Monday, August 17, 2009

It's All About the Benjamins!

Ah, what a beautiful Monday morning. Looks like the sun is going to be shining all day, and really how could I not be so positive after this past Saturday night??

For the first time, I went to Foxwoods Casino to try my luck on the blackjack table. A friend of mine from Colby and two of her friends from home made the trip down to Connecticut. We headed out around 11am and by the time we got back about 12 hours later, all of our moods were pretty high!

Since it was my first time really gambling at a casino I was nervous when we first got there. My limit for the day was the $100 that I got from the ATM that morning and once that was gone, I was just there to enjoy the scenery and flashing lights. I wanted to get a better hold of the smart way to play Blackjack so I watched while 2 of my friends played some hands. The minimum bet at the table (the lowest minimum at any table) was $10/hand, so with 10% of my chips on the line every hand I wanted to be sure that I knew what I was doing and didn't just blow my $100 away.

After about half an hour, I sat down at the table, placed five, twenty dollar bills on the table and felt my heart sink as the dealer swept them up and slid me 20 red chips ($5 each). Right away I started winning some hands, we all joked about beginner's luck, and everyone was having a great time. Slowly but surely, my stack of chips rose higher and higher until I had to split them into two stacks. Then the dealer asked if I could change some of my red ($5) chips in, in exchange for some green ($25) chips because the dealer was running low on red chips. I slid my stack of chips toward him and was thrilled when I got back 4 green chips and then still had a big stack of reds left over. Since it's bad luck to count your chips while you're playing, I held myself back but it was all I was thinking about. I had my original $100 in green chips and I had at least another hundred worth of red chips!

When we took a break to go get some dinner I had 2 black ($100) chips in my pocket, I was up $100! To make things better, I learned that there was a Hard Rock Cafe at Foxwoods, which is one of my favorite places to eat! To make a long story short, when I went to cash in my chips at the end of the night, the woman handed me 4 crisp $100 bills! Profit for the day = $300!!

It was such a fun day, even if I had lost my $100, but winning $300 and still getting to go was even better. Everyone that sat down to play out our table was really nice, we met some really cool people, the dealers were hilarious and we loved getting to talk to each other. My conclusion from all of this, besides the fact that I love blackjack, is that I can definitely see how some people could fall into the dangerous trap of gambling for profit rather than just putting a few dollars on the table, keeping their bets low, and trying to just have fun with friends. There are no clocks in the whole building and if I didn't have my watch, I wouldn't have been able to tell what time of day it was. Add free drinks circling around every 15-20 mins and you have the casino's perfect recipe for making money. But not this time! The picture above is an actual picture of all of the money that the 4 of us took home that night. Unreal.

All in all, another great experience! Makes me really wonder how crazy Vegas is... I hope everyone enjoys this beautiful day.

Until next time...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Everybody Deserves A Second Chance

First off, just a quick "hi" to everyone who has continued to read, sorry for my posting absence the past week or so. I have been very busy with my prep course, but now it is all over and Orientation is looming!

So, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to write about how I feel about the huge news in the sports world right now: Michael Vick signing a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. For those of you who aren't in tune with the sports world, Vick was charged and convicted on federal and state counts of being involved in a dog fighting ring. Before I continue with my own opinion, it's important to say that I do believe his actions were horrible and I fully agreed with the punishments that were bestowed upon him.

Having said that, I love that the Philadelphia Eagles have signed Michael Vick. In fact, I wish that the New England Patriots had signed him. I understand that there are people who are still up in arms against the guy because of the terrible things that he was involved with, but frankly, let them be. They are only wasting energy in a futile attempt to hold this guy down for the rest of his life because of a mistake. He served his full sentence (approximately 2 years) in prison, and has since been taking a proactive approach to becoming involved in his community with organizations such as the Humane Society and other programs that promote animal welfare.

