As the clock ticks over to 6am, it occurs to me that I'm pulling more all-nighters here in law school than I ever did at MIT. I used to pull all-nighters every once in a while at MIT, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes just for the heck of it. All told, I probably averaged one or two all-nighters for every few months during my undergrad career. So far in law school, I'm probably averaging one or two per couple weeks. To compensate my lack of sleeping, I've taken up a fairly regular napping regimen; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from the end of Contracts (10am) until lunch, I usually take a nap in one of the chairs of the law school sub-plaza. It's probably not a good system but it works well enough and I've only got about a month left.
Today, I negotiated a new contract as a means of settling a dispute over the breach of an implied term in another contract. The entire event was decidedly uninteresting until it occurred to me to put the matter in a contractual light. So, here's what happened (with analysis):
On account of the temperature being below freezing and my now having a parking permit for the garage across from the law school, I decided to drive to class today. Running late and having decided to drive to class, I forewent breakfast at home and decided to take advantage of the McDonald's drive-through three blocks from where I live. Pulling into the drive-through, I spoke to the ordering box and requested a Number 4 with a medium orange juice (I entered into a contract with the McDonald's to exchange $3.85 for a Sausage Biscuit with Egg, a Hash Brown and a Medium Orange Juice). Pulling up to the window, I handed the attendant $4.00, received $0.15 in change and proceeded to wait for my food (I fulfilled my contractual duties). After a few minutes had passed, my food had not yet arrived (McDonald's breached an implicit term of the contract, specifically the implicit duty to provide my food in an expedient manner, as would be expected by both parties to the contract). At this point, the drive-through attendant offered me two apple pies if I would pull to the side and wait a minute or so for my food (McDonald's put forth an offer to contract with me to release them of the obligations imposed by the breach of the implicit expedience term in exchange for their providing me with two apple pies). I accepted the offer of apple pies and pulled over to wait (I accepted the terms of the newly offered contract, waiving McDonald's responsibilities imposed by the breach of the first contract). I was finally provided with my food and two apple pies (McDonald's fulfilled their contractual duties under the combined terms of the two contracts).
You might not notice it, but there are contracts all over the place, all the time.
Last night, I received a random telephone call from a number that I did not recognize and, as is my style, I answered it. My, "Hello" was met with an, "Is this George Waksman?" to which I responded in the affirmative, a response that met with much revelry from the other end of the line. The call eventually turned out to be from some guy who come across my research into Tootsie Roll Pops and taken advantage of the fact that I keep my cell phone number on my homepage. This man was calling because he wanted to know both if I was serious and if I had really eaten all those Tootsie Roll Pops. Not being a lying sort of person, I of course informed the gentleman that I was only kind of serious but that I had in fact eaten all of those Tootsie Roll Pops. The man on the telephone seemed overjoyed by the information that I had just provided him, thanked me and took his leave of the telephone conversation.
I was walking back from grabbing a bite to eat and a caffeinated beverage and the return trip had me passing down a hallway when I was suddenly struck by how very short the hallway was. Well, long story short, I found myself missing MIT's Infinite Corridor. When I'm next in Massachusetts, I'll have to make a point of walking down that hallway.
Joy of wondrous joys, my vision has decided to pack its bags and take off for an indefinite vacation. It turns out that I have inherited my mother's astigmatism as well as having suffered general temporally based degradation of my eyes. Sadly, the days when my left eye was 20/8 and my right eye was 20/12 are gone to be replaced with astigmatism and 20/30 in my left eye and 20/60 in my right eye. On the positive side, I guess, my left eye is still sufficient to have passed a Minnesota driving test and the fantastic blueness of my eyes hasn't gone anywhere at all. Hopefully glasses will make me look sophisticated, sexy or something else described with a positive adjective.
P.S. Getting old and falling apart sucks.
P.P.S. Isn't 23 too early to start feeling old?
I went to another roller derby last night and it was even better than the first one. Last nights derby saw our Minnesota Rollergirls facing off against the Dairyland Dolls of Madison, Wisconsin. For a number of reasons, this matchup was substantially more interesting than last times; specifically, the Dairyland Dolls are a team on par with ours, whereas the previous encounter was strongly in our favor and Minnesota has a bit of a rivalry with Wisconsin, a rivalry which I have started buying into in my time here. I am also developing a more refined appreciation for the joy that is roller derby. I freely admit that the reason I went to the first derby was because the idea of chicks on rollerskates running into each other seemed kind of hot and pretty awesome but this time around, I actually understand the rules. While there was still an element of liking that there were a bunch of scantily clad women roller skating in a full contact manner, I found myself taking a great deal of interest in matters of defensive and offensive strategy. I will go so far as to say that last nights match showed me that Minnesota has a fantastic offense with some really spot on jammers but our defense leaves a bit to be desired. Wisconsin, on the other hand, had an absolutely fantastic defense--near impenetrable at times--but their offense is only so-so. Sadly, our strong offense was not enough to take the bout and Wisconsin beat us 60-something to 40-something (I can't remember exactly). Everything else included, I maintain that roller derby is the best spectator sport ever and that you should all check it out.
I guess, in a sense though, this is my Momma's climate but that's not really the point. Today, October 11th, marks the first time that we've received snow here in Minneapolis. As I sit here waiting for the feeling to return to my ears, I wanted to let all of you out there in warmer climes know what you're missing.
This evening I watched The Paper Chase with a few of the other law students here. For those of you that don't know, The Paper Chase is about a few law students (one in particular) going through their first year at Harvard Law School, with a particular focus on their contracts class (and it's professor). If you would like to get some idea of what law school is like, I recommend watching this movie as it has a lot of very accurate elements. In spite of its accuracy, The Paper Chase does not match up with my experience in a few key ways: none of my professors are quite as mean as Professor Kingsfield and none of my classmates are quite as self-servingly cutthroat as most of the other students in the movie. The movie does, however, give a seemingly accurate portrayal of the workload, class structure, stress levels, sleep deprivation and general style of the experience. I should like to add the caveat to everything previously said in this post that I've only finished one month of my first term and things could change dramatically between now and finals.
Muckrunner and tortfeasor are currently my two favorite words (though one isn't really a word). Tortfeasor is a genuine and real word, muckrunner is a compound word derived from a misinterpretation of a homophone. So as to allow you to enjoy your expanded vocabularies, I present, without further ado, the definition and derivation of tortfeasor and muckrunner (respectively):
Tortfeasor : One who has committed a tort. For those that don't know, a tort is a civil wrong that is not a breach of contract or, in other words, those things that people sue each other for all the time. Thus, a tortfeasor is someone who has wronged someone else in a non-breach of contract sort of way. Mostly though, it just sounds really neat.
Muckrunner : Derived from the term running amok, which is sometimes written running amuck. Running amok is to act in a violent, murderous frenzy and can be considered roughly synonymous with going postal or killing spree. Based on running amuck sounding an awful lot like running a muck, I figured that one who runs a muck might be a muckrunner and thus the derivation is obtained. When, however, one drops the original meaning of running amok, a muckrunner can become a totally different thing entirely. Imagine, if you will, a man driving an old rusty pickup truck filled to the brim with some indescribable muck; now, further imagine this man driving down old dirt roads in a breakneck, Dukes of Hazzard style much like the prohibition era smugglers. Although muckrunner is an improper derivation of running amok, I find it to be a wonderfully amusing construct.
Commentary: Ouch, damn!.