Just wanted to share a thought that I garnered from my Public Administration reading and professor centering on ethics. Having gone to law school and minored in philosophy in ugrad, I am familiar with many of the concepts in this chapter. Still, I believe this is applicable to everyone and all aspects of life, especially when put so simply: You Fall The Way You Lean.
Ethics is a tricky area, just ask anyone who has taken the MPRE (test for lawyers on ethics and professional responsibility). People like to talk about it in this amorphous, philosophical way, and that has its place, but he basic problem is one of physics, not metaphysics. If I balance my pencil on end, and tilt it slightly to the left, which way will it fall? To the left. And if I tilt it to the right, it’ll fall to the right. That’s basically how your ethical decisions work.
Every day you make little ethical decisions–about how to treat coworkers or employees, about how to drive in traffic, about how hard to work, about what to include in your reports–and these little decisions shape who you are and how you think. These decisions aggregate and gather so that one day, when you are confronted with an obvious, fully labeled ethical dilemma, the outcome is already determined. You will fall the way you have been leaning. That’s why the most important thing about ethics is to know yours. Continue reading →
Ten years later, my reaction to this video is the same as when I first saw it in my dorm room freshman year (holla 404 E-haus, UNC’s South Campus!) with my roomie and my bestie. We three were jaw jacking about something when the video came on my roomie’s 13in television. All conversation ceased. I was sitting cross-legged on the top bunk, roomie was sitting on her bed, and bestie stood in the middle of the room. All three, mesmerized and silent. All three, breathing in sync with him. We were the ultimate voyeurs, peeking in on an intimate moment with a man we could have built from all of our favorite parts. It wasn’t raunchy. It wasn’t vulgar. It was sexy in the way romance novels try to be with all of that grand, overly-descriptive language.
Not until the video went off were we able to start talking again. There was about a 10 second delay and we all snapped out of our trances and laughed. Real talk, some kind of Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, Magneto, Boris & Natasha, or Dr. Evil could have put his world domination propaganda into that video and we would have willingly done their bidding. I still really can’t tell you what the lyrics are or what the song’s about because I don’t really *hear* it. SMH.
It’s September. That is just wild to me. 2009 has had it’s slow moments but I can’t believe fall is knocking on the door (even though a step outdoors in NY will smack you in the face with autumn). August/September always reminds me of back to school time. Except for maybe two or three years, I’ve been in school my entire post-pre-school life. How could I NOT associate this time of the year with hitting the books? This year is no different. Although I got my law degree this past May, I am once again on the degree-seeking path; this time I’m getting a Master of Public Administration degree. What is different this time is that I’m not going to school. I’m taking the online classroom option so that I don’t have to be tied to a classroom every week. Instead, I’ll be completing assignments with classmates spread around the country and meeting my professor for e-office hours. While I feel like not having to show up to class at a particular time and place is freeing, I know it is going to require more self-discipline to complete assignments by deadline and factor in time to study. The program is geared toward working professionals as well so there’s peace of mind in the fact that the professor knows we will all be doing classwork after a 9-5 gig.
So why am I getting this degree anyway? There isn’t just one answer to that question. I guess I just like the idea of going to school for some reason. I’ve always been the kind of person who used grades and educational accolades as a measuring stick for their life. While I might not always enjoy doing the work, I do like getting rewarded for what I’ve accomplished with my mind. Another reason for an MPA in particular is because I’ve always been involved in nonprofit and public sector work, in and outside of the legal field. It’s what I want to do but I know that I would like to take on high-level responsibilities in national and international types of organizations. While a JD is a great background, I have realized this summer that there are some other skills I want to add to my toolbox which should help in the future when I go after those lofty nonprofit/NGO positions. Finally, I just want a bunch of annoying letters after my name. Continue reading →
Sometimes I think kids must be dumb as rocks or the folks who put together public service announcements thought we were. After having a good laugh at Topless Robot’sThe 20 Best Public Service Announcements of the Last 30 Years, I couldn’t help but think of how ridiculous those things seem! Were they that bad when we were young? Do young people not possess the ability to notice ridiculous crap? Did we miss most of these PSAs because we were busy fighting our siblings for the remote? There must be some reason these things got on the air. They don’t just put stuff on television all willy nilly without some thought or research (although the travesty that is VH1’s Daisy of Love might beg to differ).
Maybe I’m just no longer in the demographic and it’s easy to look back on these things and clown. Who knows, as a latchkey kid home alone with the television to raise me a lot of the time, I probably internalized some of the positive messages from PSAs. Except the drug ones, I knew they were bogus. I believed that drugs were bad but I couldn’t BELIEVE the PSAs. I knew real drug dealers, thank you very much, and they didn’t walk up to you at your locker with three rolled joints in their fists. Nope. Thank goodness for DVR and no longer having to sit through those things anymore! Check out the link above for the full list. I’ll only pick out a few faves to share after the jump.
Peep Chrisette Michelle covering No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” I have always loved this song and used to wear out my Tragic Kingdom tape (yes, cassette tape) in high school. I had a real alternative/ska/angsty period that snuggled up to my hip-hop/reggae tunes so No Doubt fit in quite nicely. Oh, and this song stands out because once I was at the skating rink with all my friends, must have been freshman year, and I got into an argument with my boyfriend at the time. I think he was talking to some other girl or whatever. Could’ve been anything back then. Anyway, our friends tried to mediate the whole thing and nothing was working. Someone requested “Don’t Speak” and since at that age we searched for meaning in every lyric of every fucking song, we were so overcome with emotion that we just had to makeup. CORNY, I know. LOL.
