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End-of-Semester Enmity

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 22, 2011 in The 3L Life

I’m usually among the most even-keeled people you’ll meet, with near-infinite reserves of patience. It’s why people like having me around in “crisis” situations.1

But even I get snippy when it’s the end of the semester and homework is weighing me down :beatup:

I was late getting up this morning and raced to class terrified that I’d go over on my allowed absences. When I walk in the classroom door, I notice on the projection screen that we’re supposed to be filling out professor evaluations… and a half-dozen or so of the class’s high achievers are engaged in a vocal across-the-room conversation about how much they dislike Prof Tax because of the take-home final she assigned to us.2

Now normally I wouldn’t care; people complaining about professors is how I’ve learned who to take and who to avoid over the years. But Prof Tax said at the beginning of the semester that she was going to give us an in-class exam and these people protested. They protested with sufficient intensity that the Prof let the class vote on whether they wanted a take-home exam or an in-class exam, and these people voted for the take-home over the objections of those of us in the back of the room.

So after the “Prof Tax is evil for giving us what we asked for” convo went on and on (and on) I got annoyed and posted a status on Facebook.

My Facebook status (top); the pre-cartoon Gchat convo with Negative Nancy (bottom)

That prompted one of the complainers to bellow across literally the entire room3 “GREG, THAT’S NOT EVEN RIGHT!”, me to reply “The truth hurts.”, and her to start a Gchat conversation with me explaining how my opinion on the class was irrelevant since I never turned in the first-of-two homework assignments.4

Prof Tax then walks in the room, and the first thing she announces is that at least 3 people have cheated on the 2nd assignment :crack:

Two have practically identical responses, and a third is copied not-quite-verbatim from a professional supplement. Predictably the Prof was displeased, the individuals in question will be getting 0’s on the assignment and referrals to the law school’s Disciplinary Committee… and I added a comment to my own FB status (posted to the right).

The ensuing Gchat conversation is what set me off.

For all of NCCU Law‘s merits — see, for example, the “Why NCCU?” entry linked above — we’ve got a small-but-vocal group of students who do nothing but complain all. the. damn. time.

And I don’t mean substantive complaints that point out correctable flaws, or folks who complain but offer solutions. I mean people who constantly gripe in general terms, and on those exceedingly rare occasions they offer any specific critiques they then categorically refuse to offer any constructive advice (and even when their concerns are addressed, no resolution is ever good enough).

A summary of the first 15 minutes of Tax class

They’re such an annoyance to other students that I actually wrote a memo to the faculty back in September proposing changes to the types of folks we admit in an effort to address student concerns.

I get it: some people just aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy. Every school’s got them, as anyone in Student Government or a Student Bar Association can attest.

But I’m pretty sure this is the first time any of them had the metaphorical cajones to claim *my* comments made the school look bad…

…so I pulled up Dan Awesome’s Rage Maker and cobbled together a comic summarizing the first 15 minutes of class.5 :D

Excessive? Maybe.

Deserved? Absolutely.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving, I need a few days off from these folks…

  1. When you’re not afraid to fail, it’s really easy to think clearly and succeed. []
  2. Two lengthy essay questions, including a 6-part question with a 4-page fact pattern :( []
  3. I sit in the next-to-last row out of ~15 rows. []
  4. Don’t ask me how one logically relates to the other; I couldn’t figure it out either :crack: []
  5. First, the guy’s got an awesome last name. Second, if you’re unfamiliar with the rage comic internet meme make sure to educate yourself at KnowYourMeme.com. :) []

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