Socratic fumbling

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stuffnuff
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Socratic fumbling

Postby stuffnuff » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:37 pm

So, I've been cold-called in my courses a few times and I am not a public speaker. I have consistently done the word vomit thing when describing the cases, falter when asked questions, or just plain feel like the professor is speaking Mandarin when I'm asked a follow-up question. It's my own social anxiety, I get that, but I guess I don't know if it's something I should just shrug off or if I should be worried about it. 4th week into 1L, ftr. Any advice/feedback/criticism is freely accepted.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:37 pm

Shrug off.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:39 pm

Cold calling absolutely does not matter. Half the kids on law review are those that never spoke in class and were barely prepared when called on. Focus on the exam and forget about looking good during cold calls.

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stuffnuff
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby stuffnuff » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:44 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Cold calling absolutely does not matter. Half the kids on law review are those that never spoke in class and were barely prepared when called on. Focus on the exam and forget about looking good during cold calls.


Thank you both for the fast feedback and making me feel more at ease. I know it's exam and only exam, but I guess I'm worried about the social or other ramifications of looking foolish. I'm not exactly socially adept and things like this seem to ensure that I'll be treated as a Leper. Making that up? Does it matter?

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minnbills
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby minnbills » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:51 pm

I'm just a 0L but FWIW I've never heard anyone claim cold-call fumbles matter. So, yeah I would echo what the above posters said.

However, you should probably figure out a way to gain some confidence when speaking in front of a group, it's a useful skill to have in life.

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5ky
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby 5ky » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:05 pm

stuffnuff wrote:So, I've been cold-called in my courses a few times and I am not a public speaker. I have consistently done the word vomit thing when describing the cases, falter when asked questions, or just plain feel like the professor is speaking Mandarin when I'm asked a follow-up question. It's my own social anxiety, I get that, but I guess I don't know if it's something I should just shrug off or if I should be worried about it. 4th week into 1L, ftr. Any advice/feedback/criticism is freely accepted.


Does not matter in the slightest, but try to make sure you don't have a similar experience with OCI screening interviews/callbacks. You might want to prepare pretty strongly for them.

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:05 pm

Doesn't matter. Just shrug it off and move on.

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kalvano
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby kalvano » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:06 pm

It couldn't possibly matter less unless you want to be a trial lawyer. Then, perhaps, start using it as a practice opportunity. Otherwise, no one will care.

If someone looks down on you because you don't respond well to being put on the spot and borderline verbally abused over something you've barely begun to study, then fuck that person, they aren't worth your time anyway.

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:06 pm

kalvano wrote:It couldn't possibly matter less unless you want to be a trial lawyer. Then, perhaps, start using it as a practice opportunity. Otherwise, no one will care.

If someone looks down on you because you don't respond well to being put on the spot and borderline verbally abused over something you've barely begun to study, then fuck that person, they aren't worth your time anyway.


Amen

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jwaters
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby jwaters » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:46 pm

Shrug it off. It doesn't affect your grade and your classmates could care less. Don't worry about looking stupid in front of your the,. Look at it this way - when you are fumbling with an answer many of them are probably just as confused as you are and those that aren't are hardly paying attention to you anyways.

So far I have yet to hear people talk bad about classmates just because they didn't know an answer. Rather, they are usually talking about people who talk too much and think they know everything.

shoeshine
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby shoeshine » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:53 pm

I think everyone feels that way. I make a point to tell people they did a good job in class when they have to speak. It sucks for everyone. Just remember that most of the class is rooting for you (if for no reason other than that they don't want to get called on).

The cold calls really don't matter unless you have a class that specifically grades on participation.
Last edited by shoeshine on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Perch
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby Perch » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:04 pm

shoeshine wrote:I think everyone feels that way. I make a point to tell people they did a good job in class when have to speak. It sucks for everyone. Just remember that most of the class is rooting for you (if for no reason other than that they don't want to get called on).

The cold calls really don't matter unless you have a class that specifically grades on participation.


I try to do the same. No one likes it, but it's a part of the process.

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stuffnuff
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby stuffnuff » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:18 pm

Thank you all very much for the feedback; I was definitely stuck in my own head about it and it was causing some cold sweats. TLS has always been a great resource for information and I'm glad that I can get such constructive feedback for an issue that's more on a personal level.

