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.

Friday, February 14, 2003

This week's column for the newspaper... hot off the press...

"Of Course, There's Nothing to Write About This Week"

I really wanted to write about the public interest auction mandatory volunteer meeting this week. I had a great line planned about how when the leaders of each of the committees got up to talk about what their committees do, I started my rank-order numbering up from the bottom as each committee said things that I don't want to do. For example, cleaning toilets. Or, in the case of the Faculty committee, cleaning faculty's toilets. So by the time all of the committees finished their no-longer-than-two-minutes-but-only-assuming-your-watch-had-stopped presentations, I was out of numbers and all finished ranking them.

I was also going to mention that I had an idea for a new committee - the Phone Bank committee, which would consist of students calling all of the other students to remind them that they needed to show up to the phone bank to call Alumni, Faculty, Students, Parents, Law Firms, Business Owners, Famous People, 911, 1-800-Dentist, and the Psychic Friends Network, depending on their respective committee assignments. And, of course, for the Silent Auction committee, calling deaf people.

I was going to write about how popular the meeting was - standing-room only! - and how I was glad I wasn't forced to go to one of the overflow rooms to watch the simulcast. I was going to write about how I'd be happy to spend my six hours of required service writing a song for next year's meeting that won't make Aretha Franklin cry. ("F-U-N-D-I-N-G, if you do our slavery. F-U-N-D-I-N-G, bother all the faculty. F-U-N-D-I-N-G, clean up auction trash debris. F-U-N-D-I-N-G, making phone calls frightens me.")

I was going to finish the column by admitting that, really, six hours isn't too much to ask in exchange for a few thousand dollars of funding. It's almost a thousand dollars an hour, if you're eligible for work-study, and not that much less even if you aren't. But then I realized that's about how much we pay for every hour of class. So it's not that impressive an argument to make.

I was going to devote the entire column to talking about the public interest auction, because, to be perfectly honest, my life just isn't that exciting, and nothing else really happened this week that's of that of much interest to 1Ls. No big, defining moments of our 1L experience. No unifying events, nothing that happened to all of us at roughly the same time, on the same day, that immediately sparked conversation and concern. Certainly nothing that we'd been waiting for since exams.

Oh, but then we got our grades. There goes that whole public interest auction thing. Who cares about the public interest auction now anyway? I'd have to rewrite my whole column! I'd have to write something about how the first reaction I had to opening the envelope was how thin the paper was. Can't they afford thicker paper? Perhaps with a watermark, or a seal, or at least a signature? I opened the envelope, and wasn't ready to see the letters yet. But I could read right through the back of the paper. It messed up my whole plan. I read it wrong first. A "P" in Crim? I thought I got at least an "M." And then I turned the paper over, and after it blew away a few times and I crawled out on the window ledge to retrieve it (noticing many of my classmates out there as well, some with quite concerned looks on their faces and brief notes ending with the word "afterlife" sticking out of their pockets), I was able to finally stick a paperweight on top and really look at it.

And what did it tell me? Not that much. Whatever I did as far as studying last semester, I ought to do more or less of it, depending on the class, in similar and different ways. I figured out a pattern to my grades that may also help you figure out how to make sense of yours. If I rank order the classes by how confident I felt going into the exam, compared to how confident I felt leaving the exam, multiplied by the number of pages my outline was, divided by my seat number, raised to the [official registrar's course number] power, and then I take the logarithm base 7, and multiply by 6.02 x 10^23 (not sure what number that is exactly, but I remember it from AP Physics in high school), I end up with a very large number that has nothing at all to do with any of the letters on my sheet. I've also made the very astute observation that there seems to be no correlation between the number of credits a class was and my grade. I do, however, feel bad for the person down the hall from me who noticed a strong correlation between the first letter of the class name and her grade. She's a 2L. She took Family Law. And Federal Litigation. And Feminist Legal Theory. And Food and Drug Law (she got two grades in that one... ouch). And Quicksand Law. That Q really messes up her transcript.