Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh, Pleeeeeze

If there is one thing that could not be clearer it is that people like us should not be burdened with writing exams or grading them. It is like asking a brain surgeon to repair a hang nail. It is for that reason that I use machine graded multiple choice exams. I try hard to keep the questions secret so they can be used each year but, if they leak out, it is not my problem.

I am way to busy doing research, planning summer programs and trips, playing tennis and getting massages to be concerned about some ill-prepared annoying students droning on about an issue he barely understands. I used to give essay questions. OK, more accurately, I almost gave them once which is effectively the same thing. Then I thought, "What will I learn from reading these?" Answer: Nothing. Then "How will this benefit me at all?" Answer: Not at all.

I have tried to talk some sense to professor of my ilk -- well-bred, well-trained -- but some still resist. Oh sure, sometimes there are complaints about my exams being recycled and machine graded but it is generally from students who are stubborn about not realizing what a gift it is to have me as a professor at all.

Dean Bumble has said nothing about it and for good reason. His philosophy of deaning seems to be based on multiple choice with the answer usually being "none of the above."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I Love the Students

No, I do not mean intimately. Well, there was one but that was before I married Caroline and it was when dating students was actually part of good teaching. In any case, those of us with proper breeding know how to handle such matters with discretion.

Now I did have the one student who claimed that she only got an A because of our intimacy and petitioned for the grade change to a B when our "intimacy" ended. The grading committee met and agreed that she had earned and A. I thought she probably did. I had not actually graded her exam but I know her father had attended Yale. So grading the test was waste of time.

But enough of that. Now several students from last summer's Italy program have complained about their grades. Can you imagine! Hugo and I arrange an international program that requires us to do all the international travel while mailing postcards to the students who can stay home and enjoy their studies while camped out on the beach or in their own snug rooms, and this is the thanks we get. It seems that several of them compared their answers on the multiple choice exam and found that they received different final grades even though they had the same answers. So what? It's not like anyone actually got below a B. Some got A's and some got B's and we played no favorites. I have told them that I do not regrade exams. And, it is true that this time I did not actually read them but I did assign grades based on my best professional judgment. I gave A's to those who had attended Ivy League schools as undergraduates and B's to those who did not. They act like academic freedom is a foreign concept.

I feel I migraine coming on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

All Hail Dean Bumble

I have in the past been less than complimentary of Dean Bumble. The incidents decribed previously with respect to Senator Faceworth and the various problems pertaining to the Summer in Italy program left me wondering about Dean B. Now he has come through. This year he has hired new faculty exclusively from the elite universities in America. Finally, a group of new faculty who can relate to the common plight of those us who must mingle with the common people. Those people have no idea what it is like to hire a good household staff these days. They cannot relate to the stress of trying to make sure your summer place on the Vineyard is poperly maintained.

Thankfully, the only candidates interviewed this year were well bred people of standing. It is such a danger to allow faculty so see a candidatle without proper credentials. That happened a couple of years ago and the people hired. . . wel l, they had no sense of entitlement at all.

I must concede that there is one tiny dark cloud. Dean B did indicate very gently that he would like to see me back in the classroom. For those of you who have been following this exercise, I have not actually been in front of a class for a year and have two more years of no classroom activity to come. Last year, between migraine headaches that I could have had and my obligations with Senator Faceworth and his nightly travels with the Jennifers, I just could not teach. And then there was preparation of the Summer in Europe program. During that time I felt that it was important for me to take further time off from teaching to "come down" from the stress.

Oh, one more teeny tiny dark speck. I got this letter yestesday of myself and Senator Faceworth and a couple Jennifers. The suggestion was of some kind of impropriety. A note said "you will hear from me."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lucky Jim

I have just read the most disgusting little book: Lucky Jim by Kingley Amis. It's supposed to be the view of a non elite of the rest of us. As you would expect, the little twerp fails in the end. Where to these authors like David Lodge and Kingsley Amis get off making fun of those of us who put the "education" into higher education.

At least I have the satistaction faction of living the life that others can only hope for. It's off to Italy this summer. So far 12 students have signed up for our virtual law school in Italy summer program. I am not actually teaching this semester to next because of last year when I was sick but did not take time off.

In the meantime, there is floating around some internet garbage suggesting that faculty from elite schools are no more productive that those from non elite schools. Do yourself a favor and ignore it.

And finally, there is the story that some of my most esteemed elite colleagues are crooked because they will say anything to make money as consultants or expert witnesses. Again, ignore it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reason for Hope

What good news! My law school hiring committee has finally seen the light and the first candidate invited to campus is one of the finest possible -- a Princeton/Harvard grad. Someone for me to talk to. Someone who will understand what it like to be deserving and not having it recognized.

I see that Harrison over at Classbias has starting his usual rant. He is offended that people list "to be written" items as "major publications." He does not understand that even things yet to be written; indeed, yet to even be thought of are major publications when the product of an elite mind and education.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Summer Study in Italy

Yes it is back. Six weeks of law study in Italy. Three in Roma and three in Florence. Please register early. Principal lecturers will be Chadsworth Osborne and Hugo Valencia. Your professors will be on site for 6 weeks delivering lectures for you. Tours to the cultural sites in Italy are including. One night at the opera as well.

Due to some misunderstandings from last year's program, we are required by the University and the FTC to tell you that, as a student, you will not actually go to Rome. Instead, there will be videos available to you and, should there be technical problems, the professor will send an occasional postcard.

This summer program is designed to keep costs low and to inconvenience the students as little as possible. Thus, while Professors Osborne and Valencia will be on site working hard to create an interesting, rigorous and rewarding educational experience, you never have to leave the comfort of you sofa. Cost is $3000 per student, all inclusive except for meals and airfare.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Can I Work Under These Conditions?

I have had to double cancel class. Once when I was assigned extra duties by Dean Bumble. The other time when I could not have taught those classes anyway because I was not feeling well. So I carried over the second cancel to this semester. I feel fine now but having been entitled to two missed classes I am giving myself what I deserve and not teaching this semester either.

Still, I do use my office for research on possible locations for summer teaching programs -- last year was Italy and I'd like to do Italy for six weeks and them maybe Norway for 6 week. Norwegian law is something are students really need to know more about.

Here is my complaint. The carpet in my office is showing some signs of wear. The paint is not quite conducive to the high powered research people like me do. The chairs, the desk, bookcases, drapes -- well, they all need to be changed. In fact, I would prefer wood floors.

I put in a request to Dean Bumble and got back a terse little note saying that funds were not available. Yet, and get this!!! I understand the secretarial staff got 2% pay increases this year and now I am told I cannot remodel my office. Talk about mixed up priorities.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Really Pissed

Yes, Now I am really pissed. I returned to school this year from my hard work teaching in Italy and what do I hear -- budget squeeze. Now it is true that I actually to not have class this semester. I had to cancel this semester to make up for when I could have canceled last semester because of what might have been a migrane -- or at least the beginning of one. I was unable to cancel then because I was already not teaching due to the stress of planning the Summer In Italy Program.

