Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Last Day of School

Well, well, well. Today was the last day of the first semester of law school classes. I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry, yawn, drink, dance a jig, or collapse in a heap! Perhaps a little of each.

Now, I just have to conquer finals. In fact, starting tomorrow, I will plunge into my "Twelve Days of Finals" (which I will do my able best to chronicle here on this blog). From tomorrow's Torts study session, through 11:30 a.m. on December 19th, watch the madness unfold!

This morning I actually got a lump in my throat due to the ending of Torts. That has been more than a favorite class; it's been a magnificent, enriching, stirring, challenging, enlightening experience led by a brilliant man. Later, as the bell tolled 2 p.m. --well, we don't actually have bells, but I'm sure some clock on some bell somewhere was tolling at that moment -- Contracts came to a close and that was all she wrote for my small section's first semester classes.

I spent the next few hours studying with classmates, the time evenly split between Contracts and Criminal Law, my first two finals. At one point, my friend and I were in a big student lounge that has tables, vending machines, a television, etc. We were discussing mental states, the act requirement, proportionality in punishment, lenity, legislativity. He'd flip through cases and type in his laptop; I'd page through my notes, recalling Constitutional amendments and statutes. On the TV in the background one chattering program blended into another. I was in between questions as he searched for some rule or other, and I looked up to see the opening credits of Full House. Good ol' Full House: the Olsen twins when they were still one person, and more cheesy, stilted, courtesy-laugh dialogue than you can shake a stick at. I said idly, " Where did they live on this show?" Without missing a beat my friend answered, "San Francisco." A moment later he looked up at me across the table and said, "Isn't it sad that I remember that and here we are trying to remember our criminal law stuff...?"

Tonight the law school fed us a "night owl breakfast." At 8 p.m. in our law school building's study-lounge-event type area our professors, complete with poofy white chef's hats, served us pancakes, eggs, home-fried potatoes, and the like. I think that's a fabulous idea. Plus, what student can turn down free food? There were a lot of people there and it was a good chance to reflect on the semester, and where we're at.

After dishing up lots of scrambled eggs, our Torts professor came to sit at the table with me and a few others from my small section. He shared with us his "Space Mountain" theory of the first year of law school--all that waiting, anticipation, climbing time, then suddenly there you are racing through a course you can't see in the dark with no idea what's coming being flung about with occasional flashes of light and it's terribly thrilling. We all agreed we are just delighted - in spite of it all - to be enjoying the ride

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