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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I just returned from the law school newspaper's newsroom. I say "newsroom," but it's really more like a "room" where there are some computers, a printer, and a small handful of people. Small handful for former baseball pitcher Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, that is. Anyway, in addition to writing my column, I'm "copy editor," which I may or may not have mentioned before but probably not since it's usually not that interesting. So I read everything and put some extra commas in, and then I leave and the other people add some misspellings to make it look like I haven't been doing my job. Anyway ("will he get to the point of this story already???), usually I get down there at about 4:30 and there's a person or two and a half a newspaper laid out so I can start reading stuff. Today there was no one there, and the door was locked. But I have a key. So I went in, and saw on the computer that only two pages had been laid out -- 4 opinion columns. "Hmmm," I thought. "No one's here, and there's not much of a paper... running late, or no issue this week but they just didn't tell the columnists?" You should already have some idea what the answer is, or there wouldn't be much of a story, would there? So I figured either way I'd copyedit what was there, so I did, and then checked e-mail, and checked e-mail again, and checked some more e-mail. And then the editor in chief came in and said there's no paper this week because Spring Break is next week, and so people may not bother picking up a copy before they leave... and that'll make it relevant... and whatever, not a big deal. Oh well. But the real point of my story (you mean this whole thing is just a prelude to the actual point???) is that in about a half hour I will return to the "newsroom" where we will do elections for next year. There are three positions that get elected: publisher, editor-in-chief, and business manager. There are two candidates for editor-in-chief (I am neither of them), and zero candidates for the other two positions. The other jobs -- news editor, editorial page editor, copy editor, photo editor, food editor, film editor, biased-coverage-of-law-review editor, promoting-his-own-political-agenda - at-one-of-the-extremes - although-it-doesn't-really-matter-which-one editor, music editor, and features editor (although we lived without features editor this year) -- are all appointed by the editor in chief and are usually picked out of the flurry of applications that are submitted prior to the election so as to be waiting in a pile for the new editor-in-chief to peruse. I submitted an application for editorial page editor. The pile of total applications for the half-dozen or so positions in my list I wasn't making up numbers one. Including mine. So clearly there's some sort of interest problem at the newspaper. Nobody seems to want to be involved. This is somewhat baffling to me, since the newspaper is one of the six or eight activities I'm involved in that I most enjoy being a part of. But my list of activities includes pretty much everything without the word "legal" in its description, so maybe that explains it. But even if you're here because you want to be the next Oliver Wendell Holmes, you do law all day -- why not do some less-law extracurricular activities? For fun. And because there are lots of smart people here, who I'm sure no matter how passionate they are about the law, also have other interests. Or they used to. And maybe they're just getting their fulfillment in non-law-school activities, or in stuff I don't know about, or non-law stuff I just don't happen to be that interested in. But I feel like we should be able to muster more than 3 or 4 or 5 interested students from among a student body of 1800. When Aaron Gleeman* can't get on the sports staff of his college newspaper, but at Harvard Law School we can't fill two out of three elected positions of leadership, something seems messed up.

*Aaron Gleeman, who I've almost linked to a couple of times but I don't think I ever have actually, is a college student who writes a baseball weblog that's awfully solid. It's well-written and really pretty compelling, possibly even if you're not in five fantasy baseball leagues. Anyway, he's written a couple of times about trying to get on his college paper's sports staff (University of Minnesota) but it's really competitive and there are no spots, even though he's clearly a solid writer and deserves one. My only point is that people who can write well, wanting to write and not being able to is the opposite of here, where no one wants to do anything. That's all.