A Writer’s Diary Entries From Early October, 1991

Tuesday, October 1, 1991

7 PM. I wondered why I felt so tired last night, but then I realized I’d been at school from 7:45 AM to 4:45 PM, with only an hour break for lunch, so it had been a long day. I fell asleep during a documentary on LBJ and slept soundly for over eight hours.

At school by 8 AM, I was the last person to join Karin, Steve, Mark, Barry, Pauline and Nancy for Prescott’s C-10 tutorial on Civ Pro. It was helpful, but Prescott had to leave early for an interview, so I went to Jed’s carrel and xeroxed the hypo he’d left for his C-10 tutorial.

Torts was okay; at one point I had to kick Doug G, who fell asleep. Usually his problem is talking too much to me; he comments on every case and I just nod.

During the break, I managed to read most of the Times and the other papers and reread the cases for Contracts.

I enjoyed Davis again today. His class is lively, and it’s interesting to see how some students, notably Martin, keep being bloodied by Davis when they make rash statements but nevertheless continue to constantly raise their hands. I guess they’re learning by participating.

During my lunch break, I went home and watched All My Children, an ABC soap I’d followed periodically; now, since I can’t get NBC’s Another World, and the only time I have is from 1-2 PM on Monday and Tuesday, I’ve been following AMC as a needed diversion.

Our study group met in the cafeteria at 2 PM to go over our notes. Costas still hasn’t come back from Miami, and we’re concerned he’s decided to drop out. I can understand why, since his wife has to live in Miami.

He already found out the University of Miami will make him take first-year classes over if he transfers, so he won’t gain anything by staying at UF this year if he does transfer. Poor guy: it must be hard for him.

The “face books” came out at Student Services: a catalog of the fall entering class’s photos with names and undergrad colleges. We all spent time poring over them, lamenting that our photos were so bad – but everyone else looked fine – and realizing, “Oh, so that’s so-and-so’s name.”

There were a lot of typos – Gary became “Gray”; Shay’s alma mater was listed as “Yassar College” – but the book is very useful.

I enjoyed Jurisprudence, where we did the battered wife case. When Doug K asked me how we should outline the course, I told him I was clueless.

Before coming home, I stopped at the public library and found the Ocala Star-Banner article, pretty much word for word what the Sun had.

I got a letter from Dean Kent, who said I hadn’t officially registered for the joint J.D./M.A.M.C. program. I didn’t know why that happened: I just did what people told me to do when I went to the registrar’s office. Anyway, I wrote Dean Kent and asked how to correct the problem and if I could get an assistantship application for next year.

After dinner, I watched the news: Congress passed extended benefits for the unemployed and sent the “garbage” bill to Bush for his veto. I think the President is being misled by his advisers because he really gives off the impression that he doesn’t care about the unemployed.

Last night Mikey said sarcastically, “Haven’t you heard? The recession is over.” Over it ain’t – and it could be getting worse. Of course I’ve forecast gloom for so long, what do I know?

But the report card on the Bush administration’s vaunted education goals for 2000 all but admitted that some of the goals – like having American students first among nations in math and science within nine years – are impossible to achieve, given the current low standards and lack of progress.

How long before people in America start to wake up to what’s been happening?

Wednesday, October 2, 1991

8 PM. I really wanted to attend Barbara Grier’s talk, “A Garden Variety Lesbian,” right now at the Reitz Union. She’s the woman behind Tallahassee’s Naiad Press. But I’m already sleepy, and I guess I have to give up all my plans to go out at any time during a weeknight this term.

Sleepy as I am now, I could force myself to get out, but then I’d probably end up being unable to sleep all night, the way I was when I attended the first GLSU meeting four weeks ago.

I’ll have to put off most extracurricular activities till next year. Perhaps if I were younger, I’d have the stamina, but there are times when I feel every one of my forty years. I may appear young, but I don’t have the same energy level as my 22-year-old classmates.

Even when I didn’t put in these 9 AM-to-4 PM days at school, I rarely stayed out late. Last night I fell asleep at 10 PM and woke up at 6 AM, did my usual exercises, had breakfast, and got to school early although I didn’t have a class or tutorial.

