An Editor’s Thanks
There is no good way for me to concisely sum up what it's like to look back on law school. I'm not even sure if there is an non-concise way. Everybody will do it in their own individual way, although members of the Class of '09 probably tend to have much different views than our predecessors in the Class of '08. And we hope, for all of our sakes, that next year will bring better tidings to those of you who will then be taking our place as "short-timers."
So I really don't have any parting advice to give - instead, I am happy to be printing Matthew Brown's final column from last year. Matt was last year's Opinions Editor at Nota Bene; his "Coda" column never published because . . . well, because there was no "last issue" last year. Looking back in last year's files, my column would have featured a predictable discussion of the Democratic primaries, and the ongoing battles between Hillary and Barack for superdelegates. Certain parts of Brown's discussion are equally outdated (e.g. invocations of "New York to 190" - if you don't get it, you're too young); but unlike in my rant would have provided, his advice has lasting meaning.
It's funny to look back through this timepiece of writing as a proxy for what we were feeling at the time, and a glimmer of how we perceived a small part of the world. So much has changed in only a year, from the seemingly mundane, like this paper's newfound ability to publish on schedule, to the completely political questions on our minds, to the "questionable" job market. But despite the palpable fear over our economic well-being that has dominated the news cycles, there are still plenty of reasons to be hopeful and to forge forward, and be sure that our fears do not turn to despair. And because I can leave the advice about the future to Brown's column, I want to take the opportunity to do something I rarely do: reflect on how I got here.
I've told the story a hundred times that I started writing for Nota Bene because I hated TREAT so much. I had a great LRW professor, but the puppet-strings of the mundane, creativity-sapping style didn't suit me, so I took steps to make sure I would not lose the ability to write like a human being. And because of that motivation, most of what I have written has been as much for my own entertainment as anything else. I have realized that most anybody who puts his voice to the public engages in some sort of self-promotion, and that many, especially those espousing political rhetoric, go even further by trying to somehow make themselves relevant in society. I have no misconceptions about the completely irrelevant columns that I've written, but if anybody else happened to enjoy them from time to time, or get a chuckle or shock from a headline or a sentence, that would be flattering indeed.
My role as Opinions Editor for the past year is not one that I had ever anticipated taking-on, but I'm very glad I did. I was blessed with a very talented corps of writers, and I cannot express how much I appreciate the time and effort they took to help make the opinions section as robust and well-rounded as it is. More importantly, what they provide is unique to the pages of this newspaper - their willingness to unabashedly open themselves up and share their thoughts and feelings on issues of importance to them - is something I am very grateful for.
Finally, on a selfish, personal note, I want to abuse my editorial prerogative and acknowledge the unwaivering support of my family throughout my life. To my parents, who I never, ever thank enough - they both have done all they can to give me the best of themselves. To Evan, who is always there for me when I need some sense talked into me. To Ryan, who may never realize what an inspiration he has been to me. To Grandpa, a role model who transcends all generation gaps. To Jenny, whose name should be printed next to mine on my diploma. And to everybody who has been unconditionally supportive of me through every success and failure - thank you.
GW Law, good night, and good luck.