I can't believe it!

I actually did pretty well on the final exam in my law class! I thought for sure that I was getting a B in that class. I got my test back last night, and I did well enough that I'm on the borderline between an A- and an A. I'd be happy with an A-, but I would be thrilled with an A, as it would allow me to retain my 4.0. The law class was scored out of a total of 1000 points. We received 250 points just for showing up to class, 250 points for participating in our group presentation, and then 250 points for each of two exams. I scored a 199 on the first exam, and had full credit for class participating and attendance. I scored a 241 on the final exam, which gave me a total score of 940. In order to receive an A, you had to score 95% or higher. an A- was 92% - 94%. I'll cross my fingers that the instructor bumped me up the percentage point to get an A, but if not, that is still okay. It was a very, very difficult class, and I'm pleased with an A of any variety.


While cruising through the government websites that provided the GIS information, I found one for registered sex offenders. Recognizing the caliber of people I graduated high school with, I wondered if any had the dubious honor of making this list. Sure enough, I recognize two names from my high school that are on the Howard County Registered Sex Offender list.

Todd Haworth
Todd Haworth
Offense: Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

Scott Evans
Offense: Child Molest

Way to go fellas. Way to represent.

Public Information

It is sort of amazing the amount of information that is available on the web. We hear every day about folks suffering from identity theft, or private information being released on the web. A buddy of mine at work pointed out another source of info. Does your county provide a Geographic Information System (GIS)? Hamilton County, Indiana, does. You can look up the entire tax filing for each property in the county. Want to know where Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers lives? Just pull up the digital GIS info and checkout 14301 113th Street E. Poor Reggie had to pay over $60,000 in property taxes last year.

That this kind of information is available on the web just completely boggles my mind. You would think that this would be protected some how, but since it is of public record, anyone can get to it. I'm sure Reggie doesn't want folks dropping in, or even looking at his tax records. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there is much he can do about it.

Fun Game

Here is a fun and simple game. See if you can beat my high score.

Financial Advisor

Jenn and I went to a financial advisor (American Express Financial Advisors) to discuss our savings plans for the future. We both wanted to start saving for a college education now, so that we would be well prepared by the time our soon to be born child reached college. I was also worried that my life insurance was inadequate, and that my retirement portfolio needed better management. We spoke to the advisor for a little over three hours, and he had a lot of good things to see. We both felt a little relieved to be getting a professional on the case to help us out. Right now, we are very lucky in that we don't have enormous debts hanging over our heads. We are in a position where we can live our lifestyle without worrying about money, and we want to make sure we can keep on living that way. With Jenn leaving her full time job to raise our kids, we are losing a significant source of income. We will need to watch our budget a bit more, but we have been living off of my salary for a while, so I'm not too concerned. The benefit of having Jenn at home to raise our kids far out weighs the money we are giving up. Plus, the cost of daycare is just outrageous.
Next week we will go in with a bunch of our old bills and bank statements so that our advisor can start putting together our plan. I'm excited to get this started, as it will be one less worry on my mind.

Serenity Now!

My law class is finally over!! Yeah!! I really struggled in that class. Not because I didn't understand the material, but because it was so difficult to determine what to study. There was enormous amount of information that we covered, and the instructor gave very little indication on what information he felt was most important. Several students in the class were very upset over the format of the class. On the first day, the instructor indicated that each lesson would be provided by one of the project groups in the class. That presentation would count as part of your final grade. There would not be any writing assignments. Participation in class would contribute to your grade, and then two exams worth 250 points each.

I expected that each group would present for up to maybe an hour, and then the facilitator would teach the rest of the class, reinforcing the points he felt were most important. Instead, as soon as the presentation was over, class was over. One class, the group finished their presentation within an hour, so we went home. Class is supposed to last four hours! This didn't help on the exams. I studied for what I thought was important on the first exam, but it wasn't enough. I scored a 199/250, which was average for the class. The instructor does not grade on a curve though. Instead, there are 1000 total points available for the class. He indicated that you would receive 100% credit for the presentation and participation just by showing up. That left the two exams. The grading scaled was figured as

950 - 1000A
920 - 950A-
900 - 920B+
800 - 900B
780 - 800B-
760 - 780C+
660 - 760C
600 - 660D

So after the first exam, it was impossible for me to get an A in the course. The best I could hope for was an A-. On the other hand, I could show up and do nothing more than right my name on the paper and pass the course with a C. I didn't even need to get half the points available on the exam to get a B in the class. So I was really torn about how much effort I wanted to put into the last exam.

I'm not used to writing with a pen, so the blue book exams were pretty tough on my hands. It took me two and half hours to complete the five exam questions, and my hands were killing me by the end. I probably could have put more down on the last few questions, but I was just tired of thinking about all of that stuff, and my hands hurt. I figured that I already had my B from the first few questions, and I had very little chance of getting my A-.

This course gave me a real distaste for the law. I don't feel that the judicial system is working properly, as it does not appear that the goal is to promote justice. Instead, it is a place where attorney's are encouraged to use every underhanded trick in the book to increase their odds of getting a favorable judge and jury, and then to bend the rules and push the interpretation of laws to the breaking point. I don't understand how this system can work. It just reaffirms my choice not to get into law earlier. Blech!

Jade Mason