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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 27, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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and at. >> [applause] we are excited today to present supreme court justice teefourteen who is launching her first book, a memoir called teeeleven. please turn off your cellphone saw and flash photography a and videotaping is not allowed. if you're caught you are -- our security has the authorization to treelike as supreme court justice that the authorization hearing. [laughter] the flowers on the stage are from puerto rico.
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their roots of teenine culture and family our regular florist put on orchids and ginger and tropical for the image. and thank you c-span booker t. the we welcome you and our friends across the country joining us on television. thank you for joining us. [applause] i'm excited that the first lady hubbard is here with us tonight. [applause] and one of my favorite people and a terrific player please stand.
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[applause] [cheers and applause] you can see past presentations on our web site such as jane goodall goodall, bill moyers, and supreme court justice john paul stevens. go to the web site at progressive forum houston .org. we're glad to give away free books just a year negative sure your ticket stub. supreme or rules to not allow us to discuss court cases of the
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past, present, or future but we will delved deep into her fascinating story. justice sotomayor will sign books and greet fans in the grand foyer. i cried when i read "my beloved world" and i also left. it is a good book. i believe it will be more than a best seller but because of a passive american success story required reading in his closing colleges i am amazed at the evils we have been getting from houston students filled with exclamation point saw. urine people connect with sonia sotomayor. in her book i was especially impressed of her and her brother as kids doing their homework with their mother who was also doing her's steading to becoming a registered nurse.
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two generations encouraging each other. to me, justice sotomayor success story should replace should replace the ratio alger myth from determination yes her story is an individual determination but also about community, a family in negotiating cultural boundaries to overcome poverty, a chronic disease, and security and self discovery and the joys of growing as an authentic person. deep success is in and america as it really is. sonia sotomayor the third woman in the first hispanic to serve on the supreme court. board in the bronx and raised in a public-housing project her parents moved to
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new york city during world war ii her father became a factory worker and her mother joined the women's auxiliaries corporation. sonia sotomayor was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of seven and her father died when she was nine. she and her younger brother were raised by a single mother and her brother is now a doctor. sonia sotomayor graduate as valedictorian of her high school class, graduated from princeton university summa cum laude a the highest price for the a director while attending yale law school she was editor of the law journal. she could have become a highly paid lawyer out of yale but she went right into public-service becoming the assistant district attorneys serving the people of new york. she served in almost all levels of the judicial
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system including private practice as well as years on the federal bench. 2009 president barack obama nominated in the u.s. senate confirmed sonia sotomayor as a 111th justice of the u.s. supreme court. io give you sonia sotomayor. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause]
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spee net after a guide to washington in 2009, i net to a whole bunch of texans from everywhere in this large state. and i have been repeatedly invited to visit. and when you get a new job you are a little busy? so i have not been able to come. but it is a tribute to the warmth of the people that has been confirmed in a few hours i have been here already. that this is the third city on my tour. first washington now my home and the home of my heart comedy york and i've been
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back and forth a lot between the two as you see on television. [laughter] this is my first trip outside. i am delighted this is my first trip to texas and that i am here in houston. [applause] >> i wanted to visit more than one city and i am going to austin but i cannot visit every place i want to. stuff of a day job and there may have a few days to visit cities to provoke -- promote my book i made a promise on television but i will be back to visit other cities in texas. [applause]
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>> where are you sitting? i did not see you. you are part of the reason i could come and randall and suzanne, the founders of the progressive forum to put this together for me. they have extended every once and courtesy to me. i am surrounded by flowers some of which i described in the book from part of "my beloved world" puerto rico. thank you. so i am here to talk to about my book and what it is about when started to
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right.there is one thing i wanted to accomplish. when you write a memoir and i have read many through my life, you sometimes come away asking questions did either and anything new about this public person? reid credibly i have read books or memoirs are autobiography and thought i did not learn much that i didn't already knew i did not want to right that kind of book that something different or at the end their reader could come away to say to themselves i think i know her. so what "my beloved world" intended in part to do was to let you into my heart and
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soul into i hope to show you who i was but also a little bit of view. the purpose is captured in one part of my book. probably my favorite passage. and so i read it to you because it summarizes one of the very important reasons i wrote the book on page 178. it reads, when a young person, even a gifted one grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become become, whether lawyers, scientists, artists or leader of the rolm, her goals remain abstract.
