Mike’s Election Hijinks

September 16, 2009

So I never talk about losses in competitions. Never. Until today. This is because I have lost yet another public election. As an ode to my Susan Lucci type losing streak, I recall my most recent losses over the past ten years. Don’t ask me why I remember these. It probably has something to do with the fact that I am insanely competitive and every loss eats at me. But, for your entertainment, I present to you the public losing streak of Mike.

8th Grade Class President Primaries
I don’t remember who I was running against in these primaries. I do remember looking around at the “debates” we had and thinking that I am much smarter than these people, and more qualified to win. However, I came in as kind of a dark horse candidate (a couple friends in class pushed me to do it because they thought I would be the best for the job), and knew that I had no chance to win in this popularity contest. But, because of this major defeat (well, I know I got at least one vote… because I voted for myself), I got the bug. I loved running in elections. It was a rush. Little did I know that my past ten years of losing in sports would be nothing compared to my next ten years of losing elections.

9th Grade Class Representative
This time, I ran again on a much smaller scale: class representative. I was in an honors class (maybe honors computer programming?) and therefore had about every over-achiever in the entire grade in one class. So, in this diluted representative race, there were about eight other kids running for that highly valued Student Government position (first one to three votes wins?). Now thinking back on it, I really didn’t come out of my shell as the awesomest dude around (I say that in the least amount of seriousness possible) for a couple of years, so I was probably very shy when having to give a speech in front of the class (trust me, if math superstar fourteen year old Mike would have guessed that he would have been a 22 year old Government and Politics graduate he would have laughed… and then probably cried because he was very round). This shyness did not bode well for an election and I got spanked again. But I loved running.

Student Government Association Secretary (10th Grade)
God knows why I would run against a rising junior, who as far as I can remember, was an attractive girl (I can’t even remember her name… this seems to be a consistent theme here, which begs the question if this is a defense mechanism for my miserable high school years). I had “won” my class representative this year (and by “won” I mean beating up on a kid who was probably half-mentally challenged, so I don’t count that as a win). I was a little more outgoing this time, giving out stickers to the entire school and hanging up clever posters (this started a precedent for the upcoming years). I said everything right to the people in my classes, but knew the only chance I had for victory was to get the vote of the entire sophomore class, assume she gets the entire vote of the junior class and we battle over the freshman class. Unfortunately, I lost this battle, but looking back, I started to form the strategies that I studied in college in my election class (focus on the places you will definitely win a little bit, focus on the places you will definitely lose very little and focus the most on the “battleground states”). Wow, I’m actually quite impressed. I’m sure my elections professor would be too. Also, I did not give a very good speech to the entire school. This started my drive to become a better public speaker and to finally win an election.

United Synagogue Youth Chapter President (11th Grade)
As a high schooler, I was very dedicated to USY, the Jewish Youth Group for high school that dominates this entire country (some would call it a cult). Because of my passion for this incredibly stupid organization (picture everyone at conventions claiming they were “BFFLAEAEAEAE” and then only speaking to each other at these conventions), I decided I wanted to run for president of my chapter. Besides, I was very disappointed in the performance of my chapter and had some amazing ideas to fix it. At this point in my life, I had finally achieved my goal of becoming a good public speaker–I was witty, calm, collected and even went off the cuff and told jokes. The one problem here is that the director of my chapter of USY hated me. Granted, I was an immature douche who said whatever came to his mind (some things never change), but he never gave me a fair shake. In fact, he barred some people from voting in the election because he knew they were going to vote for me. Although I lost this election (this starts a long string of questionable election processes), I got the last laugh: the director of my chapter was fired because of this situation.

Jewish Student Union Executive Vice President (Junior in College)
After my high school years and defeats, I kind of backed off from elections for awhile. I was very happy with life, a very successful government major, and satisfied with my standing with the organization (as a deadbeat I.T. guy). Unfortunately, one of my close friends decided he was going to run for president and came to me months before and asked me to be his Executive Vice President. I originally resisted, but he had some great ideas and I liked his vision. I accepted and for months we worked together, concocting our plan to win the election and planning events for the future (we started a year plan). I thought we were unstoppable. That was until the time to officially put our names on the ballots came along. The JSU executive board had no problem with me applying because I was on cabinet already, but my friend who wanted to run for president was not associated with the organization at all (he applied twice to cabinet and was rejected twice). The president said he couldn’t run. Of course he scoured over the constitution and found nothing so after a lot of arguing, he and I were on the ballot together. The election was nasty. My friend and I received a lot of flack from the executive board and we were very concerned that the election was going to be rigged. So we confided in two members of the executive board… who turned out to be the people who ended up allegedly rigging the election. We had heard some rumors but they were actually confirmed for me a couple months later when one of the people who rigged it (and had subsequently graduated) was caught by another good friend of mine talking about how he rigged it (with others there to vouch on the validity of this situation). I never spoke outwardly about this election before this blog, and although I am saddened that another Jew could be responsible for such hate and terrible judgment, I was respectful toward the new executive board and joined as a cabinet member. However, I hope the people that rigged the election (the two people know exactly who they are) fail at life. They deserve it.

