S was kind enough to have me over to her home for lunch today. As I drove to her St. Paul neighborhood, I tried to decide whether or not I knew who she was. We'd attended law school together and were even in the same class, but I was not extremely social and, as I discovered today, S didn't spend a whole lot of extra time hanging out on campus either. It seems that we both preferred our respective homes over the confines of our school. Still, S was adamant that she and I had spoken a bit at a classmate's birthday party a few years back. My wife later confirmed this story, but I'm still not convinced that the two of them aren't conspiring against me to make me feel old and forgetful.
I learned today that S, for at least a couple of reasons, was not an average law student. First, at our graduation ceremony, she was being cheered on by a couple of rather young twins. Perhaps our law school was different than others, but giving birth just weeks before graduation did not seem to be the norm. Second, S is not working in the legal field, pursuing work in the legal field, or even caring about the legal field. Instead, she's keeping just a tad busy with the whole two-kids-at-once thing, being a wife, being a daughter, and being a person. And, oh yeah, she'll be pursuing a master's degree this fall.
Hearing of S's back-to-school plans made me jealous. School is great, learning is fun, and syllabus day is where it's at. But it also made me happy, a bit for her, but mostly for me. Because I was terrible at being a traditional law student and am currently terrible at being a tradional former law student, I take an inordinate amount of pleasure from my law school classmates' pursuits of non-traditional ventures. S studied the law for three years. Three years! And now she's just thumbing her nose at the whole thing. "Yeah, I did law school. No big deal." To hear some tell it, that sort of behavior is crazy talk, wasteful, and a shame. To me, it's wonderful and inspiring.