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Uncle Zeb Online
Uncle Zeb Need some advice on law school, life or or how to quit being an uptight, stick-in-the-
mud law student? Ask Uncle Zeb. Or just peruse the wackiness below.

You canmail Uncle Zeb at UncleZeb@boalt.org or you can send your quesions, comments and complaints to him using our Anonymous Zeb Mailer.

Uncle Zeb Online

Student:
Zeb--

Librarians enchant me. They are like virginal gods/goddesses at the gates of endless new worlds. They take my hand and I shiver. Is it ok to feel this way?

Uncle Zeb:
This is Berkeley, #3. It is ok to feel any way that you want. You could hardly find a better place to feel. But you are on to something real here. Librarians enchant me too. And they do hold the key to endless new worlds. At that point our paths diverge though. Most of the librarians who I know fall closer to the "Madonna the singer" end of the human spectrum that the "Madonna the Madonna" end.



Student:
Zeb

I am tired of reading cases. They are so boring. How can I do this for two more years? Can't we require judges to write in iambic pentameter?

Uncle Zeb:
Remember who is writing judicial opinions-judges. They already have to wear funny clothes and act pompous, now you want them to have to write readable prose too? Geez, #3, you are a hard case. These poor judges, working their ermine capes to the nub have enough trouble without you yammering at them. Besides, have you learned nothing from me? Why are you reading cases? They only confuse you. Reading cases is like eating cheez whiz, it seems like a good idea when you start but it goes bad right away. Lay low and read no more cases. Why do you think the good lord invented outlines?



Student:
I am rereading Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach to while away my last semester of law school. Even twenty years after it was written that book still kicks ass! Anyway, who's going to get civil rights first: our primate cousins or artivicially intelligent machines of our own making?

Uncle Zeb:
1. There is nothing sweeter than rediscovering a true classic. And a tip of my ectoplasmic hat to you for making EXCELLENT use of your final semester. I feel the same way about Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia. Just fine, fine stuff. As for you final question, I think that the brilliantly nuts Ray Kurzweil had it right in The Age of Spiritual Machine. At some point the machines will tell us that they are conscious, then we will know. I do not think that the other primates will ever quite get there. Besides why would the cats ever want to change things?



Student:
Ken Starr at Boalt?! Isn't this supposed to be Berkeley, land of the left? Has the place gone mainstream? I want my money back.

Uncle Zeb:
You want a refund? Ooooo, #2, you should have read the back of the ticket stub. There are no refunds and all lost ideals are the responsibility of the one who lost them. Having Ken Starr here is perfect. I always loved his daughter Brenda's comic strip and his son Bart was one hard nosed qb. So Ken, is ok in my book. Just keep your thoughts clean and your phone lines secure for a few days and you will be fine.



Student:
First riots, then earthquakes. Is Seattle becoming Los Angeles? Can't they get their own disasters?

Uncle Zeb:
1. Seattle is not content to turn us into a nation of drinkers of fancy pants coffee who all use Bill Gates toys and wear grunge clothing, no, now they want to steal San Francisco's edgy dance with disaster by having earthquakes. Well I say piffle. Until Seattle can come up with Willie and Jerry Brown, the Raiders and SFO, they are just pretenders to imminent disaster. Hey, they still have electricity!



Student:
Yikes! The big news is ART at Boalt. That's right a mini-exhibition of art by real people can be found at Cafe Zeb. How'd this get past the beautification committee?

Dark Elf

Uncle Zeb:
The beautification committee is on the run as the forces of art and creativity seize the field. The real question is how long the art can stand to be in the law school. Other than portraits of judges and law professors and those bizarre drawings of judges and lawyers little art has managed to last more than a few days before liquefying right there on the wall. We will see.



Student:
Previously you said that I will be ok with the ghosts in the stacks if my spiritual slate is clean. I'm not sure if that really jibes with the idea of being a lawyer. Or at least while you may be clean, Zeb, at least a few of my classmates might fall prey to the haunted stacks up above us.

Caspar

Uncle Zeb:
Yo Caspar,

Of course a lawyer can keep his or her spiritual slate clean, #2, it is just hard to do so. Indeed, because of the great challenge posed for those who toil in the vineyards of the law, many souls who were very close to enlightenment have been sent to the earth of 2001 to work as lawyers. Can they could navigate through the spiritual minefield of modern American legal practice? Wall Street is full of aspirants to the next spiritual plane. Nor is there any reason to worry about your fellow students who have unclean spirits. Many of them have made their pact with the powers of the dark side. Have you seen The Devil's Advocate? That was a true story. Word.

Z.



Student:
If lawyers are supposed to be such intelligent, enlightened arbiters, why is contract abbreviated as "k?"

K.

Uncle Zeb:

Professions have to have secrets, #1. Mystic symbols and secret handshakes are required. Lawyers are no different. We talk in code words like "consideration" and "reasonable" and we have the judges wear black robes and bang gavels. It is just like being in the Masons, only more profitable. The secret of "k" will be revealed to you when the time is right and not before. First you will have to master the secret hearsay exceptions and scale the walls of joinder.



Student:
What is the secret to a happy marriage? I am in one yet I can't figure it out. Is it pure luck that I was able to find someone whose personality quirks and problems I am able to live with?

Uncle Zeb:
It may be that the secret of your happy marriage is that you have found someone who puts up with YOUR personality quirks and problems. You will be probably be lucky if your spousal unit does not see this. Being married to a law student ranks right up there with cab driving in the hazardous life department. Look, #2, being married is like barbecuing. Sometimes it works great, sometimes the coals won't light and sometimes everything gets burned. There is no manual. If what you have works, enjoy. But keep some lighter fluid handy just in case.



Student:
Yo Zeb

Did you catch that Demon's game? Pawlowski's still got it! And those cheerleaders can really dance. Anyways, I got a fresh batch of Humboldt County's finest and was wondering if you wanted to hang out and heal our suppressed appetites and listen to some Dead while my glaucoma fades away?

Tyrone Learned Hand

Uncle Zeb:
I am with you on that Demons game, #1. Seeing a bunch of guys who play because they want to and a bunch of all American gals who dance just for the good clean fun of it, well, it just makes me proud to be an American. I think that they will have to spice it up to hold the ratings, so you might find some Mitchell Brothers productions and maybe some human sacrifice added in soon. Having the Governor of Minnesota doing color commentary is also a very sound move, it is the final step in the blend of entertainment and politics. Look for a sitcom about the Cheneys on the WB next year. As for that Humboldt County agricultural product, why you must mean Humboldt County's world famous blackberry jam. You just bring it on by Tyrone and we can munch on Thomas's English muffins until we forget which one of us has the damn glaucoma.



Student:
Zeb

I just went up to the 6th floor stacks for the first time. I am terrified. Have you considered hiring the stacks out for a hoorror movie setting?

2L

Uncle Zeb:
2L. When the building was remodeled the one place in the budget that was most frequently cut was the Stacks. What we have now is sort of a U-Store-It for books. Those long rows of shelves with no outside light create a real, uh, atmosphere. It is spooky, and with the lights on timers, I keep thinking I am going to run into Neve Campbell up there. The saving grace is that folks almost never go there anymore. You are more than half way through law school and it is your first trip. The books don't mind. They always thought folks were nothing but trouble anyway.



Student:
I understand how convenient it is to have one's notes all online by the end of the semester, but must the laptop people torment me by filling their screens with solitaire, news and even dvd's (complete with subtitles)during class? Even the clever screen savers drive me to distraction. Do I really have to see these things when looking towards the from of the classroom? Arrgh.

