I’ve never been much for studying. I think it comes from being naturally brilliant (ha). In grade school, high school, university… I never paid much attention to homework or assignments, and by the time I reached grad school, had stopped going to class entirely. Why bother? I already knew all the stuff, I didn’t need to study. Maybe in a math or science class, I would pull one all-nighter before the exam (and promptly forget it as soon as it was over) but I never did much more than that.

In law school, people spend hours every day reading assignments, re-reading notes, meeting classmates for study groups, reading treatises or Emanuel’s, and outlining, outlining, outlining.

I have to confess here. I’ve never met with a study group. I probably read no more than a handful of assignments every semester. And (perhaps worst of all) I have never once created my own outline. In exams, I’ve used outlines others have created and done well enough, but I could probably blow law school out of the water if I would just “apply myself” more.

That’s always been a problem for me. Sometimes I hope that I have exceptionally smart kids, because so many more avenues are open to those who are… well, I guess those who have the capacity to learn quickly. Other times I hope my kids are average. Mediocre isn’t necessarily a bad word (though it is in law school). Friends of mine who don’t have super natural book-learning abilities have more of a work ethic than I or my siblings ever did. I learned that I could get A’s by coasting, and now it’s costing me. Maybe I hope that my kids will learn that hard work, not brains, is what gets one ahead in life.

Enough about my imaginary kids.

Summer exam season is coming up. So far this semester, I’ve read more assignments than I usually do, so I’m ahead (of my usual) there but I haven’t even begun to organize my notes. I think I may try to outline, but never having really studied before, I don’t know how.

Like I said, without all of this, I do well enough… but I’d rather do great.

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