Diary of a 1L
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Thursday, September 30, 2004
11:36 PM

I stayed up too late watching the instant spin. Oh well...I'll have all of Fall Break to sleep it off.

10:02 PM


Supporters of each candidate will feel that their candidate won, decisively.

Whooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!...we just went totally off the rules about this North Korea thing. Whhhooooooaaaaaaaa!!! I'm falling down a weeeeellllllll!!!!! (inside joke)

9:26 PM

Blogging the debate

I'm watching the preliminaries on C-SPAN...pretty interesting. Somebody should have told Theresa to smile when she came in. Right now, Jim Lehrer is lecturing the audience about being quiet. He just tested the buzzer! We're about three minutes out now.

I'm nervous...it's like a big football game. Except only fumbles count.

We're in split screen on C-SPAN. Bush is acting like he doesn't know that the rule about not showing the non-speaking candidate isn't being followed.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like Bush is getting a little riled up.

I think I'll "go to press" with these thoughts and post more later...

1:04 PM

If you can't say anything nice...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
1:24 PM

"Hey Mike, Say Something About...2L Fall Interviewing"

If you're thinking about going to law school, don't underestimate the difficulty involved in blazing your own trail, especially if you're not sure whether you want to practice law. This whole fall interviewing business is a prime example of what just drives you nuts. You don't really know who did well the first year until you find out who got on what journal. But then you really find out when this interview business starts. They post lists, publicly, of the people who have interviews. Then the people parade around in suits, so that everyone who doesn't get interviews can feel inadequate. And if you one of the people in the suits, but you're not a hard-driving, competitive person, you feel pretty embarrassed to make other people feel that way. But at the same time, it's just the thing to do and you feel like you should do it because everyone else does.

Surprisingly, I have discovered no evidence that anyone from any firm interviewing on campus has visited this website. Even if they did, I tend to grow weary of holding my tongue after a while. I have not been offered any callback interviews. I don't expect to receive any callback interviews. And if I'm offered any callback interviews, I will more than likely politely decline them. At this point, I feel like the "practice" aspect of the on-campus interviewing process was outweighed by the lousy feeling of having to pretend to be someone you're not to please somebody else. I need to find a career path where I will be valued for who I really am.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
3:46 PM

"Hey Mike, Say Something About...Buckeyes"

I was pretty unimpressed when Jim Tressel was first announced as the replacement for John Cooper as head football coach at Ohio State. I was underwhelmed with the fact that he wasn't a Division I coach and that he wasn't already famous. But this guy has done just about everything right both on and off the field.

Tressel is a teacher in the mold of John Wooden, the former UCLA head basketball coach (whose books, including They Call Me Coach, I highly recommend). He doesn't scream or curse at his players. He doesn't train them to ride emotional highs to victory. He doesn't rely on individual star players to win (although a greater number of different players shine as stars on his teams than on most teams). Instead, he teaches them to practice diligently and improve gradually.

Tressel realizes that in Columbus, football isn't just a sport or just entertainment, but, at its best, a cultural institution. He has immersed himself in our football culture and cultivated an appreciation for that culture in his players. Every word he utters in public is carefully measured. He never speaks ill of opponents or critics. On the other hand, no matter how well the team plays, he can always articulate the areas where the team has room for improvement.

We have a kicker for a captain this year, and he's basically won our last two games. This never would have happened under John Cooper. This would never happen at most other schools. Mike Nugent is a great athlete, but it's because of Jim Tressel that he's allowed to be a star.

Monday, September 27, 2004
9:03 AM

The weekend

Saturday: My grandma's 84th birthday. Hooray! Cheesecake was eaten.

Sunday: Drove up to Cleveland for the Indians game with my papa (i.e. grandfather) and Jon. Hooray again! Omar Vizquel was cheered vigorously.

Law school homework completed: ZERO!

Friday, September 24, 2004
7:49 AM

On the way to school today I saw a helicopter (presumably traffic chopter) hovering over I-71 and I-270. "Oh yeah!" I thought. "That's something helicopters can do!" Then I was wondering why you see a helicopter on the move much more often than you see one hover. Then I was thinking there is probably a mathematical explanation that I would have been able to come up with easily about five years ago.

No more interviews after today. Thank goodness. I need to go back and read what I wrote a year ago. Where did I get the idea that I came here to learn how to be a lawyer?

Oh by the way...question for you all reading this. What kind of book, written by me, would you be most likely to buy (or check out of the library)?

