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Little White Lie

I told a little fib last weekend. The exterior of the buildings in my complex was painted months ago, and then last week, we got an email that said a painter would be on-site over the weekend to paint the edges of our doors and we would have to leave each painted door open to dry for an hour after it was painted.

Did I mention the powers that be decided to do this on a weekend with an excessive heat warning?

I’m coming off a pretty nasty bout of depression and anxiety. Two weekends ago, I was so withdrawn, I wouldn’t even talk to the clerks when I ran my errands and I went dark on Facebook. I didn’t want to deal with a stranger knocking on my door. I didn’t want to inhale paint fumes. And I didn’t want to be forced to sit with my door open when it was 100+ degrees outside. (The complex has the paint so those of us who didn’t get our doors painted this weekend can do it ourselves later.) To keep the painter away, I clipped a little note to my door:

I figured, “it’s just a little white lie so it wouldn’t hurt nobody.” I bet he felt better about passing my place. It seemed like a nicer and more effective note to post than, “I have severe depression and selective mutism. I really don’t want to deal with strangers today. Please go away.”

Either way, it worked. No one knocked on my door while this was posted on my door.

Mission accomplished.

PS – I sent this picture to my friend who is a new mom, and she responded with, “You win all the things.”

Learning From The Best – Professors’ Quotes 2009-2010

I like professors who are engaging, who are entertaining, and whose lectures are dripping with sarcasm.  It actually facilitates the learning process because what they say is so striking that I can’t forget it.

I have a document on my laptop dedicated to quotes from professors I’ve had for the last two years.  Since I’m starting finals this week, it seemed appropriate to share some of the best ones.

Professors’ Take On How The Law Works:

  • The law has lots of ways to screw you over.
  • This entire statute is geared toward dumb people.
  • There are lots of statutes that cause the crazy.
  • Your job as lawyers is to be as clever and deceptive as possible.
  • Courts come up with sub-optimal interpretations all the time.
  • Agencies are federal beasties.
  • We want people to hit people in the mouth now and again.
  • Child molesters get sad when everyone is told they’re in town.
  • You can’t sue yourself unless you agree with yourself that you can sue yourself.
  • Magic words matter.
  • Compromise results in constant mediocrity.
  • Most of law is totally flawed.  Just go with it.

Professors’ View On Teaching:

  • Did anyone read the case?  I didn’t.
  • Who else wants me to point at them and say “No?”
  • I wanted to prove I’m smarter.
  • The point is you’re all wrong.
  • I’m going to keep insulting everyone for no good reason.

These Have Almost Nothing To Do With The Law But They’re Funny:

  • Does anyone know who Oscar Wilde is?  He was a drunk.
  • I think of myself as a playboy . . . a bit of a dandy you might say.

Hypos I Will Never Forget:

  • If the potential harm is you’re dead, then we generally don’t wait until that happens to allow you to sue for damages.
  • What if I sell you one piece of bubblegum with a little bit of arsenic in it?  What’s the problem there?
  • If you get run over by the mailman, you have no recourse.  You have to just lie there with your broken leg.
  • Eating dead baby type stuff . . . you can always come up with a situation where that’s OK.
  • When someone cuts off your face, you don’t get your face back. You get money. It’s a substitute . . . I have to change the movies I watch.

Thank you all for being effective teachers and making class entertaining.  The world needs more professors like you.  I wouldn’t know as much as I do if it weren’t for these verbal gems.