The LRW Brief from Hell is submitted. Actually it was submitted almost a week ago, but it still feels good. Of course LRW itself is far from over. I have a practice oral argument tomorrow, and then the real oral argument next Monday, and then the final LRW class the Monday after that. So, while I regrettably cannot celebrate the end of the Hell that is LRW just yet, I can celebrate the end of the Sub-Hell that was the LRW Brief.
But, it was a long and hard-fought battle. If you read this blog, well, really at all, then you’ll have been blessed by one (or more) of my LRW bitchfests. Rather than recount the entire process that began in late January (which is documented through a string of posts) I’ll focus on the final hours of the Brief. The story begins last weekend. As usual with law school, one big project being due also means that a lot of other things are due. So I didn’t really have a weekend so to speak. The first part of the weekend was devoted to trying to make up for the fact that Sunday wouldn’t exist for me. But not everything was bad! Starbucks had a limited time “Birthday Cake Frappuccino” to celebrate the Frappuccino’s 20th anniversary. It was as good as it sounds.
Valentino was a fan, obviously.
After the amazing day of Birthday Cake Frappuccino, it was time for Sunday to roll around. Sunday, for all intents and purposes, sucked. It started off decently enough, other than the fact that I stayed up too late on Saturday talking to a friend. But by the time noon rolled around, it was time to pack up and head to the law school. You see some genius had decided to make the Brief due at 9am on a Monday morning (3-30-15). Yes, 9, freaking, am. It might not seem too bad at first, but think about it. You take an assignment worth a MASSIVE amount of your grade, you force people into pairs, and then you make it due IN THE MORNING. Then you have the audacity to be like “We want you to be healthy!” bullshit. By making the Brief due at 9am you are essentially guaranteeing that people WILL stay up all night long working on it. To argue otherwise would be asinine. But that is just part of the bull-crap that is law school and mental health. They constantly claim that they want us to take care of ourselves, but then they structure EVERYTHING to be entirely conducive to NOT being healthy.
Which is precisely why generally speaking in law school Taco gives no shits and gets average grades. I decided early on that being a mental train-wreck for 3 straight years was not going to happen. Of course that creates an issue when you are forcibly paired with a person who just has to be a Supreme Court Clerk someday.
All this is to say, that the final hours of the Brief were horrible. From trying to figure out the table of authorities, to correcting which reporter we were citing to, to rewriting an ENTIRE SECTION of the brief, to cutting out FIVE PAGES worth of content to meet the page limit. It was crazy, crazy, crazy. In fact it didn’t end until about 1:40am. If my memory serves me, this was the most time I I had ever spent in a single sitting on a school project. Nearly 14 hours. I was never one to do all-nighters in school, ever. I just don’t care enough. I value sleep more than anything except exercise. So, generally, when shit needs to get done for school, I either do it early, or I stop and go to bed. Sleep > School. However, I guess its fair that I didn’t get to complete my entire post-secondary education without at least one really late night at the library.
But, by about 2:00am it was nearly complete and it was off to bed. Which sounded good in theory. In reality my brain just wouldn’t shut off and so by the time my alarm went off at 6:15am, I had amassed about 43 minutes of sleep. Bringing me to about 5 hours and 43 minutes of sleep in a 48 hour period. However, Baby Jesus was kind enough to give me a really pretty sunrise to “wake up” to.
It was only 6:15am and I was already running on fumes, good start. My exercise helped a bit, though I was basically a zombie while doing it. Around 7:00am my partner and I got back to working on the Brief, this time remotely. By about 8:30 I was done with my final edits, and he submitted it around 8:53am, seven minutes before the deadline. But that wasn’t the end of the submission process.
There are three things you have to do to submit your brief: 1 – Turn in an electronic copy by 9am. 2 – Turn in FIVE physical copies with a red cover (or blue, if you are appellants – we were appellees) page by 10am. 3 – Turn in an electronic copy to the opposing counsel by Noon. Because my partner was in class, and you can ONLY turn in the hard copies from 9 to 10 (yes, no earlier, no later) it fell to me to get to campus and print 125 pages of material (correctly) and submit it. Of course, the 9 – 10am is universal for appellees (appellant’s briefs were due a week ago). Which means that around 255 people are also trying to print 125 pages and turn them in. Which, in turn, means there is a RUSH on the printers. Luckily I’m slightly less of a drone than my classmates (which likely stems from how much less I care) and I went to an area where I figured none of them would be, and I was correct. The printer even cooperated and didn’t mess up or run out of ink. So, I checked all the formatting, stapled everything together (including the red cover sheets I had printed the night before) and then was on my way.
