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Bar prep sucks… so here’s some humor for you

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 12, 2012 in The After-3L Life

Hey y’all! :D

Bar prep has been underway for a couple weeks now at NCCU Law, and is sufficiently voluminous — not difficult per se, just voluminous — that I’ve had to put off working on the May blog backlog because evidently I remember just about nothing from my first year of law school. :beatup:

(I actually have an entry in the backlog on that very topic, including my first BarBri “assessment” quiz a couple weeks ago where I successfully missed 9 of 10 negligence questions… :crack: )

But I am determined not to let this stuff run my life all summer, so I switched gears and spent today working on the IRS 501(c)(3) app to for NC SPICE and going through some entries in the blogroll1 — and came upon this entry at The Human Lorax linking to this list about bar prep over at Legally Noted.

And it’s hilarious :)

The list is a bit profanity-laden, but anyone studying for the bar has probably thought most of these at least once. Check it out when you have time!

Legally Noted: Studying for the bar?! This will make you laugh [h/t The Human Lorax]

  1. Which itself desperately needs an update; I’ll hopefully get to that by the end of the week! []

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Maybe one implied the other?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 22, 2012 in The 3L Life

Good evening y’all!

Tonight was our annual 3L Graduation Dinner at NCCU Law, one last chance for the Class of 2012 to get together and enjoy good food, revel in the fact we’re about to graduate, and otherwise have a good time :D

No surveys taken to determine if being a politician qualifies as being in the public sector...

We also announce the winners of our Class Superlatives, things like “Most Likely to be Late to Graduation” and that sort of thing.

And I ended up with two :crack:

Now I’ll concede up front: I don’t think anyone was surprised that I was voted “Most Likely to be a Politician.” Between 1L year as UNCASG President, 2L year as SBA Treasurer, and 3L year as SBA President (plus being Student Senate President and UNCASG President at N.C. State), it’s obvious by now that I really enjoy this stuff and being in a position to help folks.1

The stunner was getting called back up to the stage a second time as the people’s choice for “Most Likely to Work in the Public Sector” :surprised:

Sure, it’s shaping up that will probably be the case — NC SPICE is coming together slowly — but for other folks to think it was a surprise, especially with my not-infrequent rantings against Big Guv’mint (see here and here and here for examples).

I’m a little flattered, very appreciative, but mostly just shocked. Even though it’s “just” a superlative, I’m hoping down the road I’ll be able to live up to them both :)

Until then, have a great night y’all!

  1. Even though I’ve already noted that the odds of me getting elected outside of a college campus are nil… :beatup: []

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I’ve been meme’d! O_o

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 17, 2012 in Randomness

Forgot to mention this a couple days ago when I first found out:  someone’s turned me into a UNCCH meme!  :crack:

Even though I haven’t been keeping up with law:/dev/null like I should, I still stalk Facebook on a near-daily basis. So I logged in Saturday night when I got back from the law school, figuring I’d scan through my timeline to see what was going on in the world…

The image I saw at the top of my FB timeline on Saturday

…and at the top of the timeline saw a picture of myself staring back at me :surprised:

One of the 1Ls here at NCCU Law went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad and saw the pic on the UNC Memes page that had cropped up on Facebook. The format is a blend of the Scumbag Steve meme paired with the traditional Advice Animals’ color wheel background.

At first I thought it was created by someone who didn’t like me from UNCASG, or maybe had an issue with my past trash-talking about UNCCH.1

But I didn’t recognize any of the names at TheBlackFalcon.net (the folks behind the initial meme) and now it just looks like a random coincidence:  after going through our server logs, someone Google’d “ncsu hat” a couple days ago and apparently we show up on the first page of the results — the photo is from this entry back during N.C. State’s Champs Sports Bowl appearance 2L year, where I bought my red NCSU hat to replace the old “traditional” black one I’ve had since late 1999.

