Thursday, February 18, 2010

Channeling the Other Christopher

Co-blogger L'Alex just sent me DE's e-mail about the closure of the East-West passage in front of 121-124.  I was so lazy, I used to take the shuttle DOWN to Telegraph for a 'potle run.  I can't imagine going through the library to get to the other side.  What a nightmare.  Thankfully, I'm not affected and can simply joke about it.  And if you are affected, you might want to joke about it to dull the pain.

With that in mind, there's a few ways to read the e-mail:

1.  It's really based on an previously unknown letter from Christopher Columbus to Queen Isabella.  "Look I'm telling you, I will eventually get to the spice rich East.  I may have to climb to the third story, and elbow past frat guys crashing at the library, but just trust me."

2.  "The closure is temporary until Boalt can build a new bridge.  In the meantime please use the Library, where we will collect $6 toll."

3.  "I cashed in a favor with Team Obama and got Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, and the two creepy guys from Coen brother movies to personally show up and do the digging.  Their work defies gravity."

4.  "Berkeley Law:  Come for the legal education, but stay for the trip to Middle Earth."

5.  "What better way to study tort law?  'It's like studying art in Florence or history in Athens.'"

6.  Royalties from new HGTV series ("Flip that Law School") will pay for one (1) pizza lunch per semester. 

Please add more. 



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post the email?

2/18/2010 4:02 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

To All Students:

This year has been a challenging one for students on multiple fronts. I am working with BHSA to find a date as soon as possible for a "State of the School" discussion about fiscal and other matters. Please watch for an announcement soon. I look forward to seeing you there and addressing a broad range of school wide issues and concerns that are on your mind.

As for the building construction, I need to share an important update. So far this academic year, we have maintained a relatively peaceful coexistence with the construction project. The work has proceeded on schedule, on budget, and without any major glitches or disruptions. As you look out, you can see a building emerging from the giant hole. Now, however, we face our first serious and unexpected challenge. The campus structural engineer recently discovered some seismic problems that require modification in our renovation plan. The full extent of this work will begin in earnest over spring break and will continue until January, with crews working Midnight to 7:00 AM. But it turns out that new structural supports are required on the first floor on either side of the long narrow corridor. We must start this work immediately in order to complete the entire project on schedule and within budget by January. Specifically:

The East / West Corridor in Front of 121-124 Closes February 23: The construction team has informed us they need to conduct extensive excavation and structural reinforcement in the narrow hallway that runs past the 121-124 classrooms (the hallway lined with pictures). In order to do this work they must close off that hallway starting Tuesday, February 23rd. The astute observer will realize that this hallway is currently the only connection between the West and East sides of the building on the first floor. So if you want to cross from West to East or East to West you must go up the stairs (or elevator) to the second floor, go through the Law Library lobby, and go back down to the first floor. (There are alternative routes, but this will be the primary one). We are not pleased to learn about this in the middle of the semester, but are without any reasonable options.

The Law Library will have ID checkers at both entrances during night and weekend hours. You will be able to cross over from East to West during all hours the library is open. When the library is not open you will still be able to travel East to West (1) on the 3rd floor; (2) out the north door and around the garage to the door between the JSP building and Boalt; or (3) up Bancroft and through the door next to Goldberg.

2/18/2010 4:09 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Why We Have to Close the Corridor: The excavation work, which the structural engineers recently concluded was necessary, involves ripping out walls and digging 10 foot long by 6 foot deep trenches that must be filled with concrete. It's messy, dangerous work that is safely done only behind barriers. The new classrooms that will take the place of 121-124 have to be ready by January 2011 because the classrooms at the Hearst Field Annex will be taken away from us for use by another campus unit. After much high-energy discussion with the contractors, we are convinced that we can't make that deadline if we delay this work. So we are faced with the unhappy reality that we have to close off the hallway until August 12, 2010, when a new passageway of some sort from East to West will be available.

Safety Issues: Our primary concern is for everyone's safety. We are working with the fire marshal and with a sign company that specializes in creating clear and easy to read fire, safety and directional signs. We will not close the hallway until these signs are in place and we are sure that all safety issues have been adequately addressed.

Although the construction project has made life at Boalt more difficult in many ways, this is the first time we have encountered an utterly unexpected, unplanned for event. I am confident we will survive the inconvenience and annoyance and I thank you in advance for you forbearance.

If you have questions or concerns please email me [] or Associate Dean Vanden Heuvel [].

2/18/2010 4:09 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

7. Berkeley Law: Proving that a top 10 law school can exist in an Avataresque tree house if need be.

2/18/2010 4:13 PM  
Blogger L'Alex said...

A foreshadowing of the email that will be sent to incoming 1Ls regarding Admit Day: "Hello future Boaltians, getting pumped about visiting the coolest law school in this solar system?!? Please note that this year's Admit Day will take place in the Courtyard Marriott off of 280 - we WOULD have you come see the campus, but... uhh... every Fri/Sat/Sun is Free Burrito Day at Boalt, and we really can't spare Booth a.k.a. the Salsa Station for your introduction to the school. Trust me, though, we're awesome."

2/18/2010 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guac it out.

2/19/2010 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like the last few Armen posts have been almost incomprehensible. Is this what that much doc review does to a person? Someone needs to cast out whatever Wormtongue has o'erthrown his mind.

2/19/2010 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe his firm is not giving him enough work.

2/20/2010 11:36 AM  

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