Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Spacemen from Mars stole all my money*

So, I was perusing the Weekly Law School Roundup over at Notes from the (Legal) Underground this weekend and came upon a list at Becoming a Jackal about things the author learned as a 1L. There were 20 things on the list, and I was totally down with all of them except these two:

15. The student who plays solitaire during the entire lecture will not be back after midterms.
16. Shopping for shoes online during class is tacky. Remember everyone else can see your screen. Same goes for endless AIM chats.

I *AM* the student who plays games, emails, and IM's all the way through some of my classes...although to be sure I was way worse last year when we were in big lecture halls with 100 people. I played so much Bejeweled last year I was going on MSN Games and playing it for money. Really.

When I am engaged in a class, when the prof takes the time to make the hour I spend there worthwhile (even if it's in a painful way, like through Socratic method), I totally never touch the internet. But, when I am sitting in a class where the prof lets the students who don't know what they're talking about drone ON and ON and ON, or when the prof is just going through a rote lecture he's given nine million times before, you better believe I find other things to do.

I *try* not to be distracting to others, but if I am quietly surfing the net for a Mother's Day present maybe the people behind me should just pay attention to their own computers, or the prof, or whatever. In the end, the person I'm hurting is me...if there's any hurt at all. Some of the best grades I have made in law school were in classes where I only paid attention some small portion of the time.

I understand that people think it's rude and disrespectful to both the prof and the other students to mess around on the internet during class. And I don't necessarily disagree...if it's a class where everyone is quietly listening or watching a movie and you're the only typing...that's pretty rude. But, in the end, I pay to be here. I expect my classroom time to be organized, useful, and productive. I expect to be in an environment where I am encouraged to learn. When I feel that I am learning, or there's even a slight potential for learning, the internet stays off.

As far as not being back after midterms, my school doesn't do that. I'm not sure which schools cut people and which don't, but my particular school, which, as I've said before, is a mid-first-tier-for-whatever-that's-worth school, is all about keeping people here. Even people who clearly don't belong here are helped and cajoled and coddled until they squeak through just like the rest of us. Even if my school did cut people, I'm in a percentage close enough to the top (or so I guess...our school also doesn't give rankings, or GPA's, or anything), that it wouldn't be an issue for me.

Anyway, I'm not trying to cause a big stir, I just want to point out that in law school you can't judge books by their covers. The person IM'ing all the way through whatever class you're in might be studying like crazy behind the scenes, ignoring the big-mouthed ignoramuses in class, and eventually ending up ahead of the curve. I'm just saying. If any of my profs are reading this, it was never in your class Sir or Ma'am.

*Jimmy Buffett...of course.
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