Coincidence or not, I’m honored to be the face of the opposition for all you UNCCH lovers out there. Even the bandwagon Walmart fans who comprise the majority of the university’s support base  :*

And to the folks at TheBlackFalcon.net: well played y’all, that made my weekend ;)

  1. An example from this football-related entry last year: “I have no doubt the University of Non-Compliance at Cheater Haven is a fine upstanding academic institution 6 out of 7 days of the week. But the rest of the time they’re typical blue-blood white-wine elitists who got where they are today courtesy of mommy’s and daddy’s trust fund. Oh, and the wealthy white alumni $$$ that came with excluding blacks for 160 years.” :heart: []

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One more picture that makes me smile

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 7, 2012 in Randomness

I promise I’m not turning law:/dev/null into a photo-blog after yesterday’s post, but this is how my dog ended up after “fluffing” his dog pillow…

Samson made a pillow out of his pillow...

He’s a pain in the butt at times, but I swear I’ve got one of the most adorable pets evah :)

Have a good night y’all!

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Pictures that make me smile

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 6, 2012 in Randomness

School sucks.

Yes, that's a bunny made of 12-packs

At the end of the last entry I mentioned more blog entries coming soon as SBA winded down.

I apparently forgot about the fact I’m graduating in about a month and as a result have a metric ton of papers due in a matter of weeks :(

I'd have bought this in a heartbeat if it had a "."

So rather than a full entry, I thought I’d just share two things I happened to see tonight while I was getting some necessities1 at Wal-mart and a new suit hanger at Bed Bath & Beyond.

And yes I realize the 2nd pic is really just a total coincidence… but it makes me want to create a T. line of various household goods one day ;)

Enjoy — and have a great weekend, and a happy Easter on Sunday! :)

  1. Translation: food :beatup: []

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Spontaneity FTW

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 5, 2010 in Randomness

One of the things I’ve always hated about most vacations is how the last day usually gets wasted. Packing, traveling home, unpacking, etc etc etc — it’s a pretty blah way to end an otherwise-fun excursion.

So 雅雅 and I decided to fix that with a random side trip down North Carolina’s Outer Banks :D

Even though I frequently take the back roads home to visit Nan & Pops, and I’ve been to Elizabeth City State University several times back when I was President of the UNC Association of Student Governments, I never actually made it the extra few miles to North Carolina’s oceanfront. It was a totally different experience compared to what I was accustomed to growing up in the most populous city in Virginia.

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but what I found definitely wasn’t it. And I mean that in a good way :)

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First we crossed over the state border and stopped in Moyock, the global headquarters of Xe Services LLC (formerly known as Blackwater). The folks at the visitor’s center in Moyock loaded us up with various maps of the Outer Banks area, and we continued on our way south down US Highway 158 S.

One of the spots on the map was a shop called Lammers Stained Glass & Gifts. Originally we were planning on skipping it — folks selling stained glass didn’t exactly strike us as something worthy of “tourist attraction” status — and I actually did drive past the building as we headed south. But after seeing the shop on the drive-by, deciding it looked interesting, and concluding we had plenty of time for sight-seeing, we turned around and went in.

I’m glad we did :D

First, the place is almost comically huge. From the road it looks tiny, and even the room where you enter through the front is only about the size of my living room (roughly 187ish square feet). But then you walk in… and notice there’s another room. You walk into that room… and see another room.  You go in there… and see another room.  Then there’s a long hallway.  To another room.  Attached to another room.  Attached to a whole separate building. :crack:

Just in case there's any doubt about my career aspirations ;)

We’re talking almost 9,000 square feet total, with nearly every single inch packed with various types of stained glass, crystalware, ornaments, frames, jewelry, and various other odds and ends. The building in the back is a practical warehouse of antiques with all sorts of cool stuff you’d typically see on a show like Pawn Stars or something.1

Given my future vocation, I decided to grab something for my living room window before we left :)

After spending about an hour at Lammers Glass, we then resumed our journey south and east to the Outer Banks, then pivoted north toward the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

As we’re driving through Duck up toward Corolla (where the lighthouse is located) one of the things that is hard not to notice is how isolated everything feels.  NC Highway 12 is basically just a two-lane road in most places. It seems like a phenomenal place to vacation2 but the first thought that ran through my mind while I was driving was “wow it must be a real pain in the @$$ to evacuate during a hurricane.” :beatup:

The whole area is incredibly beautiful. We got to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse about 45 minutes after leaving Lammers, and walked around the lighthouse grounds to check out the guardhouse and such. 雅雅 didn’t like the idea of paying the entrance fee to climb the lighthouse3… but really didn’t like the idea of waiting around while I climbed it, so we both started up the spiral staircase of the ~15 story structure.

