Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Work, Food, and Running

Today Mark Recktenwald was sworn in as the next Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.  The swearing in ceremony took place at the Supreme Court and there was a nice ceremony afterwards.  I met Justice Nakayama who happens to be the wife of someone I watched football with at Justice Duffy's house on Sunday.  I also met several people who used to work with my judge as well as my judge's wife.  In meeting all these people, they greeted me with welcoming messages and encouraging words, but also creepily knew a lot about me.  For example, Justice Nakayama knew that I was left-handed.  I was introduced to her and she said, "OH! You're the left-handed baseball player."  How are you supposed to respond to that other than saying...uhh, yes?

One thing I love about receptions and ceremonies is free food.  There was so much sushi, fried fish, and Korean chicken.  They also had typical ceremony stuff (i.e. turkey wraps, cookies, brownies, etc.) but it's amazing how pervasive the asian culture is here.  Good thing I like sushi.

On a somewhat related note, I have no idea what it's like to clerk for a federal judge and so my context for the work load and challenge of a federal clerkship is necessarily limited.  However, I have been really surprised by the challenges associated with my job.  For example, I am working on/researching a fairly complex case where the answer is really unclear.  The Supreme Court has addressed the issue, but in those cases specifically left this issue undecided.  The other challenge with Hawaii is that the law is very young (Hawaii only became a state in 1959) so there is not a lot of guidance as I research the issues.  So I'm finding that one of the most interesting aspects of my job is that I regularly get to see the law being made. So I really find myself working harder than I initially expected.  I'm sure a lot of the difficulty stems from my own unfamiliarity with Hawaiian law, my judge's style, and what's expected of me.  I'm sure that once I get into a rhythm and work on a few cases, a lot of the bumps will get ironed out.

On a totally unrelated note, I tried running yesterday.  I haven't exercised in more than a month.  However, I've made up for it by eating a lot of fatty crap and drinking excessively.  Given that I spend a lot of time on the beach, I quickly realized that no one wants to see food/alcohol-induced beach body.  So I decided to come home and run to Diamond Head and back.  For a little perspective, that's just over 5 miles.  Yeah, that was a poor idea.  First of all, before you get impressed, I didn't make it.  Not even close.  I ran 3.5 miles with an average pace that would make my 106-year-old great grandmother chuckle.

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