A culinary synopsis of the semester so far…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 3, 2009 in Weekend Roundup

Back in the early days of law:/dev/null/ I figured each weekend I’d post some reflections on the previous week.  It didn’t take too terribly long to realize my life just wasn’t interesting enough to do that consistently, which is why you haven’t seen one since the end of Week 3 ;)

With Week 8 about to start and most sensible 1Ls freaking out over mid-terms, I started putting together some reflections on the semester now that we’re basically at the half-way mark (8.33% of law school done, w00t!).  But then I noticed that my diet actually is a perfect metaphor for the semester as a whole.

Brief explanatory aside:  I’m a big breakfast person.  Love breakfast.  I can endure an awful lot of abuse and still be in a cheery mood as long as I have (i) a hot shower and (ii) a decent meal to start the day.  Miss either of those two, and I’m not a fun person to be around…

My approximate breakfast contents, starting with Orientation at Week 0:

  • Week 0:  Bacon, scrambled eggs, french toast or biscuits, cup of orange juice
  • Week 1:  Bacon, scrambled eggs, french toast or biscuits, cup of orange juice
  • Week 2:  Bacon, scrambled eggs, slice of regular toast, cup of orange juice
  • Week 3:  Waffles with syrup, cup of orange juice
  • Week 4:  Waffles with syrup, cup of coffee
  • Week 5:  Bowl of cereal, cup of coffee
  • Week 6+:  Waffles (no syrup), Diet Mountain Dew, eaten in the car on the way to class…

Not a fan of how this trend has been going, but we’ll see if things improve at all after midterms :)  Have a good night everybody :D

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Reflections after Week 3

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 5, 2009 in Weekend Roundup

I was debating between one of these entries or answering questions from another set of emails.  The latter would require more effort… so I decided against it :D

  1. Law school is still not difficult per se.  It’s still, fundamentally, school.  There’s a ton of reading on a daily basis that might require more time than it typically takes you to read something like Where the Wild Things Are.  But as long as you can keep up with the reading and write notes to yourself to remember the key take-home points, you’ll be fine.  I think.


  2. Despite #1, I’m incredibly behind already.  I missed 3 separate classes this week, with one absence apiece in CivPro, Torts and Contracts. I’ll also likely end up missing classes on Thursday and Friday for my monthly meeting of the UNC Board of Governors.  My apartment is a mess, I need to do dishes, haven’t balanced my checkbook in weeks (bad idea), and still haven’t finished building the trio of shelves I bought back on Monday.  Key point:  don’t let yourself fall behind!  Once you start falling back, it sucks burning a 3-day weekend to catch up.


  3. I still like the experience though, and truly enjoy my classmates — though I’m not entirely sure they feel the same :)  It’s a good mix of people though and the diversity of opinions (and the fact they’re competent) is refreshing.


  4. And if I were smart I’d find a study group.


  5. Stepping away from law, I baked up some cornbread the other night for the first time in years.  I need to tweak my recipe so it’s a bit sweeter.


  6. MythBusters marathons on the Discovery Channel are a lifesaver when you’re stuck at the apartment by yourself and there are no Law & Order reruns anywhere on TV :)


  7. I’m also slowly improving at the whole “getting in shape” thing. Went on a quasi-jog with one of my classmates (who makes me feel like a total underachiever, both physically and academically) and have kept up with my push-ups and crunches.  Though I still contend it could be argued that ’round’ constitutes a shape.


That’s all I’ve got for this week :)  Have a great night everybody! :D

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Reflections on Week 1 of “real” class

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 22, 2009 in Weekend Roundup

Thanks for the handful of panicked text messages I got from folks wondering if something was wrong because I hadn’t posted an entry for the night, I’m alive and well :)

Sorry for not posting something in a more timely fashion — my friend é›…é›… and I decided to try and replicate my grandmother’s recipe for spaghetti, and after eating a very large and tasty dinner (the experiment was a success) I ended up falling asleep.  Last thing I remember was watching “Locked and Loaded with R. Lee Ermey” on the History Channel, wondering where I put my laptop so I could write my post for the day… then my cell phone alarm going off at 6am >_<


Now that Week 1 of “real class” is finished, there are a few things I’ve realized so far:

  1. Law school isn’t nearly as bad as I expected.  I’m sure it will get worse throughout the semester, but looking at the reading lists the volume of material is easily readable and comprehensible for a typical law student (I can’t speak for non-traditional students like folks raising families or students working 20-hour a week jobs — y’all are better people than I am!)

  2. It’s also a lot of fun.  Having worked in a variety of law-related areas back when I was a college dropout, finally understanding the intricacies of the legal arguments I used to read in briefs or hear in oral arguments is like a bunch of little lightbulbs turning on in your head.  And having classmates who I know are smarter than I am makes the debates that much more fun because of the challenge.

  3. Legal Reasoning & Analysis is going to be my “love/hate” class.  The smaller class size in lab is great to see people’s thought processes up close (including who comes at things from a prosecutorial vs a defense mindset), but the way we’re being taught to break down the applicable rules and case law is totally conflicting with the Computer Scientist in me.  It reminds me of this Dos Equis commercial and “speaking French… in Russian.”  More on LRA in a later entry.

  4. Not sure if it was total coincidence or fate, but having the Gang of Eight in the back with me makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.  If you’re a 1L, find some friends before everyone cliques up — you’ll be glad you did :)

  5. Even though a few more-seasoned students have told me I’m strange for it (including Delta the 2L), I genuinely like all of my professors. They’ve all got strikingly different personalities: Professor Contracts has a ton of energy for an early morning class and an excellent sense of humor, Mean Dean Green has a sarcastic streak almost as wide as mine, and you’ve already read about Professor Torts and her no-nonsense attitude. Throw in the Traveling Professor (my Property I teacher) and Professor LRA, and the group is providing a well-meshed experience for all of us.

  6. The mere possibility of being a good student again is an intense incentive to perform.  By my last couple semesters at N.C. State, I had so many credit hours between my Computer Science major and minors in Economics and Political Science that I could have failed every class and it wouldn’t  have significantly impacted my GPA… and could have gotten an A+ in all of them with similarly negligible effects.  That’s a recipe for the most hellacious case of senioritis one can experience.  Now I actually enjoying studying again (for now).


That’s it for this entry.  Going to take Saturday off and try to clean up the apartment a bit… including the spaghetti sauce I left on the stove after falling asleep last night.  Have a great day everybody! :D

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