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“It’s a Small World After All”

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 18, 2011 in The 2L Life

Well that certainly didn’t go as planned  :(

First round of the TYLA regionals ran from 6pm-9pm tonight. I wasn’t prepared last night but thought I was where I needed to be by today. Co-Counsel and I represented NCCU Law, facing off as the Prosecution against a pair of 3Ls from Emory Law on Defense. And there’s just no other way for me to describe it…

…they completely kicked our ass :beatup:

Evidence we expected them to oppose, they let in without objection.  Stuff we just knew was coming in, they managed to get excluded. My normally-10-minute cross-examination of the Defendant was pared down to 5min because of all the evidence that didn’t come in :crack:

The only thing keeping it out of “unmitigated disaster” territory — just in merely “disaster” range — was that my opening statement was on-point and Co-Counsel’s closing was flawless.  But beyond that I was totally thrown off my game and the two of us got beaten like rented mules.

None of that has anything at all to do with the post title of course :)  The main point for tonight’s entry is a reminder of how surprisingly small the world can be sometimes.

After the competition was over, the guys and I went to a small restaurant on the same block as our hotel for some soul food.1 No sooner do I walk in the door of the restaurant than I hear my name being called from a few feet away. I turn to the right and see one of my college roommates from my N.C. State years :surprised:

Now I’ve only been to Charlotte twice in the past year, and the last time I was in the downtown part of the city was over a decade ago with QuietStorm. And yet somehow, out of the 8,760 hours in a given year, on the one weekend I’m downtown, in a city of almost a million people, I ended up being at the same restaurant at the same time as one of my closest college friends.

It’s a small world out there folks! Keep that in mind when you’re interacting with your law school colleagues who you just might bump into in a random restaurant a few years from now — and remember, don’t burn your bridges ;)

  1. A place called Mert’s Restaurant — some of the best western NC barbecue, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cornbread I’ve had :spin: []

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Game Time

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 17, 2011 in The 2L Life

Tomorrow afternoon is the first round of the TYLA National Trial Competition regionals, hosted by the Charlotte School of Law this year.

My trial binder isn’t ready.

I still have no case law.

Nothing’s packed.

And it’s my first-ever competition as an advocate.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a little freaked out. So I’m just going to take a few deep breaths, go to bed, and skip class tomorrow so I can leave for Charlotte at the crack of dawn and get checked in to the hotel and set up.

Thoughts + prayers are appreciated :) Good night y’all!

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Über-huge mini-update on life

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 7, 2011 in The 2L Life

Evening y’all! :D

I’ve been gone from the blawgosphere for what seems like an eternity — I looked at the little calendar thing on the right for January, and for the first time since I started law:/dev/null there were more days without entries posted than with them :beatup:

As you can probably guess, I had totally overcommitted myself this semester. But I’ve started paring back and hope to get back into the swing of things here starting now ::fingers crossed::

Here’s a quick update on my life, which encompasses most of the dozen-ish entries I had queued up but never got around to posting:

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I. ACADEMICS
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The academic vibe this semester is totally different from last semester. Thus far I’ve got no real interest in any of my classes… plus I’m behind in pretty much all of them :(

Trial Practice is boring because all the stuff we’re going over — openings / closings / directs / crosses / objections — has already been beaten into my brain from trial team practice (see Part II below). Business Associations would probably be a fun class, if not for the fact I’m about 4 lectures behind in the reading.

Same deal with Scientific Evidence; I’ve got high hopes for enjoying it as the semester progresses, but between falling behind in the reading and class being at 8:30am, I’ve been very “blah” every day. As for Criminal Procedure, I finally managed to get caught up last week just to fall behind again by the next class.

I’ve basically been keeping my head down in all of my classes praying I don’t get called on :beatup: God willing I’ll be able to get everything caught up tomorrow and Tuesday…

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II. EXTRACURRICULAR STUFF I’M IN
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Trial team has essentially consumed my life. Back in early January during our first practice I was worried I’d be blown out by my teammates in our draft closing arguments, so I did a lot of prep on mine… and ended up giving the best one :surprised:

That netted me the team captain spot for the 2Ls with the designation as “swing” counsel. Since TYLA teams are either 2 or 3 people, in our case we’ve got 1 person solely doing prosecution, 1 solely doing defense, and the “swing” (me) doing both :crack:

So there have been multi-hour practices 4-5 days a week for a month now. On the off days I’m tweaking things and updating my trial binder and thinking about possible curveballs that could be tossed at us by the competition. Add in the fact I’d never actually questioned a witness before — abjectly failing on the first couple attempts as a result — and you get what’s been an awful loooong month.