I had to track down my partner (who was still in class) to get him to sign each copy (we both had to), since I figured forgery probably wasn’t a great way to start my career as a lawyer. But after that I got all 125 pages turned in and then proceeded to mail the opposing counsel a copy, and, with that, was done with the Brief.
Its red because IT COMES FROM HELL
Of course there was still about 30 minutes before my first class even started, and so with nothing to do I started to lose energy fast. I decided to treat myself to the cafeteria, which actually has a really good selection but costs money, something I don’t have much of. I ended up cheaping out (as I always do) and just got cereal in a plastic tube.
But at least it was sugary cereal in a plastic tube! Which was a nice (little) burst of energy, since despite my brief being done, I had class until 7:00pm. Yes, by the time I turned in my Brief, I still had 9 more hours of being on campus in front of me, including a lovely LRW class. Yes, LRW on the day the Brief is due, salt in the wound.
The good news is that the law school fed me well for lunch. I don’t even remember what the lunch talk was, and honestly I don’t care.
Judging by the vegetarian look of the meal (which was good, I remember that much!) it was probably something about saving animals from us being assholes.
I honestly don’t remember much of that day. I just remember that when I finally made it home, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep before SB did, which happens like once every 3000 years or so. The next day I was still fairly tired, and I honestly think it took until about Wednesday before I was back to normal.
The rest of the week was pretty nifty, albeit more busy than I had hoped it would be. On Monday I met Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, he was talking about renewable energy. On Tuesday I met Chris K.elly, the “Privacy Officer” of Facebook during its rise to power. Yeah, I put scare quotes around privacy officer because Facebook caring about your privacy is an oxymoron.
His talk was actually pretty interesting, but damn the dude was shady. He was extremely good at answering questions without answering them. Maybe that is why he ultimately left Facebook for politics.
On Thursday my current favorite professor, Jonathan Zittrain gave a talk upon his acceptance of the “George Bemis Professor of International Law” chair. The talk was entitled Love the Processor, Hate the Process: The Temptations of Clever Algorithms and When to Resist Them, and I highly recommend you watch it online if you get a chance. SB can attest that “Zittrain is a pretty cool guy. Eh teaches the memes and doesnt afraid of anything.” Yes, SB attended, partially because I asked her too (and because she was on Easter Break – BC is Jesuit – she had time), and partially because there was alcohol and some noms afterwards. I really like Zittrain, he is probably one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, he is also a massive nerd, and most importantly he is funny and relevant. Sadly I’m really just not interested in pursuing Cyberlaw, so I don’t know how much more of him I’ll be seeing after this semester (I’m taking an elective of his, and was in his reading group last semester).
The candid shot above is kind of telling. As Dean Minnow said, “Professor Zittrain is the only faculty here at the law school who would do their own AV.” And he did. While she introduced him he sat over at the side and made sure the technical bits were all in place, it was kind of funny considering he was the one being honored with the chair. And in case you were wondering, the chair is not only a professorial position, he literally got a fancy new Harvard chair to go with his new title. In attendance during the talk was Tim Berners-Lee, the dude who freaking invented the World Wide Web, no seriously.
Afterwards SB and I enjoyed some alcohol and noms (including some very tasty mushrooms that tasted just as good as fresh from the wild) and then headed home. Since SB had came to campus earlier in the day and we had lunch at at Cambridge Common, it was nice to get to spend most of a day together, something that doesn’t happen often on weekdays!
On Friday I met Michael N. Schmitt, one of the Navy’s lawyers who helps figure out how to combat cyber-terrorism. I don’t really know much about him, but his talk was interesting. I got pretty much screwed over when it was time to ask questions, because I got skipped FIVE TIMES, I just have bad luck when it comes to questions I guess. But more important was the lunch, it was quite tasty!