And now no breakfast in the faculty lounge, no retreat to St. Barts, no new laptop this year. Really, there must be some kind of OSHA claim I can make. This has got to be worse that a whiff or two of cotton dust.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Return From Roma

If you have kept up you know the hard work I had to endure to make the summer study in Rome a success. It was all worthwhile. Our five students were able to enjoy their "stay" in Rome albeit by teleconference and postcard. They learned a great deal about life in Rome and Florence and earned 9 credit hours toward their law degrees. Hugo, Marvelle, Caroline and I put our difference behind us and are now back in the USA.

Dean Bumble and the three professors who canvassed the students in order to find out if I had been involved in any inappropriate conduct with students have asked to mediate our disagreement. That will take place next month.

The only sour note came when I needed someone of my lighter weight suits and shoes for wear in Florence. I had my secretary send the items overnight and for some reason Dean Bumble felt this was an inappropriate school expenditure. Can you imagine?? What could be more important than being properly attired when teaching in a foreign country?

Evidently, my law school in experiencing a budget crunch. Luckily, nothing I do is anything thing but essential to the law school so I expect no problems.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Buon Giorgo

It has been a hectic month and there is much to report. First, I have been forced to file a legal action against Dean Bumble and the professors who authored the survey of students inquiring about any inappropriate actions by me. What an insult. If anything, people with my breeding know how to be discrete. Plus, frankly, except for that misguided episode with Shannon, I have been true to Caroline. I mean my efforts to discourage Marvel speak for themselves.

Here is the great news. I am writing from Rome. Yes, the summer program is in tact and Hugo, Marvel, Caroline and I are here working hard for the students. It is true we are down to 5 students and it is true that those five did not actually make the trip to Italy but we are working hard.

As you know, some of the students were upset that the Summer in Italy program did not actually mean they were going to Italy -- only the professors. Some parents were quite rude and the intial enrollment dwindled to 5. Good riddance I say. Those students obviously were not cut out for foreign travel. The Law School decided we had to operate the program anyway because the American Association of Law Schools had already purchased 30 tickets for a team to come and inspect the program.

We are doing our best for the five students. Each week we send a postcard with some interesting fact about Italian law. In the interest of giving the students what they want, we have decided not to administer a final exam.

As for me, being a dedicated teacher of young people is its own reward.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Early Sabbatical

I have applied to Dean Bumble for a special circumstances sabbatical. Why? Primarily because I am who I am. I know it seems redundant since I have canceled class for the next two years due to all the stress I will be under and the possibility of getting a head cold. But, if I can get the sabbatical, I can put those cancellations off. Thus three years of no teaching.

The reasons are far greater than the fact that I am, well, special. Let's review what I has happened in the last few months.

First Senator Gerard "Manchild" Faceworth comes to town to teach for three weeks. I am his assigned host which means I actually ferry him to and from a local bar where he befriends young Jennifers and goes back to his room. We are followed by reporters who splash his photo and that of your's truly all over the world. I am referred to by some as his "pimp."

Second, my friend Hugo, Supreme President of Foreign Programs, and I design the most perfect, student friendly, summer program in Italy only to have ungrateful parents complain to the FTC that we have engaged in false advertising. Why? Because we cared enough not to require the students to actually go to Italy. Only the professors and several guest lecturing colleagues would go.

Third. A former student appeals her A in Ethics class claiming that she only deserved a B and that the A was a result our brief sexual encounter. Thankfully, the grading appeals board agrees that it was an A paper. I knew I had not given any gift grades because I know I did not grade that set of papers at all.

Fourth. Mavelle, the wife of Hugo claims I touched her when we bumped into each other on an airplane. She complains to Dean Bumble and others and three of my colleagues send letters to the students asking if I "bumped" them. Marvelle sends me a Valentine that includes an actually heart from, I think, one of her Pomeranians. (I think the one that bite me one.) Finally, we patch things up -- at least I think so.

The school year is nearly over and so far 15 of the original 30 students who signed up not to go to Italy are still going. I need the break.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Summer Teaching?

Dean Bumble just asked me the stangest thing. He asked me to teach summer school. There are two problems. The first is I never teach summer school. Do you know what kind of students go to summer school? The dregs!! No jobs. No connections. No place for someone with my credentials to be. Somehow he thinks I should teach summer school since I have had to cancel class this semester and for the next two years. I do not see the connection.

The second problem is that, as far is I know, the Summer Program in Italy still has 15 students enrolled. It was a little unnerving that Hugo Valencia, Supreme President of Foreign Programs, forgot that the main attractive of our program was that students would not be with us. Still, even with the recent cancellations and the threatening false adverstising law suit, we still have 15 and at $3,ooo each, we can cover most of the program costs -- our apartments, meals and air fares.

So what is up with this?

Monday, April 9, 2007

What does "IN" Mean

Dean Bumble called me in today and he was in his office with University Counsel. There is a threatened class action suit against the Law School concerning the Program in Italy.

I maintain that Hugo and I have been completely open about the fact that the students would not actually be required to go to Italy. What difference does it make? They do not speak Italian, eat at McDonalds, and stay drunk most of the time. They will actually learn more by staying home. But does anyone one care about how much they learn. Not at chance!!

Instead we have these picky people worried about the fact that the students will not go to Italy when that only means they would learn less.

So what if we said "IN" Italy? The teachers will be in Italy. The broadcasts will be from Italy (or at least the post cards.)

I am going to have to cancel class from 2008-2009 because the ingratitude is overwhelming. Today I will see Hugo at our tennis date. He and I need to talk. According to Ms. Picks, University counsel, she has spoken to Hugo and the claims he never heard of a program in Italy that would not involve students being in Italy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Summer "in" Italy

University counsel telephone me today. It seems that some small minded person has complained that the "summer study in Italy" brochure is misleading. In the brochure it very clearly says in a footnote that students who are enrolled will not actually go to Italy but will be able to enjoy and the benefits of Italian travel while safe and their homes. I indicated to counsel that "Summer in Italy" is just an expression and anyone knows that a summer program that has two distinguished professors and charges only $3000 cannot possibly entertain the thought that the students will have a presence in Italy.

Remember, this was raised at the law faculty meeting and the issue was resolved. Surely a faculty of 50 could not do anything inappropriate.

