I'm sitting in the basement of Austin Hall, where the TAP office is, waiting to see if my partner wants to make a quick phone call to our client. We finally visited the Boston Housing Authority yesterday, where sadly we found nothing we could use to revive his application for a transfer. Hopefully we can help him to start a new one, though, and avoid the mistakes that caused the last one to fail.
They say if you don't like Massachusetts weather, you can just wait 10 minutes. That has definitely held true over the past week. We made yesterday's trek to the BHA in pouring rain and bizarrely high temperatures- over 60 degrees- when just this Monday it was 15 degrees on my way to school, and Sunday it was snowing. That was beautiful, but it feels like a year ago- we've had spring and autumn all over again since! Today it's still raining, but back down to about 30. Forecasts are mixed on whether we'll see snow again before I leave for home, and I'm really hoping so- I could use some more practice to help avoid a nasty shock when I get back!
I'm trying to cope well with this being the last week of classes, but I'm not having much success. At any given moment, I'm at one of two polar extremes: either checked-out and slacking off entirely, or studious in a "for old times' sake" kind of way and downright emotional about leaving my first-semester professors and coursework behind. I suspect this feeling will last until I get back to Austin and the steady toil of exam preparation begins. For now, I'm just not ready to let go- or move on to the next task, either.
Meanwhile, the atmosphere around school has gotten really nice. The tension has gone down in the library as 2nd and 3rd-years are wrapping up their exams and 1st-years aren't yet getting started. Egg nog and holiday cookies circulated during our last session of Legal Research and Writing. And all our professors have had wise and wonderful advice to impart at the end of their last lectures; my favorite was probably our Leg Reg professor/section leader, who said the two best tests of whether your life has meaning are how you feel about your work when you first wake up in the morning, and how you feel about the people you're with during dinner.
Together the section put together a thank-you gift for him: a framed statute filled with punny legal jargon and memories from the semester. It's mostly inside jokes, but I thought I'd share it anyway so you can see what legal/comic geniuses we are:
The Legislation and Regulation Act of 2008
To Recognize Administration of §7 by Professor Todd D. Rakoff
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of §7 in Harvard Law School assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS
(a) SHORT TITLE--This Act may be cited as the "Rakoff Act.”
(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS--
Sec. 1. Short title; Table of Contents
Sec. 2. Findings and Purposes
TITLE I—GENERAL AUTHORITY
Sec. 101. Definitions
Sec. 102. Administrator
TITLE II—CLASSROOM ADMINISTRATION
Sec. 201. Timing of Class
Sec. 202. Other Powers and Duties
Sec. 301. Drafting
Sec. 302. Promulgation
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES
(a) FINDINGS. §7 finds that—
(1) There is in fact A Time For Every Purpose, and there must be both Law and a Balance of Life.
(2) Professor Todd Rakoff (Harvard University B.A. 1967, Social Studies; Oxford University B.Phil. 1969, Political Philosophy; University of Pennsylvania M.S.Ed. 1971, Urban Education; Harvard Law School J.D. 1975) has provided excellent guidance to the students of §7.
(b) PURPOSES. The purpose of this act is to give official recognition to said guidance by Professor Rakoff and to cement his authority as fearless leader of §7.
TITLE I—GENERAL AUTHORITY
SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS
As used in this title:
(1) KNIT TIES.—The term "knit tie" means neckwear, made by interlacing yarn in a series of connected loops, forming a narrow piece of material worn under a collar and knotted at the front.
(2) JAWBONING.—The term "to jawbone" means to perform any act or to foreclose any inaction upon a geegaw.
(3) GEEGAW.—The term "geegaw" refers to any object that has been lawfully jawboned according to paragraph (2).
(4) MILKSHAKE.—The term "milkshake" means a blended beverage made with ice cream.
(5) ICE CREAM.—The term "ice cream" shall not be construed to mean a jug of milk frozen solid.
