Done with Law School

I'm pleased to announce that I have completed all of my coursework and finals and am done, over, and through with law school (barring potential failure in some course). Today, at 3 p.m., I am to be hooded in a large ceremony at the Ohio Theatre.

It's hard to say how glad I am to be done with law school. Frankly, had I understood it better ab initio, I wouldn't have entered at all, but would have hung out for the "right" terminal program. One can always do law school later, especially if it's really just to be a adjunct graduate degree. I wish I had been more involved in things at the law school, and I still don't really feel as though I know very many students at all, but such are "what-ifs" and "might-have-beens." So very different from Hillsdale, where I somehow became king just by trying to be authentically philosophical and personable; here, I tried to be that self a few times, and the profs just stared and the students asked me if I had sat down in the wrong building.

My estimation of the American legal and legal education system could fill a small book--and probably will, Godwilling. The most important thing I learned in law school was how to be able to argue for things that one really doesn't believe in all, as means of exercising power over others, or of appeasing those in power, or of simply making some dialectical progress towards absolute truth. LOL. That was a skill which I didn't learn in the strictures of Hillsdale's bunker mentality (although perhaps I would have had I taken huge doses of Shtromas and Stephens). My best classes here were those which tended towards the philosophical: first amendment, international, jurisprudence, crim theory. So much of law school is simply sophistry--making the weaker argument the stronger. So much of political theology of SCOTUS is simply penis-envy of the Roman Pontiff. And so much of what even conservatives would protect and conserve in the law are no more than socially-constructed historicisms stemming from when the kings of the seventeenth-century earth took their stand against the Messiah's overlordship.

With legal education behind me, I look forward to finding some gainful means of employment and resuming neglected areas of study. First and foremost among those will be a renewed study of the English language. I've forgotten how to write. Well, not quite, but close. Legal writing, coupled with the Chinese water torture of so many bloody cases, has left my prose style suffering from . . . well, water damage. I need to immerse myself deeply in the sound-world of our golden and silver poetry--Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Pope, and the Romantics--and make a systematic study of periodic English prose, analyzing the syntax and tropes of a handful of worthy authors the way I used to read Cicero.

Secondarily, I must reclaim my infirm Latin and very sick Greek. Arabic has been good for me in emphasizing other things about how a language ought to be studied, especially the aural/oral element, and Akkadian has reminded me of why I took up Greek in the first place: to comprehend epic and tragedy. But I must return upwards in time ad fontes meos.

     Tityrus hinc aberat. ipsae te, Tityre, pinus
     ipsi te fontes, ipsa haec arbusta vocabant.

My familiarity with Vergil is getting closer to bare adequacy: almost all of the Eclogues, most many times; almost all of Aeneid I-VI. But I don't really know Horace, have never really known Catullus and Ovid, and have forgotten Livy. In Greek, there's always Homer, although Pindar is incredibly worthwhile. There was a time at which I could sight-read a page of Plato and need to ask for just two words. Maybe I can regain that. Maybe not.

Oh, and another thing I would really like to do in this next phase of life is to read, well and hard, the text of the female body--i.e., get married and learn to become a good lover (in that order). osculetur me osculo oris sui quia meliora sunt ubera tua vino. Which, I might add, is better too than art itself: vino is, after all, archetypically art.

Last and most importantly, there is the opportunity to master the canon of moral and political philosophy to which Shtromas, really, introduced me and which legal education steadfastly refused to treat. Basically, I have an enormous amount to read, from Averroes and Ockham and Descartes and Leibniz, to the poetry of Camoes and Ronsard, through Kant and Goethe, up to Sein und Zeit and Surveiller et Punir. I do confess a little attraction to the methods and the aspirations of the Straussians, although I am, perhaps, more of a Christian and less of a rationalist, fascinated as I may be by their Neorenaissance dream of cultivating civic virtue through the rhetorical proclamation of ethical reflection. What we really require, though, is a new Christian political and moral philosophy which looks back before Westphalia, unto Christendom as normative, and yet takes account of Whiggery and Marxism. To this end, I will read and write.

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