Archives for the month of: February, 2009

On Valentine’s Day I felt a little blue. That happens pretty much every Valentine’s Day when you don’t have something special to do with a special someone. Fortunately, Baxter Sharp and Rick Pruitt were in Northwest Arkansas for a basketball game and Baxter called and invited me to dinner with them. So it’s wasn’t quite the sad and gloomy Valentine’s Day of past years. We went to Basil’s Café in Rogers which was located in the Village on the Creek Mall before and had moved to the newer area back behind Bonefish. In the past, I’d experienced wonderful service, terrific food, and a cozy atmosphere. Their new location is bigger and brighter and not as welcoming. We had pretty awful service and our meals were just so so. So while it has been one of my very favorites, I’m going to have to try it again before I can recommend it to all you foodies out there. I have to say that we were very disappointed. Our waiter was fine, but the hostess not so much, and even a little bit snippy. I had bragged to Baxter and Rick about what a great restaurant it was, so you might imagine that was a pretty disappointing meal.

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David Johnson, Charlie Coleman, Ike Scott and myself

David Johnson, Charlie Coleman, Ike Scott and myself

The next day I attended the Pulaski County Bar Association meeting which was held on the top floor (30th floor) of the Regions Bank Center and the speaker that day was David Johnson who happens to be one of our alums.  He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee amongst others.  He shared his insights into the current legislative session.  I always enjoy attending the Pulaski County Bar meeting because I get to visit with so many of our alumni and that day was no exception. 

After the Pulaski County Bar meeting, I headed back to Fayetteville.  It had been a very full and a very good visit to Little Rock once again.

Little Rock Main Library

Little Rock Main Library

Thursday I had a quiet morning to myself (or so I thought).  I walked over to Little Rock’s main library to catch up on work while playing phone tag with John Jasik who was trying to make my travel arrangements to the Ukraine.  I was finally able to talk with him and get my itinerary worked out.  I was looking forward to the trip to the Ukraine.   After working for a little while in the library, I walked over to Ashley’s at noon to have lunch with Julia Busfield, one of our alumna.  She is a partner in the firm Busfield & Duggar.  I’d never met her and Dean Miller suggested that I look her up while I was in town.  She and I had a very lively lunch discussion.  It was great to meet her and I’m hoping that she’ll come up and visit the Law School sometime.  Thanks very much Julia for making time in your busy schedule to visit with me.   

After lunch there I was able to get back to work for a while and to get ready for the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus Annual King/Kennedy Dinner which was held at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock.  Rep. Linda Chesterfield (who happens to be a Soror) is the organizer of the King/Kennedy Dinner.  The dinner is named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy whose lives paralleled each other and who gave their lives in the pursuit of those ideals which epitomize the Democratic Party.  This year’s event also celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the NAACP, and the decisive role that NAACP has played in the lives of Arkansans and the American people.  I was very honored by the fact that the W. Harold Flowers Law Society nominated me for the Thomas E. “Pat” Patterson Education Award and I was selected to receive that award.  I was very much looking forward to the evening’s events and very grateful to my colleagues in the Flowers Society for thinking of me (and a special nod to Hester Criswell, President of the Flowers Law Society this year).  

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Razorback Day at the Capitol

Razorback Day at the Capitol

Why was I returning to Little Rock you might ask, after having been there the week before? Well, it was Razorback Day at the Capitol! It began at 11:00 a.m. which meant a bright and early departure time. I had several events scheduled after that on Thursday and Friday, so that meant packing, getting ready, and getting out on time to arrive for Razorback Day. I managed to do that and rolled into Little Rock a little before 11:00 a.m. The opening rally was held at the Old Train Depot. The area where we met was called Next Level Events. Lunch was provided and the menu included spaghetti and meat
sauce, fettuccini with cream sauce, caesar salad and garlic bread. Chancellor Gearhart welcomed the group and introduced Governor Mike Beebe who spoke about the legislative session, fiscal issues, and his commitment to restoring higher education’s revenue shortfalls once the economic situation improves. Following his remarks, Vice Chancellor Athletic Director Jeff Long introduced Coach Bobby Petrino who spoke to the group. In addition to Coach Petrino and Vice Chancellor Long, Mike Macechko also spoke.  After lunch everyone was shuttled over to the Capitol building where Tusk the hog was parked out front. While the UA supporters entered the Capitol building, the Razorback Band was playing in the second floor rotunda. Accompanying them
were cheerleaders and the mascots. You could hear the Razorback enthusiasm echo all throughout the Capitol building. Following the UA pep rally, many of us went to the House and the Senate to visit with our local legislators and a group of us even went into the Senate Gallery where Chancellor Gearhart was to address that body.

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Prof. Guzman

Monday was a very, very busy day.  It started (as usual) with Pilates with Claudia at Studio Pilates followed by an early morning meeting to plan a reception for Prof. Guzman.  As many of you know, Prof. Guzman retired as of last year.  However, this is the last class of students who had an opportunity to have been in one of his classes, so we wanted those students to be able to say goodbye to him.  As it turned out, he was going to be in town to pack up his belongings, so the meeting that morning was to think about how to put on a nice event. 

