Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Okay, I started this yesterday and didn't get very far. Sorry 'bout that. Day 1 pasted from yesterday; everything else is brand spankin' new.

The 13-day Exam Survivor Challenge, as truncated from the 39-Day challenge I promised but quickly realized I can't actually deliver without this turning painful to read

DAY 1: They blindfold the class and take us on a boat, with just the clothes on our back (and our laptops with wireless Internet). We sail to a remote outpost of Madagascar and disembark, where we are faced with an instant elimination challenge. 10 multiple choice questions about the federal rules of evidence. The bottom 10% get C's and are fed to the piranhas. The rest of us are given some tools and told to build a big teepee. This will be our home for the next 38 days, or until we are eliminated.

DAY 2: Everyone's a little on edge; no one knows what's coming next. Three students are off in the corner, huddled around a Constitutional Law outline. Four others are in the water fishing for dinner. One student paces around camp muttering to himself about the rules of jurisdiction. As the sun begins to set, we're told to put our books down and get ready for a reward challenge. First person to list one hundred Supreme Court justices wins a copy of Gilbert's Administrative Law outline. I lose.

DAY 3: We're told that there's an elimination exam this evening, but before we get there, we'll have to survive the dreaded "day of distractions." First, we're tempted with delicious food that has only one catch: it's spiked with a laxative. The more you eat, the more "distracted" you'll be for the rest of the day studying and on into the exam. For those not tempted by the food, our wireless Internet ports are activated, and scantily-clad law-school-dropouts-turned-models are brought onto the island to woo us away for a day on the beach. The exam is all about the German constitution. Everyone fails anyway. The lowest 5 scores are fed to a wolf.

DAY 4: Vacation. We get to watch the natives conduct their Supreme Court session. Some find this interesting. The rest of us sleep.

DAY 5: Punishment. Forced to watch the new Tracy Morgan sitcom. Over and over again. Three students drown themselves. Three others poke out their eyes with shells. Disqualified.

DAY 6: Another exam, which is welcomed after 24 hours of unnecessary laugh track. It's sad that sitcoms need laugh tracks. If it was really funny, we'd know when to laugh. Bottom 15% get a B- and are dropped from an airplane without a parachute. Some of the less morally upright among us eat our fallen comrades. The rest of us eat fish. Again.

DAY 7: Reward challenge. Anyone who can prove that he or she actually did all of the reading for the semester, carefully and without skipping any cases, gets an automatic A and gets to go home. No one leaves.

DAY 8: An obstacle course. Leap over stacks of casebooks. Casebooks are too thick. Most people lose.

DAY 9: Long and complicated issue spotter, acted out for us by local animals. The monkey gets into an accident with the bird. The bird suffers beak damage. The monkey's attorney (a giraffe) attempts to link the bird's injury not to the accident with the monkey but to the inordinate amount of fast food crumbs the bird has been eating lately, trash from the local McDonalds. 4000-word essay on why birds shouldn't really eat Chicken McNuggets, from an ethical standpoint. Bottom third get B's and are forced to be the new white meat inside the McNuggets.

DAY 10: They fly a member of each remaining student's family to the island to see how Grandma Ethel would do on the ELSAT (ELderly Scholastic Aptitude Test). Through a complex set of rules, a third of the remaining contestants (and their grandmothers) are eliminated and get a B+ in the class. They are forced to walk the plank into a tub of egg nog. I don't know why egg nog. It just seems like a relatively unpleasant liquid to have to swim in.

DAY 11: Only a few students are left. They spend the day navigating a complex issue spotter. At the end of the day, exhausted, they are told that their answers were lost and they have to start over. It takes them each until the wee hours of the morning to finish. The bottom half receive an A- and get pecked to death by man-eating birds.

DAY 12: The remaining contestants take a walk around the campsite to remember their fallen comrades. We see clips of the students that once were, and hear excerpts from their terrible exam answers. They are visited by Justice Souter, who tells them to hang in there one more day. They sleep, wondering what will become of them on their final day on the island.

DAY 13: They wake up and are led to an arena where the locals are enjoying a bullfight. They watch contestant after contestant get mauled, sure that this is soon to be their fate as well. Finally, one bullfighter does not die, but is merely maimed. The students are then told their challenge: oral arguments. The most convincing defense will win an A+ and a shot to return next month for the Supreme Court Clerkship Challenge. The rest will get an A in the class, and receive a free set of study guides as a delightful parting gift. There is a winner. The Exam Survivor Challenge comes to an end.

See? Better than traditional finals, yes?