Monday, January 25, 2010

DC Trial Advocacy

Just thought I would shoot out an update about this weekend's adventures. I travelled with a group of classmates out to Washington DC for a trial advocacy competition. This would be a series of rounds for a mock trial we have been preparing for for several weeks. It was a long four days but overall a really great experience. I had two goals for the trip: 1) win the competition and 2) make best friends with people from other schools (mostly I've just always wanted a pen-pal all of my life but I've never been able to make it work and this seemed like a good opportunity to find some candidates. In large part, I'm still struggling from a bad pen-pal experience when I was ten and this kid in Ireland that got assigned to me at school sent a picture of himself eating cheese and then never wrote me again although I faithfully tried to maintain contact for months. I can still feel the cold lonliness on those days when Ms. Painter would hand out the pen-pal letters to everyone in the class on the day they arrived, skipping me because I was the one that got stuck with the dead-beat assigned friend. Never again). Unfortunately I failed miserably at both of those goals.

We performed well in the competition in large part thanks to my partner, Mary Beth, who turned out to be absolutely fantastic at trial advocacy. But we did not win the competition and were eliminated after the second day. On the bright side, we had some extra opportunities to get out and see the city a bit. Other than getting lost every three minutes and making no less than four thousand U-turns, we were able to get around pretty well.

On Saturday we hit up several museums including the Holocaust museum which I had been wanting to see for a long time but never had time to get to last summer. It was amazing and really sad. Naturally I had an old lady in a wheelchair behind me the entire time saying after looking at every picture, "well they sure were good looking some of them were" in the worst hillbilly accent you've heard since Green Acres was cancelled.

In regards to my second goal, I did make friends with a few people from a school in New York who were staying in our hotel but our friendship was short-lived after they disappeared on the second day never to be seen again (right before I was going to start hinting at the pen-pal idea). C'est la vie.

We rolled in very late last night and looked like zombies for much of today. Below I have pictures stolen from Mary Beth.

Washington Monument.

Me in front of the Ukrainian Embassy.Ol' Whitey

Mike, Mary Beth, Nick, Me, Joseph (Capitol)

Mike, Mary Beth, Nick, Me, Joseph

Joseph and I on the metro.

Me driving around the most confusing streets of all time. This picture was probably taken both right before and right after a U-turn.

Mary Beth and I after our first round (we had been up for about 48 hours by this point and were only off the plane for a few hours). Mike and I. Mike came along to act as our witness for the trial. He did an amazing job. At one point we thought he was even going to be able to work in a few tears.

Mike and I sitting the SLC airport early in the morning after finding out our flight would be delayed as our plane blew up (or something) moments before we were supposed to take off.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Friday, January 15, 2010

World Record Speeds

Last week I had an appointment to go back to the hand surgeon to find out whether I'll ever be a hand model again. This appointment was to begin at 7:30AM. Naturally, I slept through the violent vibrations and honking of my phone's alarm until exactly 7:27. By 7:28 I had pulled on warm clothes and was making a mad-dash out the front door while screaming a few Mormon censored obscenities (wink wink). Unfortunately I had a text book that I needed to run to a friend before my appointment. At 7:29 I pulled up to the building she was in, ran in, threw the book at her and got back into my car (which was rolling backwards when I came back outside) and pulled away while my phone still said 7:29. Fortunately on my way to the clinic I hit only green, yellow, and recently yellow lights so I didn't have to stop (no worries--I checked the news that night and made sure there were no pedestrian hit-and-runs in Provo that day). Made it to the clinic and ran up the stairs and down the hall and to the receptionist. I pulled my phone out to check the time and I could not believe it. It was 7:32. I'm actually very serious. No exaggeration this time. I somehow made it to my appointment exactly five minutes after waking up in bed AND managed to run an errand on the way. I don't know how this happened and I don't know whether I'll ever be able to recreate it. But it turns out that when I'm in an absolute daze and a really big hurry, I can get a whole lot done in very little time. It is for this reason that I wish dazed-and-confused-Eli would teach a whole series of lessons to alert-and-ridiculously-distracted-daytime-Eli who spent 14 hours at school today but feels like he accomplished about 4 hours of work.

And by way of update: I seem to be getting healthy again despite the terrifying polluted air conditions that my apathetic friends don't seem to be taking nearly as seriously as they should. I've felt like Noah for much of this week, warning the world about the dangers of breathing air you can actually taste (and the taste is shockingly not that good. Sort of tastes like a running car that drove into Utah Lake).

Well I'm off to bed--big day tomorrow: we have our first full run-through of our trial advocacy case in front of a couple of federal court judges at a court in Salt Lake. This is for a competition in DC next week that I'll be going to if I don't die of black lung first. Fingers crossed.

~It Just Gets Stranger