Instead, I briefed cases for Crim and Civ Pro and copied Prescott’s Contracts outline from the C-10 file on reserve. Classes went slowly this morning, and I found my mind wandering during Torts and Criminal Law. I purposely asked Dowd a question with the expectation that she’d put me on the spot, firing back questions that made me think.

Earlier, I’d read an article Jed left us, about legal argument. I understand that knowing the content of all these legal rules is less important than figuring out how to master the techniques of legal argument since all the rules are totally malleable.

Everyone in first year is looking for the answer, but there is no answer. It’s all in getting the answer, any well-argued answer. I don’t quite get a lot of the stuff we’re learning, but I will, and as Dowd said, “If you’re a little confused, you’re probably just where you want to be.”

I lay down for about twenty minutes when I came home for lunch, but even though I had only one class. Civ Pro, in the afternoon, the time felt heavy. It didn’t go slowly – no, not when I had to struggle to keep up with Mashburn (and today I could follow her line of reasoning more often than not) – but it takes a lot out of me.

Another thing that made today longer and more intense was a one-hour study group session. Costas returned, and I didn’t ask him what happened, but I’m glad he’s back. Also, Emira joined our group.

By the time I got home, I wanted to get away from law, so I lay down and listened to an audiotape I got at the public library yesterday, Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. If I don’t have the time or eyesight to read contemporary fiction, at least I can listen to it.

I’m envious of Chabon’s ability to create a story and to use language so effectively. Compared to him, I have three left feet – and while a phrase like that may be somewhat original, it’s not close to the same league as Chabon, so I can understand why he’s praised and I’m ignored.

Does that sound bitter? I honestly mean it. You know what else? Listening to the tape, I could only think about playing it for a class, like the English 102 class I taught at BCC last spring, where I used many different techniques to get them interested in literature.

Even with the low status, poor salary and bad working conditions, I miss teaching college English. If there were actually good schools in America – well, I was going to say I’d even consider becoming a high school teacher, but let’s not get carried away.

This summer Sat Darshan’s friend from Frankfurt, Alex, told me that in Germany, schoolteachers have about the same status and salary as do lawyers. I wrote to Sat Darshan and to Harold today.

Thursday, October 3, 1991

8 PM. I should have gone to a meeting about homophobia at the church across the street, but I kept looking and didn’t see any people go in, and the church looked dark. Maybe the Alligator got it wrong.

Okay, part of it is that I dread meeting new people. And part of it is my ambivalence about being openly gay. I did attend the first GLSU meeting because I knew there’d be a large crowd there and a lot of people, and I was set to go to the second meeting when Marc called to say he was in town that night.

Last night and last Wednesday I was too exhausted, but I feel peppier tonight. I thought I’d have an easier time coming out in Gainesville, but part of me is still afraid that people won’t think of me in the same way. Of course it didn’t seem to matter in New York or South Florida, but people had known me for years before I came out there.

I’ve mentioned to people here that I’ve had girlfriends, but not that I had ever had a boyfriend. Well, in recent years I haven’t had either a boyfriend or a girlfriend, but the point is, I still feel uncomfortable around others I don’t know well.

A lot of it is just that I’m shy. If I weren’t forced to be in contact with law students, I probably wouldn’t know anyone in Gainesville, and I didn’t go to any of the law school parties I’ve been invited to, either. Being older here is also weird; at the GLSU meeting, I had a hard time talking to people because they were so much younger.

I just read a review of John Cheever’s journals, which paint a portrait of a pathetic, lonely man. Is that me? Except unlike Cheever, I didn’t go out and have secret relationships; lately I’m not having any relationships at all.

I can see using the heavy workload of law school as just another excuse to avoid meeting people. What am I scared of? Being hurt. Not being in control. Why else did I mostly have affairs with old friends like Ronna and a 17-year-old boy like Sean, people I knew I could trust, who I knew wouldn’t hurt me?

