Friday, August 01, 2008

End of Class and Ventures New?

I've just come to the end of my summer program class for Miami, "Global Lawyering". I now have the exams to grade and I'm done. My colleague, Michael Graham, made the mistake of asking me how I was going to relax over the summer. So I told him.

I have the paper on lawyer-client relationships I'm revising. Georgetown has asked me to contribute a paper I did for their "Future of the Global Law Firm", to their legal ethics journal. Moreover, they've asked me to write a review of the second edition of the Lerman-Schrag professional responsibility book. I have my research with Peter Lederer to write up for a journal. The Bar Council have asked to do some research on direct access to the Bar. And a request came from Australia yesterday to write an article on the changes to the English legal profession. Somewhere along the line I'm writing a research grant proposal. And I have the book on barristers' clerks to do now that the fieldwork is done. My colleague, Pablo Sosa, has agreed to collaborate on a book on cosmopolitan lawyers. It's all the usual academic stuff that I love. I just wish deadlines weren't so strict.

All in all, quite a relaxing time.

So amongst all this fun I thought I should do something serious to set my mind working. The first thing that came my way was through reading an article in the Guardian by someone at the Tate Gallery about giving lectures on a cruise liner. His problem was that the cruise company wanted him to do "laughs" not be serious, and as he said, he didn't do laughs. The solution? Enrol in a stand up comedy class. Bravo, maestro! This hit me somewhere; I don't know quite where, but it did. I contacted him and got the name of the comedy teacher, Chris Head. The upshot is that I am now enrolled on a stand up course that begins in September. Oh, shit! This ain't the end either...The course is ten sessions and the final one is to do a real performance in a club. That's in November. Why? oh, why? Because I like taking risks, I think.

But it wasn't serious enough. Various colleagues of mine were heading off on vacation while I would be relaxing with my articles and research. I needed more. I found it in a memory of a prior vacation in South Africa where I saw people paragliding. It's idyllic. Starting next Friday (August 8), I'm enrolled in a ten day course in paragliding where I shall be jumping off a hill with my gliding chute hoping to ride those thermals into the blue yonder. By the time I'd heard the list of all the possible nasty things that could happen up there from the instructor, I was ready to retrench.

But then what is life if risks aren't taken? I do feel the need to test myself mentally and physically and to know that I am alive and ready to think serious and not merely want to relax all the time...
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6 comments:

Alan Childress said...

Please please keep your friends at The Legal Profession Blog updated on all that. I particularly want--need--a copy of the for-some-Australian piece when it is done! And good luck on the stand-up, though I suspect it will largely make fun of yankees you met while in the US this year.

John Flood said...

I certainly shall, Alan. My stand up teacher said I should carry a little notebook with me to record my reflections....You bet!

Michael Froomkin said...

By some cosmic coincidence, I suggested to my family last week that I should take a course in standup at the local comedy club.

My spouse thought the idea was nuts.

My younger son, though, wanted more details. "How many classes are there?" he wanted to know. Once a week for five weeks, I replied. "Oh, dad," he said sorrowfully, putting his hand on my arm, "that won't be enough."

John Flood said...

OK, my course is 10 weeks (3 hours on a Wednesday night in a room above a pub) with the last session taking place in a club in front of an audience. And I start in mid-September. I shall report as I go along. I'm getting nervous.

Caroline said...

How do people sign up to be in the audience? I wish I could be there!

John Flood said...

Maybe I can get it on to Youtube! Thanks, Caroline.