For several days I’d get to the law school at 8am and not leave until 10pm, a scenario I assiduously avoided during 1L year and now can’t escape :beatup:

On the SBA end, Treasury work has been a mess too. All NCCU Law school students pay a fee to the main campus student union, which goes into a programming fund to which different organizations can submit requests for event funding. At some point years and years ago, the administrators on main campus decided it would be more efficient to just give the SBA that $$$ paid by law school students and letting us distribute it (since our folks almost never use main campus facilities) instead of having the law school groups submit a boatload of requests to main campus.

Turns out this was all a totally unofficial arrangement. With catastrophic budget cuts looming, the folks on NCCU’s main campus decided a few weeks ago they’re not going to give the SBA that money — months after the fiscal year started and we had adopted a budget including it. So I got to spend a good chunk of late January working with the SBA Exec Board and law school administrators to fill a ~$90K budget hole with only a few months left in our terms.

Fortunately we wrote a very austere budget back in September so we were able to pull it off, but at the cost of having to cancel our Spring appropriations process and trim back a bunch of other expenditures.

My campaign logo+slogan for SBA President

The whole situation’s roots in budget cuts has also persuaded me to run for SBA President in March. The impending cuts being handed down by the state legislature are truly mind-boggling in their enormity. Consider, for example, that for every $1 in state funding that’s eliminated from North Carolina’s university system, tuition has to be raised by $3 to make up the difference. The NCGA is currently talking about cutting $400,000,000.00+ from the UNC system. That means we’re facing $1.2B+ (yes, “billion” with a “b”) in tuition increases just to stay where we are — increases of roughly $5,600 per student.

Those kind of increases lead to mass dropouts like we had back in the early part of this millennium — including your humble author — and it makes for horrible public policy. Our SBA this year had to focus on rebuilding its internal credibility with the Student Body and faculty, and now it’s time for us to focus our sights elsewhere. I think (hope?) my experiences can make me a solid advocate for this university and law school in the year ahead.

I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes :)

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III. EXTRACURRICULAR STUFF I’M NOT IN
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Speaking of student advocates, UNCASG has been in the news quite a bit lately — and it seems for all the wrong reasons.

My successor and his administration pushed me out of the group and ran as far away from my way of doing things as quickly as his legs could carry him. I can’t really complain because that’s how politics goes and I certainly did the same thing when I took over.  The difference between then and now, though, is that I discarded things that didn’t work and found ways that did.

On the other hand, the new kids on the block have basically taken a timewarp back to 2006-07 :crack:

First there was a controversy over the President threatening Executive Officers who support local SG candidates who “disagree with the ‘ASG vision'”. This kind of institutional arrogance is precisely what alienated campuses from UNCASG in the past and led to the withdrawals in the year before I was elected. How anyone thought it was a good idea is beyond my limited mental faculties to comprehend; in my world, if you’re going to have to fire someone… you just don’t hire them in the first place.

The UNCCH Carolina Review decided to make hay from the issue with a piece of their own of course. You might recall the folks at the Carolina Review are the self-proclaimed conservatives cited by the Pope Center in the Center’s hit piece on my tuition views last March.1

I can’t blame the Carolina Review for trying to boost their readership with a timely article on a manufactured controversy, but pegging it as a conservative issue struck me as amusing — once upon a time conservatives opposed non-local people getting involved in local affairs. Instead the Review encourages it, as long as the involvement coincides with their own political views.

The whole situation is a mess, and one that should have been avoided. When I originally wrote UNCASG’s Ethics Act 2.5 years ago, I included this provision:

§1-2.5. Electioneering Prohibited.
(a) No Executive Officer receiving compensation funded by student fees shall knowingly engage in election-related advocacy or other campaign activities on behalf of any candidate for elective office at a constituent member of the Association.
(b) No Executive Officer shall allow his or her name and/or official title to be used to further the candidacy of any candidate for elective office at a constituent member of the Association.
(c) This section shall not be construed to prevent an Executive Officer from filing for elective office at a constituent member of the Association and from campaigning on his or her own behalf.

