Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Happy New Year
It's finally over. My first year of going back to school, taking exams, reading dense, boring prose for hours on end, watching terrible teaching and wonderful teaching, rolling my eyes at the sea of children in my classes, being humiliated, learning to think like a lawyer (supposedly). In class at 8:30 or 9 every morning, five days a week. Having two or three hour breaks in between morning and afternoon classes that went until 3, 4, or 5 some days, because this incredibly inefficient schedule was deemed to be "good for us." Sitting in a classroom with a frozen, patient smile on my face, being lectured at in front of other classmates who stare at the floor in embarrassed sympathy as a country judge excoriates me for not speaking louder at the podium (apparently no one will ever tell you during oral arguments if the auditorium acoustics are bad. Because it is somehow, always, your fault). Keeping the frozen smile as another volunteer judge, woman who works as a lawyer at the county courthouse, reminds me never to dress provocatively in a courtroom because it is a sexist place. This even though my clothes are so baggy and buttoned-up I might as well be wearing a burqua.
Over the humiliation of being spoken to scornfully by professors. Over the devastation of realizing after getting through forty-four years and a PhD without ever taking real exams, ever, I would have to take said exams, perform miserably, and learn how to take a test properly. Over having my life, my achievements, my career, my talents, matter not at all.
The most repeated phrase I heard this week in the halls? "You never have to be a one-L again."
This batch of exams went better, though the last was not my favorite. I hesitate to think I did better, but I think I did.
Before summer, one last job to do. I have to write something for one of the journals. There are several options, and I would be happy with any of them.
Next fall my schedule works out to three days a week. Some people I know have two-day schedules. I never have to have more than four, though, unless I want it. And that means more time working at home and less time away from it. Any way you look at it, that's a good thing.
The year is over. The summer is here. And I never, ever have to be a one-L again.