Month: October 2009

TC Zombie Run

Updated post on November 15, 2009: The TC Zombie Run was a great experience for me. Despite the rain and chill, there appeared to be a great turnout of zombies and humans alike.

I remember being thrilled about the event upon my sister texting me about it. Looking back, it is another one of the many new and exciting events in Traverse City. Having the starting line in the Warehouse District was a good idea, as it’s not the easiest place to find and the exposure was good for the many wonderful businesses there.

The race website offered t-shirts to early registrants, which is was both a great incentive to sign-up early and good advertising year round. I procrastinated and missed out, but will be on top of it next year!

I’d like to thank organizers, volunteers and sponsors for putting on the race. The comment below brought to my attention that the race raised $8,000.00 for the TART trails, which is awesome!

I will be back next year and I’ll bring with me as many other zombies and humans as I can.

Personal Betterment Metrics

Do you, in all active and passive decisions and actions, seek to better yourself? Probably not, and neither do I, but it is interesting to think about trying to seek to improve our individual existence and that of our surrounding world with each action and decision we make.

I do strive to better myself over the long run. I work out most days, but not everyday. I eat well sometimes, but not every meal. I undertake challenging tasks like building my own website, learning more about photography, or working on being a more empathetic human being. I’ve just recently finished going to school, but plan on learning my entire life. (How can you not?) I read books, articles, and blog posts about interesting things.

When you look at the big picture, I do a lot of things at different times that make me feel as though I am improving, but there is no defined strategy and I have no reliable way of measuring my progress.

I’m not sure what to think about this thought other than what I’ve found most rewarding is moderation and balance. I’m not sure that approach will make me the most successful, but it often leaves me happiest and is the most sustainable in the long run. With a little patience, grand things can be accomplished over time.

What is your approach? Goals? Don’t care? Too busy to worry about it?

What Are We If Not Potential?

Pop!Tech is a:

unique innovation network – a global community of cutting-edge leaders, thinkers, and doers from many different disciplines, who come together to explore the social impact of new technologies, the forces of change shaping our future, and new approaches to solving the world’s most significant challenges. We are known for our thriving community of thought-leaders, breakthrough innovation programs, visionary annual conferences and deep media and storytelling capabilities.

I attended the conference in 2004 when I worked for Ruckus. I vividly remember the trip north from Washington D.C. – arriving in Portland, Maine on a JetBlue flight – driving up the coast to Camden, Maine where Pop!Tech takes place – the classic coastal views of water crashing against the rocky shore – beautiful leaves full of red, orange and yellow – the Talking Heads blasting on my car radio. By the time I arrived in cozy Camden, I was on an emotional high like none other I’d experienced before and had no idea how transforming the next few days would be.

The conference astonished me. I couldn’t believe how many ideas, things and experiences there were beyond those I held personally. I tried to capture as much of the conference as possible by furiously taking notes and recording the conference on my iPod. (I didn’t know that it would later be available online and they had yet to start showing it live or post videos – now they do both.)

I quickly realized that there was no way that I could process all of the information being presented, and didn’t, and still haven’t! I’ve still got the notes and look at them from time to time. I’ve kept up online since, but the experience isn’t the same as when you’re sitting in the Camden Opera House elbow to elbow with a bunch of geeks, entrepreneurs, artists, and thinkers. There is an atmosphere to it – an atmosphere that I’ve found present few other places – Sundance to a degree, the Traverse City Film Festival, and a handful of undergrad and law school lectures.

For all of the schooling I’ve been through at the University of Michigan and the Franklin Pierce Law Center, I look back and must say that I am underwhelmed by both of the experiences. There are a scant few professors, classes, and individual lectures that moved me the way Pop!Tech did/does. There is a difference – conferences have exciting presenters and powerful streamlined flashy ideas. I don’t care. At the end, higher education should be as powerful as a good conference presentation. Students should leave each semester with an excitement and hunger for more information.

If I were to travel back, knowing what I now know, I would do only two things differently. First, I would major in English instead of Economics. I thought I would make more money majoring in Economics. Whether that was true or not, I now view it a foolish. I should have followed my heart and my talents, which both fell firmly in the English Department. Second, I would worry more about the courses that captivated me than those that fulfilled some predetermined study path – e.g., concentrating on financial economics, etc. I closed a lot of doors before I looked through them.