The program even got provisional approval from the very tough ABA.
The good news is that the Sun has finally had enough stories about Senator Faceworth. As I said earlier, I have had to make up a few things. Last time it was that after I dropped Manchild off with his chums for a night I was sent to fetch one bottle of Wafflehouse syrup, a jar of Nutella, an seven blue candles. I just hope Faceworth never reads the Sun. The last I heard he was vacationing in Peru and unavailable.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


So far two sets of parents have contacted me. It seems to have come as a surprise to them that the Summer Program in Italy does not involve their dear children actually traveling to Italy. Hugo and I designed the whole program on the theory that he and I and our spouses would go to Italy and show the lectures and sights by video (or postcard). We would do the heavy lifting and the students would have time to study. Do they not get it?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

(almost) Everything is Looking Up

Sorry, a little preoccupied but I see clear skies ahead. Luckily the faculty standards committee decided that Shannon deserved and A on her exam. So, even though I got a stern letter from Dean Bumble about relatioships with students, he decided that I had not traded sex for grades. I knew this was the case because I did not grade that set of papers at all.

The Sun says I will be relieved from further obligations after two more interviews about Senator Faceworth. I think I have two more in me but I have been forced to be very creative. Yesterday I told them that one night Manchild invited three Jennifers up to his room. He then sent me out out buy 4 cartons of whipping cream, a jar of cherries, a wisk broom and 7 rolls of Scotch tape.

I called Hugo about getting some of the details settled concerning the summer program in Rome.

One awkward thing. There is a student in my class that I ovciously cannot meet. His name is Jason and he has registered for the summer in Italy program. Today his mother called and asked about what things he should bring. I told her that the students were not actually going to Italy. She asked what the $3000 is for and I said "expenses." She seemed miffed about no students going. Isn't that just perfect!!! You try to do something for the students and you get in hot water for it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Deep Throat and Moneylaw

The Sun is running a series of articles about Senator Faceworth's visit here and his midnight ramblings. I hate being the deep throat for their effort to sell their rag but I am in a pinch. As I mentioned, the local authorities want to interview Faceworth's host and that would be me. If I do not cooperate with the Sun they will blow the whistle on me. The problem is that I have only so much to tell. Off to the bar, back to the room and then the morning drop off. The Sun wants more and I have been making things up. I mean it's OK, right? I do not know the things I am making up did not happen.

Shannon's final exam in Professional Responsibility has been sent to a faculty review committee. They must decide if it is an A or B paper. If it is an B, they are likely to agree with her that that she did not deserve the A I gave her. This supports her claim that the A was in exchange for sexual favors. It was not. In fact, that year I did not even grade the exams. I just handed out grades randomly and, therefore, I know the A was not undeserved.

In the meantime the idiots over on Moneylaw are discussing whether what law professor write should be useful to courts. Give me a break! My parents did not spend $200,000 on my legal education so I can be an errand boy for judges. Get a life Moneylaw people!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

good news/Bad News

The good: Hugo and more importantly Marvelle did show up for tennis. The were proud of their new pomeranian. Nothing was said about the apology letter. The only thing that was strange was the way they played. They lost 6-0, 6-0 in doubles but partly it was because whenever either of them got a shot at the net they seemed to aim right at my groin region. Maybe I am imagining it.

The bad. I interviewed with the Ivyville Sun as promised and I told the truth about the Jennifers and so on. Midnight rides and all that. OK but now the police are questioning the reporter about my identity. I am wanted for questioning with respect to "procuring" and possibly somekind of contributory sexual misdeed. All because of Manchild. So far the reporter is refusing to say anything.

OK, now is this wierder. I mentioned that ten years ago I had a brief affair with a student -- pre Caroline and she was my age. Now she has responded to the letter my "colleagues" circulated asking for reports on any inappropriate behavior. Well the this lady -- call her Shannon-- reported that we had had the affair. And she had petitioned to School to lower her grade from the A I gave her in Professional Responsibily to a B. She says the grade was not earned and she cannot accept it because it was payment for sexual favors. I am not making this up!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rethinking Recanceling

There I go again. . . always thinking of others and doing what's best for them. Now that I have two reasons to cancel the same class my idea was just to leave things as the are and only cancel that class. Now I realize that in keeping with doing what is right for me, what I actually have done is banked some cancelations that I can use on days when I could not otherwise cancel. Thus, since I have already canceled class for the remainder of this year and next, I will begin with the fall of 2008. I only have to solve the problem of making up two years of class. I was thinking about a press conference open to all.

The Double Cancel

My school has an iron clad rule that you notify the dean's office when you miss a class and tell them when you will make it up. I follow the rule religiously when ever it is covenient. I have already canceled class for the rest this year and the next due to the obvious pressures of being Senator Faceworth's host, planning the summer program in Italy, conflict with my quiet time and anticipated head aches. Now I have had to recancel those classes because of all this trouble with Marvelle, Hugo and the reporters. I am pretty sure that double canceling means I get teaching credit for the time off, unlike the underachievers -- mainly state school people -- who only use one problem as a basis for cancellation. But this is not worst of my worries. More later but I have an appointment Dean Bumble right now.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sensitivity Training Avoided

Caroline insisted on reading my apology letter before I sent it to Marvelle. The letter clearly passed the New York Times (never write anything down that you would not want to appear on the front page of the Times) test but Caroline's test was a bit tougher. There was a great deal of eye-rolling and sighing but ultimately she let it go out and I narrowly missed sensitivity training. Which, by the way, I greatly support for others so they may understand how the privileged are likely to percieved their thoughtless statements about rich people, spoiled people, elitists and so on. My feelings are amost hurt. Sometimes I feel like the caveman guy on TV.

I think the Marvelle issue has been put to rest. I will know when we are supposed to meet Marvelle and Hugo for tennis Saturday. I think, at the very least, I have saved the summer in Italy program which the faculty approved when I pulled out my trump cards -- the need for many guest lectures and the complete absence of students.

Tomorrow I meet with the Ivyville Sun reporter about Senator Gerard "Manchild" Faceworth's ill-fated visit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Art of the Apology

People like us -- special and devoted to the New York Times rule -- must be cautious with apologies. Since I have told Caroline I will apologise to Marvelle, I thought I would take this opportunity to demonstrate the proper apology. The explanations are in italics.

Dearest Marvelle:

Your misunderstanding of some of the communications that passed between us has led to an unfortunate situation. (Remember, usually the person you are apologizing to should be apologizing to you.)

I have the misfortune of being attractive to women. I do not enjoy it and have done my best to discourage these women in the kindest possible way. It is something so many of us with special qualifications must bear. Thus when we had lunch a few weeks ago, I now understand that you misunderstood my kindness for something different. (Let's keep in mind who started this.)

Given your misunderstanding in that instance, I now understand why, when you brushed against me over the Atlantic, you reacted the way you did. (Reader, by now you are getting the drift.)

Now I understand that you somehow interpreted my Valentine as something untoward.

(This is critical, pay attention.) With all possible sincerity, IF I have offended you, I am sorry. (Ok, note that the apology is not for the actual action. Thus, you take no responsibility and are in good form as far as the New York Times. In effect, it is an apology only because she acted like a bit of a nut. Isn't it great -- the conditional apology. Dean Bumble could not do better.)