Thursdays are the only night I’m not that tired, because the week is over, and I know I don’t have to be up at 6 AM tomorrow. Last night I dozed off around 9 PM, and this morning I gave myself an extra 45 minutes because I was too tired to exercise.

At school, I read the Legal Research and Writing assignment before class. Next week the outlines of our memos are due. I got a 3+ on the two-case analysis, and they commented that it was a big improvement, but my paper was still as marked up as any freshman comp student’s.

I know Scott’s pat on the back was an encouragement – he said my paper showed I worked hard – but after all, I am a writer, even if I’m not Nadine Gordimer, who today got the Nobel Prize.

Criminal Law was confusing today. I’ve resisted thinking this, but sometimes Nunn doesn’t seem all that competent. The horror of thinking he wouldn’t be teaching at UF if not for affirmative action is beyond words for someone like me who supports it strongly, but Nunn mispronounces names, gets facts wrong, gives us irrelevant hypos, and sometimes seems to flounder.

I like him a lot, and I know he’s teaching for the first time, and they say it’s always

Original Cinema Quad Poster; Movie Poster; Film Poster

tough to get a new teacher, that Dowd and Mashburn weren’t great their first term out, either. But today Nunn confused us more than a professor should, for he wasn’t dealing with subtleties.

After a quick lunch, I went to the media room and discovered I could copy the CALI program I’d taken to a computer. It’s on joinder, just what we’re doing now, as Mashburn went over the very complicated Pulitzer case.

As an experiment, she taught without notes so we wouldn’t be exposed to irrelevant details about parts of the law we don’t know yet, and she was fairly clear.

In Jurisprudence, we went over an interesting case dealing with one’s duty to help a stricken person. One woman evoked stares when she said that not everybody would do a good deed, “maybe only a moral person or a Baptist.”

I saw Ken K and Jonathan exchange glances – I think they’re both Jewish – and Karin (a Catholic) looked at me with a quizzical expression. Anyway, I knew what the woman meant.

Although I haven’t been introduced to everyone, I try to say hi to all my classmates and use their names if I know them, but some people don’t respond. Maybe they’re shy or maybe they don’t like me, although I’m probably paranoid.

There’s absolutely no one in the first year class I dislike – certainly not Lawrence, whose right-wing comments are offset by a wicked sense of humor. Some people seem a little odd, but I like oddballs. I can’t say I’ve met anyone who didn’t impress me as a decent person.

We had a nice study group again. Emira is probably the most observant Jew in our class; it’s interesting to learn more about people. For example, Costas’s father was the captain of a cruise ship, which is why Costas was brought up all over the world.

And yesterday Dan shocked me by using the word “spic” jokingly; he said that he used to get called that, but I didn’t realize that was an ethnic slur about Cubans. (Maybe people thought he was Puerto Rican?)

In today’s mail, I saw that Harold’s letter crossed the one I wrote him. He’s still getting used to Minneapolis but said the workload at Minneapolis Community College is hard: three 5-credit courses each trimester. He’s been intrigued by his American Indian students, the first he’s ever had. And Minneapolis has already turned quite cold.

I see American Express is laying off 1,700 people because of huge losses with their Optima Card as defaults lead to bankruptcy. It’s no wonder: they had no business giving me a $16,000 credit line.

Friday, October 4, 1991

5 PM. Another week of law school gone. I’m learning an awful lot, but I’m frustrated by the lack of time to study in depth.

The pace is only picking up, and it seems to me things could be taught more effectively if we weren’t all so pressed for time. But these systems in education tend to perpetuate themselves, and I’ll survive.

I spoke to Dad last night. He said he had to get out of the house because all his customers were calling with cancellations of orders due to poor sales.

I talked about law school, and Dad mentioned that his sister just got back from Washington and reported that Scott is looking tired and old. Because of all the banking problems, he’s working seven-day weeks at his firm.

What’s the point of having three kids if you don’t get to see them, or worse, if you work yourself into health problems? What good do a sky-high income and a law firm partnership do you then?

