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“Let me tell you a story…” (Part 7 of 9)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 9, 2014 in Background

Long-time readers of law:/dev/null1 have likely already come across at least one of the several dozen entries I’ve posted over the years on the UNC Association of Student Governments under our UNCASG tag and the Student Government category :beatup:

If my time leading the Student Senate2 was best characterized as a hobby, UNCASG quickly developed into an obsession.

The group had grown so wholly and completely dysfunctional that it was practically begging for unconventional leadership, and I truly felt called to step up and fix it. So I eventually teamed up with the Pickle Princess to burn everything to the ground and start over — with N.C. State as my template.

But first there was the whole issue of running for reelection for the purpose of vanquishing a certain villain

Questions in this Clip:

00:00 – So what factors influenced your decision to run for reelection?

07:27 – How did you handle both responsibilities as Student Senate President and ASG President?

Hope all of you have had a great week, and enjoy your weekend! :D

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From the law:/dev/null Student Leadership Initiative-related archives:

  1. **THANK YOU**! :* []
  2. The single most-distinguished student deliberative assembly ever conceived in the State of North Carolina :spin: []

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Improving participation at the ABA Law Students Division

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 16, 2011 in Student Government

Now that I’ve recovered from driving 10 hours in 2 days, I’m not entirely sure what to think about the ABA-LSD “Super Circuit” meeting for the 4th / 5th / 6th Circuits that happened down at Charleston Law this weekend. The meeting was more informative than I anticipated; the turnout, on the other hand, seemed downright spartan for such a large geographic area.

It was hard to tell when attendance hit its peak. When the day started there were a bunch of CSoL students present which inflated the numbers, but as they started trickling out just after lunch other law schools (like FAMU Law) had started trickling in. I’d estimate there were around 40 or so people present over the course of the day.

By the time the clock hit around 2pm, though, there was barely anyone left :beatup:

The abrupt disappearance of so many attendees was reflected in the agenda: rather than have the planned sessions for roundtable-like discussions with other delegates (the main reason I went), the meeting was adjourned nearly 2 hours ahead of schedule :surprised:

Sure it left time for a more-scenic drive back to North Carolina, but it makes me wonder if sending people to these meetings is a project on which I want the NCCU Law SBA investing our students’ money…

When the people in charge asked what could be done to fix the horrible turnout, naturally people targeted the symptoms rather than the cause — requests for the dissolution of combined circuit meetings outright and other various solutions-that-don’t-solve-things-but-make-you-sound-intelligent were plentiful. In case anyone from the ABA-LSD happens to read this small piece of internet real estate, here are my 3 suggestions:

  1. Embrace the 36 Hour Rule: I’ve literally been to dozens of weekend meetings in my life, and I’ve never seen a well-attended one that lasted less than 36 hours. As a group starts cutting back the amount of time designated to business to lure more attendees, the relative opportunity cost for attending actually goes up — people who might drive 10 hours round-trip for a full-weekend event simply aren’t going to commit that same travel time for a mere 6-or-less hours of business. When you spend more time traveling to a meeting than you do actually meeting, attendance drops. This was the exact same situation UNCASG faced before the Pickle Princess and I ran for office, and one shared by many other groups.1 You fix it by offering more for the attendees instead of less: some business and a social event on Friday night to encourage on-time arrival, substantive business all day on Saturday, a party of some kind on Saturday night as a reward, and some closing minor business over breakfast Sunday morning to discourage early departures. Attendance will always be lighter on Friday and Sunday, but having those days as the ones dedicated to travel gives you a greater volume of people present on Saturday; those same people then interact with the others, building friendships, and creating a reinforced incentive for people to participate and show up to future meetings.
  2. Lead from the front: Back during the Spring’s ABA-LSD 4th Circuit meeting when I served as a proxy for our SBA President, I “ran” for Circuit Governor in protest since no one had filed for the position; two other candidates were nominated from the floor and talked about how much they wanted the job, and my commentary was along the lines of “If you cared so much you’d have filled out the paperwork on time. Wtf is wrong with this Circuit?” I think the eventual winner (Mallory Duley-Willink of Charlotte Law) has been leery of me ever since, but at least as far as this Charleston meeting goes she was the only one to actually do her job throughout. By the time we hit that 2:00pm-ish mark — with 3 hours of material left to go on the agenda — both the 5th Circuit and 6th Circuit Governors had bailed to head home :crack: That sets a horribly bad example for the other delegates, who will rise or fall to the standards set by the leadership. If the people reaping the networking and financial benefits of these jobs aren’t sticking around, the “little people” will follow suit. The group leader should be the first to arrive, the last to leave, and should be putting more effort into the group than anyone else.
  3. Live the mission: I don’t actually know if the ABA-LSD has a mission separate and distinct from the greater ABA, but whatever it is or would be the leadership should reflect some passion in trying to carry it out! All the communications I’d gotten for the meeting were the slick automated emails sent through whatever program the ABA folks use, with no real information in them beyond the same form email listing the date/time/location. When we got there, the officer reports were lukewarm. The new Representative to the ABA Board of Governors had no idea what I was talking about when I asked a question about an initiative discussed by his predecessor;2 then he offered a lengthy politician’s explanation instead of simply saying “I don’t know anything about it but I’ll find out.” Then just before the remaining leadership announced the meeting would be cut 2 hours short, they asked for suggestions on how to improve the meetings… with not a single recommendation being written down by anyone :roll: An organization’s leadership serves as its biggest cheerleaders; their principal role is being physical embodiments of the group’s ideals. If you can’t live the mission, you should probably go lead something else.