Student Bar Association (First Year In Law School)
Looking past the fact that I fully supported Hillary Clinton for president and lost that one, this is my next and newest defeat (it happened a day ago). I wouldn’t mention something like this so soon, but my frustration with my election luck has boiled over. Again, this election reeked of questionable election habits. But first, let me start from the beginning. For some reason, I decided I wanted to become a Senator in the Student Bar Association (the reasons go past the part that I wanted everyone to call me “Senator Rosen”). So I submitted my petition with 25 fellow students’ signatures on it and officially became a candidate. I put fliers up all around the school (some included “Mike Rosen likes rainbow highlighting”, “Mike Rosen > Chuck Norris”, and “Mike Rosen wants mandatory naptime.”) I learned through my studies as a government major that the best campaign signs are the shortest, sweetest and most memorable. I had accomplished all three. On election day, I was nervous, but confident that I had a chance to win. The elections started at 11am, so I walked over at around 11:45am. When I went to vote I noticed something pretty crucial for victory in an election: my name wasn’t on the ballot. I immediately went to the president who told me I didn’t follow the constitution by not putting my section letter on my petition. I told her I read the constitution and it said nothing of the sort (I also thought to myself, “Right in front of you on the table where voting is taking place is my platform. It states my section in big bold letters. Really? Really future lawyer?”). Being the third week law student I am, I consulted the constitution, and was right. The president then added my name manually onto every ballot that was not filled out yet, but the damage was done. This massive error had pretty much assured another loss for Mike Rosen. I could have argued this, but who wants to make enemies in the third week of law school? Not I. Oh well. I guess it’s meant to be.

To conclude, what is there to say except that Mike is the losingest candidate of all-time. Mike is like the Susan Lucci of elections. The Patrick Ewing of elections. The 40 year old virgin of elections (by the way, if you continue to say elections in sentences over and over again, is it me or does it start to sound like “erections”?). At this point even my own mother said that maybe I should not run for these kind of things anymore. But let me ask you this: did Susan Lucci quit “All My Children” when she lost the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the seventeenth straight year? Hold on, let me Wikipedia this… No! She did not! And when she finally won it was the sweetest moment of her life. So, I’m going to keep pushing until I finally do win one of these stupid, stressful, taking years off my life elections.

My First Week of Law School, According to Twitter

September 6, 2009

Well, the first week of law school has come and passed and I think the best way to explain my experience so far is through my Twitter posts from the past week (who would have thought that Twitter would actually be useful for something?). Follow me on Twitter here if you want.

“first day of law school in the books. feeling good.” (10:20pm Aug 31) The first day wasn’t that bad. I only had one class so I really wasn’t sweating anything yet. However, as compared to undergrad, I was constantly rereading notes from the day and reviewing our summer homework (yeah, I know, that sucks). I was really happy the first day was upon us, however. I was actually looking forward to it because of our three day orientation (it sounds as unnecessary as it was). During orientation, I was completely overloaded with information and having generic conversation with hundreds of people, most of which I will never speak to again (it’s nothing personal, that’s just the way it is). I have a better alternative to orientation: just put everyone in a room with loads of alcohol for one entire day. I have always felt that when people get drunk together they become friends (I don’t know if it is drunk sincerity or what, but it works). Or maybe just wear a t-shirt with all the answers to the generic questions you get (name, where you’re from, college, major in college, what type of law you’re interested, where you purchased this outrageous shirt).

