about this school thing

When I was in Boston this weekend, I kept getting asked how school was. This made me realize I haven’t really said much about this here, except for Friday’s primal scream. So, Luis’s first-month-of-school FAQ:

  • The exam inducing the scream was pass-fail, and I’m pretty sure I passed. Thanks for asking. :)
  • I’m stressed and challenged, but not overwhelmed. So that is good, and frankly much better than I expected. (I should note that it is completely possible that I’m actually overwhelmed and so overhelmed that I just don’t know it yet.)
  • I’m actually enjoying lots of it. I expected my first year classes to be drudgery, but three of the four have been intellectually stimulating, with excellent professors, and the fourth isn’t that bad- I think it mostly just suffers by comparison.
  • I’m able to find time to blog mostly by virtue of having completely dropped off of IRC, and by being more focused and effective when I do blog.
  • I live near school, in university-owned housing. We’re quite happy with the housing.
  • Despite my posting about my first experience with Socratic method, I actually mostly like it. It demands engagement, which is great, and in the hands of an expert like Robert Scott*it can be even more educational than a lecture.
  • It is definitely hard work; 4-6 hours of reading a night is not at all uncommon. I am keeping myself functional on weekends by taking advantage of my light class schedule on Thursday and Friday to read ahead for Monday and Tuesday, but still, overall, a lot of work.
  • I’m choosing, generally, to not overextend myself, and as a result trying to limit my involvement to IP/tech-related projects, which means at the moment mostly joining the board of the Society for Law, Science, and Technology, and hoping to get a slot for IP Moot Court. But there is so much to do that it is still not easy to not saturate yourself. Today I attended a talk on building a strong independent judiciary in Argentina, for example. Interesting talk- sadly, deserves a book, so the talk just couldn’t go into the kind of detail that would have been really fascinating.
  • I’ve been really pleasantly pleased with my classmates- honestly, I expected lots of them to be fairly sleazy proto-lawyers, and I can’t think of anyone I’ve met who conforms to the stereotype. By and large, mostly really nice, thoughtful people. And you can’t complain about that.
  • Using Linux at school has been no problem. I did have to get dual-boot on my laptop in order to use it with our exam software, but that went fairly smoothly.

Anyway, I think that’s my first impressions of school after a month or so. Overall, I’m pretty pleased. Now talk to me in January and maybe things will be different… ;)

*Note to Columbia: that google basically can’t find Robert Scott’s bio on www.law.columbia.edu indicates that you’re doing something very, very wrong in terms of SEO. Here’s a nickel, go buy a book.