Law: Hmmm

March 31, 2008

As any of you that read this blog fairly often know, I accepted a job working in a large Midwestern city that isn’t Chicago.  Before I did that, I did one final call-back interview with a massive/super-profitable Chicago firm fortheir summer program.  If I would have been offered that job quickly, I would have had to make a difficult decision very quickly.

 I never heard from them and didn’t think twice.  My decision was easier and I was in some ways happy about that.  Yesterday I checked my mailbox and had what I figured was a ding letter from the firm.  A quick reading revealed the letter to be a fake-quasi-ding letter.

The text was basically this:  We can’t offer you a job right now.  Sorry.  We like you, but we don’t have 1L spots left.  We are offering you a job right now for next summer.  You can accept now or you can visit with us next fall.  The offer is good until the end of next fall.  Please let us know.

What the hell?  Seriously.  I don’t know if I should be happy, mad, disappointed, or something else.  Seriously, what the heck?

 At least its a semi-cushion for the ego.  I have had similar offers earlier this cycle but they always came over the phone.   Hmm……

I saw a chain letter today, it makes some good points.  If I were ever elected to a position where people cared what I thought, I would say something like this:

 Iraq didn’t go as planned.  I wasn’t involved in the planning but I am capable of looking at the current situation and admitting that the mission has not been accomplished.  I am not currently sure what the next step is and I understand how educated people could disagree.  What I do know is that congress is tired of paying for the war, so its done. 

There are two types of nations in this world, those that support us (I call these allies and everybody else).  Our friends list is short:  the UK, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, Poland, and a few others.)  As for the rest of you – no more foreign aid.  The money saved by not paying governments that don’t support us will be used to pay down the debt we ran up to pay for thew war.  Want help dealing with massive domestic problems (inability to feed your people, all out civil war, disease, etc) call somebody else.  If you aren’t willing to stand behind us, we aren’t willing to pay to save you.

The funds of our nation will now be spent to help this nation.  If you believe that we should mortgage our children’s future to play “mother, nurse, and policemen” to the world, do it out of your own private funds and time.  For the Terrorist organizations around the world:  Screw with us an we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.  If you want to attack some country, I suggest France.  Giventhat they are on the “everybody else” list, we won’t be standing up for them and they don’t have the stomach to stand up for themselves. 

Our North American neighbors might want to think twice also.  Canada, I didn’t see your support for us previously.  Since it will be pretty hard for us to avoid each other, why don’t you consider not making us angrier for a while.  As for Mexico (another on the not friends list), with this war over, we now have a whole bunch of tanks/aircraft/troops with nothing to do.  Instead of leaving them in the middle east to attrack treats and anger those nations, guess what we are going to do with them?  Yup, boarder security.  A simple order, anybody they ID from less than 100 feet that refuses Spanish and English commands to stop is assumed to have malicious intent.  If you want to come in, do it the old fashion way – by following the law.

 We are goingto drill for oil in Alaska. If you are an environmentalist who has a problem with the fact that a few additional years of oil independence means making some polar bears unhappy, I have a list of places you can feel free to population (flash the list of people that are no longer our friends). 

Isolationism is no longer a bad word, it just means that we are focused on our own welfare. 

This concludes the foreign policy segment of my speech rant.  Someday soon I’ll turn to domestic policy. 

When I first decided to write this blog, it was because of a funny quote that I read from one of our lecture transcriptions: “One of the twins lost his penis at 8 months due to a fairly traumatic circumcision accident.” I wanted to write a comedic piece regarding malpractice and doctors’ opinions, using the word “fairly” as a starting point–it seemed odd to use the phrase fairly traumatic to characterize an event as significant as castration.

But as I began typing, I came to the realization that a serious exploration of the topic from which the above quote was derived could be warranted; after all, the many medical topics that we discuss everyday–even if we make light of them in class–have profound implications for the people experiencing them. And this was quite true about the case I’m going to discuss.

In 1975, a pair of monozygotic (identical) twin boys were born to the Reimer family. Around the age of 8 months they were taken into the hospital for circumcision; however, a “fairly” traumatic accident left one of the boys without a penis. Not knowing how to proceed, the mother read about Dr. John Money–a pioneer at the time in gender identity–and his work in identifying children as “blank slates” in regards to gender–that is, their gender is socially constructed AFTER the birth of the child and could therefore be changed. The mother soon wrote to Dr. Money, and it was ultimately decided that a full castration and creation of a blind-pouch vagina, in conjunction with hormone treatments and psychotherapy, would allow the boy (David) to actually be raised as a girl (Brenda). Dr. Money worked closely with them and used this case as proof of his theories, and he became famous by touting the “plasticity of gender.” Unfortunately, he could not have been more wrong.