Last night I noticed a photo in the Times about garbage collection on the Upper West Side, and I realized that 350 West 85th Street, or a slice of it, was in the background. So naturally I dreamed of being with Teresa at the old apartment, only somebody else was living there.

I guess more than any other place in the 1980s, West 85th Street felt like home to me, and I miss it. This summer I couldn’t bring myself to visit the block. Eventually I’ll feel toward it the way I do about East 56th Street in Brooklyn and associate it with a far-removed past.

It’s a luxury to get to school at 10 AM on Fridays. Relaxed this morning, I studied and exercised. Before Crim, I spoke with Mike W, who’s convinced that the practice of law, like medicine, is a “scam,” and we’re indoctrinated with a sense that we’re special because we’re getting an education that’s mysterious to others.

But, Mike said, any reasonably intelligent person could do his or her own legal work if attorneys didn’t mystify and complicate everything.

In Crim, we discussed provocation in homicide. I bought the Emanuel’s Criminal Law outline, which everyone else in the class already seemed to have; people tell me it’s clearer than Nunn’s discussions of the issues.

In our C-10  tutorial, Jed told us how to answer the questions on Dowd’s final, and like others, he said our exam – and thus our grade – has little to do with what happens in class every day.

I had lunch with Ray, Jim, and Darin, guys I don’t know too well. It’s interesting to see how different people experience and deal with law school. We exchanged what information we’d heard about various teachers’ finals.

Everyone seems to be looking toward December, but I just wish I could concentrate on learning for learning’s sake. After Civ Pro, though, our study group did talk about the concepts we’ve been learning.

Emira is a moralist, and I argued with her – good-naturedly, of course – that she’s got to learn to see the other side, to figure out how she could make a case for some pretty immoral defendants and plaintiffs, whether they’re rapists or greedy corporations.

Although I stayed at school late, the ideas we tossed around exhilarated me. Back at the apartment, I found my last unemployment check – for $87 – in my mailbox, and I took it to the bank. God knows how I’m going to survive financially now, but I think I can get through the academic year somehow.

If I don’t get an assistantship next year, I may have to drop out, but I can’t think about that now. There aren’t many jobs out there at present, but I have confidence that if the worst happens, I will not go hungry.

I spent the evening reading and watching news. God knows how I’ll get all my work done this weekend. I just wish that this weekend we’d have the extra hour we get a few weeks from now, when daylight savings times ends. (Jay Leno joked we set the clocks back this weekend because on Monday the Supreme Court goes back into session.)

It’s still raining.

Saturday, October 5, 1991

2:30 PM. It just began raining heavily again. I went out only to get the papers, but it’s been oppressively humid, and my sinus-clogged head has caused me dizziness.

I’m taking a break after doing the week’s reading for Contracts and Torts. Tomorrow I’ll brief the cases, which I’ve highlighted with my marker. If I can also read ahead in Criminal Law and Jurisprudence today, I’ll be happy, although I also need to do the outline for my legal memo before Thursday.

Last night in bed, I finished listening to Michael Chabon’s Mysteries of Pittsburgh. My only cassette player is a little portable one, so I have to place the earphones next to my head on the pillow. The book was excellent, and I regret feeling that Chabon’s early fame was undeserved.

Actually, I’ve enjoyed nearly all the books of younger writers like McInerney, Leavitt, Janowitz, Eisenstadt, et al. – although each of them has produced at least one book I couldn’t bear to finish (usually their second or third book).

Because I’ve been insulated (by my own doing) from a life of passion, I can’t really do what Chabon does when he makes his protagonist’s encounters with sex and danger come alive.

For some reason, after the book ended, I felt I missed Bubbe Ita terribly and wished she were still alive, and I regretted when I was in first grade feeling that I was too old to wear the Mickey Mouse cardigan she’d given me.

Odd. I thought of the line from some poem: “After the first death, there is no other.” Coming when I was just six years old and didn’t really understand, my great-grandmother’s death may have made me feel worse than anyone’s death since then.

Why do I feel certain I will return to writing fiction?