(6) THE ADMINISTRATOR.—The term "administrator" means the administrator of administrative administrations.
(7) LATE.—The term "late" is defined as any moment in time on or after that chosen by the Administrator to be the time of commencement for class, pursuant to §201(a).
(8) UMPIRE'S STANCE.—The term "Umpire's Stance" refers to a gentle forward-leaning posture, preferably assumed near an unsuspecting student, with hands placed on the knees or lifted to cup behind the ears.
SEC. 102. THE ADMINISTRATOR
(a) The Administrator shall have the authority to alter, revise, or completely redefine any term listed in Definitions section. In making such modifications, he may consider:
(1) Local jargon/dialect unknown to students, such as "frappe."
(2) Any other factors the Administrator considers appropriate.
TITLE II—CLASSROOM OVERSIGHT
SEC. 201. TIMING OF CLASS
(a) IN GENERAL—The Administrator may freely alter the time that class commences and concludes, provided that—
(1) Such an alteration is not arbitrary and capricious, the determination of which shall not receive judicial review.
(2) Notice is provided (of the alteration of commencement only.)
(b) There is no private right of action for students to challenge the Administrator’s determination on this matter.
(c) REMEDIES— Should students arrive late:
(1) Late students are entitled, at Administrator's discretion, to an off-the-record informal adjudication before the Administrator but may not be accorded due process or judicial review in a court of the United States or of the states or territories therein.
(2) Remedies available to the Administrator to address incidences of lateness shall include the opportunity to notice and comment.
SEC. 202. OTHER POWERS AND DUTIES
(a) IN GENERAL— The Administrator shall have the power to take additional actions at his discretion, such as:
(1) Declaring, irrespective of student opinion, that certain foods such as pomegranates are not sweet.
(2) Dividing the class into opposing counsel and justices at will.
(b) LIMITATIONS— The Administrator shall also be subject to and legally bound by the following provisions:
(1) The Administrator shall not have the power to prevent students from imitating his style of dress on Halloween.
(2) All notice and comment sessions require assumption of the Umpire's Stance.
(3) Any ties worn by the Administrator that are not knit must be in a paisley print that appears to be leopard print from a distance.
SEC. 301. DRAFTING.
(a) The Administrator shall promulgate and publish a casebook to contain a brief and concise statement on the state of administrative law and the basis and purpose thereof.
(b) The Administrator shall, at stated times and upon his discretion, publish subsequent editions and supplements thereof.
SEC. 302. PROMULGATON.
(a) The Administrator may charge students a nominal fee in exchange for the casebook, editions, and supplements as described in §301(a) and §301(b), provided that—
(1) Such a transaction not occur directly between the Administrator and students, but rather through The Commission of Onerous and Obligatory Payments (The COOP).
(2) No newly printed copies of the casebook are ever furnished, sold, or transferred to any student.
Yep, we're pretty impressive. I guess I'll leave you with that for today, but expect another update before I head home- I've got to fill you in once I figure out what to do with my time in the absence of classes! Love to all, and I'll see many of you very soon!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We're all waiting with bated breath this evening, and I'm a little reluctant to jinx it, but I wanted to let you know that Cambridge is expecting its first coat of a certain fluffy white something by morning!
This is an exciting prospect for us law students, because the last day of class is Friday, and most of us are headed home shortly afterward. We were starting to worry that it would hold out too long, and it would be January before any of us saw... well, saw Cambridge looking like it's supposed to look in winter!
On the other hand, a part of me does see this as the beginning of a whole lot of hassle. Russell and I have grocery shopping to do tomorrow- wish us luck! And the section's holiday dinner is Monday night... any advice you might have on how to dress "cocktail" in this weather would be greatly appreciated.
Finally, in case you want proof (but having bent over backward to avoid saying the thing myself), I'll let weather.com do the talking:
Just hope for our sakes the whole "less than one inch" part holds true for a while. I need time to adjust!