Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I think I was born too late. Surely in the bad old days at HLS they didn’t have these eight hour take homes, did they? You had to go into a classroom, sit down with a bluebook for a couple of hours, and write as fast as you could manage about whatever tricky trapdoor filled issue spotter the professor’s deviousness could produce. None of this extra time or (gulp) policy question nonsense.

I’m just bitter, because my work product is subject to serious diminishing returns over time. I can crank out tons of mostly coherent legal analysis in the three hours of an in-class exam, but give me all day and I end up typing out my answers in the first four or five hours and then spending the rest of the afternoon staring at them and wondering how to polish them up. There is too little time for me to gain sufficient mental distance from my writing such that they are dramatically improved, and meanwhile the slow and steady thoughtful types are plugging away in the next carrel, writing better answers than mine. I consistently get lower grades in classes with take home exams. It’s a real pain.

The only thing worse than the eight hour take home is the any day eight hour take home, because then you get all the drawn out agony with bonus procrastination opportunities and the knowledge that your classmates could be cheating. Ugh.
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