Your devoted friend,


Sunday, March 11, 2007


As you can see from my lastest publication (see below), Caroline and I spent time this weekend "discussing" Marvelle. Marvelle had given a copy of the Valentine to Caroline, Hugo, the Law faculty and the entire student body. You know the one -- it has a really long-barrelled gun on the front and inside it says," You better think twice about being my Valentine." Caroline, Dean Bumble, Mavelle and the faculty who wrote to the students asking about my prior history of inappropriate behavior seem to agree that it is suggestive. I don't get it. Caroline says I need to write a letter of apology to Marvelle. I think it is a crazy violation of the New York Times rule. But, if I do not, she says I must get sensitivity training.

I think I am OK with Caroline and I will attempt the letter to Marvelle.

Hopefully the faculty call to students will not turn up anything.

A reporter from the Ivyville Sun has called 10 times today. Is it possible that Marvelle has told the press who the myterious escort was?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Ghostarticle Cinque

Junior, Chadsworth III & Junior, Caroline, "Interpersonal Misunderstanding and Getting to 'No:' Marvelle and Manchild and a Relationship (high volume) Exchange," 1 Ghostarticles 303 (2005) (Those present: Neighbors on each side of authors' residence) .

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Meeting Dean Bumble

Dean Bumble asked to see me about the letter accusing me of improper touching. Although it is unsigned, I knew it was from Marvelle. She has joined three things together. She says I made flirtatious remarks to her at lunch, purposely brushed against her and sent her a suggestive Valentine. (I have not mentioned her Valentine to me so far.) All of this from a women who once told me she new knew I could make her even more of a woman -- or that is what I thought I heard.

Dean Bumble has more or less deputized several faculty members to send an open letter to all women students asking if any of them have been made uncomfortable by me. I strenuously objected but he said he has done it all before and it worked great. Evidently about half the faculty insisted on signing the letter. I am not sure what to make of that. I have little to fear here since I have not had any inappropriate contact with a student for at least ten years and even then it was with an older divorced student and well before Caroline entered my life.

With Dean Bumble was Alex Ester a reporter for the Ivyville Sun. Dean Bumble has made a deal with the Sun. I am to give them the exclusive story about Manchild's visit and they agree to 1) not reveal my identity and 2) report nothing disfavorable about the law school for 5 years. This deal was attractive to me because it means not printing anything about Marvelle's allegations.

I've much to think about but mainly right now I need a massage, a full body wrap and some of Manchild's single malt scotch which I noticed he had not touched. If you think about it -- really think about it. Things are looking up for me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Too Much for Me

I am happy to report that Manchild called in Monday morning to say that he would be unable to finish his three week teaching assignment here. The Ivyville Sun article about his late night activities -- as surely you know -- has gone national, even international.

Reporters are everywhere wanting to know the details and trying to idenitfy his mysterious law professor escort. So far no one on the faculty had identified me.

I worry, though, about Marvelle and Hugo. Both know that Dean Bumble assigned me the task of hosting Senator Manchild and neither, I fear, would feel an obligation to remain silent.

In the meantime. And this is a meantime that swallows all times. Dean Bumble called me to say that he has received an anonymous letter accusing me of "improper touching." So far he has chosen to ignore it. I have not improperly touched anyone but things are "touchy" with respect to Marvelle. If I confront her the Italy summer program may go up in flames.

Friday, March 2, 2007

News Flash

Manchild left Thursday late for Binimi, too early the see the following article in today's Ivyville Sun. First you should know that that there is big photo on Manchild on the front page leaving his regular bar at 1:00 with two Jennifers, miniskirts and cowboy boots. I am in the photo just barely. The caption: Senator Gerard Faceworth parties with friends and an unidentified law professor.

The article:
"Senator Gerard Faceworth, a visiting professor at the Ivyville Law School, has been photographed with two companions leaving the Campus Buzz, a popular late night gather place for Ivyville singles. Senator Faceworth only recently challenged reporters to follow him around after rumor emerged that he is something of a "womanizer." According the regulars at the Buzz, Senator Faceworth has been in the club several nights, usually escorted by a law professor. The routine is that he arrives soon after midnight and leaves by 1:00 A.M. with one or two college aged women. The hotel management where the Senator is staying declined comment. The identity of his law professor host is currently being examined."

Right after my massage I am going to take a nap and hope I find when I wake up that I just made this all up.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ghostarticle Submission: Quattro

Junior III, Chadsworth & Manchild, [Senator Gerard (Bimini Boy) Faceworth], "On Freedom of Vehicular Movement and the Press" 1 Ghostarticle 188 (2007) (Present: Jennifer X, Jennifer Y)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


You know the routine. A midnight run and two Jennifers each night.

I find it very annoying that on our trips to the clubs the Senator sits in the back seat and rarely speaks to me. On the way back, he is in the back with his pals.

Last night he did speak to me. He asked, "Do you think I should begin going by the name "Man Child.?"

My answer was "yes." And he said, "OK and you can call me MC from now on."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Weekends are for Lovers

I am having my massage right now and I deserve it. But then I deserve all good things because, well . . . you know.

Faceworth finally made his break back to Bimini for the weekend. This time he took two Jennifers who were on the same flight to Miami. I took all three to the airport but dropped them at different places. At one point we were almost spotted by reporters and Faceworth hit the floor while the Jennifers giggled and did other unmentionable things.

I am not cut out for this!! Word has leaked out among the faculty and today someone accused me of "pimping" for Gerard.

The cocktail party!! It was at my home and Hugo was cohost. This meant Marvelle came along. Hugo was not friendly to me. It was the first time I had seen Marvelle for several days and we have had no contact since the Hearts of Pom incident.

She spend too much time talking to Caroline. Throughout their chats, Caroline would look at me with a worried expression. I've done nothing wrong here!!! Is it my fault that my privileged pedigree makes women swoon?

At one point Marvelle was talking to Dean Bumble and Faceworth and then to Faceworth alone. During that conversation, Faceworth also looked up at me with a quizzical expression. At one point I think they left together. I saw Hugo looking for Marvelle and said nothing. When they returned -- am I imagining this? -- Marvelle looked flushed and a tad disheveled. Maybe they just share a love of Pomeranians and she was showing him her collection.

Not my problem. Just want to be left alone for two days. I may have to cancel classes for the 07/08 academic year for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Midnight Rider

Two more midnight calls from Faceworth and four more Gingers or Kimberlys -- who knows, who cares. Even though I pick him up at the loading dock of the hotel and he has his stocking cap pulled low, it is not always fool proof. Last night at what has become his favorite bar I spotted a pick-faced reporter who I recognized from the caravan of cars that following us each day. He definitely saw Faceworth and then left hurriedly.