After lunch I was supposed to have had physical therapy. But my Doctor, who was the head of the department, just didn’t show up on her last day (yeah she is quitting too). So 4 hours before my appointment, which I really needed as I was having a bad day with my numb spot on my upper back, they called and cancelled. They are supposed to call next week to figure out who is going to take me in, but either way I am not thrilled, because it means explaining my history to someone all over again, and starting the process all over again, yadda yadda. For all the bad luck I have with asking questions, my luck with doctors is several hundred times worse.
The good news was that since it was Friday it meant more SB time! She came to campus and we tried out a little cafe that is literally inside Harvard Yard, called the Cafe Gato Rojo. We’d been meaning to try it for awhile, and this seemed like a good opportunity. The hours are weird, and they only take cash, but the prices are very good!
We didn’t actually eat there, since it was still early. We just wanted to get some drinks and sit and chill. We ended up getting some iced tea, SB went with a Black tea with Raspberry syrup (which wasn’t very strong) and I went with an Iced Green Tea which was really good and had spices in it.
Since it was so nice outside (high 50s! woo!) I suggested we go sit someplace in the Yard (Yahd) and people watch. Of course (literally) right as we went outside it started to rain, so it was right back into Gato Rojo. Once we were sitting down SB pointed out a funny banner hanging above the cafe that I had missed.
Yes, that does indeed say “I (Heart) the Shit Outta You.” And who said Harvard was all class?
My upper back and neck were really hurting, so I didn’t enjoy our little tea date as much as I might have otherwise, but it was still nice to just sit and chill after a long week. We had an event we were going to at 5:30, so before too long we decided to go get an early dinner. We stayed on campus and ate at a place called the Greenhouse Café inside of the Science Center. Neither one of us had any idea why it was called the Greenhouse, until we got back into the seating area!
It was a grey and rainy(ish) day, but the views and (limited) sunlight were still nice!
Greenhouse is actually more akin to a little food court than it is a traditional cafe. Once you get back in there you have a variety of food options. We ended up honing in on the Indian section, and we both pretty much got the same thing (great minds think alike).
It was good, and relatively inexpensive, which was nice since we had had lunch the day before at Cambridge Commons. We though it was open until 7:30pm (according to the website) but in actuality it was only open until 5pm (gotta love Friday hours). So we stayed until about five, then we were on our way to big event of the night, a beer and cider tasting!
First, a little background.
SB and I live in housing that is owned by Harvard University (not the law school). This housing, referred to as HUH (Harvard University Housing, go figure right?), is divided into “groups,” each of which are managed by different offices. For instance, our group, the Botanic Group is centered around the Botanic Gardens housing area (though we are the bastard forgotten children far, far away). In order to foster community and growth and all that good stuff, Harvard created something called the “Graduate Commons Program,” which basically gives any graduate students (and their families) living in a “group” of residences to come together and meet each other during social events. Somethings groups cross over into other groups, but largely events are held on a intra-group basis. These events range in subject matter from orientation sessions (such as Cambridge 101 – the very first event we attended!), to ice cream socials, to watching sports, to outdoor games, to happy hours! Almost all of them are free, and those that do cost money normally have a steep discount. They also give out prizes sometimes, in fact back at the beginning of the semester I won 2 movie tickets and a Harvard mug. We still haven’t used the movie tickets as SB and I are waiting on Avengers: Age of Ultron to come out. [I actually have three movie tickets, I won the third one in a library raffle at the law school.]
Me being the anti-social person that I am, we don’t go to many of the events. Though to be fair, its often because they are far away. The primary spot for the Botanic Group’s events is about a 20-25 minute walk from where we live. Its actually the building we almost got an apartment in, which would have been 700$ more a month – in retrospect we are both glad we missed the lease window, despite the building being newer and nicer and closer to the law school, its not so much better as to justify the extra 700$ a month we would have spent. So, basically, because I’m anti-social, its far away, and we’ve had a historic winter, we haven’t been to many events. However, we stayed on the mailing list and keep an eye on the events as they are announced (at least SB does). So, when a “Meet the Brewers!” event popped up, it was all hands on deck.
