Friday, August 31, 2007

First Time CivPro Prof--Why Blog?

To begin, I’d like to thank Jeremy and Rory for allowing me to blog here during my first semester teaching Civil Procedure.

Obviously with a first prep (not only in Civ Pro, but also in another course this semester) some may wonder why I’m taking the time to blog about my experiences.  In fact a select few colleagues and mentors who are aware of my blogging here have posed that exact question to me. 

First, there is a personal benefit --it’s a guaranteed opportunity for me to sit down and reflect on the week, to benchmark my progress and the progress of my students and to use that reflection as a means to improve next week’s lessons.  With such obvious introspection out there for the world to see, we’ve decided that a pseudonym would be best.  I chose Alex Aebutian, a somewhat roundabout reference to the ancient Roman procedure and its evolution which allowed judges to devise a simpler form of procedure for existing causes of action, develop new causes of action, and develop written opinions on issues.  Civ Pro nerdy, but that’s what we’re here for!

In describing the second reason for blogging here, well I’m thinking of current first-time Civ Pro profs and future first-timers.  I’m reminded of the Will Allen Dromgoole poem, “The Bridge Builder”:

An old man, going a lone highway, Came, at the evening, cold and gray, To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned, when safe on the other side, And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near, "You are wasting strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day; You never again will pass this way; You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide- Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head: "Good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "There followeth after me today, A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me, To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be. He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

So, this is my way of paying it forward and building a bridge for future first-timers, I hope I’m able to share some experiences which will prove helpful to them.  In the coming days I will address how I chose my case book, supplemental material, developed my syllabus and how Week 1 went. 

We’ll keep comments open, and I’m hopeful you will weigh in with your thoughts!  ---Alex Aebutian

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