I dropped by school today for a few minutes. One of the untenureds ask me to read a manuscript. What a twerpt. I understand why she asked but the insensitivity of it is inexcusable. I have way too much to do. Plus, as I recall, when I asked this specific faculty member for some help on my taxes she did not call back for over an hour.

I am so looking forward to my massage today. I may have to cancel classed for March if the headache I may have does not let up.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sun Burn

Senator Faceworth evidently came back late last night, having taken Monday off. Judging by his sun burn, the trip to Bimini was a success. Now he is followed by a caravan of pink faced reporters. The cocktail party in is honor is this Thursday. He has not thanked me for the selection of single malt scotches in his office. I am beginning to look forward to his departure. I have had way too many Heathers and Jennifers to escort back to their apartments or dorms.

I have gone ahead and cancelled class for next week since I know right now that I will have a splitting headache and there is no reason to inconvenience the students.

Yesterday, after my massage, I met Hugo for tennis. Caroline was with me but Marvelle did not come. I asked about her and all Hugo said was, "I am surprised that you have to ask." After that, nothing. This is worrysome.

Hugo and Marvelle also breed Pomeranians. This could clear up the mystery of the heart Marvelle left in my mailbox. If there is one less pup in their kennel, I think I know where that heart of Pom is (or was). Somehow I need to contact Marvelle and let her know that my Valentine was not meant to encourage her but to suggest that I am spoken for.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Weekend and Ghostarticle

The Senator is off to Bimini for the week end and I am sleeping.

Friday the faculty met on the Italy program. A few bean counters wanted to know what would happened to the 90K in tuition. They also asked if this meant fewer courses in our domestic summer program. Somehow the explanation that the Program was self supporting did not seem to make them less annoying.

The only surprise was a little surge of opposition when someone brought up the fact that no students would actually be going to Italy. What a complete misunderstanding of the innovative nature of the program! The students will almost go to Italy. After all, there will be daily, or at least weekly webcasts or, at the worst, occasional postcards.

This low level of opposition was quickly smothered when I announced the need for at least 8 guest lecturers each summer.

My latest:

Junior III, Chadsworth & Bumble, Roger, "Post Meeting Musings on Italian Wines and Cheeses,"
1 Ghortarticles 155 (2007) (Present: Senator Gerard Faceworth, Jennifer, Jennifer, unidentified heart of Pom)

Friday, February 16, 2007


I am not often humiliated. Afterall, I am . . . you know. But,

1. Last night the midnight call from Senator Faceworth. Off to the local bar back home with two Jennifers. Yes, they had to have the same name.

2. Yesterday morning. The Dean Bumble picked up the Senator in the hotel lobby, swarm of reporters present of course, and took him to school. My assignment? Go to the service entrance and pick up his two companions from the previous night -- Heather and Misty.

They piled in the car and immediately said. "Chaddy, Gerard told us you would take us to breakfast and for tanning." And I did. What could I do? I wore dark classes and I am a little nervous about the car that seemed to be following.

Today, the same routine -- breakfast and tanning. I will, however, be at school for the 3:00 meeting about the Italian summer program.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Every Word is True

Not a good Valentine's day, even for the best of us.

1.Let's start with Senator Faceworth. First you should know that I read in the Times that in response to some questions about his private life he dared reporters to follow him around. "You will regret it. The boredom will be intolerable."

He arrived by private jet. A squadron of reporters arrived soon thereafter and more were waiting at the hotel when I took him there at about 8 P.M. I gave him my cell number and the phone rang a midnight just as I was dozing off. "Let's have a drink," he said. "I'll be at the service ramp. Be here in 15 minutes" I was and found him, a knit cap pulled low and wrap-around sun glasses. He was very direct about wanting to go to a student "club." I had no idea where to take him but drove him to a part of town with student bars. We parked and went into something called the "Music Store." Average age 21. By now, if you know Senator Faceworth, you know what happened. After 30 minutes he found me. He wanted to go back to his room. "Of course," I said, not realizing that the two coeds - one on each arm - were to accompany him. So, at 1:00 A.M. I left him as he and his new playmates quickly scrambled from the car and darted for the service elevator. This cannot be good. And, he is here for three weeks.

2. A noon I was at School. No class, of course, because I think my throat may be a little scratchy tomorrow. Coffee in the lounge and then a quick mail check. In my mail box was a plastic box about 5 inches by 8 inches and 4 inches deep. I pulled it out. On the top, someone had draw a heart. The heart was black with a capital M in the middle. Marvelle, I thought. Maybe she did not understand the obvious message of my own Valentine to her. When I open the box a note, "you pig, I warned you." And under the note, what appeared to a heart. Not a happy Valentine's heart but not-so-happy real heart My guess is that it was from a pig or maybe a poodle. But then again maybe a pomeranian. On second thought maybe a bit large for a pomeranian

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Marvelle's Valentine

Selecting the right Valentine for Marvelle was not as difficult as I thought. I allocated two hours and only needed one.

There was a very helpful sales clerk. When I told her that there was a woman who was quite taken by me and that I wanted a Valentine that said in a nice way "I do not want to be your Valentine" she knew exactly what I wanted.

She let me to a little room away from the other Valentine displays. You know the Hearts and Lace and Bunny Rabbits. This room was somewhat more "adult" in its Valentine offerings.

The card I decided on is just perfect. On the outside in a very tough looking guy wearing a little Lone Ranger type mask. He is also wearing a gun and holster. The gun has a exaggerated barrel.

You flip the card open and it says, "You better think twice about being my Valentine."

I immediately signed it "Chaddy" and popped it in the mail to Marvelle's office. So she will not be embarrassed I think it is better that Hugo not know about the attraction.

This, I am certain, will clarify things with her.

Ghost Article Submission

Hugo and I were discussing the submission standards for Ghostarticles. As you know these are articles influenced by the tendency of law professors to list as an article anything that they have said in the presence of others that was transcribed.

Hugo and I determined that the transcription requirement was arbitrary and that any discussion in the presence of others should be rightfully be noted as part of one's scholarly output. Hence the birth of the journal Ghostarticles.

Two issues have arisen. First, does it have to be a conversation with another person? Suppose you just run through some important ideas in your head? Isn't the requirement that another person be involved unnecessary? It does not increase the importance of one's contribution.

Second, even if another person has to be involved, does there have to be someone present who actually hears the discussion. Ghostarticle citation form requires naming those present but it is not clear why. Again it has not bearing on the quality of the scholarship.

These are things to consider while I shop for Marvelles' valentine today.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Memorandum Tre

To: Faculty
From: Chadsworth Oborne Junior III
Re: Summer Program in Italy
Date: February 12, 2007

Supreme Senior Vice President of Foreign Programs, Hugo Valencia and I are happy to propose a new study abroad opportunity for our students. The details are as follows:

A. Location:

Three weeks in Rome, three weeks in Florence.

