22 January 2009

Odds and Ends (Again)

NLU is a small world. Total UG and PG enrollment is approximately 590. And, since almost all students live on campus, as do many of the faculty, everybody seems to know everything about anything very quickly. Sort of like small-town Midwestern life. Lake Woebegon without judgment (or at least it seems that way to us; maybe not understanding Hindi is a blessing.)

Tuesday evening LaDonna and I left my office shortly after 7:00. (I should note that most of the faculty here doesn’t have offices (“cabins” in this part of the world) but cubicles; being a Fulbrighter again has its advantages.) She had taken the 3:00 bus into Jodhpur with Sravan to do some shopping at National Handloom (for those of my provenance and generation, National Handloom is sort of like Woolworth’s on steroids) and had gotten back around 6:00. At the doorway leaving the classroom building we ran into Kanika Sanwal, Udayaditya Banerjee and Serinivas Vishven, three students who have sought my advice about preparing for the ICC Mediation Moot in Paris in early February. Mooting is a big deal at NLU. Most students compete in several national or international moots during their time here but those generally are advocacy exercises, not mediation. Being a Fulbrighter has its disadvantages too, since they assumed I knew something about mediation. Negotiations? My lawyering bread and butter. Litigation? Plenty of times. But mediation? Only once in 15 years of practice. And that, 15 years ago. In any event, they’re coming to see me to look at some stuff I’ve pulled together and to brainstorm about how to tackle this project. (If you’re curious, you can read about the mediation competition at http://www.iccwbo.org/court/adr/id24376/index.html. Interesting.)

As we walked out of the classroom building and progressed for about 20 of the 200 meters back to the NLU House, we were met by one of the office staff with my January 17-24 issue of the Economist (the one with Barak Obama on the cover). I had changed my mailing address back in mid-December but nothing had ever reached me in India. I resolved to send an email asking that my subscription be suspended till I get back to Virginia but had forgotten to do it earlier in the afternoon. He handed the issue to me as if, of course, that’s exactly where he expected I’d be at 7:17 pm., Tuesday, 20 January. As I said, everybody here (or maybe just Providence) seems to know where I am at all times.

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