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, December 14, 2002

Time to Study

As I write this, I have approximately 589 hours until my first exam. And I’ve read approximately 3000 pages in all of my classes combined. So if read about 15 pages an hour, I can read everything again twice, spend 50 hours per class on outlining and doing practice exams, spend 30 hours memorizing the Uniform Commercial Code, 6 hours reading Glannon’s for Civil Procedure, and still have time to see a movie. But not Harry Potter – it’s too long. Maybe Adam Sandler’s cartoon. It’s only 71 minutes. If I time it right, I can even see half the previews too.

But I’m forgetting something. A couple of things, actually. Like sleeping. And eating. And brushing my teeth. Although if I don’t waste time eating, I suppose I don’t really have to brush my teeth. Or go to the bathroom. This can turn out to be quite a plan. Although to stay awake for 24 straight days, I probably need to drink some coffee, and then of course I’ll have to go to the bathroom. So I don’t know. I may be stuck.

One more thing I’m forgetting. That I’m not insane.

I was going to bring all my books home with me, but then I remembered I don’t have a pack mule to carry them, so that’s not going to happen. It’s come down to my contracts casebook or underwear – I’m still deciding which one’s more important. I actually spent time last night contemplating tearing apart the binding of my criminal procedure book and ripping out the 300 pages we read, just so I don’t have to take the whole book home with me. But, once again, I remembered that I’m not insane, so I stopped.

I’m falling into the trap of overscheduling my time at home. On Tuesday, I’m meeting two friends for lunch, another friend for coffee, three friends for dinner, two more friends to see a movie, and one friend to carry my casebooks around for me all day so I can study in between. Actually two friends. Like I said, the books are too heavy.

Really, it’s just a waste of energy (not to mention a valuable twenty minutes I could otherwise spend memorizing one more federal rule of civil procedure) to even think about studying when I know that while I’ll be a good boy when I get home – take my books out of my bag, stack them neatly on my desk, take out some highlighters, boot up my laptop – after about twenty minutes, the next time I see the word “assumpsit” will be when I pack the books to come back here two weeks later. If I really get any studying done it either means I don’t have enough friends, or that law school has actually succeeded in turning me insane.

We should all make a pact. No studying over break. Leave the books here. Take the batteries out of the laptops. Shut down the HL Central outline bank. After all, we’re graded on a curve. So if nobody studies, we’re no worse off individually than if everyone studies. And we can actually enjoy ourselves. I know the argument against this plan is that there’s a pretty big incentive to cheat – to be the only one who studies while everyone else is out ice skating in Central Park, relaxing on the beach in the Cayman Islands (the first tropical location that came to mind – the commercials work!), or interviewing at law firms in Washington, DC (fun!).

But there’s an honor code, isn’t there? And if there isn’t, there should be. A law student honor code. No raising your hand in class when other people are speaking, no working on assignments more than 24 hours before they’re due, no background reading not assigned by the professor, no comments about how class isn’t really supposed to end for another ten minutes, no commercial outlines, no showing up on Friday, and no tasty-looking food unless you have enough to share with everyone. I hate showing up to class hungry and seeing everyone eating muffins and donuts and cookies and roast beef and pasta and tandoori chicken and king crab legs… while I have a little bit of toothpaste in the back of my mouth I can swallow and an orange lifesaver that’s been stuck in my jacket pocket for eight months.

So we just have to add no studying over break to the honor code. Easy as pie. Pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pie, pecan pie, cherry pie… while all I have in my refrigerator is half a container of milk that’s rapidly turning into cheese, and half a block of cheese that’s rapidly turning into a prescription-strength antibiotic. I probably shouldn’t write when I’m hungry. It all ends up about food after a while….