Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, February 1, 2007

In Memory of Bugs Bunny

No need to panic, no one has retired the beloved cartoon character Bugs Bunny. I am speaking of our beloved cat named Bugs Bunny (“Bugsy”) who we had to let go this weekend (and no, we do not mean it in the Donald Trump, “you’re fired” kind of way).

Let me start at the beginning. When my (now) husband and I were in law school, we started with one cat. We named her “Justice Brennan” and vowed to fill our home with a liberal majority of pets (the fish were named Holmes and Cardozo and we dreamed of our future bulldog, Thurgood). Well, Brennan (who is now 17 years old) was lonely. She would yowl at all the folks in our building as they were retrieving their mail (we lived on the first floor) as well as any passers-by when we had the windows open.

Also, when I was in New York that fall to be fitted for my wedding gown, my beloved car, Harvey (and yes, I do name everything) was stolen. I was depressed. My (now) husband tried all of his tricks to cheer me up.

We had a weekly ritual of walking home from law school every Friday afternoon and our walks always took us past a pet store on Newbury Street where they had fish, bulldog puppies and a mynah bird who screamed “911, 911.” On one of these walks we went in and saw two kittens for adoption, one was a beautiful black and white kitten and the other was Bugsy. He was gray, with enormous white tipped paws, a white tummy and little stumpy bunny tail—he fit in one hand. The pet store guy told us he was a manx- which I thought at the time was “pet store -ese” for funny looking, but I said his name should be “Bugs Bunny” because of what he looked like. Well, when you name something, you ought to bring it home (and it did ease my depression about the car a little, although Bugsy was way too small to ride on...).

So we brought him home. As it turns out (and here is the ASP link, I know it took a while…), Bugsy was my own small, fuzzy Academic Support Program. Perhaps my law school had an academic support program and I was clueless about it, but I never knew where it was or that it was available.  What did I learn from Bugsy? Three important things:

1.  Don’t try to book brief cases by using multiple shades of highlighters. I thought it was an ingenius plan:  each color represented a different part of the brief.  Pink for issues, orange for facts, etc.  But the truth is, if you follow this plan, you never read all the way through the case to get to the point and it is very hard to get highlighter off the white tipped paws.

2.  I should never study on the couch. I need a table and fairly hard chair to be productive. Students may think that they can study in law school the way they did in college, but I am not sure it translates well. It is always better to be able to have your computer, dictionary, etc. available, as well as a flat surface for your Red Bull (or other caffeinated beverage of choice).   Also, when you sit on the couch, a kitten could be in the inner workings of your sleep sofa and think it is fun to poke at you through the upholstery (especially if you are easily startled and reading for Federal Courts).

3.  Don’t forget the rest of world when you are in law school.  We should all spend some time looking  out the window at the world and greeting people as they walk by. We should also remember to look in and stay in touch with the people at home who love us.  I think a little perspective goes a long way.  Your grades and ranking are only one small facet of who you are and if you neglect the rest, you will become one dimensional and cranky.  Loving and being loved keeps you in 3-D, even if that love comes from a six-pound diesel engine-like purring ball of fluff.

I probably have a million memories of my fifteen years with Bugsy, like how he would always sit on my tummy and purr when I was pregnant but I am doling those out one at a time to my children.  As for our time together when I was in law school, thank you Bugsy for your wise lessons. We miss you. (ezs)

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