Later that morning I met with Tim Tarvin and Emily Bridges.  They are the heros behind the Legal e-Source program.  If you haven’t visited our Legal e-Source website, you should.  It has received national recognition.  It’s a website that serves as a resource for non-profit organizations and gives them basic information on various legal issues they may face.  Prof. Tarvin and Emily were coming to meet with me about looking for grant funding to continue to develop and maintain the Legal e-Source website. The grants that we currently have will be expiring at the end of this spring.
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Denise Hoggard and myself

Denise Hoggard and myself

 

 

Saturday, February 7, Denise Hoggard, who has been featured in the blog before and who is a wonderful friend, cooked me breakfast.  It was fantastic!  I felt very loved.  She cooked hashbrowns, ham, bacon, eggs, biscuits, mocha and fruit.  It was fantastic (did I already say that? well, you all know that I’m a foodie, so . . . anyone who cooks for me gets big love).  Thank you very much, Denise.  Afterwards, we sat around, digested and visited.  I have to say it was a little bit tough to get on the road after that, but I was certainly a much happier camper after her gracious hospitality.  All in all it had been a fabulous week and a good end to the week.  It was time to get home, unpack, and get ready for church on Sunday and to prepare for the next week.

On Friday, February 6, I started out at 9:00 a.m. and met with Tom Carpenter who is our alum and City Attorney for Little Rock.  We had not met before but had a fabulous conversation.  It was very enjoyable.  We talked about everything from race, to the tasks of city attorneys, some of the most interesting challenges, and what’s happening in Little Rock.  It was quite interesting.  Tom indicated an interest in having student externs work in his office and we are very excited about that.  A number of students have already indicated an interest and we will be following up with him about that.  Thanks very much, Tom.  I know his day is probably, well I could see it, from the number of calls and people stopping in, that he has a very busy day and I am very grateful to him for taking time out to meet with me.

Dept. of Veteran's Affairs in Little Rock

Dept. of Veteran's Affairs in Little Rock

At noon I met with one of my favorite folks, John Snell.  He is an alum and was in the same class as Terry Smith who came over and helped me clear my yard.  In fact, years ago he and Terry actually came over and bolstered my front porch after I had a student group over and somebody fell through the stairs (long story).  He truly is a good friend.  He works in the Regional Counsel’s office for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I hadn’t seen him for a long time, at least not to be able to sit down and catch up, so we had lunch together at Copper Grill.  And you know what?  I don’t even know what I was thinking, but I didn’t take any pictures on the 6th!   We had a great visit.  He keeps up with a lot of the folks in his class and it was good for me to hear what they were doing.  I really appreciate you John for driving over to have lunch.

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Women Featured in AY Magazine

Women Featured in AY Magazine

Bright and early at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday I had to show up at Jason Masters Studio on Main Street which is located in the Block Two Loft, for the photo shoot for AY Magazine.  As you know, 8:30 a.m. is early to be photo ready so after dinner I went right to bed and got up early to look spiffy for the photo shoot the next day.  It was really a blast.  It was fun to meet all the other women.  They were (as you might imagine) pretty spunky and I’m very honored to be amongst them.  The shoot was a fun time and during it we got to know each other a little bit.  I know what you’re asking, “Who else was featured?,” but you’ll just have to pick up AY Magazine in March and see for yourself.   After the photo shoot, I asked if we might take some pictures on my own camera for the blog and here they are, but they aren’t going to be nearly as fun as the professional photos done by Jason, so you’ll just have to watch for that.

Dining Room in Brave New Restaurant

Dining Room in Brave New Restaurant

At 11:30 a.m. I drove out to meet Jack Lavey who is a long time union and employee side labor and employment lawyer.  He has been a very good friend to me and workers in the State of Arkansas.  Jack befriended me not long after I arrived here in Arkansas and has kept up with me over the course of my career.  He’s been an encouragement and good buddy.  I wanted to see him and to spend time with him and to let him know I’ve been thinking about him and how much I appreciate him.  He and I went to lunch at Brave New Restaurant which is a wonderful restaurant and has a terrific view.  I think I was still suffering from my cold house.  I couldn’t get warm, so I had a bowl of soup and a salad.  It was delicious.  It was called a “Spinach and Brave New Shrimp Salad.”  It was baby spinach tossed with pears, walnuts, Stilton cheese, and vinaigrette, topped with Brave New Shrimp and caper berries.  Jack had a salmon sandwich which looked fabulous.  We talked everything – politics, the election, labor – it kind of reminded me of my pre-Dean days.  It was really good to catch up with Jack.  We have a number of close mutual friends and I was able to find out what was going on in Little Rock from a progressive perspective.  I very much enjoyed my time with him.  Thanks very much Jack, for the treat.  It certainly was a double treat to be able to spend time with you.

