Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Across the Great Divide

This column originally appeared in the Georgetown Law Weekly on January 21, 2007.

This is my last semester of law school, presuming that 1) I have correctly tallied my credits for the year, and 2) that I pass all of my classes. These are both large assumptions, but for the sake of simplicity we shall say that both are true and I will graduate in May. Introspection tends to come near the end of something long and arduous, like law school, the iditarod dog sled race, dinner at the Golden Corral, etc. There is a bittersweetness in the air, as I have to say goodbye to so many people I've met and loved, but on the other hand I get to say goodbye to so many, many people that have hated me. Looking back, it is now easier to evaluate what I've learned and what I haven't here in law school.

Will it be just as painful paying rent in DC two years from now, or will I adjust? Answer: Yes. Rent in DC is the most blatant reincarnation of the Dutch tulip market I have even encountered, and that is saying something because I once bought a Shivan Dragon in "Magic: The Gathering." I spend more on rent, utilities, and cost of living in one month than I used to pay in three months when I lived in Michigan. Granted, in Michigan I shared a house with eight people, never purchased or used cleaning products, and ate stolen ramen. Still, it is ridiculously expensive to live here. Thank goodness I was completely undateable my 1L year, because dinner and a movie would only have been affordable if the dinner was Dinty Moore and the movie was a rental of "Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo." To save space in the tiny apartment I AM able to afford, the TV is on top of the fridge, the fridge is in the bedroom, and the bed is a futon I found outside an American University dorm. And by "futon" I mean "couch with the back broken off."

Did the people generally accepted to be the biggest jerks during 1L actually turn out to be jerks? Answer: Yes, we did. Think back to your first week of school; for my fellow 3Ls, that means harkening back to when you were thinner, less bitter, and $150,000 richer. Anyway, try and remember week one. From the moment classes started, you knew who was going to be the most annoying, who mas going to be the most misogynistic, the most politically correct, and the most unpleasant to be around. I know, because people avoided talking to me alone, which is the first sign that someone is a jerk. If you find yourself wanting witnesses to the ridiculous statements someone makes, I can promise you that person will probably not be any less offensive when the time comes to graduate. An arrogant person does not become less arrogant after a $3,000 a week firm job, I promise. A self-righteous crusader does not become less frighteningly self-righteous after an internship at the National Association of Some Cause or Another. A political true believer does not mellow and see more grey after law school, it turns out. I will state an exception to this rule, howeveer, to be known hereafter as Mark's law: "If the political persuasion of a person is different than the majority of the other students in law school, that person will moderate their stance in order to date more."

Will I ride the learning curve of law school? Answer: No. Law school requires you to learn a new way of thinking, according to the "Law School for Dummies" book I bought before moving to DC. When i first got here, I wondered if I was going to have hard time for the first year and then get better. Did my grades need time to get better, like cheese, or were they going to get stinkier over time, like other, more different cheese? The answer is: I get a B- no matter how much or how little work I put into a class. In Land Use Law, I put in hours and hours a week in meticulously reading, highlighting, and studying, and got a B-. After my corporations final, I sold my textbook back to the bookstore having never opened it. My grade: B-. It turns out that I was admitted to Georgetown with the understanding that I would allow better, more handsome students to live at the left end of the grade curve by inhabiting the right end of the curve. You're welcome, Frank.

Will the Bears make it to the Superbowl before I graduate? Answer: YES. The Bears are going to superbowl, and suddenly there is nothing wrong with the world. Remember that there is no amount of of stress, no amount of homework, no grade, that is better than your NFL team going to the superbowl. As long as I have my health, my loved ones, and the Bears deep into the playoffs, then all is well in the world. In fact, scratch the first two; my health and my loved ones can't contribute to the Bears winning the Superbowl.

Mark Nabong submitted a photo for this piece that had nothing to do with the article, and moreover was offensive. We're glad he's leaving. His columns can be found at

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Anonymous Burnsy said...

It appears in that picture as if Jim McMahon is gyrating his pelvis against Walter Payton's thigh.

"Sweetness" indeed.

3:45 PM  

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