So here, as promised, is my report from Grundy, Virginia and the Appalachian School of Law. Our student tour guide described Grundy as 9 miles long and ½ mile wide. Looks to be about right.
Last night when we arrived, we took a local’s recommendation and went to the local Chinese restaurant where the buffet table included such Chinese favorites as "taco salad" and "chicken kesadias" (Honestly, I couldn't make that up).
Having contracted a bit of a cold, I went to the Grundy Rite Aid, where a translation problem promptly developed. Trying to purchase some medicine, the clerk asked me for my “databird.” Being a geek, it is unsurprising that that’s what I heard. It took four polite “could you please repeat that” inquiries before it finally dawned on me that she was asking, in the native contracted cadence, for my date of birth. I’d like to own a databird though – sounds like a magical and charming creature.
Tonight’s presentation was to the law students about marketing yourself online – but one of our chief points (which we are constantly hammering home to the young) is that the photos and inappropriate text you post online today, often on social networking sites, may become electronic evidence tomorrow, preventing you from getting a job or a security clearance or even souring a promising relationship. Our religious fervor in this regard, along with some real life examples of young folks who have gotten themselves in a world of trouble online, clearly had an impact.
One young man came up afterwards and asked whether we thought his application to be a JAG officer might be impacted by what he had posted online, which he clearly didn’t want a prospective employer to see. When we gravely nodded and explained that the federal government is often routinely doing online checks, he quickly shook our hands and hurried off: “Thank you sir – thank you ma’am – I’ve got to get going. Got some work to do on my Facebook page.”
Good luck son. And go forth a wiser young man.
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