As I walk through life meeting new people, moving to new places, and attempting new challenges, I am slowly coming to the realization that doing is living – that if I don’t open my mouth or take the first step or make a decision then the world will continue and I will stay. I think back to Pop!Tech 2004 when I say that because although I took in a lot of information at that conference and it exposed me to many new things, I didn’t stick out my hand and introduce myself, I didn’t realize how much I had to give, and I still feel as though I’m hoarding my experience and knowledge. It bring me to tears, as I write this, to think about what I could do and what I have done and I feel as though I’ve let the world down. I realize that’s a very narcissistic thing to say, but the feeling of great personal potential is something I’ve come to believe is integral to being human. What are we if not potential? There is a bigger message here than me feeling a responsibility to make this world better – it is that we should all be doing our part everyday to make this world a better place to live in now and in the future.

With all of that said, I’ve been watching a good deal of the 2009 Pop!Tech conference via their live stream. I like the theme this year – America Reimagined. It places the focus on home, while showing what we can do to make a better world. I am personally setting goals for the coming year that will change the feeling of lost potential and make the world a better place for all of us.

Trail Building and Trailblazing at the CRNA

There is a new park along M-37 (Center Road) called the Center Road Natural Area. Part of the park is cleared orchards, which are connected by grassed-over two-track roads. The more exciting parts, however, are the new single track trails that have been added and blazed.


View Larger Map

Today, thanks to Jason and Paula, I learned the difference between trail building and trailblazing. Jason explained trail building in a few definite steps, which I’ll detail below. Paula shared more about trailblazing that I could ever have imagined existed. I expected trailblazing to be a vicious attack on nature, but instead it is the act of painting six inch by two inch stripes of purple paint on trees along the trail to guide hikers. I’ll note some tips below.

Trail Building

When you’re building a trail, you’re either on the side of a hill or you’re not. If you’re not, then the trail building is significantly easier. You simply clear a path with you tool, remove roots, stumps and rocks and then pack the trail. With wear, it should become defined enough to be identifiable by hikers. If not, that’s where trailblazing comes in!

There is more of a technique to trail building when walking along the side of a hill where the ground is higher on one side and lower on the other. The best way to describe this process is to present it in 5 steps.

  1. Rake the leaves, needles, and loose organic soil up the hill.
  2. Dig into the hill and drag the dirt down the hill. “Broadcast” (as Jason says) the dirt away from the trail and down the hill.
  3. Drag your tool along the path of the trail from the higher point to the lower point. There should be a curb on the higher side that gives way to an 18-24″ path that slopes slightly downhill. Like this: \____
  4. Pack the curb. Pack the trail.
  5. Brush the debris that was raked uphill back over the trail to allow for a more natural look.

Follow Jason’s tips, keep your space and communicate and the trail practically builds itself! Not really. It’s hard work, but the time passes quickly.

Trailblazing

It was nice to learn what trailblazing actually was. I have a good appreciation for it because, having hiked many trails, I am aware of how easy it is to get lost if the “blazes” (aka – confidence markers) are not readily identifiable. If you are not a confident outdoors-man, then the sense of confusion and fear of being lost can ruin an otherwise enjoyable hike.

When trailblazing, keep these tips in mind.

  • Blazes should be a bright color and uniform in shape and size.
  • It is ideal to place the blazes at six feet in height to prevent snow cover.
  • Hikers should be able to identify the next blaze while standing at the current blaze.
  • It may be necessary to trailblaze in both directions.

There was a lot more that was mentioned, but that’s the gist of it. The bottom line is that you don’t want to mislead hikers or allow them to mislead themselves. Common sense applies here!

It was a great experience and it was nice to meet a few people passionate about the park and the environment. I’ll be back out there again soon building and blazing away.

Late at Night at Home #1 and #2

Two months ago, I wrote a post about what it is like late at night at home. For some reason, which I cannot explain or justify, I deleted the post. I remember that it involved dealing with the two dogs – the husky and the labradoodle – while making banana bread.

Tonight, I watched and listened to the labradoodle sleep on the uncomfortable for humans but very comfortable for dogs green chair in the living room. She must have been dreaming because she whimpered and shook from time to time. It worried me, but then she’d open her eyes a bit and stare at me. I roused her and put her out. After, I found myself tiptoeing around on the hardwood floors as if not to wake her (She usually sleeps in the basement). I had forgotten that she was standing at the top of the stairs waiting for me to take her down.

That’s two late nights at home, and it may become an irregular series.

