I am thankful I am not you.
We are in the midst of finals, of the stress of dealing with family for winter break, and of the end of college football. This is therefore an extremely emotionally trying time, and at such times it is easy to forget that we are all extremely lucky, and that is a shame. When I stop and think (read: sober up) I realize how truly fortunate I am, and how truly fortunate we all are. In the spirit of the holiday season, I am dedicating this column to a list of people I am not, behaviors I don't engage in, children I am not related to, and schemes I am not part of.
I AM THANKFUL I AM NOT A 2L.
As a 2L, my bitterness reached cataclysmic levels. That's not hyperbole; I had a disastrous 2L year, and I'm relieved to see the back end of it. 2L year is like the adolescence of law school, complete with crying, awkwardness, self-esteem issues, and, in at least 15% of all cases, a resurgence of acne.
I AM THANKFUL I AM NOT TRYING TO LIVE IN NEW YORK.
New York is a great city; it is the beating heart of America, like it or not. New York is the yard stick by which all other US cities are measured, and New Yorkers are right to be proud of it. It is also the most expensive place in the world, ever. I thought my tiny studio apartment is DC was expensive; I pay $900 a month for a place so small I can cook and go to the bathroom at the same time. Little did I know that the same square footage in Manhattan would fetch approx. $4,000 a month, and seventeen years rent as a deposit. New York is so expensive I couldn't even afford McDonald's the last time I visited. "Uh, I guess I'll have a number three." "One goose-liver value meal coming up. Would you like to try our apple pie, served in a box make of pure platinum?"
I AM THANKFUL I TOOK SEVERAL YEARS OFF BEFORE COMING TO LAW SCHOOL.
Many of you came straight out of college to law school. I don't want to rag on your decision making, but: HA. You'll never know what it's like to have to re-adjust back to school. You'll always think your grades actually say something about your worth as a person, and you'll never really know what its like to go without medical insurance for years at a time. You will also never get to wear the self-satisfied smirk that we older students wear whenever you open your mouth to deliver a heart-felt opinion. That smirk just might be my favorite thing about law school.
I AM THANKFUL I AM NOT A SELF-LOATHING TOOL.
I am thankful that I have never compensated for my own lack of self-worth by sending angry letters complaining about EJF to everyone who is required, in their job description, to take my whining seriously. I am thankful I have never sat in a room of people happily enjoying the moment of student unity, bonding, and charity, and thought "Hey! I should b**** about something, so people will see me as an outside-the-box thinker!" As a completely unrelated and somewhat ad hominem aside, I am also thankful I am not ugly.
I AM THANKFUL THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO DON'T CARE IF I MUCK UP LAW SCHOOL.
Even if I s*** the bed here, there are a good number of friends and family who wouldn't give a darn. There are probably whole sections of my support network, in fact, that already assume that I'm going to flunk out. That's the beauty of decreased expectations; if I keep my bathroom clean enough to stave off legionnaire's disease, I've already beaten most estimates. I have at least one signed statement from my high school AP Chemistry teacher that reads something to the effect of "If Mark makes it through college without getting beaten up by any faculty, I'll be shocked." Guess what, Ms. Levinson: That didn't happen until law school.
I AM THANKFUL THAT LAW STUDENTS ARE MUCH, MUCH COOLER THAN I EXPECTED.
Before coming to school here, I have people tell me that law students were worthy of a whole host of negative adjectives; those same people also told me that I would fit in with such students. I can honestly say that neither prediction has come true. There is way more diversity of opinion in the student body than I expected, and way more diversity in career goals than I imagined. I thought that every law student would be a big firm/future politician type, and I am glad that that applies to only 89% of us.
I AM THANKFUL THAT NO ONE WITH THE ABILTY TO HARM ME READS THIS.
With any luck, all copies of any Law Weekly that I've written in will be lost to history once I graduate. I'd hate for anything I've written here to rise up and bite me years from now.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, etc. Come back safe.
Mark Nabong will pay for making me edit the profanity out of this thing. His columns are online at chicago-typewriter.blogspot.com.