May 28, 2006

Althouse studying for her last law school exam.

My son John puts a lot of effort into scanning old family photographs, which he uploads to Flickr. Here's one of me, studying for my last law school exam:

Studying for last law school exam

My last law school exam was Federal Courts, which was also the first subject I taught as a lawprof.

Can you tell that I had not gone near a professional haircutter in many years? Can you believe that those glasses were entirely fashionable in 1981, the year the photo was taken? Don't laugh! The glasses you're wearing right now will look stupid in a quarter of a century.

65 comments:

John Jenkins said...

Hey, the old guy who does our computer consulting wears those very same glasses today!

The Legal Janitor said...

alas, pity I was only 1 year old in 1981. If I were my present age at that time, I would have so totally tried to hit on you.

Seriously.

Palladian said...

A mantle of books make even the worst glasses and hairstyle sexy!

Jeff said...

Reminds me of Jan Smither as Bailey Quarters on "WKRP in Cinncinati"!

Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ron said...

Jeff, I think you got it! Although Ann does look a little like Edith Head in that photo...

Sanjay said...

Yeah, glasses keep getting smaller since the '80s. I like the bigger glasses, dammit, they have more peripheral vision.

Ann Althouse said...

Anyone who needs a strong prescription has to be glad that small frames are in style. I usually wear contacts, but my prescription is strong and would get really thick at the edges if the lenses were large. It looks awful.

Brendan said...

I had the exact same Ralph Lauren Coke-bottle glasses.

Message to the laptop zealots: you can get through school on pen and paper alone.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Cute photo. All glasses look stupid. Big Optometry just fools everybody into thinking they don't. (I myself wear glasses. They are very modern and fashionable. And they still look stupid.) For women, though, glasses can be a cool accessory because when they take them off it's shocking and hot.

Ah, 1981. Where were you in 81? 1981 changed my life. It was the year Raiders of the Lost Ark came out. I saw it and decided to become an archeologist. A decade later, in college, my dreams were shattered when I learned that the archeology department offered no courses on bullwhips or Nazi ass-kicking. I cursed archeology and the movies, quit college, and became a drifter. Now I wander the wasteland looking for guzzolene and helping people out of jams.

John Jenkins said...

Brendan, that's true. You can also get from New York to Los Angeles on horseback, but them there newfangled automobiles and airplanes sure do make it a better trip.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

It's a very nice photo.

knoxgirl said...

...makes hitting the books look kind of cozy and romantic... not like hell at all!

Brendan said...

John, point taken. But it's not the school's job to make your life easier or more enjoyable. Massive tuition does not = entitlement.

John Jenkins said...

Brendan, nor is it their job to make it needlessly more difficult than it has to be. I've ridden this horse before, and since I've graduated it's purely academic for me, but (1) note-taking via laptop is no different than by pen & paper except that some people find it easier to do so (especially those of us will less than stellar penmanship), (2) laptops are no more distracting than the student newspaper crossword that students do when laptops aren't available, and (3) if professors' lectures were an actual value added, instead of something you're forced to attend because of ABA mandated attendance policies, we wouldn't be having the argument.

Today's student is smarter and more capable than yesterday's student at assimilating data. The slow, plodding pace of law school lends itself to whatever distractions one can get one's hands on. Cure the problem, not the symptoms.

nypundit said...

Ann,

I mean this as a complement. You look like Diane Keaton in the picture.

Ann Althouse said...

NYpundit: The glasses are the same as the ones Annie Hall wears in the scene in the outdoor LA restaurant. Except hers were red. Mine were fuschia!

Ruth Anne: You have a good eye -- for liquor! I'm guessing it's Campari. Or Johnny Walker Black.

shake-and-bake said...

Law-a-licious.

Brendan said...

John, this is law school, not stenography class. I could rationalize any number of outside devices as so-called "learning aides." It doesn't change the fact that the prof runs the show. Concerned about taking copius notes? Bring a tape recorder to class and cross-check your written notes on your own time. Lord knows I did. If Amtrak can install silent cars, certainly there's room for silent classes. And yes, 30 students furiously typing at once is a distraction.

Ann Althouse said...

Most of my students use laptops and I've never noticed any sound of typing. What about the sound of pens and pencils scratching away at paper? Really there isn't a whole lot of noise. The most distractingly noisy item is the ring binder, by the way. When you're trying to get to the last few things at the end of the class and the students start clicking ring binders, it's nerve-wracking. The second worst noise problem is students coming in late, which is also a visual distraction.

Palladian said...

I deal with student lateness by using the age old method of public shaming. Works like a charm, except in the most incorrigible cases.

A.M. Mora y Leon said...

Hey I got a 1981 pic of me in those, too!

Nowadays, I go for the Lisa Loeb Look!

Wickedpinto said...

I go for the unkempt marm thing.

Like maid marrion(pelling) the librarian on a bender = HOT!

reader_iam said...

I like the 1981 series of which that is pic is a part. It really made me smile.

Nice work on John's part of scanning and preserving places and times, along with the pix themselves.

Pogo said...

My heavens, what a radiant young woman; an expectant face, full of promise. 25 years later, what do you wish she knew then?

chuck b. said...

What if someone had told you at that very moment that one day you'd be a famous "blogger"? And that you'd lobby your readers to vote for you for 'conservative' blog diva?

Joe said...

You look adorable.

Wickedpinto said...

COME ON! other than making you a sex symbol, I didn't say anything offensive! I was just making your kid uncomfortable!!!!

I think it was funny!

Slocum said...

