Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 24, 2011 in The 2L Life
I promise y’all I really truly do have a bunch of entries to get posted. Really. It’s just been an über-insane couple weeks and the backlog just kinda keeps growing.
But I figured tonight’s entry is sufficiently brief and/or fail-worthy that it merited posting in a timely fashion
One of the few character traits I closely guard is my reputation for candor. Love me or hate me, most folks I know will agree that I’m a “no bullsh*t” guy — I’ll tell you exactly what I’m thinking, even if it means you’re not gonna like me afterward as a result. I’d rather have an honest enemy than a fraudulent friend.
99.9% of the time that works out in my favor, like it did with my late critiques in my ADR Clinic class this summer.
Today was the other 0.1%
I’d fallen behind in the reading for Business Associations, and I know from experience that if Prof Ks calls on you and you’re unprepared, you’ll be called on again — needless to say, not a 1L experience I care to repeat. And it’s not like I was going to miss anything terribly riveting in Trial Practice. We’re going over how to create a closing argument, something I’ve got a little experience doing already.
So I decided to skip Trial Practice to catch up on the readings. Easy decision.
For whatever reason, I thought it would be appropriate to stop by the Judge’s office after class to see what I had missed. The conversation started like this, verbatim:
Judge TP: “What happened to you?”
TDot: “Well, sir, I was behind in Business Associations and I didn’t want to insult your intelligence by showing up to your class and not paying attention.”
Judge TP: ::blank stare::
And of course there were a pair of 1Ls sitting outside a professor’s office barely a foot away to watch the whole thing
After looking at me like I was batsh*t crazy for a solid 30 seconds, he asked me if I knew the next assignment and then walked off. Here’s hoping I didn’t just nuke my Trial Practice grade…
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 18, 2011 in NotFail
I did it y’all!
Ever-so-slightly lower than what I was hoping to get, but high enough to get me where I wanted: 3.333 for the semester, bringing me up to 3.026 overall — and making the NCCU Law Dean’s List!
On a C curve!
For the first time since 2005!
Sorry I’ve been gone y’all, life’s been crazy — a bunch of semi-drafted posts to upload at some point this week including a thorough semester review too. Have a great night!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 11, 2011 in Technology
I’ve been waiting for this day for years — literally
While AT&T folks didn’t like being tethered to their carrier, I didn’t like having to choose between keeping a phone run on the (increasingly rancid) BlackBerryOS or getting one of those new Android-based phones that were busy sending text messages to the wrong people.
PLUS it’s perfectly timed to come out about a week after Spring refund checks
Via ars technica:
Verizon iPhone: no longer a myth, available in February
By Jacqui Cheng | Last updated January 11, 2011 10:32 AM
Can you hear me now? Good, because the Verizon iPhone has finally made its public debut. Verizon made the announcement during its highly anticipated post-CES press conference in New York on Tuesday, noting that the device will be available for preorder starting February 3, and that the public will be able to pick it up from Verizon and Apple retail stores on February 10.
The phone being offered by Verizon is the same as the iPhone 4 that made its debut on AT&T in the summer of 2010, but with a slightly modified antenna and apparently no SIM slot. The device comes in 16GB and 32GB models for $199 and $299 with two-year contract, and can act as a 3G WiFi hotspot for up to five devices at a time (that’s definitely something we can’t do with our AT&T iPhones yet).
“If the press writes about something long enough and hard enough, eventually it comes true,” Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said during the press conference. Apple COO Tim Cook was also present during the announcement, pointing out that the two companies have been working together since 2008.
There’s one major downside to the Verizon iPhone, though: it’s CDMA-only. “Why not go straight to the LTE mode?” Cook asked. “LTE would force design compromises we’re not willing to make, and customers want the phone now.”
Not only that, but Verizon refused to comment on when—if ever—the phone would become LTE compatible, and the company confirmed that users will not be able to use data and voice services at the same time—”consistent with other CDMA devices now.” The company declined to talk about potential data caps or even plan pricing.
