Sunday, December 17, 2006


Guess who’s off house arrest? That’s right. Friday was the last final. I had 5 finals. Contracts, Property, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Torts. Each of these bad boys was 3 hours long. 2 essay questions and one hellishly ambiguous multiple choice. It’s the burauecatic version of the Indian gauntlets or Abu Graib. Purely self-induced post-traumatic stress disorder. All my senses were frayed and on alert. My nerves were hot and smoky like the scorched remains of a the Lockerby crash. Everytime I heard a chopper fly over, I was plagued with visions of Xerox machines and laser printers. My tongue recoiled from the acrid taste of toner in the air. My girl snuck up behind and me, and i snapped: all i saw was this giant scantron answer sheet, so I marked questions. My Girl’s screams yanked me out of the hallucination. I was standing over her with a sharpened number two penci a ¼ inch from her eye screaming “C, C, C, C!” Sometimes I hang around the VA Hospital, just see some of the Law School vets. Drinking. Shooting “H”. Chasing the dragon. It’s sad. See these guys, in there 3-piece suits, or worse “Dockers.” Just a shell of a human being they once were. Wrists bruised and scarred from scrawling out billable hours. Man, they went away to Law School heroes and returned home to be called villains. Damn.

Anyways, finals gets hairy. The campus is like Darfour if it was also a leper colony. Your entire semester grade IS what goes down on that finals test. It’s Licensed to Drive pressure. Remember when Corey Haim sits down and his Driving Examiner is a bitter fat black man. He picks up the clipboard and says “We won’t be needed this.” And he whips the clipboard out the window. He warns Corey, there is only one test. He sets a piping hot cup of coffee on the dash, and Corey’s success hangs on not boiling an angry black man’s balls. That is the law school final. “Don’t singe deez nuts bitch, or it’s going to be your piddly nuts, now drive fool.”

The Christian school stresses being of service to each other, and brotherly love. Hah. That baby goes out with the bathwater during finals. The students get “crocodile” eyes and hover over their “outlines.” They look like hyenas greedily feeding over a gazelle. I asked this girl in my class if we should quiz each other, and she said “Why should I help you?” That shits Verabatim My N*gga. I was surprised because she got into the school for winning a humanitarian award.

Before each Final while my bretheren were asking for Jesus to help the destroy their classmates I prayed to the true law school god, KROM. Krom is the “Mountain God” that Conan prayed to. Krom calls us after we die and we have to tell him the riddle of steel. I raised my fist up, and said “KROM!.” Some nitwit behind me said, “My God is the God of all gods, he’s the only true god.” I told him that Jesus doesn’t like tattletales or kissasses. Why do you think he jacked up Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, Mel Gibson, and Rush Limbaugh? He gulped and went back to his own damn beez wax. Besides, Jesus probably hates law school. The mother-effers who did well in law school were the ones who changing money in the temple in the old days, and we know what Jesus did to them. No, the god of law school is Krom! A barbarian’s god. I looked up just like Arnold did, all scared and superstitious and said, “No one will remember today except that two stood against many. I ask you, Father Krom, grant me victory, grant me revenge. And if you will not grant them to me; then the hell with you!”

The Law School final is interesting creature. The test is a little story, an evil fairy tale where anything that can go wrong does go wrong, always tragic. Maybe they should have Fiona Apple come in and sing the Law School Final. The professor writes up this little dittie about some person named “Jed” who gets into a huge accident, or has to steal a car to rescue a baby from a parking lot, or a contract gone sour because the acceptance letter contains additional terms, or Timothy who tied a rope around Zeke’s neck for a joke resulting in accidental death. I don’t know why the professor’s use stupid names on the test. Maybe to train us to stay focused on the issues while representing total idiots? I don’t know, but it’s a weird thing.

We’re supposed to spot all the issues in the story, all applicable law, and all the defenses. If they didn’t sprinkle competition on it, it’d actually be fun. But is’s a race. You’re brain racing. Like your mind is the bike from TRON, slicing 90 degree angles, diving into narrow canyons, trying to cut off the guy next to you, so that his mind shatters into a cloud of translucent pixels. You look over your elbow and stare at your competitor, and though there’s no wind, and no one’s moving, you can feel the vibrations of the race track, surging across the silent racers. The ritual is too powerful and weird to dismiss. Like those turquoise-encusted blood thirsty fools in Apacolypto.

One question keeps bouncing around my mind like bingo balls “what will this do to you?” “What is happening to your mind in here?” It’s a good question, because education is a lot like drugs. It’s a total mind fuck without a usuer’s manual to tell you how to handle it. From all the published material out there, they try to make law school seem like secret asshole training. One day you’re reading the constitution and the next you’re evicting Mexican People from low rent housing. But maybe law school doesn’t manufacture assholes, maybe law schools attract assholes. I dunno, I know a lot of asshole mechanics, and a lot of asshole teachers, and a lot of asshole cops. So I don’t think law school can be blamed for assholeness.

But something does happen. My dad’s friend’s son went to Pepperdine too. I heard him and my dad talking about law school. And the kid says, “It changes you, and it’s not for the better.” My dad knowingly chuckled. This sounded ominous. It sounded poisonous. Oh sweet Mary, is law school a slice of Eve’s Apple Pie?

I know attorneys would love to think so. Of course, this is a lot of deluded self-abosrbed thinking. Like a magician who pretends to call on the favor of the undead to help him saw a woman in half. A bunch of scary noise, but in the end, the whole thing hinges on a practical, obvious principle. The only evil thing about law school is the amount of work and the competetiveness of the place. However, life is competitive whether you go to law school or not. The real danger of law school is to think it was a really big deal, and rely to heavily on rational thinking. Logical Ideas are the sandals of the mind, the mind goes places by stepping on them, not the other way around. Once the mind allows logic to ride on top, freedom and happiness are like birds on the horizon.

It seems to me Law School is like drugs in that, whatever you bring to the Iron Maiden she gives back to you. Maybe it wasn’t that these guys changed for the worse, but the training in logic doesn’t allow them to lie to themselves anymore. Maybe it’s what they thought they were, that changed.

Of course the Medicine Bear knows that he’s only been here for a semester and therefore many of this is precocious prediction. What will I say when I’ve been released from law school’s kiss? I don’t know. But we will be here together to hear it.

Happy Kawanza everyone.
Sincerely, MB