Monday, October 7, 1991

8 PM. Last night I had a dream about Wesley, which is odd because I came across his name today in a Times story about his agent heading a new film unit at Universal. The agent, the article said, “represents some of the most powerful and prestigious directors and writers in Hollywood, including Martin Scorsese, Barry Levinson, Sydney Pollack, and Wesley Strick.”

Wow: my old editor is in some heady company. I feel proud of Wes’s success, and after all, if he hadn’t liked my work when he saw it thirteen years ago, I’d have never gotten a book out of a New York publisher, and my career probably would have been very different.

I could argue that maybe it would have been better to wait before my first book publication, but no other trade publisher has ever been interested in my work, and Taplinger gave me a legitimacy that helped my later small press books get some notice.

Also, I got to do stuff like join the Authors Guild. I got my annual membership card today, and I paid the dues promptly because the Guild allowed me to be a star in Jurisprudence this afternoon.

We went over the Basic Books v. Kinko case which so troubled Collier because he returned from Germany last summer surprised that he could no longer put together xeroxed anthologies from books the way he had been.

I “argued eloquently” (he said) for the author’s point of view, and I got to say some things that established I knew something about the copyright law: I corrected Collier about the length of copyright terms – and also pointedly said “she” when he called Judge Motley a “he.” And I spoke knowledgeably about publishing and technology.

Was I being a show-off? Well, I hope not. But it’s often frustrating to have all this information in my brain, the result of so much reading and personal experience, and not have anyone to get it out to.

That’s where I miss teaching. In general, I find myself enjoying Jurisprudence most because it’s like an academic subject I feel most comfortable with.

Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine had a cover story on Catherine MacKinnon, the feminist legal scholar – pretty timely, too, considering the revelation on NPR that the Senate and FBI spoke to Clarence Thomas’s assistant at the EEOC, and the woman, now a law professor, claimed he sexually harassed her.

Still, he’ll probably be confirmed tomorrow so he can join the other mediocrities on the Supreme Court who today began their energetic move to turn the clock back.

Last night was chilly, and I had on a jacket this morning because it was a very cool 53°.

Scott had us do our individual “tests”: I had to look up and Shepardize a statute and cases dealing with adoptive parents preventing natural parents from inheriting their child’s estate. Doing research is a part of law school I like, too.

Torts was stimulating, as we went over Palsgraf. And I enjoyed Contracts, too, despite the headache, sore throat and vertigo I’ve had all day. My sinuses have been bad for the last two months, but today was dry. Maybe I need more sleep.

Our study group met at 2 PM at Emira’s house across the street from school. Karin and I weren’t thrilled about going there, but we got there before Dan, Todd and Costas, who forgot and ended up coming late.

We were talking about Dowd and someone mentioned her daughter. “Is she married?” I asked.

No,” Emira said. “I’ve heard she’s a lesbian.”

“She’s a carpet-hugger,” Dan said, or something like that – obviously a homophobic remark.

“Well,” Todd said, “it is Coming Out Week.”

The matter dropped, but I didn’t know if I should say anything. In one way I feel it’s not their business what kind of sexual preferences I have (perhaps more so since I’m not sexually active), but I also know that it is Coming Out Week, and that I feel guilty about not standing up for gay people.

The fact that Dowd may be gay (if she is) is something that’s her business and has nothing to do with our class. Of course I was the one who started the personal questions by asking if she was married.

It never occurred to me that Dowd was gay; that wasn’t why I asked – but I see now that it was just as homophobic of me to assume that she was straight as it is for everyone to assume I’m straight.

Anyway, today was interesting and productive, and I felt good except physically. When I spoke to Mom today, I discovered she and Dad had paid the rent for the last two months, when of course I did too, so we called College Park and they said my rent is now paid up for the rest of the year.

Mom bemoaned the trickle of business at the flea market. They took in so little on the weekend, they were actually losing money by opening up. Mom doesn’t know if they can continue; I told her the vendors should get Preston Henn to lower their rent.

