Sunday, May 1, 2005
Have you visited any law student blogs? They abound on the net, and provide insight into what our students' passions, frustrations, and needs are.
For example, today I visited Blawg Wisdom: Advice About Law School From Those Who Are In It, and found an interesting thread of entries about comments law professors had written in the bluebooks of their students ... followed by student and professor reactions to the comments.
The blogging student referred to his Contracts class as one in which "the professor doesn't actually profess," and a student should just "assume you're scr__ed but hope for the best." The student had heard from two and three elles that the professor graded randomly, often lost exams, and created mass hysteria among the students. This professor, the blogger explains, "went through every hand-written exam and made some of the most blunt, outrageous and snarky comments ever to grace a bluebook." (Snarky? I had to look it up: the word describes a witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually accepted as a complimentary term. Snarky is sometimes mistaken for a snotty or arrogant attitude. Complimentary my foot. (djt))
The professor's marginal additions to the students' answers (allegedly) included:
● YOU COULD NOT BE MORE INCORRECT
● nonsense, nonsense
The blog comments include many law student responses, and one which appears to be penned (keyboarded?) by a law prof: "I'm a Contracts professor and it is interesting to see those comments. I think many of them could have been phrased differently, but I understand where they come from." ...and more...
As AcSup folk, we read (graded) exam answers. I have seen my share of marginalia that made me blink twice before attempting to interpret it for a perplexed student. How do you counsel your students vis-a-vis professorial annotations which are amphibolous, ambiguous, equivocal, obscure, recondite, abstruse, vague, cryptic, or even downright enigmatic? (djt)