Reflections on My Time In "Paper Chase" Land

I thought I might take a brief hiatus from dispensing legal advice to reflect back upon my time in law school. If this post is received well I might devote additional Fridays to some of the many surreal experiences I had while a law student at The Florida State University College of Law. Surreal, but nice.

The Spitter
I remember walking into Florida Con Law I for the first time. It was my second semester of law school and I now felt like a seasoned veteran. I had been through the fire of the first semester's end of semester exams and had done well (averaging a B+). I am not one of those people who gets an 88 on a law school exam and acts like he's disappointed. My B+ average put me in the top third and that was good enough for me. Sure beat a poke in the eye with a hot stick anyway.

I was looking forward to having my skull full of mush filled with grand discourses on the lofty document of grandeur that is the Florida Constitution. Just kidding. I was really just wanting to find out how pregnant pigs and a monorail train had somehow ended up in the Consitution.

I had been told that a new highly qualified professor was scheduled to teach the class. He was a judge in his previous life and had recently ascended (or descended depending on your view of those who teach and do not practice) to the heights of the law school professor. As was my custom I entered the classroom and took a seat in the front row. Not long after I sat down, a distinguished looking gentleman entered the room, walked down the aisle which sloped to the front of the room (stadium seating) and opened up his briefcase. He took out some chalk and wrote his name and the name of the class on the board. He then turned around and began to address the class.

I will never forget the first words I ever heard him speak. Not so much for what he said, but for the way he said it. "My name is Professor So-And-So and this is Florida Con Law I." The words were moving and spoken with a great deal of feeling. At least for those of us in the front row. You see, Professor So-And-So was a spitter. When he spoke, a light mist sprayed out of his mouth and onto those of us in the front row (the feeling part). We all wanted to move (the moving part).

I had seen people roll their tongues when they spoke. I even know a guy from Swaziland who can make tiny clicks with his tongue when he speaks. But this was the first time I had ever seen anyone who could seamlessly spit and talk at the same time. One of my friends turned to me and said, "He's a spit talker." The whole situation seemed like it should have been the topic of a Seinfeld episode. The next time we met for the class I was comfortably seated in the back row well out of range of the Spitter. I calculated that anyone sitting in the fourth row or further back was out of his range unless the professor walked up the aisle.

Several days into the class one of the students wore a yellow raincoat into class. It hadn't rained in a week.
© CORPUS JURIS. All rights reserved.