For the first month of classes, since the law school starts in late August, and the rest of the university doesn’t pick up until mid September, the campus was virtually empty aside from the law students. It made for a surreal setting, where every person you saw was a future lawyer. Then, one Monday morning, as we routinely headed off to class, all of a sudden, the campus became packed with young, good looking undergrads. Guys with backward baseball caps, breezing by on elongated skateboards, and girls with short shorts, yapping on cell phones. They all looked tan, relaxed, and genuinely happy to be there, greeting the friends they hadn’t seen over the summer.
Once, on New Year’s Eve, I was out with a big group of friends, and having been priced out of all the fancy clubs with their $100 entry fees that include a glass of sparkling white wine at midnight, we ended up at a depressing local dive bar. The regulars were each sitting at their usual seats, which might as well have had their names on them, because you could tell that rarely did a night pass without them sitting at their respective barstools. Though it was New Year’s Eve, I guessed that the celebrations there were no different than any other night of the year – a bunch of old men staring at their drinks and waiting patiently for closing time. The only thing that varied on that December 31st was that a group of rowdy youngsters had stormed the place, and were ordering shots, toasting the new year, and having more fun than that bar had ever seen.
Not until that Monday morning, the first day of classes for the undergrads, did I stop to think how exactly those bar regulars must have felt. Their environment had been taken over by a group of people who would be able to enjoy it at an incomparably superior level. It was sad. Our campus, just as that bar on New Year’s Eve, had been taken over by fun-loving youngsters.
On Monday afternoon, after class, my friends and I sat by a central fountain and watched the undergrads pass by. We envied the males to the point of hatred. One of them stopped near us to talk on his cell phone. We overheard part of a conversation, and it went like this:
“So tomorrow we’re going golfing in the morning. Then, I’ll probably take a nap and start drinking in the early afternoon.”
That was his plan for Tuesday: golfing, sleeping, and drinking. No mention of class, of studying, or of any sort of worry or responsibility. And the son of a bitch had just come off a 3 month summer vacation. Oh to go back in time and be an undergrad again. We thought about the contrast of what our Tuesday looked like:
“I’m on call in Civ Pro.”
“I’ll be at the library all day working on that ridiculous legal writing project.”
While we envied the males, we admired the females. Law school girls are . . . very smart. But in terms of aesthetics, the undergrad girls at this university were impossible to compete with. You could not study five hours a night and look like that.
“Dude,” one of my friends suggested, “We have to start dating undergrads.”
I took a good look at him and then at some of the girls walking by, and I didn’t think it was a very realistic proposition. But he hypothesized:“They probably love law students. They see us as stable and mature, and they think we’re going to be rich one day.”
As nice a thought as that was, it didn’t exactly prove to be true. The undergrad girls always seemed much more interested in dating undergrad boys who could play golf on a Tuesday morning and get drunk on a Tuesday afternoon. Plus, we might eventually become rich lawyers one day, but those undergrad guys had rich, generous parents, and at this stage in a girl’s life, that’s much better.
Since the start of the school year, I had been taking advantage of the university pool, swimming laps most days after class. That afternoon, my friend who had proposed we date undergrads, asked me if he could join me. I was a little surprised since he had never shown any sort of interest in swimming, or any sort of physical activity, but I was happy to have the company, so I encouraged him to come along. When we got to the pool, I realized that he still had no interest in swimming. He didn’t even bring a pair of goggles. The pool, as the rest of the campus, had been taken over by undergrads. It used to be that I would usually be the only one swimming laps. Every once in a while an old white-haired professor would dive in and swim the slowest stroke I have ever seen. Today, however, it was packed, though nobody was at all interested in cardiovascular exercise. Girls were sunbathing and guys were tossing footballs and flirting. Only one lane seemed to be designated for laps, and as my luck would have it, the old white haired professor had beaten me to it. I would have to wait for him as he pushed his painfully slow stroke along and took thirty minutes to complete four laps.
I complained to my friend. “Damn undergrads think they own the place. If they want to play in the water, they should go to the beach.”
But he barely acknowledged me. He was in heaven, wading in the water, wearing his sunglasses so he could stare inconspicuously at the glistening, bikini-clad bodies around the pool. This was precisely what he had come for.