So today I took my last "real" exam. I say "real" because I'm taking 2 5 hour classes. We had Constitutional Law on Monday, and Friday we sat for our Contracts, the exam that I just finished. Criminal Law awaits us Wednesday, but that is only a three-credit class, and we have learned very little in the class.
Contracts was my hardest course. Constitutional Law presented weighty issues, intertwined with history, policy, and morality. Contracts, on the other hand, represents what I consider the worst aspects of Anglo-American law. We often see two parties refusing to keep promises that they have made to each other. The entire doctrine underlying contract law pre-supposes that some promises do not bind the parties, where some promises do. As far as the conservation of judicial resources goes, this makes sense. But contract law offends my sense of fair play and honor. The thought that courts of justice will refuse to hold a party to a promise almost makes my stomach churn.
I initially found the subject distatestful, but, in spite of my disdain, God had place me in that class, it is part of my legal education, and I will probably use it the most. Thus, I knew that I had to buckle down and goad myself to study. Moreover, my professor exhibited no desire to help us, and he provided very unclear, irrelevant analysis of the cases. He did not help us learn the material very much. However, I prepared extremely thoroughly for the exam, and I think that I brought it to its knees. If felt good.
Afterwards, I spent a little time relaxing by the pool with some friends. It was great. Absolutely nothing doing around people I enjoy. The only drawback was that no baseball was on TV. I had a very serious urge to crack a High Life and watch a game on the couch. There will be plenty of time, however, in the coming weeks to do that.
Why Colonel Sartoris?
Allow me to explain the puzzling title. Colonel Sartoris is William Faulkner's greatest character. He exemplifies those values that his society cherishes, namely tradition, patriarchy, courtliness, and courage. Though modernity's slow march tries to strip him of these things, Sartoris continues to live as he always has, knowing that "the past is never dead. It's not even past." He seeks order in the honorable folkways and mores of his forbears. Let us not forget his example.