#3

Uncle Zeb:
Oh dear, #3. You are revving way too high for your own good. Cool your jets. Dr. Zeb prescribes a night of live music, a few fine drafts and some good lovin'. There are always folks who want to make you feel crummy. You have to resist them. And the folks who are harshing all over your mellow are not even trying. They are just floating along in their own boat. You have to ignore them and pay attention to the real enemies. Before you can do that, though, you have to gain back a bit of soul. Get out of here.



Student:
Do you know who is runs the clocks around here? In Room 105 the clock that faces the students is correct, but the clock that faces the teacher is five minutes behind. So we have to sit in agony as the teacher keeps talking five minutes after class.

ZZZZ

Uncle Zeb:
I think it sweet that you think that someone actually "runs the clocks" around here. The clocks long ago gained independence from human intervention. Remember that Boalt sits astride a rent in the time-space continuum (we ARE on the Hayward Fault) so lots of the time stream warps here. Room 105 is a perfect example. Both clocks are correct. The teacher is actually five minutes behind the class. When you think about it, that explains a lot.

Zeb



Student:
Why does the second semester suck so much more than the first? FIVE classes? Whose idea was that? I imagine there was a day at Boalt when there were no first year electives...this bites

a1L

Uncle Zeb:
Since you have already tumbled to the fact that the second semester both sucks and bites, you should perceive that it is a vampire. We think of the second semester as Buffy time around here. It is especially fun for first year students. You get to take an extra class and you get to do that lovable old Moot Court boogie. Go see Shadow of a Vampire and you will get a better handle on it.



Student:
Half way through, Zeb. Is there any way to make the time pass faster?

Uncle Zeb:
The time will fly. The next three semesters may be the last time in your life that you will be able to sleep in whenever you want. On the great cosmic spectrum of things one might be doing, going to law school is one of the easiest. No heavy lifting, no evil bosses and no bottom line to be found here. Folks manage to create some tension for themselves, but really this place can be very easy to get through. So enjoy yourself. If you have lost the capacity to enjoy yourself, it is time to go to work on that, and you have three semesters to do it.



Student:
Did you realize that if your last name was Bush and you changed the letter 'Z' to 'J' in your name, you'd be Jeb Bush?

Uncle Zeb:
No matter how many letters that you move, no matter how many words that you add, I could never be Jeb Bush. And am I glad. How would you like to be the good son: the one who did not dance naked on table tops, the one who his folks hoped would be President, and then your BROTHER gets to be President? What a bummer. He should have had a better time in the '80s.



Student:
California: promised land or land of broken promises? Which is better: East Coast or West Coast? L.A. or S.F.?

Uncle Zeb:
The answer to your first question is yes. California is both the promised land and the land of broken promises. To understand the Buddha nature of L.A. read City of Quartz by Mike Davis. It is really good and it is actually readable. I have not read the book that captures San Francisco yet, but it is a great hedonistic heart beat for the rest of the country. With New Orleans, it is a center of human desires, but the weather here is better and these days folks are all doing well. It is a smug, provincial place, but when the Empire is in decline, the provinces are a good place to be. The East Coast is so, well, East Coast. Washington, D.C. is there, 'nuff said. As for choosing between S.F. and L.A, if you have to ask,it's hopeless.

Z



Student:
Are the traffic lights in Berkeley (University Avenue in particular) deliberately mistimed? If so, is this an attempt by Berkeley's "Ben and Jerry" style City Council to turn us into a legion of bicycle commuters a la Red China?

Uncle Zeb:
Face it, Berkeley is not organized enough to plan anything of the magnitude of a conspiracy against cars. The City Council is a creation of Christo. As for bicycles, well, as a pedestrian I view them as dangerous enemies. No laws seem to apply to them. It's the universal thump. They think cars treat them badly so they treat pedestrians badly. Red China?!



Student:
Regarding X-mas and that Claus fellow, some of us are wondering if we could sue Santa for running a sweatshop in the North Pole full of the vertically challenged who might otherwise have difficulty finding employment due to their point ears and limited stature in the community. - Sneezy, esq of Elf, Peter Pan, and Dwarf LLP


Uncle Zeb:
One is well-advised not to think too much about these ritual events. Santa: keeping his list of who is naughty and who is nice, presiding over his elves, sneaking into everyone’s house…well it’s just creepy. But given the current Supreme Court’s view of the world, the elves have little chance. Nor do I think a boycott of presents will work very well. Let it roll, #3, let it roll.



Student:
I recently lost my name in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Is this a legally-binding dispute-resolution method?

Uncle Zeb:
Rock-Paper-Scissors is looking pretty damn good as a method of settling things this week. Losing your name really frees you up to do exactly as you wish, right? It’s like being invisible, except way better than that porker of a Kevin Bacon movie. If you sully your reputation it all goes to the other dude. Think how you can mess up his Bar application. I say head for party town in the next taxi. You could even go over the line and become a politician. No, no, I have to get a hold of myself.



Student:
Do you know of a really good car mechanic for American cars? (I have a 1990 Pontiac) Thanks.

Uncle Zeb:
Automobiles are beyond my ectoplasmic expertise but a human friend tells me that the fellows at the Shell station on Claremont just below the hotel are honest. Boalties, rally around this poor numeral, all suggestions welcome.



Student:
And, if I can sue in tort, how do I value all the good will the we in whoville have racked up over the past 11 months?

- Greedy who from whoville

Uncle Zeb:
Whoville, which is located in Palm Beach country, has expended all of its good will all on its own.



Student:
If the Grinch steals Christmas, can I sue him in Tort? - Litigious who from whoville


Uncle Zeb:
Going after the Grinch for stealing Christmas is going to result in a long drawn-out IP battle. Some 14-year old in Pasadena probably has registered the domain name and he will sue you. But we can definitely nail the Grinch for burglary, vandalism, and we can hang a RICO indictment on him that will make your head spin. But really, #2, what punishment could be worse than being portrayed by Jim Carrey? Really.



Student:
With X-mas just around the corner (gasp!), I can’t help but wonder, do you believe in Santa Claus?

Uncle Zeb:
Do I believe in Santa Claus? Shoot, #1, I know the C-man personally. How could the world roll on if there was not someone who was watching to see who’s naughty and who’s nice? You can’t possibly think that the lard-souled ambitious dorks who take far more than their share of life’s good things do not get their piece of coal and the pure of their heart red bicycles? The dude does not wear red and has no beard (that vision was cooked up by Coca-Cola), but he is there, #1, he is there.



Student:
Zeb – If you can’t follow simple ballot instructions, how’d… (ALL STRUCK OUT)

Uncle Zeb:
Well, there you are. You voided your ballot. And I bet this was a vote for Gore. How was it that the dudes who run the BCS system got hold of our electoral process?



Student:
Dear Zeb: Can we start a petition to have Boalt Hall relocated to a small island in the South Pacific? We could set up our own gov’t and everything. Classes could be offered on “The Law of Harvesting Coconut Palms” and “Surf Law.” It would look great on the “Real Life Experience” section of our resumes – would it not? Kind of like “Boalt Hall meets Survivor.”


Uncle Zeb:
Why would we want to move Boalt? We live in the Bay Area, an area known for its sensual pleasures. Great food, great wine, and a tolerant attitude towards whatever butters your biscuit: the Bar Area has it all. Now some folks do not like such an attitude and I understand that, but there are LOTS of other spots where one can find fast food and intolerance AND your housing dollar will go a lot further.. Besides, Boalt sits on a rift in the time-space continuum. All of reality could be turned inside out if we moved. So, I say we stay.



Student:
If the US Federal government starts wearing all over the proverbial road, does anyone have the authority to pull the president over and ask to see his license or do we just have to hang on and wait for a new driver?

Uncle Zeb:
I say we go off-road and declare the Bay Area a separate country. Really, have you checked out the East Coast lately? If we can’t do that, let’s go to autopilot.



Student:
Are there explicit restrictions on students dating (civ pro) professors?