View from the bottom (L); View from the top (R)

The view at the top was pretty amazing :) I took a bunch of photos to stitch a 360º panoramic view together, but until I get around to finding some software for that purpose you’ll have to settle with this single shot of the Atlantic Ocean :P

After hanging out at the top for a few minutes to snap photos and soak in the view, we headed back down and then ventured over to the gift shop.4 Some of the items in the shop reminded us that we needed to check out Corolla Beach, so afterwards we decided to see how far north we could get on NC-12. Feral horses roam all through the northern reaches of the Outer Banks, but the whole area is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles because it’s not paved — you basically have to drive along the shoreline until you get to Carova Beach, adjacent to the Virginia border.5

But with my non-4WD Ford Focus, we decided discretion was the better part of valor and turned around about a quarter-mile in once I noticed the sand starting to pile high :beatup:

From there we headed south back toward Duck (population: ~500), where we stopped for lunch at the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar. Their outdoor seating area is set on the Currituck Sound so we got to enjoy the view while enjoying a superbly-cooked cheeseburger, french fries, and sweet tea :) After that I pulled out my BlackBerry, consulted Google Maps, and we decided to head south toward the Wright Brothers National Memorial down in Kill Devil Hills.

We checked out the building, which includes exhibits on the history of the Wright Brothers, pieces of the planes they built (as well as a replica), and other historical items about flight such as the first military aviation folks, the first female pilot, and so on. After that we ventured out toward the granite markers that designate where the Wright Brothers’ plane landed on each of their 4 test flights… and came to a realization.

Before reading further: don’t judge me please :oops: ;)

For whatever reason, when I learned about the Wright Brothers in my K-12 education I had the impression they took off from the nearby hill where the monument stands. I never really got the big deal, since if they took off from the hill and landed on the ground below they weren’t really “flying” so much as gliding to the ground. But standing there, seeing the piece of railroad track they used to take off, realizing (20+ years later) they took off and landed from the same height — I could only imagine the exhilaration they must have felt by that achievement!

Thinking I must have just been remembering my childhood years wrong, I told 雅雅… who admitted thinking she got taught the same thing. Maybe that’s a weakness in the current K-12 curriculum since we came from 2 entirely different states but both recalled getting taught something inaccurate? :beatup:

Anyhow, at this point 雅雅 and I were both pretty exhausted from all the walking around but I couldn’t resist heading over to the aforementioned hill so I could check out the monument. Similar to being at the top of the lighthouse, it’s a long climb but the view from the top is worth it :) I recorded some video on my camera phone to give you an idea of what it’s like.  I start off facing the Atlantic and circling around clockwise. The field you see at the start and end of the video is the area where the Wright Brothers made their first successful flights; the sound you hear is the wind whipping around like crazy :beatup:

After heading back down the hill and checking out the recent additions in the pavilion — which includes a replica of what Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills were like back in 1903 as well as information chronicling the history of flight since then — we once again consulted Google for the nearest tourist-worthy attraction and decided to head over to Roanoke Island.

On our way there we happened to pass by the Lone Cedar Cafe, owned and operated by state Senator Marc Basnight (D – Manteo). President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate, Basnight is widely considered the most powerful politician in North Carolina. He never went to college but is a tremendously huge supporter of the 17-campus University of North Carolina and ensuring NC students have the ability to pursue a quality higher education in this state :surprised:  Even though I’m a fairly conservative Republican, and I disagree with the Senator on a fairly wide range of issues, I consider myself a Marc Basnight fan just based on his support for higher education.6

This live oak is 400+ years old!