“It’s all about getting it on Verizon,” Cook added. “The customers who want it there will be willing to make these tradeoffs.”
So far, it looks like the device is only available in black from Verizon, dashing rumors that the elusive white iPhone would be a Verizon-only exclusive. Verizon has posted a FAQ to its site for prospective iPhone customers, though there’s little more there than what we heard during the event.
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 10, 2011 in The 2L Life
Good evening y’all!
First day of the my 2L Spring semester was today, and I’ve got a feeling this is going to be one rollercoaster of a semester. As one might expect from some of my past entries, it wouldn’t be the first day of class without a mini-disaster of some kind
Usually my car doesn’t like to start up in the cold weather, so I get up early and crank it until it starts, then sit there until it warms up, then leave for class. Well this morning it started on the second try (which was weird) so I let it warm up and headed to class a bit earlier than usual… and no sooner do I get into the inner lane of the major thoroughfare outside my apartment, in the middle of morning rush hour traffic, when the whole car just randomly dies.
No gas. No brakes. No steering. Nada.
Luckily for me I wasn’t going that fast and coast to a stop, so with cars barreling down on me I frantically hit the hazard lights switch, open the door and jump out of the car to start flagging other drivers to go around. I eventually get the car to start again and make my way to school…
…but not before I’m solidly late for Trial Practice class
In hindsight it was probably a good thing though, because the first day of class was about as exciting as watching grass grow. It covered the basic mechanics and stages of a trial from voir dire through final judgment, stuff I had already picked up between my past professional experience and spending last year on the 1L trial team.
But the class is taught by a judge though and is practically-oriented (all future classes involve different pairs of us going through different parts of the trial) so I’m hoping the excitement level will crank up soon
Then I talked with Professor FRE about the Evidence exam and found out I deserved the grade I got, but for totally different reasons than I expected. I’ll save the details on that for the grade rundown once I get all of mine in (still missing 3 ).
And then I had Business Associations, which will have me terrified for at least the near-term future. Prof Ks (who also teaches BA) got his timeslots mixed up and was late for class, and for whatever reason I decided to do the responsible student thing and go get him — then got rewarded by being the first person called on to brief a case
I feel like I held my own so there’s an ever-so-slim I might actually do well with the material this year, but let’s just say I’m glad the class period only lasted about 50 minutes
While I was in class I got a handful of emails from my internship, including docs I need to get reviewed ASAP. The schedule was posted for my tutoring gig so I’ve gotta get rolling on that. Plus there’s a 15-minute closing argument to write for trial team practice tomorrow night, and somewhere between now and then need to read about 80 pages for BA and Criminal Procedure ::headdesk::
The only real upside to today? We’re currently in the middle of a snow + freezing rain + ice storm, so morning classes got canceled
Expect me to have no hair left by the end of the semester But hopefully it’ll be some fun
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 9, 2011 in Unsolicited Commentary
By now I’m guessing all of you have heard about the horrific massacre that happened yesterday in Tuscon, Arizona. I was oblivious to what was going on until the NCSU-WFU basketball game I was watching got interrupted for a news alert.
The rush to be wrong first was nothing short of disgusting. Within minutes of me updating my Facebook status to express my bewilderment, wondering aloud if Mexican drug cartels were involved — what I thought was a rational question given Arizona’s immigration debates and Tuscon only being 60 miles from the border — a colleague felt the urge to explain that it was “a teabagger hit,” a refrain repeated across Twitter, Facebook and the media as shameless liberals seized on the tragedy moments after it happened to score political points and attack people they don’t like (while apparently forgetting they were often the exact same folks urging people not to jump to conclusions about the Ft. Hood terrorist attack last year).
Then someone somewhere stumbled across the psycho’s YouTube page and discovered he was a flag-burning atheist who listed among his favorite books Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto, not exactly common character traits and reading materials among the tea party set or the broader conservative/Republican bloc. Turns out that the guy is an utter fruitcake (as most rational people assumed) who defies political pigeonholing.