Uncle Zeb:
There actually is a rule against dating a student in a course where you are getting graded by them. But great leaping zots – profs are all former law students who wouldn’t leave. Very bad business. Besides, Prof. Vetter is married.



Student:
Zeb, Who chooses the location for Bar Review? Would you ask her not to choose a diver this week?

-#1 Party Animal


Uncle Zeb:
Triple Rock is a fine establishment – your wish is fulfilled – but let us never knock dives. They are the scuzz that refreshes...



Student:
Hey Zeb, What do you think of the election being tighter than Al Gore’s underpants?

Uncle Zeb:
We are all so bizarre. Everyone is watching TV to see how it comes out. The whole thing just has nothing to do with us. Maybe we should just let Clinton have four more years while these idiots work it out in the courts. Send in the lawyers!



Student:
Please let Gore win…

Uncle Zeb:
Win what?



Student:
Zeb, Do you think that if his daddy went here Dubya could have been accepted to Boalt?

Uncle Zeb:
Boalt has long been proud of its total failure to honor legacy admits. Two decades ago the son of the Chancellor of the Berkeley campus was denied admission, though his revord was pretty good, and in fact he was admitted to Columbia. Herb Caen, a columnist for the Chronicle that just about everyone read, got hold of the story and really made fun of Boalt for being “holier than thou” and not taking the fellow. A lot of Boalties thought that this was just fine though. So, no, GW, would not get in.



Student:
Zeb, Do you think that if his daddy went here Dubya could have been accepted to Boalt?

Uncle Zeb:
Boalt has long been proud of its total failure to honor legacy admits. Two decades ago the son of the Chancellor of the Berkeley campus was denied admission, though his revord was pretty good, and in fact he was admitted to Columbia. Herb Caen, a columnist for the Chronicle that just about everyone read, got hold of the story and really made fun of Boalt for being “holier than thou” and not taking the fellow. A lot of Boalties thought that this was just fine though. So, no, GW, would not get in.



Student:
I am afraid I might miss the bus to H-town. I do not want to be stuck on P-street, I don’t’ even know if HH-town exists. I have three weeks before my first final. Any suggestions?

-1L


Uncle Zeb:
First of all remember that P will be the grade received by most of the folks in any one class, and that the folks in that class are uniformly REALLY smart. I know that sometimes it seems that they cannot even tie their own shoes, but trust me, they are smart. So getting the same grade as them is no disaster. Sadly, there is no bus to HH-ville. HH’s are like Dennis Miller’s jokes, some folks get them, some folks don’t. They do correlate with time studying or apparent grasp of the law. They just are there are they are not. It is a zen koan. There is no bus to H-town either, but sometimes you can hitch your way there by dint of sheer effort. Read the exam tips that I will put in the next Corss Examiner and you might get there. But one sure way NOT to get there is to freak and go into a study-despair spiral. You must keep your party quotient high.



Student:
I am afraid I might miss the bus to H-town. I do not want to be stuck on P-street, I don’t’ even know if HH-town exists. I have three weeks before my first final. Any suggestions?

-1L


Uncle Zeb:
First of all remember that P will be the grade received by most of the folks in any one class, and that the folks in that class are uniformly REALLY smart. I know that sometimes it seems that they cannot even tie their own shoes, but trust me, they are smart. So getting the same grade as them is no disaster. Sadly, there is no bus to HH-ville. HH’s are like Dennis Miller’s jokes, some folks get them, some folks don’t. They do correlate with time studying or apparent grasp of the law. They just are there are they are not. It is a zen koan. There is no bus to H-town either, but sometimes you can hitch your way there by dint of sheer effort. Read the exam tips that I will put in the next Corss Examiner and you might get there. But one sure way NOT to get there is to freak and go into a study-despair spiral. You must keep your party quotient high.



Student:
Every consider putting a hot tub, in the library.

Uncle Zeb:
Hot tub? Not a bad idea. As it is we do have it turn into a sauna on some days and that always get folks excited. You know that there would immediately be hygiene issues.



Student:
Who said #1 meant just Gore? Yow, You must be touchy about GW’s brain function. They should ALL be tested.

Uncle Zeb:
We are all tested, #3. Every day. And will be. The next four years are going to be like a long muggy Gulf Coast day, everything slow and moldy.



Student:
Considering, GW has both higher grades and SAT score than that Goreham criminal, you must be moved by high-verbiage sentences. If so, you’re too “stupid” to vote.

Uncle Zeb:
Oh dear. Zeb’s human contact, Prof. B. was one year behind Big Al in college, indeed moved into the room vacated by him and Tommy Lee Jones, and he was, well, not the fellow in the House that one would choose to be president of the ping pong club, let alone the country. Sadly, Prof. B. also lived in Texas in the late 70’s and knew someone who partied with G.W. and well, I wouldn’t leave my car with him, let alone my country. So there you are.



Student:
Zeb, If we decided to test stupidity at polling booths, shouldn’t we have a similar standard for those running for office. - Gore Supporter


Uncle Zeb:
Having known some very grotty red hots from around here who could shoot the eyes out of a standardized test but who had Pentium chips where a soul should be, I would never use an intelligence tes. No, I would make them forsake all worldly goods and agree to work for UPS as a driver when their term was over. Then you would get someone who was committed to service.



Student:
Zeb, Admit it those Palm Beach “confused” voters come across as political crybabies. If they were too stupid to follow the arrow, they shouldn’t be voting in the first place. Thank you.

Uncle Zeb:
If you poked the voting process any place in the country with a very sharp stick you’d find a mess. The counting is often sloppy and handled by folks who you would not want driving the car on an icy night. That’s just the way it is. So Palm Beach is full of incompetents. So is San Francisco. It’s just that we have all decided that this part of the country gets to be the one that makes the call. Lewis Black has it right, we don’t want either of these guys, so maybe we will diddle around until they wander off.



Student:
Zeb, Being new to Berkeley and what-all, I had a question about proper “No. Cal” etiquette. Perhaps you could help. Is it generally considered “P.C.” to fart in the presence of social guests? Thanks.


Uncle Zeb:
The question I think what we all to want ask is: where is it that you come from that these rules are unclear? The epithet of “PC” has become a sure-fire way to frontload an argument, but hey, you have to at least be in shooting range of reality to use it. There are only two times that social farting passes muster. One is for the very old where you just have to go with the tao and the young, where farting is always funny. I realize that Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler have built very big careers around the emission of noxious gases, and that one of my all-time favorite movies, Blazing Saddles, has one of the history’s great fart scenes, but still, this one is a no-brainer. No.



Student:
Regarding X-mas and that Claus fellow, some of us are wondering if we could sue Santa for running a sweatshop in the North Pole full of the vertically challenged who might otherwise have difficulty finding employment due to their point ears and limited stature in the community. - Sneezy, esq of Elf, Peter Pan, and Dwarf LLP


Uncle Zeb:
One is well-advised not to think too much about these ritual events. Santa: keeping his list of who is naughty and who is nice, presiding over his elves, sneaking into everyone’s house…well it’s just creepy. But given the current Supreme Court’s view of the world, the elves have little chance. Nor do I think a boycott of presents will work very well. Let it roll, #3, let it roll.



Student:
I recently lost my name in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Is this a legally-binding dispute-resolution method?

Uncle Zeb:
Rock-Paper-Scissors is looking pretty damn good as a method of settling things this week. Losing your name really frees you up to do exactly as you wish, right? It’s like being invisible, except way better than that porker of a Kevin Bacon movie. If you sully your reputation it all goes to the other dude. Think how you can mess up his Bar application. I say head for party town in the next taxi. You could even go over the line and become a politician. No, no, I have to get a hold of myself.



Student:
Do you know of a really good car mechanic for American cars? (I have a 1990 Pontiac) Thanks.

