parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Friday, March 09, 2007
    Last Spring, I took Corporations. I really hated the class, and I hated the way it was taught. At several points during the quarter, I felt like the professor sucked. I was sort of on the fence about that, though. In some ways, I felt that he would have been a really good professor in a smaller class, but Corporations was so huge and he seemed to have difficulties knowing how to handle such a large group. He tried to do "group work," and I felt it was a miserable failure. I know that in my group, it meant that 2 of us did the reading and participated on behalf of our group while the other 3 sat there and IM'd with their friends on the other side of the room.

    I also didn't like the group system, because whenever people contributed to class discussions, rather than calling us by name, or trying to know who we were, the professor said, "what group are you in?" and would check it off on the group list. He had no clue who any of us were, made no attempt to figure it out, and it bugged me. Perhaps in some law schools, that is normal. In mine, it is not. All of my professors - first year and beyond - know me by name. They say, "hello, Zuska," when I pass them in the hallway. They strive to learn our names at the start of a semester or quarter, and are largely successful. So this was an anomaly.

    I made every single one of these thoughts (and then some) known on my end-of-quarter course evaluation. I had diarrhea of the hand - I spewed out every criticism that I had been storing up all quarter - scrawled onto both sides of all 3 sheets of paper.

    I specifically recall my complaining that he didn't even try to know our names.

    This quarter, I have the same professor for International Law. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, with my belief that he would be better in a small class (and also a class that he has copious amounts of experience with - he still does International work, and had practiced at a large firm in town - of course he also knew Corporations, but a survey course like that is hardly anyone's passion).

    We aren't doing group work (thank god), but what's more remarkable? He has printed out little placards with all of our names on them, and when people contribute to class discussions, he thanks them by name.

    I am enjoying thinking that I made that happen.

    I must also say, this is typical of my experience at my law school. Complaints are responded to and acted on, and pretty swiftly. By individual professors, and the administration at large. It has happened on large issues (our "evaluation system," which is going through a major overhaul due to students' input and efforts, and also the start of a new journal), and small issues (library hours and time taken for professors to hand in evaluations). This pleases me.


    posted by Zuska @ 3:30 PM  
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