As one person commented on Twitter, “[b]oth sides miss the hypocrisy of their political gamesmanship in tying a mentally ill person to the other aisle’s politics.”
But the disgraceful hypocrisy of the political discourse created by the very people whining about the political discourse isn’t the reason I bring up that tragedy, so that’s all I’m gonna say on that particular aspect of it.
Later that same day, I found out that the Pennsylvania police discovered Sister of TDot wandering along the side of a highway. When they asked what in God’s name she was doing, she explained that everything in the house (that she shares with my parents) was radioactive and making her sick. She was committed to a psychiatric institution — but not before having thrown away everything in the house while my parents were out of town, from family photos and kitchen utensils all the way down to the food in the refrigerator.
Things can always be replaced and I’m thankful no one was physically hurt. I come from a family of limited means (hence why I had to drop out of college back in 2000) so I’m not sure what my parents are going to do, but they and my sister are all alive.
The bigger issue is that things shouldn’t have been allowed to get that far. My sister’s mental condition has been steadily deteriorating over at least the last 10 years. She’s intentionally broken things around the house. She’s threatened to kill my mother. She’s rummaged through my mom’s purse when mom was in surgery, reading her text messages in search of conspiracies while taking money to buy drugs. But while other family members (myself included) pointed out that things weren’t right, my parents and my brother have either been in denial or just unwilling to take serious action — Sister of TDot was involuntarily committed once before (after the death threat if memory serves me correctly), but because she’s over 18 she successfully petitioned to be released and within the week was off her meds and back living with my parents.
Now it’s déjà vu all over again, and I really don’t know what to think or feel about the situation.
We live in an overly-medicated society focused on avoiding personal responsibility at all costs, one where psychiatrists and doctors have developed a syndrome for almost every vice. Do poorly on a test? You must have ADHD. Drowning in credit card debt? You’re a compulsive shopaholic. Can’t keep your marriage vows and f*cking anything with two breasts and a vagina? Gotta be a sex addiction.
But when it comes to serious mental illness, the stuff that can get someone killed — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and so on — it seems folks are content ignoring it or making excuses for it or doing the bare minimum possible to avoid legal liability without actually fixing the problem. Just scroll back to that AZ shooter story for an example: the would-be assassin’s community college had him thrown out because he was mentally ill and the armed services rejected him for the same reason, yet no one reported him to any mental health authority to get help… and now at least a half-dozen people (including a 9-year-old girl) are dead because of it.
I’m sorry for the downbeat and dour entry tonight y’all, I’m just in a really despondent and “ugh” mood right now. If you think you or a loved one might have a mental illness, please talk to someone about it and try to get help before something happens and it’s too late.
And I’ll have something more chipper tomorrow, I promise
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 7, 2011 in Fail
Got my Evidence grade today.
The good vibes from ZombieLaw were a trap
Nothing like totally laying an egg in a course on something I’m supposed to master if I want to become a competent DA… ::smh::
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 6, 2011 in In Case You Missed It
The past week has been miserable from a “personal health” standpoint, which put me behind on blogging. Then the ickiness didn’t go away and I got put behind at the internship too — which put posting blog entries even further behind
But they’re finally up now, so if you get bored and want to read them they’re now posted just for you
In chronological order:
Enjoy, and have a great night y’all!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 5, 2011 in NotFail
…and let’s just say I totally kicked ZombieLaw‘s ass
I’ll have the usual full rundown when the rest of the grades come in, but the deadline isn’t officially until January 12th so it’s gonna be awhile
For now though I’m gonna enjoy in things turning out better than expected
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 4, 2011 in The 2L Life
Sorry I’ve been gone for a few days now y’all, but I’ve been sick as a dog since New Year’s Day
I’ve still got a bunch of draft entries to get uploaded over the next 24-48 hours, so check back here around Thursday/Friday
Have a great week!
Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 3, 2011 in Site Stats
I bet y’all never thought you’d see one of these entries again
2nd month of 6,000+ visitors!
law:/dev/null crossed the 500,000 pageview milestone back in mid-November and I’ve been meaning to do another one of these entries ever since. Then studying and taking finals and working and vacation snuck in and I never got around to it
But December 2010 was our 2nd-best-trafficked month since we started — despite two 5-day absences — so I figure that calls for celebration!
Quite a bit has changed on the server backend of the blog since July, including an increasingly aggressive (and thus far successful) effort at stomping out spammers.
Take a look at one of the new graphs I created below, which shows the number of spammy visitor sources I’ve added to the .htaccess file for banning. I recently started throwing in some keyword bans just to reduce the number of directives the server is processing; for example, instead of banning every spammer coming here from a buythisrandomdrugplz.com address, I’ve just decided to ban all the referers with “buy” in the URL.
The net result? While July featured an almost comically-absurd abundance of spam comments and we had a couple recurrence spikes in August and October, we’ve “purified” the traffic enough that December had the lowest number of spam visitors in the entire history of law:/dev/null
The downside is that the bans kill our pageviews-per-day and Alexa traffic stats, the latter of which are used for determining things like avvo.com’s Top Legal Blogs.
Over 1,000+ spammy domains banned!
Our ranking has steadily dropped like a stone over the past two months while sites like Bitter Lawyer — which has become spam-blasted and hasn’t had fresh content in 3+ months — actually find their stats going up over that same timespan
But, just between you, me, and the interwebz: I’d prefer having 6,000+ flesh-and-blood visitors a month actually reading this stuff instead of tens-of-thousands of spammers just crawling for comment forms
We’ll see if we can keep our current anti-spam success going in the new year. Honestly I’m just pretty amazed / impressed / blown away that we had as many visitors as we did in December, especially given my infrequent posting. So thanks to all of you
On the search query front, we’ve had over 1,000 new queries since the last time I did one of these lists
Here are 20 of the 240+ unique search terms that brought folks here in December 2010:
- time magazine decade from hell picture: the picture was more thoughtful than the story itself
- 1l grade wait: will be at least a month for most law schools, sorry
- human shooting target: didn’t survive my concealed carry qualification shooting
- nccu law school grades: aren’t due until January 12th
- badass eagle: was briefly considered for my new gravatar — but I decided to stick with my current colonial eagle instead
- is law school worth it: yes
- is law school really worth it: yes
- t4 law school worth it?: probably
- essay explaining why i would attend north carolina central university: here’s a tip: if you can find it on Google, the admissions staff can find it on Google too
- if you turn in your tag for lapse in north carolina can you turn around and get a 30 day temporary tag: I could, so you probably can too
- gpa ncsu computer science: hopefully yours is higher than mine
- final exam advice: check out this entry and this entry — and GOOD LUCK!
- 1l gpa for top 10%: depends on where you’re going to school, but for the NCCU Law Class of 2012 it was around 3.28
- hey tar heels… kick rocks: please
- people v andrew madison mock trial keys to win: villify the Queen of Hearts
- first kid movie: was my first/only foray in a Hollywood movie (check #19 on that list and see my FB profile for the pics )
- how can a 24 year old get money for law school: apply for students loans. Lots of loans.
- do classmates know your 1l grades: usually no, unless they do really well
- grading curve nccu law: follows a strict-C, which I’m apparently the only one supporting
- can’t stand law students: then you’re probably reading the wrong blog
I missed going through these monthly…
And finally, here are the Top 5 most-viewed posts for the month of December 2010:
- On tackling finals: TDot’s Tips: More Final Exam Advice (11/30/10)
- On Fall 2010 grade expectations: Halfway done! (12/12/10)
- On combating spammers: Fight WordPress comment spam with .htaccess (08/04/10)
- On law students around the web: Law School Roundup #247 (12/19/10)
- On figuring out what to do with my life: Straddling the fence (12/13/10)
*THANK YOU* again to each of you for your continued support of us here at law:/dev/null!
Past Site Stats entries: