Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A wintry mix

Oh, the joys of school. Winter break has come to an end and a new semester is upon us. The weirdest thing about that is -- get this! -- I'm halfway through law school. That's right, 1.5 years down, 1.5 to go.

It has gone by fast, yet I'm really used to this lifestyle. Law school is definitely something with which one can have a love/hate relationship. But what trips me out the most is thinking that exactly two years ago I had not even applied to Hofstra! Weirdness. Twenty months ago I was still in Korea. Eighteen months ago was my first time on Long Island. And so on.

Today, of course, was one of those days on which one is forced to ponder one's choices vis-a-vis law school, to think long and hard about what one is doing here, to consider what it all means. I refer, of course, to the day on which we have found out our last semester's grades.

I do so fondly recall one year ago, when I received my first ever law school grades, and they decidedly Did Not Suck. Neither semester since then has been quite as stellar, but I must say I have yet to find any rhyme or reason to the grades I get. Most of my classmates and I have found the same phenomenon. We think a final was easy and clear, and we get a B-minus. (Or worse. ) A final makes us want to stick our head in the oven, and it's an A-minus. Who's to say? Maybe this guy has it right after all.

This time around, I had one pleasant surprise, one unpleasant surprise, a couple sighs of relief, a couple could-be-betters. The funny thing is, I find myself not caring about the grades themselves whatsoever. I just want scholarship money. What a change from the competitive scholar I was in high school and most of undergrad! I don't see our law school grades as reflecting our intelligence, how much we learned in the class, or even necessarily how hard we worked. None of us do. What exactly do they reflect? No one knows. When we find out, surely the jig is up. That's why they keep it from us. To keep the racket that is law school going endlessly on...

What I want to know is this: is it a coincidence that on grade revelation day -- which is a day that makes me feel annoyed, relieved, frustrated, pensive, hopeful, hopeless, and broke all at once -- suddenly "why go to law school?" and "what to do with my life?" e-mails and thoughts start flooding my inbox? That suddenly people are crawling out of the woodwork with their "OH I just saw this thing about what it's all worth incurring all that debt for a degree and thought of you..." Thanks a lot, people! On today of all days!

Coming soon, though, I will tell you all about my new semester, which promises to be busy and exciting. The theme of the semester is immigration. Interestingly, someone casually implied to me that I don't generally/often/as a matter of course think about immigration issues. I daresay that person was wrong. It's all I think about. I want everyone in this country to get over their fear of immigrants, for starters. I am excited for this semester's theme. Stay tuned!

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