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as they appear in the books on the news however inspiring or revered or too remote to be true let alone influential. better role model provides more than an inspiration. his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities to say yes, someone like me can't do this. so it is my hope that every child and every adult would say what i said during my nomination speech, yes, she is an ordinary person just like me.
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and if that ordinary person can do it, so am i.. [applause] that is what i try to do with the story of this book to tell you my experiences and my feelings as i perceive them at the time. you will find me talking in the child of the little sonia then give you their reflections of the adults sonia. that was not so easy to do to put myself back in time and tell you what i was feeling but i did it for a purpose.
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and in the process to have the hope that every single person in this room who has experienced even one of the difficulties i have faced in life and those are as diverse having a chronic disease and is surprising how many suffer from chronic disease and live their lives never talking about it, as a child raised by a single parent, facing discrimination whether about my ethnicity or gender or about my background, we each feel the sting in some way. to simply being a phrase.
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and then to create a bravado. it is hard to do. and i talk about those things and in the ordinary way that i can that i order in hope to give people courage to talk about and rethink there own experience. there was a second purpose to the book. the books that i love are the books that i have read and make me think on different levels because there is a duty in reading
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books and discovering new things. and you learn about how i use books after my father's death to escape the unhappiness in my home. and they became a rocket ship out of that unhappiness but landed vienna far universe of the world to understanding places i thought i could never visit, i now have the wherewithal, but i found india and africa and places i heard about on television but never imagined knowing. i learned about them through books bright hope any job that is here understands
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television is wonderful but words paint pictures in a way that nothing else can. i will read one part of my book that will prove my point* for everyone in this room. because i think these passages painted picture of my grandmother that you don't need to see the photographs in the book. but it pate said pitcher without having a photograph. so i read your page 16 of my book, and it reads ab lee to
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was going to cook for a party and she wanted me to come with her to by the chicken. i was the only one that ever went with her. i loved abuelita totally and without reservation and her house was a safe haven from my parents storm. i believe in order to thrive a child must have at least one adult in her life that shows unconditional love, respect and confidence. for me it was 86 and was determined to grow up just like her with this same exuberant grace. not that we looked much alike, she had very dark eyes, a darker than mine and
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a long face with a pointed nose with long straight hair. nothing like my nose or short curly locks but we recognized a twin spirit and enjoyed a bond beyond explanation. emotional resonance that sometimes seem telepathic and we were so much alike in fact, that people called me low little one that was a great source of pride. with my eight cousins also had a special connection with abuelita even they never wanted to go on saturday mornings because of the small.
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it was not just the chickens that smelled they had baby goats and pigeons and rabid in cages stacked up against a long wall. they were stacked so high that abuelita would climb up the ladder on wheels the birds would be squawking and flapping and screaming and there were factors in the year and the floor was slippery when they opposed it down and chickens with eyes -- mean eyes watching you. [laughter] [applause] one of my favorite parts of the story. >> at the end of my confirmation process everybody learns about my
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mother but one day she said to me, sonia nobody has talked about your abuelita and she really was the most important person in your life. so i use this book in part to tell the story of my grandmother, my abuelita because almost everybody and there are some unfortunate people who don't get to know their grandmothers or grandfathers, but those who do know with a special kind of love is. for every mom and dad and abuelita i hope you see a piece of yourself because abuelita are special. that brings me to a critically important part of
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during the confirmation process i was being asked so many questions. now i will tell you the following i always upset my marshals when i do this. i'm going down to the audience. i am sorry i cannot go up there. you are too far. of this year earlier and i look negative and i thought this is lovely for but it is intimate. this is big. i cannot go to you and i will not go far back as i want so you can still see me but i find if i walk among you, i approve my family right. they used to call me hot pepper because i never could sit still. i still can't. [laughter]
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people are asking me about my father the where he came from and what his family was like and i did not have much to tell them. they ask a lot about mail another and there were basic parts of first tory that i knew, but there was a lot i could not answer. some of the affirmation that came out during the confirmation hearings proved to be wrong. in fact,, i did not know where my father was born. i thought it was from the town he had left, but it turns out that wasn't true, he was born in another town of. [laughter] and i will tell you one of the things that surprised me to know and was knowledge of
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that but the people helping me to the research with my family in puerto rico went to the local priest to look at our families birth records the priest greeted them and said to the person i knew she would end up here. we were just waiting. and he reached behind and pulled out the book with -- with the birth certificate of my father and his siblings. it was a very touching moment, a very, very touching moment. a second thing happened during my confirmation hearing, every morning before i went to the white
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house, i would call my mother, a just to hear her voice. i don't talk to my mother every day i broke her of that have been a long time ago. [laughter] -- have it a long time ago they will not like me saying that's but one night i forgot to call her after she was used to me calling every day and she was frantic i get dizzy. so now i talk to her at least once a week and sometimes more but i do it spontaneous lee says she does not worry as much. but i found myself calling her every moment during that
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comfort and i , as much as we had gone through life together, that9f i really had not spent that much time talking to her about her life and her feelings. we're all self-absorbed. but not as much as her feelings. i asked her question i had never asked her before. and it was were you ever in love with daddy? to understand the background by the time a team around a few years later my father
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was such an alcoholic that my life with him was filled with very unhappiness. one of the greatest gifts of writing this book was finding out about a father that i never knew. and the love story that i never knew between him and my mom. so i will read you just a piece of my book. because of all the chapters, the one i love the most is chapter seven because it is a chapter that i learned about my mother just from talking to her. i began to write the book nearly 50 years after my-8 dad's death that they came to a true understanding of
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the mother's grief. father image parents' relationship was confined by the narrow aperture of which i watched him as a child. frozen in time from when my father died, guilt induced grief was more a sophisticated than the seas psychiatric help of $0.5 a pop. the big change over might father's alcoholism silence in a conversation among the adults that the question what i thought and my brother and i would speak more openly to each other but he would have nothing to mind analysis and could have no memories of my father or
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the time before his death. with the vocabulary of hindsight i came to assume the intensity of my mother's grief implies some sort of clinical depression that was never treated but somehow resolved itself eventually. i had never before in all of these years past that very intelligent and perceptive woman for her own version of events. i would be startled by what i am covered, and even grateful with me, the happier version of my father and mother than i ever knew. my parents' relationship was richer and more complex than a child could imagine in the stories that comçpeqçr to life are all the more precious
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for having been captured as my mother's memory is fading faster with age. sometimes the people closest to us by those that we know the least. where should i begin, a sonia? begin at the beginning, mom. >> and the rest of the chapter is that story. i hope you will read it to find the joy that i did. [applause] i pass on the greatest lesson of this book, to every person in this auditorium who has a living ñmrent, grandparent, aunt orçm uncle, anyone who is alive that has a memory of your family's history, it took me
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55 years to sit down, talk to them, listen to their stories with an open mind mind, and on about yourself you know, what happens? i know because i did. you hear the stories at the sunday table or visiting at christmas and. [speaking spanish] [laughter] it is the exclamation point of here we go again. me lee all do it. how often you hear the story and you thank you know it? you thank you understand the
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reason behind it? but you don't stop to ask. so i am giving you a free lesson don't do what i did. don't wait until they are not here any longer. do it whenever you have the chance. i have to tell you, i took the time during the busiest part of my life i ever had, becoming a supreme court justice, and i did it for personal reasons. the personal reason was because i wanted to hold onto sonia. i was thrust on to the world stage and my life was moving at an incredible pace. and happens to all of us is
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we forget how we got there sometimes rethink it just happens briefer get to be grateful. and i did not want to forget. this book is my memory. this book is your so the day i get seated my family and friends hit me over the booker -- my a family and friends hit me over the head with it when i am conceded. [laughter] but also a tribute to that moment that i took with that very hectic life i created, also spare vacation time in the summer. i have not had a vacation in three years since i was nominated. i took though we got here
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and there and went to the beach for one week last summer but every day of my last three summers i treated this book like a job i got up early in the morning and by 9:00 telesat the kitchen table and i worked every day until six or 630 at night five days a week. if you do not treat a task as a job it does not get done. but the benefit is i learned about my family and yours. take the time, make the time with those that you love. you will find out the most incredible things, i assure you.
