Tochi Onyebuchi

The Kids Are Alright: Reflections on Law School

I’d received the news by phone. I was in Atlanta at the time, away from my family, when Mom called to let me know I’d received some massive blue box in the mail. It wasn’t a slim envelope, so we both immediately knew the thing’s import. I’d barely hung up the phone when I’d started getting questions from friends, acquaintances, family of friends, friends of family, family of acquaintances, acquaintances of acquaintances, varied in wording, but all carrying the same DNA: “Do you think I should go to law school?” Some of these people have already […]

The Plight of the Gentile, Or How to Deal with the Effects of Tear Gas

The night of November 24, 2014, I was 3,000 miles away from home. I’d had the Guardian Liveblog of the Ferguson Grand Jury proceedings up, and I contemplated powering through the night, despite my 8am class the next morning. But I fell asleep. Even knowing how the movie would end, I woke up the morning of November 25 hurting. All day, on the metro on my way to class, then back home upon discovering that class had been cancelled, I fought tears. If I wept on […]

Deus ex Machina

The whine of a 56k modem signals for me the beginning of an age. An awkward, rocky beginning of single landlines and “Get off the Internet; I’m tryna make a call!” Geocities webpages. Neon font. Crudely embedded images in Metallica tribute pages. At that point, DSL and cable modems belonged to households outside our tax bracket, so time spent on the Internet was precious, sometimes transgressive. The whine of a 56k modem will always be attached to an obsession with Dragonball Z, music videos with the aerial acrobatics of snowboarders set to Korn and Limp Bizkit, […]

Boy Boxes Bear

Suspension. Expulsion. Leave of absence. Time off. Or a simple evaporation. As the rhythm of classes resumes, as the vacuity left by the student’s disappearance refills, a certainty niggles: he couldn’t hack it. She was weak, and their weakness was some failure of personal constitution. Soon after Adam Lanza’s name appeared in the news during the fall of 1L, mental illness was dragged once again into the spotlight. Less a dialogue than folks on both sides of the church aisle screaming their own right-ness. We were supposed to have a vocabulary for discussing these things. Where […]

The Autumn Effect

In a recent conversation with the Girl, I remarked on all the errands I’d been…

Reviewed: Final Judgment on Three Oscar Contenders

“I’m sorry. I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried. I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn’t.” He pauses for a beat, then declares, “All is lost.” That is, quite deliberately and quite magnificently, the most you’ll hear out of Robert Redford for the next 100 or so minutes.

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