A Couple Videos Worth Watching: Gladwell & Michael Lewis

Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis have some comments about life and success. Both of these guys think luck plays more of a role than we admit:

What Kind of Week It Has Been

Matt Zagaja in graduation hood and gown

On Sunday I finally graduated from law school. Those three years fly by so quickly. A graduation is a conflict of emotion: excitement for the next adventure and also a feeling of sadness as I will be leaving the school I loved so much and many friends will be moving away. I was lucky enough to be joined by some family friends at the ceremony and then we went out to dinner afterwards. My parents even surprised me with a beautiful cake that had an oreo frosting filling in the center that was delicious.

The bittersweet part of a graduation, especially from law school is that as soon as you finish bar review begins. I’m still working on my job search and finishing up the last parts of my Connecticut bar application but next week I will have to start studying for the Massachusetts and Connecticut bar exams full-time. I opted for the BarBri program that most students sign-up for. It is expensive, nearly $3000. However they give you all the books, lectures, and other material you need to pass.

I of course decided to geek out and install the mobile app on my iPhone. The app lets you to play the video lectures and tackle practice questions. I decided that I wanted to watch the lectures on a bigger screen so I bought the Apple HDMI adapter for the phone and plugged it into the television on the porch. The picture quality is not quite as good as the screen on the phone but it is fine for the BarBri videos. It certainly makes it easier to pay attention to than the little phone screen and is less distracting than streaming it on my MacBook. My friends assure me that I can work on my own time with the video lectures and need only attend the live classes for the simulations, but I will probably go to the first one to check it out.

There’s nothing terribly exciting about bar review. It’s just something to grind out. So do not worry, I will not post about the intricacies of agency liability or sixth amendment rights.

The First Student Commencement Address at UConn Law

Back when I was thinking about running for graduation speaker I asked the library archivist to pull some of previous speeches from the law school archives. I thought that this one, which was the first student address, was good. The UConn Law Facebook Page adds the following tidbit:

Did you know a student address was not always part of the Commencement ceremony? Dean Blumberg first proposed the idea of having a student speak in January of 1982 and the question was put to campus-wide vote. 45 people said they wanted a student speaker, 42 said no. With the vote that close the committee decided against having a student speaker for the class of 1982. A year later feelings changed and Willa Perlmutter gave the address posted below.

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John Larson Speaks at First Congressional District Convention

John Larson speaking

Convention season continued last night with the congressional district conventions. In some districts like the fifth these are competitive affairs. However here in the first district we already know and love Congressman John Larson so it’s more of a party. Political junkies from towns across the first district gathered to eat food, drink, and listen to the congressman lay the foundation for the upcoming campaign. The logo for this season is a star with an eagle and Larson spent much time talking about Pratt & Whitney and how his father would go to work to keep the eagle flying.

For readers that are not involved in the political process getting to go to a convention is not a terribly difficult process, especially if it is uncontested. The local town committee usually approves the slate of delegates that will be sent to the convention. So if you are involved and volunteer with the committee then you can ask to be put on the list, and even if you are not there are often last minute cancellations so you can go as a proxy. If you cannot register as a delegate you can also sometimes show-up as a guest. One town at the convention actually brought several republicans with them as guests. It was nice to see the spirit of bipartisanship is still alive in some places.

If you want to read accounts of the third and fifth district conventions I recommend reading Aldon Hynes’s blog.

Chris Murphy at Connecticut Democratic State Convention

With the end of school coming up I have been pretty busy. I took the morning Saturday to volunteer at the Connecticut Democratic State Convention. It was an early morning, I woke-up at 6 a.m. and started helping out around 7 a.m. However it was fun and I got to see some old friends. The lull of posting will probably continue over the next week as I hustle to finish up my remaining papers for school but I wanted to share this video of Chris Murphy taking the stage and the beginning of his victory speech at the Democratic State Convention. The convention hall was emptying out by the time he gave it but it was a good speech.

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