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so where are we on time? >> we are still good. >> i can go into something else. i am good with that. [laughter] >> about five or seven minutes. >> we had a long talk before be strong when i asked you the question tell me the truth or i did not do my job. i have more walking to do. i did not know all of those people would be a fair balance those people to see me one of the things i've lost in this job is once you are nominated to the supreme court every eye in the world is on you. i am not a exaggerating people from around the world have come to the united
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states to save it watch my nomination on tv. and that they read our cases and follow what the court is looking at. because of that everything you do is under constant scrutiny. sometimes unlocking down i have to hold on because of my broken ankle. thank you. now i show you the inside and i think i have lost everything so i hope it has been worthwhile. [applause] i started by talking to you
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how we keep things secret i have been asked why did he start with the chapter of the diagnosis of your juvenile diabetes? i thought about saying to all the view that many of usfud5 hide the sad things in our life. it's not easy to talk about an alcoholic father or talk about the terror i felt when my diagnosis -- diseases diagnosed for the ever present part of my life thus so our family members that are drug addicts and you
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learn in this book about a relative of mine that was my cousin. we were inseparable as children. you will see pictures in this book that will show you almost every picture, he is right next to me. he died of aids before he was 30. i was with him the night before he died and many of the week's the floor. i read to you a passage. i read it to you because his sister saw me this past weekend at an event in new
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york and said to me me, sonia, thank you, very few people remember who nelson was. and now you brought him back to life. and he might even teach kids some good. so i will read you chapter 26. a few paragraphparagraph s. >> to try to understand in my heart how it could happen to children so closely matched could meet such different fates, i enter a subterranean world of nightmares the sudden panic when nelson's hands slipped from ninth through the crowd the moment, a reason seems a
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better defense, let me understand in my logical way what made the difference between two children who began almost as twins inseparable and in my own eyes for surely the identical. u.s. smarter and have the father i wished for and why did buy into our or even thrive when he failed with the same dangers that surrounded me? with the culture that pushes boys into the street while protecting girls but there uó more.ñuoñóuóuó mentioning that day at the hospital the one thing
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called it what you like discipline, determination, p erseverance, the force oftóóí will even apart from hiswí saying so i knew it made alltóuó the difference of my life with only i could bottle it i would give it to every kid to know if that is about? every time your parents tell you not to be stubborn tell them that the justice said it is a good thing. [laughter]
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life throws each of us a lot the world with the community is to help me be nominated in the supreme court something i will be proud arrogant to thank you
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know it all. that is one of the hardest things to say i don't know. i hope my a book will encourage more people but in the end, it's not giving up but trying and reach trying and trying again, and i describe my failures in this book because i had my fair share. not to let them knocking down but i get up and try again, to understand even if you don't reach the moon, you can land on the but unless you try you cannot achieve you cannot
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succeed in life without trying. and from the very end this is a book about trying trying, sometimes failing but having arrived and i into the book with this the life that i can say i am truly blessed. thank you for sharing. [applause] >> why don't you stay in the
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audience so i can have a drink of water? [laughter] >> well done. >> tell people where the questions came from. >> online, e-mail them. >> they belong to people from the audience. >> thank you. [laughter] you have done me a lot of good today. you have great advisers. and i am stronger also. the title of your book, a "my beloved world" is from a poll on in your book called to puerto rico i return. what were your reflections to choose that title? >> there is a line at the
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talks about the tribute of my beloved world it is not a puerto rico a loan but i thought it was so fitting to call this book my beloved world to the things that i love. some descriptions of some bad things and difficult times and challenges with a love of life of of of people and experiences even in their challenge and deal know something? if you have never visited for rico is a great place to
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go to. [laughter] by the way when saddam for 11th came all of us in the entire world were riveted and one of the journalist was interviewing a woman from the midwest who said, i have and watching the events and they are just like us. [laughter] i bet some of you have said that about the yorkers. [laughter] that moment made me realize that with all the unhappiness of september 11th there was one sliver of sunshine the way the americans came together. it did not matter what background we had or where we were from we stuck together as a nation but
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also made me realize that i wanted people to see this slice of my life that was different than theirs. i doubt my experience as of puerto rican is identical to the experience of the mexican and in texas or other immigrants with different parts of the united states of the world but we share so many commonalities we share so much more than we are different. in the descriptive ways to accomplish those commonalities.
