Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

“So close to Boston… yet so far…”

The turkey was good. Nobody vomited. And my request not to have any squash at the meal was honored (Hark overkill). So, all in all, Thanksgiving was a success. I think it’s good to go home for a few days every once in a while. I brought my contracts casebook home and it made a great prop for show-and-tell. “Look at this big heavy book we have!” “Ooooh,” they all said. “And there’s stuff highlighted here, at the beginning. And there’s stuff highlighted here, at the end.” “Aaaah,” they all said. Fun stuff. Too bad the whole book isn’t written in Russian, or in binary code, or ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics (I’m picturing a “hairy hand” symbol here…) – then the reaction would be even better.

Being home for a few days, seeing my family, seeing some friends, reminds me why I’m in law school. (In a parallel universe, the next sentence would include the phrases “help people,” “correct injustice,” and “make large companies slightly larger through marginally justifiable litigation.” This is not that universe.) All of my friends hate their jobs. Maybe it’s just a fluke, and there are lots of people out there in the world, our age, who enjoy what they’re doing. But I don’t know any of those people. It’s not that I’m happy my friends don’t like their jobs – it’s just that it kind of makes me feel like I’ve done the right thing by going to law school if I don’t see anyone not in law school who’s found something awesome to do. It’s kind of like when I watch Saturday Night Live, I root for it to be horrendously unfunny. Not because I don’t want to laugh, but because if Saturday Night Live really sucks, it gives me hope that maybe I’m a better writer than the writers they’ve got, and that makes me feel better about myself.

I have a friend who’s a consultant. He got sent to Geneva for 3 months. He tells me that’s in Switzerland. I suppose I’ll believe him. He flies seven hours into Geneva on Monday, and flies back from Geneva seven hours on Thursday. He says all he’s seen in Geneva is the insides of the airport, the airport hotel, an office building right by the airport, and three different Starbucks branches. This whole “business travel” thing? Doesn’t sound that cool.

Then again, if he were to ask me how much of Boston I’ve seen, it probably wouldn’t make him particularly jealous. “Well, I’ve seen Boston Harbor from a boat.” I think. Was that Boston Harbor on the 1L boat cruise, or was it the Charles River? Or the Atlantic Ocean? Or some big lake Harvard built using its endowment, actually in the middle of Allston?

It’s weird that we’re so close to Boston, yet going into Boston seems like such an event. More than once I’ve decided not to go to a bar review because it’s “all the way in Boston,” as if Boston was across some giant ocean and the only way to get there was to swim. Even the seven-minute walk from my dorm to Harvard Square sometimes seems like a chore. (That’s the kind of attitude Three Aces depends on to get customers, isn’t it?) When people ask me how I like living in Boston, I find that I really don’t have an answer. None of the responses I’ve tried – “it seems nice,” “you know, a city is a city, they’re all pretty much the same,” “looks like fun on TV,” and “gets awfully cold in the winter,” – really seem satisfying. My latest attempt, “well, how do you like living in... uh… Portland?” just gets me a puzzled stare. I figure my best solution is probably to buy a Boston guidebook and read all about the cool things I’m not seeing and doing, so I can at least talk intelligently about them. (I know there must be another solution, but I can’t quite think of it…)

By the time I come home next month, I’ll be armed with a whole set of anecdotes about Boston landmarks I haven’t seen – “The Tremont Street Burial Grounds are a wonderful attraction if you want to learn all about Boston’s Puritan history. Almost as exciting as King’s Chapel, whose bell was originally cast by Paul Revere. But you haven’t lived until you’ve wandered the streets just off the Freedom Trail and seen how contemporary Boston has incorporated its past.”

I’ll also bring some more items home for show-and-tell besides my contracts casebook. Like my crim casebook, my civ pro casebook, and some of my professor’s past exams. Which may in fact seem like they’re written in Russian, binary code, or ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Can’t wait.