RECORD EDITORIAL: Printing something positive

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Well, the weather is freezing again. One-Ls are slaving away at their Ames briefs as their beleaugered BSAs reconsider their commitments to teaching First Year Lawyering. The RECORD’s pages brim with controversy over the work of one of our opinion columnists (we hate when you call op-eds “editorials”). The Sound-Off Board is alternately vying for a place in the dating service pantheon or serving as a bitchfest even The RECORD’s most disquieted columnists wouldn’t countenance.

There is always something to complain about, it’s true. And it’s usually the same series of things. Bad weather, politics (internal, domestic and international), dating, school. (Quick note to that last group of complainers — law school pales by pathetic comparison to the grind of an actual career, even one you like. Reading 80 pages of law at your own leisure every night is easier than virtually every job in the country).

There is always something to complain about, but there is also much to praise about not only life at the Law School, but yes, even the Law School itself.

Lots of people made the Law School look good this week. Foremost among them was probably Prof. Charles Ogletree, who drew national publicity for doing something not only constructive, but within the actual ambit of a high-profile professor’s duties (if only his friend Cornel West could say the same about that rap album). Whatever one thinks of the reparations movement itself, Ogletree courageously put himself on the line for a cause he believes worthy, and reinforced the nationally-held notion that Harvard Law is the home of some serious legal heavyweights.

The HLS Forum roused itself from a long hiatus to sponsor a speaker worth having — the original plaintiff in the Ninth Circuit pledge of allegiance case. We can only hope that the Forum manages to pull off a few more events before the end of this year.

ITS also gave its reputation a much-needed facelift as it installed the last of a series of new eMac workstations at locations around the Law School. The new computers use the extremely stable Linux-based OS-X operating system, they look sharp and, so far, they don’t crash every five seconds.

Though they still managed to arouse the ire of campus liberals, the Federalist Society inaugurated its spring semester by co-sponsoring a book drive led by the Advocates for Education. Snarking aside, the drive not only means more books for needy kids — a net good no matter how you look at it — but it shows a softer side to the conservative clan that lefties love to hate.

For some reason, a love for literature was in full bloom this week, as a small group of students gathered in Lewis 302 to witness the inaugural reading of a student-produced novel at the Law and Literature workshop. Those complaining about spending their entire day learning law might give groups like it a look before arguing that all that briefing botches their prose.

Undoubtedly, we will revisit the world of strife, controversy and the administration’s major and minor transgressions next week. But students should remember this piece of advice when we do — don’t complain about the place unless you care about it. And don’t complain about what others are doing unless you’re willing to do something about it yourself.

Have a safe week, and send us a letter on those new eMacs….

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