In short, he did the crime and served his time. Everybody deserves a second chance. Michael Vick is a tremendous athletic specimen and I knew it was just a matter of time before he got signed by an NFL team. I am very excited to see how Vick re-adjusts to life in the spotlight and the NFL way of life, and my only regret is that he is not doing so in a Patriots uniform.

Feel free to say what you will, but if you were him you would not only want a second chance, but you would expect one as well, so really the self-righteous stance against the signing of Michael Vick has little, if any, credibility or relevance. Here is a portion of the press conference Vick held after the news broke that he is now the newest member of the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It has begun...

So, it has been awhile since I posted last so I just wanted to write real quick and fill you in on what I've been up to this last week or so...

I finally have my first taste of what law school is going to be like. I am participating in the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) Summer Session at Suffolk which started this past Monday. The program runs Monday through Thursday this week and next from 6-9pm. Basically each night is divided into 3 sections.

In the first hour, the professor who is running the program, Jim Janda, lectures to us about a particular topic that has practical significance as we head into our first year of law school. On Monday night he taught us how to properly brief a case after we have read it so as to be as prepared as possible for class, and last night he starting talking to us about how to create outlines for our courses, which are the vital study tool in law school.

The second hour is devoted to going over the cases that we were assigned to read for class. Usually we have about 3-5 cases to read and brief for each class and Professor Janda really gives us a feel for what law school is like by "cold calling" on people, meaning he will state a question and then call on a student at random. This was definitely the aspect of law school that I was looking forward to the least (anyone who had class with me at Colby knows that I'm not real big on talking in front of the rest of class). Of course, I was called on the first night within the first 10 minutes of the second hour. Thankfully, I was prepared so I was able to answer the 3 questions that he asked me about the case we were reviewing. It really surprised me though how easy it really is. Having a simulated class like this has really showed me that as long as you come prepared there is really nothing to worry about. Everyone else in my classes will be just as nervous as I am so there is really nothing to be worried about.

The final 30-45 minutes (after we get a break) of each night is when we break up into our class sections. I am in section 1D this year, so that means that I will be taking all of my first year classes with the same 80 students (there are about 80 students per section). Since not everybody does the PMP Summer Session, the 1D group has about 10 kids in it and we meet with different "mentors" each night. Every mentor has completed their first year and is heading into their second year of law school, so we can ask them any kind of question that we may have and so far they have all been great about answering our questions and giving us advice and tips that I'm sure will help us through our first year.

Most of my time has been spent reading the cases for this class, and even though it may be a little bit of a bummer to be doing work while the weather is so nice, I know that taking this program is going to put me a step ahead of my other classmates who chose not to participate. I am going to be able to "hit the ground running" when classes officially start on August 24th and a large element of stress will be removed.

This past weekend I went down to my friend, LQ's house down on the Cape with a bunch of my friends from high school, and we had a great time. Sam, LQ, Eric, and Aaron were there (4 out of the 5 kids running the NYC Half-Marathon in a few weeks) and they wanted me to again say thank you for the donations that have been coming in to them that will go toward the American Cancer Society.

We spent the afternoon on a great beach, and for those of you who are wondering, yes I did go into the ocean. I don't know what came over me, but I was out in the ocean getting smashed by waves, and playing catch with a football and was able to keep my fear of the water in check. I think it was the fact that there were 6 of us out there in close proximity to each other so I figured that I had some form of protection! I went out to about waist deep and for anyone that knows me that is about twice as deep as I usually go...I immediately got out of the water though when my friends Sam and Eric, who had swam further out than the rest of us, came back to us and told us they had seen a seal pop its head out of the water about 15 feet from them. Now, I'm no nature expert, and they told me I was ridiculous for thinking this, but in my book: when there are seals around, there are sharks around. Simple math. No way around it. When they told us of that encounter, I promptly dropped the football and swiftly returned to the safe, sandy beach!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their summers, I'll leave you with this video I saw last week that I thought was really funny. It's about 5 mins long but you don't have to watch the whole thing, it's pretty much the same thing for the whole video but I must admit, I wish I had dance moves like this kid...enjoy!

Until next time...