forgiving versus forgetting

Back when I was just a young dakini, and the prime rate was 20%, I found myself partway through Columbia University School of Law with a reduced scholarship for my third and final year.

I put myself through law school. My parents were both retired, and my dad was old and sick, when I entered law school, and the only financial support they were able to give me was $200 when I set off for New York City. By my last year in law school, I had no savings left, despite having a nice job in Manhattan the summer before my third year in law school.

I knew the score. I'd met a cab driver who told me he'd completed one year at Columbia Law School, and I had no reason to doubt him. I needed to finish my law degree to get a license to practice law.

When I protested to the financial aid director of the law school at the time (one John B. Snook), his response was, "Have your parents sell their house. You can buy them a new house after you graduate." The timing of this "advice" was particularly bad, since my dad had just had brain surgery, and was diagnosed with a previously-undetected case of prostate cancer immediately after the surgery.

Of course, I didn't even ask my folks about selling their house. It wasn't like they owned a palatial estate in Westchester. It was a modest three-bedroom house in a little factory town where no one lives unless they have to. I worked during the school year my last year in school, which brought my grades down, but I did finish with my class. And I made a solemn vow that I would never, ever donate a penny to Columbia.

I've made peace with this over the years--to some extent--but I will not break my vow. It was the only action that I felt I could take at the time to fight back against an interaction that I felt to be downright cruel. I've certainly seen greater acts of cruelty than this over the years, and in fact I'd now downgrade this to "callously insensitive." Nevertheless.

Now I am in receipt of a letter from the 25th Reunion Committee from my class at Columbia telling me that I have a "responsibility to give back" to Columbia. To which my politest possible response is, "I don't think so." I will forgive, but I won't forget.


feeling cocky about being technosavvy?

The picture above was taken by a 10-year-old. With a cell phone.


subversive cross stitch update

I hereby certify that the foregoing item is, in fact, currently on display in my office.

It is, however, arranged so that clients cannot see it easily.


why computers are occasionally pounded into their original components of silicone (or silicon, thanks Jay)

Palm has finally created a version Palm Desktop that is Windows-Vista compatible.

But it isn't compatible with my Treo 650.

I do not want to purchase another gadget right now.

I would really, really like to pound my laptop with my Treo right now.

That wouldn't be very mature.



You're in Hell. And you want to get out (has sound, is work-safe content).

Absolutely fabulous.


a periodic table of visualization methods

I think this may just be the coolest thing I have ever seen.


i can has lolcats?

Now that I have found a guide to lolcat grammar, I feel better about writing my own captions.

I found some pretty good ones on the Bar Exam Lolcats group, but now that I've found the generator...let's see...


so maybe i should lay off the postcards

I mean, look. This guy lost his disability insurance benefits and gained a criminal conviction and bar sanctions.

On the other hand, for him it wasn't just postcards, it was POSTCARDS.


"enough of these silly letters"

Sometimes a judge has just had enough (not to be confused with the lawyer who had enough in my last post).


permit and proceed

This description is confusing, but bear with me.

First, there was Second Life. I've signed up, but I have enough self-awareness by this age to recognize what a thief of time this could be for me.

Second, there was First Life, or more accurately Get A First Life. This competent parody site had a link that invited cease-and-desist letters to be posted on the author's blog.

Third--oh, well-played indeed--Linden Labs's lawyer responded with a parody of a cease-and-desist letter. Memorably, Ginsu Yoon replied in pertinent part:

Linden Lab objects to any implication that it would employ lawyers incapable of distinguishing such obvious parody. Indeed, any competent attorney is well aware that the outcome of sending a cease-and-desist letter regarding a parody is only to draw more attention to such parody, and to invite public scorn and ridicule of the humor-impaired legal counsel. Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception.


the biology of boredom

It's not my fault I can't concentrate on stupid stuff. So there.