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Pizza & Caviar, or Why I should have paid extra for a parking spot behind my house August 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 9:24 pm

I knew something was going to pop off as soon as I saw the two dudes sitting on the stoop one down from my house.

It was about 12:30 a.m. I had just gotten home from studying in the library and was walking from down the block where I’d parked my car. First, my internal alarms went off because I thought these men were sitting on my stoop. As I got closer, I saw they were on my neighbor’s steps.

“Hey! Neighbor lady!” One of the said. “Where you coming from?”

I’d met him a few weeks ago while the owner of the house was chatting me up. According to the owner, the man is a friend of his and does some electrical work around the house. Why he was there chilling on the steps with another random man well past midnight with the owner nowhere in sight? I don’t know.

I reply that I’m coming back from school. What school? This one. What are you studying? Law.

I’m trying to give him one word answers so that he’ll realize that 1) it’s late, 2) I’ve got class in the morning, and 3)I’m tired and 4) now is not the time to strike up a conversation.

He didn’t get the hint.

“Law, eh? You want the big money,” he says as he laughs at his joke. I smile, but stay silent. “My sister is a lawyer in New York. I went to school too — I went to Columbia in New York.”

I can’t help but be curious. This is the same man who I had priorly observed twice sitting aimlessly on sidewalks. Midday. With a large hole in the inner thigh, almost crotch, of his pants.

“Oh yeah?” I reply. “What’d you study?”


By this point, there are more questions than I have patience to wait for the answers to. So I say I’m going home. This is when his homeboy on the stoop decides that this is his opportunity to holla.

“Hey, Ms. Neighbor, can I take you out to the dinner or the movies or something?”

This man is fairly lanky, with a weathered face that tells me he is many years my senior, thus disqualifying him from any potential hollering opportunities. And that’s setting aside the fact that he was sitting on a stoop past midnight on a Monday with no immediate plans to leave.

“No,” I say. “But thanks for asking.” Holey pant man comments on how politely I turned his friend down. I tell them goodnight and begin walking to my door.

Stoop man says to me: “You think about dinner. We can have pizza, caviar, whatever you like.”

I stop.

I laugh. “Pizza and caviar, huh?”

He smiles. “I had to cover my bases.”


So (un)focused, man.

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 2:44 am
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Going on Day 2 and another late night studying. This time, it’s Torts and Civil Procedure.

Or gmailing. Whichever one is most productive.


First Day August 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 5:44 pm
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This is how I chose to present myself during my very first day of Law School. I think I did alright.

Classes were actually pretty cool. I had Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. Apparently two juggernauts, but my teachers seem friendly and approachable. At the very least, they weren’t anything like the teachers you assume you’ll encounter in law school.

My Civ Pro teacher actually played this clip from Legally Blonde:

And just for the record, in Gordon v. Steele, diversity jurisdiction did exist. (Diversity jurisdiction means that the federal court is able to hear a case because it involves a dispute of a certain amount of money between, among others, residents of two different states.)

civil procedure actually looks like it might be fun. (I know, shock.)) The teacher is interesting. He starts the class like, “What should we do during he first minute of law school? I know! I will call the roll.”

He picks up a piece of paper.

“Roll. Roll! Roll! Where are you? Roll?”

Then he goes into the hall. When he comes back in the class, he has a dinner roll dragging behind him on invisible string.

“Oh! Roll! There you are!”

Then he picks up the roll and bites it. (I silently cringed at that part.) Later in the class, he was talking about civil procedure and how it doesn’t matter what the word is, so much, but what definition of that word is most beneficial to you and that you can get the court to believe.

“What instance have we seen today where one word had two meanings?”

A kid raises his  hand, “malpractice?”

“No. Not malpractice. Do you want a hint?”

He flashes a picture of the dinner roll on the projector. So even though the subject is dry, it seems at least he will keep it entertaining.

Constitutional Law will be an issue, I can see that now. It’s so dense and as they talked today, I realized I’d read the material, but I didn’t understand it all. So I couldn’t really participate. That’s fine for the first day, when they take volunteers; not so fine when they start cold calling you to answer their questions.

So I was in class from 9:40 this morning until 12:30 — now I’m done for the day. I’ve got a work study interview at 4 pm and I’m going to do the reading for my torts class tomorrow.

All in all, I think I survived the first day of law school unscathed. We’ll see how day two goes.


My Sunday Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 1:23 am

That would be ramen, leftover catfish and collards from Busboys, water, Constitutional Law and my computer for notetaking.

I know you’re jealous.


I will survive August 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 12:32 am

So, after that first day of law school orientation — things got better.

I also realized where my apprehension and nervousness came from: I thought I didn’t belong here.

