Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rest and Play

I get criticized by a lot of people, that I play a lot. It is true, that I do. But do they also know that I work in the library six days a week, like today until 11pm? I didn't think so.

This week in law school, I had two exciting moments.

-The first moment was when I was walking my Mentor back to her cab. We walked through the sculpture garden. There we discussed the issues that the case had from filing until now. One by one, we went through the solutions. It was just a beautiful day - where the sun had lit the sculptures. They had that white, hot light against them. Spring was coming back in California. It would have been better if she wearing a Chinese robe. Then it really would be like I was the grasshopper and she was the sensei.

-The second moment came when I saw my statistics professor. I haven't seen him since 2002! I took this guy in 2002! Wow. I shot him an email that said, Guess what, I'm back! I'm in Law School - not medical school. The class was for pre-meds. I said, but you'll remember me because of the project I did. I used bio-statistics to look at whether the death penalty actually deterred murder in states that implemented it. The answer to the question was no. But, I remember, for some reason he loved the project and gave me full points on it - writing something along the lines as: "Fascinating."

He did remember my project - but not me. In any event, we discussed my new project on using statistics again to review how male teens are sexually abused in jail. He was excited to see the statistics. He gave me the four formulas to apply. He then encouraged me and said, "I'm glad you're doing this work. It's important. We need good people like you in the field." I smiled, shook his hand, and thanked him.

I had the sense of utter excitement from it all. I finally felt like a lot of skills I was learning was coming into a torrential intersection: law, statistics, science, programming, etc. etc. It was great to execute all these skills in the field of law.

However, I cut off school on Friday night after I went drinking with my mentee Sasha. The hard work is coming. So, sometimes you just need a break. The battle is coming. Then the war is coming. Rest, right now would be good.

So, after waking up from too much partying on Friday, I started doing my errands in front of my garden home. The garden has a lot of hanging plants. I'll post a picture sometime. My favorite part of it is the koi pond. We have five koi fish in there, a few goldfish, and a frog that changed from a tadpole. My roommate nicknamed the frog - turd because he says it looks like one.

Pierre, a classmate of mine came around noon. We were going to take a tour on the East side of Los Angeles. What do you imagine when you think about East LA? Guns? Gangs? Graffiti? The poor?

We took the roadster. Top down on a hot cali day. After the traffic cleared, I weaved in between the cars to get to my mother's home. There we switched cars. I took off the car cover and revealed underneath the 1967 mustang convertible with a 289 engine in it. Pierre, Julia. Julia, Pierre.

I took Pierre to a little mountain town by my little ghetto hometown. Yeah, my hometown's a barillo. Pierre could tell.

He asked me "Why did my family move here?"

I said, "Well, they didn't have much money."

I explained to him how I had to learn Spanish because in the earlier days of my elementary we had so many non-English speaking kids. I said the teachers even spoke to me in Spanish. I explained more tragic failings of the Baldwin Park School System. I went back to the principal once to raise standards. Her line back was, "As long as I keep kids out of gangs, I'm doing my job."

But in any event, I took Pierre to my favorite Mexican restaurant in the world. It's a small hole in the wall. In it, they have pictures of Mexican revolutionaries. The mexican mariachi music plays in the background. We order Dos Modelos, deep fried shrimp and fish tacos, refried beans (in lard I'm sure), and fried rice. The lady asked for my ID and I retorted, "Do you have to?"

She said, "Yes."

I handed it over and she said it as an excited utterance, "1982!!!!"

Just shame me, I thought. Tell the whole world my age. She said, "It's unbelievable." I smiled and said, "See, I told you you didn't need to look."

She couldn't make sense of Pierre's french ID either. I told Pierre, "Doesn't feel like America anymore, does it? It really feels like we're in a Mexican eatery in Mexico. We just need a sand beach right outside."

He chuckled. But it was true.

After eating the delicious food, it really was good, we took a drove to a small mountain town in East LA. No guns. no gangs.

I explained to Pierre that I had Julia for 10 years. However, my father restored her for me, when I got into law school. We both loved the sound of the roaring engine, as you turned her on. She sounded and acted alive. But she's a pretty old girl from 1967.

We walked through the mountain trail.

I took a shower...

Then we drove down to Old Town Pasadena

We drank coffee and had chats like we were intelligentsia.

And then we drove back to my mom's home. My mom loves the French - so she made us a really good Korean dinner. MMMMM. We drank German bier. I drove Pierre back to the bus stop.

I felt rested. I knew the hard work was coming. The next day, I really didn't feel like working. Ugh!! At least, I woke up at my mom's home. I petted Kitty Luke and at the breakfast table was a beautiful meal for me.

The war is coming.

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