Law in Contemporary Society
Bait and Switch

Topic based on Molissa’s comment on Professor Moglen’s discussion of Theo’s health care post.

We were told on day one that 95% of Professor Moglen’s former students are “miserable.” When we thereafter discussed happiness, we were told that happiness was not the topic.

When asked why we don’t speak in class we discussed fear of being berated, fear of being wrong, fear of being embarrassed. But this class is the only one I have had all year where the professor berates the students.

We were told that many of us will be disappointed if we simply pander to our professor’s politics. Then those who write posts challenging those politics are lambasted. We are then told that we are mindlessly responding to the red flag that was waved before us (note the metaphor – we are the bull, under the command of the matador, whose ultimate goal is a knife in the back of the bull’s neck).

We are told that exams are stupid and that we can and should challenge the grading curve, and then that “The more stuff like this you write the lower your grade is going to get.”

We are told to question the traditional signposts of success, then regaled with stories of clerking at the Supreme Court and working at Cravath.

What is going on here?

-- AndrewCase - 04 Mar 2009

I've been the subject of a lot of criticism from Professor Moglen, second only to Theo. I'm personally not bothered by it. His criticism has challenged me to better articulate my positions. I grew weary hearing other professors talk about how bright we are and how successful we will be. So I appreciate the reality check that we sometimes get. That said, I think it's better to see what we can do with an idea rather than to immediately discount it.

-- JonathanGuerra - 04 Mar 2009

With all due respect, my question was not "is Jonathan personally bothered by it" but "What is going on here?" That is, I have faith that there is a reason for the bait and switch (unlike user comments about how people merely "vomit" onto the wiki). I am just not sure what it is. The question is not rhetorical.

-- AndrewCase -

I was responding to your general comment about students being berated by simply adding that as someone who has been "berated" I don't take it personally. Nevertheless, I do think Professor Moglen can discount some student comments on the wiki and in class far too quickly.

I take full ownership of the vomit comment.

-- JonathanGuerra - 05 Mar 2009

The more emotional a topic becomes, the more interesting it becomes also. You learn about a topic more intensely, you learn about people, you learn about yourself. For all the contrast, conflict creates creativity. I have learned a lot about various healthcare models and have thought about it more than before; resulting in my revising a post which was originally sub par.

I think Professor Moglen likes to stir things up and make you rethink your basic assumptions. As do I, which has contributed to a positive feedback loop.

As to 'what's going on'... I do not know. Every person has a different teaching style.

-- TheodorBruening - 05 Mar 2009


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r7 - 07 Jan 2010 - 21:36:00 - IanSullivan
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