I doubt any of the ABA’s decision-makers will read this (much less take it seriously) but that’s my $.02 on how to improve ABA-LSD participation, at least in this part of the country. People respond to expectations, regardless of where they’re set — so set them higher ;)

Have a good night y’all! :D

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From the law:/dev/null 2011 ABA-LSD “Super Circuit” Meeting-related archives:

  1. See page 4 of our UNCASG platform “The Clock is Ticking…”, where we called for (and later implemented) full-weekend meetings. That decision led to three different records setting the highest attendance in the Association’s 38-year history. []
  2. Trying to get the cost of bar review incorporated into the Cost of Attendance figure used by law schools to calculate financial aid packages. []

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Getting caught up

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 12, 2011 in The 2L Life

Hey everybody! :D

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything here at law:/dev/null, largely due to spending Spring Break this past week trying to get caught up on life post-trial team season. I’m still not there yet, but I figured if I waited to post until I was caught up on classwork I wouldn’t have any readers left :beatup:

So what’s been going on over the past week and a half here in Legal Eagle territory? Here’s a bulleted rundown:

  • Wednesday (03/02/11): Finally had my nuked Gmail restored… in its entirety :surprised:  I have to admit I was both surprised and impressed, and I’ll concede I was wrong in my entry predicting the worst. After making sure all of my mail was restored / downloaded / backed up / etc, I stayed up until 2am-ish to make sure I was fully packed and my trial team binder was ready for the AAJ competition I was brought in on.
  • Thursday (03/03/11): Skipped classes to head to the airport, then flew down to Atlanta GA for the AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition regionals. The first round wasn’t until Friday night, so I spent the day with the team checking out the city.  We had lunch at the Underground‘s Georgia Peach Restaurant & Lounge — some of the best barbecue I’ve had outside of North Carolina, and their peach-blended tea was delicious too.1 :)
  • Friday (03/04/11): The 2L team’s first round in the AAJ STAC was against the 3Ls from WFU Law. There were some initial jitters when we found out I had already met the presiding judge — the coach of the GSU Law team Christie and I dismantled at the TYLA NTC — but since we didn’t really know how to go about asking for a recusal (and didn’t even know if doing so would even be appropriate given AAJ’s chronic shortage of judges) we just went ahead and did our thing. EIC and M&M were counsel for the defense on that case and turned in a top-notch performance. It provided a big confidence boost to Tinkerbell2 and I heading into the Saturday rounds.
  • Saturday (03/05/11): And with that confidence in-hand, we torched the next two teams we faced on Saturday :D Tinkerbell and I were counsel for the Plaintiff for both rounds, and we first went up against 2Ls from I’m-not-entirely-sure-where.3 The results could be summed up like this: Tinkerbell was so devastating on cross-examination, their lead counsel blurted “DAMN!” in exasperation when yet another one of his objections was (properly) overruled :spin: I also got to deliver my first “split” closing, which went over well with the jury both in its execution and content.

