Saturday, January 07, 2012
Sitting at the cool kids table
I'm in DC for a few meetings-- the Association of American Law Schools and the Law Professors Christian Fellowship-- and the most interesting thing happened on Thursday night.
At the big meeting for the conference, one of the first orders of business was the admission of four new schools to the Association. It was like a form of Kabuki theater in its formality: First, the chair of the membership committee made a motion. Then a short speech was made. The Dean of that school would give a short talk and introduce his faculty, and after comments were solicited a public vote was taken.
It was one of those moments that I knew St. Thomas is the right place for me. The Kabuki theater proceeded as before, until about when the Dean was called upon to give his speech. Unlike some of the others, our dean, Tom Mengler, had a conversational, happy tone to his brief remarks, which led to some trash-talking and joking around with the president of AALS before the vote was taken.
St. Thomas is like that-- the cool kids table where the people who are confident and funny sit with whoever wants to join them. I have seen this again and again in settings where our faculty or students interact with others. There's a certain magic to it. I will see it again tomorrow when Susan Stabile speaks at the Law Profs. Christian Fellowship; I know that she will be challenging and funny and insightful in a way that marks her as one of us.
It's a good place to be.