Thursday, May 23

Thursday, I returned from the ALI meeting in Washington, DC, checked in with the office and learned everything was quiet.

Friday, May 24

It was a fantastic Friday. Mike Mullane came in first thing in the morning with a beautiful carved statue from Haiti – a wonderful full figured woman who sits on the corner of my desk and reminds me of the gift of friendships. Thank you very much, Prof. Mullane.That day I also received in the mail a gift from Dean Kent Syverud from Washington University. It was a little squeeze toy for stress, in the shape of a fire hydrant labeled “Dean.” It’s a reflection of both the realities of the job (sometimes) and the wacky sense of humor of Dean Syverud. Thanks Kent!

The morning was busy. It’s always that way after I’ve been out of the office for a while. In fact, I had a meeting giftscheduled with Professor Sheppard but we had to move that back to 11:00 a.m. and it was a very good meeting. He is working on a few projects. Cambridge University Press has agreed to publish a book based on his doctoral thesis, to be called I Do Solemnly Swear: The Moral Obligations of Legal Officials, and he is finishing his edits for that by July 1. He is also working on his new law dictionary for Aspen Publishers/Wolters Kluwer, supervising a team of twenty of our students. They collect quotations and drafting definitions, and he edits and redrafts them into final form. His hope is that the dictionary will be both easier to read and more informative than other dictionaries on the market. That dictionary should have its first edition released next year. He also has a book review column for this year’s Law Notes and is continuing to develop his article on John Locke, hopefully for publication next spring.

When my lunch plans didn’t work out, I spent that time catching up. At 3:30 p.m., I met with Mike Macechko, Angela Monts, Teri Stafford and Andrew Albertson about the anticipated changes to the Alumni Society. They are very excited and I think our alums will be pleased to learn of the new initiatives coming out of this restructuring. We’ll be sharing that with our Law Alumni Board in Hot Springs.

That evening I had a delightful dinner with Vice Chancellor Johnetta Cross Brazzell and Dean Carolyn Allen at Soul Restaurant and Lounge. Soul is located on 265 across from the Fayetteville Health Club and if you haven’t been there, check it out. It’s a quiet place to have a meal at the end of the day. The menu is interesting and there are always specials that vary weekly. Dean Allen ordered the walnut and gorgonzola salad. It was a house blend of arugula, spinach, and romaine leaves gently tossed with toasted walnuts, red onions, gorgonzola cheese, and flash fried turnip chips. Vice Chancellor Brazzell had the blue bayou crab cake, described in the menu as a sweet and succulent lump crab cake lightly fried and served alongside a bed of fresh spinach with the signature mango-curry aioli. My meal was a special item on the menu, a fish dish that was very light served with thyme and butter carrots and rice. I think Dean Allen also had the crab cake for her entree, too. It was an enjoyable meal, but what I most enjoyed about it was the camaraderie and the fact that on a holiday weekend they took time to spend it together with me visiting, catching up and being supportive of each other. There’s just no replacing that. Thank you to Johnetta and Carolyn for your continued encouragement and support and friendship.

Saturday, May 25

I think I mentioned in the blog earlier that when I arrived in DC, my luggage was pretty much destroyed, so Saturday Mom and I went to the Mall. There were big luggage sales over the Memorial Day weekend and I was able to inexpensively replace my luggage. We also took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. I have to tell you that that’s about all we did. The only other activity we engaged in was to go to the movies to see the second installment of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” which was a lot of fun because we saw it at the drive-in on the big screen. If you are going to see a battle epic type film, the drive-in is a good place to see it. Other than that, the weekend was time to relax and enjoy doing nothing over the holiday. It was great.