Archive for March, 2011


(Or how I flumoxxed my clinical evidence professor with my kindle)

Two of the classes I’m taking this semester are Criminal Advocacy and Clinical Evidence. Both of them involve practical, hand on stuff- directs and crosses and arguments and the like. Criminal Advocacy is awesome, but it’s first thing Monday mornings, which is awful, and involves somewhat complicated things- dealing with directs and crosses for motions to suppress. I’m not horrible at cross-examinations in trial testimony, but working out what needs to be done on crosses for motions to suppress is something I’m weak on (but getting better- the case we’re working on has 4 suppression motions so there’s a lot of practice involved).

Now, after the semester started, and I knew I’d need to have prepared questions for each class, I really REALLY wanted an Ipad. I can’t even tell you how much. Because I hate paper, and I hate paying for printing, and constantly changing things and editing and jsut having shit on a hand held device would make me happy. But ipads are $500. I am poor.

Instead, I got a Kindle, because you can put PDFs on them, and its only $139. I was resisted the ebook revolution for a while- I got the kindle app on my ipod, but that wouldn’t do for having my notes, questions and outlines. (I’m totally sold on the kindle, now. It’s paid for itself a couple times over at this point.)

Anyway, yesterday, I did my first direct examination in Clinical Evidence. I was tweaking my questions up until I got up to go, so I uploaded to the kindle, and off we went.

Now, sometimes we got notified in advance who will be your witness, and sometimes it’s catch-all, whoever volunteers. In this case, it was not pre-assigned. I had practiced with someone (of coruse I practiced- sometimes things written sound stupid when you say them out loud. And going through the examination with Tony meant that I could see how the whole thing shaped up), and Tony did try to volunteer to be my witness, but the prof chose someone else.

(Theoretically, she should have known the entire testimony backwards and forwards- she was also prepared to direct the same witness, but life doesn’t work like that.)

Anyway, things were going well, except for two things- first, since I hate paper and don’t print shit out unless I have to, and Tony left his printouts at the Law Review office, I didn’t have the 3 exhibits I wanted in to hand. So I introduced one, and laid the foundation for the other two (to prove that I could, and didn’t actually put in the other two. Second, she kept getting important details wrong. At one point I stopped and asked if I could impeach my own witness, and the professor was like “…what is that thing in your hand?”

I said it was my Kindle- it had my outline on it.

He said, “…but what is it?”

I said it was an ereader.

He asked, “what brand?”

I said Amazon.

He wanted to see it and I said I would show it to him at break. He was suitably impressed. He aslo said he would be leery of putting all his trial documents on one thing- your opposing counsel might dump water on it or something.

There was also a bit of a discussion on judges allowing people to use something like a Kindle or an ipad in trial because of the ability to communicate wirelessly, which… maybe? I don’t know. maybe someone will have an idea.

(oh and I finished my examination, and someone else did the cross. The comments I got was that I was calm, relatively unflustered by my witness not saying what I wanted her to, laid the foundations for the exhibits really well and handled the hearsay objections well, so YAY GO ME.)

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Two and a half weeks ago, my surgeon cleared me to do pivoting things with my knee, and to go back to tae kwon do. He also said, very seriously, that as soon as my knee started feeling tired (the quivering exhausted muscle sensation), I was to sit my ass down and be done for the day.

A week ago, I went back to the do jang for the first time since June 1st. There have been some really nice improvements- new mats, the women’s locker room has been painted. Otherwise it had the same feel and the same smell (this is not bad, it just is).

I chatted with one of the head instructors about where to start. I knew, even if I hadn’t been told (very firmly) that a class was out of the question. But I wasn’t certain on where to start. (I tend to get paralyzed by too many options, and even if my instincts say one thing, my brain goes over all the other possibilities and is like, “but is that the BEST thing to do?”)

Really, what was important that day was going, and getting up the stairs and just starting SOMEWHERE. Where didn’t matter all that much. It was the step in the door that did.

However, I have retained some flexibility (when you start with nothing, being able to get your leg up on the barre is something to be proud of), and muscle memory. I ran through the blocks and strikes from the first couples of belt levels and tried a very few (very very very gentle) kicks. I realize that the weakness in my hamstrings is going to make just holding my leg up for kicks hard.

THen I ran away to Vancouver for several days, and went back a week later. This time I went through the blocks, tried some more kicks, and went through the first three forms. All in all about 20 minutes after stretching, and then the muscle fatigue set in.

At which point I had the better angels in my head argument- where I didn’t want to stop just then, but the ACL is BRAND NEW and I cannot afford to get a new one again so soon, and baby steps lead to bigger steps, while over doing leads to being crippled.

It was hard. The worst part is the effort it takes to get there for only 20 minutes of working out.

But that’s where we are. In a few weeks, I hope to be able to join at least the first part of a class and who knows? I have this hope of being able to take my black belt test this fall, we’ll see how long the practical part of rehab takes.

At any rate, it is really good to be back.