on lawyer burnout 

When the prize is just another challenge, even the least reward-driven among us begin to grow weary. That hospital bed thing? It’s an all-too-familiar fantasy…



on our conversations – July and August 2017 edition 

*on the story of our first dateJ: Let me tell you how it went. Seasons 52 was the place. I waited, and then you showed. 

K: I thought I got there first?

J: I’M telling the story! 
*i played “Count Your Blessings” while getting ready at home then we heard it in the car on the way to work. 

J: OMG again?!

K: OMG how lucky!

J: Oh Yeah. This guy has told me to count my blessings like 24 times and I already told you I have 17 blessings! 

K: well he must think you need to count some more

J: I have SEVENTEEN blessings

K: Did you look for your independent health card yet?

J: I’m pretty sure I didn’t get it this year

K: No, we had a huge fight and then you ordered it and it came

J: That sounds like 2016 

*for the record, he was right. 
J: Who goes to preschool at 2?

K: No one. You go when you’re 3.

J: 3?! I went at 5. 

K: No you didn’t. You were 4. 

J: No, I was 5. Who goes at 3?!

K. I’ll ask your mother. And listen. The person who went at 3 got through college in 4 years. And the person who thinks he went at 5 got through college in…

J: Yeah yeah blah blah 
*choosing a Sirius station 

K: I want Sean Paul

J: How about “Caledonia love”

K: What the hell? No

J: You sure?

K: I SAID I WANT SEAN PAUL. We’re missing we be burnin’ right now. 

J: Yeah but you know he (Trump) can’t say anything about them (white supremacists) being the cause of the violence because those are his supporters

K: Can’t or won’t?

J: Same thing

K: Nope. It’s his fault his support base includes a bunch of bigoted assholes. And this is why I can’t run for any democratic office. You’re a political liability. 

J: I am not! 

K: You just say whatever comes to mind!

J: Right! Honesty! 
J: Oh, here we go. I knew it (traffic jam). Gotta keep the tires warm (slightly swerving back and forth on purpose)

K: oh my god please stop. The tires don’t need to be warm. That doesn’t even make sense. I’m going to get carsick. 

J: Boo you need to watch nascar

K: Jared seriously I will throw up chick-fil-a in this car. I am not kidding. 

J: But isn’t that the best thing to throw up?

K: Jared, PLEASE! 
K: Guess what?!

J: What?

K: As soon as I get my Bryant & Stratton card I’m going to get super cool educator discounts like 20% off at Barnes and Noble every single-why are you laughing at me?

J: I just love you 

K: That better be why

J: I’m going to keep that one in stock 

on carole and her impact 

I’ve written about Carole before. She is an integral part of my life and helped shape who I’ve become. When I found out she was my assigned college adviser, I found her office and literally bounced in. “I’m here because I want to go to law school. I was told you’re a lawyer and a writer. That’s what I want to be. What do I sign up for next?”
Mind you, this was the first week of classes my freshman year. What classes do I sign up for next? Carole was dealing with students who didn’t have their current class schedule sorted out, let alone the next semester. But there I was, ready to make my 4-year plan to get to law school. Carole had a tough job: slowing me down. She managed to get me to sit a little. Resting wasn’t my thing. The journalism school had scheduled me for 18 credits instead of the normal freshman load of 15, but I didn’t realize that was one extra course. I took 18-21 credits every semester until my very last. I took 15 that one. 
Carole helped me navigate. When I needed permission to get into the junior level courses as a sophomore, she went to bat for me. When I needed a letter of recommendation for a coveted internship, she wrote it. When I brought 15 law school programs to her office, she sorted through them with me. And in the middle of it all, Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

I found out in 2006, relatively soon after the diagnosis. It wasn’t outwardly visible, yet. In fact, if Carole hadn’t lost her hair due to treatment I don’t know if it ever would have been outwardly visible. She had a runny nose a lot during treatment, but Olean is frigid in the winter; everyone has a constant runny nose. I took media law from her during a semester she was undergoing treatment. She didn’t miss a single class. The only outward sign of the disease? A soft hat. 
Graduating early, going to law school, being an excellent writer: these were my goals. Carole was facing a much more simplistic and important goal: survive. Yet she never made me feel as though my dreams were unimportant or less valid. Carole always had time for me, though I’ll never know how. Fast forward to graduation, when Carole had been cancer-free for two years, and we were enveloped in a hug no journalist could adequately describe. Fast forward to 2012, and there was Caroline watching me become admitted to the New York State bar. Fast forward to this summer, and there was Carole watching me get married. 

