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THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNED FROM COLLEGE
I’m fortunate to have many great teachers in my life, though there is one who helped instill a professional discipline in me that I continue to benefit from today. While taking my undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University, I was majoring in range and wildlife management, and I had to take a required course called Plant Taxonomy. This might sound like a pleasant name for a hobby, but the class was incredibly rigorous. The professor designed the course so we had to learn, identify, and collect many plants every week: As in, we had to go into the real world and find the plants we were learning about. Then, we’d be tested on these plants by receiving small portions of them, which, as you’d guess, were not big enough to recognize the plant. The only way to identify them was by putting them under a microscope and noticing distinct (and tiny) characteristics that would allow you to identify the plant. This class quickly taught me that if you didn’t keep up with the course work, you couldn’t pass the class. There was no way you could procrastinate until the end of the semester and cram for the final exam. It’d lead to failure. Without a way to catch up, you had to be disciplined enough to keep up with the work along the way.
At the time, I planned to get my degree, live in the mountains, and ski all day. Later, I realized I had to earn money to go skiing! Ultimately, my education helped me a lot with the rigorous classes in law school and even today during my career. I’ve learned repeatedly in the practice of criminal defense that — whenever I get a new complex case — it’s important to jump into it right away. Your investigation needs constant keeping up with and active involvement on your part. Putting in the time can be overwhelming at first, but so long as you’re steady throughout the course of the case, you’ll pull through even the most challenging ones.
Luckily, I realized this pretty fast — and dropped out of the course after a few weeks.
That lesson in discipline from my Plant Taxonomy teacher has served me well in my profession. I hope you all get a chance to express thanks to your teachers, too, and have a very happy National Teachers’ Day this May 4.
I felt some failure and shame in doing so, but it caused me to be honest with myself: I wasn’t being disciplined enough. Eventually, I did retake the class, kept up every week, and received an A.
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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GET YOUR HEART PUMPING AT HOME!
4 Living Room CardioWorkouts
Walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to get in some exercise, but getting in a daily walk outdoors isn’t always possible. If you’re unable to enjoy your regular cardio exercise, what can you do? Try these four cardio workouts to get your heart pumping right from your living room.
Seated Rows While sitting in a chair, keep your spine straight and shoulders back. Extend your arms until they’re out in front of you, parallel with the floor. Using your shoulder and back muscles, pull your arms toward you then back out in front, as though you were rowing a canoe. Repeat this exercise 8–10 times. Dance Dancing is a great cardio exercise and plenty of fun too! Pick your favorite dance style and start moving those feet. Some styles, such as ballet or hip-hop, can be more challenging, especially if your mobility is limited. However, freestyle is plenty of fun too. No matter how you choose to dance and whether you’re by yourself, with a friend, or with your spouse, turn on some music and start grooving to your favorite tunes. A Note on Safety: Before you get started on any exercises, make sure that the space around you is safe. Give yourself plenty of room to move around so you don’t have to worry about bumping into furniture and accidentally hurting yourself. If you’re an older adult, be sure to have a stable surface nearby just in case. A chair, for example, can help you steady yourself if you begin to lose your balance.
March in Place Marching is a great way to start slowly
increasing your heart rate. Start by standing in place then lifting the legs up in a steady march, lifting each knee as high as you can without losing your balance. Make sure that you are also pumping your arms in time with your feet. For the best outcome, lift your legs 20 times. Side Steps Start by standing in the middle of the room with plenty of space for you to step left and right. Take a side step in one direction, then two side steps in the opposite direction, then move back two steps. If you’re worried about keeping your balance, try doing this within an arm’s length of a wall so you can reach out to steady yourself, and remember to keep your back straight. Repeat 20 times.
DON’T MAKE THESE 3 DANGEROUSLY COMMON MISTAKES DURING ARREST If you are about to be arrested or issued a ticket, it is important that you avoid mistakes that could further harm your case or lead to new charges. These are the three most common mistakes individuals make, especially if it’s their first arrest.
questions from an officer. For instance, in a DWI situation, the officer may ask the individual if they have been drinking and how many drinks they have had. In Fort Worth, it’s best to remain silent and refuse to answer the question. Even if the person does answer the question, the officer may think the person is lying and use that as an excuse to detain them further. Believing That Law Enforcement Is Telling the Truth Many people do not realize that law enforcement can legally lie to an individual in certain circumstances. When a detective is investigating a crime, they may change the truth when asking questions in order to get the individual being detained to give them the information they want to hear. An officer may tell the individual that they have enough evidence to convict them for a particular crime when, in fact, they do not have any evidence at all. This is why it is important to refuse to answer the questions and then contact a well-established defense attorney right away. An attorney could investigate the case and find out how to start defending it. If you have been arrested for a crime, contact a lawyer as soon as possible! We will stand by your side and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process.