The family did their best to raise Brenda as a girl: her hair was grown out, she was given girl toys, and she was dressed in girl clothing. But this never really worked out. Brenda never wanted to wear dresses, and had the aggressive demeanor of a young boy. In an article from Rolling Stone in 1997 from her identical brother: “She’d get a skipping rope for a gift, and the only thing we’d use that for was to tie people up, whip people with it.” And of course, we all know that schoolchildren can be cruel, and she spent her early years being made fun of and called names.

Around the age of 14, David/Brenda’s father decided to come out with the truth–which according to the mother ultimately brought contentment to her child. At the age of 16, David had his breasts surgically excised and a rudimentary penis was constructed: having identied with males for his entire life, David intended to live like one. He eventually married, but fought the shame of his situation and the torment he had endured as a child in each day of his life. He became famous himself, having been on Oprah to explain the situation to help others avoid making the same mistake with their child. Biology, it seemed, could not be fooled. Unfortunately, David committed suicide in 2004.

We’ve learned in our human development course that gender tendencies are not something that are completely socially contructed. During prenatal development, the brain defaults to feminimity, but can be masculinized by the presence of androgens. In David’s case, the brain had been fully developed into a “male brain,” and no amount of dress-wearing and playing with dolls was going to change that.

This case was specfically about castration taking place AFTER birth; however, 1/2,000 births result in babies with ambiguous genitalia. And as we discussed in class, what is the FIRST question always asked?      “Boy or girl?”

Sometimes there’s just not an accurate answer to give. The old way seemed to be “pick one” and we’ll make it work–a procedure that has been debunked. The recommendation is now to hold off on assigning a gender, and to essentially let the child pick for his/herself based on the gender to which they identify. This may be difficult in the short-term for the parents, but in the long-run should be very beneficial to the child.

For more on the David/Brenda case, check out this youtube clip from the CBC news:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pZNjX5j6dNQ

Law: Boooo Life

March 28, 2008

Not one of my best days.  Yesterday I got up at 6 AM to drive down to my undergrad and meet my buddy and his family while his sister toured the campus.  I wandered around and talked to them about whatever else I knew.  It was fun.  After a LONG lunch that led to me missing out on the opportunity to say a couple of hellos, I got back to campus where I saw my closest friend from undergrad for a while and then went to dinner.  After dinner I spoke to the school’s pre law club about admissions.

This morning I got up to talk to another class, then go to lunch.  Why do I tell you all of this?  On my way home my car hydroplaned and ended up in a ditch on the highway.  $80 later a tow truck pulled me out but my car was driving oddly.  What a terrible way to end a trip.  On the plus side, I made it home safely, I guess thats good.  Additionally, after I got pulled out I saw 7 more cars within two miles all in the same boat, I guess I should be thankful that I was the first and got the fastest tow. 

Clearly the trip to Milwaukee is off. 

I should have seen it coming–it’s pretty much how life works. The very day after I wrote a blog post about how I’m all about going to class now, I decide to…umm…take the morning off.

My alarm went off at 8:20, and there was just NO WAY that I was going to be able to function. So i set for 12:30–yes, FOUR HOURS later–and got back in my bed. I probably would have slept longer, too, had my afternoon course not been required.

Has anyone else ever had those days when even the best intentions are derailed by your body? I felt like I just had no control over my actions this morning as I got out of bed and reset the alarm.

Just goes to show that your body WILL pay your sleep debt at some point. My sleeping problem hasn’t gone away–I’m still not falling asleep until 4am or so. I’ve just gotten VERY good at forcing myself to get up, have caffeine, and get to class. But when you’re surviving on 4-5 hours every night, you gotta expect the chickens to eventually come home to roost.

Law: Done

March 25, 2008

Monday I accepted a job offer to work for a firm in Milwaukee.  This of course means one thing – I spent all day today filling out paperwork for he firm and looking for an apartment.  I am proud to report that the paperwork is done except for a digital picture (I assume they are putting together a staff facebook). 

The apartment search on the other hand is not going so well.  I never lived in an apartment before.  I have no idea what to expect and I don’t know where to start.  The fact that I am subleasing only complicates things.  I am almost completely in the mind-set of trying to find an apartment in a safe area that will meet my needs and just going with it regardless. 