Uncle Zeb:
Automobiles are beyond my ectoplasmic expertise but a human friend tells me that the fellows at the Shell station on Claremont just below the hotel are honest. Boalties, rally around this poor numeral, all suggestions welcome.



Student:
And, if I can sue in tort, how do I value all the good will the we in whoville have racked up over the past 11 months? - Greedy who from whoville


Uncle Zeb:
Whoville, which is located in Palm Beach country, has expended all of its good will all on its own.



Student:
If the Grinch steals Christmas, can I sue him in Tort? - Litigious who from whoville


Uncle Zeb:
Going after the Grinch for stealing Christmas is going to result in a long drawn-out IP battle. Some 14-year old in Pasadena probably has registered the domain name and he will sue you. But we can definitely nail the Grinch for burglary, vandalism, and we can hang a RICO indictment on him that will make your head spin. But really, #2, what punishment could be worse than being portrayed by Jim Carrey? Really.



Student:
With X-mas just around the corner (gasp!), I can’t help but wonder, do you believe in Santa Claus?

Uncle Zeb:
Do I believe in Santa Claus? Shoot, #1, I know the C-man personally. How could the world roll on if there was not someone who was watching to see who’s naughty and who’s nice? You can’t possibly think that the lard-souled ambitious dorks who take far more than their share of life’s good things do not get their piece of coal and the pure of their heart red bicycles? The dude does not wear red and has no beard (that vision was cooked up by Coca-Cola), but he is there, #1, he is there.



Student:
Zeb – If you can’t follow simple ballot instructions, how’d… (ALL STRUCK OUT)


Uncle Zeb:
Well, there you are. You voided your ballot. And I bet this was a vote for Gore. How was it that the dudes who run the BCS system got hold of our electoral process?



Student:
Dear Zeb: Can we start a petition to have Boalt Hall relocated to a small island in the South Pacific? We could set up our own gov’t and everything. Classes could be offered on “The Law of Harvesting Coconut Palms” and “Surf Law.” It would look great on the “Real Life Experience” section of our resumes – would it not? Kind of like “Boalt Hall meets Survivor.”


Uncle Zeb:
Why would we want to move Boalt? We live in the Bay Area, an area known for its sensual pleasures. Great food, great wine, and a tolerant attitude towards whatever butters your biscuit: the Bar Area has it all. Now some folks do not like such an attitude and I understand that, but there are LOTS of other spots where one can find fast food and intolerance AND your housing dollar will go a lot further.. Besides, Boalt sits on a rift in the time-space continuum. All of reality could be turned inside out if we moved. So, I say we stay.



Student:
If the US Federal government starts wearing all over the proverbial road, does anyone have the authority to pull the president over and ask to see his license or do we just have to hang on and wait for a new driver?

Uncle Zeb:
I say we go off-road and declare the Bay Area a separate country. Really, have you checked out the East Coast lately? If we can’t do that, let’s go to autopilot.



Student:
Are there explicit restrictions on students dating (civ pro) professors?

Uncle Zeb:
There actually is a rule against dating a student in a course where you are getting graded by them. But great leaping zots – profs are all former law students who wouldn’t leave. Very bad business. Besides, Prof. Vetter is married.



Student:
Zeb, Who chooses the location for Bar Review? Would you ask her not to choose a diver this week?

-#1 Party Animal


Uncle Zeb:
Triple Rock is a fine establishment – your wish is fulfilled – but let us never knock dives. They are the scuzz that refreshes



Student:
Hey Zeb, What do you think of the election being tighter than Al Gore’s underpants?

Uncle Zeb:
We are all so bizarre. Everyone is watching TV to see how it comes out. The whole thing just has nothing to do with us. Maybe we should just let Clinton have four more years while these idiots work it out in the courts. Send in the lawyers!



Student:
Please let Gore win…

Uncle Zeb:
Win what?fine though. So, no, GW, would not get in.



Student:
Zeb, Do you think that if his daddy went here Dubya could have been accepted to Boalt?


Uncle Zeb:
Boalt has long been proud of its total failure to honor legacy admits. Two decades ago the son of the Chancellor of the Berkeley campus was denied admission, though his revord was pretty good, and in fact he was admitted to Columbia. Herb Caen, a columnist for the Chronicle that just about everyone read, got hold of the story and really made fun of Boalt for being “holier than thou” and not taking the fellow. A lot of Boalties thought that this was just fine though. So, no, GW, would not get in.



Student:
Go George W. Bush! End the corruption currently infecting every facet of the Clinton-Gore Administration. Put all these loser liberal out of my and their misery. I have no question for you because I know you are a red, unabashed liberal.

Uncle Zeb:
I agree that G.W. is most likely to win on Tuesday, and I say good luck to him. With no big enemy and a giant surplus, this is as good a time as any to have a sleepy hand on the tiller. Besides, when the economy takes its major dip, he will get all the blame. Bill Clinton violated the Zeb Code, he lied when it counted, losing his honor. Poor Al should never be running for President, he just doesn't know how to do it. It is sort of like Dole in '96, he was nominated because it was his TURN. Think how cool this would have been if it was Bradley running against McCain? Oh well, I have to get back to conspiring with the other reds to, uh, what are we trying to do? That's right, limit SUVs to the size of glaciers.



Student:
Zeb,

My glaucoma usually renders my eyesight useless at around 4pm every afternoon. Thus I am left with an incredible amount of time to burn. What should I do?


Uncle Zeb:
Though Zeb exists as an ectoplasmic entity, he has eyes, and almost anything that can be wrong with eyes are wrong with Zeb's eyes. Thus you are asking the right person. As a longtime member of the glaucoma team I can tell you that there is a terrific universe of things that can be done other than reading. There is always the old standby: sex. It works at every level. Music is the best and there is no end to the good music in the world. Exercise is also cool. Long walks can be great. This is to say nothing about the fact that glaucoma was one of the maladies specifically mentioned in the medical marijuana initiative so that in California you can spend time cultivating your home garden for your personal use. You can grow the most potent stuff ever. Not only will it lower your diastolic pressures, it will make you forget what question you asked me in the first place.



Student:
Dear Zeb, The meditative plank-plank-plank of the pails in the laptop reading room is a fantastic meditation aid. Alas my 1st-year memo assignment is also a fantastic meditation aid, & in combination, the two, well, put me asleep. (Meditation has never been a stable state for me.) So, any advice for a 1st year?

Uncle Zeb:
Your first year memo assignment is dust in the wind. Those drips are timeleess. The law school spent zillions of dollars making the atrium so that the leaks would drip at the perfect rate. This is all planned. Close your eyes and let the drips guide your fingers.



Student:
2. It is November, dude, and I have done nothing. Should I turn to religion, drugs or religious drugs? Is there hope?

Homer

Uncle Zeb:
2. No need to consider religion or Tylenol, you are in perfect shape. At this point in the semester you want to be fresh. Reading cases too soon only clouds the mind. I would say that now is a good time to think about buying an outline. Be sure that you have the name of the class correct. That is CRUCIAL.



Student:
Zeb--

Any reason for me (a 2L) to study any more? I already have a job offer from a firm that I like but now I'm stuck with 1 1/2 more years of study. Any reason why I can't take the next 3 semester in off and go to Tahiti?

Beachbound

Uncle Zeb:
1. You have all of the puzzle pieces but you are not assembling them correctly. This is a yin and yang answer. The yin is that if you want to keep that cool job you will have to finish without blazing sub-Ps dripping from your wings. This will call for a fling or two with studying. You also have to complete your writing requirement, that Cerberus who guards the stage at graduation. So you have to at least stay awake. The yang is that if you plan it right this can be a very good year and a half. It will be the last time that you can sleep in, have two day work weeks and control your fate. Shoot, sign up for the right courses and you CAN spend a lot of time in Tahiti. So see the next year for what it is, the last eighteen months of your life where you can control all of the externalities. But stay awake and for heaven's sake choose the correct writing requirement advisor.



