Tumblr: When I Teach Law School

Some of my students have “friended” me on Facebook. I routinely accept, though I never initiate, these requests. Being “friends” with my students has several upsides.  For instance, I hope that my constant monitoring of their posts will give me a 30-second head start if they ever join forces to attack me.

Recently, I’ve noticed that many of these students have been posting links to the “When In Law School” Tumblr site. For those of you who haven’t seen it, this site consists of a series of first-person prompts that all relate to law school (such as “When a professor calls on me and I have to ‘pass’ “), accompanied by links to short movie or TV-show clips that depict characters engaging in suitably wacky or melodramatic behavior, looped so that they play again and again and again. For example, with the “pass” prompt, the first clip (bearing the caption “as a 1L”) shows a distraught individual serving himself up to a sword, while the second clip (captioned “as a 3L”) depicts Kristen Wiig, wearing what appears to be a princess outfit, waving off a question with a smug “whatever.”

I have no quarrel with these clips; I was a law student, too, and let’s just say that I played my fair share of minesweeper back in the day. (All together now: “I played my fair share of minesweeper back in the day.” h/t “Airplane.”) But I feel that in depicting only scenes from law-student life, the Tumblr site offers but half of the full picture. What about professors? Don’t our thoughts and hopes count?

Well, no, probably not. Regardless, I suggest that someone create a new Tumblr site, built around the theme “When I Teach Law School.” Unfortunately, I don’t know how to create a Tumblr page. So, let me merely propose the following prompts, and associated linked-to YouTube clips, for such a site. SUPER-IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I do not, and would never, ever, in a million years endorse any of the sentiments below. At all. At least until I get tenure. For now, they are just presented to illustrate what a When I Teach Law School Tumblr site could include:

1. How I feel on the first day of each semester

2. How I feel on the next to last day of each semester

2. How I feel on the last day of each semester

3. What I want to do when a student tries to “pass” (let me emphasize, not really; at least if they at least act a little guilty about “passing”)

4. What I do when I see a student on Facebook during class

5. What I want to say during faculty meetings (again, let me stress, not really)

6. How I feel when I see my course enrollments

7. How I feel when I think of a new article idea

8. How I feel when I am halfway through writing the article

9. How I feel when I  finally send the article out to journals

10. What I think my Socratic dialogues with students sound like

11. What the logical flow of these Socratic dialogues more closely resembles

12. What I think my tenure review will look like

13. What more senior faculty members think my tenure review will look like


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