The section was removed in committee, at the urging of students from… UNCCH.2

The folks at the Carolina Review have also been circulating a petition to have a referendum on UNCCH’s participation in ASG put on their Student Government ballot in an effort to have the University remove itself. As the guy who created N.C. State’s student fee referenda from scratch back when I was Student Senate President, I’m actually in total support of having this particular referendum… but (unsurprisingly) they haven’t yet collected enough signatures to get it on the ballot. If they did, it would deprive them of an issue to carp about :roll:

“But TDot,” you say, “all of the stuff you’re talking about is small potatoes. None of this matters when a group is doing meaningful work and making a difference.” And you’d be right — but that’s not what’s actually going on.

Instead of focusing on the impending tuition battle I mentioned in Part I above, the leadership of UNCASG has focused instead on getting the President a vote on the university system’s Board of Governors — an utterly useless power on a Board where almost all votes are unanimous, and doubly useless when reaching out to the 215,000+ students the ASG President represents can carry more power than any vote. The last ASG meeting produced a total lack of consensus on a legislative agenda, leading to a factually-inaccurate DTH editorial touting a student vote as a good thing to try and fix the total dysfunction currently gripping the group.

The DTH (unsurprisingly) is wrong. Unfortunately the ASG leadership is wrong too.

Then there are the upcoming campus elections which will produce the next salvo of anti-ASG fireworks when new SBPs take office in a few months. Among the amusing candidacies is Rick Ingram, the odds-on favorite to become Student Body President at UNCCH. You might remember Ingram as the Kerry-esque flip-flopper who voted in favor of the UNCASG budget before he decided it would be more beneficial politically to oppose it. He’s been aggressively courting students for their votes — apparently so much so that the campus’s Board of Elections has already fined him for violating campaign rules and is now debating having him disqualified.3

Ingram also proclaimed on his website that “The simple truth is this — the days of fighting against tuition increases are over.”… an odd proclamation from a student and aspiring student leader in light of $1.2B+ in upcoming tuition hikes, and one which (1) the media (unsurprisingly) never covered and (2) promptly disappeared from his website when it became a political liability. Ingram’s victory would speak volumes about the UNCCH electorate, but more ominously it would ensure UNCASG wastes all of next year fighting pointless internal battles instead of serving students.

With all of this drama going on, for some unknown reason I made the mistake of heading to the NC General Assembly to catch up with some old colleagues and ask a few legislators of their thoughts on the situation. To say UNCASG has lost nearly all the credibility we built for it over two years would be putting it mildly :mad:  If I had any doubt that things were really as bad as they seemed, I actually got calls from several campuses asking me to come back and run for the organization’s Senior Vice President position.4 It’s disheartening that I’m actually considering it…

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IV. PERSONAL LIFE
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The saying “when it rains, it pours” was a pretty good epitaph for January 2011.

I was sick for the first week. My sister was committed to a mental institution the second week. QT’s dad unexpectedly died of a heart attack the week after. That very same day in trial team practice I found out a friend of mine was killed in a car accident.

At some point around that portion of the month I discovered both of my parents are either currently having or recently had affairs (I was sufficiently disappointed in both of them that I didn’t bother to inquire further) and the situation with my sister has them contemplating divorce. My dad was laid off from his job. My sister got released from the mental hospital and within the week was off her meds and smoking weed like she had nothing better to do with her time. At which point my parents discovered she had been stealing my mom’s jewelry to sell in an effort to finance her drug habit. Etc etc etc ad nauseum.

I’m pretty sure there was other crazy sh*t going on last month too but I did my best to forget as much of it as possible :beatup:  I’m trying to be a supportive friend to QT and her brother as best I can, trying to avoid the quagmire that is my family and their attendant refusal to make the tough decisions necessary to actually improve their lives, and otherwise trying to avoid having my generally sunshine-y disposition rained out on a near-daily basis like it did last month.

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V. PROFESSIONAL STUFF
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Things are at least marginally better on the professional side. I’ve started my tutoring sessions with the 1Ls in Criminal Law, and so far I’ve got the highest-attended tutorial and office hours out of the 15 different 1L classes (3 each in CrimLaw, CivPro, Torts, Property, and Ks). It’s too early to tell if that trend’s going to continue, but the feedback has been very positive and it really boosts my spirits :spin:

My internship with I-Cubed was also going really well. The people are great, the company culture is cool, the issues are interesting, and I was turning in sterling work product (even earning the praise of an attorney at another tech company). I was also getting addicted to the four-figure paychecks…

…but I walked away :surprised:

Between trial team consuming my time, my personal life being a crucible, and trying to keep up with academics, I just wasn’t able to give the company the 20 hours a week they needed. So I met with the CEO last week (my boss) and basically quit for now. I’m still part of the company and available for non-time-sensitive ad hoc projects as needed, but I’ve otherwise wound down to -0- hours a week until summer when the company will re-assess if I’m still useful to them.

