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September 20, 2004

On Being Behind

It strikes me that in my second year of law school I should know some things I didn't know in the first year, and I'm sure I do, but that's not stopping me from making the same mistake I made last fall, which was to fall behind right from day one. Stupid stupid stupid stupid! This semester I'm taking classes on topics I like and am interested in from the outset, and classes I'm sort of predisposed to dislike. The “good” courses are labor law and evidence, but also ConLaw2. The “bad” class is Corporations, which I'm only taking under the “know your enemy” theory. Also, the only Prof. that uses a strict random socratic method is Prof. Corps, who calls on people randomly and grills them for an hour (really) in a very exacting way. My other profs either don't call on students at all (or almost), or demand very little when they do call, so you can fake it or simply beg off if you have to. So far, none of the reading for any class has been bad, as in really dry and hard to follow. Still, I always want to do the labor reading, and there are parts of ConLaw and Evidence I want to read, while I'm always procrastinating doing the Corps reading. But since the Corps reading must get done (b/c I never know when I'll be in the scorching hot seat in there) I have to do it first all the time. And since it's the reading I want to do the least, I put it off as much as possible. And perversely, that means that I also put off doing the reading I actually want to do. So basically, since I don't want to read for Corporations, I'm not reading at all, and that's killing me. Our compressed 13-week semester is already almost a quarter over—we only have 10 weeks left and I feel like I've barely started! Do not be stupid like me. Do your reading so you won't have to hate Mondays! This message has been a public service from your friends at ai.

Posted September 20, 2004 07:11 AM | 2L law school

LOL! And, here I thought I was the only one in law school (and other places, but that's a different subject) that snowballed my procrastination based upon one thing I didn't want to do.

I am loving my classes this semester -- with one notable exception, which then proceeds as you have described. Suddenly, other things that didn't seem important before (like commenting on blogs) suddenly become important!

Good luck!

Posted by: Denise at September 20, 2004 08:00 PM

or stop reading altogether. seriously. it really helps with the stress thing.

i went in to school every day at 8am, and my rule was that i only read before class. never after. it worked out.

but then again, some of us don't have grades. :)

Posted by: monica at September 20, 2004 11:51 PM

Ha! Your plan sounds great! I sort of do this already since I don't usually stress too hard about not being caught up w/the reading. When it really bothers me is when I have trouble following what's going on in class and when my notes start to become pure transcription rather than some sort of participative act that includes my own thoughts or synthesis or understanding how the pieces fit together. Usually when this starts to happen it's both because I haven't been reading and because I haven't given the class enough outside-of-class thought to understand the picture of the subject as it's developing. In short, I like to read enough so I don't feel lost, and recently I've been feeling a little lost. I'm digging out though....

Posted by: ambimb at September 21, 2004 12:46 PM

i suppose that's a problem. but that's why you skim the reading during class, and then you're able to talk about when the prof gets around to it at the end. and it keeps you from transcribing the lecture.

also, don't type your notes. :)

but yeah, it's kind of tough to see how it all fits together if you're not reading. but that's what outlining is for, at the end of the semester!

Posted by: monica at September 21, 2004 11:20 PM

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