One of my more recent, memorable adventures was the opportunity to attend law school. After spending the first two weeks of my first year contemplating the best way to inform my wife that I would be quitting, I somehow made it through three years of some rather mind-numbing book learnin'. Seriously though, I don't remember changing my mind about dropping out. I think I just forgot to do it. Now, I could put a J.D. after my name and not be considered a liar for doing it. Go figure.
Law school was not a place of great diversity, at least in my opinion. Being, acting, and doing things a certain way, while perhaps not always required, did seem to be highly encouraged and rewarded.
Unfortunately, the "certain way" was usually not the way I did things. I thought about conforming and probably gave it a try for a couple of weeks, but I just wasn't able to become more lawyer-like.
I didn't want to do it and, perhaps worse, I didn't even know how to do it. Instead, I continued to be a bit of a freak. I think it made some of the suits uncomfortable, but I also think there were a few people who appreciated it.
Being a freaky outcast, I was always on the lookout for other freaky outcasts, so I was delighted when K started her first year of law school just as my second year was beginning. K has a very interesting backstory and is open to sharing it. If you know her, you may want to ask her about it. I highly doubt that you'd be disappointed, either in her story, or in her. Further, if you're like me, I think you could really be inspired. She has had some adventures, experienced some things, and lived a full life filled with exceptionally low lows and extremely high highs.
Almost one year ago, I graduated from law school. It was such a fun time for me. It was absolutely wonderful to have so much family come into town to celebrate with me and my wife. It was also an interesting time to reflect on things, to recognize the people and the adventures, both good and bad, that had led me to that day. If only one person or one experience were removed, perhaps my life path would've been altered enough so that I wouldn't have been receiving my degree on that perfect May morning in downtown Minneapolis.
In less than a week, K, my favorite law school pariah, will be graduating from law school. I'm so glad that I was able to meet with her today, to share my first alone time with her, and to do it outside of the law school setting. Her words, her story, and her continuing efforts to keep improving, to avoid becoming stagnant, are a thing of beauty. To me, it's great that she is graduating from law school, but it's even greater that she is doing it her way, embracing everything that has led her to this moment, and viewing graduation not as an end, but simply as one more step, one more life experience, one more adventure in her grandest of adventures.
It makes sense, right? Generally speaking, more education equals more job opportunities equals more money and less limitations on what I can accomplish. Yet, there would still be a limit. No matter how good I was at lawyering, my employer would decide my value, and my value woud eventually peak. That's something I hadn't given much consideration until today.
I met B, a fellow law school graduate, for lunch today. I ate falafel for the first time in my 35-year history. I'm still not quite sure what falafel actually is, other than tasty. Meanwhile, B felt rushed by the ever growing line behind him and made a rooke ordering mistake. Over lunch, he stewed, both about the pressure he faced to order his lunch so quickly and also over the lack of good ketchup containers. Apparently, he hates ketchup packets. Now I know.
B is somewhat employed in the legal field and not entirely thrilled with it. Though he continues to apply for different legal positions, he has also started a company. The idea behind his company is very clever, but it is also lawyerly in that its main concept is, essentially, the exploitation of a legal loophole. While legal loopholes are sometimes viewed as bad, I am confident that this one will have a positive effect on the average citizen. B is excited about his business, and for good reason. It is unique, its methods seemingly patentable, and he has no superiors within his company. If he is to be limited in his success, it will not be due to anybody else. There is power in that, and it seems that B is both aware of that potential power, and ready for it.