Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Introducing........the Socratic Method, please be gentle

I got to school early today because I mixed up my classes and did all 60 pages of my Contracts reading/briefing when I don't have Contracts until next week. Today I had to decipher torts in a few hours. I read the cases 4 times .....FOUR FREAKIN TIMES! So I'm lucky enough to have a friend, a very bright friend I might add, who is 2L at my school. I happen to read a case in which I don't understand why the Plaintiff would demurrer. On a whim I run it buy her, mind u at this point I don't even think it is that relevant but I ask. She explains to me and I understand, fine ...done.

All day long I have blocked out the anxiety of my first class with a professor who forces you to stand when he calls on you. I'm def. one of those who think public speaking is worse than death. Around 15 min. before class my stomach starts turning, palms are sweating and my mind was completely blank. I couldn't remember any of the cases at all.

The professor does some introductory lecture about his expectations and I start calming down a little more. Then that fateful moment comes---the first case. He calls out a name.....whew not me! But then I start worrying that he will call on my for the last case which was by far more complicated. We go through it and the professor is gentle to the guy and the guy does ok, not stellar but ok. Then we get to the next case-----------------------"MS. BROOKLYN, PLEASE STATE THE FACTS OF THE CASE."

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! I stand up but for some reason I dont blush, instead i tremble like a leaf. I decided to sit up front so if this very thing were to occur no one would see how red my face was. Im sure it was pretty evident that my knees were about to buckle by the way I held on to the desk for dear life. I state four facts...the facts that if changed would change the outcome...right? YES, I was ok. He hesitated on one of my facts, referred to the case book and said "Oh yes you are right." Whew! THEN HE SAYS............"What is unusual about this case?"

AHAAAAA!!! I say....D says he is not liable for negligence because P walked in front of gun and P does/says/argues (I forgot) demurrer. He says, "What is demurrer?" YAY!!! I say confidently, regardless of the facts P is not at fault. I.e. Who cares. He says happily, "Exactly."

We go on for a few minutes and I nailed it!!!!!!!!!! So after class i realize i left my lunch box in the room. I walk in to get it and the professor is still there he says, "How did you like the class?" I say, "I liked it."

He says, " You did and excellent job briefing that case, keep up the good work."

And that is when all was right with the world. I hope I can stay prepared and sharp and make it through this first year with my sanity in tact. Whew!


mommyof4 said...

good deal it pays to go to class prepared because you never know when it will be your turn to stand up in front of the class( by the way that sucks that you have to stand)you are off to a great start.

Unknown said...

it is so fun to read about people's first experience with the Socratic method in Law School. You will become less nervous as more and more people say something stupid over the semester. I am glad that they do not make you stand up like that at our school though. Good job on being prepared and keep it will be worth it!! :-)