Thursday, September 23, 2004
9:56 AM

Yes!!! I did it! I managed to buy something for myself! I still agonized over it for about three hours, but I really did it. I'm now the proud owner of an Alvarez RD8 dreadnought acoustic guitar. I figured out how to play Carmen Ohio! I'm going to figure out the intro to Johnny B. Goode!

When I have fun, I'm happy. When I'm happy, I'm productive. It doesn't help to flagellate myself for not working hard enough until I'm miserable. Then I get less stuff done.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
2:09 PM

Today, I am going to buy myself a new guitar. There. Now that I've said it here, I can't back out. Today is the first day of the rest of my life!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
8:44 AM

Appellate Advocacy: My Final Answer

I'm going to do it my way, not the way we're being taught. And I won't spend one second more on this class than it's worth to me and my goals. If I get a D, so be it. If I fail, so be it. But I won't be bullied into changing my personal priorities at the expense of my health and well-being.

Monday, September 20, 2004
10:18 PM

I gotta be me

No matter what I do, there will be paths in life that are closed off to me based on choices that I make and compromises that I refuse to make. In the end, I'm accountable to myself. If I don't like myself, then what's the point of anything else?

Sunday, September 19, 2004
3:19 PM

I feel like I have to post something just to make sure I keep up my ratings. Then again, The Sopranos is on hiatus until 2006 and nobody's complaining.

Did you know that the other part of the site here, lawschool.mikeshecket.com, has registered over 1 million hits? I hope all those 1L people don't get disappointed when it's later in the semester and they get to the cases that I didn't brief last year. I did warn them, though.

You know what part of speech I rarely use? Adverbs. (Ooh...check out that self-reference!) I'm more of a meat and potatoes, noun and verb kind of guy.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
7:13 PM

I love having lots of people read this when I'm happy or hilarious. But when so many people are reading and know who you are, you sometimes can't say what you're really thinking. Not that I'm telling you to stop. But therein lies the advantage of LvL et al.

8:21 AM

Me again

At first I thought seven would be a good number of stories, one per day for a week. Then I thought three would be a good number because of Joseph Knecht's "Three Lives" in "The Glass Bead Game". I also thought it would be more impressive to have one after the other with no breaks. But, now I feel like talking about something else, and who's gonna tell me I can't? I'll probably do more stories later.

Everybody feels the same way about Appellate Advocacy. That's comforting. Everyone feels like the first paper they turned in was the worst thing they ever wrote. The way one person described it is that everyone is either angry or depressed, or both. Has anyone ever done a petition drive to get App Ad removed as a required class?

Monday, September 13, 2004
8:09 AM

I Am Somebody Else #2

Dear K,

Please come visit us at our new cafe. My wife and I have been utterly crazy the last few weeks getting the place ready to open, but finally things appear under control and tomorrow is the big day. We've been extra crazy because we've been moving into the apartment above the storefront. That's right, we're going to have a very short commute.

What's the place going to be like? Well, we'll have your basic coffee, hot chocolate, frozen drinks and whatnot. We'll have little sandwiches. We have a freezer so we can sell ice cream, popsicles, and some homemade goodies. We have lots of comfy couches and chairs, mostly culled from garage sales but cafefully cleaned up, and lots and lots of bookshelves. It's a big relief to get some of my stupid books out of our living space. I'm not sure who is going to be particularly interested in my long-neglected copy of Modern Astrophysics, but you never know.

The thing we're most excited about is the stage. Mostly, we're going to have music. We'll kind of build up through the week: Tuesdays we'll have an open mic, Wednesday is karaoke, Thursdays we'll have jazz, Friday is all-ages punk rock night (wish me luck), and Saturdays we're going to try to get some name bands and really pack the place. Mondays we'll do stand-up comedy, and I may not be able to reserve myself (maybe dodging tomatoes once or twice will disabuse me of this folly).

Wifey and I are excited. Really excited. Somehow, despite our combined technological know-how, it took us an hour to set up the cash register. But when we were done, we were so happy that we started making out, right there behind the counter. That was awesome.

Maybe we should be concerned whether the place will succeed at all. But we're counting our chickens and hoping for big financial success real soon so we can start having babies. It's not out of the question: we have a great location and we're saving a little overhead by having me do the contracts and real estate stuff. All I can say is that we're ready to be Mommy and Daddy right now, it's just our bank account that's not ready.

So we hope you can come and see us. We have a spare bedroom that's quite decently clean and a hand-me-down bed that we're hauling up here next weekend. I know you've never really had any reason to travel to Columbus before, but if even a little bit of our enthusiasm rubs off on you, you'll have a really great time. I don't want to be overdramatic and call it a dream come true, but there's really no other way to describe it.