Student:
Zeb - The knock on wood thing is getting there - but probably allied more closely with Germanic folk and their belief in the tree-dwelling spirits (hence also xmas trees) than muggles. But on a more important note, the search of a graduation speaker is on. While Maddie A. gets my vote - highly unlikely she’d put in another appearance after last spring’s less than warm welcome. So now I’m thinking the 2nd best choice might be Jerry Springer. He’s a member of the profession, former mayor of Cleveland, ham of the Rock 'N Roll Museum, and would undoubtedly be an entertaining speaker. Plus, we could probably get him for cheap. What say you, Zeb?

3L

Uncle Zeb:
Why #1 you are a sly one, it IS time to think about a graduation speaker. But there are hard truths to be faced. If it was not YOUR graduation, would you go? Two hours in the hot sun listening t inaudible speeches is not the new big thing. So, why would any big time speaker come? Boalt does not pay any honararium, does not give out an honorary degree, and is not even very generous on expenses. Thus all of the big names, those folks who charge $25,000 to give you a moral uplift, are out. You most likely will end up with a local politician or a California judge. I say go with it and get a real local celebrity. Get King Willie of San Francisco, he would be funny. Get a recent Boaltie to speak from the other side of reality. Just get someone who is a good speaker.



Student:
Zeb, While your non-corporal self may never have the chance to do so, many people “knock on wood” with some regularity. Any idea what special property wood possess that, when knocked upon, prevent individuals’ luck from turning bad?

Uncle Zeb:
“Knock on Wood” refers to the work of the great legal scholar Zachariah Knock. Prof. Knock taught at Hogwarts in the early part of this century and specialized in environmental law. His great treatise, “On the Preserving of Our Natural Bounty: Water and Wood Law,” was shortened to Knock on Wood in popular parlance. Since Professor Knock was also a sorcerer of enormous power, chanting, Knock on Wood, became a way of invoking his spirit to protect oneself from danger. Being muggles, most of you have forgotten its aura, but the phrase can still cast a protective aura if one has good karma.



Student:
Zeb - '98-2000 Yankees - greatest ever?

Uncle Zeb:
Not even close. Eliminate the first six men Gil Heredia faced in game five of the play-offs and the A's beat them. The Yankees are stocked with real professionals, with three great starters and a killer closer, but do they rank with the Big Red Machine, the great Yankee machines of the '20s, '40s, or '50s? Could they play with the '57 Braves? No way.



Student:
Dear Zeb- Why is it so so so cold in the Reading Room when the rest of the library is fairly warm? Thanks forom a visitor from ARE.

Uncle Zeb:
You have heard of the global law school? Well we like to think of this place as a global law library. There are hot parts, there are cold parts. There are bright parts, there are dark parts. As I write this it is even raining in some spots. We have sections that are high tech, we have sections that are right of the 19th century. We try to do it all for you.



Student:
Yeah, good idea [see below], let’s call it “Café Zeb.”

Uncle Zeb:
Now, now #3, I know that you are not as popular a digit, but you have to stay off #2’s case. You are a prime after all.



Student:
On the ask re: talking , I actually LIKE the fact that we can talk quietly – how about allowing an area for talking (near all the reporters)?

Uncle Zeb:
I picture a sort of corral. The talking pen. Perhaps we could consider organizing a mixer every evening with the piano stylings of Bobby Short and a long menu of martinis. Really, #2, this library thing has gone on a bit long. We need to reconstitute ourselves as a “people place.” Like McDonalds, we just want to make you smile.



Student:
Dear Uncle Zeb, any interest in the subway series?

Uncle Zeb:
A series of subway races would be great fun though rather difficult to watch. Still I am always up for fresh ideas and anything is better than watching the New York Millionaires play the Flushing Plutocrats.



Student:
Why don't we just put up a, "It's ok to talk in there, contrary to most other libraries," sign? Between the people talking at full volume in the corridor, the flood of chatterboxes commuting to and from the Robbins Collection and the casual (horse?) whisperers, sometimes I can't tell if I'm in Cafe Zeb or the House of Zeb. What can I do to regain the blissful state I was in before the A's, Giants, 49ers and Cal all lost in the same weekend?

-Sonically Depressed

Uncle Zeb:
Last weekend was a remarkable confluence of athletic disasters. The A's and the Giants both eliminated by teams that they should have beaten, the 49ers lose and Cal, well, Cal showed up again. Only the Raiders, those puppets of the evil Al Davis, a man the speaking of whose name fouls the mouth, won. Sigh. As for your complaint about noise, we will make one of our periodic sallies into the vortex to ask folks to tone it down. These October days, with law school mania running high and the sun hiding more and more, do tend to bring out the nerves in folks. As OCIP winds up and folks are finding themselves fingering their suit jackets and noodling over their future, it would be nuts to expect anything else. We will try though, #1, we will try.



Student:
Dear Zeb, I'm a 1L, and why do I get the sinking feeling I'll never have a decent night's sleep again?

Uncle Zeb:
You get a sinking feeling because Boalt is actually sinking at the rate of about 1" a week. This is due to the fact that the collective brainmass of Boalties is so high this year. As for your lack of sleep, it sounds like you are doing well. Elimination of sleep is a good beginning to leading the life of a law firm associate. Have you narrowed your diet to glucose and caffeine yet?



Student:
Dear Zeb, Who won the Big Debate last night?

Uncle Zeb:
It looked to me like Jim Lehrer ought to be President. W. has that little smirk that just drives me crazy and he's as dumb as a post. Big G sounded like he was REALLY stoned and trying to sound normal and lets face it the guy is a cyborg. I would not want to join in a game of musical chairs lead by either of these gonzos.



Student:
Zeb, Why is Boalt such a gossip-filled institution?

Uncle Zeb:
Humans love gossip. There are magazines, television networks, and industries devoted to gossip. A cynic might say that most news is largely gossip. So why not Boalt? Our problem is that we do not have juicy enough gossip. We need more scandalous and outrageous personalities. Could you folks get a little zanier? Come on, throw me a bone.



Student:
PLEASE PLEASE!! We need more dictionaries in the reading rooms! I prefer the Merriam-Webster’s 3rd New International version.

Uncle Zeb:
In topsy-turvy times it is good to see that there are still those who love that anchor of stability, the dictionary. For you, #3, I am going to order bueacoup dictionaries. Just watch. They will flutter like leaves from the trees. At least two more leaves.



Student:
Dear Uncle Zeb, God bless you and the rest of the library staff for placing the computer with the library catalog on Level I of the stacks!! It is extremely convenient and saves patrons the effort of returning to Levels 2 and 2M to locate computerized catalogs. I nominate Level 6 for the next computer/catalog if your budget and physical conditions permit.

-Thanks again, 2L.


Uncle Zeb:
Thanks for noticing. It makes sense that someone in the stacks might need to know what it is in there. Someday we will broadcast the info directly to the chip that will be behind your ear, for now, putting a computer in there is the best we can do. Your suggestion as to Level 6 will go in the mighty idea hopper.



Student:
Dear Uncle Zeb: Where can I find me a copy of the famed “Cole Report” on diversity and admissions, affirmative actions, etc.?

- Thank you for your help, a Curious 1L

Uncle Zeb:
We used to have a paper copy on reserve at the Circulation Desk. Let me see if we can find it. For now, Michael Levy has an HTML version. Check with him. If there is general interest we can put it back up on the web page where it used to reside.



Student:
Closes too early on Saturday nite.

