Tuesday, May 06, 2003


Well, things are winding down. There are now eight (not counting today) days left in my career here (though I could wind up like Milton in Office Space if I don’t remember to tell HR I’m leaving). And school is all but over except for finals, which are the 14th and the 19th. Oh sure, there’s a Contracts review session tomorrow, but I won’t be there because it’s the oldest nephew’s confirmation.

When I was a teenager, I used to think that my parents didn’t understand me. But now that I’m older, I realize that it’s the other way around – teenagers don’t understand what it’s like to be an adult. And they never will, because it’s an understanding that you don’t get until you’re there, and then it’s too late to go back. Only then do you appreciate the benefits of ignorance.

My oldest nephew lacks motivation. He’s perfectly content to do nothing. One of his classmates, upon noticing the instructor had misspelled his confirmation name, asked my nephew to get the attention of the girl in charge fixing such errors. My nephew called this girl’s name out in a voice barely audible to me, sitting right next to him, much less someone three rows away, as she was. The classmate finally got help from someone two rows in front of us, who overheard him asking for help and called the girl over.

I feel sorry for him, because I think he’s greatly influenced by his father, who brags about his third grade education, and how well he’s done for himself. Let’s review that, shall we? He lives in a house he doesn’t own, drives an on-its-last-legs car because he (a) can’t afford and (b) can’t get a loan for a new one, has twice been cited by the city where he lives for having vehicles rusting away on the lawn in front of his house (and complained that they ‘have it in” for him as a result), has promised to by a car for both kids when they turn 16 (and told the oldest that the beat up, rusting deathtrap 1989 MR2 was for him, but then traded it for a tractor, and said he’d get that instead), and works as a maintenance man for a grocery chain, because he lost every other job he had and his own business ‘never took off’ (which it won’t when you make 8 a.m. appointments, and don’t show for them, or when you don’t answer your pager).

My nephew won’t hesitate to tell you his plans to play college and pro football, but apparently he missed the requirements that you (a) pass your classes, (b) stand taller than 5’9” and (c) actually make the teams. Kind of like the tax client I had this year who told me that she inspired her boyfriend to go back to college. When I asked her what he went back to do, she told me “he’s gonna be an NBA player.” Again, the fact that he was 5’8”, 28 years old, and playing on a juco team didn’t seem to be a deterrent, because “he’s got some real good moves.” Yeah, so does the 12th man on every NBA team.


It’s strange to be winding down. When you go to law school open houses, they tell you that you really bond with your classmates, and to an extent it’s true. But there are barriers. The suburban people (like me) are limited, since they have to drive back out to the suburbs, and can’t hang around like the city people do. Take last night, for example. John, Heather, Christine, Aaron, Mark and I all went for drinks. Heather left when her stalker showed up (according to her, they’re just friends, but from what she told me, she’d better be careful). I left when I realized (a) it was getting late (b) I’m still gainfully employed, and needed to be at work somewhat close to on time (c) I had a thirty-five minute drive home and (d) I was getting tired. The others were still there, rehashing their briefs, agonizing over trivial errors (I can’t imagine that in practice all briefs are perfectly written) and rationalizing that the Moot Court committee won’t notice that they didn’t underline a case name, or missed a period, or spelled behaviour with a ‘u’ as the British (and I) do.

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