Showing posts from September, 2011

Gephyrophobia: My Phobia of Crossing Bridges

                                                          . I had a fear of heights for the first thirty years of my life, but it faded in time.   Strangely, I only had it when I was connected to the ground, say leaning out a high window or at the edge of a cliff.   When I was a passenger in a plane, I had no problems with looking down to the ground, not even when the plane was landing and we were almost touching the runway.   However, eventually this phobia, a common one, faded, and heights don't much bother me (though a character in a movie who's in danger of falling puts me on the edge of my seat). I developed gephyrophobia when I met the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1981, crossing it on my way to a vacation in Atlantic City.   The bridge is enormous, both in height (186 feet) and length (four miles).   Look at the pictures and consider this additional terror: the part of the bridge that you drive on is not solid, but is instead a metal grid you can see through right do

Going Undercover at an Ex-Gay Meeting

                                                       .                                                                  In a previous post ("How To Change Gay People into Straight People," see Related Posts below) I discussed the disgraceful history of the Ex-Gay movement and so-called "reparative therapy," both of which pretend to be able to cure homosexuality, but which are in fact flagrant frauds.   As a lawyer, I'm amazed these people aren't put out of business by simple lawsuits alleging fraud and/or malpractice.   When asked for a list of people who have successfully converted from gay to straight, these organizations or individuals suddenly go mum and refuse to cooperate.   As I've also mentioned before ("How I Lost a Gay Marriage Debate") I have a standing offer of $5000 to be donated to the charity of choice of the offeree who can produce five men who used to be gay but by the efforts of whatever organization or process can n

Adventures in the Law School Classroom

. In my forty-plus years of teaching some strange things have happened in the law school classroom other than the routine educational missteps. This post describes some of the more memorable incidents. In January of 1970 I began my teaching career at the Indiana University Indianapolis School of Law, and that first year (and before a move into an impressive new building) the school was housed in a very old and even charming structure that was rumored to have a colorful past (theater, bawdy house, etc.—who knows the truth?). I was teaching an evening course in Contracts, and we were located in a rather large classroom on the third floor. Even though it was January the classroom was far too warm because all the building's heat migrated straight up to this room, making us all sweat. So three large windows were open in the back of the room, which allowed an adventurous crow to swoop into the room and see what was going on. The class laughed at the antics of the intruder,