Mom also said she should have listened to me and waited a while to change their mortgage rate. But I couldn’t be certain that the economy would falter and wouldn’t want my parents to depend on the reliability of my economic predictions.

It’s really starting to get scary out there. Business stinks.

Tuesday, October 8, 1991

7 PM. Tomorrow is the midpoint of the law school semester, with seven weeks of classes left. It’s probably a good time to assess my experience, though of course I’ve been doing that all along.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get a J.D. degree and much less if I’ll ever decide to practice law, but I know that I’m getting the UF equivalent of Yale’s M.S.L. program essentially for free, and that even if I never attended another class, I’ve already learned so much that I feel the experience has been very valuable.

It’s been a little strange, but I now understand the first-year law school process, or at least the basics of it, and why my lawyer friends always made it sound different from other kinds of schooling.

I’ve made acquaintances if not friends, and it will be interesting to see what happens after Coming Out Week. I came out to Karin and Larry just before Jurisprudence, and it was spontaneous.

Larry was saying he would wear his flannel pants on Friday, and when I asked why, he said that gay people announced they were going to be wearing jeans for Coming Out Day.

“Well, I’m wearing jeans today,” I said.

“No, that’s just if you’re gay.”

“I am gay,” I said, “except since I started law school, I haven’t had time to be gay.”

“You mean you’re not in a relationship?”

“No . . . well, that too. It’s just I don’t have time to do anything.”

And we changed the topic – Karin sits between us – and soon class started. I kept thinking I’d done something silly and wondered if I’d upset Karin. It’s not that I think she’s homophobic, although that’s a possibility, but it might not have been fair to spring it on her the way I did, so matter-of-factly.

Should I have prepared her? On the other hand, why should people make the presumption that everyone else is straight? That’s like making the assumption Collier did yesterday, that the judge in the Kinko case was a man.

And I didn’t “prepare” anyone when I told people I was Jewish – actually, it just came up in conversation, the way this did. But of course it’s different. Anti-Semitism isn’t acceptable and homophobia is. As I tell more people I’m gay, I wonder, will I be subjected to overt hostility, silence on the part of people who formerly would chat with me?

But with all this Coming Out Week stuff, I feel too guilty to remain in my comfortable closet. Part of me resents that I have to do this, but if I don’t, who will?

I mean, I couldn’t live with myself if I did something (not by an act but by an omission – see, I’m talking like a lawyer) that hurt gay people in general and which allowed others to express bigotry without being challenged.

My worst fantasies always involved being shunned and getting physically attacked – of course that never happened in New York or South Florida – but why should I be exempt when every other gay person who’s “out” has to deal with this?

When sexual harassment is the lead story on every newscast – the Thomas confirmation vote was postponed – like it or not, private lives are public, and sex is politics.

UF has a sexual harassment policy as well as a policy on homophobia, and even in this backward state, as of a week ago, gay-bashing became a hate crime. I still believe that talking about one’s sex life doesn’t really tell anybody anything, but this is 1991.

Up early, I went to the C-10 tutorial, then Torts. Karin got called on today, which we predicted, and she was nervous, but now, like me, she’s relieved she won’t be called on again this semester.

I enjoyed my other classes, copied the Contracts disks (I know, I’m a hypocrite after all my talk about protecting copyright in Jurisprudence), and went to our study group meeting outside at 12:30 PM.

In the student lounge between classes, I sat behind this guy in our class, Martin, as the TV featured a female impersonator doing Bette Davis. “That’s Zsa Zsa Gabor, isn’t it?” Martin asked his friend. God, I’m getting very, very old.

Wednesday, October 9, 1991

4:30 PM. Tired, as usual. At least I slept well last night. I’ve got to work on my outline for the Legal Research and Writing memo. Scott said we could hand it in to his mailbox by Friday, but I’d love to get it done by tomorrow. I’ve been putting it off as long as I could.

Now that it’s the second half of the semester, the workload for classes is picking up, which I could tell by Dowd’s reading assignment next week: about 50 pages, nearly twice the length of assignments of just a few weeks ago.