It was the first time I’ve left a job since 2002, when I quit the State Bar to go take a leadership spot in the Wake County Clerk’s Office. There’s a part of me that’s terrified I made the wrong choice, especially with all the doom and gloom about the economy and law school employment stats and etc. But honestly I’d rather put everything out on the table and take my chances down the road than either (1) being miserable every day as I’m stretched too far in too many directions, or (2) start failing at things, turning in below-par work, and ending up getting fired anyway ;)

It was an awesome opportunity and I’m thankful for it, and I’ve got faith everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to work out :)

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VI. BLAWG LIFE
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Spam combat on the backend of this blog has been continuing apace. My edition of the (badly-delayed) Law School Roundup will be coming up this week so I can punt the ball back over to Katie Luper :)

And oddly enough we had a real explosion in Google searches last month, so even though I had almost no entries in January we still had fairly decent traffic :crack:

I’ve also got a piece on tap for Beyond Hearsay that should be going live some time over the next couple weeks, and one for The True Verdict that I’m working on in my spare time — hopefully you’ll like them both ;)

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That’s it for this entry y’all! I’m sorry for being gone as long as I was, but I’m gonna make a serious effort to get back in the game.

Until next time, have a great week! :D

  1. Views they fabricated from whole cloth despite five years’ worth of publicly-available commentary to the contrary. []
  2. Conservative UNCCH students at that, who saw an opportunity to back one of their own SBP candidates with ASG EOs. []
  3. Ingram’s response to the potentially-disqualifying allegations is quite entertaining. Anyone who’s taken the “Detection of Deception” CLE should be able to spot several items where he’s being dishonest with the Board; see if you can find them :) []
  4. I wrote term limits into the ASG Constitution so I’m ineligible to serve as President ever again. []

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When “honesty is the best policy” goes awry

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 24, 2011 in The 2L Life

Hey everybody! :D

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% :beatup:

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 :beatup:

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…

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Here we go again

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 :roll:

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 :beatup:

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 :mad: ).

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 :beatup:

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 :spin:

Expect me to have no hair left by the end of the semester ;) But hopefully it’ll be some fun :D

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I’m still alive

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!

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Home! ::happydance::

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Dec 29, 2010 in The 2L Life

After a trip up that went a lot faster than the ride down, I’m finally back home in Durham :spin:

Lots to write about tomorrow and over the next few days, including a quick rundown of what has become the most stellar vacation week ever in the history of my life, along with my $.02 on last week’s net “neutrality” vote by the FCC, my New Year’s resolutions, a (finally) updated Site Stats entry, and a bunch of other stuff I’ve got partially drafted but never seem to actually get around to finishing in a timely-enough fashion for y’all to read it :beatup:

Until then, I want y’all to read this entry from Jack Whittington over at World Wide Whit. It’s one of his older pieces but highlights a philosophy he shares along with myself and Keith Lee at An Associate’s Mind — and you’ll be seeing it again and again over the year(s) ahead :)

And then take a non-law-related detour to check out this great highlights video from N.C. State’s 23-7 stomping of WVU in the Champs Bowl yesterday ;) :D

More tomorrow! Good night y’all!

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Snowmageddon 2010

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Dec 26, 2010 in The 2L Life

I survived! :D

Hey y’all :)

If you’ve flipped to a news show at some point today, odds are good you’ve seen at least one story on the blizzard that hit the East Coast over the past day and a half. It’s not exactly the type of stuff that would make people from up north flinch, but it ended up setting records in several parts of the Southeast — including being the most snowfall Virginia Beach has gotten since I was born 29 years ago :surprised:

In other words, after praying for snow on Christmas for most of those 29 years, Mother Nature decided to cooperate on the one year I had to drive back home to Durham the next day :beatup:

I left Virginia Beach around 10:00am this morning, figuring since the snow wasn’t projected to stop until 3am-ish tonight it’d be better to get out sooner rather than later. The downside in leaving so early was that there had essentially been no plowing or significant road treatment of any kind done on any of the highways between Virginia Beach and Emporia…

…so a leg of the trip that usually takes 1.5 hours ballooned out to 3.25 instead :crack:

31mi east of Emporia VA around 12:15pm today

For a stretch I was stuck debating which was worse: (i) the overcompensating pricks in SUVs barreling down the highway at near-full-speed with their headlights off, blazing past me just to later spin out into a ditch, or (ii) the people who acted like they hadn’t seen snow before, crawling along at 5mph and holding up the only lane of traffic :mad:

The wind made the whole adventure even more adventurous, with visibility dropped to 50ish yards and occasionally having a full-blown whiteout as the snow falling combined with snow blown off the trees.