    NCCU Law's 2L and 3L AAJ Trial Teams :D

    We followed that beatdown with a match against the 2Ls from WFU Law, in what was hands-down the toughest match we had. Their cross-examination was sharp, and it seemed like every evidentiary ruling made by the judge was going in their direction whether it was warranted or not. Tinkerbell finally shook them off their game during her cross-examination of the Defendant, who started fabricating facts under the pressure. I was sufficiently heated at that point4 that I was out for blood when it came time for closing arguments, and proceeded to beat the Defense over the head with their own inconsistencies. It was all very satisfying :angel: Afterwards we headed to a post-competition reception, then went back to the hotel and played spades at its downstairs bar until last call.

  • Sunday (03/06/11): We found out our 2L team came in 7th place overall5 and only the Top 4 would advance to the semis, so Sunday got spent checking out the Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and then packing up to head back to the Bull City. Before leaving the hotel we also ran into MDG… which was vaguely reminiscent of a 1L nightmare I used to have where I tried to hide from my teachers but they always seemed to find me no matter where I went.6 :beatup:
  • Monday & Tuesday (03/07-08/11): Both of these days get lumped together because they were both spent knocking out life necessities — several loads of laundry, apartment cleaning, turning in travel-related paperwork, and so on.
  • Wednesday (03/09/11): Had a business lunch with the Pickle Princess, who I hadn’t seen since the April festivities celebrating the end of my second term as UNCASG President. After catching up on how our respective lives had progressed over the past year, I gave a tour of my alma mater to a quartet of her students who were participating in a FFA competition we were hosting. Turns out one of them even wants to go to law school eventually :surprised: If I ever get sick of the whole “being a lawyer” thing, I think I’d really love being a booster for N.C. State and for NCCU Law :spin:
  • Thursday & Friday (03/10-11/11): These two get lumped together too, since they were basically split between watching the opening games of the ACC tournament and trying to catch up on all the mounds of schoolwork that amassed themselves between focusing on TYLA, focusing on SBA, and focusing on AAJ.

Which brings us to today: catching up on law school work, catching up with law school friends, and catching up on the law school blog :D

God willing I’ll be able to resume my somewhat-normal life now that I’ll have some free hours again, which in turn should (hopefully) mean more work around the blawgosphere — keep your fingers crossed!7

And until then, have a great night y’all! :)

  1. I did, however, nearly choke to death at one point amid drinking said tea. Madame Prosecutor was not pleased. []
  2. Another 1L K-S veteran with me. She’ll probably object to this nickname, but as 1 of the 2 shortest people I know at NCCU Law I thought it was appropriate ;) []
  3. I think they said Mercer Law, but I can’t remember for the life of me :beatup: []
  4. I know it’s a competition, but lying under oath? Really? []
  5. In reviewing the ballots, we swept Saturday but somehow lost the Friday night round. Even given my natural bias toward my own team, I’m still at a loss to explain how any rational judge (let alone 3 of them) could have arrived at that conclusion. When a pair of Emory Law 3Ls kicked our butts at TYLA, I admitted it to you. The people we went against that night in AAJ were far worse, while EIC and M&M easily outperformed Co-Counsel and I ::shrug:: []
  6. He was supposedly in town for a NBA game, not to tell me my 1L CivPro grades were entered wrong and I had actually failed. []
  7. Unless you don’t actually like reading this stuff, in which case you can stop visiting :P []

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Apparently we’re nomnom-licious?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 2, 2010 in Site Stats

That’s the only reason I can think of to explain the search results from last month :beatup:

I wasn’t surprised when “law:/dev/null” turned out to be the most frequent query leading people to law:/dev/null, used by 20 separate visitors from across the web last month. But what was the #2 most frequent search term, used by over a half-dozen?

law:/dev/null Pageviews and Unique IPs over time

“nomnom”

Yeah. I don’t understand it either :crack:

But before we get into the amusement that is our monthly search queries, I wanted to give an über-huge *THANK YOU!!!* to y’all for helping May outpace April as our busiest month yet! :D

An updated graph is on the right for those of you who are visual people.1)

The data this month is interesting, because we had a -2.2% drop in unique IP addresses served — not a surprise given the summer break from school — but somehow still had a +13.6% bounce in average pageviews per day and a +17.3% jump in total pages overall.

I could be wrong here, but to me that means we’ve got more regular visitors who actually enjoy reading this stuff :eek:

Assuming I’m right on that, to all of the new folks I just wanted to say: 1) welcome!, 2) read the disclaimer!, and 3) thanks for visiting! :*

# of unique search terms

Also on the “this was unexpected but still pretty cool” front, we had a real explosion in search queries used to find this site — jumping +76.2% from 84 to 148.

