Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 1

I still can't decide what direction to take with the blog.  Part of the problem stems from the fact that to make it interesting, I may have to give details that I don't necessarily want to share.  For now, I think I will primarily make it a blog about my experiences as a state-level appellate clerk (i.e. types of cases, challenges, benefits, and downsides).  To a lesser extent, I will discuss what it's like to live and work in Honolulu.  At times, I may include things about my personal life, but not likely.

With that in mind, the first week was more eventful than I could possibly explain in an interesting post that people would actually want to read.  Suffice it to say, the first week can be characterized by roosters (yes, roosters), roommates, BBQs, beaches, legal research (including an inconvenient amount of training), and football.

To start, Sunday started with a beach BBQ near Diamond Head.  For those that don't know, Diamond head s the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu  and known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi, most likely from lae 'browridge, promontory' plus ʻahi  'tuna' because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin (thank you Wikipedia).  Here is a picture I took last week (to the right).  Anyway, as I was sitting on the beach, with a drink in hand, the sun was setting, about 12-13 people hanging out, I realized that living here may not be so tough after all.

The work week started on Tuesday (Monday was Labor Day). Surprisingly, the work day starts early.  We are at work by 7:00-7:30am and don't leave work until 5:00, or sometimes 6:00pm.  This week involved the preliminary training associated with any job.  We got our passwords for Lexis/Westlaw.  We learned where to get the files for cases.  We got library training.  We also got a few nice "Welcome Lunches" served by the judges. 

There are six judges on the Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii.  Each judge has 2 clerks and each judge assigns cases and handles his or her clerks differently. While ethical rules prevent me from going into detail about how cases are assigned or even the facts of the cases I am working on, I CAN discuss how my average day goes.  Basically, cases are appealed from the lower courts (in Hawaii, these include the Circuit, District, and Family courts).

Now, one of the most difficult things about working (as opposed to school) is getting used to waking up EVERY morning at insanely early hours.  Fortunately for me, the ROOSTER outside my window helps me with that by making God-awful noises as the sun rises.  Now, sure, on weekdays, I am basically waking up with the sun so it's not such a problem.  However, on Saturday morning, the rooster is seriously risking its life.  If I find it, I may be looking up a new dinner recipe.

The first week of work went by fairly smoothly.  One thing I will note, however, is that hypothetically speaking, people going through a divorce can be some of the most immature people in the world and they seriously need to get over their egos, hurt feelings, and illogical emotions and just work shit out.  Your ridiculously stubborn behavior only makes my job harder.

Today was pretty cool as it was football Sunday.  It was the first time I woke up to watch the NFL on TV at sunrise.  Fortunately, the Eagles-Packers game was a 4:15pm EST start time so I didn't have to wake up at 6:30am.  The game started at 10:15am here so it was nice to be able to watch the game and still have the entire day to get things done.  My judge, much to my chagrin, is an avid Packers fan.  Also, Justice Duffy on the Hawaii Supreme Court is ALSO a Packers fan.  I was very fortunate to be invited to Justice Duffy's house with my judge (and his good friend) to watch the game.  Although I was surrounded by misguided Packers fans, it was a pretty amazing morning.  Justice Duffy's house is nestled in the mountains of Oahu and he and his wife are two of the nicest people in the world.  So we sat and watched the game, munched on some snacks, and watched the Packers embarrass the Eagles.  The only positive of the morning (aside from the good food and good company) was that Michael Vick showed why he is one of the elite NFL quarterbacks and that Andy Reid needs to re-think his starting QB situation.

The roommate situation is still working out pretty well.  I have no complaints.  I have had some pretty TERRIBLE luck with roommates in the past and this situation is great.  So far the three of us  get along well and hang out a decent amount on weekends.  In fact, Saturday my guy roommate had to work but I went to the beach with a bunch of his friends.  So it's all coming together to make the adjustment period a little easier.

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