High School II: The Bloodening


Law school is starting to feel a lot like high school. You're in a small group of about 100 students, all taking the exact same classes with the same teachers. Everyone's gossipy and bitchy and clichish. Schoolwork and gossip are about 90% of the conversation. On the plus side, law school has fewer idiots than high school. On the minus side, it has a much greater number of assholes.

It also gives me an interesting window into my past: now I understand why nobody really liked me in high school. I was, in law school terminology, a Gunner in high school. I was the kid who always had my hand raised, shared jokes with the teacher making fun of my fellow students, and, most obnoxiously, constantly corrected people when they made mistakes in class. The problem wasn't that I was smart and people hated me for it, which is what I thought at the time; the problem is that I was smart and was a complete asshole about it. Now in law school I'm the person who does the reading, keeps up with the material, answers when called on, occasionally volunteers an answer when there's a lull, but generally just stays in back and tries to be invisible.

And then there are the people like I was. People who try to make issues sound more complex than they are. People who try to get into arguments with the professor over matters that we're not even discussing. People who read the textbooks over the summer. People who've already started outlines (which are the massive note-taking project for a semester where you try to distill 1000 + pages of caselaw into a few dozen pages of simple legal rules that you can understand for a final) and talk about them ALL THE TIME so as to undermine other people's confidence. On the plus side, I think it shows I've grown into more of a human being. On the minus side, I still have to deal with people who are like I was every day, and, given that they haven't evolved by law school, I'll probably have to keep dealing with these people the rest of my life.

On a less bitchy note, the thing that really reminds me of high school is how tired I am. When I was in high school I was tired all the time. A lot of this is because I went to bed around 2 AM and woke up just before 6 AM every day. Then I got to college, got on a semi-regular sleep schedule, and most of that went away. Then I graduated and worked full-time for a while at the library, my sleep schedule got completely regular, and I was seldom tired except at bed time. Now, even though I'm still on a regular sleep schedule, I always want to take a nap, and I don't know why. Just like in high school, the constant sleep deprivation strongly contributes, I think, to the sense of oppression.

I think the best solution is to sleep less. This sounds counter-intuitive, but follow me. As it stands, I'm tired all the time. This is getting betwee 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Last night I was up until 6 AM writing a memo, and got two hours of sleep. Result: Still just as tired as the days I get 8 hour sleep. So what's the point? I might as well stay up and watch more movies.


Hey Zach,

Brette sent me the link to your blog. Sounds like you're facing some challenges in law school. Uncle John and I are working on projects pretty regularly in the NY/NJ/CT area. If you ever want to get out of the city or have visitors pop by for a Starbucks or something, you have my email - we can work something out!! Take care!

Your cousin Ted

Ted! Good to hear from you!

You would show up just as I had an angsty, whiney rant at the top of the front page. I should clarify that people really aren't that bad here, on the whole; 90% of the folks are decent and interesting people. The problem is that the other 10% are jumping up and down in their seats and waving their hands to get the professors's attentions.

But yeah, I'd love to so something. When are you going to be in town next?

You'll see that I commented throughout your blog - no matter how old some of the posts are. Don't worry - we all have "angsty" days.

Well, usually I'm in the area (not NYC proper) every week. However, I fractured my foot last weekend, so I am "telecommuting" from home since I can't drive.

My current construction site is in Elmont, NY, which is just over the Queens/Nassau County border on Long Island. I stay in a hotel just over the Outerbridge Crossing from Staten Island to NJ. I believe there is a train station near there that goes into Penn Station.

If my foot heals, I'll be back out next week, but probably unable to walk the long city blocks. Lets keep in touch to meet up - can you figure a way out to the 'burbs? I'll repay the favor later in the fall once I'm 100% and back from my honeymoon. Let me know!

Say, when and where is the wedding? I can't promise anything, what with school, but it's theoretically possible I could make it.

Hey, that sounds awful Zach. Don't give into the movie watching... you'll turn out addicted and reading movie summaries, theory and looking at pictures when you're not watching movies. Like me. Incidentally how did you get through the application process. It's killing me... worst than a full time job!

The wedding is October 8th, at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA (our alma mater). 2 o'clock pm. Brette and Kelsey are coming - you're more than welcome to attend as well!!

Hey, Pam. Random question: Have you seen any movies by Darrio Argento? A friend recommended him to me and I've been working my way through some of them. I'm curious to see what you think. I won't tell you my thoughts yet, so as not to prejudice you.

Hey Zach -

Remember me, Helen Cheng, from high school? I've had you on my AIM buddy list for...oh...the last 6 years or so, and just randomly today I clicked on your profile and lo and behold! Amazing how the Internet keeps us one click away from each other. Anyway, I wanted to say hello and that no, you weren't disliked in high school. At least not by me, since I was one of the nerdy goody goods who did her math homework at lunch in the library and started taked the SAT in 7th grade. My goodness, that was a long time ago! Anyway, it's really awesome that you are in law school now - I hope you are enjoying it. It seems that society has turned you into an intelligent and upright fellow - what a surprise (kidding, kidding)! Anyway, drop me a line sometime!

Wow! Helen! I haven't heard from you in years! You're actually one of the people I'd been wondering about, since I completely lost touch with you after High School. Man, this thread seems to be just the magnet for people making contact.

So what have you been up to? I can sort of get the broad outline of where you are now from your blog, but the last 5 years are something of a mystery.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on September 21, 2005 5:18 PM.

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