Self-Incrimination Many of the common mistakes during a Fort Worth arrest occur before the individual is even arrested. When someone is about to be arrested, the officer may ask the individual questions. It is essential that the person exercises their Fifth Amendment right and remains silent. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from self- incrimination. Exercising this right cannot be used as a circumstance to justify detention or arrest. For example, when an officer pulls someone over for speeding, the officer may ask the individual why they were going so fast or if they knew how fast they were going. If an officer asks these questions, it is important not to answer them. The officer may go ahead and write the individual a ticket, but that is all that the police can do unless they have reasonable suspicion of some other crime. Answering Investigative Questions As mentioned above, it is vital that an individual exercises their Fifth Amendment right when being asked investigative
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REMEMBER WHEN THE ‘STAR WARS’ UNIVERSE HAD A SUPREME COURT?
Galactic Congress, mainly referred to as the Galactic Senate, held representatives from every planet and was the main governing body of the Republic. However, both law enforcement and the legal system fell under a different, single branch: the Judicial Department. Of course, the courtrooms weren’t the main facility for solving disputes. For a long time, law enforcement had their own arbitrators, known as the Judicials, who acted as armed peacekeepers and helped solve problems on planets locally. (It wasn’t until later on in the Republic’s history that they relied mainly on Jedi to act as the galaxy’s peacekeepers.) Peacekeepers can’t solve all crimes, though, especially those by political leaders. The Supreme Court was the Republic’s highest legal courtroom and helped solve the most intense intergalactic crimes. When Nute Gunray launched an invasion on Naboo during “Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones,” he was tried on four separate occasions, but, with expensive legal help, avoided imprisonment. In the movie, he blamed his persistent legal problems on Padmé Amidala, a senator for Naboo in the Galactic Senate, and put a price on her head. And so, the theatrics of the movie ensued.
In a universe full of dangerous adventure, advanced technology, and fantasy-inspired humanoid species, it might be hard to initially imagine exactly how a Supreme Court fits into an action-packed “Star Wars” narrative. Yet, in the “Star Wars” prequels, we get a peek into exactly how it worked. At the risk of sounding super nerdy, here’s a few fun facts that’ll help you blast away at light speed during your next “Star Wars” trivia night. To explain the Supreme Court, we have to break down the Galactic Republic, also known as the Republic. It began around 25,000 BBY, or Before the Battle of Yavin (aka, the destruction of the first Death Star in the very first “Star Wars” movie). Still with us? Good! Because the Galactic Republic was a huge deal. Planets operated much like states within the United States and joined the Republic to gain more protection and trade, despite exchanging their political independence. The Galactic Republic was essentially the galaxy’s superpower that helped maintain relative peace in the galaxy, including a congress, law enforcement agency, and legal courts. The
Turns out that politics can be quite dramatic, even in “StarWars.” We hope you enjoyed these fun facts! May the Fourth be with you!
Easy & Healthy Green Rice
1 cup tightly packed spinach leaves 1 cup tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup yellow onions, finely diced
1/2 cup green peppers, diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup long-grain white rice
1. In a blender, purée spinach and kale with vegetable stock, coconut milk, and salt. Set aside. 2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
adding the blended mixture. Increase heat to bring to a boil. 4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid has evaporated, 15–20 minutes. 5. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving
3. Stir in rice and cook and
toast for 1–2 minutes before
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1. The Most Important Lesson I Learned From College
2. Can You Do Cardio at Home?
3 Dangerously Common Mistakes During Arrest
3. RememberWhen the ‘StarWars’ Universe Had a Supreme Court?
Green Rice Recipe
4. AustralianWombats Are Saving the Day!
AUSTRALIANWOMBATS IN CHARGE
Saving Lives One Hole at a Time
Remember the Australian wildfires of 2019–2020? These fires ravaged large areas of the country, displacing and
At this particular watering hole, Finnie captured all sorts of creatures on camera — birds, emus, possums, echidnas, and monitor lizards — congregating around the wombats’
leaving countless animals to fight for survival. To make matters worse, swaths of the country have been dealing with drought. It’s one challenge after another for humans and animals alike. But one species has taken matters into its own “hands.” Numerous wombats have been discovered digging holes in search of water — and they found it! According to Australia’s ABC News, one group of wombats was discovered on a farm in New South Wales, which was situated over a large underground reservoir. So, the wombats went to work. One farmer, Ted Finnie, reported that wombats dug a hole roughly 4 meters deep by 20 meters wide (or about 65 feet). Their incredible work made this source of water remarkably accessible.
creation. What isn’t known is how, exactly, the wombats discovered the water, but they surmise the animals likely picked up on environmental clues and dug until they found what they were looking for.
Interestingly enough, wombats have been known to help other animals in the past. During the Australian fires, countless animals were left searching for refuge, and they found it in wombat burrows.
While the wombats weren’t exactly welcoming other species into their homes with open arms, they seemed to “tolerate” the visitors, as one ecologist with the University of Adelaide noted. It was a case of accidental heroism, much like their search for water,
but it was heroism nonetheless.
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