By Ken Krayeske • 11:45 AM EST
This photo in honor of trees great and small comes from the library of Lonely Planet photog Mike Taylor, SU Alum, and American ex-pat living in Oz-tray-lee-yah. The digital file is labeled "Elim Dune," but I tend to think that this is a tree of life in an African savannah, as opposed to desert in Botswana.
Before I ramble, Ron Pitz over at the Knox Parks Foundation just sent me an e-mail entitled "Elm Trees." It's worth printing:
"By any chance have you had the misfortune to go by the old Mass Mutual building in Asylum Hill lately? Those 'caretakers' have destroyed most of the trees on that property which were some of the largest and healthiest trees in Hartford.
"That corner used to be the oasis in the urban desert for us. I would go out of my way to drive by that spot and show the inner city young adults in my program those specimen trees. This gave them an opportunity to see what kind of a legacy they are leaving by planting trees and what the small trees they are planting would look like at maturity.
"Just imagine the carbon that those giants sequestered and the oxygen that they produced. This is another huge loss for Asylum Hill and the city as a whole....."
Ron, I bicycled by there recently, and failed to see it partly because my indignation at that part of Asylum Hill is reserved for the demolition of the last of the old row house buildings on Fraser Place. That's what Ron meant by "another huge loss." Hey, why leave anything standing?
I also probably missed the trees because I bicycle at night - it is law school exam time, and you need a break when you need a break.
Law school exams represent the worst of the educational process. The system demands that you condense 120 hours worth of learning into a three-hour essay.
It's roughly 120 hours because the semester is 15 weeks of classes. Each class represents about three hours weekly of actual instructional time, bolstered by a minimum of five hours preparation (often more) for each class.
Compression is somewhat beneficial for real life, but it seems arbitrary. For my last exam this semester, I was allowed one – yes, exactly one – sheet of paper, for the most complicated class I have taken yet. At least we're not killing trees.