I have survived “mid-terms,” aka “early-semester indicators of stupidity,” so it appears that I will not need to drop out of law school and ride the rails, hobo style, mourning my inability to understand the elements of battery.
I will not publicly lament my grades. Wait, screw it. Yes, I will. OMIGOD, law school. These are literally the worst percentages I have received since 1999. That’s right. You broke an almost two decade run of excellent grades, law school.
Everyone continues to impress upon me that grades are curved and that it is the rank that counts. As one of my tiny peers informed me, “It’s like running away from a bear. You don’t have to run faster than the bear, you just have to run faster than me.” My mental image of law school now looks something like this:
And, be that as it may, seeing the percentage equivalent of a C is enough to cause me to become cold and clammy, and feel a little ill, regardless of the class average. So, yeah. Law school is making me crazy, but it is also oh so entertaining. Because law school is full of gossip!
The last time there was this much gossip in my life was high school! Perhaps, that’s why this post comparing law school and high school continues to be so popular. And, maybe this is particularly striking to me, because I went to large, research institutes—two of which were almost exclusively commuter campuses. Throughout my college career I rarely had classes with the same student twice.
Or maybe, it’s more simple? Maybe lots of would-be lawyers are gossipy! It’s like the Real Housewives up in here!
If you have not had the pleasure of this experience, let me tell you all about it!
First up: gossiping about random characters at law school. This may have been my favorite moment, because the young men (who, really, don’t look like they need shave yet, despite towering over me) who instigated this discussion seem like they would be clueless about gossiping. But, no!
They started small, just casually talking about this dude who should probably toss it all in and go on Jeopardy! because Goddess knows that the kid has so many odd facts shoved into his brain that they pop out randomly and without context. Apparently, he’s missing! He’s been gone a week! In normal life, this might mean he got a cold and stayed home. In law school, maybe he dropped out! Maybe he really did toss it all in for a career in context-free game shows! Note: this would be good for the rest of us, because the idiot savant is going to fuck up the curve.
The conversation flowed freely to the people who raise their hands all the time! I feel like my presence fucked this one up, because I clearly raise my hand too often, and so they may think that I have some sort of affinity with this group. Damnit! If only I’d shut up in class, maybe I would have gotten the good stuff!
And then, they ended with a doozy! Who’s dating whom?! Oh, the rampant speculation! These two sit together outside of class, in the cafeteria! Oh, the scandal. The cafeteria is just like going on a date, if the date you were going on involved diet soda and soggy chicken nuggets. Those two? Well, I saw them sharing a study carrel. Hard evidence, right there.
Not to mention the faculty-related gossip: which prof grades hard, which prof has a well organized syllabus, which class section has the most fun, which prof thinks we look like ants scuttling around below him. (Hint, pretty sure it’s all of them.)
Keep in mind, we’re not discussing any of this with students who are in those professors’ classes, it’s all just a stab in the dark. And yet, I’ve had multiple conversations where students insist that every prof we don’t have is far better than the ones we do have! It’s amazing. And terrifying!
Because, here’s the deal: I teach at a very small college. Where most of the students live on campus and they all know each other. And in the entire time that I have been working there, it’s never occurred to me that students thought about me for a second after they walked out of my classroom. Because if there are 170 people in your class (a common enough occurrence during my undergraduate education) you really don’t think about the prof for a second after you walk out of the class.
Holy crap, what have I said and who did I say it to?! Excuse me. I have to go repair my tattered reputation.