I applied for graduation today. Truth is, I wish I have already graduated. Reading, preparing, and studying for classes now involve little more than the mechanical repetition of the formula that I found to be most useful in dealing with exams. But at the end of the day I retain very little substantive information. 1L year was a year of experimentation and exploration, so that was very valuable; 2L year was reinforcement of the basic law school survival skills acquired from 1L year, plus new things learned through journal work. What’s there in 3L year? I am struggling with what’s “hearsay,” what’s “nonhearsay,” and what’s “not hearsay” — things that I can’t see myself dealing with anytime soon. The only thing I learned from my evidence class so far, other than the rules that I won’t be using, is that for every argument there can be a counter argument, and when judges are willing to overlook certain things to reach a certain result, they will. But I learned those in my 1L year.
Commercial transactions, like the tax class I took last year, is largely statute based. The more I look at statutes, the more I think they are like computer programs, complete with its variable definitions, conditional statements, and function calls. Judges and lawyers are like computers who compile, interpret, and execute those programs. My problem is always that the programs either core dump or fail to compile.
In a somewhat related note, the reactions to the speech recently given by the Iranian president at Columbia just shows how single-minded Americans can be when it comes to things that they were taught to believe as the absolute truth. I admit that I don’t know much about the guy, but I also believe that his remarks were fairly well-reasoned and not completely irrational like the maniac that the media has accused him of being, and that most of his critics and the protesters rely on hearsay evidence (hence the somewhat relatedness) in forming their opinions, which, had the American media been less biased against nondemocracies, would have been less of a problem.
At the end of the day, it is really easy to pretend to be politically correct in this country. Do not openly discriminate against people who aren’t like yourself, whether in terms of race, gender, religion, beliefs, etc. This rule can be relaxed if discrimination is against people who do not completely buy into the idea of freedom, liberty, democracy, equality, or any other principles upon which this country is allegedly founded. Disregard said rule completely if those who disagree are from foreign countries (and never mind the hilarity in the U.S. Congress ordering that French Fries be renamed Freedom Fries–could have just called them “Chips” like the Brits do, but wait, that’s too British and un-American).