Wednesday, January 10, 2018
January 8, 2018, was the first day back for all of our students. Although students had bold ideas and plans for the break; the question is whether or not they accomplished all or some of their aspirations and goals. The result is that students were successful in some things but fell short in others. Regardless of what the successes and shortcomings were, January 8th arrived and students had to go with the flow whether they were ready or not.
The first week of the spring semester is typically quite busy, not because I have an endless list of tasks to tackle, which by the way I do, but because there is a constant stream of students stopping by my office and I am putting out a number of unanticipated fires. Student interactions vary, many 3Ls are excited as they realize that this is their final semester of law school. Their conversations are filled with self-reflection about the challenges they overcame and the successes they now enjoy. I am typically excited for these students yet equally sad that students I have worked with for almost three years will soon move on. Some students want to share their incredible academic achievements particularly in courses they found challenging, some are thrilled by increases in overall GPA they now experience, and others are honored for achieving the highest grade in a certain class. Some of the 1Ls are hard on themselves as anticipated perfect GPAs have resulted in a “B+” or an “A-“ grade in certain classes, not recognizing their very good accomplishments but viewing them with disdain.
I am also greeted by some students I have never seen before, who tell me they will not be strangers to my office any longer because they now realize that they might need to seek additional help. A unique thing at this time is receiving panicked emails about bar application deadlines, selecting a jurisdiction to take the bar exam, and countless other concerns about the bar exam. For many others, contemplating the next steps after law school is frightening as they have yet to identify job prospects. Other than the constant flow of students in my office, there are random events that occur and require my attention such as a reserved room miraculously becoming unavailable, thus requiring a last minute rapid solution to this problem.
Although the start of the semester is usually busy, there is also a simultaneous element of fun, excitement, and challenge. When the students are not around, the building is quiet which is great at first, allowing me to be productive but very quickly becomes too quiet. The energy students exude fuels the building, keeps us moving, and is the very reason why we are here. Each year brings new opportunities to meet new students, to learn new things, and to see new growth. The students push me to become better at what I do and challenge me each and every day; thus, enabling me to bravely take on new suggestions and revamp my various activities and programs every year. Happy Spring 2018 to all. (Goldie Pritchard)