My needs are as follows:
1. A lease from May 15 until August 15

2. A bed and desk

3. A bus stop close to the apartment or a garage

4. A safe area

5. Less than a zillion dollars a month rent.

Med: Still going…

March 25, 2008

Yup…here we are in the 3rd week of Post-ExamWeekFromHelldom, and I’m still attending class–go me. OK, so my attendance is no longer perfect, but I have legitimate excuses.

I missed Thursday afternoon’s histology lecture because I went in to work at the clinic. Of course, I SCHEDULE when I go into the clinic…and I just so happened to create a conflict with histology. Coincidence? You be the judge…and pay no attention to all of my I HATE HISTO posts from last fall.

And then I missed Friday morning–but that was legit, too. A) I had my Patient Interview Exam that afternoon and needed to get some more prep-work done & B) It was snowing. A lot. So there.

But other than those [pseudo] justified absences, I have done quite well with attendance–especially given that our days of ONLY morning or ONLY afternoon lectures are over. I even went to histology lab yesterday! For those who know me, this is a big accomplishment. As it was, only 7/24 people in our room showed up–and this was the first one.

All in all, I’m rather proud of myself–this is how learning is supposed to be. I’m going to class, reviewing at night, and getting to spend extra time NOW on things that give me trouble (rather than, say, the night before the exam). Maybe I can be a good student once again.

Today’s anatomy lecture, however, went until 5pm. I felt myself wavering a bit…but for now I’m good.

Law: Resolved

March 21, 2008

I’m home.  Finally.  Three canceled flights and lots of fighting with the outsourced phone help for US Airways and I’m back in Illinois safe and sound.  Thank goodness.

 Anyway, with Spring Break upon us, I don’t have much to say about law school other than I hope to not think about it for a week.

I do have two resolutions.

 Resolution 1: I will get 100% caught up on reading for International Economic Law by the end of break.

 Resolution 2: I will attend class from here out

Lets see how they go.

Law: Employed

March 21, 2008

So, I have a job offer.  Actually, I was fortunate enough to land a few job offers after spending months freaking the hell out not being as calm and professional as I would have liked.

I was fortunate enough to recieve an offer on two of my four callbacks (hopefully I’ll up that percentge next year). 

The firm job offer I received was from the firm in Milwaukee where I did my first callback.  I am really excited about this place as I enjoyed most of the people I met.  As a bonus, it pays about $400 more a week than I thought it did (got to get my money before Obama takes it all). 

The other opportunity that I was extended is with the large financial corporation in New York.  Although I wish this was a different program, it was nice to know that they thought well of me (despite my not knowing what I was interviewing for).

I still haven’t heard back from the other two places I applied, but given the iron clad rule – no news is bad news – I would say it isn’t looking good.  The Chicago firm has been informed that I need to know by tomorrow, so we’ll see if they let me know.  Between the options I have on the table, I’m leaning VERY strongly towards the Milwaukee firm.  Nice people, not far from home, better pay, cheaper cost of living, and oh ya, SUPER interesting clients. 

If I got an offer in Chicago (which we all know is not happening at this point given the amount of time that has passed and the fact that they have already hired one HLS student) it would be a difficult choice.

Either way, I plan to decide by tomorrow or Monday.  When I know, I’ll let you all know.

Until then, I am once again packing for yet another day of wasting away at the airport where I have spend so much time I feel like I need to start paying rent flying which any loyal reader knows I hate hate hate.  With any luck, tomorrow I’ll be posting my job decision from my home.  If mother nature has her way, tomorrow I’ll either not be posting or posting from a lovely airport somewhere.

I hope everybody has a fantastic weekend!

Back many years ago before Kurzman realized he was smarter than everybody else we know we all went away to college, Kurzman and a bunch of people from our social circle used to have a fetish for making home movies.  I’ve got to admitt, as long as they weren’t signing at a party, they were pretty good.  Highlights include such classics as “Little Brother Throws Up in the Blue Monster”, “Leg Snap Relived”, and “Filming a Camp Fire So Long You Break A TV” (Seriously that actually happened).  There were also academic pieces like “Clay Dolls Earning an A in English”. 

Anyway, today I came across a set of law school videos that are both hilarious and true.  I’ve posted the link for your enjoyment.  I imagine the second and third videos are equally applicable to both groups (outside of some of the legal jokes in the third one) and the first one almost certainly has its version that exists in Med School.

 Enjoy the video’s here via Tax Prof Blog.