The Welcome Matt <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Grow Up, People 

My tax professor has a great way of going about the Socratic Method. Instead of calling on people randomly, he calls on people systematically. He literally just goes up and down the rows, calling on one person, then the person next to them, then the person next to them, and so on. At the beginning of each class he always picks up exactly where he left off the previous day. It's gloriously predictable. I like the method even better than the popular "panel method," where a certain subset of students is forewarned that they are "on panel" for certain class periods, and the professor will only call on people on the panel for that day. Being on panel is sometimes even more stressful than a purely random method, because you know you're going to get called on today, you just don't know when. With my tax professor, there's no stress, because you know you will start talking as soon as your neighbor stops.

Well, I guess I'm not the only one who has figured out the glories of this system. Today, the entire row of maybe ten or fifteen people who were next up to be called on, except one, were absent (big kudos to the one, who will be going on to work at the same firm as me). Or at least not sitting in their assigned seats. Everyone knew that today was their day, and decided not to show up.

I think this is absolutely juvenile. Come on, people, you're in law school. Grow up. Most of the questions this professor asks anyway are either the kind of vague questions that don't have answers, or else he's pointing to the answer on the blackboard. He's not a tough questioner. But even if he were, knowing you're going to get called on is no excuse to not show up. You can't spend your life dodging the somewhat uncomfortable experiences of life. Take responsibility and show some maturity and let the teacher call on you.

It makes me think of the despair I feel for our society when I walk into a Harvard Law School bathroom and see that one of the nation's best and brightest can't remember to flush.

Smart people avoid touching nasty objects, such as toliets.
If you graph the function f(x) = -x^2 you'll get a good indication of how shitty your next post will be.
i just think it's interesting, how your grad school (law) and my grad school (architecture) differ. getting called on doesn't really happen for us, it's more of a systematic method of voluntarily pinning up our work on specific days and getting grilled to the bone. the more you pin up and want to talk about your shitty work, the better off you are in the long run.
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