Conferring

October 14, 2009

Last week I was at a conference in Washington, D.C., for lawyers who represent unaccompanied immigrant children. I am one such lawyer, so it wasn’t totally inappropriate that I was there, and in fact, because I have handled a number of referrals for one of the national organizations that organized the conference, they were gracious enough to give me half off the cost of entry. Not only was that flattering, but it proved a genuine economic benefit when I learned that there would be free booze at the reception held on the first evening of the conference. That means that instead of paying $295 for six glasses of wine and receiving a complementary three-day conference as a bonus, I paid just $147.50. Also, there was food, and I got a commemorative tote bag from the Embassy of Finland, where some of the conference was held. (Did you know that the Embassy of Finland was the first green (as in environmentally friendly, not as in grass-colored) embassy in D.C.? I didn’t know that before, but I do now, and if the amount one knows something were proportional to the number of times one hears it repeated, I would know this fact very well indeed, as our Finnish hosts missed no opportunity to remind me. In fairness to them, the building was really cool.) While consuming one of those $24.58-priced glasses of wine, I learned that I was one of many many lawyers who had been given the half-off rate, but it didn’t bother me: Minor let-downs don’t sting so much when you have over $70 worth of wine and Finnish food in your belly.

Anyway, my travels prevented me from blogging, not because our nation’s capital lacks internet access (it does not), but because the conference, in addition to being interesting, involved lots of after-hours schmoozing. I mean, I suppose I could have just holed up in my room and focused on my personal blog, but I know that by developing a national network of contacts with whom I can trade tips and advice on legal matters, I improve the quality of service that I provide to my clients. So I bit the bullet, put personal preference aside, and went salsa dancing till three in the morning with a bunch of lawyers eight years younger than me. Because I care. About my clients. (I also saw Zombieland by myself, and it was immensely delightful, perhaps in part due to the fact that I smuggled two beers into the theater. This, too, was for the benefit of my clients, though I can’t explain exactly how.)

Now I am back in Connecticut, and I have no fancy photos to share. Soon, I will surely write a long, meditative exegesis on autumn, or childhood memories, or the effect of luck and chance on romance, any of which will make for meaningful reading. For now, though, here are some pictures of my conference doodles:

Conference doodle

Conference doodle

Conference doodle

Conference doodle (Martin Fierro verse)
That’s a verse from Martin Fierro, and I have no earthly idea how or why I conjured it from memory at that particular moment.

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One Response to “Conferring”

  1. Alice said

    Hace como cuarenta y cinco anos que no pienso en Martin Fierro. Madre mia….

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