Last night I was doing some midnight bar exam studying at the Peninsula Hotel. (It’s not as impressive as it sounds; I’ve been waking up around 10:30 and going to bed around 3:00.)
Walking out of the hotel, I saw two guys in their early 30s taking photos of each other with digital cameras.
“Would you like me to take a picture of you two together?” I offered.
“No,” one of the guys said, and he said it as if he were offended. And then, as I walked away, he added, “It’s not like we’re f#*kin’ gay.”
So the lesson of the day is this: apparently asking people if they want to be in a photo together is very presumptuous.
Is it possible to burn out after just eight days of studying for the bar? No—right? Then what the hell happened to me today? I went to Barnes & Noble, Hyatt, The Millennium Knickerbocker…and got nearly nothing done. I read long sentences again and again, retaining nothing; I felt like I was back in Property class.
Hmm…maybe that’s because I was studying Property…
I should have taken a break and regained my focus. But I felt so guilty about not getting any studying done that I refused to take a break. I’ll probably dream about studying for the bar tonight.
I came back to Michigan for the week to see my friends and family, and to study for the bar. I do most of my studying at the Barnes & Noble by my parents’ house. It’s been my favorite study location for a decade, only last year, that started to change when the nearby retirement homes started bussing their female residents to the bookstore to 1) play bridge, 2) ask me whether I would marry their granddaughters.
These women are loud and I can’t get much reading done with them around. Apparently I’m not alone; a few months ago, the store put up signs that say, “Game playing is welcome before noon and after 5pm.” The rule was perfect because that’s when I study.
So…the past few days, two groups of four women have been flouting the prohibition. And the Barnes & Noble café workers didn’t have the guts to enforce the prohibition.
Sure, NOW it’s just two groups of four women…but next month…
The “Broken Window Theory” of crime prevention says that it is easier to solve a small problem before it becomes a big problem. For example, if one person spray paints the side of a building a small area you want to clean that area up before more people add their spray paint tags to the building making it a big issue.
Wikipedia explains that Mayor Giuliani used the Broken Window theory when he had the police strictly enforce the law against subway fare evasion, and stopped public drinkers, urinators, and the "squeegee men" who had been wiping windshields of stopped cars and demanding payment. Rates of both petty and serious crime fell suddenly and significantly, and continued to drop for the following ten years.
So….should I print the wikipedia Broken Window Theory entry out and give it to the Barnes & Noble workers anonymously?