To give you an idea of the conditions, I took a couple pictures when I was about 31 miles east of Emporia. The top photo is the view from outside my windshield, and the bottom photo is the view out the passenger side window at the same point.1

Fortunately by the time I got to North Carolina all of the highways were totally cleared, so it only took me about 2 hours to make it the rest of the way home :spin:  Kudos to the NCDOT and the various municipal plowing authorities for doing what Virginia didn’t bother to do in a timely fashion :*

Now I’m here getting everything re-packed to head down to Orlando for Tuesday night’s Champs Sports Bowl featuring my alma mater… where I’m pretty sure there won’t be any snow ;)

Needless to say I’m looking forward to it, so I’m heading to bed — have a great night everybody!

  1. The camera doesn’t pick up the powdery snowflakes, so windshield visibility through the camera lens was actually better than with my own eyes :beatup: []

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It’s just now hitting me…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Dec 20, 2010 in The 2L Life

…that Christmas is only 5 days away :surprised:

The pace of things has gotten really insane over the past 1.5ish weeks. Laundry still needs to be folded. Dishes still need to be washed. Living room still needs to be cleaned.

And at some point I need to get presents for folks :beatup:

I’m enjoying it so far, but if I happen to disappear from the blawgosphere this week please send medical personnel with an IV of Diet Mountain Dew or some comparably caffeinated beverage…

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Weird Sh*t in My Life #137

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Dec 17, 2010 in The 2L Life

My memory’s a bit fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only received 3 international phone calls in my life.

One was to my family back when I was a kid, from my dad when he was deployed overseas with the United States Navy. Another was from QuietStorm when she studied abroad in the UK back in 2004. And the other one was…

…today :surprised:

In one of the most certifiably weird moments of my life, I was sitting at my desk during my lunch break at the internship when I got a phone call. From Mexico.

Given my history of being called for political polls and telemarketers and other wastes of time (and not knowing anyone who lives in Mexico) I decided to let it go to voicemail and if it was important they’d leave message.

Then they did :eek:

The first thought running through my mind was “This has gotta be a scam.” So I dialed my voicemail and started listening to the message.

The first words were “Hi Greg, my name is [Some Person].1 My [former spouse in a Midwestern state] and I want to hire you…” — at which point I thought definitely a scam :roll:  — “…for advice on how to help our [kid] at [a UNC-system institution].”

The caller left their Skype contact info, and also said they’d call me back in 30 minutes if I didn’t have Skype. A prospect which, being the still more-or-less-brand-new guy at the job, I figured was probably a bad idea since I wouldn’t be on my lunch break anymore when they called back.

So I fired up Skype and called them myself :crack:

Turns out the call was legit. Their kid is a highly-accomplished student facing the most serious penalty a university can provide, for what I’d consider a fairly minor (and notoriously common) offense… all due to the UNC system’s zero-tolerance “circumstances don’t matter” anti-drug policy. They were looking for background info on how the judicial process operates, what they should do as next steps, recommendations for attorneys in the area, and so on.

I’ll forgo the rest of the details and our conversation back-and-forth2 — I’ve got a rant about zero-tolerance policies for another day and time — but the crazy part is that so far as I’ve been able to tell I don’t know these folks, haven’t heard of them, and have no apparent connection to them of any kind beyond the fact the kid and I attend separate institutions in the same statewide University system.

And like a dummy I didn’t think to ask how they found me :beatup:

On the exceptionally-slim-but-nonzero chance the kid (or either of the parents) happen to read this entry, I hope things turn out better than they usually do for folks who find themselves in the crosshairs of the student conduct folks. And if they don’t, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome through patience and perseverance; very few punishments in life are permanent.

Consider: if they let someone like me get a degree, damn near anyone can do it… ;)

Just thought I’d share that particular oddity from my day :)  Have a good night everybody!

  1. I’m keeping genders and other identifying info ambiguous so these folks aren’t readily identifiable. []
  2. I respectfully declined the offer for payment since the meager non-legal help I provided wouldn’t do much good anyhow :beatup: []

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