Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh, How I Love the Socratic Method...

So, I survived my first week of my regular schedule without incident. In general, I kept up on the reading and felt relatively well-prepared. This is good, because in law school, showing up unprepared is not an option.

Though this varies from Professor to Professor, in general, students will be called upon blindly and at random to answer what is often a series of questions that really feel more like an interrogation. In my Torts class, we are to stand if called upon, and may be left standing for anywhere between a few minutes to the length of the 1 1/2 hour class.

So today, I got to stand...lucky me. I had read the cases (on Battery) and I had done the reading about battery. Turns out what I didn't know by memory (though it was buried in the reading) was the difference between parental liability when a child commits a battery under common law, as opposed to under statutes pertaining to the same subject. By the way, "I don't know" is never an acceptable answer because it means that you'll be standing for a very long time and that the class will wait, all eyes on you, while you fumble to try to find the answer. And, turns out, even if I had known, the Professor then says something like, "Okay, how do you know that? Where did you find that information?" Really?? I need to now know where to find this buried gem of information in my text? Right now? In front of everyone? Well, yes, that is exactly what is expected.

Needless to say, this is a bit of a pressure cooker situation, but it also wasn't earth-shattering because everyone is subject to the same treatment, which means there is a great deal of empathy to go with the fumbling and the excessive anxiety. Interestingly, so far, I like my Torts Professor. And, as it turns out, I will always remember that, under common law, parents are NOT liable for a battery committed by their children, as indicated in the second paragraph on page 18 of the textbook.

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