Friday, November 25, 2005

Hooray! You taught us law! Woo-hoo!

I don’t understand the clapping.

Law school has this strange tradition where students applaud the professor at the end of the final class of the semester. Why? We’re applauding them because they taught us? Because we paid $34,000 for them to do their job? Because we don’t hate them? Because we learned something? Because they weren’t too tough on us when they called on us? Because they were tough on us when they called on us and as a result, we actually learned something? Because they were considerate and actually answered our stupid questions instead of yelling? Every time it happens the professor kind of looks down awkwardly and doesn’t show a reaction.

I guess if you’re a tenured professor in law school you have no way of knowing how much or how little students like you or whether they think you’re any good. So clapping is as good a method as any, right?

(At this law school we fill out evaluation forms, but they are poorly designed, given at the wrong time of the semester and totally useless. I guess you could also check the registrations for your class online and if you notice that your class has 95 empty seats but the other professor teaching the same subject has a full class, that should be a clue that you, the faculty member, are not well-liked.)

Then there’s the non-clap and what to make of it. No one applauded Professor Civ Pro II after our last class on Tuesday but I know it’s not because everyone hated her or thought she was a crappy teacher. I thought she was fine. I know some people thought she was terrific. Did people just forget? Was it because our class lacked that one type-A person who always starts the applause?

And if we’re going to clap when the prof is good, shouldn’t there be a better way (than not clapping) to assert that you didn’t like the professor or don’t think he deserved to be applauded? Booing is one option. Throwing things is another…

17 Comments:

At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that folks in Prof. Crim Law class clapped and smiled while doing it. Maybe it had something to so with the food and drink he provided. I so wanted to be there for that...

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tradition perhaps?

Why are you so hung up on how much you pay for school? It is in every 3rd post. Didn't you know this when you applied to school? Why such disdain for your profs? You seem to be disapointed in the law school experience.

Why so grumpy?

 
At 2:07 AM, Blogger Bricklayer said...

How dare you bring such trifling bourgeois consumerism into our law school? I bet you're one of those people that wear shorts to class instead of following the proper UM Law dress code.

Just clap like the rest of the accordian monkeys....don't you know our professors know what's best for us?

http://www.discourse.net/archives/2004/11/there_is_hope_for_us_all.html

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger some guy said...

What about this post or this blog implies that I have disdain for profs? I don't.

What about this post implies that I'm grumpy? I'm wondering about something I don't understand.

Why are you not hung up on how much you're paying for school?

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon #2 either has a scholarship, mommy and daddy footing the bill, and/or no concept of the value of money.

The clap is lame and embarassing. Prof. Evidence (not yours) looked repulsed and fled the room once it started.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Klio said...

I think 1L's clap because they're glad to have made it to the end of their first semester of law school with their internal organs still intact.

 
At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! Why applaud these profs? They are getting paid for their work. Why do we need to pat them on the back? I mean, you don't clap for people you pay good money to see in a play, right? Oh wait, you do... if the play is good... but you paid good money for those Broadway tickets! They should be clapping for you! I mean, 100 bucks to see some actors prance around on stage. And then youa re expected to clap. What a crock of crap!

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger some guy said...

I'm not sure, but I don't think law professors view themselves as entertainers.

 
At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you thank your doctor for doing a successful operation even though he was paid well to do the job? Do you say "thank you" to the plumber? Do you sometimes tip the garbage men even though you pay taxes/utilities?

What is wrong with saying "thank you?" Since most students won't do it in person, this is a way to do it en mass.

Just sit on your hands if you don't want to extend the thanks.

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger some guy said...

this is getting a little ridiculous. you are completely missing my point. yes, i say thank you to the plumber. sometimes if there are more than one person in my house when the plumber does his job we all thank him. but we do not applaud. the plumber is not entertaining us.

 
At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when someone receives an award, we applaud--are they entertaining us? When you graduate from law school, people will applaud, is this because they are entertained? Or is this because they are showing appreciation?

This is ridiculous, indeed.

 
At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahhhh and exam time is in the air...let's get ready to rumble!!!!!

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people who clap on the last day of class are the same people that clap when the pilot lands the plane after an ordinary flight.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's an appropriate way of saying "thanks," but maybe I'm just sappy like that. I think *good* professors work really hard and take a lot of care to learn the subject and impart it onto the rest of us. There are a lot of occasions where applause is used as a way of saying "thank you," though I can honestly say I've never clapped at the end of an ordinary flight.

Strange though, we didn't clap in admin or evidence today, but I think it was because the last class session (for both) was a review session and just sort-of fizzled out early.

 
At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I be these anons with so much time. LOL

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great post! Doctor and pilots are easily distinguishable from law profs! Come on, people! Which one makes your life misearble for 5 months?!

The person who starts the applause is brave! What if nobody claps!

 

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