I made a graph for that one too… :beatup:

I’m not entirely sure what prompted the search spike, since most of the terms go to entries that have been indexed by search engines for awhile now. If any of you happen to work for Google (our #1 referrer again) feel free to share some insights!

***

And now for those queries. Here are 20 of the 140+ search terms that brought folks here in May:

  • nomnom: Maybe the folks who tried this one were hungry for Contracts?
  • what is taking nccu so long: There were literally about a dozen different variations on this search, including “how long did it take to receive a decision from nccu law?” and “north carolina central university school of law admissions taking a long time” and “still no decision from nccu law”. All I can say to you folks is this: try not to think about it. In my case I got my acceptance letter from NCCU Law on 05/04/09, one week after I received an email that my application was “complete” and that I’d receive a decision “six to eight weeks” thereafter.2 The admissions staff are dealing with the recurring issue of having thousands more applicants than there are seats, and this year they have an added wrinkle with politics: the N.C. General Assembly has a provision in the House version of its budget currently being considered that would severely restrict enrollment growth at all institutions in the University of North Carolina… which means available fewer seats than anticipated. I know that’s approximately -0- solace to those of you who are waiting, but the admissions folks have a tough and thankless job so it takes awhile :beatup:
  • when does the nccu law packet come in the mail?: I got my packet around June 22nd or so.
  • conservative corporate taglines: Not sure what you’re looking for, but the only mention of taglines here is this entry on Men’s Wearhouse. Sorry.
  • segregated lunch counters: Are thankfully a thing of the past. I wrote some thoughts in this entry on the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins.
  • nccu law school section 102 grades: I’ve been told y’all have 3 of your 6 grades in already :mad: Be thankful you’re not §103 — we’re still waiting
  • mock trial: people v andrew madison: There were several searches related to this one too, looking for opening statements. Can’t help you with the opening, but feel free to check out my closing in the #4 entry of our monthly Top 5 list below.
  • nccu law summer reading list: If you haven’t gotten it already, you should get it around June 30th. I read To Kill A Mockingbird but didn’t read a single other book on the list. In my opinion you’re better off spending your time enjoying your summer ;)
  • blogs about north carolina central university school of law: There are 3 I’m aware of: us here at law:/dev/null, one by Madame Prosecutor, and one by the Prophet. If you find any others let me know!
  • does nccu school of law have midterms?: Yes we do, and with few exceptions they make up 20% of your final grade. That’s not always a good thing :beatup:
  • 3.0 gpa as a 1l: I need to know what school you’re at to give you any meaningful commentary. If you’re attending a law school with a 3.333 curve (like UNCCH Law or Duke Law), that means you’re not doing so hot. If you’re attending a law school with a 2.000 curve (like NCCU Law), it means you get a 100% tuition scholarship.
  • nccu law school trial team: Kicks ass — and that’s just the 1Ls :D
  • ashley yopp: Has been dubbed the Pickle Princess here on the blog. She worked with me last year running the UNC Association of Student Governments after she basically created the Student Senate at East Carolina University.
  • what states still elect clerks of superior court: Don’t know the answer to that question, but I know 100% for certain that North Carolina is one of them :)
  • unc asg stipends: Have been slashed to the lowest point they’ve ever been, and are now at a level where I’m worried it’s going to negatively affect the effectiveness of the organization if they’re not increased. See entry #5 in the monthly Top 5 list below for details.
  • why does nccu school of law have first year orientation: Because when it comes to law you’re not going to know your ass from your elbow when you start school, but you’ll be reading dozens of cases in every class every night for the first several weeks starting on Day 1. Orientation lets you get familiar with the school first, so you can get your locker, grab your ID card, buy your books and such — that way there are no excuses for you when the work gets piled on ;)
  • is nccu law accredited: Yes, as it has been since it was founded in 1939. The better question is: are there any law schools the ABA won’t accredit? :beatup:
  • law school student mental breakdown: Those apparently happen on occasion. NCCU Law has its own full-time psychiatrist for that very reason. Remember to breathe and everything will be fine…
  • how to answer contracts ii final exam: Not like this :cry:
  • people that start drama and then expect apologies: are insane. Just my $0.02.

It’s been an interesting month. Now I kinda want July to hurry up and get here so I can see how the June queries turn out… :spin:

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And finally, here are the Top 5 most-viewed posts for the month of May 2010, including two repeaters at #4 and #5:

  1. On my product-purchasing pathologies: Some signs you might be a law student… (05/04/10)
  2. On last month’s site stats: “You like me, you really like me!” (05/02/10)
  3. On LRP reducing me to tears: Illiteracy FTL (04/22/10)
  4. On my first ever closing argument: Alice in Wonderland (03/24/10)
  5. On political hacks-in-training writing commentary: On UNCASG, $1, and the UNCCH Daily Tar Heel (03/30/10)

*THANK YOU* again for your continued support of this blog, I truly do appreciate it :) I’m heading to bed so I can wake up on time to knock out some class work — have a great night y’all!! :D

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Past Site Stats entries:

  1. Or folks like me who just get a kick out of making graphs and charts and stuff ; []
  2. But I also had a high LSAT score to balance out applying so late in the admission cycle. Long-time readers of law:/dev/null may recall I’d gotten several emails from NCCU Law about a missing reference letter, so my application wasn’t ready for them to review until early April. []

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A chance coincidence of coincidences…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 13, 2010 in Student Government

…or, perhaps, divine intervention. That was the theme of my first speech to the UNC Board of Governors, after taking my oath of office as the Board’s student member.

With my term as UNCASG President ending in the middle of final exams, I never really paused to realize how accurate a characterization that is of my life — and particularly my involvement in Student Government.

It’s a point that got reiterated a couple times over the past few days.

Comments from one of the forefathers of ASG

Earlier today I was getting ready to drive down to Fayetteville State University to run a parliamentary procedure workshop for their Student Government Association, when I logged into Facebook and saw this comment from a past President of UNCASG. This guy is one of maybe 2-3 people who were pivotal in making the organization into what it is today, so I consider it high praise :)

It’s praise I never could have gotten had I not been elected President. And that election was the end result of meeting the Pickle Princess three years ago this past Sunday. I was attending a reception for legislators hosted by the University system, my first event as Student Senate President at NC State. Even though I had been working for a lobbying firm for months I still felt profoundly out of place. So rather than continue trying (poorly) to blend in and mingle, I sat down at a table next to her and introduced myself. We ended up becoming friends, then competitors, then colleagues. Most of what I did in the Association when I was Senate President was to impress her, and she returned the favor by getting us elected a year later when folks loved her but loathed me.

And that UNCASG election itself never would have happened had I not first been elected Student Senate President, a freak election that hinged on my opponent’s taste for apparel touting our university’s athletic arch-rivals. This was after I served the preceding year as a Student Senator, appointed to a vacancy after first losing a 4-person Student Senate election to 3 seats… coming in 4th, to at least 1 guy who didn’t even campaign :beatup:

That appointment was actually my 3rd separate stint in the Senate. I was a Student Senator my freshman year, decided to run for Student Senate President that Spring (as a freshman), and — predictably — got totally obliterated. Yet the guy who beat me “agreed” to appoint me to a Senate vacancy, scheduled my appointment for confirmation, even had me show up to the Senate meeting where I’d be approved. Then, as I was walking to the front of the chamber… he withdrew my nomination, prompted by a pre-planned objection made by the Student Body Treasurer at the time.

The Treasurer happened to be… the same guy who wrote those remarks on Facebook I mentioned at the start of this post :surprised:

To this day that experience easily ranks among the most embarrassing moments of my life, but it taught me some valuable lessons. Most importantly: it motivated me to work harder to excel at what I did so I wouldn’t go through a similar experience again. That motivation led to my return to the Student Senate the next year (albeit briefly), kept me focused on returning to school after finances forced me to drop out, and reminded me to seek perfection in everything I do since.

Except, it seems, law school grades :beatup:

Anyhow, I’d go on with more examples but this particular post is already pretty long. Was it all a chance coincidence of coincidences? Divine intervention? A bit of both? Not sure, but I know it’s been an eventful journey… with an even longer road ahead :)

Have a great night everybody! :D

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TDot’s Treats #3: Nan’s Peanut Blossoms

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 26, 2010 in TDot's Treats

With the requisite “no offense intended” disclaimer to the ladies who happen to read law:/dev/null, my (limited) experience with female drivers suggests to me that they tend to look at traffic laws more like traffic suggestions.

