One thing I will miss about academia are the random and unexpected learning opportunities that arise. You can guarantee that at any given point on a college campus, there is someone talking about something that very few other people care about. Of course, I'm always chained to my work in the dark bowels of the law school, so I never went to see the special art exhibit, or the talk on Colombian rebels, or other things that did actually interest me. It's great to be able to walk through the halls, see a table full of food outside the lecture hall, and know that I can either be fed or educated or both on just about any given day.
I have had the opportunity to see a few well-known and interesting speakers recently. If I printed their names here, you would recognize them. When I was getting ready for school one morning, I remembered that I was going to be attending a lunch for a speaker, so I decided against the sweatpants and opted for a nice shirt, jeans, some jewelry, and even some makeup. As I was carefully applying my selected eyeshadow, I chastised myself for almost walking into this lunch looking like a disrespectful fool. Then I chuckled to myself, thinking, I wonder what the world would think about the fact that I'm putting on makeup out of respect for a convicted murderer?