Here’s the post I wanted to publish, but couldn’t bring myself to do so because it was a wee bit snarky. After tonight’s panel – I felt it should see the light of day; this way, you know just what was running through my mind that Fall morning.
Enter: Torts Class 1.
Now after almost a week of orientation (“fundamentals”), and finding out that I don’t know a damn thing about briefing a case, I sat in on my first class. Guess who drew short straw?
That’s right – I did.
Dean Pryor said “alright, let’s get started. Miss Dill!”
Hand to the good sweet Lord, time passed soooooo slowly. I wanted to raise my hand, throw up, run…
Why for the love of all the green m&m’s did she have to call my name first? My own hand betrayed my emotions, shaking as I raised it.
“Ah. Good. Miss Dill, what is a tort?”
The seconds ticked by…I mean, what the hell is a tort?
I completed all of the reading for this class. I took notes for goodness sake. I knew damn well what the answer was, but my brain and lips failed to communicate.
Has this paralyzing fear ever happened to you?
Saying the right answer means I’m not a total idiot, and failing to speak makes people (and the Professor) think I didn’t complete the assigned reading. Crap.
Finally, my voice received the relay from the synapses, and I answered: “a tort is something…an act…that that causes someone else an injury.”
But, it wasn’t the answer she wanted. Ugh.
“True, Miss Dill,” she said, “…but – tell me more about this act.”
“Umm…the person has to act.”
genius answer, right? double ick.
“The act has to be…on purpose? Ah. INTENTIONAL! It has to be volitional!”
“Yes, Miss Dill. That’s right!”
Ok, she didn’t clap. But she did have the super cute Professor McGonagall half-smile. She must have been thinking “ok, I can work with this sorry sack of potatoes after all.”
Well damn, it only took me a million tries.
But hey, I finally answered the damn question.
This Socratic Method business is much scarier to think about than it actually is.
All those pauses I felt? Only in my head, apparently.
The blonde sitting next to me said I did a good job, and assured me I didn’t take as long to answer as I thought I had. Bless her kindness.
I didn’t have to answer any other questions for the rest of class, but I was on edge the entire time. I wanted another shot at answering more questions, faster…and with the perfectly right answer. Yeah, I’m a little type-A…
The rest of the class went pretty well, aside from the gunner in the front row. His hand shot up for everything, and I can’t tell you why – but it annoyed me. Then there was this other guy who just kept adding in a bunch of hoopla to his answers, fancying them up with all these huge words. I mean, we get it – you got into law school and can clearly read. So can the rest of us.
Aside from the ridiculous behavior of some of us trying to be the overachievers within a bunch of overachievers, the day turned out great.
One day down, 40 pages of reading to go.
Lessons I learned so far:
1. Do the reading. ALWAYS.
2. Don’t freak out…well, try not to freak out.
3. Be confident. That goes a long way when you have no clue what the answer is.
Best of luck this year!
I hope you’re ready for this next semester!