Co-Counsel nearly gave me a heart attack back in January. Q.T. seems to have a new citation of some kind or another every time we talk. Even 雅雅, the safest of the bunch, was once on the telephone with me while driving… a fact I didn’t know, until I hear “OH MY GOD I JUST RAN THROUGH A STOP SIGN!” on the other end :beatup:

So you can imagine my shock (shock!) when I was talking with the Pickle Princess early today and find out that she happened to get a speeding ticket1… on the very day she has an attorney in a different county taking care of another speeding ticket on her behalf.

You may commence head-shaking at any time ;)

Since she’ll be needing another attorney sooner than I’ll have my law license, I promised I’d put up my family recipe for a special brand of cookies in the hope she might be able to offer them as compensation. It also gave me an excuse to stop studying for tomorrow’s Property exam :angel:

Hope y’all enjoy :D

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TDot’s Treats #3: Nan’s Peanut Blossoms
Difficulty: 4 of 5 (kinda tough)

One of my absolute favorite family traditions growing up was having the entire family gather at Nan’s each Christmas Eve for dinner and other festivities. Pretty much everyone in my family fights with everyone else all the time — imagine locking some Tea Party folks in a room with Obama-ites, the Goracle, and a handful of illegal immigrants — but the fact Nan would bake almost a dozen different types of cookies more than made up for it ;)

This recipe is my personal favorite, and continues to be my favorite cookie to this day.

***

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 unbeaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • A small bowl of sugar on the side (for coating)
  • A bag of Hershey Kisses

***

Culinary Notes:
Any recipe that calls for more than 1 cup of flour calls for a mess. Make sure you’re comfortable with having to do some kitchen clean-up when it’s all over :)

***

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Tonight's finished product. Had to eat 1 already...

In a glass or ceramic mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and the shortening.  Gradually add in the sugar and the brown sugar, creaming all of that well.  Then add in the egg and the vanilla and beat/cream well.

By the time this first phase is done, you should have a light brown, not-quite-gooey-looking lump of not-quite-dough.

Next you’ll want to gradually blend in your remaining dry ingredients (the flour, baking soda and salt) and mix well.  By the time you get about 1 cup of the flour into it, the dough will probably be too thick to mix with egg beaters or a wooden spoon so I’d recommend just using your hands to mix in the rest.

After everything is very thoroughly mixed, it should be a uniform color throughout.  It should also be dry enough that the dough will crumble around the edges of the lump in the bowl, but still moist enough that if you mush it together in your hands and shape it into a ball it’ll hold its shape.

As you can probably guess, that’s what you’re going to do next :D

Take a chunk of the dough and roll it into a ball in your hands, so it’s roughly 1″ in diameter.  Take the ball and roll it around in the bowl of sugar on the side so there’s a light sugar coating all around it.  Then place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies at 375º for 10 minutes.  While the cookies are baking, unwrap 1 Hershey Kiss for each cookie you’ve got on the sheet.

At the 10 minute mark, take your cookies out of the oven and firmly push a Kiss into the middle of each cookie. The cookie dough ball should crack around the edges.

Put your cookies back in the oven to cook another 2-5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once they’re done, remove them from the oven and let cool on a cookie rack.  Clean up the mess in the kitchen and then reward yourself with one of your new sweet treats :D

***

Total Preparation Time: ~30 minutes
Total Cooking Time: ~30 minutes

Serving Size: ~24 cookies

Recommended Side Items: n/a

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Have fun y’all :) And have a great night! :D

Past TDot’s Treats entries:

  1. In contrast to my somewhat more leisurely driving preferences ;) []

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A brief note of thanks

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 25, 2010 in Student Government

My apologies in advance to the regular readers here at law:/dev/null — most of you were never given the context behind tonight’s entry, and those of you who were in all likelihood won’t care :beatup: This particular post is dedicated to a (relatively) small group of people, the overwhelming majority of whom don’t even know this blog exists.

But this is one of those occasions where something needed to be said…

I don’t believe I’ve ever written a post on this blog while intoxicated. And I probably shouldn’t even admit that I drink on this site since I have -0- doubt that prospective employers have checked out this section of internet real estate on more than one occasion. But the glories of in-browser spellcheck (thank you Apple and its Safari development team!) have enabled me to exercise questionable judgment free of any technical obstacles ;)

It’s about 4am on Sunday morning, and for the past 5 hours I have had the incredible privilege and honor of being in the presence of (and yes, drinking with) about 30 of my closest friends — including quasi-adopted family — as we all celebrated my last meeting as President of the UNC Association of Student Governments, followed by our annual end-of-year awards banquet that was executed at the highest level of perfection.

