Sunday, July 17, 2011

That's My Number

October 27, 2006

Number 920-C. I am in the process of changing my ID name on to this number. Since this next blog entry (and, I imagine, future entries) will consist, in part, of character assassinations of my classmates, I thought this would be wise. Law school, as you may have heard, is very competitive. All grades are assigned on a curve, and employers look at your class rank and the ranking of your school, not your GPA, to assess your aptitude. So a student in the lowest 25% of the class at Harvard has an equal or better chance of getting a high paying and/or prestigious job than someone in the top 25% at, say, GWU. And, at GWU, the curve is set so that the median grade in the class is a B+. So, unlike high school or undergrad, I can't just feel content to cruise through with a 3.5 GPA, as that would put me squarely in the middle of my class -- i.e., make me average. And although I don't like to think of myself as a particularly competitive person, I did not leave my life in Texas, move across the country and sink $120,000 into law school to be an average student.

We've only gotten a few grades back so far, the one being the grade on our first memo. I didn't do so well... a B-/C+. Our second memo is due a week from Monday, and I am desperately afraid I'll get another low grade. For the memo writing class, the grade itself isn't a big deal, because the class is pass/fail, and I've been told no one fails unless they just don't do the assignments. But it galls me to no end to be told that I am a worse writer than my classmates, half of whom seem to have no introspection or creativity whatsoever. Or, maybe I'm just jealous of them. Ugh. The idea that I am jealous of some of these folks makes me feel pathetic.

Today we got our grades back on the one midterm exam. I got a B+/A-, only marginally better than the majority of people in my class. In that class, though, the grade is not a pride thing so much as a practical matter. Being in the top 35% of your class is considered prime for jobs, although I think being in the top half is what really matters. At least, that's what I will tell myself from now on. Or wait, maybe my Dad can get me a job with one of his judge friends! THAT'S what I will tell myself from now on! Yikes. That makes me feel even more pathetic.

Tonight there is a law school party, and we get 5 free drinks with our admission. Yes, this is what I am looking forward to today, getting drunk with my abominable classmates. Now that is incredibly pathetic.

After the midterm was handed back, I stayed in the classroom with one other student reviewing the exam. I wondered why only he and I were left -- were we the biggest nerds or what? Our professor had told us that test grades ranged from 10 to 80, with the median being a 43. (So the median is a B+, and I got a 47, which is why I say I got a B+/A-.) The other student started talking to me and then revealed that he had gotten the 10. "This is really bad," he said, looking down at his test and, I feared, holding back tears. I instantly felt a little better about my grade, and then, felt the most pathetic of all.

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