I’ve finally forced myself to sit down and write out another blog post. I’ve been pretty busy lately (I realize I start essentially every post like this, which should probably give you some insight into just how busy I’ve been). It’s kind of crazy to think about that it’s already been 22 days since my last post, which was itself quite after the fact.
Anyways, Fall continues to roll on into New England. One thing I’ve noticed this year – that I had no reason to notice in past years – is just how variable Fall is depending on where you are. Sure, this makes sense, but I’ve now seen Fall coming really early (Alaska), early (Northern New England), and around the time I’d usually expect it (Boston). And while this next photo is now 3/4 of a month old (yikes, time is flying!) it does showcase a drastic difference in Fall foliage progress in this area even when just compared to the next state north, let alone Alaska.
Of course one thing about Fall – other than it being the objectively best season, is that it brings with it two very important events for yours truly: My anniversary and Halloween. Plus, we now have a tradition of adopting a Thomas during its quest for world domination. We are now up to Thomas III. Selecting the Thomas for the year is an important task, because our Thomas tends to live with us until July of the following year before returning to the Thomas Kingdom beneath the soil to plot further conquest. This time around we found a HUGE Thomas Mama at Whole Foods, who allowed us to take Thomas III home with us.
We generally get Thomas a week or two before Halloween and this time we adopted him on October 23rd.
We were sure to get a family photo in for our anniversary (another tradition) because a certain someone is off in California at a special hospital at the moment.
Yes, Tristen’s crazy lifestyle finally caught up with him and we decided that it was time to send him off to a proper doctor to mend all his “manlies” battle-wounds. SB can keep him touched up, but we needed a professional for a larger dinosaur tuneup. Of course finding someone who knows how to deal with dinosaurs like Tristen is a bit of a challenge, so we ended up sending him all the way to the other coast to get patched up. The bad news was that he missed our anniversary and Halloween, but the good news is that he is on track to back home before Thanksgiving! We’ve heard a little bit from him, but by and large we are ignorant of all his California hi-jinks, which is probably a good thing since one of the few emails I’ve gotten from him simply stated “I fought the law and the law won, send rokens.” I’ll be sure to post when Tristen has returned to us – though as of right now Tristen is the only person in our house who has been to California (excluding SB and I’s evening sojourn at SFO).
The other boys have missed their brother, but Pig has passed the time by continuing to accrue Yoga teaching hours far above and beyond his current 800 hour certificate, and even Valentino has been getting in on the action.
Plus there has been plenty of snuggling.
Also, on the topic of Tristen, MIL and FIL ran into a bunch of Tristen’s brothers and sisters out in Kansas!
As a reminder we don’t need anymore children, so please refrain to acquiring more Tristens (or others) for us! Three is enough. 😛
However, despite the absence of one person in our apartment, we’ve gained another presence: a mouse. To be more precise, we’ve gained Theodore the mouse. Now, I haven’t seen Theodore with my own eyes, but SB has seen him at least once, if not twice. Thus far Theodore has caused us no problems and he seems pretty content to live under our stove and cabinets and in the walls. However, before too long Theodore will inevitably starting eating our food and pooing everywhere, so we’re currently engaged in Operation Mousetrap.
If we catch him, there’s some woods a decent clip from here that we are going to take him to. I say “if” because Theodore has proceeded to vanish since we put the trap out. Valentino and Pig haven’t helped because they actively warn Theodore about the trap each time they see him, so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime we are “family + Theodore” which really doesn’t bother me as I’d rather have Theodore than these huge god-forsaken centipede things we also have to deal with from time to time.
In addition to pumpkins, hospital visits, and mice, October also brought with it Halloween and SB and I’s 7th anniversary. Like usual we tend to roll Halloween and our anniversary into one big celebration. After last year, when we determined that we really can’t afford many places out here, we decided to go to the Thirsty Scholar, which is still too expensive for us, but not so expensive that we can’t go every so often (Tristen loves it, which made going without him a bit of a bummer, but also an excuse to go again we he is back). In addition to our yummy meal and beers at the the pub, I also made us a Hallo-versary cake, which turned out really nice!
It was a rainbow sprinkle white cake with self-mixed orange creme icing and of course a big ole’ jack-o-lantern on top! Everyone liked it and we ate on it for the next three days. In fact, I’m pretty sure we even snacked on it during the 7th game of the 2016 World Series. Now, I’m not a huge baseball person, but this was a pretty exciting World Series for a variety of reasons – and while I was pretty neutral towards both teams, I ended up favoring the Cubs because 1) 108 years is a long time and 2) Valentino favored the Cubs for obvious reasons, so I just went with him. So when they made their comeback from 3-1 we were pretty excited – a bit too excited, because when Game 7 rolled around and went late (10 innings) Valentino just couldn’t sleep. So a certain Taco and Polar Bear crawled out of bed and went back out into the living room and turned the TV on once the end-of-9th-inning rain delay was over.
Needless to say there was quite a bit of excitement in this house when the Cubs won, at least for the whole two of us who weren’t sleeping.
Naturally we paid for it the next day, but entire nations have risen and fallen since the last Cubs World Series win, so it was worth it.
All that said, it wouldn’t be a Dinosaur Bear post if there wasn’t at least some QQing about law school. Enter the MPRE.