And the success and smoothness of the meeting coupled with the banquet coupled with having these folks over tonight has truly meant an incredible amount to me :spin:

For better or worse, I’m actually a fairly stoic guy.1 It’s partly a bi-product of my upbringing, but it’s mostly the result of my chosen extracurricular vocation — being in charge means having to make tough decisions, having to make tough decisions usually means hurting people’s feelings, and hurting people’s feelings usually requires maintaining one’s composure in order to make a decision that’s in the best interests of everybody even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

So as a result of that well-cultivated stoicism, I rarely convey to the people around me how deeply appreciative and moved I am by their presence in my life. And when I do, frankly no one believes me :beatup: But I tell you folks — and this is one of those #truestory moments — I can’t fully articulate in words how grateful I am for all of you.

I’ve served on behalf of students in some capacity or another every year that I’ve been in college. I began my freshman year as a Student Senator, and I was absolutely abominable at it — I was arrogant, disrespectful, thought I had all the answers, the list goes on.  I actually ran for Student Senate President and got obliterated, coming in 3rd place out of 3 candidates.  I spent the next year in the campus equivalent of political exile, fought my way back into the Senate a year later… just to drop out of college entirely.

As utterly ridiculous as I’m sure it sounds, it ate away at me during the 5 years I was a college dropout to know I had ended on such a low note. I had been rejected by 26,000+ students because of my own arrogance, thought I had recognized the error of my ways and worked to improve, only to then get put out of school entirely.  So I fought my way back into N.C. State in August 2005, and I’d be lying to you if I said the thought of getting back into SG didn’t cross my mind all the way back then.

To make a very, very, very long story short, I thought God had other plans for me. I resumed writing an editorial column for the student newspaper, the Technician. I supported a friend of mine for the Student Senate Presidency. I ran for 1 of 3 Student Senate seats for seniors in the College of Engineering, and came in 4th out of 4 candidates — losing to a guy who didn’t even campaign.2 And I had resigned myself to the fact that at best I would be, as the Technician once quoted me, “the old guy in the back of the room who knew all the rules” and spent his time helping the other folks do their jobs.

Fast forward 3 years. I was elected by the campus of N.C. State to serve as Student Senate President — winning the position I had sought almost 10 years earlier — largely by virtue of the fact my opponent had questionable fashion sense. I was elected to a 2nd term as Senate President the following Spring, then a few weeks later elected President of UNCASG by a 1-vote tie-breaker cast by the presiding officer following a marathon 3+ hour political debate.

And as much as I’d like to pretend I had something to do with that latter victory, the truth of the matter is the Pickle Princess (my running mate) was a far more capable+likeable leader than I, and managed to pull votes from the campuses who didn’t like me at all :beatup:

I was privileged to serve a 2nd term — a rarity among Presidents — and over these 2 years have been blessed to take part in major efforts to refocus the organization, proactively address the costs of higher education, and serve the students of the University by tackling the issues that impact them most.

That all came to a close tonight when my successor and his own vice president were sworn in, both of whom have a lot of work ahead — but who I truly believe are the most capable people for their positions. Despite my official role as ASG President wrapping up, it’s still truly humbling to have been an out-of-state native, political washout, former college dropout, slightly-older-guy-with-slightly-thinnning-hair, and still be asked to work as a student leader with many of the finest such leaders the State of North Carolina has ever produced.

Anyhow, I know this entry is hitting the rambling side (word count in WordPress says I’m pushing 1,000 words), but I just wanted to say *THANK YOU* to each and every one of you with whom I’ve had the honor of serving in the N.C. State University Student Senate3 or in the UNC Association of Student Governments. I know I don’t say it enough, and I know when I say it you probably don’t believe me, but it has been the highest honor of my life to consider you my colleagues and friends. Your work has made an incredible and tangible difference to higher education and the students of the University of North Carolina, and I thank God every day for having the amazing opportunity to be a part of that and to serve alongside you.

Thank you for an incredible journey these past 4 years :) Your support and presence tonight has been incredibly humbling and deeply appreciated. I truly do love you all and look forward to serving with you (albeit in other capacities) for many more years to come.

