Friday, April 10, 2009

The Smartest Kids In Class

A recent comment mentioned those of our fellow students who "thought they were the smartest kid in the class." Like in grammar school and high school. Well I saw lots of them get the truth handed to them hard at law school.

We were a new class of 325 students at Pepperdine in Malibu. It's hard to get into a good law school in America, so we were all pretty qualified. Mostly recent college grads who had always been "one of the smart kids," lots of high academic indexes, a bunch of overachievers. I could see it coming.

I figured that if everyone answered truthfully, three-quarters of these kids would tell me that they expected to be in the top-ten-percent of the class. That's who gets the best jobs after law school.

We took no tests until the end of the semester, the final was the entire grade, it's all or nothing in law school. The posting of the first semester grades put lots of my classmates into shock. Before then there had been lots of hand raising, lots of shooting off of the mouth in class. After the grades, things quieted down. Discovering that a lot of the rest of us were pretty smart too put a lot of those kids in their places.


Anonymous said...

Fred, Well said. Still love reading a real smart guys blog! Go out and have a beer on me and send me the bill. Joe D.

fred c said...

Thanks, Joe! For reading, and for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm 10 years older than most of the stude[nt]s in my classes at SMC. I find they just need vocabulary lessons for the most part. I don't always pipe up right away if I know answers. For example, teach asked us what a "Maven" is[was] and got the crickets. She then asked if we considered ourselves "Mavens" and more crickets but I said "No". This happens almost daily. It's as if they are scared to death of showing any weakness.
I remember a classmate of yours from Pep saying you were his hero during those 3 years. He loved that you would challenge the profs when they got out any kind of soap box and attempted to hold court.

fred c said...

I guess that's true, but I was always polite. Like we had an old English murder case where a baby-sitter "murdered" a baby with an overdose of dilaudid. Everybody was going along with the verdict.

I gently pointed out to them that when I was a boy, and still around the world, people used paragoric to settle babies' stomachs and get them sleeping. Both are opiates, and an accidental overdose of either can send the baby across the river. Not so murderous after all, they had to agree.