response, also to the mailing list

Could you please define what you mean by the “greatest trick shot in golf history?”

Also, could you please clarify what you mean by “lost?” If you knowingly struck the ball through an open window with a club, ostensibly into a public commons area, couldn’t this be construed as having “abandoned” said ball? That being said, if the ball was of such great value, why were you abandoning said ball in the first place? Why not use a substitute?

No, I haven’t seen it, but what are you offering if I do?

Response to response, again, sent to the mailing list

Greatest Trick Shot in Golf History: Hitting a golf ball through a open window, off of a bare tile floor, with an eight iron. Please note that [friend]’s face was approximately 1 foot from the window at the time.

Lost: Not in my possession. Someone obviously witnessed the shot from below and grabbed the ball before I could recover it. Why did I hit that particular ball? The ball didn’t become valuable until the trick was complete, so any ball I hit was going to be “abandoned”.

Reward: Whoever returns the ball can be my friend for one (1) day.

(name withheld)


Once again, spent all my free time today doing citechecking. I actually don’t mind doing this kind of work as long as the author makes a reasonable effort to get the cites correct in the first place. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but what annoys me is that out of the 7 pieces I’ve citechecked so far, only 2 authors seem to have made a conscious effort to stick to the bluebook rules. But the upside of all this is that I got to read a lot of stuff that I probably won’t read had it not been for the citechecking assignments.

Amazing Ad

Forgot to put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign last night, and at 8 a.m. I was woken up by hotel housekeeping. Couldn’t go back to sleep and unwilling to start the day, I turned on the TV and was curious what programs were available at this time of the day.

If you have never watched TV at 8 a.m., other than perhaps the news channels, then you don’t know what you are missing. For the first time I enjoyed one of the “infomercials,” and it is about a “Magical Spring Water.”

According to the “Minister” on the ad, this small packet of water can do either or both of the following things for you, all with live testimony on TV
– “Supernatural surgery,” i.e., after you drink this water, God puts his hand in there and takes the cancer/backpain/allergy out with his supernatural power.
– “Supernatural wealth transfer,” i.e., drink this water and you will find unexpected checks coming to you — so many checks that one person said she even stopped cashing them.

I’ve heard of magical diet pills, get-rich-quick schemes and a number of other too-good-to-be-true things. But this one takes the cake. When I was starting to think how can these people shield them from liability if customers sue them for breach of express or implied warranty, I realized they repeatedly said in the ad, “follow the instructions, the divine instructions from God” on the packet.

If people can follow instructions from God who needs this water?

I met the law, and the (international) law won

So, despite the secret contempt I have held for some time against those Americans who care very little about what’s going on outside their country (their town, sometimes) and think the good old U S of A (very young, in fact) is the center of the world (it is not), I made two decisions this week that made me look just like one of them.

First, I decided to take the transnational law class on a pass/fail basis instead of a regular grade. Michigan allows 15 credits of pass/fail over 4 semesters, and I am using 3 this semester. I only have so much time, to be divided among several things, so I have to sacrifice something, and unfortunately transnational law is the one to go.

Second, I decided not to try out for the Jessup moot court. I went to the information session and there were about 4 2Ls in the room, and everyone else was a 1L. Michigan is one of the few schools that allow 1Ls to try out for the team, but I didn’t realize there would be so few 2Ls. Anyhow, I looked at the try-out brief prompt and decided I knew so little about international law that I should probably not embarrass myself by even trying.

On a brighter note, it seems that I made some real progress with my Note for the Law Review. I now begin to sense I am onto something really interesting and potentially big here, something that seems like having been overlooked by many others before me. But there’s always the lingering fear that there is that article, written by someone else on this precise issue, hiding somewhere in a journal that might jump out later to destroy all that I have so far. But I guess I will just have to deal with that.

ThinkPad Blog

interesting blog by thinkpad designers. If it were up to me I wouldn’t change a thing about how the thinkpads look, though. I would be happier if there is an X series thinkpad with 1280×1024 resolution and perhaps a small touchpad, or a T series at under 4.5 pounds.

The blog also links to the bio of a designer at Lenovo Beijing. Very interesting stuff, but I just don’t understand why someone as accomplished as he obviously is has to point out that he’s the only Chinese at various events, or that the EMBA program at CEIBS is ranked No. 20 in the world, to further boost his bio. Sounds a bit insecure to me.