Everyone seemed tired today, although nobody but Doug G seems to fall asleep in class. (I had to nudge him three times today during our back-to-back Torts and Crim Law classes.) I actually understood nearly everything that went on today in Civ Pro, and that scares me a little.

We had a good study group session after classes today. Yesterday a car hit Dan on his bicycle on SW 34th Street, and he was badly bruised and limping all day. His bike was undamaged and he had no cuts, but he was quite shaken up and went over to Costas’s house.

We all told Dan he probably should see a doctor, but I can understand why he didn’t – just like I didn’t when I totaled that rental car at Kennedy Airport last year.

I can’t think of much else that was extraordinary today. The BarBri people keep signing up law students for their study programs, and I guess I’m one of the few who hasn’t paid the money.

Cheryl invited our group to come over tomorrow night to watch L.A. Law and said, “You all study too much.” Of course, Karin said Cheryl got C’s her first semester, so I don’t think she’s a good role model.

I honestly don’t know when my fellow students have time for a social life, but I guess I don’t remember what it’s like to have the stamina and energy level of a 22-year-old.

As Todd said, one problem is that our days are so long; if our classes weren’t so spread out, we’d have bigger blocks of time to deal with. The 2½-hour midday breaks don’t really help, though I do like coming home for lunch.

But since the study group began, I never get home for the day before 4 PM, and every day but Friday I leave at 7:45 AM.

Thursday, October 10, 1991

7 PM. By Thursday night I usually feel giddy with relief and weariness.

I can see the strain the first year of law school is putting on my classmates. Greg said he just couldn’t face looking at textbooks last evening. Karin isn’t eating right and she nearly made herself sick by waiting till 3 PM to eat something yesterday.

Doug G fell asleep at least seven times in Criminal Law today, and since we sit right in front of Professor Nunn, I was afraid he’d notice, so I kept tapping my foot against Doug’s; he’d open his eyes, but soon his head would be falling forward again.

In Crim, nobody volunteered to give the facts of a case because people were either tired or hadn’t read it. Embarrassed by the silence, I raised my hand even though I talk a lot in class.

In Civ Pro, Mashburn called on a student who said she “passed,” which she should have known would not be “acceptable” in that class.

From Legal Research and Writing at 9:10 AM to the end of Jurisprudence at 4 PM, everyone seemed to be in a mid-semester slump. Our study group didn’t even want to go over our Crim notes, though we did try some hypos.

And I forgot when I returned to school from lunch that I’d parked on the street. After the last class, I scoured the parking lot for fifteen minutes, wondering where my car was.

Graffiti in a men’s room stall:


“Fuck me? I’m a first-semester law student and don’t have time.”

I left a message with Cheryl saying I was too tired to accept her invitation to see L.A. Law at her house tonight. I didn’t lie when I said it’s past my bedtime. (Besides, I’ve never watched L.A. Law.)

Greg, Kenny, Karin and Larry probably aren’t going, either. Well, at least I can sleep later than 6 AM tomorrow, even if I haven’t briefed my cases.

I did a terribly half-assed job on the outline last night and early this morning, but at least I handed in something – this assignment was optional – so I can discuss it with Pat Thomson next week. And I don’t have to think about it now.

Things are getting tough, and I guess this is a real test for all of us. Last night, after hearing about a record downpour in South Florida, I called my family and spoke to Jonathan, who said they were unable to get out of the house and had to move the Cougar because it was about to be submerged in a couple of feet of water.

Hollywood recorded over a foot of rain in 24 hours, and schools (including BCC) and businesses (including the flea market) were closed for the day. But the waters have receded by now and the sun has come out there.

Teresa returned my call yesterday when I was out, but I wasn’t up to speaking on the phone after I talked to Jonathan, so I just sacked out.

Tomorrow is that sure-to-be-embarrassing Senate Judiciary hearing on the sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas. I’ll watch it if I can, but it makes me feel dirty.

Sexual harassment is an important issue, and I’m glad people are paying attention to it, but I hate to see people arguing about a specific charge in such a public way. I feel sorry for both Hill and Thomas.