Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two Cold-Calls and a Funeral (of Sorts)

Week 5 and all is well among the 1Ls. Sure, some of us are starting to wilt a little from the new workload (or mysteriously disappear*) but Fall Break is sure to put a little spunk back into our step!

*As in the intriguing case of Prof. L*vy’s torts class last week…
Professor: Hmm, let me call on someone who hasn’t spoken yet. Is _______ here?

[Awkward silence]

Student #1: Uhh, professor? That guy used to sit here. I... I don't see him around anymore.

Professor: Oh, well in that case, how about _______?

[Another awkward silence]

Student #2: She hasn't been here since week 2.

At which point we collectively erupted into nervous-slash-mildly-disturbed laughter. Personally, I'd like to think those kids didn't call it quits - but were giving us an expert-level demonstration of The Marvin.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, kind of a douche move on the part of the students. There was no need to essentially tattle on their fellow students.

9/15/2009 11:19 AM  
Blogger L'Alex said...

Word, 11:19. Although - I'd say the overall vibe in the room was less gunnerish and more like a game of Spoons, where you get the creepy feeling that things/people have been disappearing without anybody noticing...

9/15/2009 11:37 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

Props for the wings & vodka reference.

9/15/2009 11:53 AM  
Blogger McWho said...

Who cares if they tattle? The student obviously doesn't care about their reputation with the professor.

Grades are anonymous. I doubt very much that the student will be seeking a clerkship recommendation. Most importantly, it is some vengeance for the students that now face cold-calls with greater frequency because of their classmates absence.

The only person that is a douche is the one that is mad for students actually trying to clue the prof. in to the situation.

9/15/2009 1:44 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

L'Alex, kudos to you for making a Spoons reference! Applause.

9/15/2009 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may think it is proper to go out of your way to harm your fellow students, but I certainly do not. The fact that you believe a barely appreciable effect on cold-calling frequency somehow justifies throwing classmates under the bus is just amazing.

Even if you're right and no actual harm ensues, the intent to harm is bad enough. I say that as an argument against your general philosophy and not necessarily regarding this specific case, since it is possible the students here did not have that intent (though I fail to see any other rationale for informing the professor).

Boalt quickly dropped out of Above the Law's douchiest law school poll for a reason. Conduct like this belies that distinction.

9/15/2009 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on, 3:51. What is with the high level of douchiness among 1Ls? I've heard that at least a few of them have refused to give classmates notes from classes they missed due to illness, and now they're apparently telling on people. 1Ls, please don't screw up our long tradition of not being assholes.

9/15/2009 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cheers to 3:51. I am a bit surprised that fellow 1L's (in general, not just L*vy's class) don't seem to be as chill as I thought they'd be, what with all the hype about Boalt being chill and all. I've noticed a lot of douches around.

"Most importantly, it is some vengeance for the students that now face cold-calls with greater frequency because of their classmates absence."

huh??? "vengeance" for what now?

9/15/2009 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m not sure about 1Ls, but douchiness doesn’t seem to be lacking amongst members of the other years either. Hop on over to either of the OCIP posts and you’ll find a smorgasbord of jerk-tasmic infighting and belittling. Enjoy!

9/15/2009 5:20 PM  
Blogger L'Alex said...

Whoa, there sure are alot of douche-bombs being thrown around here... I'm not an advocate of ratting anybody out, but at the same time, isn't it just a courtesy to the professor to say SOMETHING after seconds of awkward silence, if you happen to know the person isn't there?? Judging from the comments of students more seasoned than I, looks like it's better to let the silence speak for itself - but I hardly think doing otherwise is a giant red douche flag.

And...umm...I <3 ILs?

9/15/2009 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The alternative to silence isn't a detailed explanation of exactly how long mr ___ has been awol. The truth is your professor probably doesn't care any more than you do. "I don't think he's here right now" works just as well, and is far more polite to everyone involved.

Also, in case any of you were considering following mcwho's advice to seek vengeance, don't. I always got along with him but there are reasons people think he's jerk. I mean, what if mr ____'s mother had died, or something?

9/15/2009 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd really like to seek vengeance (by proxy?) on the person who specified that someone else "hadn't been there since week 2." what the hell?

- a selectively douchey 2L

9/15/2009 7:11 PM  
Blogger mle said...

I think in the rush to be chill and avoid being douches (since that's the word of choice), the comments in this thread have mostly evolved there anyway. I think the entire point of L'Alex's post was not that the 1Ls are all in a mad rush to snitch each other out for not being in class one day, but rather, there's a few of us who matriculated who are no longer a part of the Class of 2012, and those absences, though few, are becoming apparent. I wasn't in the aforementioned Torts class so I can't speak for certain, but in my own supermod sections, that's the way it's been, with most people being chill and very, very nice about lending notes.

Which is not to say that the entire 1L class doesn't need to lighten up by a few degrees -- because I think we do. But I don't think this post should be used as evidence for that conclusion.

9/15/2009 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think these students were douchebags.

The only douchebags at Boalt are the ones that run around trying really hard not to be douchebags and telling everyone to chill.

The people whining about these students are what's wrong with Boalt.

Just calm the fuck down everyone.

9/15/2009 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is your post intentionally ironic, 8:22?

9/15/2009 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9/15/2009 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:22, how could you possibly think that these students are not douchebags? are you one of the two students described above?

9/15/2009 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:22 here

8:37, congrats for pointing out the obvious, but you ruin my fun when you post that. at least 8:57 went along with it.

9/15/2009 9:18 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I think douche-hunting is the new witch-hunting (or whatever the thing more recent than witch-hunting was, since people haven't hunted witches for a while. Red scare? Let's go with that)!

"Douche" has become a label so broad as to potentially consume the universe. I mean, once someone actually makes the argument that people are douches for not being douches (8:22), we've reached the apex of a tear in the fabric of reality. We're on dangerous ground here, people. Tread lightly.

My thoughts... L'Alex's post was a funny and mostly harmless examination of the dwindling 1L class. Whether it's just people who've realized a little early that they don't necessarily have to attend class to do well or people who have realized very early that it's not a great time to be entering the legal market, who knows. But it's funny that the two people who were called on were not only absent, but hadn't been there for some time.

The students who pointed it out may have done so maliciously or not. We should hesitate to deem them douches without more information. Sometimes people just say what springs to mind and do not necessarily mean any harm. Many of the comments have pointed out that professors don't really care, so maybe the students who said it knew that and thus saw no harm in divulging the information that came to them most readily. Anyway, we don't know. Together with me now... Incomplete hypothetical! Need more facts!

But we can all agree that in the future, it's probably nicer not to specify how long someone has been absent, just to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Finally, as for the question as to whether this crop of 1Ls is more douchey than the last... probably! We strive for better students every year, right? Generally, that breeds a little extra douche. Plus, didn't we admit like 50 extras this year? Probably some douches in that group.

But overall, I'm willing to put my faith in Ed Tom's admissions magic. Most of the 1Ls I've encountered seem perfectly delightful. And I've particularly loved the new posters on Nuts and Boalts. I think we're in pretty good hands, as long as no more people abandon ship!

9/15/2009 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No big deal.

Not trying to scare 1Ls, but some boaltie I know even purposely emailed professors to notify them of other students' absences. People are graded on a curve. Blame the system if you wish.

9/15/2009 10:24 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

...but they are graded anonymously. While I wasn't trying to encourage tattling, it also seems rather pointless to do so, in my (obviously unpopular) opinion.

The problem I had was that you called 1L classmates douches for answering (most likely) truthfully in class. Since when was that a crime? I tended not to lie to professors, unless it had to do with the facts in a case.

9/15/2009 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey mcdummy

some professors take attendance/contribution to class into account when grading. obviously that cannot be done anonymously.

9/15/2009 11:20 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

For about 2 years now, I've toyed with an idea for a post: are Boalt's higher numbers increasing the DB numerator as the denominator stays constant. Add to this the loss of D.O. and H.P. from student services and you have what appears to be a powder keg ready to blow, a race car in the red if you will. Just the OCIP thread alone helps illustrate the point: the first OCIP thread generated harsh criticisms for being too gunnery, but now we're being criticized for not sharing enough.

But then I keep rereading this post by Disco Stu, and it reminds me that we were all "like that" as 1Ls. The take away for me is that it's ok to point out to the newbies that certain things, while ok at HLS, are umm frowned upon at Boalt. It's also very important to show them the light through positive reinforcement. Soon enough, I suppose.

9/15/2009 11:36 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

*the first ever OCIP thread, that is.

9/15/2009 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They aren't testifying, McWho; there's no need for them to tell the whole truth. A simple "they aren't here" should suffice.

9/16/2009 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the word douche to be sexist.

You are all pricks for using that word.

9/16/2009 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I blame the economy..it makes everyone nervous...

9/16/2009 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's had a fantastic run, but I think "douche" has jumped the shark as an insult. Sort of meaningless now. It was the Roger Federer of insults, but all good things must end.

9/16/2009 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have noticed that, in general, the 2Ls and 3Ls I know are less douche than the overall 1L pop. It seems like gunner central in my supermod.

9/16/2009 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people mellow as they go. I remember thinking my fellow 1Ls were impossibly robotic, and now I love them. Everyone's freaked out. Give it time.

9/16/2009 11:50 AM  
Blogger Toney said...

I remember thinking some of my classmates were douchey my first year. To counter this, I did everything I could do be not douchey (mostly acting nonchalantly and disinterested in the competitiveness of law school), but as a result likely came off as douchey.

I'm now badass, and have won the affection of 100% of my classmates. Literally NO ONE thinks I'm douchey anymore (though my devilishly handsome good looks may have played a part in this). So if you're wondering if you will become less douchey over time, the answer is yes, if you're as kickass as me.

9/16/2009 12:05 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


9/16/2009 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double douche.

9/16/2009 9:22 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

McDummy? Really? It is really depressing me how hostile current anon posters are. They were always bad, but now they seem to have been proliferating.

9/17/2009 1:01 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

More like McDreamy!

9/17/2009 3:48 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

I heart you too, Dan.

9/17/2009 6:42 PM  

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