Thane Messinger wrote:All -
There was a post in another forum (Nontradlaw) in which a member who is also a professor in another field posted a response to this topic.
I include it here, unedited, for a simple exercise: if anyone would like to know why professors become secretly quite contemptuous of law students (not individually, but as a whole), and why senior attorneys become contemptuous of new attorneys (as a whole and often individually, and often not all that secretly), I offer this:
Well I'm a OL and I've just been lurking on this particular thread for that very reason. I wanted to glean what I could from other view points, but Thane has inspired me to chime in by mentioning a point on which I very much agree with him. American education has gone very, very wrong. Please don't anyone thing I'm arguing with any individual here-- I'm cantankerous in general it's not targeted. I am, however, skeptical of the notion that guides or methodologies are usesless because everyone is different.
I have spent all of my adult life trapped in some higher education context or another. For me this next three years, I hope, will take me away from the wretched mess once and for all. Although I'm sure my partner's career will continue to slop over into my consciousness now and again. I am reminded, more often than is healthy, of poor Addie Bundren in As I Lay Dying teaching in a country school house and yearning to flee her students and run down a hill to the spring, "where I could be quiet and hate them." When it comes to today's undergraduate students, I declare in quiet seclusion the same sentiment. I hate them.
Now before you panic, and contact the authorities, let me explain. I don't hate them as individuals. Most often I like them as individuals. But as a group they have a set of expectations that are repugnant, they are so steeped in postmodern relativism, that cannot conceive of objective criteria as fair.
I once had a student protest the fact that I had graded her paper based on the same standards I had applied to her classmates papers. This, she explained, was unfair because she had missed so much class and she didn't know the same things they knew. How was I supposed to evaluate her paper? Well, see it was really her opinion about a certain poem, and you can't grade an opinion, so why not just give her an A. That would be the fair thing to do, as it would account for her special circumstances as a person with a poor attendance record, and a uniquely ungradeable world view. It did not matter that she had confused Ann Bradstreet with Anne Hutchinson, read what was obviously a Wikipedia biography of Hutchinson and used that woman's life experience as a lens through which to interpret Bradstreet's poem. To hold her accountable for a factual historical error was to grade her on her opinion.
Sooo. . . what's this got to do with studying? Well I guess it's just that I hereby resolve to use the expression "for me" less often. I don't know if there's one best way to study, but I do believe that EVERYONE could have written a better paper than the above described student by coming to class.
I don't yet know what method I'll use, but I am determined to find it by evaluating the logic and efficiency of different methos-- and I guess that includes taking into account my own history as a learner, but I refuse to believe I am "special" in that obnoxious way that so many of today's undergrads do.
Interesting, but not on point.
I think law students generally recognize that, as a consequence of blind grading and the efforts of professors to be fair, the exam answers that receive the highest grades in any given class are likely to have a lot in common. This means that there are many wrong ways to study and write exam answers for any given class. But it doesn't mean that there's a single, optimal method of preparation or exam writing (putting aside organization, of course). As posters who have hung around this forum have discovered, there are many different ways of making it into the top 10%. Some people start studying on day 1. Others cram. Some use supplements religiously. Others do not. etc.
What people here object to, I think, is your insistence that you know what will and will not work for every student. See, e.g., your insistence that failure to prep during 0L is "suicidal," that anyone who starts outlining 1/2 way through the semester will be lucky to make it into the top 1/3, and that all students should outline before