Intersession felt like cherry blossom season in Japan: a time of togetherness, a profusion of color, an ephemeral celebration. Before I knew it, I was back in Boston for Lawyering Lab, a rigorous week where 1Ls get a taste of transactional law. We practiced counseling clients, analyzing and drafting contracts, and negotiating the terms of a commercial partnership. (Check out the view from our negotiating room!)
Equally important, we practiced these skills collaboratively, grouped into teams comprising 1Ls from every section. I had the honor and pleasure of working with a stellar team best characterized as a well-oiled machine. Each individual brought a unique skill set and leadership style and had the opportunity to shine as we confronted various scenarios throughout the week.
Coming off of finals and the blitz of winter break, the dive into Lawyering Lab felt rather dizzying. Detecting an inopportune moment, my body decided to throw me another curve ball in the form of Bell’s Palsy – temporary facial paralysis that strikes without warning.
As it happened, I was reading Article I, § 8 of the Constitution in preparation for my first Constitutional Law class when my face froze. Suddenly my right eye couldn’t blink, my lips couldn’t purse, and my dimple vanished without a trace. Doctors later explained that this affliction can be triggered by a dormant virus such as chicken pox. Whatever the mysterious cause, it was a bolt out of the blue, curiously timed to coincide with the advent of spring semester.
I walked around with an eye patch, crafty smirk, and slurred speech for the next two weeks. Surprisingly, I didn’t panic. This episode was simply too absurd to be upsetting. My only fear was being called on to discuss Marbury v. Madison, as I couldn’t pronounce the name of the case. Fortunately that didn’t come to pass.
What did I take away from this bizarre experience? Some say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I’ll add that when life gives you an eye patch, make pirate jokes, and when life freezes your face, play poker. Depth perception may go out the window, but one eye is enough to keep on the prize. Also, I can now affirm that Congress’s powers are literally jaw-dropping.