There are a handful of very funny people who can share practical words of wisdom in clever and sometimes touching ways. I’ve seen Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien accomplished this (both in the addresses they delivered at Knox and Harvard, respectively, and in their course of their day-to-day work), and Jon Stewart, too. Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” is like a sustained high note of wit and hilarity that somehow manages to educate. Not only did I experience multiple outbursts of laughter – after a while, I stopped being embarrassed when these happened on the bus… or while I was proctoring an LSAT practice test – but I actually feel wiser for having read it.
I spent a few months this spring reading every Sherlock Holmes story – the short and the long, the westerns and the urban, the good and the bad. Simultaneously, I watched all eight seasons of the mystery comedy “Monk.” And here’s what the geniuses (genii) had in common, and what I want to nurture in myself: They ask, “What does that mean?”
They see meaning in kinks in blind drawstrings and scratches on a watch, but I’m not aiming for that yet. What I aspire to is noticing how ideas and cases and precedent intersect and interact. As I begin my legal studies, I want to constantly be asking “…and what does that mean? How does it fit with what I already know?”
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across Matthew Boutte’s blog while looking for more information of Gewirz, the student residence at Georgetown Law. Both the content and the regularity of his posts helped me get a better picture of what life might be like for me in a couple of weeks. I got in touch with him, and he’s been very open to my questions. So much so that he generously agreed to answer a whole swath of them so that I could post them here.
Because the interview was rather long, I’ll be posting it in pieces. In Part One, Matt talks about choosing GULC, his first impressions, and the first few weeks of law school. Continue reading
FACT: Vervet monkeys use different alarm calls to warn each other of nearby predators., depending on whether the danger comes from land or from the air.
LSAT QUESTION: Which one of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the behavior of vervet monkeys described above?
A: By varying the pitch of its alarm call, a vervet monkey can indicate the number of predators approaching.
B: Different land-based predators are responsible for different numbers of vervet monkey deaths.
C: No predators that pose a danger to vervet monkeys can attack both from land and from the air.
D: Vervet monkeys avoid land-based predators by climbing trees but avoid predation from the air by diving into foliage.
E: Certain land-based predators feed only on vervet monkeys, whereas ever predators that attacks vervet monkeys from the air feeds on many different animals.
LSAT INSTRUCTOR: Why do my students always want to argue with me about this question?!?!
To mark the one-year anniversary of obtaining my master’s, here now is the foreword from my thesis:
In the weeks before the first draft of this thesis was submitted, a senior Canadian diplomat, formerly assigned to Afghanistan, made some startling allegations. Robert Colvin claimed that in 2006 and 2007 he had tried to inform his government that suspects apprehended by Canadian forces and handed over to Afghani authorities were likely being tortured. These allegations spurred a political circus, a parsing of memos sent by Colvin to his superiors, and denials by high-ranking generals. In the face of their own potential complicity in the torture of Afghani citizens, Canadians responded in a variety of ways. On 30 November 2009, one letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail implied that the quotidian lives of Canadians had nothing to do with those of Taliban collaborators. “What a non-issue,” wrote Gordon Friedrich. Continue reading