B. Expected enrollment and student costs.

For the first year, expected enrollment is 30 but the actual enrollment can exceed this. The program has no upper limit on enrollment. The initial tuition is $3,000 per student. This includes all housing and transportation, to the extent those are necessary.

C. Need and Opportunities

This program will complement our other excellent foreign study opportunities. Many of our students have expressed a desire to study in Italy and to learn Italian law. Many of our colleagues have connections with scholars in Italy and would gain a great deal with respect to their work in comparative law. It is critical that we have a presence in Italy.

Several members of our faculty will be invited to travel to Rome or Florence to serve as guest lecturers and to attend graduation ceremonies at the end of the term.

D. Staffing.

Professor Junior is the Director of the Program and will go each year. In addition to the director, one other full time professor will travel to the site. Two assistants will accompany the professors. After the initial year, it is anticipated that the position of professor will be circulated among the faculty.

E. Students Activities

Students will earn six credit hours. In addition they will be taken on several tours of important Italian sites.

F. Budget:

Airfare for Professors and assistants: $10,000
Housing: $80,000

G. Impact

This program will put us in the first tier of foreign program offering schools. The net cost to the School, other than trips of guest lecturers, is zero. The two professors involved will be paid the usual stipend for summer teaching.

Although I am hosting Senator Faceworth, will have to cancel my class, and feel a headache coming on, I will be at the meeting Friday to answer any questions

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Faculty Approval and Marvelle's Valentine

I forgot one detail about summer program in Rome. It must be approved by the faculty. That meeting is this Friday and I need to submit a written proposal by Wednesday, the same day as Senator Faceworth's arrival. The program will be approved but the bean counters on the faculty will sure raise an issue or two. On the other hand, no faculty member currently involved in a foreign program will vote no so it should pass with at least 80% of the vote.

The Valentine is a bit trickier. What do you give to a woman who is your best friend's wife, is very taken by you (and who could blame her) and is bold enough to tell you almost in public that if you touch her again it will make her even more of a woman. O.K I know when I first heard it, I misunderstood and thought she said if I touched her again she had friends who would make ME even more of a woman but, luckily, I avoided the misunderstanding. Oh, it also has be a Valentine that communicates that I like her but I do not want to be her Valentine (if you understand what I mean).

Tomorrow I will shop for the perfect Valentine. I think I will sign it Chaddy which is what Caroline calls me when we are alone. Tuesday the report to the faculty.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Next Week

Next Week's To Do List:

1. Select a Valentines card for Marvelle.

2. Pick up Senator Faceworth for a tour of campus and the law school. Show him my art collection.

3. Cancel class because of all my other obligations and the cold I may feel coming on.

4. Research the best Italian tailors.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Memorandum Due

To: Dean Bumble
From Professor Junior III
Re: Visit of Senator Faceworth
Date: September 8, 2007

I am delighted to accept the role as Senator Faceworth's host. There are some arrangements that I would like your office to make. Senator Faceworth will need a driver and a car with suitable seating for 6 adults. Also, I have heard he enjoys a good single malt scotch. Please have an array placed in his office. On the evening of the 17th, Caroline and I, along with Hugo and Marvelle Valencia, would like to host a cocktail party for Senator Faceworth in your home. I presume your office will arrange suitable catering.

As you know Supreme Senior Vice President of Foreign Porgrams, Hugo Valencia, and I have recently returned from Italy where we made all the necessary arrangements for this summer's foreign study in Rome program. The details will be provided to the students shortly. This is a pardigm shifting summer program in that only the professors will have their lives disrupted by travel. The students will enjoy the foreign experience via video feed (or weekly written reports should there be technical problems). In the meantime, I know it would mean a great deal to the students if you and Christie could visit with them "in" Italy. We will be in Rome for three weeks and then in Florence for three weeks. Please let me know what works for you.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


To: Professor Junior III
From: Dean Bumble
Date: February 7, 2007
Re: Visit of Senator Faceworth

As you are aware the Law School has invite Senator Jerry Faceworth to guest lecture for two weeks on the subject of Labor Law. I would like to you to serve as his host during this time. I know you have many committments but we need to put our best foot forward given that Senator Faceworth has recently announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Please advise me of your availability as soon as it is convenient. Senator Faceworth arrives on February 15th.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Rethinking Marvelle's Overture

Your dutiful quartet arrived back in Ivyville Sunday evening. Much too tired to possibly hold class this week but I hope to be ready the week after that. I am feel a nasty headache coming on as a write this. Surely the dean cannot expect me to spend a week doing research of the first virtual summer foreign program and be back in class so quickly. I did at least three weeks work in Italy already. I informed the students and in order to make up the classes missed I Xeroxed some bar review outlines for them to peruse and told them to go watch Casablanca because of its connections to my course on International Financial Transaction Involving Families and Children Faced with Elder Law Intellectual Property Issues. Naturally I have to limit enrollment to 10 but, interesting, that has not been a problem so far. I guess word is just not out among the students.

I was cordial to Marvelle in the trip back but made an effort not to be alone with her. The idea did occur to me, though, that I may have misunderstood her comment. For example, "Listen you asshole. I have friends Hugo does not know about and you should pray you never see. Touch me again like you did on the plane coming over and I will make sure they make you even more of a woman." could be a slightly indirect way of telling me that she has secrets from Hugo and maybe she just phrased what she mean carelessly. In fact, I am pretty sure what she meant to say is "only you can make me even more of a woman."

I do not want to be involved with her except as the wife of my dear fried and coauthor Hugo but do not want to disappoint her either. Perhaps a Valentine is in order.

In the meantime while in customs, Hugo and I completed another article while waiting for our luggage:

Junior III, Chadsworth & Valencia, Hugo, "Guide to Implementation of Virtual Summer Study Program for Indigent Ivy League Law Students," 1 Ghostarticle 44 (2007) (those present: US Agriculture dog, US Border guard, Emil (skycap).

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Touch and the Times

Our work in Florence is done and in a few minutes we will depart for the airport. I will admit that Hugo and I have smiles on our faces. In merely a week we have finalized the summer study in Italy details. Housing has been arranged in Rome and Florence, many restauarants identified for the student "involvment," and we have developed a nice list of wines for them to sample should they be able to find them in the U.S. And we take pride in devising a summer program that is open to all regardless of financial ability. Finally we have coauthored two very well placed articles for the decanal glossy.

All is not well, though, and I am somewhat alarmed. Despite my best efforts to avoid being alone with Marvelle and to avoid eye contact, an unsettling thing happened last night at dinner. Marvelle, Caroline and Hugo had all excused themselves to go to the facilities. Marvelle returned first. She approached the table and rather than sit in her chair he came very close to me and leaned over. Her lips were next to my ear. "My God, is she so smitten that she will kiss me in public?"