Here's a sort of dweebish comment, but there's some substance as well. In that photo, the white balance is pretty far off, which has the effect of make it seem older, more historical. In the original verison, 1981 seems a long time ago, with the colors corrected, it feels more like yesterday:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?Z28231E2D


Should the past look yellowed? Or should it look fresh?

Brendan said...

Ann, don't keep us in suspense. Did you get an 'A'?

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Wicked: Sorry. Some of that just went top far. I'm not mad at you, but...

Slocum: That's an old film camera, acting like a film camera under incandescent light.

Brendan: A was "H" at NYU in those days. "H" for "honors," and yeah, I did get that, even with a new baby.

Ruth Anne: The grandma with the nylons at Christmas was my father's mother, Elsa Tausig Althouse. She died in the 1970s. Only one great-grandmother was alive when John was born, and that was Pauline Fiddle, my ex-husband's mother's mother. She died not long after that picture was taken. She was in no position to help. My mother-in-law Jean did babysit a little. But my ex-husband Richard was the main support then. He was a full-time parent.

Ann Althouse said...

Too far, I mean....

Slocum said...

Slocum: That's an old film camera, acting like a film camera under incandescent light.

Yes, though it doesn't have anything to do with it being an old camera. With film, you need 'tungsten' film for artificial light if you want true colors. If you use 'daylight' film, the images come out yellow when shot under artificial incandescent lighting.

But when you scan, there's no particular reason NOT to make the colors true-to-life (as they would have been if the original photographer had shot with tungsten film). Unless, of course, you want the yellow to give a feeling of age.

MadisonMan said...

So are the bookcases still in your possession?

In 1981 I had a cheezy moustache. And a jesus afro.

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, I think we used a filter to deal with the indoor lighting... Can't remember....

Bookcases... just threw them out a few months ago.

Moxie said...

Ann...I love the moody lighting and composition. And I'm a professional photographer. So I can't be wrong!

EMC said...

My first thought? "Wow, Hillary Rodham!"

No offense.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Ann, thanks for the appreciative words about me. Not many people would deserve comparisons to Diane Keaton and Hilary Rodham at the same time.

I took the photo, BTW.

I think the liquor might be Strega.

Ann Althouse said...

Strega! Yikes! I don't even like to think about what that stuff tastes like.

Simon said...

Don't worry about the glasses. George F. Will is still wearing essentially the same frames today.

knoxgirl said...

looking at old photos like that makes me nostalgic... doesn't even have to be my own family!

Hamsun56 said...

Funny, other posters thought of Hilary Clinton and Edith Head when the saw your photo. Drew Barrymore flashed in my mind. Quite a gap.

reader_iam said...

I don't know why, but since first seeing this picture and even now, it makes me think of a character that would be in a Henry Jaglom film.

(Now, I like his work, so don't take that the wrong way.)

I also keep thinking of that Claudia Weill film "Girlfriends."

Can't explain it, but there it is.

Wickedpinto said...

Yeah, I didn't mean offense, or rather any more offense than the simple twinge of discomfort. Though it was definately WAY too familiar of me to do it. I still think it's kinda funny.

Dave said...

Where's your laptop?

dave said...

shianux - you took the words right out of my mouth.

also, that stream of light falling to your right is fantastic.

- dave m.

Lawgiver said...

Dump the glasses and contacts, get yourself the Mother's Day gift you'll love forever and kick yourself for not getting sooner.


LASIK!

I wores glasses since the 5th grade, got contacts in 1969, wore them for 30 years, reverted to glasses when my eyes could no longer tolerate contacts, then had LASIK surgery 5 years ago. I was scared shitless but see 20/20 now. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Still need reading glasses though but I don't care because I CAN SEE the individual blades of grass again with my naked eyeball!

Methadras said...

Let's just say that there wouldn't be a lot of studying going on.

John Z. said...

Yes those glasses were popular in the 80s. Look at Marshall Crenshaw on the cover of his "Field Day" album (1983) here:

http://www.marshallcrenshaw.com/albums.html

Chip Ahoy said...

quel sérieux.

rishigajria said...

Ms.Althouse,

I have a pair of spectacles exactly like that and they are from the 90's.

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, those aren't the Annie Hall magenta things. They really are brown, and they were bought at what was the most fashionable eyeglass store on the East Side of Manhattan at the time, in about 1980.

dannyboy said...

I say with this with utmost of respect.

You're much hotter now but that's only because in the 70's everyone looked like three kinds of ass. Just look at what the fashion styles. That's why no one drops acid anymore.

Plus that looks like an ambush photo too boot.

David said...

Ann, I too would have hit on you--but not based on that photo.

Still would, but for my marital status.

rcocean said...

You were hot back in the days.
But damn, did you use garden shears for the haircut?!

You look better now.

amba said...

I had those huge, owlish glasses too.

EDH said...

Federal Courts must have been a very different class back in 1981.

Ann Althouse said...

"Federal Courts must have been a very different class back in 1981."

I had to leave during the 11th Amendment to have a baby, but I got the notes and it was all about Parden and constructive consent. Ha ha.

Chuck Adkins said...

Book Nerds. heh.

Ruth said...

I use the big frames from the 80's to watch TV when I am lying in bed. I looked very hard for them and found them in a small town opticians shop and had single vision lenses put in. At my age I deserve every luxury I can think of. With the acrylic lenses they are not nearly as thick as they were back in the day. I also had a pair made into sunglasses, but with bifocals.

Emily said...

You look outrageously sexy in this photo.

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

I'm with lawgiver: LASIK is a freeking miracle. Got mine 20 years ago and it's been incredibly liberating. I can't imagine anyone regretting it. Like few other things, it's worth a hundred times what it cost.