Friday, April 01, 2005

Holding Out For a Hero 

I just experienced a serendipitous collision of thought threads, and I'm enjoying it.

I've been thinking and planning and dwelling and rethinking my selection of classes for next semester, and semi-planning for the semester after that and speculatively planning for the semester after that. Of course they only have a tentative schedule for the spring offerings, and what will be offered during my fourth year is ethereal at this point. It can be overwhelming.

Armed with what I think are my final choices for next semester, I checked the tentative exam schedule for those classes. Five classes, one scheduled exam, four take home exam/papers. I haven't yet had the pleasure of a take home exam in law school, but I read other people's mixed experiences last year.

Just now I was sifting through my bloglines subscriptions, and noticed that Stay of Execution has posted advice for take home exams. Good timing! And good post. As I was reading her recollections, complete with extensive preparation, cautions against overpreparation, plus the inevitable late-night fluorescent bulb lit panic over printer cables, Bonnie Tyler's classic "Holding Out For a Hero" started emanating from my MP3 speakers. In this case, it's from the Bandits film soundtrack. This was a great scene. Cate Blanchett is in the kitchen of her loveless but fabulous lakeside home, preparing a superb gourmet dinner for her mostly absentee but wealthy husband, listening to this song. She's all dressed up, and is doing a total air band routine, with the ladel as microphone, spinning around and tosses of flour for emphasis, with stunning views of the lake and mountains out the panoramic windows.

I've now decided that this is the perfect take home exam song. The beat is racing and pressured, I've got these great images of careful but spirited (kitchen) preparation, there's an edge of desperation matched with hope of a breakthrough appearing through the mist in the middle of the night to carry you away to victory. And after you've completed your given task, you can dance away from the faculty offices, burst through the front doors out onto the street and leap into the air, thrusting your fist to the sky in a symbol of your ultimate triumph.

Who says law school is dull? Clearly you haven't chosen the right soundtrack for your life.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:50 AM