Monday, December 21, 2009
When I first started teaching contracts, I relied heavily on the advice of my more-experience colleague, who is now our Associate Dean, Mark Adams. I adopted the same casebook as Mark was using, adapted his syllabus to suit my purposes, and vamped on his exam questions to create my own exam.
When Alan White came on board, I thought I would serve the same role for Alan as Mark provided for me, but I think I have benefitted from his arrival at least as much as I have benefitted him. I was thinking of changing casebooks in any case, just to force myself to get a new perspective on the material, and Alan and I adopted the same one. We struggled together through the material, taught ourselves the new cases and worked to accommodate the perspectives of the casebook authors to our own teaching styles. As readers of the blog familiar with Alan's stint as a guest blogger know, Alan has pushed to introduce more problems and drafting exercises into first-year teaching as part of a Carnegie-inspired recognition of the need for an integrated approach to law school teaching, including writing across the curriculum. Alan and I have worked together on this project, but he has clearly taken the lead, while I have borrowed some of his exercises and reaped the rewards of his experimentation. My students are the real beneficiaries of Alan's innovations.
All of this is my way of saying, "Alan, thanks for the memories." As Alan will not be teaching contracts next semester, his first stint as a guest blogger in this space has come to an end. We hope to bring him back next year. In the meantime, those of you addicted to exposure to Alan's mind should visit the Consumer Law & Policy Blog, to which Alan is a regular contributor.
Ave atque vale, Alan!