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.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Point / Counterpoint: Winter Term

As I've mentioned: we have a "Winter Term" here where while the 1Ls take exams, the 2Ls and 3Ls take one class, 3 hours a day, for three weeks. Here's the most humor I can wring from it this morning:

A debate between six eminent legal scholars about the merits of winter term.

Just your average 2L: I love winter term. I'm taking a class that requires a paper instead of an exam, but without a hard deadline, which means I just have to write a paper that can be handed in anytime between now and my death, and I don't have to do any of the reading or go to class, so I sleep until two in the afternoon, eat lunch, and then go back to sleep until the next day, except for when Real World: San Diego or Fear Factor are on, and then I wake up, watch them, and go back to sleep. The professor is eagerly awaiting my paper, I'm sure, which I'll turn in once I make partner at Skadden and can get a young associate to write it for me.

Member of the Harvard Law Review: What are you, nuts? Winter term sucks! My note is due is two weeks and now I have to worry about waking up for my 9:00 class having done four hundred pages of reading a day, only to get so drained that I fall asleep back at my desk after lunch and don't wake up until Fear Factor's on, and then I watch that and then finally I can trudge to the library and search through the rare books room for the handwritten treatise on the childhood of Justice Warren Burger for my note to appear in the next issue. It's awful. At least when we take three classes at a time, I can justify the effort, but for three measly credits I'm throwing off my whole schedule here. I hate winter term.

Professor: I know what you mean, Law Review member. Usually, if I'm teaching two hours a week, I can wake up early the morning of my class, flip through the casebook, and come up with something reasonably sensible to talk about, like my time as a clerk for Justice John Jay, or my brother the fugitive. But when it's three hours a day, I have to actually do work - make an outline, read a study guide, steal ideas from the Internet. And all this on top of grading the exams from last spring I still haven't finished. Twenty-five multiple choice tests take an eternity to grade - I can't possibly do it in the time the Registrar makes me. Aw, what the hell, I'll just give everyone a B and see if they notice.

Old woman on a tour of Harvard Law School: I agree with the one who said he liked winter term. I love this month because when I walk around campus now it actually looks like people are doing some learning. There's 1Ls leaping off the roof of the library, there's 2Ls and 3Ls sleeping in the back of the classrooms, it's great, it's like a real school, and besides the fact that my feet are frozen to the ground and I've developed a case of whooping cough from the cold, I have some great academic-looking photos that I can share back with my girlfriends in Florida, who all wished they could come up here with me for a tour of the Law School but instead had to finish up their papers for their winter classes before they died.

Democratic presidential candidate: I agree with the old woman, especially if she's registered to vote in Iowa or New Hampshire. No, seriously, I love winter term because it keeps these law professors busy so they don't have time to question any of my policy proposals that make no sense. Imagine if I had to deal with op-eds every day about how the Constitution won't really let me appoint three vice-presidents or impose a tax on being Methodist. It would be a real bummer. So instead I get to make nonsensical proclamations about annexing Iraq as the fifty-first state without anyone challenging me in print. Winter term is awesome. And I approved this message because I believe in the rights of all people of New Hampshire, even if they live in Boston.

Harvard Square hobo: Winter term sucks. No breakfast for me since no students are out between nine in the morning and noon. How can I possibly afford my egg and cheese bagel from Au Bon Pain if there are no students out to give me their spare change? Plus, it's really cold and I'm losing an average of a toe a day. It's really no fun. I don't even want to think about what starts falling off after I have no more toes.