So, yesterday one of my classmates absolutely made my DAY, by telling me that the due date for the rough draft for that class had been pushed back a week. Phew! That was a HUGE relief, because while I'm really interested in the topic for this paper and want to do a good job, since it wasn't an immediate deadline, the paper had kept getting pushed back in favor of all the immediate pressing stuff that I (like all law students) had due. And trying to write this draft from scratch in a week was a little daunting, not the least because I have motions to argue both Monday and Tuesday, as well as another assignment for my clinic due later in the week. (The class, that is. Never mind the cases I'm actually working on.) I'm still going to be scrambling for the next two weeks, but things should be a bit more manageable than they were going to be. I keep waiting for the boredom I've been promised, but it hasn't materialized yet...
Anyway, yesterday I went over to the main library on my campus to scrounge for books on my paper topic. (Yes, this topic requires actual BOOKS, not just law review articles and cases! So exciting! And yet, because they're not in the law library, so far away! My law school is tucked away on the very edge of campus, so everything that's not the law school is far away from us. And, yes, I am truly pathetic, because I left my parking spot at the law school and drove to a pay-lot closer to the main library. Because I hate schlepping books any distance. Because I am lazy. Ahem. Where was I?)
It was a gorgeous day yesterday, after a bunch of gray and dreary days, and I was struck by nostalgia as I walked over to the library. Of course, since this is a huge state flagship campus, and I went to a teeny private liberal arts college, it wasn't really nostalgia for my own undergrad. (Even though a lot of the fashions I wore in undergrad are back again, making this nostalgia all a bit confusing.) I think mostly it was nostalgia for my time in grad school, which was also at a huge state flagship campus. (Kind of unnerving to realize that grad school was long enough ago to inspire nostalgia, but not much I can do about that!) There were a lot of traditional undergrads roaming around, but also lots of people who looked like grad students (or non-traditional students, sure, but I'm sure a bunch were grad students). That was one of the nifty things about grad school compared to my undergrad - the diversity of people around you. When I first set foot on my undergrad, I thought everyone was blond and looked like they played lacrosse. In grad school, though, everyone roaming the campus looked so different from each other! And here, even though this isn't exactly the most ethnically diverse part of the world, I got that feeling again. If nothing else, people weren't all 18-21, which mixed things up nicely.
(Walking around the law school has never made me nostalgic for grad school - for one thing, law students are just a different bunch from Ph.D. students, and for another, my law school is in a brand new building that doesn't at all recall the buildings at my land grant grad school. But the main campus here, while arguably MUCH prettier than my grad school, has a similar mix of buildings of different ages, and walking past all kinds of different buildings - technology, science, social science, music, whatever - also feels more like my experience in grad school than in law school, since, again, my law school is off in its own little world.)
I think it was also actually nostalgia for teaching, too - though you'll note it's nostalgia not for the actual labor of teaching or of being in the classroom, but nostalgia for being surrounded by undergrads living on their own for the first time and figuring out their lives. There are times when that's really pretty cool - there's so much potential, humming and vibrating around you. Sure, there are also times when that's tedious - but hey, this was a five minute walk across campus, I could afford to be generous. It was just fun watching everyone - even dodging innumerable skateboarding youths and girls wearing leggings as pants.
(And in fact, the nostalgia evaporated entirely once I made it back to the parking lot and was trying to navigate out of the lot and off campus without picking off any said skateboarders/be-legginged folk. Who of course wander wherever they like - probably in part because cars are evil, polluting machines that need to know their place. But it made for a kind of pleasant afternoon, overall.)