Thank you all so much,
-T Greg Doucette

  1. Though you’d be forgiven if you couldn’t tell amid all the emoticons I throw into these entries ;) []
  2. Even though he later became one of the few people in my life who I would call if I were ever faced with imminent death and needed help :beatup: []
  3. The single most distinguished student deliberative assembly ever conceived in the State of North Carolina :) []

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On being the wrong kind of [expletive deleted]…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 12, 2010 in Randomness

First, my apologies to the regular readers here at law:/dev/null for the short entries over the last few days — I’ve been working mightily to get caught up in Civil Procedure and in Property, so that I can eventually catch up in Contracts :crack:

I promise you I truly do have posts drafted on things other than the random banalities of my life. Really!

Tonight’s just isn’t one of them :beatup:

Please also accept my apologies if you’re a vulgarity-averse reader who happened to stumble upon this entry. I actually curse far less on this blog than in real life,1 and it’s a tremendous effort to keep the language here PG-rated and still get a point across.

But apparently I’m an asshole.

That statement comes as a surprise to about -0- of you, which means I should preface the remainder of the post with a clarification ;)

At the risk of oversimplifying things a bit, in general there are two types of assholes:  (a) folks who act a certain way because it’s their job or demanded by the circumstances, and (b) those who act that way because they’re too self-absorbed to care about anyone else.

I readily concede that when it comes to just about anything even tangentially related to student government / higher education / politics / etc, I frequently occupy the first category. It’s why I don’t hesitate to ridicule campus op/eds or professional pundits, why I take pride in successfully making at least 2 grown men cry, and why I contemplate non-constructive criticism with a desert-sized volume of salt — my peers asked me to do a job, I take that job seriously, and those who don’t take their own jobs seriously (by writing illogical commentary, making unethical decisions, or spouting pointless vitriol) deserve to be called out, defeated, or ignored respectively.

So I stipulate to being a Type (a) asshole. And yes I’m proud of it ;)

But I strenuously try to avoid slipping into Type (b) asshole-ishness. Why? A good chunk of it is just my personality and upbringing; another is learning from the experience when I went overboard as a college freshman. Then there’s also a fairly large piece I attribute to abject terror that I’ll one day become one of those folks we all hear about, the type who eventually do well in life and then “forget” the people that helped them along the way.

To combat that last point, I fought my natural shyness and turned into a zealous people person. When I became Student Senate President — bringing with it a university-provided meal plan — I scheduled daily “Breakfasts/Dinners with the President” where any student, even ones I had never met, could send me an email and I’d take them to breakfast or dinner to talk about whatever issues they wanted to talk about.2 When I took over UNCASG, the Pickle Princess and I started a “Listening Tour” where we spent hours upon hours (upon hours) driving to every single institution in the UNC system multiple times apiece just to meet regular students and hear what they wanted out of the Association. Staying a people person is why I send thousands of text messages a month, hate the law school bubble, and get all weepy-eyed when people remember my birthday.

“Forget your vulgarity, TDot,” you may be saying. “Get to the @#$%ing point already!”

My point is apparently there are some people who just don’t talk to me because I try to be a people person :beatup:

雅雅 was in the library studying tonight, and during a break she pulled up my Facebook page. A guy sitting next to her mentioned he knew me from a class we had in Spring ’08…

…but he never spoke to me because I was “the popular kid” :surprised:

That really bothers me for some reason, not least of which being that I spent most of my natural life as a social leper3 and had a serious chip on my shoulder when it came to the “popular kid[s]” growing up.

So to the guy in the library next to 雅雅 who had a class with me years ago where we never actually met, hopefully you’ll know someone who knows someone who knows someone who points you to this blog entry, and we can meet one day to talk about politics or Comp Sci or something.

And that applies to everyone else out there too! I’m not wealthy enough to be a celebrity or ethically-compromised enough to be a politician — I’d love to talk to you :)

I’m heading off to bed, have a great night folks! :D

  1. When I presided over the N.C. State Student Senate, some Senators actually brought down a big water cooler jug they had converted into a jar… and into which I was supposed to deposit a quarter every time I uttered a vulgar word during my reports or while presiding over the meeting. Rather than waste quarters (useful for parking meters) I just wrote a $50 check to cover me for the session :beatup: []
  2. The Dinner with the President program made for some interesting conversations, let me tell you. Especially when the people I met with often had IQs that were orders of magnitude higher than mine and I have -0- background at all whatsoever in their topic. []
  3. Even in SG — my colleagues can probably confirm it for you :beatup: []

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