Tag Archives: peace on earth

‘Twas the Week Before Winter Break (at Pepperdine Law School)

sol‘Twas the week before winter break, when all through the law school
Not a creature was discussing the best evidence rule;
The students’ exams were all printed with care,
In hopes that the final grades soon would be there;

The students were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of CALI awards danced in their heads;
And the faculty in offices and staff at work stations
Were wishing that they had begun their vacations,

When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains and turned the little plastic thing that theoretically opens the mini-blinds.

The sun on the break of this morning so bright
Gave the lustre of mid-day, a beautiful sight,
When, what car did I see driving into my view,
But one with a bumper sticker: “I love judicial review.”

The driver was an expert in interpreting the law.
I knew in a moment it must be Dean Tacha.
Like a swift legal eagle she flew out of her car,
And called to her troops for an urgent sidebar;

“Dean Saxer, Dean Schultz, Dean DeWalt, and Dean Caron!
If he was still around, I’d call to Dean Perrin!
To the dean’s suite let’s run!  We have much work to do!
Let’s all meet up in the dean’s conference room!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the dean’s suite the administrators all flew,
With their blank legal pads and with Dean Tacha too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the deans’ suite
The shuffling and settling of associate deans’ feet.
As I ran up the stairs and was turning around,
In the front door Dean Tacha came with a bound.

She was dressed in blue and orange, from her head to her toe,
And her clothes were adorned with the Pepperdine logo;
A bundle of casebooks she had in her knapsack,
And looked like a law student lugging a backpack.

Her eyes — how they twinkled! her expression so merry!
Her gait was determined.  (I found it quite scary!)
I tried to keep up, though it wouldn’t be easy,
She works circles around me until I am queasy!

As she rushed in the conference room ready to go,
I marveled at the energy of this dean dynamo;
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And soon said, “I found it!” then turned with a jerk,
She arose from her chair and delivered her rule:
“Let there be peace on earth, and at Pepperdine Law School.”

She sprang to her car, to her team gave a whistle,
And away she flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, ere she drove out of sight,

Joy to the World

My family traditionally opened presents on Christmas Eve, so the Twelve Days of Christmas confused me. Heck, we barely did one. But I never found leaping lords and diverse birdlife, i.e., laying geese, swimming swans, turtle doves, calling birds, partridges housed in pear trees, and hens of French origin all that appealing in the first place.

But I get it now. No, not the lords and birds. I get the Twelve Days of Christmas because I counted and my calendar contains at least twelve holiday-themed events before we even make it to family on Christmas Day.

This observation comes with zero complaints, but it does feel a little disjointed with all the violence and fears and anger and arguments in the world right now—especially since the most recent tragedy occurred at a holiday party. Peace on Earth seems a little, well, laughable, if it wasn’t so sad.

The feeling is familiar. When Hurricane Katrina devastated our community in 2005, it seemed a little odd to have a holiday party that year, too. (We may have worn ugly sweaters, but mostly because that’s what arrived on the relief truck!) But I concluded then that we needed to celebrate even more. After all, given my particular faith tradition, the story of the season revolved around a family with nowhere to sleep.

Maybe that works this year, too. (There was after all a violent infanticide in the Christmas story.) I’m not thinking that “Peace on Earth” is such a terrific phrase right now, at least not if we expect signs of that coming true anytime soon. But, any celebration that talks about Hope seems timely. And anything at all that produces a measure of Joy sounds pretty good, too. As many songs and gifts and love and light as we can muster is a pretty fantastic idea when it’s dark outside.

If it takes twelve-plus days and parties to make a little dent in the darkness, then bring on the egg nog!