Biking Without Wheels And Other Poor Analogies

As previously noted, I love where I work. I love the chance to put into practice the things I’m learning in law school. Sometimes, however, work starts putting into practice things I haven’t learned yet and it gets confusing. The problem is, usually I don’t know what I don’t know. I will read hundreds of pages at work and feel like something is eluding me, but feel uncertain what. Then I  do my reading for class the next day and discover that all the reading I’ve been doing is about the delegation doctrine or riparian rights or some other fairly basic legal theory I haven’t been introduced to yet.

The problem is, I’ve been reading, say, textualist critiques of legislative delegation but have no idea what delegation even means, much less legislative delegation. Then I show up to class and discover there are some very foundational principles – or building blocks – that suddenly puts everything in perspective.

It feels a bit liking attempting calculus when you haven’t finished algebra. (But maybe less extreme.) Or like riding a bicycle before you’ve put wheels on the bike. 

I can’t tell you what a rush it is, though, when everything comes together. Maybe I’ve been using the wrong analogies and it is like the story of the blind men and the elephant. I’ve been groping at a tale thinking it was a rope only to gain sight and realize how much more there is to it. Elephants are super exciting! 

In some ways, the experience is both a blessing and a curse. I’m in the dark until I have my eureka moment, but when I have that moment I suddenly am vastly more educated than most novices. I worry it makes me annoying in class. But on the flip side, I always have something to say! 


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