Among the Mad

One of my favorite quotes completely sums up what I'm treading through right now:

`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'

Everyday I enter two mad, mad worlds: law school and the bus. I decided to take the bus for financial reasons and traffic is horrible here so I'm really not losing a lot of time. Besides, I can read/review on the bus. The thing I'm not crazy about is that the route near my school is not great. Vomit, piss, angry riders and last night there was even a dude with his grocery cart.

So this means you'll be reading about my wonderful bus rides! Hooray!

However back to why this is mad. I'm sure there are routes out there that are fine and dandy. Mine are not. One look around and the class distinctions are clear. I'm a minority, I stand out, living on loans I'm still much better off than many of those around me. Take this and stir in law school where some are trying to prove to you they are worthy of being here and bragging about their accomplishments thus far. Add the fact that there is a dash of (intellectual) elitism for even being in law school and you've transversed my two worlds. Now do it in 5 minutes everyday.

It's hard. It's hard to know that while many of my fellow students are able to escape the reality that is right outside, I can not. Many of them, including myself, will make the school their second home (thus escaping reality). But while I'm knocked back into the real world when I step on the bus several law students bypass it by getting in their cars and driving off. How do I know the majority of law students drive here? We spent a half hour covering parking during our library orientation and another half hour during an orientation Q & A.

Eventually I might find someone to commute with however I think riding the bus will lead to some personal growth. My patience, attitude, and brain will be challenged in ways law school may not do. The bus might just help me be a better person, and thus a better lawyer.

Again, it's a hard feeling to describe. To go straight from iphones, headsets, laptops, and Louis Vuitton to grocery carts, body odor and mental illness in five minutes shows you what a mad, mad world this can be.


  1. Amanda said...
    Hi! Thanks for the comment on my post awhile back. I hope you're getting off to a good start. I've thought about this a little bit school is sort of an oasis in a very urban, down on its luck neighborhood. I'm still not sure really how we are balancing our insular law school experience with the realities of the world off-campus, especially in the first year. Food for thought.
    Laughing said...
    This is so along the lines of what I've been thinking and feeling lately I feel like I could have written it myself!

    I too take public transportation to school (its free! no gas! no parking permit! no air conditioning in my shitty old car!) and despite the fact that there are multiple mode of public transportation to get onto campus, very few others do the same.

    Its one of the things (along with the multi-thousand dollar tote bags that people carry) that signifies to me that I am not among equals. I can certainly pass in almost every situation, but I cannot understand the life of the highly class privileged, and they (probably) cannot understand my reality either. I have to admit that I'm anxious about how and when these issues will really present themselves throughout school, and what I'll do at that point.

    I do think that you are right about the fact that doing what you are doing by taking the bus will be a good experience. Its humbling, both to be in the situation where that is your only option and to be in the situation where you choose that option, but are faced with people who do not have the opportunity to choose. I like law school so far, but I don't get the feeling that law students often have humbling experiences. I think that your ability to process and recognize this opportunity is great, and I hope that you enjoy it.
    Anonymous said...
    Good post. I look forward to your musings on these intersections and contradictions.
    Anonymous said...
    Getting used to the bus too :) Ah the changes! There should be a bus section in the "intro to law school" books.
    Kel said...
    Thanks for all your kind words!

    I'm just waiting for the day when the bus keeps me sane.
    JOLLY ROGER said...
    How do you do… escaping


    To escape is what we humans do throughout our lives. In countries, relationships, friends, jobs, lifestyles and dear old braino with all its pseudo logic, afflictive desires and tempting idiosyncrasies. But will we, could we, do we, want to escape?


    ...more at

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