Home! ::happydance::

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Dec 29, 2010 in The 2L Life | Subscribe

After a trip up that went a lot faster than the ride down, I’m finally back home in Durham :spin:

Lots to write about tomorrow and over the next few days, including a quick rundown of what has become the most stellar vacation week ever in the history of my life, along with my $.02 on last week’s net “neutrality” vote by the FCC, my New Year’s resolutions, a (finally) updated Site Stats entry, and a bunch of other stuff I’ve got partially drafted but never seem to actually get around to finishing in a timely-enough fashion for y’all to read it :beatup:

Until then, I want y’all to read this entry from Jack Whittington over at World Wide Whit. It’s one of his older pieces but highlights a philosophy he shares along with myself and Keith Lee at An Associate’s Mind — and you’ll be seeing it again and again over the year(s) ahead :)

And then take a non-law-related detour to check out this great highlights video from N.C. State’s 23-7 stomping of WVU in the Champs Bowl yesterday ;) :D

More tomorrow! Good night y’all!

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Dec 31, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Glad you’re having fun! Noticed you didn’t congratulate another school down the road on their bowl win. ;)

Gotta say I wasn’t a fan of the World Wide Whit though. He believes that if you’re willing to work hard enough, you will do great in law school. (False. Lots of people at the top of the class don’t work nearly as hard as people at the bottom.) And if you work hard enough, you will be a great lawyer. (Also false.) Hard work and the willingness to keep going are certainly virtues, but going to law school with the mindset that because you are there for the “right” reasons you have an edge over everyone else (oh, so you who have never practiced law really, really want to be a lawyer? you will be a great success!), does a disservice to everyone (including potential future clients). The logic of this view is baffling.

I think the realist optimists are only realist about external factors (the economy means I will just have to work harder!) and too few fail to do a hard self assessment — am I really as great as I think I am? If the realist optimists were ACTUALLY realists, I’d buy the philosophy. But most of them (judging from Whit & his commenters) are just egocentric optimists (things will work out for me but not those cynical pessimists who just aren’t willing to work hard enough!) who ignore critical assessments that are inconsistent with their world views. Instead of empathizing, they attribute negative personal characteristics to people who don’t succeed as a means of distinguishing themselves and retaining their optimism.

What I think makes you actually closer to a realistic optimist than the Whit crew is that despite your (admittedly large) ego, you have a pretty fair assessment of your weaknesses and tend to more accurately assess your failures and successes. But I would hope that the philosophy you’re developing is not really that similar to Whit’s.

Jan 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Hey now, I wished them congratulations on a Facebook status. For me that was *more* than enough :P

I’ll concede I never did read through the comments on Whit’s entry — they weren’t there when I first read the post awhile back, and me revisiting it this time was more just to find the link than to actually pay attention :beatup:

I agree with your points generally (“realistic optimism” shouldn’t be thinly-veiled Pollyanna-ism), but I think my affinity for the post is in the broad contours of what Whit’s trying to outline even if it’s not quite perfect yet. Going through the snippets of the blogosphere I frequent, and even the mainstream media to an extent, there’s this huge either-or in reporting: law school is either the single greatest thing you will ever do in your life, or “OMFG YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!” :) It really reminds me of the political environment nowadays, and trying to find a sensical middle ground somewhere is/should be important.

Maybe over the weeks/months ahead I can present a complementary-but-more-moderated perspective :D


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