What’s the point of going to your graduation? I’d say there are two major reasons: (1) you do it for your family and friends so they can celebrate your achievement and be proud of you and stuff like that. (2) you do it for yourself so that you can have some kind of culmination, closure and celebration of your hard work. That being said, I probably shouldn’t have gone to my graduation.
Before I start my rant and complaining, I want to thank my friends who came to see me walk across the stage, especially those who traveled across states to do so. Everyone contributed in their own way (a ride, emergency funds, their apartment lol). Even though I had six friends there with me, I couldn’t help but be aware of the fact that I only had six friends there with me. Let me start from the beginning though.
Yesterday was really rushed, I felt. I had to take a bus from NYC down to Philly the day of the graduation. As of right now, I don’t really live anyhwere so I didn’t have a spot to stay overnight in Philly before the graduation. As soon as I got in the city, I had to get picked up and taken over to the bookstore where I was supposed to pick up my graduation regalia (cap and gown, hood and tassel). I had planned on having it earlier but was unable to get to Philly. They wouldn’t let anyone pick it up for me so I had to wait until the day of. Anyway, I get there and they tell me that they don’t have any regalia for me. EXCUSE ME? Naturally, I stopped dealing with that undergrad lackey and started talking to the managers. Phone calls were made, we searched for the confirmation, everything. No dice. Yo, I know I sat in my room in Tokyo and ordered that shit. Well they don’t let you walk in the graduation if you don’t have regalia. One of my friends had to purchase the $80 doctor’s gown set for me about 10 minutes before I had to be lined up. The stress of that whole ordeal sent me into tears which pissed me off because I was messing up my eye makeup and I didn’t want anyone to think I was crying because I was graduating cuz, well, that’s lame. Continue reading →
I ain’t pass the Bar but I know a lil’ bit, enough that you won’t illegally search my shit. – Jay-Z
Friday, April 17th, 2009. The last day, the last class of law school. Let us exhale. Sure I have two weeks of exams to go but once I battle the beast called Int’l Dispute Resolution on Monday, the others (Comparative Immigration, Japanese Law, Int’l Human Rights) will be a cake walk. Then there’s a brief respite before suiting up in my doctor’s gown and crossing the stage to grab my J.D. Sometimes I think I might want to go to school again, but I really need a break. My brain and my spirit are weary from all of this law school yameanery. Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy the study of law in general. However, three years of statutes, cases, draconian exams and professional pressure is a lot, even for me!
A friend IM’d me to congratulate me on finishing up school. I was kind of nonchalant about it because, well, I don’t feel particularly excited. For reasons expressed before, I don’t really feel like I’m moving on to anything so great, at least not right now, not in the near near future. I’m mostly relived just to be done but not super pumped for the next chapter (especially because I have no idea what that really is). But then I got to thinking about one really positive thing… I’m finished.
I finished what I started. Not just back in 2006 when I started out as a first-year (1L). This harkens back to 2003 when I graduated from undergrad and was set to start at Tulane Law that fall. Through various decisions (some poor) and unforeseeable life circumstances, I ended up at another law school then left. I was never happy with the way that turned out, especially because I could have already been working as an attorney by the time I started school this time around! So I finally finished what I started out to complete six years ago and I guess it wasn’t so bad because I had some good life/work experiences in between.
Okay, okay. In other news, Che Grand put out a video for his jawn “Girls Talk” featuring DBM. I like listening to this while riding my bike dodging Japanese people who don’t know how to move out of the way (I digress). The vid is fun, Peep:
Although I will be graduating from law school next month, I will not be taking the Bar exam. Nope, I won’t be participating in what most consider the necessary culmination of a legal education. It’s not because I don’t want to be a lawyer. It’s because I cannot afford it. We’re not talking registration fees like you saw with the SAT or even the LSAT. We’re talking Bar application, Bar review course, expenses associated with gathering information and background checks for your character & fitness application, and living expenses while you study for the exam. Ouch. If you read this blog, you know this isn’t the first time I’ve shared my frustration about the situation.
Usually, folks take out loans to finance this additional, but necessary portion of law school. However, with the financial crisis we’re in right now, even Bar Loans aren’t being offered like they used to. What’s a graduating law student to do? The Alliance for Legal Education has a smashing idea:
The Alliance for Legal Education is a coalition of law schools and other organizations in the legal community working to ensure that students who have invested in a legal education have the funding they need to prepare for the bar exam. The Alliance has proposed a solution: allow costs associated with preparing for the bar to be included in the cost of attendance, which would, in turn, make these costs eligible for federal student loans.
To effect this policy change, and to do so in time to help this year’s graduating law students, it is critical to contact legislators now to urge their support of this initiative. The Alliance has established a website at http://capwiz.com/allianceforlegaleducation where you can learn more about this initiative and use the online facility to contact your legislators about this issue.
You do not have to be a law student to encourage legislators to act. You just have to think it’s ridiculous that a person should have to take out private loans, charge up their credit cards or, do like I will and postpone the exam in order to work and save money. The cost of the Bar should be figured into the cost of attendance for law school, what makes more sense than that?
The online form is really easy and takes less than 2 minutes to fill in. Thanks a bunch!
I’am currently in Thailand for my last spring break in a very long time (I won’t say ever, bc in this economy, I could probably go back to school. ugh). I’m in Bangkok now which is super stinky and mad sketchy but whatev. It has it’s own “character” I guess. Headed to Ko Samui then Ko Phan Gan, Krabi and Railay before stomping over Bangkok again.