“But I don’t know how to ice skate…”


WELCOME BACK. SINCE THE NEWSPAPER LAST published, we got an ice skating rink, had a winter term and lost a collective twenty-eight fingers to frostbite. Howard Dean became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party and then screamed like a crazy man and fell to fourteenth in the polls right behind Adlai Stevenson. 1Ls had their first exams, sent out their first resumes for summer jobs and met their first proctors. In case of a fire, you all fail. This week, 2Ls and 3Ls started the new semester. 1L fall is “the first semester.” 1L spring is “the summer job search semester, with a law review competition for dessert” 2L fall is “the OCI semester.” And 2L spring is “the nothing semester.” Seriously. I can’t think of anything momentous that’s scheduled to happen to 2Ls this spring. Already have jobs, not time for clerkships yet. Or is it? OCI never sends me e-mails anymore. I miss them.

One of my friends has been wondering aloud for the past couple of weeks how he’s going to spend the 155-odd hours a week we’re not in class. He’s thinking about learning to play the bagpipes, or making a really big rubber band ball. These are not valuable uses of our time (with apologies to bagpipe players). But what else? I’ve come up with some ideas:

6 hours alphabetizing your CD collection

3 hours seeing if you really can suffocate yourself with a plastic bag

5 hours building a tower of toenail clippings

11 hours watching the Paris Hilton video over and over again

2 hours flossing

4 hours watching your cell phone battery recharge

12 hours sorting the Fruity Pebbles by color

1/2 hour testing the smoke detector

28 minutes refolding your sweaters

2 minutes on the phone with your mom

8 hours figuring how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

16 hours playing Spider Solitaire

7 hours making sure none of the pages in any of your casebooks are missing

9 hours fighting the lawsuit the RIAA filed against you for downloading music

13 hours painting your toenails (huh?)

23 hours crying

34 hours watching “Full House” reruns (There really are 68 episodes of Full House each week, on basic cable. Sixty-eight. Unbelievable.)

Total: 154 hours

I’ve left out sleeping and eating. But that’s just practice for when we’re working for law firms. I’ve also left out the last hour. Because we need to save that hour for reading Dean Kagan’s e-mails about the next great free thing, to follow the ice rink and the free doughnuts available during all-night study hours in the Hark. My guesses on what’s to come, thanks to Dean Kagan’s growing generosity:

“Wireless Internet has been installed throughout the campus – nay, throughout the cities of Cambridge and Somerville – and through a technology grant from the National Institute of Science, every student will be issued a laptop that never crashes, a complimentary subscription to iTunes, and a free mouse pad.”

“The library will now feature ‘book absorption portals’ where you can insert any book, put on the virtual reality headset, and the entire contents of the book will be transferred into your memory banks in a matter of seconds. Also, the library has new coffee mugs for everyone.”

“The 8-hour take home exam format has been replaced with the 8-minute take home exam format, and the curve will now be centered around ‘A’ with a standard deviation of zero.”

“Financial aid has recently seen a windfall of cash and tuition will now be zero. In addition, each student will be receiving $20,000 in Crimson Cash, which is now redeemable anywhere on campus, on selected Internet sites including Amazon, E-Bay, and whatever that site is that delivers groceries, for rent and utilities anywhere in the Boston Metro Area, and at the local ice skate dealerships. Also, if you ask for a cash refund of the Crimson Cash, you will receive 200% of your outstanding balance.”

“Students: in anticipation of the upcoming Presidential election, I am proud to announce that I have secured HLS its very own electoral vote. Because the students here really are the future of the country, I thought it was only fair that we have a full 33% as much power as everyone in Wyoming to decide who the next President will be…”

Have a great semester.

Jeremy Blachman’s column appears weekly. He also posts commentary at http://jeremyblachman.blogspot.com.

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