Then I hear these words spoken very slowly, "Listen you asshole. I have friends Hugo does not know about and you should pray you never see. Touch me again like you did on the plane coming over and I will make sure they make you even more of a woman."

I am mulling this over (there are so many messages in there) as I write this and prepare for the return flight. The only good thing I can see in this that is hopeful is that Marvelle appears to be a strick adherent to the New York Times rule. She has complete denyability about her threat.

Friday, February 2, 2007

1 Ghostarticles 12 (2007)

Junior III, Chadsworth & Valencia, Hugo, "The Informal Law of Wine Selection in Florence Italy: Critical Perspectives and Taninacidity," 1 Ghostarticle 12 (2007) (Those present: Junior III, Caroline; Valencia, Marvelle; & Antonio, wine steward).

Thursday, February 1, 2007

GhostArticle for the Decanal Glossy

I have much to report on our efforts to serve the students by spending a week in Italy. I realize, however, that my last submission may be puzzling to some. Ghostarticle represents the combination of two ideas presented to me by similarly privileged and, therefore, productive (although not Marvelle-proof) colleagues.

Idea 1. It's that time of year when the dean creates a glossy brochure listing everyone's publications. You realize that a few months ago you were in a discussion with someone and an audience was there. It was taped and you had your secretary type it up. Presto! an article for your resume.

Idea 2. You read a draft of a colleague's article, made some suggestions and so on. You are a ghost coauthor and rightfully could claim this on your resume.

So, the other day Hugo and I were having some drinks and playing a bit of tennis and I realized we are have a perfectly marvelous discussion about the best spots in Europe to have summer programs. It was in depth. All we needed was someone to write it down.

Think about it. Does the fact that no one was there to write it down really change the substance of our scholarship? In effect, we had coauthored a ghostarticle, worthy of listing on our overflowing resumes and to be including in the annual decanal glossy.

Thus. the birth of the new journal Ghostarticles.

Volume 1 contains the first article by Hugo and myself since the journal's birth. And what a journal. No pesky reading, no cumbersome downloads, no snotty law review editors. No, right from your mouth to your resume!!!

Submitted to SSRN

Junior III, Chadsworth & Valencia, Hugo, "The Perils of Italian Train Travel: Rome to Florence,"
1 Ghostarticles 1 (2007) (audience , Junior III, Caroline & Valencia, Marvelle, February 7, 2007).

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

To Be Loved

I have described our Herculean efforts of yesterday. Today is a day for rest. Breakfast in the solarium and a brisk walk. We stopped for latte in the A.M and wine in the P.M.. In between, a couple of galleries that might appeal to the students. The affection the Italians feel for us is hard to ignore – especially the waiters. Every time we leave a tip I notice the waiters making eye contact with each other and more often than not one is touching his cheek with his index finger and pointing at his eye. No doubt this is a comment on our generosity or refined dress. (Except for Marvelle, who really needs to smarten it up a bit.)

My only concern during the week, other than making the summer program in Italy as rewarding as possible for our students (just think of the opportunities to study comparative law!), is for the untenured faculty at my school. I know they miss me and that the lack of emails is example of how much they respect what I am trying to do here. I have become, in a sense, the de facto associate dean for their development. Every day I try to drop in on one or two and encourage them by describing how I became so successful. I know they prefer me to the official Associate Dean, Celia (or as they call her “Busy Bee”), who seems to come around just to pump up the stress level. I am sure I relax them, in part because I am such an easy-going guy, and I think the Dean made a wise move by keeping me in a unofficial role when he declined my offer to act as Associate Dean for Untenured Development.

Now the good news. The way Hugo has designed this summer abroad program opens up so many possibilities that are just not there when the students are “on location.” He has raised the idea of a split summer program – 3 weeks in Rome and 3 in Florence. It is rare that a summer program gives students an opportunity to study in two cities but one of the advantages of a video summer program is that they can “travel.” This means more work for your beloved band of gypsies but tomorrow we are off to Florence.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Working to Keep Student Costs Low

The four us had brief naps at the St. Regis Grand and then dove right into our research. We found several restaurants that would be a little pricey for the students but since they will not be coming, the restaurants were just right. We also found several wines that would be perfect for them if there were coming and had sufficient funding. Caroline took careful notes so we can remember to revisit some of the better restaurants when we broadcast back to the students.

This morning Hugo and I taxied over to Le Sapienza to speak to our counterparts. Unforunately, we were unable to find the Dean or department head so we left our cards and our hotel phone numbers with instructions to contact us. It was quite annoying that we found so few people there who spoke English. We left our resumes to make it clear what an opportunity this presents for the University there. By nightfall there was no return calls which means almost certainly that the materials we left were lost. In any case, with the program Hugo has devised, we do not really need to be associated with another University. Well, we did what we could be be neighborly.

After that we shopped for appropriate housing for the four of us. Marvelle suggested one large apartment but I had to veto that idea right away. In fact, I find it in Marvelle’s best interest for me to avoid eye contact. I fear for her dignity and my friendship with Hugo whenever she is near me.

We are torn between Trastevere and Novona. Its is a tough call especially since we are attempting to keep the costs down for the students. As I noted earlier, at 30 students and $3000 per student we are attempting to stay under 90K. This will mean some sacrifices, but I think each apartment should not exceed 25,000 for the 6 week stay and that includes staffing. It's not what we are accustomed to at the Vineyard but we can rough it in the interest of giving the students a first class experience.

All four of us closed out this very hard day with massages in the Hotel Spa and then a room service dinner. It is essential that we stay alert and relaxed to perform at our best.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Marvelle at 30,000 Feet

Our hard working group arrived in Rome this morning and settled down for a nap before getting to work sampling restaurants for the new summer program. First I want to add to my effort to enlighten people about the hazards of being a privileged law professor. Yes, it is the women thing again and, yes, it involves Marvelle.

The instance I am talking about raises one of the big ethical delimmas of flying. You are headed down an aisle -- usually to give your card to the flight crew so they will know there are important people abroad. If you are a man and there is a woman coming the other way and no seats to duck into you must make the decision about which way to turn your body. Turning so your posterior is pointing inward -- toward your fellow passenger -- seems rude. Turning so you face the other passenger means the risk of inappropriate touching.

Seeing Marvelle coming down the aisle and knowing her feelings for me, I was just such delimma and felt that the "posterior out option would be extra rude." On the other hand, I was fully aware that when it comes to me she has a woman's needs and might not yield to me my rightful half of the aisle. In fact, she would likely attempt a face to face passage.

When we came face to face she immediately turned so she faced away from me and pushed herself as far away as possible. I was relieved but as we parted my hand accidently brushed her posterior. She immediately looked up at me. I could tell by her look that she interpreted the touch as indicating that her fascination with me was mutual -- not just that I too am fascinated by me but that I was fascinated by her.

