Friday, November 5, 2010

Hey Dad,


(listen to the whole song, obviously, but omg. check out this guy's mustache @0:18.)
At the beginning of the semester, I realized that law school would take over my entire life if I let it. And there are people (Kelsey) who would argue that it has - but I did set goals that help me maintain a little balance. One of those goals is to attend at least one "briefing" a week. The law school has incredible student organizations that put together unbelievable guest lectures, debates, presentations, and discussions. For example: two weeks ago I heard Kamala Harris who just got elected California's Attorney General. Last week there was a symposium on Cy Pres. This week Sister Prejean came to the main campus.

Every year our Jewish Law Society invites a Holocaust survivor to speak to the law school. This year they brought Ben Stern, a Polish Jew who survived eight concentration camps. He said he feels an urgency to tell his story because eventually his generation, the people who survived, won't be around to tell their stories. He believes (and I agree with him) that there is something different about watching a movie or reading a book, and having a physical person look you in the eye, show you the tattoo on his arm, and explain what it meant to have that in Poland in 1943. He says he carries that history and the weight of those memories with him in a way that literature and film and museums cannot. When he described being separated from his parents and eight brothers and sisters, I understood what he meant. He said there wasn't time for tears. Standing in huge lines of people, his brothers were forced to go one direction, and he went the other. He didn't know it at the time, but that was the last time they were a family.

At the end of his story, he said he felt especially compelled to talk to us because we are the ones entrusted with maintaining humanity in the law; we should know what can happen when capable people neglect their responsibility to protect the vulnerable and voiceless.

Mr. Stern has been my favorite briefing so far because it was such a unique and intimate opportunity. And I don't think I would have gone if you hadn't made this history important to me. Thanks for taking me to the symphony where they played the theme song from Schindler's List. Thanks for taking me to the Holocaust Museum in DC. Thanks for sending me to Germany where I could visit concentration camps. Those early experiences taught me many things, but one of them is the importance of compassion and justice in the law. I think they'll make me a better person and hopefully a better attorney.

I'm excited to see you in a few weeks. Love you,
britt

4 comments:

  1. Lovely statements. Wish I could have gone to that lecture- sounds like it was amazing. Hope all is well with you!

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  2. i would have loved to hear that lecture. and absolutely love that song. but that mustache most definitely made my day.

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  3. As a survivor of the Bee Gee’s maybe when I am old, I will get asked to come speak to something...someday?

    :)

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  4. Thanks for that post Britt. Love it.

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