on Friday my fellow Section One classmates and i had a midterm in Contracts.
it seems like the second semester just started but we're at the end of our seventh-week and Law School only runs for fourteen weeks per semester including finals week.
Contracts is the only class that gives a midterm this semester so i don't have to worry about this shit with Legal Writing II or Property or Professional Identity II.
we don't normally have Contracts class on Fridays, and last semester, when a Professor wanted to give us a midterm he would do it during class time but this semester, fuck us, i guess, we're shit out of luck on getting to sleep in so i had to get out of bed and report to school by 9:30am.
i got there a little early to get my self and my computer all set up.

our Professor told us we could bring three sheets of paper, front and back, full of notes to the final.
but, they had to be hand-written, not printed off of the computer.
that was more trouble then it's worth.
do you know how long it takes to hand-write six pages worth of paper?
Thursday evening i printed out my notes that i've been taking throughout the semester on my computer and had the PSE help me copy them down.
between the two of us it took no less then two hours worth of hand-scribbling to transcribe everything i needed.
and of course, when it came time for my final Friday morning, i didn't even look at the things.
that's the way i work, either i know something or i don't. studying and notes are pretty much useless.

our midterm was twenty-five questions, multiple choice, done on a program called Electronic Blue Book on our own personal laptop computers that disables access to everything else.
we had an hour to complete it, from 9:30 to 10:30am.
as i got into it i didn't feel good, i was only confident in my answers to maybe half the questions, maybe less, but on my second pass through i felt better about the answers i initially selected.
at 10:30 the exam proctors told us to hit the “submit” button on Electronic Blue Book and we had a few minutes to go compose ourselves before our Professor came in to tell us the correct answers.
i wrote down my answer choices on a piece of scratch paper so i could grade myself immediately.
i ended up getting a 19 out of 25, with 6 wrong answers.
and that might sound like a lot, a 76%, but everything in Law School is graded on a curve and after just about every answer i heard at least a few of my classmates hiss “shit!” under their breath.
there was a lot of discontentment in the room.
at the end of the Professor's beat-down session, the girl in front of me announced that she had missed 9.
the girl next to her had missed 10.
i walked out of class feeling pretty good about myself and my six incorrect answers.

on Tuesday, yesterday, our Professor started class by telling us how everybody did.
the average was 17.4 correct answers, with most of the class spread between 16, 17, and 18 correct answers.
somehow, i had 1.6 more correct answers then the average, which made me feel good.
i don't want to get too cocky, i don't actually know what the fuck i'm talking about when it comes to Contracts and the odds are that i just got lucky, but, still, Law School has been a near-constant degradation of my ego an i guess i should find small victories where i can.
one kid got a 10. at least i'm not that motherfucker.

Friday was also a Professional Identity II day. from 1:00 to 2:00pm.
before class, back at the house, the PSE made me blueberry pancakes.
back at school, i reported to a room that the syllabus designated and found half of the class of First Years assembled.
the other half had gone the week previous.
all the seats in the back of the room were taken like the Professor stunk so i took a seat up front and made polite chit-chat with a girl in the row behind me for a minute until the Professor started the show.
Professional Identity II, you may recall, is a bullshit 0.5 credit class that meets six time a semester for an hour.
the whole class is a joke and an imposition and nobody takes it seriously, but our Professor doesn't quite get that and he acts like what he's wasting our time with is Really Really Important.
half way through the class he stopped to passive-aggressively reprimand some kid for playing on their computer while he was talking.
the whole thing was awkward and uncomfortable.

the subject for Friday's waste of time was Empathetic Listening.
for fifty minutes the Professor went on about the difference between what most of us do when other people are talking, which is waiting to talk ourselves, to “empathetic listening” which is where we are actually supposed to give a shit about what the other person is saying.
instead of jumping in with related anecdotes about our own lives or giving counsel, or trying to solve problems, we are supposed to just listen to what the other person is trying to say.
that's asking a lot.
i mean, i get it that other people love to talk about themselves and if you can give them a space to do that, they will like you more, but, like everybody else, i love talking about myself, too.
what the fuck do you think i've been dong with y'all for these past thirteen years?
but the Professor is right, of course, making people feel like they're being heard is an important skill to have.
he told us to practice saying “you are feeling [emotion] about [fact]” whenever other people are talking at us.
i've been doing that shit when i talk on the phone to Anthony or Melissa or whichever of my idiot friends, but that just means i'm not really paying them any mind, i'm just letting them make noises while i do something else.
but, if this is what my Law School professor wants me to do then sure, okay, tell me more about that...
i see that you are having emotions.
facts can be hard!

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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