Usually, it’s law professors who spend time bitching about students using Facebook and Gchatting in class. Boring, old, can’t hold an audience unless it’s captive, law professors. For the most part, I let those professorial concerns go in one ear and out the other. You’re making six figures as a law professor and you have to teach a couple of times a week. If your lecture isn’t more interesting than Minecraft, it’s your own damn fault. If you try, they will listen.
Yesterday we got something that we don’t see a lot: a letter from a law student complaining about the way her classmates use Facebook and Gchat. Yeah, apparently there is some law school out there that forces students to look at other students’ Facebook pages during class. Can you believe it… oh, wait; I’m getting new information over the wire that suggests the complaining student is just an incredible busybody who thinks she’s been elected police commissioner of other people’s in-class behavior.
Let’s delve into the mind of a person who wants to be the boss of you….
Let me set the stage for you: I’m sitting in the basement of my duplex, surrounded by antibiotics, pizza, and most likely invisible mold spores, trying to dream up the next thing I’m going to say that will momentarily distract people from class or their work. I scan a letter in my inbox which appears to be from a reader complaining about people using the internet in class. I assume she’s blaming me for it, so I crack my knuckles as I start to calculate how much time I want to spend schooling this person on my business, until I realize that she’s just angry at the kids in her class who spend class time on social media. I re-scan the email looking for signs that crazy 50-year-old law students are emailing me, only to find that the girl appears to be only a few years removed from college. Left with no other way to explain what I’m seeing, I finally commit to reading her argument.
Law school nowadays (things might not have been this bad ten years ago) is full of 22 and 23 year old immature little kids, many of whom have never had a real job in their lives and have no idea why they chose to go to law school except, “the job market sucks” or “I majored in English.”
The entire day is spent gmail chatting and scrolling up and down their facebook feeds and online shopping. What is this, middle school? I mean seriously, you people are spending huge sums of money (or maybe you’re not, maybe mommy and daddy are paying to send you to law school) so that you can chat to your little friends?
A few thoughts, in no particular order:
* Did you really not know there’d be a lot of 23-year-old kids in law school?
* Did you really not know there’d be a lot of people who have no idea why they went to law school?
* Did you really not know there’d be a lot of internet surfing in a modern classroom?
* Did you really not know there’d be a lot of people who have the ability to pay attention to what’s important and disregard the rest?
I guess, to summarize my thoughts, I don’t think the author of this email knew a lot about law school before she matriculated to one.
Moving on, I don’t even know how to describe the next two paragraphs:
Why do you come to class little Asian girl in the front row who literally checked facebook 14 times (yes, I counted) today in Con Law 2 class? News flash: this is grad school and 99% of professors don’t take attendance! Why don’t you stay home and gmail chat or facebook feed scroll? Why are you even here? More to the point, why the f**k are you sitting in the front row? Are you so blissfully ignorant and unaware that there is a larger world that exists outside your MacBook Pro that could potentially not want to spend the entire hour watching you scroll through the J. Crew catalog online? Do you think some of us pay $40,000 a year and go into debt for the next 10 years so we can see what your friends posted in the last 4 minutes on facebook?
I totally appreciate that not all law professors are stimulating the entire hour or two hour long class. I totally understand that sometimes your dad is sick and went to the hospital and you need to email your sister to see if he’s feeling better. Emergencies happen. Boredom happens. But maybe you should reevaluate why you decided to go through the hell of LSATs, pay $40,000 a year for 3 years and sit through civil procedure and property. Or maybe you should stay home. Or at the very least, sit in the back row. Or maybe seek mental health care for your insane addiction to electronic devices and inability to pay attention to an actual human being for more than 2.3 minutes at a time.
WHY THE HELL ARE YOU LEERING OVER HER SHOULDER AT SOMEONE’S FACEBOOK PAGE? You’re “counting”? What the hell is wrong with you? You want to pay attention in class, then pay the f**k attention and mind your own business. Facebook isn’t loud. It doesn’t smell. It’s not offering you a smoke.
This girl feels butthurt when her classmates won’t pay attention to the professors, so how is she going to feel when a partner doesn’t pay attention to words coming out of her mouth? Does she think she can hold a partner’s attention for an entire 2.3 minutes before he starts checking his Blackberry, and/or start stabbing himself in the thigh with a bobby pin to try to stay awake?
And while we’re here, everybody with half a soul is sitting in Civil Procedure “reevaluating” why they bothered to go to law school. THAT’S WHY THEY’RE ON FACEBOOK! They’re sitting there trying to listen but it’s hard because their brain is screaming, “This is so boring. Dear God, this is boring. Holy crap, I think this is so boring my heart just fell asleep. How much time has passed? It’s got to be half over by now. OH MY GOD, it’s only been a minute. Okay, should I log onto Facebook or cut myself to see if I can still feel?”
If the author of this email is so titillated by her professors, then she’s free to go ahead and listen to them. Listen to these boring people who not-so-secretly hate teaching and are giving you some lecture they wrote in 1998.
But don’t confuse your need to be spoon-fed with the dedication of students who can get 95 percent of what they need from doing the reading. Put simply, even though I think that a bunch of kids in law school shouldn’t have gone to law school, I fail to see how Facebook has anything to do with it.
Maybe the author shouldn’t have gone to law school? Maybe she should have joined the police force and then applied for a job at law school snitching out in-class Facebook users? Maybe that should be plot of the 21 Jump Street remake?
If you like what you’ve read so far, the author has more thoughts not only on what law students should be doing, but who law schools should be admitting. Check out the next page to see her full rant.