I just finished driving approximately 3300 miles across the country in my little Nissan (and during the last leg, a big Penske truck) packed to the brim with most of my belongings. It took a week to get from San Francisco to Birmingham, including an extra day spent in San Diego and an extra two days in San Antonio. After a break at home, we got back on the road to Charlotte, and then finally Williamsburg.
The decision to take the “southern” route across the country was made mostly because I wanted to see my brother in San Diego and visit my friends in San Antonio. It was certainly a fascinating experience. We were driving through Arizona right when a judge there handed down the decision about their contentious immigration law. I saw Mexico for the first time, right across the border from El Paso. I saw “the wall” along the border in a few spots.
Here are some other observations from the trek:
- Arizona is really hot. We got out of the car for, oh, 4 minutes to put my bike inside. We were drenched in sweat by the time we got back in.
- Texas is massive.
- There are actually some radio show hosts out there who claim that Islam is an instrument of the devil. It was really disturbing.
- Glen Beck observed on his radio show that his new iPad attempts to correct many words, but it doesn’t attempt to capitalize the word “god.” “Just pointing it out,” he said. “Not saying anything besides that whoever programmed this apparently didn’t think ‘god’ ever needed to be capitalized.” Thanks Glen.
- There are parts of the country where you hit the “seek” button on the radio and it cycles forever without finding a signal.
- FedEx trucks apparently have a vendetta against me.
Friday was my last day at Google, after two years working for the legal department’s Product Counsel team. It was really hard to turn in my badge and computer to HR. This opportunity brought so many positive changes to my life — both personal and professional. I’m eternally thankful for the entire experience. I’m leaving behind great colleagues and friends. It’s also hard to cut myself off from the fire hose of insider information I could access at Google… but also liberating that I can now talk more freely about the company and its developments.
Tomorrow I set out on my cross-country trek. It’s exciting to pack my entire life in the car and set out across the continent for a new adventure. I’m sad to put San Francisco in my rear-view mirror for now, but I have a good feeling I won’t be a stranger here. In fact, I’ve already booked a flight back in October for my fall break.
Things are already spinning up for law school. I have my tentative class schedule, and I received an introductory packet to my legal skills “law firm,” including a simulated profile of the firm’s history, specialities, and culture. No word yet on the details of my fellowship, but I expect I’ll learn more in the coming weeks.
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One downside of choosing to go to William & Mary is that I’ll have to leave California, a place that I’ve come to really love. I think (and hope) that I’ll end up here again after law school, and hopefully during the intervening summers as well. That said, a cross-country move gives me the opportunity to take a cross-country road trip — an opportunity I am not hesitating to seize.
My mom is planning to do half the trip with me, and our first stop will be in San Diego where my brother will have just taken up residence as an ensign in the Navy. After that we’re considering a push to Silver City, NM to visit some family. Next stop: San Antonio, where I’ll crash with Taylor and Katherine while my mom flies home to Birmingham. From Texas I’ll go on to Baton Rouge, and then make the relatively easy jaunt up to Birmingham.
Phase one of the trip being complete, I’ll organize my life and relax a little with my parents before making the two day trek to Williamsburg, via Greenville or Charlotte. All said, I’ll hopefully only have to spend one night in a hotel, which ain’t too bad.
P.S. Check out embedded Earth view in the map above. Sweet!
After much deliberation over many months and miles, I have finally made a decision: I will be a proud member of the Class of 2013 (!) at William & Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law. I couldn’t go wrong with the choices I had, but W&M just… feels right. It feels right the same way Davidson felt right in 2003, and every student, faculty member, and alum I’ve spoken with talks about W&M the same way my friends and I talk about Davidson. It is, in short, a very special place.
I have also accepted a fellowship with the law school’s Center for Legal and Court Technology. Among other things, I will be working with the CLCT’s website (which, I think you’ll agree, needs a major overhaul). I will likely serve in an editorial capacity, helping to get the word out about its various projects and accomplishments. Once I am up to speed, I want to look into launching the CLCT’s voice into the social networking world, where it can join the real-time conversation with its peer organizations. In addition to my first-year academics, it should be a lot of fun to continue some hands-on project work at the same time.
It sure will be tough to leave a dream job at Google at the end of July, but I am also excited to get back into full-time academics and continue my professional development. Moving across the country (literally) from San Francisco to tiny Williamsburg will also be tough, but I know this is the right move at the right time for me.
More details to come!
In the summer of 2006, Taylor and I were research assistants for Davidson political science professor Dr. Patrick Sellers (also our academic advisor). We were essentially reading transcripts and press releases from different congressional political figures and “coding” them based on how they framed a certain topic.
Pat has finally had his book, Cycles of Spin, published by Cambridge University Press. He was kind enough to give us a shout out in the acknowledgements section (see below, end of second paragraph). What’s more, the bibliography includes citations to two of Taylor’s writings: one of his papers (co-authored with Pat)… and one of his posts from Tropophilia!
Photo courtesy of Taylor.