Thursday, May 24, 2007

Flipping on the lights ...

The blog been quite as of late, I’m kind of in a transition mode and haven’t been in the blogging mood as of late. A lot has been going on though…

• I’ve started work as clerk at a union law firm that represent fire and police guilds. I read CBAs (contracts) all day and turn them into numbers so that the attorneys can prepare for negotiations and such. I’m not sure how much “law” I’m learning, but I’m now current on my knowledge of Washington’s counties.

• Brother number 2 has found a job in Madison, Wisconsin and is moving. I guess this means that the entire family has left N. Idaho now.

• A recent blog I wrote has been getting a lot of attention from youth right groups (I didn’t even know there were groups fighting for those poor, oppressed teens out there who struggle under the oppressive yolk that is American society.) I’m about as progressive as they come, but of all the “groups” that actually are oppressed in this world, teens are about the last group I would fight for. But, if it gets people involved, than more power to ‘em, fight on teens of American, fight on!

• The application for both the law review and the journal for social justice are rapidly approaching, June 1. Both applications are really interesting topics so I’m having fun doing them; even if my progress on them is somewhat glacial. They just aren’t going as fast as I would have hoped. (Guess what I’ll be doing my 3-day weekend?).

• My summer classes start next week. So soon!

• I turn 30 next week. So soon!

• According to my Ipod+Nike thing, I recently past the 100 mile milestone. I have run over a hundred miles since I started tracking in February. (7.38 miles in Feb, 12.21 miles in March, 41.39 miles in April, and 46.56 miles in May, so far).

• There was a tragic shooting in Moscow, Idaho. It’s been on the news a lot and is pretty depressing for those of us who went to school in Moscow and love that little town. Guns and crazies, what are you going to do?

Well, sorry for this post. I think the simple status posting is possibly the lowest blog form there is, but between work, law review applications, and life; my mind just is not working right to write a decent post.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's Over

Well, my first year of law school is officially over and I’m just a little bit closer from starting my third career (my first one was a 6 month stint in Retail Operations followed by nearly 5 yrs in HR/Compensation). At this point, I’ve gone too far to turn back now.

It's Over

Well, my first year of law school is officially over and I’m just a little bit closer from starting my third career (my first one was a 6 month stint in Retail Operations followed by nearly 5 yrs in HR/Compensation). At this point, I’ve gone too far to turn back now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Like, they say I'm missing my dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, like, that is just so, like, uncool. Whatever."

A couple weeks ago a women was killed a couple of blocks from my house when she was hit by a car that lost control during a left hand turn on a wet road. It was a tragic story because of the victim, a young women at the age of 26, a WSU graduate, who out doing what she loved - running on a Saturday morning; and because of the driver, a 16-yr old child alone in the car who had taken the turn at too high a speed and couldn’t regain control of the car. Taken together, the youth of the victim and that fact the driver was a child; it received a lot of attention in the media.

In response, my community association has asked us to reach out to our local officials to see what can be done to curb speeding on the road where the incident occurred. It is at the base of a steep hill and cars regularly build up speed coming down the hill in excess of 40 or 50 mph in a 35 mph residential zone. But, I don’t think that was the source of this accident. In this case, the driver was going up the hill and making a left hand turn, the cause of the accident was not due to speeding enforcement, but rather to an immature driver who was alone in a car that made a bad decision behind the wheel.

On the back of the last issue Newsweek is an ad from Allstate Insurance that starts with this tag, “Why do most 16-year-olds drive like they’re missing a part of their brain? Because they are.” The ad goes on to cite research that shows that the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with decision making, problem solving and understanding future consequences, isn’t fully mature until people reach their 20s. They cite that 16 yr olds have crash rates 3x higher than 17 yr old and 5x higher than 18 year olds. It recommends that states pass Graduated Driver Licensing laws that restrict the kind of dangerous driving teens can do based on age and cites that in North Carolina, where this type of law is in place, has seen a 25% decline in accidents with 16yr olds.

I agree that these laws are a good measure, but they will be worthless without parental involvement. I know that I was not a good driver when I was 16, I don’t even need to point out the time I was driving near home and I somehow, on a clear day, managed to slide off the road into a ditch and needed the Elkins to pull me out with their truck. Thankfully, I lived in rural Idaho and there was nothing out on the road with me except my stupidity in the back seat. At 16 I was hardly equipped to be driving the back roads of Coeur d’Alene, I definitely wasn’t prepared to drive alone in congested Seattle. I can’t imagine being a parent who just hands over the car keys to their kids and hopes for the best, there is just too much at stake in an auto accidents for this kind of negligence.

So, if you are reading this and you have kids reaching driving age please set limits. An automobile is big, dangerous machine that even experienced drivers can get into accident with, so don’t trust your kid to chance and your faith-in-them. I know we can’t prevent every accident, but we need to take meaningful measures such as mandating that they can’t drive without a parent present until they've accumulated so many hours (at least six months worth), precluding them from driving on accident prone and highly trafficked streets, and the minute you see them acting irresponsibly behind the wheel take away the keys! I know you love your kids and want to encourage them, but there are ways to do this without putting other people’s lives at risk.