back in America and into hell…somewhat

Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 6:18 pm.

So, I’m back in America again, and on to law school.  Thanks to a helpful reminder from Kevin, I’m back in the posting gig.

Japan has come to an end, and I really couldn’t be sadder about it.  As much as I know that doing my work there for more than a year would be digging myself into a rut and not very productive, I still miss it already.  Teaching was a really rewarding job where you got real results when you put the work into it, plus Japan was awesome.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures just to break up the block of text…  At this famous shrine Miyajima, the tide comes in really fast, so a kid ran out on a little rise to let the water encircle him as it came in.

Certainly a big change comin’ back to the world of academia, especially pre-professional academia.  I forgot what it’s like to be around people who don’t have any passions beyond two things:

1) Showing people how smart they are

2) Getting good grades to get a job with the most prestigious professional firm in order to show people how smart they are

Needless to say, so far as I can tell, all of the rumors you may have heard about law school are generally true.  People are super competitive, especially in these first couple of weeks, and everyone over-studies in the fear that they may be falling behind everybody else, and therefore end up at the bottom of their class with no job offers, etc. etc.  People tend to act like they aren’t competitive, but everyone secretly (or not really that secretly) sizes everyone else up in the first week, and the tension is like a fog hovering over everyone in the classroom.  Of course, the worst are the gunners, the people who hearken back to the days of “mur” girl in sociology, only now they just don’t stop… ever… and there’s like 5 of them…

Now, before you think, “man, how is Dan gonna survive the next 3 years?” lemme tell the upsides to this tale of woe…

First, the study of law is actually pretty awesome.  Every day when you crack open a case book and try to cipher through it and apply it to further analogous situations, you actually FEEL yourself becoming more valuable.  It’s a weird feeling that no doubt the engineers have been experiencing for the past 4 years, but us liberal arts guys have never felt before.  Plus, doing so is kind of fun, like putting together a big puzzle.  The cold calling system is refreshing and useful, because otherwise normal people wouldn’t ever be able to say something in class.  It’s nice to hear a voice that’s not one of the gunners saying something stupid again…

Second, things are cooling off already.  This first push out of the gate is like the start of a long-distance run, everyone goes out fast because nobody wants to be in the back out of the gate.  I can only hope it cools off more with time.  I’m slowing filtering out the douchebags vs. people I can hang out with, moving to avoid the former for my own sanity, though some contact is inevitable.

We’ll see how it all goes.  When things get rough, I suppose I’ll fall back on the letters and other goods like artwork that my kids gave me when I left.  They were all really excited and impressed that I was going to become a lawyer.  Can’t let them down now just because I can’t handle a few douchebags…  If anything, the presence of douchebags almost makes my cause that much more important.  It is the responsibility of men to defeat douchebags wherever they may be found.  Guess I’m a little competitive now, too. Law school is getting to me :)

On a lighter note… eek, a penis!

Yes these festivals actually do exist, but they kinda suck now because all the foreigners go to see them and it’s just a bunch of whiteys interfering with a small-town ceremony.  Damn foreigners…

7 comments to “back in America and into hell…somewhat”

  1. Comment by Kevin:

    1. Thank goodness getting a job as a doctor is a lot easier than getting a job as a lawyer.

    2. I didn’t know what ‘gunner’ meant until this past spring…I told that to one of my roommates and he said “maybe because you all were gunners at Northwestern.” And then I realized this was true, at least with the bio majors.

    3. Yes, that feeling of becoming more valuable and actually learning things that can be used is fuck awesome; although I can’t really say I get it from biochem, the hands-on stuff from anatomy definitely strikes a chord with that.

  2. Comment by Mike:

    1. Oh man, you couldn’t stand the bio majors’ douchbaginess, and here you are, for round 2. Godspeed.

    2. Learning practical things kicks ass. Yes, we engineers eat that shit up. Wait till you start working. Then you get 100% practical learning. I’ve learned more in certain days at work that certain months in college.

    3. Wow, that is some large wood. It’s interesting how you chose to zoom in so close on it so we can’t tell for sure that it’s coming from Niels’ fly. Very artistic.

  3. Comment by Patrick:

    Wait. I feel like I missed something huge. Dan and Kevin get money after their programs? fuck me…

  4. Comment by Niels:

    (pokes his head out of a hole) Dammit Mike!

  5. Comment by Mike:


  6. Comment by Patrick:

    OMG! It’s Niels!

  7. Comment by Kevin:

    “(pokes his head out of a hole)”

    this could be interpreted more than one way.

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