Words to Live By

“I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it; don’t wait for it; just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black, coffee.”

Hopefully these words don’t reach you too late, although I think it’s great advice for law school in general, and for the rest of your busy lives.  This is a stressful week for many of you, with our students taking summer final exams, and our recent graduates taking the Bar Exam in Florida and far-flung states.  I just hope you’re all taking little breaks throughout the day when you study, so you don’t burn out completely.  You need to eat and sleep and do something nice for yourselves once in a while!

I just want you to know that your Law Library staff is rooting for your success, just like all your family, friends, and the rest of the Barry Law community.  We empathize, and we want to see you succeed.  Your success is also OUR success.  When you have some good news to share, please drop by and let us know how you did and what you’re doing next.

So whose wise words did I quote?  A fictional character, Special Agent Dale Cooper, the hero of the television show Twin Peaks, played by Kyle McLachlan.  Twin Peaks ran for two seasons starting in 1990, before many of you were even born.  (I am old!)  Written and directed by the brilliant, bizarre filmmaker David Lynch, Twin Peaks was ahead of its time and hugely influential to modern shows and their showrunners.  Everything from The X-Files to LOST to almost every procedural with a lead detective who solves crimes in “quirky” ways (and there are so many of those) owes Lynch a creative debt.

(He’s a visionary, but I wouldn’t want to spend too much time in his head!)

None of these other shows included Lynch’s soapy, satiric take on small-town life, his otherworldly dream-visions, or the good-natured sense of humor he always included to balance out the occasional nightmare trips.  And while modern dramas like Breaking Bad, Hannibal, and pretty much everything on HBO and Showtime embrace antiheroes for their protagonists, Special Agent Cooper was a noble, stand-up guy through and through, almost quaint and old-fashioned by today’s standards (but not in a corny way).  He reminds me of many of our students here at Barry, the kind of people who do good simply because they are good.

Unfortunately, Twin Peaks was canceled, leaving a shocking cliffhanger in its series finale.  (Don’t worry — no spoilers here!)  A follow-up movie that served as a prequel, Fire Walk With Me, bombed, ensuring the series would never continue, and we’d never get our remaining questions answered.  But this week, a Blu-Ray set called Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, comes out, featuring 90 minutes of deleted scenes and never-before-seen footage from both the show and the movie, which can hopefully fill in some of the blanks and provide closure for fans.

If you don’t feel like springing for that Blu-Ray set sight unseen, you can also “binge-watch” Twin Peaks on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, for those who already subscribe to either streaming service.  It might be fun, once your exams are over and you have a week or two to decompress and collect your thoughts.  That could even be the present you give yourself!

Or for a different daily present, drop by the café for a snack next time you’re on campus, or a nice cup of coffee.  Chartwells has taken over the catering, and people are seriously raving about the food these days.  Just don’t eat in the Law Library!


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