Tuesday, February 09, 2010

At least at the zoo, the monkeys get a treat.

This is a basic summary of what happens in my Statutory Interpretation class, populated mostly by gunners, assholes, idiots, and me (on any given day, I am some combination of the 3):

Child Genius: So, like, the law is ambiguous. And that's like, weird or something. What should we do?
That Kid Who Is Making The Rest of Law Review Look Bad: Tautology! Philology! I brought a thesaurus!
One of Two Reasonable People in the Room: Yes, let's explore that...wait, what are you talking about?
That Kid: Oh. Well, I will read selections from the reading out loud to you, very slowly, and see if I can make a point that sticks. Ready? Can you see it now? I will use my 'lecturing the idiots' tone in case you think that I am maybe full of crap.
The other one of Two Reasonable People in the Room: Um, but what about this perfectly reasonable point that I will point out to you?
That Kid: Well. I didn't read the case that closely. But that seems wrong.

Child Genius: Guys. I just totally noticed something. It's like, some people say "vehicle" and they mean "truck," and some people mean "car" and so language is like, ambiguous. Weird.

Bleeding Heart Liberal: But think of the people without a voice! We can't trust judges! I am having a thought, so I will shout it! I am not concerned about connecting with what is going on in class! I love the sound of my own voice! I have a feeling! And also, we don't know what laws mean. Who decides what they mean? And how?
Cold Hearted Conservative: But they don't pay taxes! Also, no, we can't trust judges! Or voters! I have a feeling, too! I will shout about my feelings so that I cannot hear your feelings! Shouting is fun! My voice is neat! Let's call each other naive and hypocritical, and see who snaps first! The law! Yeah! Who decides what it all means?

That Kid's Idiot Twin Brother: I have no need of statutory interpretation. I am inherently right. Therefore, I shall repeat my ideas loudly, and use increasingly absurd hyperbole, in order to show how right I am. In the event that you do not see my rightness immediately, I will either stare intently at you until you get it, or repeat the inane thing I said very, very slowly, so that you can see my rightness. Then I shall make quizzical and bemused faces at you until, astounded and befuddled by my contortions, you give up and come to terms with my rightness.

Child Genius:
Holy Cow. Guys. I just heard. Language: it's like, ambiguous or something. I have an idea! Let's all sit around in a circle and talk about that. Because I think that somehow, somewhere, someone has not repeated this idea, and it is important that we repeat this over and over again, until its very, very clear. Unambiguous even.

Me: Holy mother of Wittgenstein, I hate all of you.

So yes, Mom, school is going great and I'm making lots of friends.


idwsj said...

Statutory interpretation is the universal language of beauty.

adele said...

And that, right there, is why I stick with big lecture classes, and avoid seminars like the plague.

Jansen said...

This is brilliant...and exactly like my 100-person Family Law class. :(

Julie Anne said...

sweet rhesus. it's like you were sitting in my criminal law class last friday.

Eliza said...

Good god, you just described perfectly my Legislation class. "That Kid" has been reading from anything s/he can get their hands on since day one. I swear I am about to start a fist fight in that class, well, when I pay attention and realize what people are saying. And if any of the ones still speaking to me asks me about points from class AFTER class again, I can't be responsible for my actions. How many times do I have to say "3L (pointing at myself)...don't care."

ImNobody said...

Ugh! Mine do that, too. Outside class is not "talk about your feelings" time, kids. Stop it. Or at least, stop telling me about it.

Googie Baba said...

I hate statutes. Actually, I hate statues too.

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson