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Two Sides of the Coin: Class Conduct

Jonathon Austin (2L)

 If I’m 30 minutes late for class, do I still attend?

If you were 30 minutes late to court would you still show up? Absolutely not. Judges love self-represented litigants and hate being interrupted. Same rules apply for class. Unless you have found a cure for cancer or are coming from tea with the Queen, there is simply no satisfactory reason for attending class 30 minutes late. Being punctual for class is one of the few legitimate responsibilities you have as a 1L. Go pour yourself a stiff drink and sulk in some secluded corner of the Law Centre. You have failed miserably.

 

How much time should I be spending online in class?

Between downloading your notes from TWEN, googling unjust enrichment, creeping your upper year crush on Facebook and satisfying your cat video fetish…. a lot, your time in the classroom should be divided into four intervals of 30 seconds that look something like this:

  • 30 seconds of vigorous nodding (actual understanding of material is optional);
  • 30 seconds of furious typing (be sure to slam you final keystroke for dramatic flourish, belt out “huzzah” if it tickles your fancy);
  • 30 seconds of web surfing; and
  • 30 seconds of sipping a themed drink that perfectly complements your web surfing. For example – two or five fingers of scotch to go along with “Don Draper’s best scenes from Mad Men.”

 And repeat.

 

The person in front of me is on Facebook. They’re looking at an interesting article, which I would like to read. Do I message them and ask them to send it to me?

If you do, you should ask for your dignity back as well. Scanning the class for interesting web-related material should always be done surreptitiously. An outright request for a link (however interesting the article) could be misconstrued as lame flirting, generally creepy or a signal that you might end up being the person who sneaks a glance at everyone’s EXAM4 screens during exam period while pretending to stretch and yawn. None of these potential interpretations serve to enhance your reputation. Instead, troll that individual by sending them the exact same article. They’ll think you have great taste and when they say, “That’s so weird I was just looking at that!” – channel your inner Hannibal Lecter and grin creepily.

 

The prof has asked a question that no one is responding to. I’m not sure I know the answer. Do I raise my hand?

Yes. Your classmates are bound to respond positively to your foolhardy confidence. Be sure to mention the standard of care and pound the desk in front of you when delivering your response. Feel free to stand up and gesticulate as though your life depended on it. You will soon be revered.

 

 

Danni Chu (2L)

If I’m 30 minutes late for class, do I still attend?

Of course you go. First of all, you pay for each class, and each minute you don’t go, it’s money down the drain. And for what? Because you are “too shy” and don’t want the 3 seconds of a few classmate’s mild attention when people hear the door open? No! You paid for that class; it’s your class, it’s your time, you own that. Secondly, you might as well go listen to what the prof has to say for the last 30 minutes. Do people stop taking notes at the 30 minute mark? No. The prof continues to have important things to say right up until the end. Sometimes the second half is more important anyway because he’s done introducing the topic in the first half of the class. So yes, absolutely go to class even if you’re 30 minutes late. Oh and don’t even get me started on if you’re 30 minutes late to a 3 hour class. In that case, you’re not even late. Always go to class.

 

How much time should I be spending online in class?

Simple answer: my wifi never works in the classrooms. And it’s for the best. You can go on Facebook, read that Gawker article, or watch that cat video any other time of the day. Why bother dragging your ass to class just to waste it while you’re there? Don’t go online, and anyone who says otherwise is someone you should look down on. They won’t notice anyway, they’ll be too busy figuring out what flavour lemonade they are according to Buzzfeed.

 

The person in front of me is on Facebook. They’re looking at an interesting article, which I would like to read. Do I message them and ask them to send it to me?

OK, so there is a downside to not having wifi… I don’t get to go online and read the sweet articles. So there’s been a whole bunch of times where someone in front of me is looking at a really cool post, like say babies being put into hilarious poses, and I would just really want to take part. Well, I’m friends with people in my class, and if my friend were looking at something cool outside of class I would ask them to send it to me, so why not in class? It’s a nice bonding experience too, and now you have a mutual conversation topic for after. Best friends here you come!

 

The prof has asked a question that no one is responding to. I’m not sure I know the answer. Do I raise my hand?

God no. Stay silent. Stay silent for your life. Pretend to look busy, furiously take notes, avoid eye contact at all costs, don’t even breath, anything to not get roped into that situation. It’s always a trap when that happens. You’ll answer the question, the prof will smell your weakness and you will be torn apart. Sink into your chair and let someone else handle it, or wait until the prof gets fed up with everyone’s stupidity. Trust me, it’s the only way out.