Those who read the last installment in this series will remember that I had a less-than-stellar record as a high school student. It took a while for me to get things going but, as soon as I gathered momentum, I had a hard time slowing down.
My first year as a college professor demanded a lot of hard work. I had to prepare for several classes I hadn’t taught previously. But by plugging away nightly I was able to get through the year with flying colors. I somehow registered the highest teaching evaluations in my department after only one semester.
During my second year as a professor I had to focus on research. I knew that if I spun a couple of articles off my dissertation and wrote or co-wrote a couple of “new” articles I would be a lock to get tenure. Things worked out well. My department voted unanimously to grant me tenure after just four years and two months on the job.
Instead of taking a rest after getting tenure I started to study for the LSAT. The next month I took the test and scored high enough to get into all three of the schools I had been considering seriously. Then, in one of the most foolish moves of my life, I turned down a scholarship offer from The University of Georgia School of Law. I later accepted an offer from UNC School of Law and enrolled in the fall of 1998.
For the first few months I studied diligently – an average of about five hours a night. But, for some reason, I started to have serious attention problems in class by the time November rolled around. The Clinton impeachment scandal was dominating the political shows on both radio and television. But, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to weigh in on the serious issues that confronted our nation during that time.
As Thanksgiving approached, my problems staying awake in class were getting worse. I was becoming very bored with law school in general. I also found it hard to take UNC Law seriously as the school seemed to offer more seminars dealing with transgendered rights than seminars dealing with serious legal issues. So I decided to take a weekend off and head out of town to catch up on some shopping for cloths, guns, and CDs – in no particular order.
As I was looking through some books at the mall I found one called “Sexual McCarthyism” by Alan Dershowitz. As I was holding the book I had an immediate realization about my life and where it was headed. I knew I did not ever want to practice law. I knew I wanted to teach college and to become an irreverent columnist and author much like Alan Dershowitz. I knew I had taken a wrong turn in my career by pursuing a law degree I would never put to use.