Metaread
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby Metaread » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:12 pm

Don't worry about it, I also had a similar experience just last week. After I was embarrassed and stammering in class, I kept repeating the incident over and over in my head (which was foolish), and felt really, really bad for maybe 3 weeks. I then asked my friends for tips, and some said, "Oh....you did just fine. I don't think the professor understood your question". Others didn't remember me being cold-called, and others shrugged and said, "I wasn't ready that last week either....just volunteer answers and they won't call on you as much."

I think, to some extent, what they said was each individually true. It took me a while to get over it, but now it's ok for me as well. I do worry about the next time I'll be cold-called, but I just volunteer answers, go to office hours, and nothing seems off-kilter. The professors don't treat me like "that kid who stammered out the answer." Nor do my friends. Hopefully it's the same for you. I'm not exactly the most social person either, but having even a few close friends helps. Also, showing the profs you prepared by going to office hours and asking intelligent questions can be quite the morale booster. :)

highviolet
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby highviolet » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:59 pm

i'm a 1L and definitely have struggled with cold calls too. i've worried a lot about what this could mean for my career as a lawyer if i have trouble with even relatively easy q and a (i know...i'm a worrier) so this thread is really a relief... thanks to all those who contributed and OP for bringing up a subject that we all deal with daily...

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ggocat
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby ggocat » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:01 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
kalvano wrote:It couldn't possibly matter less unless you want to be a trial lawyer. Then, perhaps, start using it as a practice opportunity. Otherwise, no one will care.

If someone looks down on you because you don't respond well to being put on the spot and borderline verbally abused over something you've barely begun to study, then fuck that person, they aren't worth your time anyway.


Amen

Those people are called "judges" and "law clerks."

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mbusch22
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby mbusch22 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:05 pm

highviolet wrote:i'm a 1L and definitely have struggled with cold calls too. i've worried a lot about what this could mean for my career as a lawyer if i have trouble with even relatively easy q and a (i know...i'm a worrier) so this thread is really a relief... thanks to all those who contributed and OP for bringing up a subject that we all deal with daily...


worry about your grades. those are the important things in becoming a lawyer right now.

work on "public speaking" after 1L, if necessary.

071816
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby 071816 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:17 pm

Cold calling doesn't mean shit.

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savagedm
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby savagedm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:32 pm

Stop worrying about being wrong and have fun with it. You'll do way better that way; everyone around you will have at least one point this year where they stammer instead of answer.

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savagedm
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby savagedm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:33 pm

ggocat wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
kalvano wrote:It couldn't possibly matter less unless you want to be a trial lawyer. Then, perhaps, start using it as a practice opportunity. Otherwise, no one will care.

If someone looks down on you because you don't respond well to being put on the spot and borderline verbally abused over something you've barely begun to study, then fuck that person, they aren't worth your time anyway.


Amen

Those people are called "judges" and "law clerks."


No, they are called "bottom 50%".

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NeighborGuy
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby NeighborGuy » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:37 pm

I can only speak for myself, but I am far too worried about understanding what the professor is saying to worry about who is fumbling their cold calls that day.

I figure it's probably like having a zit in high school; you'll be far more concerned about it than everyone else, who are worried about their own zits.

So far I've only been cold called once; I answered the first question, but on the follow up I just shut down like a deer in headlights. :shock:

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Stringer6
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby Stringer6 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:41 pm

Always remember this: everyone is too busy thinking about themselves to care about anything you're doing. No one cares, and you shouldn't either. I often have to remind myself of this.

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ggocat
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby ggocat » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:45 pm

savagedm wrote:
ggocat wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
kalvano wrote:It couldn't possibly matter less unless you want to be a trial lawyer. Then, perhaps, start using it as a practice opportunity. Otherwise, no one will care.

If someone looks down on you because you don't respond well to being put on the spot and borderline verbally abused over something you've barely begun to study, then fuck that person, they aren't worth your time anyway.


Amen

Those people are called "judges" and "law clerks."

No, they are called "bottom 50%".

If you're referring to grades, I highly doubt the bottom 50% of any law school class looks down on someone who is not good at responding to the socratic method.

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Angrygeopolitically
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby Angrygeopolitically » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:59 pm

Imagine everyone naked...

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: Socratic fumbling

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:14 pm

ggocat wrote:
TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
kalvano wrote:It couldn't possibly matter less unless you want to be a trial lawyer. Then, perhaps, start using it as a practice opportunity. Otherwise, no one will care.

If someone looks down on you because you don't respond well to being put on the spot and borderline verbally abused over something you've barely begun to study, then fuck that person, they aren't worth your time anyway.


Amen

Those people are called "judges" and "law clerks."


And the fumblers will likely be the ones appointing these "judges" and their "law clerks"




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