As I was meeting my classmates, I was just continually and thoroughly impressed with their resumes. Ivy League schools. Study abroad and backpacking trips to countries I would love to go. They were going to be lawyers — all I’m getting is a *lowly* masters degree.

Then I realized that I have every right to be here, just like they do.

Sure I didn’t take the LSAT or the GRE. And sure, I’m the only one in my class. And yeah, I’m a journalist and not going to be a lawyer.

But I’m impressive. And beyond that, I’m doing this so that I can do better at something that I love to do. And when I tell people that I’m a journalist, I get ohhs and ahhs.

Yeah, I belong here.

It helped, though, that I also found some friends. That was huge. They’re a little younger than me, but they’re amazing and funny and I love them already. Like, they’re the kind of people that make you smile when you lock eyes with them from across the room. It’s great. Plus, I went to a session from the Black Law Students Association today, so it helped me not feel like the lone speck of pepper in a sea of salt.

Yeah, I’ll be alright. I will survive.

Long as I can get through my reading.


Running Lightbulb!

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 12:21 am
Tags: ,

I just finished running 2 miles and just had the most amazing idea.

I’m going to run the monuments. On (or around) my birthday. This year. In October. And it’s going to be awesome.

So, I’m a part of this online running challenge (holla at me if you’re interested in joining). And it’s populated by amazing runners who are pledging to log between 25 and 125 miles during the month of September. I’m in the 25 mile group (I’m in the challenge, but I’m realistic about my abilities).

I figure by October, I’ll have hit my stride, I’ll have a routine and most importantly, my lung capacity won’t suck anymore.

After a quick browse of MapMyRun, this route looks pretty awesome:

DC Monuments Tour
Find more Runs in Washington DC, District Of Columbia

It’s 6.5 miles, so I’ll definitely have to step it up. But it might be a contender!


Quit being anti-social! (aka Orientation Day 1) August 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — taliabuford @ 8:43 pm

So I was nervous.

Today was the first day of law school orientation. Not even the first day of law school. Orientation.

I walked to campus because I live close enough and picked up my packet. There, in black and white, my name cried out to me from my folder:

“Talia N. Buford. Section 1”


I take my folder and head into Room 205 — where our Introduction session would be held. This is where things started to feel odd.

I walked in and everyone in the lecture hall was sitting on the side closest to the door. So I sat on the other side of the room, just across the aisle.

Not many people were talking. Most were just reading their folders. With me being on the side of the room by myself, my choices were limited.

I opened my folder and started to read.

Not saying I failed. But I didn’t exactly feel like a winner.

It was odd. Like, I felt out of place. Like it was the first day of school and none of the cool kids — shoot, none of the kids — would talk to me. The room was sort of tense. No one wanted to be the first to speak, to show any emotion, or put themselves out there. And I followed suit.

Shortly after I sat down, someone came in — a woman — and sat next to me. I ignored her.

The room slowly started to fill. Eventually, a man came and sat in front of me. After fiddling with his folder for a few minutes, he turned around and introduced himself.

“Hi, I’m Ted.++”

I smiled and extended my hand. Everyone around him followed suit awkwardly.

I relayed this scenario to Veronica over lunch to which she replied, “Why were you being all anti-social?”


I think the awkwardness came because I didn’t know what to expect. There weren’t any ambassador groups ushering me through school chants a la Hampton, and all of the students (in my head) seemed to have permanent scowls.

I don’t like scowls.

After the opening session, I tried to not be intimidated by my new surroundings for the rest Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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the dayProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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I chatted up two guys at the computer terminals while I checked my e-mail. They were nice. One was in my section and the other was in section 2, so I’ll likely only see him in passing from now on. It was still a little awkward, but a different kind of awkward. That I-don’t-know-much-about-you-to-know-if-we-have-anything-in-common type awkward that means you only have small talk. But it was nice to see a smiling face in the student expo.

Beyond that, a few things I’ve observed/noticed today:

*I need a D.C. bag. If you come to the city, everyone has a good sized totebag that they carry things in. Extra shoes. Water. grocery bags. Dead bodies. Whatever. All of my bags have been either too small or too large. Veronica makes some and I’m lobbying for a free/heavily discounted one to carry with me to school daily. Will report back on my progress.

*I may have paid too much for a laptop sleeve. I paid $23 for one at Best Buy. It seemed expensive.  But I needed one. So I bought it. In hindsight, I feel like I should have looked around more, comparison shopped. I’ll consider exchanging it this weekend before I open it.

*N.E.R.D. on shuffle makes great walking music.

We have more orientation activities this evening, including a welcome from the Dean and a concert from the Capitol Steps.  I’m kind of excited about that because if you read my other blog, you know that I was a part of the Follies, a similar group in Rhode Island. If my phone doesn’t die, I”ll try to snap some shots to share with you all.

++name changed