Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

What’s the Difference?

with one comment

Total Black: $3,045.18
Total Red: $240,911.55

I noted yesterday that I’m already One Week In.  And now I’m wondering what the difference is between my past life and here. 

I’m noticing so far that my hours haven’t changed much from New York.  Sure I’m not pulling all-nighters.  I’m out by 8pm or so each night.  But I also start around 8am too.  Twelve-hour days.  Neighboring Clerk, with whom I went out with last night in One Week In mentioned that clerks not from here aren’t expected to work hard.  It’s sort of assumed that we’re here to be beach bums.  That disappointed me.

I strive to leave a very good impression behind whenever my time to leave arrives.  I recall some day-by-day calendar I once had listed a Cherokee proverb: “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”  Somewhat of a lodestar for me.  I try to leave each place a bit better than I find it.  So it was surprising to learn that the road is already uphill here, before I really set down it.  Then again, if the bar is set that low, it might be fairly easy to surpass it.

My Officemate has been talking with me about life in the Virgin Islands, about the trials and tribulations here.  She could be a good resource for learning about the history and navigating the political scenes here.  And one scene that I’ve encountered so far that I’m not happy with is the white scene.  White people acting like they’re a minority.

I noticed the same in law school.  A similar dichotomy occurred whereby one set of white students would damn near refuse to speak to—at least in public—other white students while the other set damn near segregated themselves—in public and private.  Anyone familiar with the book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum knows what I speak of.  It’s a category I hadn’t thought about having to deal with here.  In law school, unlike many of my white colleagues, I just remained myself.  Others began to change: they started talking “Black” and acting “Black,” something I would’ve thought would’ve been rejected outright.  But I suppose it was viewed favorably: imitation being the best form of flattery?  Not sure, but many who went “native” got accepted more quickly.  Those who had much difficulty adjusting retreated in the opposite direction.  I certainly don’t plan to revisit this issue, if I can help it.  I’m not about to limit, or isolate, myself to the white people on island—many of whom, seem to be white trash refugees from Southern states.  But I don’t want to exclude them either.  I just hate the “knowing looks” that you’re one of us now, one of the minorities here and we have to stick together.

In fact, I’m noticing a lot of differences here.  I just hope they don’t interfere.

One Response

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  1. Ummm, okay, I’ll play along…

    The Difference is (drum roll…) : $237,866.37 between your Total Red and Total Black!

    Not what you were looking for? Sorry, just amusing myself since there’s nothing to read!



    June 10, 2010 at 09:52

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