Monday, August 27, 2007

I get to be a professor again--tales from week 1

Last week, Boyd School of Law started its classes, and I got to teach my first day of the basic bankruptcy course. It's been a year since I've taught anything, and eight years since I taught a bankruptcy course. (Congress, of course, was nice enough to amend the Bankruptcy Code so that I wouldn't feel rusty.) I'm using the Epstein, Markell, Nickles, Perris book, and I started out with a day of big-picture questions about what a bankruptcy code should do. The students were comfortable participating in teams, and they had good answers to the questions. Tomorrow, we'll start learning the Code in earnest.

I also got lucky enough to become part of our Appointments Committee and our Bar Exam and Class Rankings Committee. I'm not being facetious--I'm truly delighted to serve on these committees, and I'm looking forward to working with my new colleagues.

Given that we get to do exactly what we want to do as law professors--and would do for free if we were independently wealthy--it's a damn good life, and I'm thrilled to be doing it again.

Happy start-of-school, everyone....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ann Bartow has tagged me, so I'm "it"--for now....

Thanks to Ann's tag, here are 8 random facts about me:

1. I started out wanting to be a paleontologist, but my mom told me that paleontology wasn't a growth industry.

2. Then I wanted to be a marine biologist (but I hate getting my face wet) and a doctor (but I have absolutely no curiosity about how the body works, and I hate the sight of blood); finally, I flipped a coin between law school and grad school in psychology. My GRE score was higher than my LSAT, but most of the time, I'm happy with my decision.

3. When I took the bar this past July, I played video poker in the breaks between the morning and afternoon sessions. Hey, when in Las Vegas,....

4. I fear clowns. Something to do with Stephen King's It, I think.

5. Blues music makes me happy. Go figure.

6. When I was sitting for the California bar, way back in 1987, I was bitten through the nose by a German Shepard that had been cooped up in a pick-up truck. The bite took 32 stitches to close, and I was the 106th German Shepard attack in San Francisco that year. I was twitchy around dogs for a long time after that, but now I'm back happily petting all dogs that are friendly. The dogsledding puppy that I held this summer was a highlight of our vacation.

7. When I was interviewing for a summer clerkship in 1984, I was flown out to DC for an interview with a national firm's DC office. The airplane apparently didn't have all of its landing gear down when it tried to land at National, so we flew around between Dulles and National for five hours to dump excess fuel, then landed at 1 a.m. on a runway lined with fire trucks. Personally, I think it was a sign that that firm's DC office was a bad match for me--and that proved to be correct. Our rejection letters crossed each other in the mail that August.

8. I have an unnatural obsession with Disneyana, Titanic, the Romanovs, and great white sharks. And Jeff tolerates all of those obsessions with graciousness.

I'm tagging Gil Grantmore, Bob Lawless, Julia McQuillan, Jeff Lipshaw, George Kuney, and Paul Caron.

She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

After about a month without any blogging, I'm back and rarin' to go. Just to catch up:

1. Taking the bar was more harrowing than I'd expected. The Nevada Bar is hard--lots of crossovers in the essay questions, and please don't get me started on how much earlier I should've begun drilling on the MBE. I am not a "natural" when it comes to multiple-choice tests. If I pass, my score will have been due to the fact that I actually enjoy writing answers to essay questions. If I fail, I'm going to try again in February 2008.

2. We took a post-bar trip to Alaska on a 7-day Holland America cruise aboard the Noordam. Great cruise line, great ship. Among the highlights were dogsledding (my fave), helicoptering to the top of the Mendelhall Glacier (Jeff's fave), listening to an otter eat (otters are just weasels with hand tools, but they sure are cute), seeing whales and sea lions, and (a joint fave) luxurious three-hour naps.

3. Shortly after returning to Las Vegas, I flew to Toronto to visit my dad's side of the family during the shiva for my uncle, Abraham Rapoport. I've always identified myself closely with Lailla and Abe's family and their four amazing daughters, and Abe was a marvel: a truly dedicated doctor, with a deep basso singing voice, a den full of family pictures, and a wise view of administration. (I wish I'd been as good an administrator as he was.) I know how much my dad loved and admired Abe, and some of the stories that Dad used to tell about Abe really hit home (including the choice that Abe had to make between an English major and a medicine major). When Abe and my dad were growing up, Jews weren't welcome in a lot of places, including "university," as my cousins up North call it. Abe was a trail-blazer in a lot of ways, and he and Lailla always made Jeff & me feel welcome on our visits (during which we, of course, took our patented three-hour naps).

4. This weekend, I competed for the first time with my new teacher, Sergei Shapoval, at the Nevada Star Ball. Came in 4th out of 8, with all-new routines, some of which made it into my brain before the competition, and some of which obviously didn't. The studio (SuperShag Vegas) and the competition are both top-notch.

5. Now it's back to school this week, with my first class on Thursday. I get to teach bankruptcy law again, after an 8-year absence, and it's good to be back.