First-Year Dinner Report

One of the self-imposed duties that comes with the job is attending the dinner we give to welcome first-year students. If that sentence sounds as if the dinner isn’t something I look forward to, well consider these facts:

  1. The dinner consumes scarce and expensive baby-sitting resources (my wife and I both teach at UM; we both feel we have to go)
  2. The preprandial cocktail party is held outdoors at one of the most oppressive and sweltering times of the year
  3. I am always the designated driver and thus the open bar is just adding insult to injury
  4. I have to smile a lot
  5. I don’t teach any first year classes, so many students seem disappointed to meet me, focused as they are on what they fear is an upcoming first-year ordeal .

This year was no exception as to points 1-4, but very different on point 5: a surprising number of incoming students had found this blog, so they seemed happy to put a face to the rants.

And I happened to sit with some extraordinary students at dinner.

  • A Romanian (from Transylvania, no less), with a philosophy Ph.D from Stanford, supervised by Richard Rorty
  • An American fresh back from working in Niger
  • A Polish-born American who recently resigned a commission in US Army intelligence (in part, he said, because the failure to prosecute commanders for recent atrocities — an absence of command responsibility — suggested a failure among our leaders to hew to the ideals he had been taught he was serving).
  • A Khazakstani Kazakhstani national here on a Fullbright whose English is flawless

And these were not our international LL.M. students, who are always wonderfully experienced and diverse. These are a random sample of our J.D. students.

One could have quite a bit of fun teaching in a place full of students like that…

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6 Responses to First-Year Dinner Report

  1. CG says:

    Glad to hear your dinner table was so interesting. I do believe I am meeting the Khazakstani national tonight for dinner.

  2. CG says:

    Glad to hear your dinner table was so interesting. I do believe I am meeting the Khazakstani national tonight for dinner.

  3. Joshua Spector says:

    Great to hear that a random sampling of UM Law students proved to be such an interesting bunch. Agreed on the cocktail hour. Mine was in the Hotel Intercontinental, a bit cooler.

  4. James Wimberley says:

    You may not speak his language, but please do the Central Asian student with flawlesss English the courtesy of spelling his nationality right: it’s Kazakhstani.

  5. Michael says:

    I am an equal-opportunity mis-speller.

  6. BroD says:

    I’m glad to hear you found the students engaging but, in the future, try to avoid the kind of self-pity you indulged at the start of the post or I’ll have to come down there and slap you.

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