Monday, November 1, 2010

Black Letter Law, Part 7: Naomi

“Miss O'Connor”, the Dean began.

“Crap”, I thought. It is never, NEVER a good sign when authority figures don't use your first name.

“We have certain rules in this place,” he continued. “And do you know why?” I honestly didn't know whether this question was rhetorical. I supposed it would become clear if the silence stretched out. But it was, in fact, rhetorical. “Because without rules, we have chaos. You are expected to follow the rules so that you appreciate them when you need them in the courtroom or have to impose them on others.”
He paused.

“Do you know why we're talking about rules?”

“No, sir.” They seem to like it when you use “sir” and “ma'am”. And I wasn't about to cop to anything he might not already know about.

“Last night I believe there was an incident with a gun. Is that correct?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What happened, Miss O'Connor?” Whew boy, was I in trouble. I thought I knew where this was headed.

“I found a gun. I didn't know if it was real. I tried to call campus police and couldn't get through, so I called Ms. Richardson.”

His eyes narrowed. “So you contacted the librarian before the police?”

“well, no, I mean... like I said, I couldn't get through.”

“Ms. Richardson was the first person you spoke to?”

“Well, no... I talked to Maryanne, but she was on duty with me.”

“And what is the protocol?”

“I'm sorry, I don't know, sir.”

“Very well. Two memos, due tomorrow morning at 8 am. One on law school safety protocols and the other on why you should keep your scholarship. You may go.”

I felt like i'd been punched in the gut. I TRIED to call the police. What did it matter that I talked to Sandy first? Everyone—me, Maryanne, Sandy-- knew that I tried to call the police. Why would the dean twist the events like that? I felt sick. I needed to talk to Maryanne. The safety protocol memo would be easy enough, but with finals... I felt like I was being set up to fail. And i'd have to word the scholarship memo very, VERY carefully.

Previous     Next