Roanoke Island is home to the Lost Colony and is part of modern-day Dare County, named after the first child born in the Americas to English parents. Once we got on the island we headed north just before realizing it was getting near closing time for government agencies. We skipped past the NC Aquarium and instead headed toward the Elizabethan Gardens, an English pleasure garden built half a century ago in tribute to the colonists. The whole trail through the gardens is about 1.5 miles. I’ve never been a garden type, but I see why people enjoy stuff like this ;)

Particularly cool was a super-massive-huge live oak tree that is 400+ years old — basically meaning it was there in that same spot when those colonists first set up shop on the island! :eek:  It’s pretty neat being able to stand underneath a tree and imagine that someone four centuries ago once stood in that exact same spot of that exact same tree :)

By the time 雅雅 and I finished checking out the gardens, it was a hair past 7:00pm and time for us to start making the 3.5-hour drive back home to Durham (we had left Virginia Beach around 9am :surprised: ). We took US Highway 64 W, following along the Alligator River before seeing endless fields upon fields of North Carolina’s famed agriculture.

After driving for about 2 hours we decided to stop for dinner in Robersonville, a teeny-tiny town of roughly 2,000ish people7… and home to the most technologically-advanced Bojangles’ restaurant I’ve ever seen :crack:

The building was brand new, and included all of the “green” tech stuff you’d expect from a new building. The registers had the gizmos in the front where customers can swipe their own credit/debit card (an anomaly for Boj’s restaurants in the Triangle). There was free wi-fi. Even the bathrooms had Dyson Airblades — the first time I had ever seen them, and which worked surprisingly well.

Needless to say it was a fitting end, having dinner at a tourist-worthy Bojangles’ after all of the other bona fide tourist attractions we spent the entire day checking out :D

Folks who have worked with me know I’m an obsessive planner, and I’ve never been one to randomly take the day off and go somewhere out of the ordinary. But once I’ve cleared some days in my calendar as “time to go adventure” days, I absolutely love not having the slightest clue where I’m going and instead just figuring it out as I go along. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money over this past week, but it has undoubtedly been the single best vacation I’ve ever had for that reason alone: no work, no Student Government, no class, no excuses for staying tethered to life back home — just taking a few days off to unwind and explore without a set schedule or agenda.

It’s good to be back in the Bull City of course, but that was definitely a blast :) And it reminds my why I’ve made North Carolina my home for the past 12 years ;)

  1. Including restored gas pumps from back in the early-1900s :surprised: []
  2. Definitely more laidback than Virginia Beach. Example: it’s possible to find parking :beatup: []
  3. She’s afraid of heights []
  4. Where I picked up a lighthouse ornament for the Christmas tree :spin: []
  5. It’s pretty cool if you pull it up on Google Earth, seeing the development in Carova Beach totally separate and apart from… everything. I’m determined to buy a Hummer or something so I can go check it out some time in the future :D []
  6. Which is actually a bit weird, because many of my predecessors in the UNC Association of Student Governments dislike him for various reasons even though they’re much closer ideologically to the Senator than I am :crack: []
  7. N.C. State has over 33,000 students, by contrast. []

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So much for secrecy

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 17, 2010 in The 1L Life

Welcome to the weekend everybody! :D

This is one of those post drafts I mentioned a couple days ago, the ones that were supposed to be done last week before I randomly disappeared. So this is old news for my colleagues at the N.C. Central University School of Law who happen to stop by, and to y’all I apologize.

But I love being right and just couldn’t resist :beatup:

Regular readers here at law:/dev/null know I’ve got a fairly dismissive view of grade secrecy in law school and the whole “omg we’re all competing with each other!” worldview. I’m candid with all of you about my grades (e.g. here and here and here) even though they’re not that great, simply because (1) it’s a better option than wasting time/energy trying to stay secretive, and (2) everyone knows I’m not a top student so I conveniently get excluded from the law school gossip mill ;)

Every 3.0+ student at NCCU

The folks who preferred the secretive approach found out I was right last week, albeit for totally unexpected reasons.

