If my life was a Shakespeare play right now, this book would be Puck. It contains most or all (I'm a little fuzzy on that still) of the Uniform Commercial Code
with annotation and the Restatement (Second) of Contracts
, so it seems unlikely that a book with that kind of dry content would be the madcap fairy in my law school experience, but maybe its very unlikeliness makes it more fitting.
For our first assignment in my Contracts class the professor instructed us to read pp. 1-22 of Burton, which I took to mean the first twenty pages of this book. I commenced to read selections from Articles 1 and 2 of the UCC with annotation, all the while thinking that this was the lamest possible first assignment in a class. Once I finished, which was in the middle of the night after devoting hours to trying to force my brain to stay awake reading the definitions of terms, I realized we have two books by this fellow, Steven J. Burton, and our assignment was actually the first chapter of his much more readable Principles of Contract Law. It's my own fault, but it's one of those weird law-schooley things to have happen.
On the first day of class this guy sat by me, and I'm going to call him "Pigpen." He always seems to have papers and pens and whatnot flying around him in a cloud like the dirt that is always following the Peanuts' Pigpen. Class began, and suddenly he started going through all his stuff muttering, "Fuck! Fuck!" (not, you know, super loud. I think I was the only one who could probably hear him), because he realized that he had brought the wrong book to the class. He leaped up from his seat and ran out of the room and came back maybe 30 seconds later with the other book by this Burton fellow. He was really
quick. I don't think you could see his legs when he went out the door, that's how fast he was going. So, he sat down, and everything seemed to be fine until the professor held up this Puck book and asked everyone if we had checked it out yet. For WHATEVER reason, all these tools in the class nodded, even though I'm pretty sure no one had opened it unless they were being a sloppy as me about their reading assignments. Pigpen gets all nervous and paper-whirlwindy again and whispered to me, "Were we assigned that?" I reassured him that we weren't.
I should note here that there is something unique about my Contracts professor, and I couldn't figure out what it was until the second day of class. I think she has to be about seven feet tall, and she is really interesting to watch. Like, her face is interesting to look at, even though none of her features are particularly striking. Her hair and clothes are also in some way fascinating to look at, even though if you really think about it there's nothing remarkable about them. I pretty much cannot understand anything she says, though, and it was my impression that the entire class felt the same way. Not that we don't understand her words, but her speech pattern is really, really odd. I couldn't listen to her at all. Then, I realized that she talks exactly like Sarah Palin. I'm convinced that she is not like Sarah Palin, and the sentences she says are educated and correct, but man, the woman talks exactly like her. It's uncanny. She even kind of looks like her, and it made me realize that the watchable thing about her is that she looks made-up and dressed the same way newswomen are. I think maybe I'm conditioned to find that watchable. Creepy. It's unfortunate that I cannot listen to any of the sentences that come out of this woman's mouth, because I have a feeling it might be important later.
Anyway, on that first day of class, Sarah Palin called on Pigpen, of course, maybe 10 seconds after he realized he didn't have that book in class and hadn't cracked it open ever. Calling on him had to be pure chance, because she was only going through a list of student names, and had no association with faces yet, but it turned into a pretty painful class experience. I slipped him my book, but the situation was a train wreck in a lot of ways, as you might imagine.
Again, it all seems pretty typical for law school in a silly way. Also, I'm concerned that this book is cursed, and I'm not sure what to do about that. Do I need to start calling it "The Scottish Book" or carry some kind of herb to ward off the evil-eye? It might just be a sign that I was never meant to focus on contract law.