1L Experience: Join my organization!

BY JEREMY BLACHMAN

“I’m having pizza at the Prison Legal Assistance Program meeting, dessert at the Society for Law, Life and Lemon Meringue, and cocktails at the Target Shooting Club’s practice round.” Sound like your life? Anyone who’s been worried about cooking dinner anytime over the last couple of weeks simply hasn’t joined enough organizations. There’s no excuse for it.

My biggest worry coming here was that, outside of schoolwork, there’d be nothing to do. I’m realizing that’s an unfounded concern. Clearly, if we’re looking to fill time, we’ve got lots of choices, ranging from the Interdenominational Alliance for Israel to Justice for Palestine. And most of them come with food. (Although probably not a barbecue at the Student Animal Defense Fund meeting.)

I’ve definitely taken advantage. I went to the Federalist Society’s barbecue last weekend. I have nothing against Federalists – I think Madison was a fine President – but I can’t honestly say I self-identify as one. But it was lunchtime, I was hungry… my only slip-up was when I mentioned I spent a summer in Washington interning for… uh… Senator Schumer (D-NY). He ain’t no Federalist. Oops. But the food was good.

The real meat and potatoes of it all seems to be the Journals. I went to the Journals Fair, and I listened really carefully, but I’m still having trouble telling the difference between the dozen of ’em.

The speeches all sounded kind of like this:

“Good evening. I’m Law McLawyer, this year’s assistant managing associate editor for the Journal on Cheese. I know you’ve been sitting through a lot of speeches this evening, but I think you’ll find this one is different because of the unique opportunities afforded by joining the Journal on Cheese – opportunities that are identical to those offered by all of the other journals.

“The Journal on Cheese is a relatively small journal, with roughly the same amount of people as all of the other journals. We publish a series of articles in each of our issues, which come out a number of times throughout the year and are, if I may be so bold as to say, the longest journal issues on campus, approximately the same length as the issues of all the other journals.

“Last year, we published a fascinating article about the dried-up cheese on the outside of a bowl of French Onion soup written by a third-year student. We have copies outside at our table if you’re interested, along with some candy – the same candy, in fact, as all of the other journals have at their tables.

“The Journal on Cheese is really a fun organization to be a part of. We’re committed to being not just a sweatshop for first-year students desperate to pad their resumes, but we also host a number of social events each year. That number is one. And the event is next week, when we will be hosting an open house to get you to sign up.

“We’re unique in that 1Ls play an integral role at the Journal on Cheese. That role is helping us say that we have first-years on our journal without having to lie. In addition, from your work at the journal and your attendance at our meetings, there’s the possibility of making one or two – and even in a few rare cases, three – friends. Some of the best people I’ve met at Harvard, I’ve met because of the Journal on Cheese.

“In closing, I think it’s quite clear why the Journal on Cheese provides the best and most unique opportunities on campus, opportunities that are exactly the same as all of the other journals. I hope you’ll visit us at our table outside the lecture hall and sign up to receive reams of information about cheese of all kinds. Thank you for listening, and I hope to see you all at our open house, which we’ve conveniently scheduled at exactly the same time as all of the other journals’ open houses.”

I’m going to start my own student organization: the Free Food Society. No pretense about any actual events, any broader purpose, or any way to impress future employers. You come to a meeting, you get free food, and you leave. Well, you don’t have to leave. You can stay. I’ve got some subciting you can work on.

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