Ramblings Post #17
Great people don't just exist, but are made by responding to the call of extraordinary moments. Or they just happen to be a little bit better than everybody else over a long period of time. Or they...well, you get my point, there is more than one measure of greatness. Lately we've been acceding greatness to the lucky, and those who simply are, devaluing the accolade. I am not a role model. Or a hero. I'm just a guy. And I should have a Nike commercial.
It's one thing to know you messed up, as I was preparing for the oral arguments - the second part to an appellate brief - but I just knew that had lost my "swagga."
I was stuttering and mumbling words, and in the one I video taped I was shocked at how my voice actually sounds. Nobody really knows what they REALLY sound like, trust me. In your head you sound completely different. In my head my voice is a deep resonant basso that should elicit immediate submission in a listener with it's very intonation. In reality, to me, it sounds a little higher than it should and less gravely than I thought. I also appear to have a country accent.
After realizing I sound like a cross between a tenor and country-fied Pee-Wee Herman, I'd tape myself but just to see how long my material ran. I was confident I'd get it, but realistic. I talk to a few lawyer buddies, and it turns professionals might spend two days uninterrupted getting ready for something like this. Okay, theirs are usually a little longer. A little. Oh joy.
Hello? Full time job here?
So zero hour approaches and I'm hoping I don't pass out from dehydration I'm sweating so hard. I'm pacing and talking, having scrapped the bullet point concept for a prepared speech in small bites - short burst paragraphs. I must have done it ten times in lobby waiting for the process to start. This promises to be a really long ten minutes.
Then as though it's a blur...we start, I'm talking, and talking, and talking....then questions come, AND I KNOW THE ANSWER! And then more talking and like an hour later, five minutes have passed. Then the questions come again, and more questions, and kinda fielding them well, I don't think I addressed the court properly, I can feel the sweat inside my shirt dripping down my side in little rivulets. Then like two hours later I've got one minute left, but I'm only like 65% done! Suddenly I'm pressed for time? How did that happen?
Then it's over and I have to sit through the other three arguments. It's varied, but I think they all sound better than me...well, mostly.
The review was shocking. Both judges thought I did well? I mixed argument and case law well in a convincing matter? Good use of what? I had presence and my voice resonated? Who in the THE hell were they listening too? I wasn't perfect by any means now, but apparently I've done good enough to sound like an attorney.
And you take it where you can get it. So I only have to do it again next week....
Barkeep....A tall glass of ice water.