As spring finally comes to New England and the sun is actually starting to shine (which is weird to say today because it's cloudy, but more often than not it's true), I'm baffled not only by how little time I have left in this place, but also how far out of its way the universe seems to be going to remind me what an amazing opportunity it's all been.
For one thing, hard as it is to believe, the lunch with Sonja Sohn I mentioned last post turned out not to be the peak of my celebrity spotting this semester - not by a long shot. A few days later, I got an e-mail from one of the teaching assistants for the same class, proclaiming, "Congratulations! You have been selected to attend the dinner with the cast of The Wire this Tuesday, April 12, 2011!" I was one of ten winners of a lottery that students in the class could enter by writing a paragraph on whether or not we supported drug legalization. Amazingly, my good friend Nancy won as well. So after the cast spoke in our class Tuesday afternoon, and after another event open to the public that evening (where my friends were all ecstatic just to be in the same 300-person courtroom as the cast), the two of us hopped into a van to join Sonja, Donnie Andrews and Fran Boyd, Jim True-Frost, Jamie Hector, Andre Royo, and Michael K. Williams for dinner at one of the undergraduate houses along the Charles River.
Some things about the dinner weren't ideal. Our group of law students was outnumbered by guests of the professor and undergraduates from the house where we were eating, few of whom seemed to know the show like we did or appreciate the magnitude of the opportunity they were getting. Watching some of them sit closer to the cast members and barely speak to them was torture! And sorry for the tangent, but the lack of vegetarian option for the appetizer was just bizarre.
But all was forgiven when people began getting up and mingling, allowing Nancy and I to march up to each cast member in turn, introduce ourselves, and have a real conversation of substance. Without fail, each one of them was warm, funny, and receptive to our questions. Nancy's paper for the class is about the presence and absence of hip-hop music in the show, so she wanted to know which rapper each of them thought was most similar to their character. Meanwhile, I got an enormous hug from Andre Royo after Nancy let slip that I'm always saying I want to hug his character, Bubbles, every time he comes on screen. And I bashfully confessed to Michael Williams about the cat I named after his character, Omar Little. To my great relief, he was unsurprised and actually pleased to hear it!
I wish I had photos or autographs to show you, but Nancy and I decided early on not to join the people badgering the cast for those. My friend Ryan has some great shots from the public appearance, though, if you want proof that they came. And we've gotten a little media attention as well.
However, that wasn't even the only great thing to happen on Tuesday. First of all, I finished a paper for my Law and Social Policy course that was my last official assignment for the academic year. Now I'm free to focus on my final papers, which won't always be fun, but is much better than having them loom in the distance causing added anxiety as I try to get through more urgent, but less important, things.
And second, also on Tuesday, we got a really amazing and long overdue piece of news about life in Austin after graduation. It's the culmination of a really long, dramatic, and mostly miserable story I promise to tell here later, but I can't right now because (a) I can't possibly fit it into this one post, and (b) given the aforementioned long story, I don't want to tempt fate into seizing what tiny opportunity still exists to ruin this for us.
But I will say that it looks a little bit like this:
Cliffhanger enough for you??