Law School: A Brave, New World

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The world as I know it is in shambles. It now costs $1.29 to buy hit songs from iTunes. I still refuse to believe MLA when they say I’m putting one too many spaces between my sentences. We are facing a world wide pandemic that isn’t actually killing more people than would die on average. Lebron is officially bigger than Jesus. It’s gotten to the point that even the slightest shudder in the status of Brangelina is going to send me to my panic room. I’ve already restocked in anticipation. I already feel queasy and that doesn’t even begin to touch on my own little microcosm. I’ve made potentially the worst decision of all time (including that time I – uh, wait, never mind).

I’m going to law school.

I’ve quit my job. Both of them. No longer am I a teacher of seventh graders in the South Bronx, or of entitled college grads learning the LSAT in Midtown. In the span of one hour in early May I went into more debt than I’ve ever earned in a calendar year. This means if I change my mind I could live in a cardboard box and still not pay the bank back. Forget my soul, I just wagered my rent-stabilized apartment in the Lower East Side. There is no darker day in the life of a New Yorker.

A recent email informed me that I have to weed through years of Facebook albums to find one picture suitable to upload “to be used for the official Law School facebook classroom seating charts and your ID card.” Part of me doubts this is possible for a 25 year old. Pictures of me in push up bra sitting on the lap of various frat boys? Check. Pictures of me flashing fake gang signs? Check. Picture of me in blonde wig, looking like a pre-op tranny? Check. Respectable pictures to be used for identification in a professional setting? Ch-nope.

Distraught over my future, I recently called my mom for advice for the first time in about four and a half years. She made appropriate clucking noises in between audible sips of her sangria. About a week later she called back to “check in” and I screamed at her for smothering me and hung up. I had to buy her a school t-shirt to relieve the guilt. It’s now sitting in the bottom of my drawer, where it will likely remain until graduation. Or the next time I put off laundry a little too long. Either way I’m out another 25 clams (on top of the over two grand I spent on LSAT prep, LSAC payments and admission fees). Do you know how many gin and tonics that’s equivalent to? Even top shelf? I could spend a lifetime plying ibankers for complimentary refreshments and never break even.

That’s not to imply I don’t know why I am doing all this. Recently I told my homeroom of nineteen 7th graders that I would not be returning to teach in the fall. The initial announcement was met with indignant cries. “That’s whack,” they wailed. “You’re tight,” they moaned. “I fucking hate your guts, you evil bitch,” came a scream from the back. Faced with their compassion, I felt myself heading toward tears. Taking deep breaths, I told them I was going back to school and planned on becoming a lawyer. I braced myself for their next responses.

Yet, with the insight of adolescence their countenances immediately changed. “Miss, does that mean you’ll help me out when I get arrested?” eighteen eager voices immediately chorused. I tried to object, pointing out I took issue of their use of “when.” Luckily the nineteenth student stepped forward. “Don’t worry Miss, I’ll go somewhere and pretend to slip on a wet floor—then you can get me a shit ton of money.” I paused, and looked at their eager faces. All of my internal strife calmed as I remembered: I’m doing this for the children.

“Yes James,” I replied. “I certainly will.”

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