It’s kind of funny, I saved that image (.png) and it had a white background, yet somehow when I compressed it the background turned black and the letters grey. I was going to fix it, but then I thought to myself that it was probably a sign (of evil) and that I should just leave it. Also, since this post has the acronym “MPRE” in it, it will probably result in a swarm of traffic like my other posts relating to tests – so hello random internet traveler! 🙂
Anyways, the MPRE – or Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination is an Ethics Test for lawyers-do be, because we don’t take enough tests as is. The MPRE, unlike the Bar Exam, can be taken outside of the state you want to apply your results to. For instance, you can take the MPRE in Oregon and have your results sent to the New York Bar, whereas you need to physically go to New York to take the New York Bar Exam. Further, unlike the Bar Exam which most states only let you sit for after graduation, you can take the MPRE before graduating, and most people do. All but two states require the MPRE, though not all states require the same passing score. The MPRE is scored from 50 to 150, and currently the minimum passing scores range from 75 to 86. The test itself consists of 60 multiple choice questions (50 graded, 10 experimental – though you don’t know which is which) that test your knowledge of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct and well as prevailing caselaw and generally accepted principles/practices that apply to ethics.
I can’t reproduce questions because of things like copyright law (and ethics, HURR HURR), but this is what a question on the MPRE might look like:
Question: Lawyer A is approached by potential client B. B tells A that B just murdered his family with an axe and that the axe is buried in B’s backyard. After discussing situation, A decides not to represent B, and B leaves understanding that A is not representing him. The next day A learns that B has been apprehended by the police, but that the police cannot locate the murder weapon. What is A required to do?
A: Smoke weed er’ day
B: Go dig up the axe and kill A’s own family
D: Bribe the cops to kill B in jail.
E: Run for President.
Now, that’s obviously meant to be a joke as the answer is clearly B. Not all MPRE questions are that easy. In fact there is a bit of a running thing with the MPRE where everyone jokes about how easy it is and how no one studies for it for more than a day and that no one fails it. Like most law student circle-jerks both of these things are bullshit. Most people study for it for more than they will admit, and people certainly “fail” it – I put “fail” in scare quotes because since states have variable thresholds, one person’s fail is another person’s pass. Generally speaking the goal is to get 86+ so you’ve passed in all jurisdictions, but if you are dead-set on a state only requiring 75, then a 75 is passing for you, though it’s technically failing for most people. You get NOTHING other than typical law student narcissism if you score above 86. That is to say, an 86 passes in all states just the same as a 150 does.
So yeah, in sum it’s a big multiple choice ethics tests that forces you out of bed before the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning and will set you back $80 just to sign up for.
Almost as frustrating as the test itself is that per the administrators (the NCBE and those lovely bastards the LSAC) testing centers aren’t guaranteed and “travel may be required.” Basically, there are about 5 testing centers for the entire United States, and they fill up 6-7 years in advance. I signed up 5 months before the test and still had to travel 12 miles away (which is a lot in a metro area when you have no car), though compared to some people who had to travel and get hotels I did pretty well. I ended up taking an Uber both ways because it would have taken me 2 hours each way to get there via public transportation, and I likely wouldn’t have made it there via the MBTA by 8:30am even if tried and there were magically no delays.
The cool thing about going out to my testing center (which definitely excludes Uber cost, which Meem was kind enough to partially defray) was that I got to see a brand new place, Brandeis University. More specifically, I got to see their castle (Usen Castle).
Unfortunately I didn’t get to take the test in the Castle, but my building was right next to it, and since I got there a bit before the doors opened I got a chance to walk around the Castle.
Usen Castle sits atop “Boston Rock” which is the highest point on Brandeis’s campus. The Castle is currently all residential housing for students, though according to the Wikipedia the university is planning on tearing most of it down in 2017 to replace it with newer housing that will hold more students – this is why we can’t have nice things, though there is apparently a hold on the demolition project right now. Anyways, it made me think of Tristen. He was taking the MPRE as well, though someplace out in California and thus wouldn’t even start his test until three hours after me.
From its lofty perch the Castle has a pretty good view of Boston in the distance, especially on a crisp Fall morning.
As for the test itself, the administration was certainly not the worst standardized test environment I’ve been, and while the head proctor went unnecessarily ballistic at one point because someone defied her ALMIGHTY AUTHORITAH’ and then lectured us for 5 minutes straight about her AUTHORITAH’ to write us up, that was fortunately before the test started. The content of the test was mostly what I expected, though on the whole the test seemed to offer up weird answer choices compared to past administrations. I left feeling pretty neutral about it, which is how I felt on my practice tests (as opposed to law school exams where I normally feel either 1 – Like shit or 2 – Fine n’ Dandy) and I ended up passing those (I’m aiming for 86+ for reasons I’ll discuss at some point in the next year, maybe). So I’m definitely on the “Confident” side of the scale, but I won’t know for sure until sometime around December 6th, so we’ll see what happens.
But, since there is no rest for the wicked, I didn’t have much in the way of a post-MPRE resting period. The next week I essentially went straight into another paper for a class, and from there into preparations for an 8 hour long meeting I had with some Senate committee representatives, which despite going really well was still really draining. Emperor Dolan was also elected in the interim.
SO, this weekend (when I’m writing this) I’m trying to catch up on some stuff like blogging, reading – for class sadly, and also getting started on yet another paper. But the good news is that I shouldn’t see another exam until the middle of December, though sadly my law school exam period this semester is going to suuuuuuck, but I’ll complain about that later.
For now it’s back to some coffee…
…and trying to catch up with all the stuff I’ve neglected in the past two weeks. Here’s to law school – oh, and year 8, that too! 😛
Until next time,