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.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Bad Exam Technique Demonstration #743

On the one hand, professors like to see you argue both sides of the issue.
On the other hand, they want you to take one position and advocate passionately for it.

On the one hand, the Constitution guarantees a right to free speech.
On the other hand, who the heck said we have to listen to the Constitution? I mean, it's circular reasoning. The Constitution says it's so powerful. But if I call myself King, it doesn't make me King, just like that. Or does it?

On the one hand, I could write a cogent 4-page answer to the question you're asking on the exam, carefully examining the difference between rules and standards.
On the other hand, it's a multiple-choice question, so maybe you don't want a 4-page answer.

On the one hand, I could answer in English.
On the other hand, we've been independent from England for over two hundred years, so why are we still slaves to their language? They have imprisoned us. Without giving us substantive due process. And also violating Rule 76. I don't even know if there is a Rule 76. Or where these rules came from.

On the one hand, I could write my exam legibly.
On the other hand, I could do what you do on the chalkboard and just scrawl some arbitrary symbols and pretend it says something important and profound. That's also how you grade the exams, isn't it? ISN'T IT? ANSWER ME, YOU HEATHEN!

On the one hand, I could cite to the cases we studied in the course.
On the other hand, everyone else is going to do that, and you're probably eager for something different. So what if I cited to some stuff I'm making up? Hopscotch v. City of Turkmenistan, 23 F.4d 781. I made that up. But it looks real, doesn't it? Doesn't it? Oh, wait, someone once told me not use contractions when writing things for class. It looks real, does not it? Does not it? Does not? It?

On the one hand, I could hand the exam in on time.
On the other hand, is it even worth it? I mean, I didn't do any of the reading or ever show up to class. Oh wait, exams are anonymous. So I probably shouldn't say that. Ignore me. Did I get to the word count yet? Six more words? Done. Done. Done.