Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

I maintain that the law college is built like a casino. Like a casino, there are almost no windows, no fresh air, and few clocks. You're not supposed to have any idea what time it is, or indeed, what day it is. This goes further, you completely lose track of what is going on outside of the little bubble. They design it that way, so you're not distracted by the fact that it's, say, half-off wine night, or your spouse's birthday.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that I didn't think twice about letting the Professor I am a T.A. for set office hours for me one Friday night. I wasn't thrilled, but I figured it would be a good opportunity to get some work done and I set off. Only to find the road closed down for, I shit you not, the Homecoming Parade.

Needless to say, when I actually arrive on campus, I'm in no angelic mood, having been diverted through the subdivisions numerous times. Also, I'm working on a Friday night. Lame. But, who am I kidding? I would be sitting around doing laundry otherwise.

I'm a T.A. for one of those classes that all 1Ls need to take, and at this time of year, they're exceptionally antsy. But I still have a hard time believing that anyone is going to come in on a Friday night. And if they do, I think I'm going to say "It's Friday night, get the fuck out of here and get a life. It's too late for me, but you can still run. RUN!"

While I'm waiting for 1Ls that never come, I do something uncharacteristically kind and help one of my staff members, we'll call him Joe, with finding sources for his assigment. I walk him through how to find the regulation he seeks and send him off into the big kids' world to print and find the other reguations in that section. This goes well for a few minutes. Until he informs me that there is no title page for this section of the C.F.R. I pause. I know that this is published by the government. I know there is a title page. I've already spent like, 20 minutes helping him do something that he should have been able to do without me, so I'm not feeling too sympathetic.

"There's no title page."

I calmly respond, "Yes, I'm sure there is. Just keep looking. Click to the table of contents."

He clicks, like two more times. "No, I don't think there's a title page." He's starting to sound petulant and frustrated.

"Oh, I bet there is."

"Prove it."

The heads of the two other guys at the table snap up immediately, eyes wide, they're looking between him and I, probably to see exactly what I'm going to do. Like I'm possibly going to rip his throat out with my teeth, or rip his sack off like a paper towel and stuff it up his nose. Let's face it, those are both threats I've used before, and I already said I was cranky. I look at him and pause, just long enough for his to widen and calmly reply "Wow, we're feeling ballsy today aren't we?" He has the grace to give a little apologetic chuckle. I'm still on my kinder, gentler, Lola kick (kinda) so I simply go on,

"I bet I can find it." It takes me under two minutes to find the title page. And I give him instructions, trying my best not to smirk. Reminds me of when I would complain to my mom that I couldn't find something in my room and she'd say "If I come in there and I can find it...."

"You're...kind of amazing..." He says.

Better write that down.