June 9, 2006
After a week of rain, I am actually looking out the window and seeing the sun. OK, not really the sun, but the dry ground at least. So, of course, here I am in my office on this gloriously cloudy day (after two solid weeks of rain with three kids to drop off and pick up at various locales, my standards are getting mighty low) putting together a presentation for the Northeast Regional Academic Support Conference, and my topic is: whom do we serve? I've thought about this quite a bit. There are some specific categories of students we see here in ASP:
1. Students who are required to see us: academic probation and/or warning students. These students have performed poorly on exams and their grades don't quite merit dismissal but we would be negligent if we did mot monitor their progress. These students roughly divide into two sub-categories: those who come willingly and those who wish you got stuck in the elevator and then lost their e-mail address. I prefer the former as they seem to have a better attitude about improving their study methods. I see these students for a year or so based on their progress and then they never darken my doorstop again, although they are always welcome.
2. Students who have the opportunity to meet with us: or, as I see it, the lucky ones. These students may have been given the opportunity of a lifetime based on their LSAT scores, ESL status or a recommendation from their legal writing professor. These students also roughly divide into two subcategories: those who agree with me about this being a great thing and those who stumble into my office because they can't find a classroom on the third floor. Either way, no one leaves without chocolate or directions. These students stop in periodically during their three/four years depending on how hungry they are.
3. Students who come because they need to speak to someone: and here I am. Actually there are more subcategories here: students who have always achieved good grades who are frantic about law school (and are still achieving good grades but don't know why); students who are passing all of their classes but are ashamed of their grades nonetheless; students who just need someone to help them think about managing their time better now that actual studying is really necessary; and students who just need to talk. These students do not make appointments, but I see them more often than anyone else on my roster. I see them regularly for the three or four years they are here. I have some that stop in daily. I get e-mails from them when they are studying for the bar. They send holiday cards and wedding and birth announcements.
The truth is that when graduation rolls around and all of these students do the cap and gown thing, I am sorry to see them leave and I hope I have, in fact, served them effectively and, gulp, lovingly while they were here. And I sincerely hope they take the rain with them when they go. (ezs).