Somehow over the week I must attempt to make it clear that I am very fond of her but not in a romantic way. She is, after all, Hugo's wife and Hugo is the Supreme Superior Senior vice president in charge of international programs.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

In Service to the Students

I realize some law professors question the importance of elitism and a sense of entitlement to efficient and effective legal education. Let me give an example of how wrong the doubters are.

My friend Hugo, supreme senior vice president of international programs, and I have developed a new template for foreign programs that we intend to roll out this summer. In fact, as I write, Hugo, Caroline and Marvelle and I are packing because we will be in Rome all next week setting the program up. (Yes, I will miss a week of class but it will be made up by showing the film “Being There.” )

The program is open to all second and third year students. The cost is yet to be determined but the program will be operated at cost. Right now we are projecting an initial enrollment of 30 so I am estimating tuition of only $3,000 each. During the six weeks of the program Hugo and I (along with Caroline and Marvelle who have graciously offered their services to the Law School for “expenses” only) will be in Rome. The students are the big beneficiaries here because they will stay in the U.S. or wherever else they want to be. Twice a week Hugo and I will offer lectures via video feed. While in Rome next week, we will explore potential tours to “take” the students on via video feed. During the actual program, in addition to the lectures, we will conduct the tours and them to our dinners and “clubbing,” all via video. In other words, they get all the adventure and enrichment of a Roman summer plus law school credit, without having to actually go there. Hugo suggested and I agree that we needed a back up plan in case the video does not operate as we anticipate. To this end we are committed to sending the students written reports each week so they will not get behind. Because we are sensitive to student needs there will be no exam.

I doubt anyone without a sense of entitlement could develop something comparable and fully comprehend what it will mean to our students.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Downside of Elite: Lunch With Marvelle

In my last post I mentioned lunch with Marvelle. (She corrected my spelling.) She is the wife of Hugo the vice president in charge of foreign programs and my sometimes coauthor of several ghost articles. Our families mingle from time to time.

Due to some poor planning by my wife Caroline, the lunch, which was supposed to be for the four of us, ended up being for just two -- Marvelle and your humble author.

Being alone with a women is when being a law professor from an elite university actually is a problem. I do not want to get into locker room talk here but women cannot leave privileged law professors alone. And they seem to be able to spot us from miles away. What accounts for it? It is very hard to say. We -- my fellow law professors who are similarly "afflicted" and I -- have discussed it but are unable to agree on a satisfactory answer. It is some combination of pure animal magnatism and palpable intellect.

And back to Marvelle. It was clear she was stricken. She hardly ate half of her salad (lemon juice dressing on the side, hold the croutons, no onions, are those organic carrots?, no outer leaves of the lettuce and could I have a real salad fork, please). She did have four glasses of wine. I tried to put her at ease and explain that this happens all the time but she just stared at me as though she could not even begin to process what I was saying.

Well, I ended the lunch somewhat abruptly, helped her into her coat, bid farewell to the waitress who was looking at me slack-jawed and seemingly entranced, and saw her off.

I will try not to be alone with Marvelle again so she will not have to endure what must be very upsetting.

The New York Times Rule

There he goes again. Harrison is maybe the only law professor who does not follow the golden rule: Do not write down anything you would not want to see on the front page of the New York Times. So what does he do? He puts the letters I wrote up on classbias. So out it goes into bloggiland and he looks so . . . . well, poorly trained. (Bloggiland!! That is such a side-splitter. I think Duncan, down at the club, came up with that one.)

The NYT rule is an important one to most law professors. In effect, it is dangerous to leave, shall we say, "tracks." For example, suppose you want to say something to a colleague just to reassure him. Oh, something like, "You are twice the scholar Dwayne is." or "I'll make sure that candidate does not get through." Later that colleague repeats what you have said. If there are no tracks you can simply chalk it up to a "misunderstanding" or say "I might of actually said 'You and Dwayne have your own strengths.'" If you have left "tracks" then you are in something of a pickle.

Ok, off to meet with Marvell for coffee. Hugo and Caroline could not make it and I have always found Marvell to be quite interesting so it will be nice to get to know her better.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Never Trust a Blogger

A few days ago I sent a letter to Jeff Harrison who is a fellow law professor and who, despite his whining, seemed like a nice guy. The letter was about a pressure packed day I had. You can read it over on classbias. Now he has published it and I think his purpose is to ridicule me.

The way he has presented the letter it makes me seem like I do not work hard. I will admit that, looking at it now, there is a sense that I did little actual work that day. Nothing could be further from the truth. Harrison does not understand two things:

1. Those of us who are well educated and well bred are thinking all the time. For example, during both my massage and my racket ball game I was considering the importance of tax cuts for the wealthy and elimination of the inheritance tax.

2. We need our "down time." It is during the down time that our brains recharge. For example, it is clear to me that the proper schedule for law professors like myself is one teaching day a week. Every other year should be a sabbatical.

I know those who do not understand will say the usual working class schedule is 40-50 hours a week and a two week vacation but those people are so much less productive, they have to work longer.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rankings: What is the Problem

Too many blogs to name here and operated by law professors are devoted to law school and law review rankings. All of the writers play off the US News and World Report annual rankings. These professors obsess over rankings. In concede that I agree with them in a sense. The USNWR rankings are way to complicated and consider a number of irrelevant factors. For example what do LSAT scores, employment, bar passage have to do with the quality of a law school?

The quality of a law school depends on one factor -- the faculty. The quality of the faculty, in turn, depends on the quality of their education. I suggest a simple ranking system: Divide the number of faculty who graduated from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, or Penn by the total number of faculty. The higher the number you get, the better the law school. Really, why make it any more complicated than that?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Fighting Back

In recent months two particularly silly blogs have come to my attention. (Blogging is annoyingly democratic. Any moron can say anything.) Moneylaw and Classbias, like impotent fleas, are going nowhere but do have a propensity to be pesky from time to time with their cheap shots at my profession -- law teaching. None of what the contributors have to say is important but once in awhile I will be using this forum to set the record straight.

Moneylaw, the brain child of Jim Chen, is based on the idea of the baseball book Moneyball. The best I can tell from wading through the gibberish is that he and his fellow contributors think that one can deliver legal education more effectively and at a lower cost. Jeff Harrison is responsible for Classbias which appears to be nothing but whining about the fact that some people are not as gifted, as smart, or as well educated as the rest of us. His view seems to be that we could all be replaced by janitors.

Their favorite targets are Ivy League schools and hiring practices that have existed and been successful for years. What the do not get is that the existence of law owes itself to the institution of private property. The more you have, the more you rely on law to protect it. Who better to do the protecting that those of us who identify with those who control wealth. Their approach would be tantamont to putting the proverbial fox at the gate to the chicken coop -- or whereever chickens live since I am hardly the person to know, nor to want to know about farming. Coupon Coupon