Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pure Michigan Week

Gotta love that view!
This must just be a great week to be in Michigan.  After several days of thunderstorms and lots of rain, I was able to get outside for a bit and enjoy some of the sights I wrote about in my last brief update.  Today was another great day to be moving around to study because I was able to go to one of my favorite local lakes and sit with a lakeside view to study.
I CANNOT WAIT to be out on that water kayaking again!
In the meantime, enjoy some #PureMichigan goodness.

Created with flickr slideshow.

I'm also feeling good I guess because I got the score back for my third graded essay for the Bar Review course, and I did pretty well.  Now I have an objective chart telling me that I am, at least for now, "above average."  Nerdy, but nice.
(Hint: I'm the green line that is all the way turnt up)

And some summer tunes!

(yes, I know I posted this same song before, but they just keep p-l-a-y-i-n-g it on the radio every's gonna become a #summer2014 #nofilter anthem whether anyone likes it or not)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brief Update

Beautiful summer fields in Michigan
Just like the past several weeks, this week is no different with more and more intense studying and catching up with more studying on the bar exam.  But just a brief update with that and other things happening in the world.  My goal with these bar exam updates is to start with something positive, acknowledge a bit of stress (because this is real life), and then end on a positive note.  

First, the good stuff happening.  Although I am not able to enjoy as much of the summer right now as I would like, I have been able to take advantage of some nice things.  A walk yesterday evening revealed that beautiful shot above of the rolling summery fields and a bright blue sky.  It's pretty peaceful.  In a related nature note, I also helped a turtle cross the road the other day.
I have also been exploring new study spots in the city because I think I get too stir-crazy if studying in the same place all the time.  So, I've been able to hit up one of my favorite bookstores ever, Schuler Books, and I also made it to the Frederik Meijer Gardens to study before an intense thunderstorm.  
The Meijer Gardens has a beautiful botanical garden inside with several different rooms that always have something cool happening, whether it's the "Christmas around the World" in the winter (focusing on holiday celebrations around the world in December, and also including celebrations from other religions, despite the name) or the butterfly exhibit in the spring where the tropical gardens are filled with beautiful butterflies that will land on your outstretched fingers.  
The Meijer Gardens also has a beautiful outdoor sculpture park, with an amphitheater for some excellent outdoor summer concerts.  The Gardens is especially famous for the American Horse, a gigantic bronze statue made in 1999 by Nina Akamu modeled off of Leonardo da Vinci's horse for the Duke of Milan in the late 15th century.  There were two 24-foot horses cast in 1999, one for the Meijer Gardens and one for Milan (side note: I cannot believe that I totally forgot about the Horse in Milan!!!  I was in Milan!!!  I could have seen it!).  There are so many other cool sculptures outside though, that anything you see, including the cute children's park, is bound to impress.

Also, Iran and Bosnia play in the World Cup today for the final game for Group F.  Hopefully Iran advances!
Go Iran!
Bosnia and Herzegovina

[Update: Iran lost that game 3-1, so now Iran and Bosnia are both out, and Nigeria and Argentina advance to the next round.  It's too bad that Iran lost that game, but look at how Team Melli came together and scored this sweet goal!]

In other news now, the bar exam.  Enough said.
Willy Wonka is a condescending meanie.
Normally, I try to live by this motto:
But even the amazing Leslie Knope has her moments...
But ending with POSITIVITY.

Back to positive things.  And even better, these positive things are actually related to the bar exam *gasp.*  In studying all of the federal civil procedure stuff, I remembered that this also includes the crazy, crazy process that is a deposition.  Which reminded me about some of the crazy videos of depositions that are out there.  Enjoy.

1.  Tupac's 1995 deposition.  Start at about 4:30 for this exchange:
“Do you remember what year you started receiving fan mail?”
“No, I don’t.”
“And do you also get unfavorable mail?”
“Oh yeah, like this.  I get a lot of unfavorable mail from y’all.”
“From fans?”
“No.  From y’all.  Y’all.  You guys. The lawyers, the law students.”

Then skip to the 6:30 mark for more...
“Were you trying to provoke people to do things?”
“Could you tell us what?”
"Think.  Use your head."

2.  The Justin Bieber Destroying his Own Career Deposition.  Only watch this portion of the video though because possibly any longer would be detrimental to one's health and best interests.  Start at the 3:27 mark to listen to the Biebs admit, under oath, "I think that I was detrimental to my own career."  We all agree.

...But perhaps one of my all-time favorites...

