• SALK Day 55: Sheila Dee Photography

    Sheila Dee is one of my favorite photographers (and people) in the Phoenix area.  She has such a keen eye.  When she first considered doing a professional show of her work, she sought guidance from a fellow photographer who asked, “Is your works special?”  I’d say Sheila’s work is more that special; it’s magnificent.

    I love when I see Sheila at events around the valley, like Ignite Phoenix, Podcamp, and Improv AZ events.  She’s usually wearing her green photography backpack that makes her look like a turtle.  When I see her, I know the pictures are going to be magnificent.  Some of my favorite pictures of me where taken by her.  When I met Sheila, I didn’t realize that her specialties were photographs of nature and architectural elements.  Her work on her website, On The Creative Side, is spectacular!

    Photo by Sheila Dee

    Her first showing was last year at Studio 5C in Tempe, AZ, a gallery that doubles as office space.  One of the people who worked there loved her work so much that he bought a piece before the show even opened.  He picked a beautiful picture of what appears to be an architectural detail.  I was so impressed by her work at the show that I declared that Sheila gets to decorate my first office after I graduate from law school.

    I love Sheila’s pictures from her travels.  She has such a unique perspective.  Sheila takes pictures of buildings but she also take the most beautiful pictures of the most ordinary things – an autumn leaf on the ground, a link of chain, a nail sticking out of a board, bubbling water – everyday occurrences but viewed in almost majestic ways.  She has amazing skills with texture and light.

    Sheila shared her passion for photography at Ignite Phoenix #8.  She said that her photography is a “personal expression of who I am.”  She gave us an incredible glimpse of how she views the world through her camera.

    When asked why she enjoys taking pictures, Sheila responded, “The thought of capturing a moment in time excites me. The idea of showing someone a place they might not have been to prior or allowing them to remember a special place they have visited really pleases me. I enjoy shooting the ordinary and making it special.”

    Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Sheila Dee.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

  • ASU Law Must Think We’re Morons

    When I was a 1L, the school told us that the copy center at the law school had class outlines for sale.  There were dozens of outlines created by previous students available.  For some classes they are a necessity, and for others, it’s just nice to have another person’s outline to compare to your own and to have another person’s take on the material.

    Photo by Ryan Cassella, used with permission from WNPR

    Mysteriously, these outlines have disappeared from the copy center this semester, except for two “professor-approved” outlines.  Apparently, Dean Berman didn’t like that an outline for his Civil Procedure class was available.  It was over 100 pages long, and according to an email he sent to his students, it was almost verbatim what he said during his lectures.  The rumor is he didn’t want this outline to be available because he thought students should create their own outlines.  There was also another rumor that a different professor didn’t want students to have an outline for her class that clearly explained concepts because she liked it when students suffered.

    I think this is probably Berman’s mental logic: “I benefited from making my own outlines from scratch without outside help, so no one else should be able to have external help from others’ notes.”  It doesn’t matter what Berman likes or doesn’t like.  It’s about the students being able to learn the material.  If having another information source is helpful, especially if they’re willing to pay the school extra to have it, then so be it!  Just because the school doesn’t like it or encourage it in general, it doesn’t make it wrong.

    Here’s the moronic part – outlines are widely available and easily passed from student to student.  Student clubs have their own outline banks that they freely share with their members.  Any student whose judgment is so bad as to assume a 50-page outline will substitute for an 800-page textbook and a semester’s worth of lectures, shouldn’t be in law school in the first place.  Such assumptions only reflect the lack of confidence Dean Berman has in his students’ intellect and judgment.  The only thing the school did was cut off a revenue stream.  Given how much the school has had to raise tuition and class size, this seems like a really stupid thing to do.

    And to top all of this off, the school didn’t think to inform the student body about this change.  The outlines simply disappeared at the end of last semester.  This lack of transparency makes me question what else the school might be hiding from students, its consumers and future donors.

    Let me be clear, this is not a post demanding that the outlines be reinstated because I believe it’s an entitlement afforded to all law students.  I simply mean to enumerate one more example of a poorly chosen policy and the law school’s consistent inability to effectively instate such overhauls.  Not to mention the school’s now predictable attitude toward communicating with its students, that of don’t ask don’t tell.

    And since I’m on my soapbox, I don’t think Berman should be teaching class.  He has enough to do with raising money for the school.  According to this year’s students, he frequently cancelled class due to his other job duties and made them up with marathon classes.  I hear he’s actually a good teacher, but I don’t think he should be an instructor and an administrator.  If I was one of his students, I would have been pissed.

    Special thanks to my anonymous co-writer this week.

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  • SALK Day 52: In Memorium of Jim Wolf

    The gift of Jim

    Jim loved to give gifts. As his wife, I was privileged to be a recipient of various gifts. I’ve listed a few of the highlights that I want to thank Jim for one more time.

    Jim Wolf (1953-2009)

    The gift of family:  When I married Jim in 1982, I gained 6 sisters and two brothers plus numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, parents-in-law and grandparents. While this seemed a bit overwhelming at times, it was truly a blessing as I came to love them all as he did. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of family.

    The gift of Steve:  After 7 years of marriage Jim and I welcomed our son, Steve, into the world and we became a family of our own. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of a son.
    The gift of humor:  Jim had a passion for boats. Big boats, little boats, motor boats, any kind of boat; he liked them all. So, when he wanted a remote-controlled boat but couldn’t justify the purchase, he bought one for my birthday and pretended that it was really for me. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of humor.

    The gift of a godly husband:  At a time when marriages so often end in divorce, we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day, 2009. Thank you, Jim, for the gift of a godly husband.

    The last gift that Jim gave to me wasn’t really from him, but it was the most precious gift that we shared in our lifetime. You see, when Jim’s heart stopped beating last Saturday morning, he entered immediately into the presence of the God that he loved and served. His desire was that all of you would have that same opportunity to spend eternity in glory. The best gift that we can give him is to make the choice to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

    Thank you, God, for the gift of eternal life.

    And thank you, God, for the gift of Jim.

    In memory of Jim Wolf
    June 24, 1953 (Gardner, KS) – February 21, 2009 (Phoenix, AZ)

    Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Bev Wolf.  She asked me to publish the testimony that she read at her husband’s memorial service in 2009. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.