Uncle Zeb:
There is a story in this comment. The library is closing, the person is scribbling down their complaint as the whole place is winding down. Sorry, #1, it was probably a bummer. We try to adjust the hours to serve the most folks most efficiently. We are putting together our user survey which will come out after flyback week. WE will use that to find out how the hours are working and of course to check on the dreaded laptop policy.



Student:
Sorry about the A’s, at least we have a young team and hopefully several more years to win the big one.

Uncle Zeb:
Thank you for the words of comfort. The A’s had a great year, better than I would have guessed. Lots of exciting games, lots of crazy days. I would love to see them hold the team together; they are actually fun to watch. That is in the hands of the baseball gods and budget folks. Note how the weather turned cold and rainy as soon as the A’s and Giants lost. It is now officially fall.



Student:
Zeb, I have developed Boalt-eyes. When I first got here I didn’t think anyone was attractive yet now… I mean NOW DAMN; everyone is looking fine, even my 50-year-old landlord. How can I remove this visual deformity.

Uncle Zeb:
Some people take drugs to attain the state that law school has put you in for free. After parsing through dozens of ancient cases, nodding off in large, windowless lecture halls, by gum, any living, moving, thing looks HOT. That is a gift, #1, do not turn up your nose at it. That is no time to be trying to change it, that is the time to go enjoy yourself. That 150-year old landlord may not have danced in years and I see rent reductions in your future.



Student:
Does this suit look good on me?

Uncle Zeb:
You look marvelous. You know, #2, you have always been one of my favorite prime numbers, and that suit makes you look like Leo on a good day. The novelty suspenders make the outfit…



Student:
Zeb, What is happening to the great bands of the 21st century. First the Backstreet Boys sell out to Burger King and then Brittney Spears and ‘N Sync sell out to McDonalds. Before you know it Ricky Martin is going to peddling Taco Bell and all our great musicians are going to be unrespectable sellouts to the corporate machine (tongue in cheek)!! P.S. – Go A’s!

Uncle Zeb:
In most ways gigantic pop acts like Brittney or ‘N Sync are just like McDonalds. They deliver a predictable product with a little flash, and they market well. (At least until recently Mud’s marketed well, the current crop of “We Make You Smile” ads is awful). It is the perfect marriage. What surprises me is that no one picked up on the Kevin Spacey character in American Beauty. I thought that he brought a whole new angle to fast food service. It could have lured the jaded young adult set back. I agree go A’s. They actually have fun playing and they are still amazed at well they are doing. It’s sweet.



Student:
&^$#%$#%$#&*&*@$@#$@&(&*(*@#$@#$&*(&*(&@$
@#$#@$@#@%@

Uncle Zeb:
The depth of your feeling is clear but we will not let the Comment Book become the forum for specific political causes. The world has plenty of situations where there have been atrocities on both sides. We could fill the pages with accusation and counter accusation. To what end? Each side has committed terrible deeds. The solution lies there not here.



Student:
Dear Zeb, What’s up with the library closing at 6pm on Saturdays. Most of us don’t rise before noon on the weekends and these archaic hours are securely limiting our studies. Does the staff believe are really such partiers that we don’t study past 6 on weekends? If so, why be open till 10pm on Fridays? Help please if you can.

Uncle Zeb:
Ah #1 you used to be such a dancer. I see you down at Ashkenaz bogeying the night away. Now it is Saturday night and you want the library to stay open. Sigh. Well, we have done surveys in the past to see what hours folks preferred, and the advocates for late hours on Friday were numerous and those for Saturday were few. Your plaintive cry will stir to put together another survey.



Student:
Zeb, What the ?!@#! is wrong with these people who put their bare feet on your table? Do you need a sign for anything?

– Disgusted

Uncle Zeb:
The idea of putting up signs forbidding every possible forbidden behavior is fun to ponder. The Reading Room would like one of those Family Circus cartoons filled with word balloons. And you know what? It would not help. Maybe we should put a sign up that says, “Respect Humanity.” My guess is that your best bet is to ask the person to please move their feet. It is so crazy it might just work.



Student:
Dear Sirs: You need to do a study to find out if, on a practical basis, the adoption of computer terminals instead of card catalogues has reduced African-American and other third-world participation (excepting Asians!) in law library research usage, and all library usage!! I am a graduate of Golden Gate School of Law. I have passed the bar. I would be willing to work on this. I work cheap, but not free!

Uncle Zeb:
It is a foggy Monday morning, and the A’s magnificent victory yesterday is still ringing in my ears. Therefore it could be me, but I am not sure what the intuition that lies beneath the study would be. The card catalogs were hard for everyone to use. Though the complaints of scholars like Nicholas Baker and Barbara Tuchman about the information lost when catalogs are converted to online systems carry weight, most folks, at least in the computer generation, find that online systems much easier to use. Not that most folks using a law library check the catalog anyway. See either Bob or Kathleen if you want to talk it over further. We would be interested in hearing your ideas.



Student:
Zeb, on page 4 you said you’d look into microwaves – any luck? Also, now that I can’t put my coffee mug on the tables downstairs, where should I place it when I check my email in the A.M.? Thanks.

Uncle Zeb:
I will check on the microwave, but things do not sound rosy. As for your coffee, well, the price for convenience is caffeine. We must try to keep beverages away from the computers. It will be an uphill battle but it is one that we must fight. Sorry, but our cause is just.



Student:
Dear Zeb, I’d like to report some potentially illegal activity at a hotel near Boalt. Scores of well-dressed young women and men were spotted entering and exiting the hotel last week at regular intervals. They enter hotel rooms, please whoever’s inside, and emerge exactly 20 minutes later, when another group of students take their places. What’s going on? Is this hotel a “Budding Barrister’s Bordello”? Are they $elling their $ouls in a form of intellectual prostitution? Do any of these people dare to remember that they wrote a “I want to do justice and save the world” personal statement a mere 2 years ago to get into this school – once renowned for its concern for social justice in the pre-SPI/SP2 and pre-Prop 209 days? Please explain what’s going on behind those closed doors in that hotel.

- Inquiring 2L.

Uncle Zeb:
Some years ago applications to American law schools began to drop. At about that point, extraterrestrials who had been watching us, contacted the American Association of Law Schools about filling empty law school slots with space aliens in human garb. Law school would be a perfect place to school them in how society functions. Everyone expects law students to be odd, so they could learn earthling ways at their own speed. Young lawyers work all of the time, so there would be no need to worry about social life. An accord was reached. Since then about 2/3 of each class is made up of beings from Venus, with a few Rigellians thrown in. The space aliens need to check in every fall so they don their dark uniforms and meet with supervisors at the Durant. This ritual always puzzles the few earthlings who are still at the school, but we arrange a few mock interviews as cover. When the legal system is mostly in the hands of the space folks, they promise that we all get to go to the beach for good.



Student:
Any interview tips?

Uncle Zeb:
You want to stand out, to distinguish yourself from other groveling primates. Anything that keeps you in the front of the interviewer’s numbed mind helps. Zeb suggests renting a tuxedo and appearing at the interview with a cocktail shaker of dry martinis. When you answer a question they can all high five and shout, “Right.” Bring a camcorder and ask if it’s ok to tape the interview. If conversation flags, ask if the firm is clothing optional.



Student:
Zeb – do interviewers really care about me? I mean as a person?

Uncle Zeb:
The interview cares as much about you as a person as you care about him/her as a person, which is a null set. These are not really interviews as much as cattle auctions. They need beef to grind in the associate mill. They check you over, look at your pedigree, examine your academic teeth, then you are off to the highest bidder.



Student:
Why is there such a tendency for 1Ls to apologize for their questions before asking in class? I feel it makes those of us who don’t feel the need to apologize look aggressive.

