I am always privileged when Federal Judge David O. Carter invites me as a guest lecturer for his law and society class at the University of California at Irvine, and this past Tuesday was no exception.
As a UCI alumnus myself (class of 1973) it was a special treat to gaze upon the sea of 250 young faces, knowing their futures spread further ahead of them than their pasts extended behind them. As rewarding as sharing what I have learned through 28 years of chasing justice as a Deputy District Attorney in the “OC” can be, the best part is the give-and-take in conversations with many of the students after the formal class session. Their questions and comments and observations reveal much about their individual and collective expectations and anticipations which, in turn, reveal much about California’s and America’s likely future under their influence. The consensus seems to be “things have been good before, and they’ll be good again. The only problem is, it’s right now!” What seems to buoy them to stay with it, keep learning, and commit themselves to that future is a resilient optimisn for what does lie ahead. That is the fundamental American spirit, and seeing that in these young men and women is absolutely energizing!