Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It has been a tradition in our family to try to participate with our kids in the various aspects of their lives. When they were in elementary school we volunteered at the school - especially to help the teachers, administration and the other children understand our Jewish culture and heritage. When they were teenagers we acted as chaperones and advisors to the kids' music, athletic and social groups.

But one of the nicest traditions has involved our kids' university experience. The first day of school has always been special and we have always been excited to share the kids' experiences. All of our kids went away to University at one point or another and going with them to explore the university and helping them settle into their new lives has always been fun and exciting.

I have been able to experience Stacey's recent university experience first hand. For the last year and a half she has shared my office while studying for her Master's degree. The fatherly pleasure of watching her grow and become more and more confident and competent will be the topic of another entry.

Yesterday, though, was our turn with Jay. Jay will be studying for his master's degree in law (LL.M.) at Harvard this coming school year. We spent the day with Jay visiting the many buildings that comprise the Harvard Law School. I am going to have to dredge up that old movie called the Paper Chase to see if I recognize any of the streets or buildings.

Jay discovered that as a law student he had free access to the law gym - we checked it out and saw that it had considerable equipment and other facilities like a pool. It is located right behind the library - very convenient for a student who will likely spend long hours in the library.

Without question the most impressive building was the library. They were kind enough to let us into the stacks and study areas. I was blown away.

At the U of R we provide carrels to the students that are basically arborite square tables with a shelf for books attached. At Harvard they provide large oak desks (they look like large rolltop desks without the rolltops)

They have art everywhere - in particular they have portraits of law professors, deans, and other people that have some connection to Harvard Law.

I found it interesting that Barack Obama was the first black person to be elected to be president of the Law Review. It takes a long time for some barriers to be broken.

We finished the afternoon by wandering through the Coop - this large bookstore is called the coop (koop) rather than the Co-op - as a contraction of Cooperative - however it is a cooperative run by the Harvard Student Society. Jay buys many books and will likely join the coop.

My daydreams of Jay being part of the Harvard community now have realistic images as background. He has a wonderful opportunity - one I am definitely envious of - to be part of an academic and student community that will be engaging, challenging, and fascinating. It is a community that has deep history and tradition. He will now be part of that history and tradition. His challenge is to become actively involved in all the opportunities available. I know he will be impressive to his professors and his fellow students. I am very proud of him.

Dinner was at Jay and Dori's watching the Olympics. Will the Beijing Olympics require all competitive swimming pools to be rebuilt???

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