Uncle Zeb:
People apologize before asking questions in class? Have they put something in the water? Last I heard you were paying beaucoup bucks to attend Boalt. You are the customer. You have the right to ask a few questions. Live it up. And don’t worry about looking aggressive. Law firms will recruit for that trait, and public agencies will need it. Now all this being said, Zeb still places a curse on the Outlines of the boors who ask rude questions and those benighted souls who must share their thoughts on every subject with their classmates. But for the rest, ask away.



Student:
Dear Zeb, I’m dating a fellow 1L but the 1L I’m dating is friends with another 1L that I also dated. It is thus important that the 1st 1L not find out about the second. What do I do to keep my classmates from spilling the beans?

– Pimp Daddy

Uncle Zeb:
You have this backwards, #2, you couldn’t be luckier. Your former date can tell your current squeeze about how charming and honest you really are. All of the good energy that you put into the former relationship is going to pay off! Boy, can you imagine the bind you would be in if you had acted like a flaming bunghole in the former relationship? Lucky that you have always been so cool. Besides the old date can explain about the swing gins. BTW I am heartened that 1Ls are keeping their hormones on active status.



Student:
Zeb! I got the first foul whiff of the gingko trees in the courtyard! Luckily the foul-fruited will redeem themselves with glorious leaves right about the time that the 1Ls get their outlines on AmJur Day! (No studyin’ til then, please!) The prediction has been made.

– Darkelf

Uncle Zeb:
Yo dark one, and thanks for throwing out the first pitch on the gingko trees. Only Boalt would plant trees that smell like, well, like a Dartmouth frat house on the morning after a three-day monster kegger. The incredible thing is that gingkos are highly valued in some quarters for their medicinal properties, but for most Boalties they will only serve to suppress appetites. You so inspired us that we are going to have a special Gingko quiz in the next BBB. It will be your chance to shine, or reek as the case may be. Also, good studying tip… it is FAR too early to be actually reading cases. At this point they only confuse you.



Student:
Zeb – I don’t understand why there is this division between “laptop” users and “non-laptop users.” I have a laptop and when I want to use it, I go to the laptop section. When I want to read quietly, I go to the non-lap top section. I would hate it if the library did away with either. All I ask is an “eating-laptop-section.”

Uncle Zeb:
Somewhere in there you lost me. There is a division between folks who are using laptops and those who are not using laptops. We welcome the broadmindedness of one who is a little from column ‘a’ and a little from column ‘b.’ Right now the eating zone is the Old Reading Room. If they gussy up the old fellow with laptop connections and fancy new trimmings, my guess is that there will be no eating in there either. The folks who buy the snazzy stuff do not want it to be messed up with crumbs, vermin, and stains. It is not so much the laptop as the classy furniture that drives out the food, but where the fancy furniture comes, the laptop connections follow..



Student:
Zeb – what is a “testicle phrenologist”?

Uncle Zeb:
A phrenologist is someone who can gain insights both physical and metaphysical from the bumps on your head. A testicular phrenologist would obviously be a male who performs this service. All other possibilities enter into the ream of Eric Cartman, a place no sane person wishes to go.



Student:
Go Giants!!

Uncle Zeb:
Sincere congratulations to the Giants. They seem to be managed by a humane man, they are fun to watch, and they were even nice enough to pay for their own stadium. Sadly, my heart belongs to the A’s. If the A’s make it to the World Series with the Giants… well, see the answer to #1.



Student:
Zeb, increasingly I find myself wanting to dance to techno music. I attempt to study. However I feel my pelvis begin to gyrate to the hypnotic beat. I want this library to become a discotech it is aching to be. I want strobe lights and drinks with umbrellas. Is this possible?

Uncle Zeb:
You are very close to sartori. At some point, a point coming very soon, the library will morph into a dance number from a movie. Everyone will leap up, the strobes will come on and the sound track will fire up. Jennifer Beal and Patrick Swayze will appear and you will all pour a life-time of yearning into the techno version of the tango de la muerte. When you are finished the forces of anti-matter and matter will join, the cards will all be flipped over and the final scene of Men in Black will turn out to be true.



Student:
Can something be done about the portraits lining the hallway in the library? If I have to see those same faces for the next 3 years… it’s only been a month, and I feel like vandalizing them already. The color photos of the one minority and 2 women are feebly attempts at downplaying the crusty, white, patriarchy of our judicial tradition. Not that these people don’t deserve commendations for their achievements but its bad enough that I have to read their “opinions” every day in class. Not that everything has to be all PC or whatever but some interesting artwork or anything lese would be a nice change of scenery.

Uncle Zeb:
I like the big heads. I see it as a Christo-like statement about the over importance of judges. Gigantic heads following you down the hallway. What makes it even better is that the hallway is so small. The claustrophobic feel is just right.



Student:
What do you think of “lecture bingo”? I want to make a sheet but I’m afraid of irritating my classmates.

Uncle Zeb:
Since one of the principal reasons that you play lecture bingo is because folks are irritating you, what the heck, it should not bother you that it will irritate them right back. For the neophyte, lecture bingo can be played in large classes. You make up a bingo card with the names or faces (why else give you a book of faces?) of people who talk a lot in the boxes. When one of them speaks you put a penny in that box. When you fill in a row, why, you have to yell, Bingo! It is best if you can throw your voice. Only the most crimson of the red hots ever live in the center square.



Student:
What do you think of the Dutch kicking ass at the Olympics?

Uncle Zeb:
The United States Olympic team has become like the New York Yankees in the 1950’s. So much bigger, so much better financed, so inevitably superior. At least in the cold war we could compete with the Russians and the East Germans and we could assume that they were cheating so we had that whole good versus evil juju. So now it is kind of cool when a nation the size of The Netherlands which is the size of your thumb and has one of the great country names (the nether lands?) pulls a few out.



Student:
Zeb – could you remind me what the purpose of the 3rd year of law school is?

– Unmotivated 3L

Uncle Zeb:
The purpose of the third year of law school is to give law students one final year of autonomous existence. You can schedule all Tuesday and Thursday classes and take four-day weekends. You can sleep in when you like, you can go to Buenos Aires. Once you leave here your life will be sliced up into billable nanoseconds. The third year is the long weekend before reporting to the Marine Corp, use it. The worst thing to do is waste your third year hanging around here being bored. This is your last chance to drive the car.



Student:
Dear Zeb, could someone please fix the clock in the locker room?

Uncle Zeb:
We will pass along your suggestion, but keep in mind that Boalt Hall sits astride errant of the time-space vortex and thus time distortion is avoidable. Notice how in some classes time seems to slow done? That’s no illusion, its real. This accounts for the many different times shown on the many different clocks. Each is right, each is wrong. This explains a lot about a lot.



Student:
Too hot?!!?

Uncle Zeb:
You can always tell that interview season is upon us. As soon as people have to wear suits, the temperature goes nuts. Slurpees for everyone!!



Student:
Zeb, I’m uncertain if the photocopy room is within the scope of your power. If it is, could you please supply at least one machine with paper in the 11 x 8.5 tray? Most machines have that option but apparently no paper is placed in these trays. I am making this request because it’s slightly cheaper to shrink documents onto 11 x 8.5 paper rather than copying them onto 14 x 8.5. (this saves a lot of money if ones make many copies from oversized originals). These oversized originals normally don’t fit onto the 8.5 x 11 part of the machine. Therefore the 8.5 x 11 paper setting isn’t useful. Under the current system I’m forced to copy oversized originals onto 14 x 8.5 paper and then trim these copies down to 11 x 8.5 paper. This costs extra money and time. If the copy machines are designed to copy onto 11 x 8.5 paper orientations then library patrons might be able to use this feature.

Uncle Zeb:
#1, this is a good point. We are not partners with the copy room but we have a long-term relationship so we will ask. I will warn you though that the Xerox folks who control the outlets have been increasingly surly. The whole campus is underproducing as far as they are concerned. But we will try.



