Sunday, May 07, 2006

Elsewhere and Here in the Blawgosphere

My Blogfather*, Ann Bartow of Feminist Law Profs, has kindly invited me to guestblog over at FLP. She doesn't know what she's getting into. Neither do I, actually. I have a tendency to get personal when I talk about feminism--much the way I get personal when I discuss issues of race and class. So it will be an experiment, writing about feminism and gender issues of from a legal, and personal perspective. The posts are likely to be more impassioned, and hopefully of interest. For sure they'll be more interesting than my "I just baked a cake and administered a baby Tylenol suppository today" essays in exasperation over being a domestic academic. I'll cross-post them here as soon as they're posted over there. And of course, I'll post on other things. I'm thinking of starting book reviews, but the way Edmund Wilson did them (essays more than verdicts) or to some the way James Agee did movie reviews (to "You Were Meant For Me", he wrote "That's what you think.")

But if you want to read something of substance, Prawfsblawg is particularly good this weekend. It is a particularly good blog, and so it just goes without saying. Definitely check out the following posts:

The comment thread to this question posed by Rick Garnett:

"Do law students know (or believe) that we lawprofs mean for the exam to be a rewarding educational experience?"

Personally, I hate the one-shot final system, but I understand why it is so (less work for profs, since they are the sole graders of up to 150 exams, and law school is just plain evil). I do so much better in 8 hour or 24 hour take home exams, and do phenomenal when there's a paper requirement. Some people learn differently, and the rigid structure (not to mention bad pedagogy) of first year exams is something I will never like. I am not a fan of Eminem, but I remember that when the Oscar-winning song "Lose Yourself" from "8 Mile" came out, the lyric "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/ This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo" touched a nerve among many of my friends. And these lyrics pretty much describe how a law school race-horse exam goes:

He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's chokin, how everybody's jokin now
The clock's run out, time's up over, wow!
Snap back to reality,
Oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that
Easy, no

Ah, memories of law school.

And speaking of memories, Gowri Ramachadran has the following musings about her own law school experience in the Northeast compared to her teaching experience in the South concerning classroom discussions of racism and antidiscrimination law:

Teaching here at FSU, where many of the students are also from the South, I felt the class discussion in Antidiscrimination Law was a little different than what I saw as a student in the Northeast, in a way that I really liked. Perhaps I just got lucky, or perhaps things always seem better from the perspective of the teacher, but I felt that the students were more sensitive to each other down here when discussing racism. Most law students know that subjects like rape must be dealt with sensitively in class discussion, but the fact that racism has caused many students a great deal of pain is sometimes forgotten. I didn't feel it was ever forgotten here. Conservative and liberal students alike seemed very thoughtful when discussing race, and very willing to really listen to and learn from each other.

Very interesting, do check both posts out!

*I could have called Ann the more gender-appropriate "My Fairy Blogmother," but I hate the way that sounds. Also, I have never subscribed to the view that certain terms are required to be gender specific. While the English major in me hates "womyn" and "humyn" as challenges to patriachy (you kidding me? This is the fight I should be fighting?), I do take liberty in referring to male and female friend alike as "man," "dude" or "homie." When addressing a group of male and female friends congregated in one place, I often use the catch-all greeting "Hey Homies." So I take the same liberty, freeing myself and Ann of silly gender conventions, and call her my Blogfather. She has done me the favor of being a friend of this blog from its earliest days, i.e. four months ago. She has done me many such favors, commenting on and linking to my site. And when she first did this service to my blog, she put it this way:

Someday - and that day may never come - I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as gift on my daughter's wedding day.

The day has come. I will perform my service, Blogfather.


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