1L Finals: The Greatest Show On Earth

So, as some of my esteemed colleagues in Section J may recall, UVa Law class of 2009 has just competed its first round of final exams, which means, of course, that we can all come out of the library, rub off our eyes that have probably been damaged beyond repair from countless hours staring at their computer screens son intently one might thing that our laptops were dispensing some sort of life-saving safety tips during an airplane crash landing, and step outside into the December sun to realize that yes, even though Christmas is only 3 days away, it is still t-shirt and short weather—or as some of our more pretentious classmates might say, its more like remove your suit jacket and sport the white-shirt-and-tie look that professor Haynes has made so fashionable. Oh yes, now that exams are over, it feels so good to be able to stop trying to write legibly and go back to what I love most: one hundred and thirty-four (that, and writing out numbers long hand so that I can feel intelligent). So, because I’m sure that most of Section J have already just about finished repressing their memories of these past horrifying weeks, I decided to take a few minutes to remind us all just what exactly the end of a fist semester at law school is like in order ensure that my section-mates don’t suffer any pent-up rage that will probably burst forth in a number of years time when we all remember what we were put through and sent at least two or three of us on a murderous rampage (I’ll let you decide who).

First Memory: Kraus’ rousing pre-exam pep talk, where he recounted a story of those lazy ‘ol 3Ls who already have their job lined up, slack off during the year and still get a higher grade than that poor 1L, with her 128 page, color coated, tabbed, alphabetized, cross-referenced, indexed, categorized, cross-categorized, embossed (just in case they loose their sight during the test) and compartmentalized outline. The speech was quite inspiring, especially the way he emphasized the difficulty of the exams enough to put the fear of God, or at least recruiting attorneys, into all of us peons until he could feel the exact moment the stress level in the room slipped out of orange status into the zone where it becomes “more probable than not” that someone will collapse onto the floor in the fetal position, sucking his thumb and whimpering, and then alleviate all of our collective worries by assuring us that grades really don’t matter and, most amazingly of all, actually convincing us of that fact. Yes, the speech was good, but really, the most salient thing I took from the talk was that I can’t wait until I’m a 3L: looking back at my collage carrier, I think I was born for it.

I quite enjoyed both of our final legal research and writing classes, where in the first, Section J competed in true capitalistic style for fabulous prizes by beating the rest of the class at finding relevant cases. Considering that before this class, I didn’t even know what the “within 40 words” feature was, I was as surprised as anyone (if not more so) that my teammate Liz and I were able to snag a nifty, old-fashion outlining kit, complete with encouraging stickers that Liz thoroughly enjoyed and I finally found a use for as a way for Theresa and I to keep track of our scrabble victories (that’s right, I’m a geek). Right now, Theresa is up 3 to 1 (unfortunately, it seems like I’m not even a very intelligent geek). The very last class was just an excuse to eat pizza, which I really think we should find more of at UVa.

Despite all of the vicious emails that were floating around because of the parking snafu that arose out of the Circus’ unannounced and unexpected arrival in the Law School’s parking lot during the beginning of exam season, I believe that the whole affair was a large conspiracy to give fretting first years a chance to realize what a horrible mistake they made when they decided they might enjoy becoming a lawyer and join the noble carnie profession. That’s right, I believe the Law School administration was giving us the opportunity to run of and join the circus. I for one, decided to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime chance, and figured I could do something like tame the lion or be shot out of a cannon or something like that. So, I marched my way down to the blue lot, asked the bearded lady for directions, knocked on the door of the ring-leader’s trailer, and handed a copy of my resume to Wolf-boy, who apparently double as a secretary. Later that day I receive this reply: “Thank you for your interest in the Big Top Circus. You have an impressive resume and are to be congratulated on your hard work. However, we are not in a position to enter into employment discussions with you at the present time. I would encourage you to reapply in the fall of 2007 for a 2L position.”

You may or may not believe this next statement, but not once did I see a single undergrad in the library during the admittedly few hours I used the area for my scholarly pursuits (I mostly studied at home), but did on occasion politely overhear a conversation or two about how some Law students believe that their study time might be more effective if such students refrained from using our pristine faculty, and conducted their business in spaces dedicated to their programs. I am particularly disappointed that I was unable to meet the student who apparently brought half of the grocery store to his library table, as well as a coffee maker and toaster oven—disappointed because I spent my library hours munching on horribly untoasted bagels and lukewarm… hot chocolate and would have greatly appreciated a chance to borrow his equipment. Except, of course for that time when Theresa popped over to the University and brought me some nice warm cocoa—that’s right, single folks, my wife came to the school and brought me snacks, so have fun having to go all the way from the library to the cafeteria and buying your own heated beverage, suckers: I’ve got it made. Or else, I guess, you could always bring a coffee pot.

This post is getting too long. I'll post the second part shortly