dimanche 22 avril 2007

We Are Rogers

At first glance, all law schools I’ve attended are alike. McGill, Toronto and Arizona each have their neo-brutalist building, their sprawling library and their overworked coffee machines. But bricks, books and (bad) coffee are not what law schools are about. Really. It’s all about the people, you see. Of the people, by the people, for the people...

After having described Tucsonans in general in a previous post, here is a description of Rogers sub-species. Even if I’m a gumshoe sociologist, I can provide a good explanation for the name of this rare (but sometimes dangerous) breed: James E. Rogers (a graduate of the class of ‘62) gave 15 million dollars to the College of Law. Which brings me to my first topic: money. Unsurprisingly, most students have an affluent background. Try working on minimum wage and paying $8,000 to $12,000 a year just in tuition! In fairness, this is no different than other law schools I’ve studied in, and tuition here is relatively low by US standards.

After the wallet come the faces (even my lawyer-self tells me this order is wrong). Visually, the College is rather diverse: whites, natives, various asian groups, etc. Only blacks are conspicuously almost entirely absent. Beyond a face, culture lurks in all homo rogersensis. Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not, culture is much more homogenous than faces would suggest. A part from a few Puerto Rican exchange students and the dozen or so graduate students, I’ve met no one who grew up outside the US and only a handful that speak any other language than English. Perhaps Tucson is not that attractive to first generation immigrants...

The politics of most students are predictable. Compared to Arizona’s Goldwater-esque backdrop, students at Rogers are nothing less than far-left freaks. Which makes McGill students stalino-maoists... From a more objective point of view, most are part of a group the French have named so well: the caviar left.

Another characteristic that simply cannot be overlooked is exactly that, look. Compared to other law schools I have attended, Rogers is by far the most conservative. Few worn-out jeans. No provocative t-shirts. Too many long skirts and buttoned-down shirts. For many, it seems, anytime is interview time...

Last but not least, weltanschauung. Students at Rogers are honest, smart and hard-working, but overly obsessed about their future. Count me in.

Je voudrais bien savoir où est l'école où l’on apprend à sentir.
- Denis Diderot

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit...

Sur la citation: cette école existe, mais elle n'est logée pas dans un ensemble néo-brutaliste, elle n'a pas de murs, sauf ceux qu'on accepte; elle s'appelle la vie!
BP

Bronson Borst a dit...

Intéressant, Julien. En fait, le Canada, et même la soi-voulant société égalitaire du Québec n'est pas épargnée de ce phénomène. Bien que l'éducation soit accessible universellement à tous et toutes, elle est, ostensiblement, plus accessible à certains qu'à d'autres, et il est rare de trouver un ou une collègue de classe qui n'émane pas d'un quartier bourgeois de Montréal ou de Québec, ou dont les parents ne gèrent pas quelque chose ou ne représentent pas des clients en défense ou du côté de la Couronne.
Je ne fais pas le plaidoyer de la gauche ou de l'oppression des élites ici - il faut simplement être lucide quant à la réalité des choses et des forces en présence, et constater également que, comme le disait si bien Charles Taylor, nous sommes issus de communautés qui nous attribuent un "horizon de signification". Pour pasticher des éléments de son analyse avec le mien, des gens émanant de certaines familles n'ont simplement pas les mêmes expectatives de succès dans la vie, et encore moins les horizons de signification nécessaires pour leur outiller adéquatement à se mouvoir à l'intérieur de l'univers social toujours très étanche des étudiants et gradués en droit.