Carole’s life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she kept life stable for me and so many other students in spite of it all. She’s the type of cancer survivor who doesn’t announce it, who just quietly continues to enjoy the life she has built. When Carole was undergoing treatment, I told her I’d run Race for the Cure for her and try to fund raise some money for breast cancer research. After running it that first time, I made a promise to run it ever year. I’ve run this race in Syracuse, Buffalo, Washington DC, and Atlanta. I’ve run it in the heat, the cold, and the rain. I’ve run it fast and slow. I’ve run it every year for Carole. 

There were several years the timing of the race was inconvenient. This year, all of the local races fell on the weekends of wedding events. So I decided to head down to DC on September 9th to run the race there. Because you know what’s inconvenient? Driving from Olean to Buffalo for cancer treatments at Roswell three times a week while teaching a full course load. Driving to DC to run a 5K pales in comparison. 
If you want to help me thank Carole for what she’s done for me and help me continue the promise I made to her ten years ago, please consider making a donation to my personal fundraising page. If you know a Carole in your life, thank her. If you work with a Carole, go ask her how she’s doing. And be amazed by the things a powerful, compassionate woman like Carole can accomplish, all the while battling – and beating – a life-threatening disease. 

on thoughts I have while waiting for a race to begin

I have to hear a lot of noise and voices while waiting for races to begin. If you run, you know running is a mental game. I have to try really hard to block out most of these people. But these are some thoughts I had this morning when I couldn’t block out the people. 

1. I don’t want to know if you always poop before your races. I don’t want to hear about your poop, toddler poop, or any poop. Please stop. 
2. I don’t want to hear that you feel like shit because you ran your last 5K in 18 minutes. You’re allowed to have personal goals and recognize disappointments. But for those of us who will never see a time like that despite years of effort, your comment is discouraging. 
3. I like your new shoes, too. The whole shuttle bus knows you got new shoes. Your shoes are very nice. Your volume needs to go down. 
4. It’s mean to say you hate when fat people beat you. Any automatic advantage you may have from being thinner can easily be negated by a heavier person’s hard work. If fat people work hard and run faster than you, they deserve no less credit than skinny people. 
5. I’m so glad I have friends at most of these races who can help me stay out of my head. What a blessing. 
6. As always, I run for Seth. This is for him. 

on thoughts at the neuropsych – July 2017 

Here comes a stream of consciousness for you, my readers. 
There are too many people in the waiting room, and it’s making me claustrophobic. 
This reminds me of kuckoos nest because all the patients have to sit with their backs to the receptionist, and the staff watches us with seeming superiority. 
Obesity is a problem in our population. Body odor is a secondary problem. 
A woman took off her shoes and put her dirty bare feet on the chair in front of her, and it’s making me upset because of both germs and manners. 
This waiting room gives me so much anxiety that I want a sedative right now. The low lighting is a smart tactic, though, and it definitely helps. Well-played, DENT. 
The only tv channel that’s ever on in here is HGTV. I suppose they’re trying to put on audience-neutral programming. I don’t like looking at million dollar houses in Tucson. I don’t like greedy. 
There’s a man having a telephone fight with his insurance company, but he doesn’t have his insurance card. He’s shouting and apparently doesn’t think he should go in the hall. Again, manners. 
The receptionist speaks so loudly that any hope of HIPAA-afforded privacy would fly out a window if this waiting room had a window. She’s been spoken to about this before, but nothing changed. Today, I came dangerously close to telling her to lower her voice. But I couldn’t. Because, manners. 

on our conversations and J’s quotations: June 2017 edition

J: Guess what the rest of today is? No hands through intersections day! Wheee! 

J: (Shoots straw wrapper into my water cup and makes basketball hand gesture)

K: Get that out of my water, now. 

J: I keeps things interesting. KEEPS. 

J: Are you serious, Lilly Pulitzer?! I get in one line for one time and now I get an email every damn day. 

J: (while driving) Captain’s log: Father’s Day 2017. Driving East–

K: Jared–

J: You just interrupted my CAPTAIN’S LOG!

J: Boo, now that we’re married, you’re in charge of my sunglasses. 

K: Then you’re getting croakies. 

J: Oh, never mind. 

K: do you care whether we have matching nightstands?

J: obviously, it’s been keeping me awake at night. 

J: (waving frantically and looking upward)

K: What are you doing!?

J: Waving to the plane

K: OMG I married someone who waves at airplanes and has conversations with himself in the middle of parking lots! 

J: For better or worse! 

J: They’re just all weird, but we’re normal. 

K: What if we’re the weird ones? Do you ever wonder? 

J: Not possible. Silly boo.