Fenno was fucked.
Exams were mere days away. And, as usual, Fenno found himself wondering where the previous ten weeks had gone. It seemed like only yesterday he was pacing Jarvis Field in the August heat, looking for cute, clueless 1Ls to whom he could offer his moving-in “assistance.” Unfortunately for Fenno, it turned out all the cute 1Ls – clueless or not – had chosen to shack up in Hastings, the Mandarin Oriental of Harvard Law School dorms. Gropius was slim pickings. If only he knew then what he knew now, thought Fenno. Sigh.
Still, that didn’t change the fact that the semester had simply flown by. Fenno furrowed his brow. What in the world could he have been doing all those weeks? How could exams be upon him so quickly? And why did the doors to the Hark have to have handles on both sides? He still didn’t know when to push and when to pull them.
Fenno thought back to the recent bacchanalias that had stolen his semester from him… first there was the Texas Party. Ah, the Texas Party. It had been a blur of margaritas, stetson hats, and enormous belt buckles. And, of course, Meagan Martin taking over the dance floor. “Fenno, get out here and two-step with me!” the Texas club president cried repeatedly and in a not-entirely-sober fashion. Even with a half-dozen cups of Lone Star beer in him, though, Fenno knew his limits. He politely declined and turned back to the “private” fajita bar, where he joined James Bristow in snorting lines of guacamole laced with something that made him feel good right about… there. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff…
What about the next weekend? Ah, yes, Harvard-Yale weekend. Fenno recalled bar-hopping on Friday, hoping to meet up with some Milton girls in town for the big game and pretending they went to the big H. Milton, Andover, St. Paul’s… it didn’t matter to Fenno. He just wanted some young lovin’, and he wanted it now. Turns out, however, that even the tightest of halter tops and black miniskirts couldn’t get them into the Kong, or anywhere else, for that matter. Probably just as well, thought Fenno – he wasn’t sure how he would have explained that one on his bar application.
Then had come the Outlaw Dance. Thank goodness for Lambda. They knew how to throw a party. And what a party it was: not only did Fenno finally have a use for his assless chaps – proving his mother wrong (“You’ll catch cold!”) – but the dance afforded an opportunity to catch up on all the dearly departed members of Lambda without whose presence the law school had become a sterile, conservative landscape. In the corner, Adam Teicholz and Wade Ackerman shook it like it was 2002 all over again. On the table, Amanda Goad, returning to Cambridge for a single weekend during her 3L year at Berkeley, gyrated in her trademark pair of formless cargo shorts. And from the sideline, Fenno vaguely made out the shape of Jeff Paik, a human typhoon in the middle of the dance floor. Wait a minute, thought Fenno. That guy was in my contracts class – he didn’t say a word all semester. He’s never uttered a single phrase. And yet, here he was, tearing it up like a man possessed. Hmmm, figured Fenno. Give a guy a couple of screwdrivers…
After the brief respite of Thanksgiving break – four days of Fenno repeating to his family, “Of course I’ve been doing all the reading. That’s what you’re paying for, right?” – it was back to the party circuit with the Lincoln’s Inn Formal. Fenno had to hand it to them – for a bait-and-switch frat house, it could put on a pretty decent formal. On the dance floor, Byron McLain and David Gaston kicked it old school while Wes Brinkley kicked it even more old-school, 3L-style. A mass of revelers surrounded a single figure near the DJ. Arms pumping to the sky, they rocked back and forth, faster and faster as the beat got louder and louder. Finally, the throng opened up, revealing a cummerbunded Professor Fried shaking his groove thing. He struck a gangsta pose. “Respect!” he shouted. The partygoers whooped in response.
But all that was history now to Fenno. The matter at hand concerned his exams, or his impending failure thereof. Fenno whipped out his cell phone and dialed one of his Law Review contacts. Surely he could mine their secret outline archive for some choice (and semester-saving) materials. On the other end of the phone, Mila Sohoni picked up. She listened respectfully to his request, and then answered, sweetly, “Sorry, Fenno. Nobody on Law Review takes ‘Law and Drama.’ In fact, it’s actually in our by-laws: ‘No Law Review member shall take a course beginning with “Law and.”‘ We enacted it shortly after we passed the similar Provision 1.17: ‘On the taking of Analytical Methods.’”
Drat, grumbled Fenno. And then, it hit him. The answer to his exam problems lie in the two most magic words in the English language: sick-out. If he pleaded illness on exam day, surely he would get clearance to postpone one, if not several, of his exams. He had been feeling a little under the weather lately, anyway. Something he must have caught from that Lesley girl. Or was it Wellesley? Whatever it was, she had dug him. And now that it gave him an excuse for pushing off his exams, he dug her, too – whatever her name was. And where she went to school. And what she looked like. Hey, what happens within Harvard-Yale weekend stays within Harvard-Yale weekend.
Fenno had finally found the answer to his prayers. He decided to walk over to Health Services just to check on the policy. On his way, Ron Varnum jogged past Fenno on his daily ten-mile run.
“Hey Fenno! I like your column, but it’s just too damn long! Can’t you keep it a little shorter for once?”
Fenno was all too happy to oblige.