Monday, March 29, 2010

A UVA Law Novella: Just a Day on North Grounds


Editor's note:  With Spring upon us, and a seeming paucity of actual news, we've decided to try something new: A UVA Law Blog story.  Someone came to us with the idea of a serial that takes place at the Law School, and we think it's a good one.  "Just a Day on North Grounds" will appear roughly bi-weekly.  The author has requested anonymity, and wants everyone to know that this is "fiction" and that "any resemblance between this and real people is, like, a total coincidence."  She will be reading the comments . . . Oh, one more thing - it's lightly edited; we read it a few times over, smoothing things over where necessary, but as always we may have missed something, especially in pieces this long - so please kindly point out any typos that you come across. Enjoy:
Just a Day on North Grounds
Chapter 1: . . . And I'm Out

Why won't this class just end?

There are some days, I have to admit, where I feel like I do my best thinking in class. But today is not one of them. Today, the minutes are passing by slowly, like rainy afternoons.

I didn't come up with that literary device, by the way; it popped into my head during contracts last semester and its from a book I read years ago and whose title and plot I don't remember anymore. In fact, I'm a perfectly lousy writer - I was a liberal arts major in college like most other law students, but that means I never acquired any real skills in writing or in life, so here I am sitting in Withers-Brown hall on a beautiful March morning wishing the droning of my Property professor.

Like I said, sometimes it's not so bad. I sit there with my computer and look at clothes I can't afford or read NYTimes.com. Sometimes I play scrabble online or browse AboveTheLaw. All the while I'm typically gchatting away, usually with people I know - or I should say knew - from my college. I've gotten so good at looking like I pay attention and gchatting that I eventually learned to type in the same natural, soporific cadence as my professor's voice. It's as if the two of us were coming together in an unholy symphony of pedagogy, and my ineffective learning was all but canceling out what I considered to be his ineffective teaching.

But not today.

Today was one of those days where I just needed to leave.

"Rule 12(f)" - whose identity is no secret - warned me about giving to much personal stuff away if I was going to launch my writing career by writing a novella for his blog. So boys and girls, if you noticed a girl - er woman - get up and leave Property the other day, squeeze her not-too-tiny butt through the rows of swivel chairs while looking over all of your screens and noticing that you weren't paying attention either - well, then, you've probably found your writer. All the same, I'm going to change just enough to maintain some sense of "plausible deniability" about the whole project. Which is good, because if I was found out, I'd probably die of embarrassment - or google-bombing.

(See, maybe it wasn't Property class! Maybe I'm actually a 2L! Maybe Rule 12(f) is just writing this his or herself - maybe you're not even really reading this right now!).

Anyway, I got up and left. Having nothing to really do, I decided to take a no-frills lap around the school. The Withers-Brown portion - that's the building my class was in, and one of the four that make up the rectangular complex that houses UVa Law - is pretty uneventful. A 1L guy I kind-of-but-not-really "know" gawks at me from about ten feet away. I shoot him the I-see-you-but-don't-really-want-to-waste-my-time talking smile.

This greasy guy tried to dance with me at Three the other night. Oh, since Rule 12(f) said I need to "provide context" since some of the readers won't have gone to school here, "Three" is one of the bars on "the Corner" at UVa, the neighborhood by the undergrad campus where there are, um, bars. I'm particularly annoyed with this one because he didn't try to dance with me because he thought I was hot, or even interesting. I was there with two much better looking friends and looked like garbage from a day of doing absolutely nothing but eating and catching up on Lost. He hit on me because he figured that I - as the worst dressed - and let's face it - probably least attractive member of my trio he thought I'd be the easiest. The same guy - I had a class with him last semester - has started a drunken conversation with me at a FebClub party on at least one occasion.

In my defense, I was elegant. A simple side step back away from this poorly-put together guy (he was wearing his "Virginia Law" t-shirt at the bar - seriously?) and back into the protection of my double-X compatriots and he realized his defeat, turning back to the bar with his tail between his legs. It was like ballet - or something.

Anyway, walking by this guy triggered the "ugh" emotion for me. Maybe this will be the first of many gripes I make in my saga: law school men are, by and large, terrible. For so many reasons, really. First, they are incredibly, incredibly pretentious. Even the ostensibly "cool" or "laid back" ones who go to every bar review and listen to the Grateful Dead and manage not to talk about grades or jobs or all of those other prohibited topics - sometimes they are the worst of all, acting as if they rise above or are somehow to good for all of it.

No joke, one supposedly chill softball "stud" offered to "help me" with ConLaw after I stammered on a cold-call because "he understands the material really well." I wanted to tell him, "I simply didn't read a**hole, as I actually have a life - I don't need your help," but instead I brushed his undercover gunner behavior behind with a "maybe, that could be nice." Yay for being passive aggressive.

Second, is that they are particularly boring group. They are in law school aren't they? To me, that means that they didn't have anything else worth doing - or else they'd be doing that. OK, I am sure some of you are interesting, but for the most part I'm just not impressed by your ability to drink beer and dress up in silly costumes for parties every night.

That's another UVa-specific reference, by the way . . . well if you know what Feb Club is, you know. If not it's basically just a themed party every night for the month of February. I could go on for about 20 pages on how it works and why I think it's kind of sketchy and weird, but that wouldn't be much of a story, because I think people should already know that.

Third, and the absolute worst thing about the guys here, is that they are not all bad. But most of the good ones are taken. And I don't just mean they were married or came into UVa with LTRs, I mean that they got snatched up immediately once they got put on the market. The rest of the girls - who, not to sound the trumpet of gender-warfare or anything, are for the most part normal - are stuck with crumbs described above. It's as if there is a law school dating aristocracy, a small minority of the population, who gets to eat as a much as they want and from time to time dines in front of the starving dating majority, i.e. most of the single girls here. The aristocrats watch us going hungry, shrug, and ask why we can't eat cake.

That does it I decide, with greasy 1L-man safely walking away from me - I need some food. It's 11.30. Scott Commons Pizza here I come. I'll shove a slice down and be back in class faster than you can say "Fee Simple Absolute".

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

seppuku is the only honorable option for the author of this piece

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

CSB

justincredible said...

protip: stop trying to date people in law school.

-- greasy 3L softball stud

J. Crew Model said...

TL, DR.

J. Crew Model said...

Just read, looking forward to Chapter 2.

Anonymous said...

Someone creative please make one of these for "a good day" at UVA Law:

http://i.imgur.com/Bvwd1.png

Aquila said...

Can we please turn this into a choose your own adventure story?

Anonymous said...

Wow how refreshing! Another post complaining about the sad state of the dating pool at law school. Guess what, babe, you, and the rest of the "women" at the law school, are not exactly hot shit either. What both genders at this school need to do is either learn to settle or stop complaining and just search somewhere else for their mate.

- LTR Secure

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This is awful. Please, wait until next year to continue this piece.

Anonymous said...

cool story

Anonymous said...

As a member of the UVa Law community, I find the censorship on this blog embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Wut was censored and why does it embarrass you that it was censored?

uva3lotdlofwngsl said...

As a member of the UVa Law community, I find the writing on this blog embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

What about "My job is murder" or whatever that thing on ATL was called made you think this would be a good idea?

Anonymous said...

Isn't the fact censorship is occurring in a forum for UVa law students to converse embarrassing enough regardless of the content being censored?

Rule 12 (f) said...

Trust me, the comments that are censored are disgusting enough that it was a necessity. You are free to start your own site where anything goes, or find another one where the moderation is lighter than this one.

Anonymous said...

This is the worst. TTTry again.