Saturday, September 11, 2004
10:07 PM

I Am Somebody Else #1

I burn out. I drop out of law school. I close my bank account and take cash. I sell all my books. I sell my suits. I sell my car. I sell my laptop. I throw out all my furniture. I buy an old pickup truck. I fill it up with bottles of water and snack bars. I start driving West.

I stay the first few nights in motels, but gradually wean myself off of the habits of regular bathing and shaving. In Omaha, a get a small tattoo on my upper left shoulder. It reads: "Where am I?" I get my ears pierced in Santa Fe.

These are the clothes I wear: A plain white t-shirt. Brown corduroy pants. When it's hot out, cheap sunglasses. No socks. When it's cold, a big button shirt and a knit cap. I wear a belt to keep my pants up.

I buy postcards and send them to people I haven't spoken to in years. I buy notebooks and fill them with notes and drawings. I sleep in the truck. I don't eat meat anymore. I swear very often and never refuse alcohol or recreational drugs. I get to California, where I run out of gas and abandon the truck by the side of the road.

I use the last of my money, five dollars, to buy a six-pack of beer at a 7-11 in Barstow. The clerk gives me a dollar bill in change. I fold it and hide it in my shoe. I hitch to Long Beach and work on the piers.

One day, I burn out again. I take the dollar bill out of my pocket and find a pen. I write on the dollar bill, right across Washington's face: "REWARD, IF FOUND." I drop the bill into an empty liquor bottle I find on the street and throw the bottle into the ocean.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
9:44 AM

I can't wait to be done with all this suit-wearing. It's just not me. In fact, I don't feel very much like myself at all lately. I don't seem to have the time.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004
5:24 PM

Finished my first interview

Unless this reception doohickey is part of the interview too. I shall remain suited for the remainder of the evening.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
11:22 PM

Persistent right eyeball twitch

When you're really struggling at something but not making much headway, you may look for a sign that you've been working hard even if you don't have much to show for it. The best I can do right now is point to my weird, twitchy right eyeball. But all that proves, I suppose, is that I've been looking at computer screens for hours and hours and hours and hours.

10:07 AM

I know this sounds irrational, but...

I would rather be anywhere else in the world right now, doing anything else in the world other than what I'm doing.

Monday, September 06, 2004
2:21 PM

Hey Mike, Say Something About...

"Whoring for multinationals": I.
"Buckeyes": Must.
"Karl Rove": Write.
"2L Fall recruiting season": App Ad.

I reserve the right to revisit these topics sometime after Wednesday at 8:30 AM.

1:25 PM

How did the Bush campaign manage to neutralize Paul O'Neill's book, Richard Clarke's book, and Plan of Attack? And, stop me if I already said this [you should have stopped me! already said it!], but does anybody remember Lt. Gen. Jay Garner? You have to admit that these people are pretty damn good at what they do. But to what end?

1:13 PM

Kicking and screaming

I have no illusions that anyone but me is making this whole writing thing extremely hard. I like to write. But I like to stop writing once I've said everything I'm thinking about. To put it another way, if you tell me I have to write 20 pages about why it's good to randomly beat people up, I'm not going to be very happy.

Sunday, September 05, 2004
9:31 AM

I'm literally having nightmares about App Ad now...please make it stop...

Friday, September 03, 2004
11:00 PM

Official Invitations

The following people are hereby invited to be guest bloggers on this site. Reply at your leisure:

1:23 PM

Carcinogenic decks, Howard Cosell, and the tail wagging the dog

I'm here...live...with Professor Douglas Berman, all-star blogger. I know a heck of a lot more about sentencing now than an hour and a half ago!

Thursday, September 02, 2004
1:24 PM

Imagine how much time and money is wasted by courts considering crappy arguments made by attorneys who know that they're crap, but have to make them anyway, because they have this duty to advocate on behalf of their client, even if the client is clearly wrong.

9:45 AM

"Say Something About..." To Do List

7:46 AM

The Seven Stages of App Ad

  1. Denial - "There's no way I'm going to have to spend 20 hours a week on a two credit hour class."
  2. Anger - "I'm going to have to spend 30 hours a week on a two credit hour class??? !@#*$()!@#$"
  3. Bargaining - "Can I have an extension, please? Pretty please? Just three days?"
  4. Depression - "I hate the law."
  5. Acceptance - "Alright, whatever, let's just do this. I'll just stay up all night and do a crappy job, but then at least it'll be done."
  6. Research
  7. Writing

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
9:51 AM

Indians 22, Yankees 0

How did I miss that one? WHOO HOO!

7:36 AM

"The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush"

"The Liberal Case Against John Kerry"


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