Thursday, November 26, 2015
It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to do Christmas shopping. No, that’s not it. I’m sure Thanksgiving is supposed to be about more than that. Food? Football? No, there’s something else. It’s on the tip of my tongue; I just can’t quite remember. . . . . . . . .
Oh, yeah: being thankful.
I’m thankful for many things, but I want to use this column to thank some of the people who have touched my professional life.
First, thanks to my co-bloggers (in alphabetical order): Josh Fershee; Joan Heminway; Ann Lipton; Haskell Murray; Marcia Nanine; Stefan Padfield; and Anne Tucker. Their blog posts are always interesting and informative, and usually, I have to admit, better than anything I write. But, if you think their blog posts are good, you ought to see the incredible behind-the-scenes e-mail conversations we share. I have learned a lot from each of them. Believe it or not, I’ve only met two of them in person, but I’m happy to have all of them in my academic life.
Second, I’m thankful for my colleagues here at the University of Nebraska—well, most of them anyway. All of them are deserving of thanks—if for nothing else, just for putting up with me. But I want to pick out one of my colleagues for special mention. My long-time friend and colleague Bill Lyons is retiring at the end of this year (as a colleague; not as a friend, I hope), and I’m really going to miss him. (I never would have thought anyone would miss a tax lawyer, but apparently it's possible.) Bill and I have shared conversations about law school, teaching, children, Monty Python, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Douglas Adams, and a number of equally important matters. I will miss those conversations when Bill retires. Bill has helped keep me sane, or at least as close as I’ll ever get. Thanks, Bill.
I have already publicly thanked two other former colleagues who, sadly, are no longer with us: John Gradwohl and Alan Bromberg. But I can’t thank either of them enough, so I again want to express my thanks for what each of them did for me.
The final person I want to thank is my mother, Bettie Johnston. What's my mother doing on a list of people who touched me professionally? For one thing, I wouldn't be here today but for her. She helped me through the hard times; I don't think I would have survived without her. (And there was that womb thing, too.) But she also taught me to question, and sparked a lifetime love of learning. Our kitchen conversations when I was in junior high and high school started me on the path to be a law professor.
The list of people who deserve thanks could go on and on. My students, who have made teaching so fun—and challenging. The many good teachers I had, who molded me into what I am today. (Blame them.) The many people who have used, commented on, and responded to my scholarship. But if I tried to list everyone who positively affected me professionally, this post would go on forever. To all of you, wherever you are, thank you. I haven't forgotten you. (Well, some of your names, but that's an age thing.)
I’ll be back to business law next week. In the meantime, have a happy Thanksgiving. Eat a lot of turkey. Watch a lot of football. And, if you must, do some shopping. But, whatever else you do, don’t forget to thank all of the people who have touched your lives—professionally or otherwise.