“my elements professor really insists on not getting our news from Jon Stewart. The thing is, I don’t know any other news providers.” (9:13pm Sep 1) The first class of my law school career was Elements of Law. I had heard bad things about this teacher (nobody gets A’s, she is scary). However, she kind of eased my nerves about law school because she was completely hilarious (she’s like the German version of Ellen DeGeneres, but with so many degrees and qualifications she loses half of her funniness). Sidenote: Two days later she scared the crap out of me by telling me that if you get B minuses you will be jobless. I then went home and reviewed my notes so hard I almost crapped myself.

“just went out to cosi… i feel like i’m in dc all over again.” (10:45pm Sep 1) The thing about law school is that you can’t decide, “I’m going to go out tonight and worry about this work in the future.” You always have to be on your game and updated on work constantly (no more waiting until finals to learn the entire semester. So, when you have a chance to go out, you go out. This was the case here. Cosi is a bar that I went to happy hour at in Washington, D.C. So, when my neighbor asked me to go out for a little to Cosi, I excitedly accepted (although I didn’t drink, it was still great to socialize with other people and not focus law). For me, I just want to balance the social part of my life with the school work because without one, the other wouldn’t survive. I need the socializing to keep me sane from all the studying and reading I will be doing, but I need the studying to keep me focused on why I’m in New York and it keeps the socializing to a minimum (trust me, I’m up early on a Sunday not because I took 10 shots and went out until 4am).

“holy crap, law school tires you out.” (5:17pm Sep 2) It does. And then you have to come home and do homework. Completely mentally exhausting.

“new talent in my vast arrat of talents: rainbow highlighting.” (7:44pm Sep 2) Up until about this day, my note taking consisted of reading a paragraph and paraphrasing it into a notebook. It was all about getting the general idea of the passage. Not the case in law school. I have had to read case after case, not getting a general idea from it, but getting the facts, issues, procedural history, reasoning, etc., etc. (all in different highlighter colors). I now write in the margins of text books (I used to like clean, pristine books… that went out the window quickly in under a week of law school). Pretty much it’s a whole new means of learning. I have to say, it’s really helped to highlight the important facts and opinions in different colors. It makes everything look so pretty.

“emotionally preparing myself for the busiest day of the week. topping it off with the bar tonite?” (10:39am Sep 3) Thursdays suck for me. I have my three biggest classes (Civil Procedure, Elements, and Torts) in a row from 11am until 2:24 pm. In undergrad, I used to block schedule my classes (and not pay attention half the time). Now, block scheduling is devastating-its hell. After each class, I need about 20 to 30 minutes to decompress and to review what I just learned. When you get hit with classes in a row, it doesn’t give you enough time to relax and digest what you learned. However, this devastating schedule only drives you to drinking.

“had lunch at 10am because i have class from 11 to 2:30 straight. wierd to have a turkey sammich this early.” (11:46am Sep 3) No time for lunch with three classes in a row. In fact, some teachers even start early, so you don’t even have a chance to sit down and open your notebook.  And yes, I refer to “sandwiches” as “sammiches.”

“cases are taking forever for me to read. i smell a bar outing in about 3.5 hours.” (5:48pm Sep 3) After a long day of brain (and ball) busting classes, the last thing you want to do is read more cases. But this is law school so cases are aplenty (surprise!). After the brutality that was my day, I had to read an 18 page case. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “18 pages? That’s nothing. Easily done in an hour(ish).” Wrong, you jerk. It takes forever. You have to carefully read each word to get the full meaning out of it (this isn’t a Dan Brown novel). And this involves hours and hours of reading.

“thirsty thursdays are just not what it used to be. off to the “bar review” on the upper west side. yeah, they call it that.” (9:15pm Sep 3) First of all, let me point out that I never referred to Thursday night drinking in college as “Thirsty Thursdays.” However, for literary purposes I did in this Tweet. Here in law school, they have something called “Bar Review”-a clever play on words that gives the overworked law student a reason to go out and have a couple drinks with his or her fellow law students. This Bar Review was held at Hudson Terrace, an awesome rooftop bar overlooking the Hudson River and the Intrepid. It was awesome (seriously look at the pictures of this place). Of course, the undergrad came out in me and my fellow colleagues (and by colleagues I mean a couple of friends) and we drank too much. So much for growing up.

“first week of law school done after a hung over day” (3:54pm Sep 4) Mike learned his lesson: don’t drink too much. In fact, just don’t drink at all. There is nothing fun about nursing a hangover (but it made me feel better that I was nursing one with many other people). I would write more about why you shouldn’t drink, but I have to get back to reading cases.