Building a Cabin: Part 1

I am in the exploratory stage of wanting to build a cabin. The idea of building a cabin is new, but the idea of owning or living in a cabin is not. They have always appealed to me as a way to get away from the highly stylized facets of modern life.

I enjoy the out-of-doors, camping, and hiking. At some point while I was working at Ruckus, I discovered old fire lookout towers that were converted to sleeping units for hikers. Staying in one is something I hope to do someday. (Most are located out West.) I also have memories of fishing with my dad and friends at a lake in Canada. We flew in on a seaplane and were dropped off at a cabin, which was the only one on the lake. The setting of being away from everything was something I wouldn’t appreciate until many years later. What I am trying to say is that when I think of owning a cabin I am thinking of a unique experience that gives me room to breath. Building it myself would be that much better.

The cabin doesn’t have to be much. I won’t mind if it doesn’t have water or electricity. I don’t need those things. I will need an outhouse and I would like a simple table with red chairs, a sleeping loft, a porch, and a green roof.

I’m currently researching how to build the cabin, what it will cost, and open lots on which I can build. If you have any experience or pictures of cabins you find appealing, I would love to hear from you.

Dear Grandchildren

Mike Lewis inquired in his blog entry, “Things We’ll Say to Our Grand Kids,” (Link) about the things will tell our grandchildren about today that the grandchildren will be unfamiliar with. This was inspired by a Wired magazine article. (Link) Mike and Wired each came up with some good ones.

Here are some that I expect to say:

  • My electric toothbrush used to be the size of a banana.
  • It used to cost a lot of money to travel into outer space.
  • Things used to wear out before nanotechnology.
  • We all used to drive individual cars.
  • The weather wasn’t always completely under our control.
  • Sports leagues weren’t always international, but were merely national.
  • There used to be farmers in America.
  • Batters only lasted a few hours before needing to be recharged.
  • Gay marriage was only permitted in three states in 2009.
  • Kids used to have to go to a physical school, not just join in online.
  • I used to buy text books, not just download them to my tablet multiple use device.
  • In my day, health care wasn’t what it is today.
  • We used to regularly replace light bulbs.
  • There were only two main political parties when I started voting.
  • Not many people recycled when I was growing up.
  • There was much less green space than there is now.
  • There used to be these things called traffic jams.
  • My boss used to make me go to the office.
  • I used to only work for one company at a time.
  • There were only 50 states when I was younger.
  • I’m not sure I like these new smell televisions.

Here are some that I hope to say:

  • There used to be (such-and-such) disease.
  • We cured global warming by…
  • There used to be wars in which humans fought each other in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Hunger used to be a problem.
  • Racism? Sexism? You’re not aware of these?
  • We used to cut down trees to make paper.

TCYP Conference

I attended the inaugural Traverse City Young Professionals conference (Link) yesterday and I would like to congratulate the organizers for putting on a well planned, professional and successful event. I’d also like to thank the speakers, whose presentations are summarized below. The conference was rewarding in that I was exposed to community leaders I had not yet met and I had the chance to meet other young professionals in the area. I’m finding the Young Professionals to be, like many of the other events that are new to me, a vibrant group/event that adds texture and viability to Traverse City.

The conference was comprised of four speakers and a panel. My thoughts on each are below.

Onlee Bowden is the owner of Onlee Bowden and Associates (Link) where she provides professional speech training. Onlee’s presentation was excellent. She did a wonderful job of both showing and telling how even someone who is deathly afraid of public speaking could conquer their fears and “turn nervousness into excitement.”

Onlee made two points with regard to public speaking:

  1. Fear is misunderstood – you should set it beside you, not let it upstage you.
  2. Structure is freedom – you should have a basic outline, but allow room for your speech to breath.

I’ve never been a big fan of public speaking, and I’ve had some horrible experiences where I was ill prepared and performed poorly and was so nervous that my voice was quivering. I will take to heart her advice from the conference and hopefully be a better public speaker in the future.

Jodi Mallow Mass is the co-founder along with Michelle Corteggiano of ATI Attraction Marketing (Link), which is “your number one source for Integrating social media into your business marketing plan.” There is a lot of value in Jodi’s presentation. I have long been an early adopter of social networks and social media. At one point, Jodi put up a slide of what appeared to be the logos of 30 to 40 different social networking websites. I couldn’t find one that I have not, as some time, been a member of. Then she put a slide up that read, “We recommend you join three to four.” Ha!

