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From the Mouths of 1Ls


From the Mouths of 1Ls
There are two things in this world that I pride myself on; my unfailing ability to consume Indian food in far greater amounts than my BMI indicates is possible, and my ability to use and manipulate any and all of the less savory words found in the English language. And by “abilities” I mean compulsions. And by pride I mean “things of which I am secretly deeply ashamed.”

Fact is, though, give me some vindaloo and naan, and I’ll put it back while telling you to “Shut your —- mouth, —–sucker.” I just can’t help it. Call it bad breeding, call it blue collar roots, call it a badge of honor. Call it what you will, but I have a mouth that would put Kathy Griffin to shame. Thank god I’m not a redhead.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that unrestrained cursing is going to earn me any marks of distinction as a law student. Well, at least not the sort that I’d want. So when I decided to go to one of the “get to know your future classmates” events that my law school held recently (largely because of the promised free lunch), I knew I had to be careful. Luckily, both the lunch and classmates got two thumbs up. I, on the other hand, probably didn’t.

The event started fine, I flew low and was doing relatively well at not offending anyone (I have been told I give dirty looks without intending to, however, so I won’t claim total inoffensiveness), but I quickly found myself having the same conversation over and over. It was the adult version of the “age/sex/location” inquiry (back from when chat rooms weren’t synonymous with pedophilia), which went something like “name/hometown/previous activities.” Now, one of the aspects of law school that I was really looking forward to was meeting people who had done awesome things, and I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the stories I heard were truly amazing. I did, however, allow myself to be lulled by the predictability of the conversations, and consequently forgot about not f’ing up.

So eventually I was talking to a fellow student, who hailed from Japan and had been doing some cool things in Japan for the past few years. So I decided to tell him that.

“That’s f’ing’ rad.” I remarked. (Apparently I not only have a problem with profanity, but tend to use slang reminiscent of Travis from Clueless.)

He looked at me, with a confused and slightly offended look on his face, “Huh?” I suddenly realized that “f’ing’ rad” is probably not the most easily translatable statement I could have chosen. In fact, I could imagine it actually sound quite bad if you only knew, say, a few of the choicer English profanities.

I tried to salvage the situation, “Uh, yeah. That means good. Sorta. Yeah so like that’s good.” Stupid, stupid I internally screamed at myself. Welcome to law school!

He was still staring at me, “Wait, what was it you said again?” At least the look of horror was fading from his face.

“Uhhh… f’ing’ rad?” I cringed. As every seventh grader has already learned, swears only sound cool the first time you say them (edit: most adults have learned they never sound cool), each repeat just makes it worse and worse. Things were going downhill fast.

“So that means good?” he asked. I had a quick mental picture of a professor asking his opinion on something, and his new potential response. Oh no.

I tried to backtrack, “Umm sorta. Like in a really impolite, slang way.” But, even as I said it, I realized that he had qualified for a pretty good law school, and he probably didn’t need my explanation.

His response confirmed it, “Yes, I assumed.” The urge to melt into the floor increased. Luckily he didn’t seem that upset and I refocused myself, determined not to make another mistake.

All went well for a while, until another friend I had known for a while tried to tease me about something. “Suck balls, dude,” I shot back. Fellow classmates turned to look at me.

I smiled uncertainly, “Uhhh that’s not good,” I explained, just in case.

Judging by the looks on my classmates’ faces, they agreed.