I sat still for four hours straight to take the LSAT in December. If brain cells were fuel rods, no one could take that test and then live another 60 years. Twenty years' worth of precious thought power, zapped in half a day.
There are five sections of mind-melding multiple choice questions. After several hours of that, with skull throbbing and vision skewed, you must complete a writing sample. You are given a topic, and have thirty minutes to pick a side of the argument and make your case. The idea is to find evidence within the passage that supports your thesis, and present it in an organized fashion.
This year, the question was whether an architectural firm should remodel its historic current building downtown, or build a new building in the suburbs.
As a lawyer, I suppose, your job would be to see which venture would be more beneficial to the firm, considering cost, traffic, P.R., convenience, and the rest.
This is a simple enough assignment for fact-loving lawyers. But me? Somewhere during the test, I morphed into Patrick Henry, addressing the Continental Congress. Here's my writing sample. It's okay -- I know you're laughing with me.
This firm needs to remember who we are, and what it is we do. We have served this city for many years, partnering with our clients on sometimes difficult and challenging projects; we have never backed away from one of those challenges. Now is not the time to start.
This building has served us well. Now it is no secret to anyone that we have outgrown it. The parking is difficult, and the historic district is fussy. At times, a bright shiny new building in the 'burbs looks attractive indeed.
But remember who we are. We are an architectural firm. Our art, our passion, our entire reason to exist is summed up in one word: buildings. We build buildings; we decorate them; we make them functional; we restore them to dignity and purpose, and we do so with love. Because, ladies and gentlemen, we are architects.
How, then, could we treat something we love no better than we treat our lunch trash? Is a building something disposable, something that we use up and throw away? Is it who we are as a firm to advocate tossing used buildings on the trash heap, and running towards a brand new model? I submit to you that this is exactly, precisely, who we are not.
A new building outside the city would take us away from the heartbeat of our business, the old buildings of this city. They are not less valuable because they are old - they are more valuable. They simply need the love and the passion of people who understand their value - in other words, they need us.
There are logistical challenges - some would say nightmares, and they exaggerate - in remaking this building into the showplace and workspace that we need. Let's embrace them. This is what we do, and this is our home. What better way to convince our clients to trust us with theirs?
They may take our lives... but they will never take... our FREEDOM!!!