Tag Archives: susannah pollvogt

Some Thoughts on Teaching Techniques – Precise Writing Exercise

Bad teacher.

Bad teacher.

By way of disclaimer: I am by all measures a novice teacher, having started my career at DU Law in the summer of 2007.  In some ways, though, this may be an advantage in terms of learning about new teaching techniques, because in my inexperience I am very open to new ideas.

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Questioning Authority

blog squirrel

(The above image correlates, in the logic of a Google search, at least, with the concept of questioning authority.  I leave it to you to draw your own connections.)

The focus of today’s post is not “questioning authority” in the sense of confronting government officials or performing acts of civil disobedience.  Rather, I continue to question the role of authority in teaching, and, in particular, in law school teaching.

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What Students Can Do to Help Themselves; What Professors Can Do to Help Their Students

stress 7

stress 3

stress 8

stress 9

“Stress” = primarily images of white men and women in office settings clutching their brains. Ultimately, the head explodes.

Today I want to spend more time discussing the insights from Prof. Larry Krieger’s booklet, “The Hidden Sources of Law School Stress.”  It is an incredibly helpful resource in the battle to manage and reduce our overall levels of stress—primarily because it offers a different way of thinking about and analyzing the sources of stress in our education and career.  For this reason, I would argue that it is a good resource for law students and practicing lawyers alike.

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Labor Day Intermission: A Gallery of Horrible Corporate Art

This is a cute baby in a brief case.

This is a cute baby in a briefcase. He looks pretty happy.

I hope all of you are enjoying the long weekend, at some point taking the opportunity to do nothing at all.  As Proust would attest, there are certain truths that only occur to us in moments of repose.

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Community and Movement

Since beginning this project I never cease to be amazed at the breadth and diversity of the movement to humanize legal education and other related movements.  I think many of you would be very interested in “Cutting Edge Law” a blog/on-line magazine with the following mission:

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Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Toto Reveals the Man Behind the Curtain

Toto Reveals the Man Behind the Curtain

We have a lot to figure out.  Yesterday, a student dropped by my office and told me that she had come across this blog.  She then shared with me briefly how she and some of her peers had felt very uncomfortable and suddenly afraid to speak in their first-year classes because the comments and concerns that they had about the material were so different than what they were supposed to be thinking and talking about.

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Preview: What Faculty Members Can Do to Humanize Legal Education and Improve Law Student Performance

sapling

This blog is currently at the stage of identifying and defining the problem of why law students and lawyers do not thrive with respect to several indicia.  But before this all becomes too morose, I want to cut to the chase and preview some of the very exciting and encouraging research that has been done on potential solutions to this problem.

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From the Comments: A “Free to Be You and Me” Law School?

feminist now what

I am re-posting a comment on the Proust entry to the main body of the blog because it raises a very important issue, and may spark quite a bit of conversation.  shg’s comment really goes to the heart of the concern about the movement to humanize legal education, and is an important issue for proponents of the movement to respond to, in my view.

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Proust’s Nightmare (Mertz’s Proposition 3)

Proust 1

“In my most desperate moments, I have never conceived of anything more horrible than a law office.”

Marcel Proust, quoted by Alain de Botton in How Proust Can Change Your Life at 12.

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Forests, Trees, and Thoughts on the Case Method (Mertz’s Proposition 2)

scary forest

Previously, we learned about the overarching premise of Mertz’s 7 Propositions: that premise being that law school teaches students a way of knowing (an epistemology) by teaching students a common language that structures their view of the world, the people in it, and human conflict. On another level, legal language (what we read and how we learn to speak) structures the pursuit of the “right” answer, that is, the truth.

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