After college you became a bartender so that you could pay back your loans. “And I used the time to apply to law school.” You tended bar for three years. “It actually took me that long to apply, too.”
Your girlfriend was a 2L and she helped you get through your first year. “She showed me how to not do all the reading.” You said this actually helped you do better, because you would have been crushed under the weight of the reading, “and she would have hated that.” What you said at the end there was like a window into you, for me. It was poetry. And I thought there was a potentially priceless life lesson in there somewhere for a potential lawyer to have learned, “or somebody living with one,” you said in a foreboding way with a dark snicker.
“The best way to learn about drinks is to just make ’em over and over,” you informed me. “And you should be allowed to fail miserably in the process.” You went on to explain that, “In law, it just isn’t like that.” I think you meant law school, but I can’t be sure. You spoke with the voice of someone eager to instruct, and I could see why you imagined teaching the law school admission test to be as much a natural development for you as teaching a bar tending course might be. “I kind of always knew I would teach at some point, anyway.” You stared intensely at people waiting for the bus. It was the ten-thousand page version of the ten-thousand mile stare — of someone traumatized by reading. Turned out you were wondering, “how to teach drinks and the LSATS at the same time.”
A few weeks later, I ran into you on the street in front of the bar I told you that you’d love. You were on the phone with your girlfriend, but you smiled and hollered over to me, “Hey, it’s you. I can’t believe it,” and you seemed excited to tell your girlfriend it was me. You were dropping off an application at the bar. You said, “I love it,” and that, “My girlfriend is psyched.” I said, “Nice!” which I hoped you understood like “she’s a keeper,” and I wondered when, if and what you would eventually start teaching.