We already have a guest blogger here at Everton Terrace! Recently, my daughter shared a funny story with me. I asked her if she would like to share it with you - she said yes. Let me introduce you to my fabulous daughter, a first year (or 1L) law school student in Seattle, WA (far from home). The photo was taken by Kenji Amma.
Notice anything funny about this photo? Maybe about our attire? That's right. Approximately 45 first year law students in sweater vests. No, we aren't all just snappy dressers, and though I would like to employ the phrase, "great minds think alike," I must admit that in this particular case, not much thought was required at all as it was pre-arranged.
The first year of law school is the very definition of an emotional roller coaster. On the one hand, there is more work required than is humanly possible to complete in the mere 24 hours available in each day. Believe me... I have tried. No matter how many hours you spend in the law library... it can't be done. For a class comprised of Type A personalities, this is no easy thing.
Learning how to prioritize reading and memo writing and sleep, therein lies the true challenge of 1L year. On the other hand, for us first year law students, there is nothing more stimulating and exciting than discussing normative issues of law with other really smart, interesting and interested people. Are we a little crazy? Probably, but isn't it all relative, depending on ones' perspective?
Enter Sam Donaldson, property law professor, in a cherry red sweater vest (centered in the middle of the above photo). He is a brilliant legal mind, incredible teacher, and also quite a funny guy. I have never seen a teacher more loved by his students than this man. He makes the seemingly endless desert of reading, memo writing and exhaustion that is 1L seem like it's really just a day at the beach (minus the water)... Yeah... Maybe I really do like sand, unbearable heat and sunburns.
Professor Donaldson does have one quirk though. The man loves his sweater vests. In fact, none of us have ever seen him without one, even on the occasional Saturday when you run into him in the halls of the law school.
In an effort to display to him how appreciated and loved he is, every single member of our property class decided we would make a grand gesture that he was sure to appreciate. So, last Thursday, every member of the class wore a sweater vest to class. (Saturday was his birthday, same as mine, I might add). At precisely 1:35pm, forty-five students removed their jackets to reveal forty-five different sweater vests. It was quite a sight to be seen, and I dare say he loved it.
Now, I must get back to objectivism and contextualism in common law interpretation of contract terms. Doesn't that sound riveting?
OK, first of all - how dashing you all look! Secondly, and this comes from the heart, I thank you on behalf of Professor Donaldson, and my fellow educators everywhere........for sometimes we wonder "Are we having a positive impact on these, our charges?" "Are we making a difference?" "Does any one care about what knowledge we have to impart, or just their G.P.A?"
This, you lovely, and stylish people, sends out a resounding "YES!" in answer to those questions. So, thirdly, and lastly, I thank you for reminding us that all the time and effort we pour into what is sometimes deemed a very humble profession, is worth it(and for being the kinds of students we all wish we could have). And, also thank you to Professor Donaldson for being the kind of educator that we all should aspire to be.
But remember people, we are ALL teachers of some sort -whether it is our paid profession or not.......what, how and to whom will you teach today?
Well said Maria - well said indeed!
How refreshing to read something on a positive note from a young person of today.... so much negativity in the news. For his students to think so highly of him and to so enjoy his class, Professor Donaldson sounds like a breath of fresh air in what otherwise sounds (to me) like the proverbial 'salt mines'. Putting that little bit of fun into an otherwise obviously gruelling schedule is what it is all about, isn't it?
Great story! Wonderful young people! I am certain that sometime in the future when Professor Donaldson looks back on his years of teaching that this will be one of his fondest memories. He will always remember this class of First Year Law students.
I think a neat thing here is that 'this' class was the group that pulled together to make this gesture. I'm sure this professor has been dressing like this for years. I wish there was some video of his face when it dawned on him what was happening!
Let's here it for the guest blogger! :-)
What a great story! It's nice when the objective is to bring a smile to somebody's face. I'm glad it worked and I bet the professor will remember a truely remarkable birthday.
Riveting indeed and you might want to give that sweater vest another try. It's quite fetching and eminently wearable.
I absolutely love your story, and I love that you have such inspiring professors. Hopefully someday I will be at your school, getting inspired by amazing professors as well. :)
how very 'smart' of you all to make such a gesture. as a teacher myself, i love when a student (rare as it may be) lets me know they enjoy my class. i can't imagine the whole class saying it!! you definitely made his day!!!
Love the whole Professor Donaldson Day!
I'm sure the creators "Improve Everywhere" would be proud of all you left-brained 1L students enjoying a right-brained moment. It was a great way to put a little creativity into your world and show Prof. D. how much he is appreciated. :)
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