3.  TEXAS STYLE DEPOSITION!  I told you I would end on a positive note.  This is ridiculous and hilarious and no matter how many times I watch this video, it is still so funny.  Enjoy the glory of the American legal system.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

[I'm Definitely Not] Watching the World Cup [during the Bar Exam]

Celebration in Madrid when Spain won the 2010 South Africa World Cup
Since last week Thursday, the whole world has basically been obsessed with one thing: soccer.  More specifically, the World Cup being held in Brazil right now.  Soccer can actually be pretty cool on multiple levels, despite what most Americans think.
It's just a liiiiittle bit better
In one of my favorite reads from undergrad, How Soccer Explains the World shows how soccer represents globalization in practice, as "an expression of the social, economic, political, and racial composition of the communities that host both the teams and their throngs of enthusiastic fans."
Soccer, as explained by The Onion.
But more importantly, I remember how much fun I had in Spain and what it felt like to be in the middle of everything when a country wins the World Cup.  In 2010, I was in Madrid, watching the final match between Spain and the Netherlands in the center of the city when Spain scored the winning goal and the entire country went crazy - people jumped into the street and started waving flags as if they were matadors and cars played along, honking loudly, pretending to be bulls - and then celebrated again the next day after the president declared a 36 hour national holiday.  Millions packed the streets of Madrid to greet the national team as it returned victorious the next day (a Monday) from South Africa to a huge area over by Principe Pio to host the concerts and celebrations with Spanish pop star David Bisbal and several dancing Pulpo Pauls (the octopus that can predict the outcome of the World Cup matches).
Actually, a legitimate question re: Bar prep outlines...
If only, if only....
Unfortunately, studying for the bar exam pretty much consumes my time now, but thanks to Tivo and the internets, I can catch bits and pieces of it now and then.  Iran qualified this year and I'm hoping they win (or make it really far), and unfortunately querida España has already been eliminated after some harsh losses, including to the Netherlands (obviously seeking revenge for 2010).

In the meantime, these are some of the highlights and things that I've found amusing over the last week or so about the 2014 World Cup.  If you want to watch the matches, you can find the schedule with dates, times, and channels here.

First up, FIFA hired a Brazilian artist to make posters for each team that will play in the first round.  The posters are really cool for each team and are definitely worth taking a look at all the way through.  Find them here or here.  Some favorites below:
Iran - Team Melli (تیم ملی)
Spain - La Furia Roja
(and even though I didn't live there...)
Italy - Azzurri
But FIFA is not without its criticism in the past couple weeks either.  Satirist John Oliver dives deep into the organization to explain all its shady, SHADY shenanigans to Americans, in the way only a British guy living in the US and analyzing US politics on HBO latenight can.  And he kills it.

Another Daily Show alumn, Stephen Colbert, contributed some vital World Cup analysis with guest Hans Beinholtz - the fictional (yet highly convincing) German ambassador to the United Nations who has made numerous appearences on the Colbert Report.  Here, he gives a "positive" spin on Team USA's chances in Stephen Colbert's Sport Report (all "T's" are silent).

Now, for the good stuff - the highlights from some of the games until now.

Iran v. Nigeria
Team Melli up against Nigeria in a tough game that resulted in the first draw of the tournament (read more here).  Each team gets one point, so hopefully Iran will do well in its next two matches (and comparatively, the rest of the teams in Group F will do poorly - sorry guys) so that Iran can advance to the next bracket.  Check out those sweet jerseys too.  Check out ESPN's video here.  You can also catch the play-by-play report from Yahoo Sports here.  Looking forward to Iran's match against Argentina.  Should be another tough game.  Check out ESPN's video here.

Spain v. Everyone
Unfortunately, Spain eliminated from the World Cup pretty quickly this year.  Check out ESPN's video here.
And just in case you need to express your frustration and sadness, BuzzFeed gives you some advice on what your World Cup watching posture should be here.

USA v. Ghana
I've never really been into USA soccer but apparently this was a good game between two good teams.  And also Ghana has some sweet white away jerseys.  ESPN's video here.  Yahoo's play-by-play here.
Colbert coverage on USA win:

Finally, just because this is so completely ridiculous and so amusingly American, ABC News actually took time to make this an official thing on its website for the World Cup - a bracket of the "hottest players" from some of the teams.  Such an insane waste of time.  Good job, ABC.  

And just for fun, Stephen Colbert's Foam Foot Sign Off (no hands in soccer).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Work a Little, Bar a LOT

"I am Atlas at this, manage to balance massive masses upon
my back without tiltin' my glasses" ~ Lupe Fiasco
Since graduation in May, I've taken a break from jetsetting, travels, and beautiful Geneva to take on the beast that is bar exam studying.  
(no wonder Stephen Colbert says bears
are the #1 threat to America)
Basically, going through the bar review course means lots of reading, video lectures, and learning all the stuff that I learned and forgot since 1L year.  But, at this point, it's all about just pushing through the material with purpose and focus...

 ...With some Chris Trager-like positivity...

And a dash of that Tom Haverford sparkle and Leslie Knope excellence.

We just might be okay, after all, sun goin' shine on this day! ~Lupe Fiasco

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