The gruelling pace of law school ended up grinding Annales to a halt. For that, and to my loyal readers (including one Buck Burris), I apologize.
But now I'm back, and I've got stories to tell. Currently, I am duly employed (for free) by the People of the State of Alabama, operating through their constitutionally-elected Attorney General. I'll be spending the entire summer (except for a couple of weddings) in Montgomery, Ala.
IS IT "A-U-M" OR "OHM"?
Because I'm working in the public interest field (read, "for free"), I needed a relatively inexpensive place to stay whilst I fought for truth, justice, and the Alabama way this summer. Once again, the good people of the "Heart of Dixie" lent a helping hand.
I'm staying on the campus of the illustrious Auburn University at Montgomery. Now, like the "at _____" schools I'm familiar with in Tennessee (e.g., UT Chattanooga or UT Martin), the campus where I'm staying doesn't have much relation to Auburn proper. In fact, most people here in the Capital refer to it by it's initials: A.U.M.
The dorm I'm staying in is actually very nice. It was recent built (the plaque on the wall says "2003"; further, the plaque says that the dorm was built by none other than former Alabama governor, current candidate for Governor, and sometime defendant Don Seigelman). It's set up similar to Vanderbilt's Carmichael Towers' suites, with a common room, kitchenette, and singles for the residents. Unlike Vandy's singles, though, the AUM dorms are very small.
LIVING IN THE "GUMP"
Surprisingly, people in Alabama have lots and lots of nicknames for Montgomery. Most of them are fairly derogatory (e.g., "The Gump," suggesting Alabamians in Montgomery are less than eloquent or intelligent; "Monkey Town," a racial slur). Others are slightly esoteric (e.g., "MGM" or simply "MG").
My impression of Montgomery, though, has been very positive. The people here are very friendly and very nice to one another (contrasted with Birmingham's racial and economic tensions), and they have tried hard to make downtown Montgomery a beautiful and inviting place (a goal which I believe they've largely succeeded at doing: as a sometime resident of Washington, D.C., I felt very "at home" in the Government district of downtown; as a sometime Nashvillian, I felt equally "at home" in the Riverside entertainment district that includes the baseball park and significant investment in historical and economic redevelopment).
In short, though I've only been here for two weeks, I have become a Montgomery booster. The only real problem I would observe about the city is that it is ridiculously hot. I mean, folks it's May and we're averaging a high of 95 degrees. I can't WAIT until July.
MY JOB IS AWESOME
So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated my time working in the Office of Attorney General. My supervisor is a great lawyer, and his professionalism and dedication are very inspiring to me. At the same time, the experiences that the Office has already allowed us to partake have been profound.
Twice, I have been in close contact with vicitms of crimes for whom this Office advocates in the context of the Alabama Criminal Appeals Court or the Alabama Parole Board. Both times, it has been an emotional experience that has led me to redouble my efforts to help see justice done for the poor and down-trodden in American society.
Though I have had some doubts as to my career choice of late, as some can attest, my experiences in this Office have helped me to reaffirm that choice.
FEELING: A little sleepy, but invigorated by the opportunity to actually get to help real people.
LISTENING TO: The traffic drive by my office window (that's right: I have an office; it has a window).