Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Hurricane

Law School is like Hurricane Season. Every year as a hurricane is approaching, some expert sits on TV telling us his best guess effort of where the storm is going. I think that law students should have the same thing going for them. I picture it something like a spokesman for the National Law Student Workload Hurricane Prediction Center (NLSWHPC) forecasting the future,

"Well, if current trajectory holds, the paper will be due three days before its due giving ample time for the job and Moot Court. But as those dates are set in stone, the path of the storm could be altered by the most unforeseen circumstance. Those who are in the path of the paper should expect a focused work ethic and minor caffeine dependencies."
So that's the intial forecast. Lots of work, but relatively little disruption to normal life. But as the tides of the North Atlantic strengthen the storm, so to does life.
"Well, we would like to update our original prediction now that Monday Night Football, delivered sushi, and two bottles of wine have been introduced to the equation. It seems that because of the shortened time at hand, sleep will be at a premium. Those who are in the path of the storm please do not antagonize the student nor expect him to be coherent when he is at his job, at class, or answering his cell phone. The caffeine dependency will peak over the next 24-48 hours. When you see the student consume 3 sugar-free Red Bulls after 7pm at night and still lack the energy to stay up past 12, the eye is closing in. We are now upgrading the storm to a Category 4."
And the storm of projects, classwork, and life keep bearing right down on you. The Eye of the storm hits when your friends and classmates kindly start reminding you its a draft or theirs is already a week late, their power argument goes something like, 'You're a 3L, wtf?' That's when the student looks down and sees his half finished paper as good enough to turn in. 'If the professor doesn't like it, fuck it.' At this point the caring level is at a -13. The paper is turned in and the eye of the storm is past you.
"The main part of the storm has passed, but it is a Friday night, exhaustion has set in. The student has Moot Court meetings on Saturday and Sunday that have been woefully unprepared. However, as the storm has made landfall, it seems that the worst parts have already past. He'll spend the night working on the material for the next days meeting, but it won't be a 3 or 4 AM morning. 1 sounds just fine. It appears that the next day will incorporate something called 'free time' before he begins the prep work for Sunday's Moot Court day. But as far as we can tell here at the NLSWHPC, it won't have anywhere of the same intensity as we saw over the past week. The student should be able to go out, maybe see a movie, and enjoy a night where he doesn't have to do work very soon."
And so the storm has passed. Life begins to return to normal but with the ever pressing knowledge that another storm is sitting out in the middle of the Atlantic.