Despite the beginning being a little rocky, I’m really glad we ended up going because it was a lot of fun! It was held in the building mentioned above, which was part of the reason why SB and were just bopping around campus on a Friday afternoon instead of getting the heck out of there. Part of the problem was that the event had originally been scheduled from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, but they ended up changing it to 5:30pm to 7:30pm relatively close to the day-of. This meant that a lot of people were late and the event really didn’t get started until almost 6:00pm anyways. This in turn meant that SB and I were some of the first people there, if not the first, and we were locked out. See, this is a secured building, which is nice and all, except for the fact that you know, you can’t get in if you don’t live there. In fact, way back at our first event, the Cambridge 101 session, we were locked out. You’d think after nine months they would have figured out that they need to unlock the doors to the common room, but nope. However, SB got their attention and we got signed in. Being early meant that we got first dibs on the snacks (which we ate some of, despite having just ate dinner) and we also got a table to ourselves. Before too long the rest of the guests and well as the breweries themselves showed up and we were ready to roll.
There were two breweries represented, one was a beer brewery, the other was a cider brewery (cidery?):
Bantam was represented by one of the two women who founded it, which Aeronaut was represented by one of the founders as well as someone who joined the crew shortly after it started. It was a fairly typical Q&A setup, with most of the questions asked being prepared beforehand and gathered from the RSVP forms, which gave the guests a chance to ask two questions. I’m happy to report that the two most substantive questions came from yours truly. I actually had a third question I was going to ask, but it was stolen from me right before I could ask it (see my luck with questions above). I think the most interesting part of the talk was hearing them explain the origin of their business names (my stolen question), especially Aeronaut. The “O” in Aeronaut isn’t actually a can-tab, its a hot air balloon on an adventure! No seriously, go look closely at it above! Pretty cool.
Of course no one comes to these things for talking, at least no one I know. They come for the drinking, and boy was there plenty to drink. Each brewery brought three of their offerings.
Bantam’s Table: (There were more bottles in a cooler behind the table)
Each person was initially allowed one sample of each variety, so three ciders and three beers for six samples in total (as the night wore on and everyone had had at chance to sample each thing they just opened it up to anyone, but SB and I had had plenty to drink by that point, especially SB).
The way you ensured that you got to try one of each was via this handy-dandy
notebook drink ticket.
For each of the three varieties offered by Aeronaut or Bantham they’d circle or mark of one of the three numbers of that side of the card. Pretty simple! Well, it should have been. But the guy doing the marking (some Graduate Common Program slave) on Bantam’s side marked a ton of cards incorrectly until I pointed out that he was doing it wrong. The way he was doing it you were getting screwed out of a beer over at the Aeronaut table. YOU HAD ONE JOB, ONE JOB. Anyways, we ended up getting it fixed over at the Aeronaut table because beer > all.
So what was the juicy lineup of alcoholic drinks?
Aeronaut Brewing Company
1 – Imperial Stout (Self titled, its an imperial stout named imperial stout)
2 – Red Galaxy IPA
3 – El Dorado IPA (Doesn’t have a BA profile yet, must be relatively new!)
Bantham Cider Company
1 – Wunderkind
2 – Rojo
3 – Americain (Doesn’t have a Ratebeer page, I think I remember her saying this was a newer one, Ratebeer sucks anyways)
SB and I decided to start with Aeronaut, then flip flop back and forth between beer and cider (with water breaks and food in-between) to keep our palates from getting exhausted on a particular flavor.
Taco and SB’s Six-Drink Power Tour:
First up, Aeronaut Imperial Stout!
A dark beer with roasted aromas and a rich malty character, this was a solid stout and a good start to our tour due the complex flavors.
Second, Bantam Rojo!
An unfiltered, semi-dry crider. Rojo starts with a spicy fruity aroma and a first taste that becomes slightly sour on mid-palate and finished with a subtle cherry note, probably because it has cherries and peppercorn! This would make a great fall cider.
Third, Aeronaut El Dorado!
This IPA is a showcase of candied fruity hops with a subtle malt character. It was a fairly sweet IPA, which flowed nicely on the heels of the Rojo!
Fourth, Bantam Americain!
This is a warm spicy cider, with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. This would make a great winter cider (especially with a nice fireplace to drink it by!).
Fifth, Aeronaut Red Galaxy!
