In the words of Mark Twain…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 19, 2009 in NotFail

…”Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” :)

I’m not sure if it’s wishful thinking or if folks just happened to read ImNobody’s entry on blawgs dying around mid-October (hopefully the latter), but my unexplained absence over the weekend prompted at least one person to think I pulled the plug on law:/dev/null.

No way — there’s a reason this place exists, and therapists’ prices are still too high for an alternative ;)

My favorite animal since I was kid... and coincidentally my University's mascot :)

My favorite animal since I was kid, and coincidentally the NCCU mascot

Today was actually Fall Break for the N.C. Central University School of Law, so this weekend was spent disconnected from the world as much as possible.

On Friday a group of friends and I played poker at my apartment (I actually won something for a change), Saturday was spent in Greenville attending the Homecoming festivities at East Carolina University (a place I never attended but frequently visit based solely on its reputation for parties), then on Sunday made a trip to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh — where, in addition to being reminded why I love North Carolina, I happened to stumble upon the new centerpiece for my dining room table :D

I also decided I was going to introduce a new category on the blog: !Fail (which had to be written out as NotFail since WordPress doesn’t like the ‘!’ :beatup: ).

We all know every 1L goes through less-than-fun times, and I noticed by the numerous entries in the Fail category that I complain (a lot) even though law school hasn’t been bad at all so far (I’d even say it’s almost been fun). Then on Friday we got our grades back on those CivPro midterms and… I actually did pretty doggone good too.1

So a little celebration was in order, and in tribute to the Boolean ! operator I gave myself the gift of a new category. It’s also why the normal Fall Break festivities didn’t include any updates here at the blog ;) Hopefully none of you missed me too much, though if you did you have my appreciation :*

I’m heading back to read for tomorrow’s classes, gotta keep up the pace from now until finals — have a great night folks! :D

  1. Notably present among the top performers: Madame Prosecutor. Notably absent: the Unnamed Gunner. []

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Overanalyzing overanalysis

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 1, 2009 in Drama

I really hate being wrong.

Down in the comments of this entry from a few days ago, I mentioned to idwsj that the law school drama (at least involving me) had pretty much died off.  Evidently I neglected to knock on wood or something because one of my classmates was working hard to rope me in today.

It started shortly after Contracts.  Class itself had me rolling, as we went over cases like Wright v. Newman (266 Ga 519) — affectionately referred to as the Baby Mama Drama case.  I suspect few things can prompt more humorous class discussion among 1Ls :)

Once class was over I headed downstairs to my locker to grab a few books and head home, same routine I’ve followed for weeks now.  A fellow Legal Eagle I’ll just refer to as the Unnamed Gunner1 comes up to me and asks if I’m planning on being at the law building on Saturday since we have midterms next Thursday and Friday.  I tell him I’m not, that I’ll be heading to the Aggie-Eagle Classic2 in Greensboro.

Then comes the crazy:  “Yeah whatever man.  I saw you being the first one to turn in your LRA quiz on Tuesday and then the first one to finish in Torts yesterday.  Do you think you’re better than us or something?”

::cue scratching record sound effect::

I’m not sure if it was the comment itself or the look of “wtf?” that came across my face, but a young lady walking by us promptly choked on her coffee.

Let’s hit the obvious point first — why the hell are you keeping track of when I turn in my assignments? Insecurity? Envy? Inherent stalker tendencies?  You might get better grades if you pay attention to your own work instead of figuring out when I’m done with mine.  Just saying.

Second:  how does someone in law school make the logical leap from finishing an assignment first to feeling superior as a result? Last time I checked, none of us got bonus points for how many seconds were left on the clock when we turned something in.

I’m usually one of the first people done because I refuse to overanalyze the problems.  I’ll read the facts, re-read them again to make sure I understand them, pick an answer and move on.  It’s a strategy that served me well on the SAT in high school, all throughout college, and on the LSAT before coming to law school.  If I sit there and think about the question even more, I’m that much more likely to change my mind and go from having a maybe-correct answer to choosing a definitely-wrong one.

For an example, compare Madame Prosecutor and myself.  Madame Prosecutor is the archetypal “good student” — she has two degrees already, is heavily active in a bunch of stuff, studies hard, and makes good grades.  She’s also 1 of only 2 people I’ve met so far in my life who can successfully make me feel like I haven’t accomplished much in my almost-three decades on God’s earth.3

Madame Prosecutor takes a lot longer to finish her assignments than I do.  So do I feel superior to her because I finish sooner?  Of course not, because (among other reasons) she gets better grades.  But I’m also not going to do any better compared to her by mimicking her.  Would spending more time on a question help me do better?  Not likely.  It would, however, substantially increase my chances of doing worse.

That’s not me thinking I’m superior, it’s me doing what I know works for me academically.  I’d suggest you do the same… preferably without stalking me in the process ;)

Hope all of you had a great Thursday, and enjoy your night! :D

  1. Apparently a friend of the fine upstanding gentleman I was conversing with here []
  2. The rivalry football game between the Aggies of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and the Eagles of North Carolina Central University.  Among HBCUs it qualifies as A Big Deal™ :) []
  3. The other being QuietStorm, an intensely competitive young lady I couldn’t beat at anything… so instead of trying to win I just convinced her to date me for 7ish years. []

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