In speaking with family, friends and business people, there is a growing curiosity and realization that Facebook and Twitter are legitimate sources of business. Jodi did a great job breaking this down by speaking about the value of having a Facebook page versus just creating a group. She also touched on where the value of Twitter lies – you get multiple answers instantly instead of waiting weeks.

There was one point that Jodi made that hit close to home. She complimented Traverse Legal on leveraging social networks to help build a legal practice and also stated that, traditionally, lawyers are slow to adapt such new methods. What she said is true, but I’m not sure it is because attorneys do not realize the value of tying into social networks. It may be because they recognize that the value is not yet there for them. As a young attorney, I see the value and will push for such a presence in whatever firm I become a part of. A small effort writing a blog, Tweeting links to legal articles, or developing a following on Facebook.

In sum, a few of Jodi’s points were:

  1. Ready. Fire. Aim.
  2. Alot a set amount of time to manage your social network presence, which hits close to home for me. It’s always seemed to take way too much of my time!

McKeel Hagerty is the CEO of Hagerty Insurance Agency (Link), which insures classic cars and boats. McKeel’s talk focused on branding and leadership, and was most like the presentations I saw at Pop!Tech and have watched in TED videos. There was a lot of substance that indicated depth, which is exactly what I am looking for in a conference. I want to be exposed to new books, ways of thinking, and experiences.

Some of the highlights of McKeel’s talk were:

  • Make your brand savory – which is to say that, like Nike, Apple, and Vigrin, your brand should evoke a strong emotion, trigger a very precise memory, and provide a leading gut feeling.
  • Step away from your company from time to time to evaluate what you are doing right and wrong. I am a huge believer in this through out life, and have found it good to “look at the big picture” when I need to bring things back into focus.
  • Consumer trust was demolished post-9/11. I’ve heard this before, but haven’t revisited it. It’s an interesting concept to keep in mind and emphasizes how hard a company has to work to captivate its customer base.
  • There is huge value in being the best in your category, especially over the long run when your customers perceive your quality to be better even if it is not. Again, strength of brand.
  • Have a carefully crafted story about yourself. This reminded me of the concept of “elevator pitches” in which you have a soundbite to pitch yourself to a prospective boss in an elevator ride. But, it’s bigger than that. It’s about being able to tell your life story and be proud of who you are, how you got to where you are, and that you know where you would like to go.
  • Eastern vs. Western Shepherding – or, rather, leading vs. managing. Be a leader.
  • “Have a James Bond.”
  • Writing is the most critical element in business. This resonated with me, being both a writer and highly valuing writing myself. It is lost on a lot of people. The skill goes far beyond what can be auto corrected in a word processing program.
  • Annual goal setting – I’ve tried to do this, but have not stuck to it. A friend of mine does a good job of this, and I hope to do a better job of setting goals and then striving to achieve them.

As I’ve said, McKeel gave me a lot to think about. I found his life trajectory interesting. He grew up in Traverse City, moved away for many years and then returned to Traverse City. I’ve recently returned after having been away for school and work for nine years.

Joan Jackson spoke about how to get into community and political leadership. She has a few interesting anecdotes about being on campaigns in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but was hard to hear and understand. It would be interesting to speak with her individually, as I think I would get more out of that than I did from her talk. She led in to the panel session.

Panel: State Senator Jason Allen, Mayor Michael Estes, and incoming mayor Chris Bzdok.

I found what each of the panelists had to say interesting, but the questions presented were repetitive. It may have been beneficial to open up the panel to the audience and allow for some more specific questions beyond, “How can young professionals get involved?”

I enjoyed speaking to the panelists afterward. Each was approachable and eager to talk. Bzdok made a comment that being mayor means being a conduit for the public’s voice – as mayor you listen to the public then try to accomplish tasks set forth and deal with issues raised. To my surprise, it was less about achieving your own vision, which was my perception of national politics. I have no experience in politics, but would like to get more involved. I hope to learn more from experiences like the panel and from speaking with local representatives.

For Every Friend

Maintaining friendships is a daunting task, which is why we seem to leave so many friends behind at each stage of our lives. When we are young, it is the switching from schools – elementary to junior high to high to college to graduate – that often changes our personal milieu and with that our friends. Sometimes we travel equal distances, but to different places – you may head to the west to pursue your doctorate in construction engineering and I may travel east to get my law degree. Other times you travel further than I, or not as far. It is each of these changes that leads us down a slightly different path than that of even our best of friends who, at one time long ago in elementary school, dreamed the same dreams.

