When I first applied to law school, I thought: a Doctor of Laws. It’s a doctorate. It’ll be comparable to a PhD. Maybe a little watered down. But a lot of PhDs today are more than a little watered down. And hey, if I spend a little more time learning a practical professional skill and a little less time… well, I was going to say, teaching hungover 19-year-olds how to spell or add, but that’s a rather practical professional skill for those who’ve taken the tweed. A Doctor of Laws. I can respect that.
When I first started law school, I thought: This isn’t quite a PhD. It’s all taught. There’s no research, no creative element. No expectation that one will contribute to the body of human knowledge. Only about 10% of the students are able to do any real writing by means of the law review, and that’s one short paper… their last semester. This isn’t a doctorate. It’s a master’s degree. A three-year master’s, too. Not great – but it is what it is.
When I was halfway through the semester, I thought. This isn’t quite a master’s. There’s little critical thinking, or application, or challenge. It’s time-consuming and it’s a fight not to fall asleep, but that’s as close as it comes to being hard. Do the work. Recite the facts. Prove that you’ve done the reading. Take the exam. Get good grades. This isn’t graduate school. This is a BA. Oh my God, I’m getting a second bachelor’s.
Now that I’m in Semester Two I feel no hold to saying: this does not rise to the level of BA 2. My undergraduate degree was far in advance of this. Silly, easy, trapped in a failed system that’s trapped in the past. This is high school. This is the fucking eleventh grade. That’s what this is. I’m in high school again. I’m sad and I’m angry and that is why.
I didn’t have anything else to do. Little money in my purse, nothing on land much interested in me. The dilemma of the no alternative: may excuse much.