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.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

A Socratic Dialogue In Support of the Socratic Method

The clock on the wall says 4:52, so it's time to start. Jeremy, can you tell me what the Socratic Method is?

Uh, is passing allowed?


Okay. Well, in theory, it's some sort of back-and-forth dialogue that Socrates wrote about, where the teacher's questions guide the students to an answer in some profound and metaphysical way. In practice, it basically just means professors call on you to answer questions, as opposed to the opposite end of the spectrum, "volunteers only."

That's basically right, although a little wordy. And what do you think of the Socratic Method?

Still me?

Am I looking at anyone else?

I suppose not.

I suppose not. Yeah. Stop stalling.

Sorry. I think the Socratic method certainly keeps students on their toes.

Toes like on your feet?


Just want you to clarify your point.

It keeps students awake, and alert. It makes sure students have done the reading.

Did you do the reading?

Of course.

Are you lying to me?

Yes. I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

I know. Because if it does, I'll make your life miserable by calling on you every single day.

I appreciate that. Fear is motivating.

I know. What else is motivating?


Good answer. That's right on point. Nice job. Now tell me what case the one you read for today reminds you of?

You mean you want me to read your mind.


Then I'll have to go with Marbury v. Madison, the most famous case in all of Constitutional Law.

This is Evidence.

I know.

Do you really?

I guess not.

Should I call on someone else?

Please do.