Old Dog

Friday, April 29, 2016

I slept something like ten hours last night.

I do not know how many of you attend work conferences, but I presume at least a couple of you do. In the attorney world, conferences nearly always offer continuing legal education (CLE) credits, which is the carrot conference organizers dangle to attorneys to boost conference attendance. When you hear me say I got a CLE this week, that is lawyer code speak for I have a work conference. I have not done a 50-state survey, but damn near every state bar association requires attorneys to continually refresh knowledge. The way we do so is by attending CLEs. In Indiana, an attorney must take thirty-six CLE credits every three years, with a minimum of six credits every twelve months. There are additional requirements, but I will not bore you with those. If it helps to put the Ft Wayne Trial Advocacy CLE into perspective, that CLE was so intense that I just banged out damn near HALF the credits I need for a THREE YEAR CYCLE. Trial Advocacy was worth 17.75 CLE credits. No wonder I am exhausted. All told, in a calendar year I probably average something like forty CLE credit hours. Prosecutors are constantly training, and I am no exception. This, I think, is to the public good. You want your law enforcement officers to be sharp knowledgeable people, who know and follow the law.

Any attorney worth her salt will tell you that CLEs are good not just for learning new stuff and refreshing existing knowledge, but are also very important for networking. The word networking has an unfortunate connotation to it, however. Makes me, for example, think of smarmy lawyers with slicked back hair and pink ties. In reality, networking turns out to be nothing more than relationship building. Making friends. In my world, it turns out I fit in with and really enjoy spending time with damned near every prosecutor I meet. They are a good bunch; ethical, interested in doing justice, professional, and, inevitably, hilarious. It does not hurt that they also like to drink. And cuss up a storm. (seriously, every second power point slide show this week had the F bomb in it) When I go to a CLE, I work hard and play hard. During the day, I focus on the material and on learning something. I am likely to be seated at a table in the first row, furiously taking notes (because writing helps me process what it is I am learning). Once 5 pm hits, however, I will commonly have arranged to head out with a group of colleagues to a restaurant, bar, or ballgame. Where we drink. Sometimes lots.

We drank lots on Wednesday night. We did The Hoppy Gnome, Round 2. Then trivia at some other bar. Then karaoke at a dive bar. I gave up on the karaoke. I cannot sing for beans. Instead, I walked back to the hotel and drank another beer in the lobby bar, and enjoyed more conversation. Until 1:00 a.m., which is when Wrex looked over at me and said, Wendy, it is one in the morning. And I, after dropping an F bomb, got up and silently trekked to my room, where I conked out from 2:00 a.m. (I might have unwisely stayed up an additional hour, posting on this infernal time sink of a website) until 5:30 a.m., then woke and prepared for another grueling nine hours of being raked over the coals by a zealous instructor. I do not know about you, but this old dog does not function well on three and a half hours of sleep. I was drunk on fatigue all of Thursday. Drunk tired, but happy. It really was a truly excellent CLE. Aside from the sketch of the evening's bar hopping, I respectfully decline to fill in additional details for how Wednesday was spent. What happens in Ft. Wayne stays in Ft. Wayne. I am assured there is no photographic evidence. (I'm kidding. Pretty much we visited just the three bars and drank a few beers and laughed a lot. But that isn't an interesting tale, so...)

Except for the drive home which sucked balls because I got lost somewhere around Muncie, Indiana. Another story for another time.