Failure Academy

by | Nov. 12, 2009

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“Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.” Samuel Beckett

In the early summer of 1991 we thought we had the world by the tail. My husband had just finished his first year of law school and had been accepted to study international law for the summer in London. Hooray! I’m no fool; I quit my job to spend the summer as his “kept woman” in a top-story room in a long-term hotel in Pimlico. We pushed the twin beds together, made simple dinners on the room’s hot plate, and shared the bathroom down the hall with the other two rooms on our floor. We had enough to spend about $10 a day but we were in London, in love, and in luck.

Greg had studied hard all year, treating his law school gig as a full-time job and then some. Everything hinged on the high stakes, end-of-the-year exams—all of that work boiled down to one set of tests, which would in turn determine internships, Law Review placements, and (it felt like) the future.

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