As part of its mission, N.C. Central University — not just the law school but the whole thing — intentionally serves students who otherwise might not be accepted to college elsewhere. Since it takes a “calculated risk” admitting those students, grade inflation is practically non-existent: the “curve” is set at 2.000 in nearly every course of study, and professors will promptly flunk you if your performance is not acceptable.

So it’s probably no surprise there are some Eagle alums in their first year at Harvard Law School, some current NCCU students scoring in the top percentile of all Praxis-takers statewide, and a massive poster touting every student with a GPA above 3.0 in every department.

Yes, you read that right :)

We have an annual Honors Convocation for everyone in honors range, but what many of the 1Ls didn’t know (myself included) is that the Convocation folks also print massive posters for each of the academic buildings on campus. These posters list out everyone currently at the cum laude (3.0-3.29), magna cum laude (3.3-3.49), and summa cum laude (3.5+) levels.

And that includes the law school.

The good students @ NCCU Law

I can’t accurately convey to you in words a week later how much buzz and consternation and gnashing of teeth this poster caused for the 2-3 weeks it was up :crack:

Some folks were upset their names were listed, others were upset that other people’s names were listed, etc etc etc.

Personally I found it all eminently amusing, no doubt partly because everyone knew my name wasn’t going to be on there… but mostly because a number of people who’ve talked big game about their grades have been exposed as frauds by their absence :roll:

So to any pre-Ls looking forward to attending NCCU Law next Fall, let this be a lesson to you: listen to TDot ;) I won’t steer you wrong :D

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Torts: the Mixtape

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 14, 2009 in The 1L Life

Rap and hip-hop make up the majority of my iTunes library, and after a track helped us learn part of the UCC I started wondering if I could put together mixtapes to teach folks legal concepts.

And I’ve already got a couple candidates in Torts ;)

First topic: negligence cases involving the violation of a statute. You’ve got 3 standards for treating a violation — negligence per se on one end, mere evidence of negligence on the other, and a rebuttable presumption of negligence in the middle. That is, a defendant is presumed negligent unless they plead…

Second topic: negligence and the social host rule. Normally a host is liable for serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated guest.  But apparently North Carolina is a minority jurisdiction on this and doesn’t actually apply it. So…

Any other suggestions? :D

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Bejeweled Blitz is worse than nicotine

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 7, 2009 in Randomness

I don’t know if I should be mad at 雅雅 for introducing me to this ridiculously addicting game, or if I should be mad at Madame Prosecutor for pointing out at lunch on Wednesday that “I never see you on here anymore” (because my score is among the lowest of her friends).

It started out as a couple-minute break from CivPro, trying to catch up to everyone else…

Which turned into 20 minutes…

Which turned into 40…

Which turned into me realizing I really need to get back to studying, and still haven’t broken 140K (meaning I’m still in 13th place)…

I guess the only person I can be mad at is me, for letting myself be goaded into this competition. Can you be a gunner over a video game?

Grrr…

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That’s just bananas!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 21, 2009 in The 1L Life

Did the MythBusters lie to me?

We’ve been covering negligence in Torts, and the section on proof starts out with a sextet of slip-and-fall cases. What do the folks in the first 3 cases slip and fall on?

A banana peel. :surprised:

Seriously.

For some reason I thought people slipping on bananas were a comedic device.  But from Goddard v. Boston & Maine RR Co. (179 Mass. 52) (no liability since no evidence Defendant could have known banana peel on the floor) to Anjou v. Boston Elevated Railway Co. (208 Mass. 273) (liability since condition of banana indicated it was there long enough that Defendant should have known its presence) to Joye v. Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. (405 F.2d 464) (remanded since jury could not determine how long banana had been on floor based on evidence presented), not only do these banana cases apparently happen in real life — they’re actually cited by one of the widest-used Torts textbooks. :crack:

And that’s no monkey business…1

  1. Thanks for indulging me with the puns :* []

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