Monday, December 10, 2007
Make Lemonade Out of Lemons
As students retreat to the recesses of libraries and cafes to prepare for exams, I imagine they find one of two things inter alia: they were either taught or not taught.
When students review a course they were taught, there is a sense of peace and accomplishment. Students tie threads together and connect dots that might have seemed disparate and abstract throughout the course of the year. While there is minor wrestling, for the most part it's a wholly pleasant and intellectual exercise because it makes sense. After all, it was taught.
When students review a course they were not taught, the experience is quite different. Students feel frustrated as they dig through and wrestle with material, trying to make sense of something that never made sense the day it was covered (not taught) in class.
I must say that while the latter process is not ideal, in a bizarre way it is encouraging. After students graduate and are practicing lawyers, they will not have someone to teach them, they will have to teach themselves. Lawyers are life-long students of the law. If students can digest and make sense of complex material, teaching themselves the material, it bodes well for their future. Students pay $30k a year for actual teaching (not self-teaching), true, but in a circumstance like this what else can they do? They are stuck. So, hopefully the best of them can make lemonade out of lemons.