today at 11:01AM eastern daylight time, i walked out of my last exam, put in my headphones, and cranked one of my very favorite crazy-aggro middle-school jams. i walked down the hall, out the door of the school, and as i crossed the street to head to the train, i may very well have said out loud, peace, bitches. and by may very well i mean that's exactly what i did.
it. is. over.
today marks the last day i will ever sit for an exam, have to contend with school procedures, or otherwise live as a student. my formal education ended today. the last time i ended a chapter of my academic career was a mere 385 days ago. then, i was elated, yet filled with a sense of sadness. when i left LSU, there was something there to miss. i missed - and still do, by the way - the school, the people, the attitude. i miss louisiana, even when its elected officials do boneheaded and wildly reactionary things on a near-hourly basis. LSU was amazing, indescribable and criminally underrated as a legal educational experience.
but this? hmm. i will benefit from having this name on my resume for the rest of my life. i spent 70 large on a year of education, and the benefits will filter through my career. i can always say that i'm a [fancy school which shall not be named]-educated lawyer, and people will say, wow, how impressive! that's an amazing school. but when they say that, they will be wrong. it's a great name. but it's not, by ANY definition, an amazing school. that would imply that it's a place where learning and collaboration are encouraged and valued. and folks, that is not the case.
what my fancy LL.M. institution encourages is paranoia, competition and grandstanding. everyone is selling something, all the time. even things that are supposedly good - charity work, fundraisers, etc. - are done not from a place of genuine selflessness, but from a place of look how awesome this is gonna be on my resume! i'll bet i can get a seat on the pro bono committee at [fancy law firm i'm clerking for] once they hire me. everything is tinged with an overabundance of caution. they're nice, but not friendly. they're pleasant enough, but not open or warm. their smiles don't reach their eyes; their eyes are too busy watching you to make sure you're not gunning to knock them off their perch.
i ran across some great friends at this school. i will miss seeing them every day as we all go back to our lives, scattering across the country (or in my case, staying here). it wasn't a total loss. i laughed a lot. but i am not, and will never be, nostalgic for this. there is no bitter spiked through this sweet. i got what i needed from these people. i am now shut of officious administrative policies, unnecessary restrictions, socioeconomic elitism and religious health insurance. (hmm, how novel - to follow MY conscience in my own healthcare decisions, not someone else's.) i got what i sought. now it's time to end this association and move on with my life.
peace, bitches. i'm out.
Letter 70: Be Louder
4 weeks ago