October 12, 2007
Position at CUNY
Associate Director of the Irene Diamond Professional Skills Center
The Associate Director will assist the Director in designing and implementing all aspects of the Academic Support Program, which currently includes working with first- and second-year students as they develop the academic, study, and time-management skills necessary for success in the Law School’s program of study. The Skills Center also designs and administers the Summer Law Institute (a three-week intensive introduction to law study) and the Pre-Law Program (a mandatory orientation program for all entering students). The Associate Director will participate in those programs and may design and teach first- or second-year skills sessions and academic support sections of required doctrinal courses; work with students individually or in small groups; and train and supervise teaching assistants. In keeping with CUNY’s integrated approach to academic support, the Associate Director will also be involved in developing faculty workshops on pedagogy and serve as a resource to faculty in the areas of skills-based teaching and testing.
A JD degree and 3+ years of experience are required. The successful candidate must be committed to the public interest mission of the Law School and the role of academic support in law shool. She or he should possess excellent writing, speaking, and organizational skills. Experience in a law school academic support program, or other relevant teaching experience, is strongly preferred.
TO APPLY, send cover letter and resume to:
Maureen McCafferty, Assistant to the Search Committee, City University of New York School of Law, 65-21 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11367
October 9, 2007
Maybe Monday just makes everyone grumpy. (I know it is Tuesday, but we are on a Monday schedule here.) This morning, I had a student come in who is on Academic Warning. Granted, her GPA is just slightly lower than it ought to be, but she is required to see me nonetheless. Now, I gave her what I thought was good advice about outlining and exam preparation, but every suggestion I made was met with an (albeit somewhat passive-aggressive) argument. I was worried that she would go off and do exactly the opposite of what I advised.
Then, I had an e-mail correspondence with another student who wrote something to effect of, “I suppose I need to schedule yet another meeting with you.” Gosh, I am flattered; do you say that to your dentist too? I mean, really, how snarky is that? And how could I answer it without seeming uptight and angry (which I was)?
So I have decided to use reverse psychology with these students (because I too am grumpy). You know, the old, “whatever you do, don’t wear a coat in the snow” method our parents used on all of us. (Bugs Bunny also made it popular; Elmer Fudd could never resist.) Here are some examples of statements I am thinking of trying with my more troubled students:
- Please go out and buy some commercial outlines in lieu of making your own. Also, please buy the big study guides and read them in lieu of your casebook.
- Whatever you do, don’t go to class. Not today, not next week, never!!!!!!!
- Don’t even think about December exams until January. Also, don’t think about them unless you are on a beach far, far away.
- Cramming sure does work in law school. Read nothing now, no payments until the night before the exam.
- Multiple choice, shmultiple choice. B is always the answer. Don’t bother practicing them.
- Do take that class with Professor Failsemall. You are likely to be in the 50% of the class that passes, fate being what it is.
- Practice questions are for wussies. Are you a wussy? Of course you aren’t.
- Weekends aren’t for studying. Don’t you follow some sport and imbibe some mood altering substance? That’s what the weekend is for.
- Don’t talk to your professors outside of class. Didn’t you know that the cooties are far more contagious in a smaller space?
- Library? Right here in this building? No kidding-go figure.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll just get some more coffee and try typing my responses wearing my Mr. Rogers sweater; I find it very soothing. (ezs)