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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sinking A Forty Foot Putt on the 18th Green

As golfers know, it's what keeps you coming back, despite all the frustration on the first seventeen and four-fifths holes.  I was going to jump in with a no doubt useless insight on the "laptops in the classroom" debate, but instead I read this from Belle Lettre, and thought "encountering students like this  is the equivalent of the long putt in my teaching experience."  And written by someone less than half my age.  I wish I had been that wise.

But if the goal of being a professor is to teach and to impart knowledge and to guide the students through the process of learning, then there is much greater responsibility--even more responsibility than your students have--to be good, because in the being good, there is the doing of good. That good being, of course, the education of young minds and the profoundly transformative effect knowledge has on the young. Once you know something, you can never go back to your state of ignorance. And young people are really ignorant. I know this, because I am a young person. I have learned so much from my professors, and not merely blackletter law (actually, what is that?) I have learned legal history, philosophy, ethics, and once in a while, humor. Law professors have the enviable ability to teach facts, impart wisdom, and inspire their students (by example and oratory) to do "right." And that is the greatest good.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on August 5, 2006 at 06:18 AM in Culture, Life of Law Schools, Lipshaw, Teaching Law | Permalink


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