With that said, I recently read a New York Times blog post titled, “The Referendum,” which elaborates one what I’ve said above, but hits on a slightly different point – that by middle age we resent one another for making different decisions than us. The idea that we are all rational beings (interested only in our own self-advancement and happiness) has long since been shot to hell, either because we are not rational or because the success of others can, honestly, increase our own well being. I hope that the reason is a little of each.

The one sentence from the aforementioned post that most resonates with me is a James Salter quote that reads as follows:

For whatever we do, even whatever we do not do prevents us from doing its opposite. Acts demolish their alternatives, that is the paradox.

Accepting this, and I believe we must or risk being reactionary beings, is absolutely necessary to moving forward in life. If we do not live believing that with each door that opens we must close one, then we can not advance our work, family, or individual existences. Years ago, a family friend commented that one of the most daunting obstacles upon graduation from high school is having to close doors for the first time in our lives. It is the first time when we are forced to make a major decision – to go to college? and what college? For the now lucky many, college is a reality they must choose. But the demolition does not stop with choosing a major. In the long run, that is as insignificant as one’s grade school GPA. Yet in the present, every minute detail matters so much that, if we look back and see a discrepancy between our decision and that of our friends, then it is impossible not to feel something – anything at all – be it positive or negative. (Cite)

I hope for the sake of my future middle-aged self that I am not as rational as my economics degree would have me be and that I make enough “right” decisions to be satisfied with who I am when I look across the table at my old friends at reunions, tailgates, etc.

One Pair of Shoes in the Corner

I want to own a cabin far away from everything, so that I may feel the immense solitude of the silent wood around me. I would go there as often as possible to make sense of all of the feverish chaos that is common – welcomed – begged – into every other moment of our lives. There is rarely a break from the thought that I must be doing something, perhaps imparted on all Americans by our Puritan forefathers. Hard work, no questions. I have the impression that we are to explore when we are young, we are to work when we are of age, and then we are to die when the time comes.

It’s unfortunate that more of us do not die young to be reborn with eyes wide open and waiting for the moments in life that make life so precious. It is clear, from what I have seen of the world, that there is a great deal of time wasted on things insignificant and hurtful, and that it would do us – as both a civilized society and as a brazenly savage species – a great favor to disband from one another and discard, if only for a long moment, of our tether to technologies’ dark side.

There is no more nourishing retreat than quiet personal reflection – looking into the space of my own head until it is as familiar as the feeling of returning to my childhood home. I can think of no better place from which to do this than a lonely cabin hidden by tall evergreens and light gray morning fog. I would walk to it, open the door, leave my shoes in the corner of a dirty mud room, sit in a comfortable rocking chair next to a plain table and stare out the window.

I would stare. I would breath. And I would feel free.

Excerpts and Quotes and Donut Holes

When I read an excerpt of, for example, an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel or a quote from a poem by John Keats, what am I missing? What am I gaining?

I miss two things: 1) The rest of the story; and 2) Developing the skill required to recognize the remarkable.

I gain one thing: 1) Time.

I’m beginning to think that I should stop reading the excerpts and start reading the novels, poems and other works that are excerpted. How can I claim to have lived my own life – to have found my own path – to produce anything original if I have no understanding of that which surrounds the exceptional? That is, if I am to be exceptional, I must know the unexceptional as well.

The Risk of Moving Home

I recently made the decision to return to my hometown of Traverse City, Michigan instead of staying in Chicago, Illinois where I spent two months over the summer studying for the Illinois bar exam. This was not an easy decision because of many factors, not the least of which is a fear that I might fail in front of those closest and most dear to me. David Byrne summarized this idea nicely in a recent Wall Street Journal article. Here is an excerpt:

The generous attitude towards failure that big cities afford is invaluable—it’s how things get created. In a small town everyone knows about your failures, so you are more careful about what you might attempt. (Link)

David is right that big cities insulate your failure and small towns do not, but I think he is driving at two different issues. It is okay to fail in any setting, big or small. What matters most is how you deal with it. If you can’t take the ridicule and gossip of a small town, then stay in NYC or Chicago. However, if you don’t mind hearing about why your community members think you failed (or succeeded) and you are able to process that information in a productive way, then a small town is much more rewarding because you are almost guaranteed of feedback, whether good or bad. In a big city, you run the risk of being drowned out.