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Amy Bower of AY Magazine

Amy Bower of AY Magazine

Wednesday, February 4, started with a request for information from a legislator and we scrambled to get that information in on time.  It was some pretty detailed budget information about the law school.  Once we got that out, I had an interview at 1:30 p.m. with Amy Bower of AY Magazine because I will be featured in the March edition as one of the top ten most powerful women in Arkansas in the category of law.  I’ve been teasing the folks around me saying I think it’s a lot more fun to be a top ten hottie at 50, but as one of our young alums, Chris Nebben reminded me, being a powerful woman is hot for guys who are smart.  So, I’ll take that compliment!  I’m very honored to be featured in AY Magazine.  Amy and I completed the interview that afternoon.  At 2:00 p.m. that afternoon we had a quick meeting to go over the upcoming events for the semester.  Michele Payne would be out for three weeks due to surgery, and the trooper that she is, she wanted to make sure that everything was in order before she left.  I very much appreciate her.  She is a delight to work with, very organized, and keeps me on task.

Frere Roger Shutz

Frere Roger Shutz, Founder of the Taize Ecumenical Community

Right after our meeting, I left for Little Rock and attended a Taizé service at 5:30 p.m.  A Taizé service is a service of prayer through song, words and contemplation.  It’s a very quiet, meditative reflective service.  A little bit about it . . . Taizé is the name of a village in the Burgundy region of France where a young Swiss theologian named Roger Shutz founded a Christian ecumenical community at the beginning of World War II.  He wanted to work for peace and help Jewish refugees by celebrating Christian unity.  His dream was to live in community with others who would practice the essential dimensions of the Gospel in a manner that would offer a response of Christian Reconciliation and hope in the face of the horrors of the war.  Brother Roger, as he became to be known, founded such a place in Taizé.  Taizé worship, now held in most major cities in the world, could be said to provide a ring of prayer, constantly encircling the earth.  The service was held at First United Methodist Church in downtown Little Rock.  It’s held there the first Wednesday of every month and I was fortunate enough to be invited by my friend Steve Shults to attend the service with him that evening.  It was a wonderful way to stop in the middle of what had been a very hectic and challenging time and to be quiet, reflect, and become centered again.  I’m very grateful to him for the invitation and very much enjoyed that service.

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Dinner at the Vermillion Water Grille

What I did after that was a lot of fun.  I checked into my usual hotel, the Hampton Inn in downtown Little Rock, and walked down to Vermillion Water Grille where I met Jane Kim, Chris Nebben and Cameron McCree for a rollicking, laughter filled evening and a wonderful dinner.  It was delightful to be with them.   They always make me laugh and lift my spirits and they were fantastically fun as always.  Thanks very much to Jane who treated me to dinner.  I didn’t expect that at all.  The treat was being with them.  By the way, let me add here for those of you who read the blog, if you’d like me to get in touch with you while I’m in Little Rock or to share a meal or break bread, just shoot me an e-mail at cnance@uark.edu or send me a Facebook message and I’ll certainly get in touch with you and we’ll set something up.

Provost McMath

Provost McMath

The next day, Tuesday, February 3, started out with my monthly meeting with Provost McMath.  It was a brief meeting.  We just had a little bit of business to visit about, but it’s always good to touch base with your boss and let him know what’s going on.  It’s been a pleasure reporting to Provost McMath.  I guess the most important point of the meeting was I needed to get my IDEA (Individual Development and Educational Assessment) survey done.  It’s an electronic survey sent to the faculty and staff that allows them to rate our administrative team here at the law school.

Professor Elizabeth Young

Professor Elizabeth Young

Later that afternoon I had a brief meeting with Prof. Elizabeth Young.  It’s always good to see her and to catch up with what’s going on.  As you may remember, she is a new faculty member who joined us and has brought our Immigration Clinic on line.  She had some fabulous ideas for programs and outreach.  It’s great to have her aboard.  She is being recognized by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal as one of the “Fast 15.” Way to go, Elizabeth!  We are all very proud of you!

Later that day in my continuing quest to regrow my hair, I ventured up to Rogers.  But before I did that I went by the house because through Facebook I learned from those of you on Mt. Sequoyah that the power might be back on.  So after my meeting, I zoomed back out to the house and flipped the main circuit breaker and indeed the power came on!  And of course, you know what the first thing I did was, go in and turn the thermostat up so that when I came back my house would be warm.  After that I raced to Rogers so I wouldn’t be late for my hair appointment where Lora takes very good care of me.  It is growing back and I’m very grateful to her for that.  I missed a Women of Distinction meeting, but everything got scrambled coming back and facing down the ice storm.  I still did not have telephone or cable, but you know what?  It didn’t matter because the house was warm.  That was very important.  Ironically, Tuesday was to be my last day home that week for a little while because I was to head to Little Rock the next day.  It was nice to come back to a toasty house on Tuesday evening.