This is a dark, hoppy, and fuity red rye IPA. This IPA opened my eyes to the world of “colored” (e.g. Red, White, etc.) IPAs which I didn’t even know existed!
Sixth, Bantam Wunderkind!
This cider is made with a blend of local apples (New England has tons of them) and is slowly fermented then balanced with a hint of flower-blossom honey. This was a “traditional” hard cider and was Bantam’s first recipe. It reminded me of the macro ciders, such as Angry Orchard (owned by Boston Brewing Company).
All in all, it was a lot of fun and we enjoyed each drink! They raffled off the Aeronaut growlers, but we didn’t win one (though SB’s number was 55 and one number called was 54, so close!). We were actually feeling pretty good when we were done, likely because of the speed at which we drank all six classes (we didn’t want them to run out before we tried them all, and Bantam actually did, but not before we got all three). SB was especially happy, and our walk home may or may not have involved her walking nearly drunk through the hallowed halls of Harvard Law. (Ah memories!).
We actually made it home just in time to see Final Jeopardy! (Much to Tristen’s enjoyment). After chilling for a bit and getting some much needed water, we opened up our package of Red Velvet Oreos! Yes, Red Velvet Oreos. If you follow the blog you probably are wondering if I eat Oreos all the time. No, I promise I don’t. I’ve actually eaten more Oreos in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years. However, MIL and FIL sent us these Red Velvet Oreos as part of our Easter care package!
Depending on your flavor preferences, these might sound better or worse than the cookie dough Oreos I had last weekend. Its actually pretty interesting, SB and I were planning on trying these Oreos now that we have had the Cookie Dough Oreos, but MIL and FIL must have read our minds because soon after they sent us some! While there was no cool epic hunt for these as there was for the cookie dough variety (we didn’t even realize these existed until we were trying to find the cookie dough ones), we were excited to try them. Namely because Meem makes the best Red Velvet cake in history and therefore SB and I tend to like Red Velvet flavored things (even though they are never as good as Meem Red Velvet cake, so long as you don’t add too much food coloring).
So how were they? Well, I have to report that the Cookie Dough Oreos are still the champions of the “flavored” Oreos in the Taco household. While expectations were on the whole lower for the Red Velvet Oreos (its hard to compare to 1.5 years of searching to build up the anticipation), the baseline (against Meem’s Red Velvet Cake) was probably way higher. They pretty much nailed the cream cheese icing flavor. The center of the Oreo tasted perfectly like the cream cheese icing does on a on red velvet cake. The problem was with the cookie itself, the red velvet flavor was just far too weak and largely inaccurate. So basically these were more “Cream Cheese Icing Oreos With Hints of Something That Tastes Like Red Velvet Cake from a Box” than they were “Red Velvet Oreos.” Still, they definitely weren’t bad, and like the cookie dough variety, we ate the package within two days! Of course the red velvet package was even smaller than the normal package, whereas the cookie dough package was full size, which I thought was odd. Either way, its not like I really needed anymore Oreos.
After Oreos we pretty much just chilled for the rest of the evening then went to bed decently early for a Friday (all that food + alcohol + long week = sleep). I didn’t even have any more beer! We were planning picking me some up after the brewer event, but I decided to pass because six glasses (even small ones) seemed like enough for one evening. I actually did end up getting some beer on Saturday, but I’ll talk about that in my Easter post!
The rest of the weekend has been pretty chill (wooo UK lost in the NCAA tournament!), lots of reading and procrastinating for my practice oral argument tomorrow, but since the practice argument isn’t graded I’m having a really hard time motivating myself to work on it, especially after 150 pages of criminal law reading.
But, I should probably end this post. Earlier my blog crashed and I lost a massive amount of what I had written and I wanted to smash my desk into pieces, so rather than risk that again I’ll wrap things up (I’ve since been pasting the post into Word as it grows, but still, why take chances! – plus I really should do some work for LRW).
So, that is the end of the Brief for LRW, the next time you hear about LRW I’ll either be complaining about my upcoming oral argument, or I’ll be complaining about my oral argument after its over. Either way I can promise you that there will be at least one more bit of LRW complaining before I can compile my glorious “LRW IS DONE!” post.
Until next time,