What is a carrot?

It’s a beautiful day in the Hub City. Still warm, although people call it crisp fall weather. It’s in the 70s for crying out loud. I’m going walking in a little while.

It is getting close to first semester 1L finals, so I’ve been hitting the books pretty hard. I think I’m the only one who really likes 1L. It’s pretty fun, actually. Beats the hell out of working. At my age, I am the oldest student in the school, and older than many of the profs. My younger classmates seem to think it’s awful. So why are you here? Some actually say it is because they didn’t know what else to do, so they thought they’d try law school. I can’t fathom that, because they have their whole lives in front of them. Go out and explore the world and have a good time!

I am amazed by some of the students who have all the designer clothes and gear, and drive brand new BMWs bought by Daddy. I noticed one friend of mine had the identical watch as mine, a “Texas Timex.” Her dad got it for her as a present for being accepted to law school. I bought mine five years ago while on a visit to Chicago to hang with my cousins and take a long road trip with my late, best bud, Dr. Jean. I considered mine a badge of honor for surviving a grueling year of orthopaedic misery.

The first car I drove was a ’62 Rambler Ambassador (no, it was not a new car) to drive to high school. It had the old push button transmission. Goldfender was it’s name, but Rustbucket would be more appropriate for an old car in Chicagoland. After I went off to college in Colorado, Natalie took over the old Rambler. On day, she decided to take her friend, Billy, to the bus station. She didn’t tell anyone the bus station was in St. Paul. Mom got some pretty evil telephone calls from angry parents about the wild child of the family. The 14th of next month marks 29 years since Nat’s death, so I’m glad she had all the fun she did out of her 27 years on this Earth.

In college, I rode a bike. When I needed a car, I walked a mile and a half to borrow Uncle Tom’s car. When I returned it, we would have dinner and he would take me back to the dorm.

I needed a car for student teaching. That particular summer, 1973, there were no used cars available. My dad knew everything about cars. As he was the doctor for Volkswagen North Central, he had the manager hand pick a brand new Superbeetle off the boat. I drove that car for 14 years. No a/c, automatic stick shift, and funky 70s yellow. When I bought my first Subaru senior year in vet school, I gave Wilhelm to Earl. He sold it! Was I cranky about that! I think it ended up in Wyoming somewhere. Earl ended up in Keli’s doghouse.

School is helping me get back to normal, whatever normal means. A schedule, coursework, activities and some friends. The only fly in the ointment is that the ponies aren’t with me. I will see them soon. Remember the scene in Paper Chase where Hart and friend rented a hotel room to madly cram for finals? On a small scale, that’s what I’ll do in Arizona, when not riding. This is my favorite scene in Paper Chase. I won’t trash the room. I am well cared for by the hotel staff, as I stay there every time I go to AZ. Riding and studying. Sounds nice. Margo has her work to do, and I don’t need to be entertained. I also know where to hike now. And shop, of course.

The cats were thrilled that my new study partner came over for dinner and stayed until 1 am as we organized for our toughest class and hit it hard. The boys were all around us, as we studied on the living room floor with our junk scattered all around. Frank was on the floor next to me, Matt on the back of the patterned couch, and Cowboy Joe snoring on the blue couch. Kitty heaven. My study buddy and I are a good match, as we have some similar life experiences. She was a teacher also, and has a graduate degree. We shared chili and brainpower.

Lastly, I have to tell you I misbehaved in Contracts class on Thursday. We spend a lot of time dissecting words in the case studies. I’m not kidding now, one discussion was about what is a chicken when it is part of a contract. My lawyer friend with whom I went through K-12, noted that she studied the same case when she was a 1L in the 70s. In the footnotes of that case, there was a Wyoming case that asked what is a cow? No, no, no! Ask what is a sheep in Wyoming. The answer? One, two, three, four, Hello Dinah dear, tea at four?

Back to the misbehavior. One does not besmirch the propriety of a law school class. Let me preface this by saying I’ve had some tummy miseries directly related to eating wheat. Whenever there is a meeting that says, “food will be provided,” it usually means pizza or sandwiches and cookies. I had three meetings in over two days. My body rebelled such that I actually missed a day of class. I’m still in recovery mode. The day’s class was what is a carrot as defined by the Campbell Soup Company. Seriously, they want a special kind of carrot no one has heard of before. I hadn’t had lunch that day, and brought back an apple and, yep, a carrot. As our prof went on and on about carrots, I whipped out my carrot and held it up, not unlike Lady Liberty and her torch. He didn’t see it, but the class laughed. I did it again. Laughter. He was puzzled. Finally, I just sat there and held it much like you probably held your fork and spoon up when you were a little kid. He noticed it finally, and said, “Oh, I get it. You’re Bugs Bunny. I’ll try not to ‘bug’ you.” Then he turned away and looked back and said, “What’s up, Doc”? The class roared with laughter. He shoots, he scores! Honestly, what were the odds that I would have a carrot with me on the day we mused about what is a carrot? Our professor is a legend at the school, and he certainly proved that he thinks fast on his feet.

Maybe next week we will ask what chocolate is. I’d be up for that. In the meantime, Go Rangers!

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