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and they would come away from their own lives. >> you are famous for a phrase that came up in your confirmation hearings as a wise latino woman. when i heard that i felt there was more to this story. [cheers and applause] i that there was more behind it. what can you share with us? >> there has been many misunderstandings about the phrase with the article i wrote. what people didn't appreciate is where i came from. where i came from was being a person who sometimes look
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down upon by the larger society. people talk about latinos like illegals. i don't use that term. some are undocumented but illegal aliens sounds like we are all drug addicts. murders. yes, it breaks the law to be undocumented, but there are different kinds of crimes and some are worse than others and white-collar crime is different than the negative images people portray on latinos. and i have always wanted to
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convey that we should take enormous pride that we could be what i am, a very proud american with a latina heart and soul and i did not have to apologize to anybody for anything. but to use the phrase superiority but it was to convey a e. quality because somebody has to remind you
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some time so fit was the phrase that offended some i wish i had a better phrase the one i chose to do but the message was born from a sense of pride knowing that i come from a very rich background and culture not superior to any. that is my hope would come out. [applause] that is what i hope will come out of people reading this book. >>host: moving from the bronx to princeton in a series of culture shocks you describing it as a stranger in a strange alliance but discovered ways of adapting to the cultural world what
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is your advice to mothers negotiating the same kind of passage? >> what i have done every juncture of my life that the people from the latino community i have advocated for latinos and i have done it because it gives me a sense of comfort and security because it is the familiar and that is warming and i am very careful with a mortar broader lesson in my book not to insulate yourself but to use it as a
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springboard into the larger world. know your culture, have your friends, but then go out and explore. that is what they are therefore when you fall down and pick you up and push you out to and try new things i talk about building bridges not building walls and i don't believe in isolation. i believe every community should try to go out into the world and embrace it all mother of a place like princeton to making friends that were not latinos. it is to convenient but
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convenience does not make it grow you have to take the risk to meet new people and learn new things. so taking the time to embrace who you are and to embrace others but wanted that message to come through in the booker. >> there was a theme when you were not sure how to do it that you the smartest kid in class and asked her how to study. >> the most important thing, the first passage i wrote about to be a role model that one of the most important mentors of my life
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who is a federal judge of the u.s. district court of the second circuit in new york. jose was the first i encountered and i was a law school. because he was a role model of what i could achieve. and to seeking out that friend from grammar school i had a fifth grade teacher who gave out goldstar is with good grades and i wanted gold stars. [laughter] but i could not figure out how to do it. i knew there was one girl
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and she got all the gold stars. so i went to her and i said i learned from writing this book and be the better not i did not remember that story. she reminded me. [laughter] it was nice to include it in the book but she explained to me how she studied and underline the important facts and how to go back through them the next day so she could commit them to memory and then go to the passages looking at important points and that is how she went to remember
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answers in the quiz. up until then i read it once and that was it and she taught me was not photographic memory you have to repeat it often. what a life lesson. i use it to this day. i tell law students when you have to go into court, stand in front of a mirror and say your opening statement one dozen times. to the same thing with your closing statement and then pick a friend who was not a lawyer and practice before them so they can tell you what they don't understand. nothing i do i do without practice.

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