Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Over Affirmed

Some of you may remember the child rearing fad of a few years ago. In involved reinforcing feelings. So, little Tommy could pull the wings off a butterfly and the proper parental response was "Oh, Tommy, you pulled the wings off a butterfly. I bet that butterfly made you really angry. Now you feel better don't you?" Or little Tommy brought a home a math test - simple addition -- and got 2 of 20 right. The teacher's comment: "Tommy is a very imaginative mathematician. I predict he will be a physicist."

Now we have it going on with Law School faculty. Everything is great. Everyone is congratulated no matter how lousy the job done. Just like little Tommy who is a terror in day care -- where he is deposited daily -- faculty begin to think they can do no wrong.

Had a lousy class? Not your fault, they were not prepared.
Writer's block? Not your fault, it's the undue pressure you must deal with.
Not making up missed classes? What can they expect? You are only human.
Hogging a book that the library recalled three months ago? Hey, you may need that book some day.
Need a reduced teaching load? Of course you do!! You have not found any butterflies to torture lately.

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