Fame has come to this year’s summer starters, if “fame” can be construed as a published blurb in the University Record. Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I for one was pretty psyched to see the headline “Law School’s New Summer Starters Settling In” when I opened the daily morning email alert. Actually, at first I managed to misread it and not notice that it specified the Law School—and I jumped to the conclusion that some other corner of the University had appropriated our “summer starter” terminology. Although units apart from the Law School offer classes during the spring semester and the summer semester, our summer start is neither fish nor fowl from the University’s point of view, because it is a single term that does not correspond perfectly with the two separate terms. Our occasional habit of marching to the beat of our own drummer might cause headaches for central administrators, I think, but it works fine for us thankyouverymuch. In any event, I feel a bit proprietary about our nomenclature, and I thought some headline-writer had stolen it. This initial reaction probably speaks either to a tendency toward combativeness on my part, or old eyes reading on a tiny phone, or most likely, both.
In any event, I quickly pieced it all together, and was excited to see that sandwiched between a story on middle schoolers from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians being hosted by the University’s Biological Station (fun fact to allow non-Michiganders to avoid the embarrassment I suffered in my first month in Ann Arbor: “Sault Ste. Marie” is pronounced “soo saint Marie,” not “salt stee Marie.” And don’t even get me started on Mackinac and Mackinaw) and a story on sepsis, the summer starters were getting their due.
Slow news day? Possibly. Nonetheless deserved? I think so. You might argue that as the one who admitted them, I am biased in their favor. A fair point, but just as your mother will criticize you for things strangers would never dream of focusing upon, I can also be a little prone to find fault. So far, though, I’ve had lunch with 7 percent of the class, and enjoyed myself immensely. This, coupled with the fact that the registrar reported that for perhaps the first time ever, they all filled out their emergency cards without excessive prompting, leads me to think we have a high-quality bunch. Ninety-three percent left to suss out!
-Dean Z. Assistant Dean for Admissions and Special Counsel for Professional Strategies