Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Slice of 3L Life

The clock on the toolbar of my laptop said 2:56 PM. I looked across the table at War and whispered “It’s drinking time.” With no further ado, we packed our bags and walked swiftly out of the library. In the elevator, we bumped into a fellow student and her friend, speaking Albanian to each other. We all greeted each other, then War and I went back to our conversation in German. At the next floor, a member of the staff got on, looked from one pair of people speaking a language other than English to the other pair of people speaking yet another language other than English, and got off at the next floor after that.

After grabbing my coat and wallet, we sped off to the bar directly across from the law school, which was almost empty at this time of day. The waitress who works this shift is at least my mother’s age and a little addled. She was confused by our appearance at the door, confused by our request for a table in the non-smoking section, confused by the fact that we ignored the lunch menus she gave us. We ordered two White Russians, and I asked for separate checks, knowing that I wasn’t carrying enough cash to pay for drinks and not wanting to be the annoying customers who ask for separate checks at the end when you may or may not be able to recall who ordered what. The gears of her mental clutch ground sharply and she launched into a lecture about how they don’t usually do separate checks when it’s busy, and we goggled at her for a moment, cueing her to segue into the extended remix of “but I can do it for you now, since it’s not busy”. As the chorus came around on the guitar again, I interrupted to point out that it says right on their menu that they don’t do separate checks for parties of six or more, but that there were only two of us, which didn’t have the desired effect of stopping the encore of “The Separate Checks Blues”, but instead introduced the Dance Mix 05 remix of “it messes up the cook times and people’s food comes out at different times” (which, BTW, is patently false: this place uses the exact same system as the place I waitressed at in college and all you have to do is send the food order to the kitchen before you separate the checks. It takes about 30 seconds and 5 or 6 brain cells to do.), so we assured her that this wasn’t going to be a problem for us, since we were only having drinks, and she finally wandered off to the bar to get our White Russians.

Meanwhile, the couple from the elevator came in and joined us, which probably made the waitress cry a little from the confusion of having her section double. She took their drink order without giving them any sort of guff, and we launched into a lovely conversation that wandered from language to language. An hour later, it was time for our final class with Professor Strap. We probably should have hit on this technique at the beginning of the semester: with the warm glow of White Russians surrounding us, class was actually bearable (though still completely useless as far as actual knowledge goes). Professor Strap stuck to lecture, studiously avoiding looking to our side of the room, thus preventing us from taking over class with discussion or questions about actual issues or anything more in depth than a commercial outline. He was out of luck when it came time to discuss the exam, though, because War had prepared a list of questions about the material. He was not well-pleased when the answers to those questions required him to have some actual working knowledge of immigration law and finally resorted to “Well, I’ll talk to you about that after class” (which, BTW, he did not—he was busy giving legal advice to his favorite student, Olga) and “But you don’t have to worry about that, it won’t be on the exam” (because, of course, the only reason anyone would want the answer to a question is to be able to regurgitate it on the exam).

And by then, it was cold and dark outside. I boarded a bus burdened with bags of commercial outlines, picked up at the bookstore earlier that day, heading for home and a nice spot of tea before delving back into the mysteries of Estates and Trusts.

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4 Comments:

At 2:56 PM , Blogger vesna said...

What he actually told me was that he would tell me after the exam, not after class. Either way, the end result is the same. I still can't get over the fact that he bullshited an answer to one of my questions before I told his sorry ass that the statute said something completely different. (It was only then did he admit he didn't know, and would tell me after the exam.)

 
At 10:49 AM , Blogger katze said...

Wow, yet another brave anonymous comment criticizing me. I guess I should just give up now. The very fact that he has been working in the field for so long and for such a large firm is what makes me extremely disappointed in his class. I was looking forward to actually learning something about a field I'm interested in, but found his course sadly lacking in content and his lectures inaccurate.

But then, I guess that's just my ridiculous ego speaking. If you don't like me or what I write on this blog, why do you continue to come here and read?

 
At 10:56 AM , Blogger katze said...

On second thought, this is my blog. Any comment I don't like will be deleted... as will any comment for which I can't identfy the commenter.

Get your own blog.

 
At 11:48 AM , Blogger vesna said...

While I generally don't like to answer to people who don't have the decency to sign their name to their convictions, I would like to protect my good name. "Off-topic" questions?! Pardon? My questions may have been many things, but they were not "off-topic". Moreover, if practical experience gives you the right to be wrong and get away with it, then the world is a much sadder place than I had envisioned it to be. But you are right. I am sure he does not appreciate my comments and questions in class. Fair enough. However, I seriously doubt whether I could be dubbed pompous for having asked valid questions to further my knowledge of immigration law. The fact that this is a survey class is irrelevant in this case since the professor himself brought up these issues. Moreover, the questions that I asked were not what I would label as in-depth questions which would require a practioner with 20 years of experience to research.

 

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