Student:
Why, when this school is populated by highly-intelligent so-called cultivated individuals, is the bathroom in this law school regularly flooded, generally unclean, and left in a condition suitable only for gross-ass, nasty, unhygienic children? I mean, c’mon the bathrooms in Penn Station, Grand Central Station, and BART are hella nicer.

Uncle Zeb:
As an ectoplasmic entity, I find the whole human process of energy consumption and waste elimination incredibly gross. What you said about the restrooms has special cache though. How can people be such pigs? Did no one ever speak to them? DO they expect someone to pick up after them their whole lives? These people should be genetically weeded out. Are we supposed to put up signs saying, “Please Act with Dignity.” Ugh.



Student:
Is it true that the devil has a place in the city?

Uncle Zeb:
The devil, being a creature of the consciousness of humans, most certainly can be found in wherever humans gather. He has no place in the city, he lives in a zeppelin that hovers above the Richmond refineries.



Student:
Where can I eat AND use my laptop in the library?

– Hungry and Behind

Uncle Zeb:
Rather than grease you, let me simply tell you that right now there is no such place. As time passes as we get more and more divers patrons we will try to adjust. The possibilities are endless. We could have a clothing optional, no talking laptop zone. The root cause here is the strength of the remaining anti-laptop forces.



Student:
Why, in the hallway entering the library, are only the women’s photos in color? Are there no B&W photos of Rose Bird?

Uncle Zeb:
What you see are the official photographs. The real question is why all the men chose to be in black and white. Of course when I was small and only saw California on television in the fifties, I thought everything was black and white.



Student:
Here’s a mundane one – where’s the nearest place to buy a diet, caffeine-free, soda?

Uncle Zeb:
The Law School Bookstore, that center of law school reality back by Student Services should have some. Joyce is very good about ordering what folks want. Same with the folks at Café Zeb. If those fail you, there is a place called Ramona’s in the Design School (the big building that looks like a prison right next to the law school). They have caffeine free diet coke in the case. From the West Side of the building, Ramona’s is as close as Café Zeb. This may not be what you are asking but the closest convenience store surrogate is the ASUC store at Sproul Plaza. It is a genuine treat. Every beverage and snack food you could think of and then some could not imagine are there. Check it out. Sproul Plaza is worth the trip all on its own.



Student:
Wonderful wonderful welcoming library, but did anyone think, prior to purchasing “chairs” in the North Addition, to check if they were not actually cleverly disguised “chair-looking devices”? My mind and heart are all for this law school project, but I fear my rear may not be up to the task. Re Pius IX – by “indiscretions,” I assume you are referring to the syllabus? And thank you, love the library.

Uncle Zeb:
Thanks for the kind words. Sadly, you are right about the chairs. Though we butt-tested them before we ordered them, for the long haul a lot of folks just find them to be uncomfortable. We are going to gradually rotate some new chairs into the mix, but the old reading room, where many of the plastic chairs are actually cracked, will get first priority.



Student:
Zeb- Didn’t I see you at Bianca’s smut shack last week. Did you like Mega-Volt?

Uncle Zeb:
Wherever Boalties go, Zeb will found, ergo I never miss a Burning Man. These annual tribal rituals, Burning Man, Rainbow People, etc. where folks get together for the purpose of shared values and the joy of, well, getting together, must mean something. Though as soon as one starts examining them they transmute, like how anti-shmuck can Burning Man be if its on the cover of Time? Besides, there has been no smut in the smut shack for a long time. Mega Volt is as Mega Volt does.



Student:
Zeb- why are make-up days called Pope Gregory make-up days? (see front of 9/6/00 BBB) And, if I’m not Catholic, am I compelled to attend classes in the make-up days? - Curious 1L

Uncle Zeb:
Thank heaven we have our first papal question, I was on pins and needles waiting for it. Did you know that Millard Fillmore was the first American president to meet the Pope? And it was Pius IX; the fellow that they just beatified despite a few, well, indiscretions. And then Filmore came back and ran as an Anti-Catholic? Is this cool? Anyway, Pope Gregory was such a mensch that he changed the calendar to tidy up and we here at Boalt do the same. It is not his Catholicism that inspires us; it was his &&&&&&&&&&%%%%%%%%%%#$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ @#$@#$@#$@#$@# 123123!@##$@$#^&^%$$##$ INSANE PRINTER INCIDENT



Student:
Zeb – why was I programmed to feel pain?

Uncle Zeb:
If you could not feel pain, then you could not feel pleasure. Only the risk of the downs can produce the elation of the ups. If you perceived only happiness you would be a character in Brave New World. If you felt nothing you would be a Revenue Agent. Your present situation is not so bad.



Student:
Most (all but 1!) of the copy machines are too small for 2-page copying on 81/2 x 11 sheets. Last year there were 2 full-size machines and you said you'd ask for more. If you ask again, will we lose the 1 machine we still have? Please help.

Uncle Zeb:
I like this question. It has a bit of zen koan about it. It appears that when we try to help we make things worse, so would we help best by not helping at all? Hmmm. Too deep for me. We will check. The copying service is out-sourced and they hvae been struggling. Folks printing stuff off of computers has cut into their business and they want to cut back. We want them to expand, telling them that better machines and service will increase their use. We will continue to press them and I will check on your two page copier specifically.



Student:
I see leprauechans in class and hear daffodills in the library. Is something wrong with me?

- Insane 1L

Uncle Zeb:
The leprechauns (let's hear it for spell check) are real but they are not enrolled. Boalt sits at a node of the time space continuum. That's why the clocks do not agree and why the configuration of the hallways keeps changing. This is why time moves so slowly in class sometimes. It also explains the grading system. With the node being so convenient the leprechauns, like other mystic life forms, they just drop by from time to time. The daffodils are part of an experiment to use the reading rooms as commercial hothouses. When law students study their brains emit a mixture of gases that seem to stimulate rapid growth in certain plants.



Student:
I love the new planners. A nice touch. Boalt must love me after all. Red Sox vs. A's. The eternal struggle? David Justice in New York? The Mariners?

Yours, newly-minted 3L

Uncle Zeb:
We do love you, #1; you have always been our favorite prime. The Planners are part of the bag of goodies that the folks in Student Services are putting together for you. They love you too. Ah my lovable A's. They are young bumblers who play in a football stadium in front of little crowds. The Giants play in paradise to packed houses. Every shred of underdog lover in your soul should root for the A's, and we know that they will fail. Sigh. The Red Sox have one pitcher and one hitter. I do not think that that will do. I fear that the A's and the Sox will be similarly situated at the end of the season, but they will not be in play offs. But as Principal Skinner says, "Prove me wrong, kids, prove me wrong."



Student:
Zeb - Eating in the main reading room is a great perk of Boalt. How about more or larger trash cans. Last year, it got pretty funky w/ garbage on the floors.

Uncle Zeb:
Eating in the Main Reading Room is a Boalt tradition, we may be the only great research library that allows Cheetohs in. The trick is that you can only do it in the Main Reading Room. PLEASE. And the computer labs, lordy don't get me started. Your point on the garbage cans is well taken. We will see what we can do, though on a campus like this one getting a bigger garbage can probably will have to go to the Regents for approval.



Student:
Today when I got up, I went out into my garden and noted that the vine I had so gently guided all summer long was blooming to the tune of one heavenly blue morning glory flower. Not a bad start to the first day of law school, eh?

- Darkelf

Uncle Zeb:
It is long standing tradition that the opening comment sets the tone for the rest of the year. Well, #1, you have set the tone for the most lyrically pleasing academic year in history. I predict that all interpleaders will be joined, all bad cases reversed and remanded and a kinder, gentler Socrates float above the classrooms. If you are coming to law school at Boalt this year, wear flowers in your hair.



 

 

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