I think back to when I first started at the University of Michigan and I said to my parents that I couldn’t imagine moving back to Traverse City because I thought there wasn’t much going on in Traverse City! (I laugh now at my insensitivity and ignorance, hoping that in the future I avoid making such sweeping statements. But, I was new to college and everything in Ann Arbor truly was new, for better or worse.)

I find now that there is more accessible activity in Traverse City than I’ve found anywhere else I have lived in the past ten years. I’m not sure what the city is putting in the water, but with much of the development around town (State Theater, State Hospital, Warehouse District, the Pit downtown, the Jolly Pumpkin, Shorts, other new microbreweries, the Young Professionals group, etc.), the founding of the Traverse City Film Festival, the wineries, and old and new friends all seems to have breathed a new life in my quite hometown. None of this would have happened if other people had not taken risks.

In examining more closely what the big city of Chicago had to offer and what the small town of Traverse City had to offer, the risk was not in the possible exposure of failure but in failing to expose what matters most in my life – happiness, family, friends, and the many great experiences Northern Michigan has to offer.

When I stand on the shore of Lake Michigan waiting for my dog to swim back to me or when I’m hiking through the woods of one of the many trails I have recently discovered and re-discovered or even when I’m walking down Front Street on a rainy day, it is crystal clear how much more rewarding the small town of Traverse City is than any big city.

Passion & Sacrifice

I played golf with a friend the other day and it reminded me of how passionate I used to be about anything that had to do with the game of golf. I played every chance I got, I worked at a golf store, I researched, tested and bought new clubs. While many of my peers seemed to have a modest interest in the game, looking back I feel that it consumed me in both good and bad ways.

It’s been my belief that you have to forget about a lot of things to excel at one thing. There is a metaphor for success that involves a stove top with four burners. To excel in any one area, one must shut off two of their burners. The burners, which represent different areas of one’s life, are:

  • Work
  • Health
  • Family
  • Friends

Looking back at certain times in my life, I’ve turned off or turned down different burners at different times.

High School Golf

Sacrifice: Golf being work, I turned down friends and family. Friends by choosing to hit golf balls on summer afternoons instead of beaching it with them. Family by creating a vacuum around me – time at the dinner table discussing my play, money spent on travel, lost work time, and mental anguish as I plodded my way around each course.

Takeaway: Being great takes hard work, time, and sacrifices by those around you. I had a tremendous amount of support that I took for granted. Thinking about this now, I have a greater appreciation for the endurance required to be a parent.

Ruckus

Sacrifice: I turned off health. That’s really all I can admit to turning down, although, for the first time in my life, I was living in another state from my family and probably could have called/written/whatever more often. But this was a health sacrifice. I worked myself into the ground after five months, ended up with mononucleosis, and gained weight.

Takeaway: It took until my second year in law school to give in to working out regularly and eating well (or at least better). Now when I overeat or eat too much junk, it pisses me off because I know I’m not doing what is right for my body. I’m sure we’ve all heard this before – that our bodies are holy sacred places. Who wants fast food in a place so dear?

The point of all of this is that we make different sacrifices at different times in our lives. It’s healthy to recognize where we are lacking and that it’s impossible to keep four burners on high year after year. I’ve never been able to do it. What can be done is to seek moderation in all four areas, and be willing to sacrifice in any one area if necessary.

I Passed The Illinois Bar Exam

I was hiking Old Mission Point Park with the labradoodle and the husky when I heard that the Illinois bar results were starting to be released, and made my way home to check online. It took a few minutes to read the comments on Above the Law to figure out that ibaby.org was overwhelmed by test-takers checking for their scores. This didn’t surprise me, however I hope that the Illinois bar examiners are able to remedy the problem for next year. It’s not fun receiving an email that tells you your results are up and not being able to login!

October 9, 2009

Dear Mr. Rogers,

We are pleased to advise you that you have passed the July 2009 Illinois bar examination.

Our records reflect that you have satisfied all of the requirements for admission to the bar of Illinois pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 704 and will be certified to the Illinois Supreme Court as eligible to take the oath of admission.

Very truly yours,

Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar

This makes me very happy! Thanks to my family and friends for their support, the Franklin Pierce Law Center for teaching me well over the past three years, and the Starbucks on Halsted Street in Chicago’s Greektown where I spent most of my summer with my blue BarBri books and notecards.