Monday, August 20, 2007

Apathy: It's Not Just For Losers

The weekend was good and full of swimming, lounging and wine until it was swiftly and brusquely ended by a phone call from a financial aid drone who advised me that I had reach the federal loan limit, which meant no more government loans would be granted to me. That phone call, which lasted all of five minutes, officially marked the end of my summer and catapulted me headlong and unwillingly into fall semester.

I've been pondering my circumstances since Friday morning and I've reduced my choices to a few: apply for a Grad PLUS loan, apply for private loans, sell my house. The first and third options are the front runners; the third option has a slight edge only because I have a desire to move anyway. I have some time to thoroughly consider all my options as I'm not in as much of a hurry as I probably ought to be. My dogged refusal to acknowledge the end of summer break has lead to this sort of dangerous procrastination in which textbooks go unpurchased, lockers go unrented, and, alas, tuition bills go unpaid.

Class commences on Tuesday and my inbox is full of advanced assignments but 3L lethargy is in full swing even as I listen to eager 1Ls, who crowd the consignment bookstore, chatter about their summer spent reading Civ Pro E&E's. What an utter waste of time, I think. Would a man sentenced to prison spend his last days of freedom reading about prison life? No! Who in his or her right mind studies Civ Pro before it's necessary? Yet year after year, zealous law students embrace the wretched for some - any - advantage over a section mate, completely ignorant that one man's fervent study of civil procedure can still be equal to another man's halfhearted attempt. One exam in December levels the playing field and then it's not about how much you know, but how you apply it.

But, now, summer is over. Law schools around the country are in full swing and a new crop of insouciant 3Ls dot the law school landscape. 1Ls think us lazy and arrogant. In turn, we think they are foolish and idealistic. In some ways, we are both right. 3Ls are settled and usually have an answer to the employment question. 1Ls think law school will reveal new career paths and that the learning of the law will be exciting and life changing. They are seldom right and, though they wouldn't think it now, in time, when the newness of law school descends into tedium, those eager 1Ls will find their own behavior mirroring that of their 3L counterparts whom they so derided.


Caroline said...

Holy CHRIST I'm glad I didn't go to law school! And I was seriously considering it, too...


Proto Attorney said...

Geez, there's a maximum on federal student loans? Uh, I wonder what that maximum is, because I might be getting real close since this is my third degree.

LawSchoolMom said...

It came as a surprise to me too. I just assumed there would be enough federal aid to finance both my undergrad and law school education, but they cut you off at $138,500.