Rohit's Realm - University of Chicago

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September 30, 2007

Why More Douchebaggery is Better (for Law Students)

The first week of law school has come and gone, and with it, the requisite amount of reading, (case) briefing, and of course, (binge) drinking. Having previously heard the absolute worst about law students in general, and those at Chicago Law in particular, I must say that I have been rather pleasantly surprised by the low levels of douchebaggery that most of my fellow classmates have hitherto demonstrated.

Ostensibly this is a good thing: in a world full of douchebags, and in a profession teeming with them, there is hardly a need for elite law schools to respond to this most severe of societal problems by producing even more pretentious, elitist, heartless, soulless, self-absorbed, self-entitled, self-loathing (and sometimes, self-destructive) assholes, potentially sporting the 10° hat tilt and one (or more!) popped collars. And yet, therein lies the problem: with the exception of the 10° hat tilt and popped collar(s), I have just described myself. Which brings me to my point: perhaps douchebaggery is not a product of a law school education, but a necessary (yet clearly not sufficient) quality for admission. And in that scenario, I would argue that more exposure to douchebaggery is actually better for augmenting one's career prospects. The remainder of this article will lay out why this might indeed be the case. [...]

November 14, 2007

Of Gunners and Douchebags

A couple months ago, I wrote a lengthy article that asserted, among other things, that (counterintuitively) more douchebags in one's law school class would likely augment one's career prospects. Though no one has yet challenged my primary assertion (shocking, right?), a couple anonymous law students did write in to argue that in law school, the proper name for individuals I termed douchebags is gunners, and that by adopting my own terminology, I was only confusing the issue.

Some—likely most—people might be inclined to dismiss this criticism as the purely semantic complaints of a couple particularly persnickety malcontents that seek to alleviate their manifest sexual frustrations through pedantic attacks; but, I am inclined to give my comrades the benefit of the doubt: first, precision in language is not to be discounted, especially given my future profession; and second, if we were to become upset at every sexually frustrated persnickety malcontent waving a wand of pedantism, we would likely have to eliminate the legal profession as a whole. In any case, there is no need in this instance to dwell on tangentials, for their assertion can be challenged on the merits; specifically, I would argue that rather than douchebag and gunner being synonymous, the former is, in fact, a specialized subset of the latter, with the primary distinguishing criterion being self-awareness. In other words, a douchebag is simply a gunner who knows he is one. [...]

April 26, 2008

Much Ado About Chicago Law's Classroom Internet Ban: A Faux-Empirical Study

It has been a month since Spring Quarter classes commenced at The Law School, and more importantly, since the policies outlined in the now infamous e-mail read 'round the world went into effect. Of course, here I refer to the e-mail from the Dean which informed us, much to our chagrin, that the beloved Internet which had once been provided in its full edu-network glory—for educational purposes only, of course—would no longer be available to us in the classroom.

Worse still, this was not a result of the so-called democratic process, where poor and starving law students, induced by promises of free food from sub-par establishments in the greater Hyde Park area arrive to do whatever it is they need to do to get said food, but instead, an onerous mandate from the administration. People had complained, they said. Learning would be enhanced, they told us. In the end, our experience will be better without classroom Internet, they assured us. Somewhere, a University of Chicago Nobel Laureate rolled over in his grave. Paternalism, the bane of libertarians, conservatives, and Federalist Society members near and far, had supposedly arrived at the once stalwart home of the free market economy. Oh, the irony.

May 14, 2008

The Day the Irony Died

When you lead your life adrift in a turbulent sea of mediocrity, loneliness, and despair, as I do, really all that there is to keep you waking up in the mornings and setting aside the metaphorical (if not actual) gun to your head is the bitter irony that accompanies a life devoid of meaning, purpose, or happiness. The day the irony disappears is the day the abyss consumes you, the day you hit absolute rock bottom. Today was such a day for me.

May 31, 2008

In Pursuit of Happiness: Gunner Credits in Law School Classrooms

With the last day of classes for my (much-dreaded) 1L year having come and gone, I thought it appropriate to return to a topic I first addressed around the time I started law school, namely the tendency of certain self-entitled, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing law students to waste valuable classroom time waxing philosophic on tangentials of little or no consequence while enraged classmates seethe silently, vainly searching for dull razors with which to slit their own wrists. Well, maybe that last part about the razors is just me (and perhaps, it is not limited to the classroom), but let us not dwell on such trifles. The point is that, often, these so-called questions—most of which are actually statements—serve little pedagogical purpose and as such, are a serious source of inefficiency. What is to be done about this awfulness that permeates law school classrooms near and far?

Well, if there is anything I have learned in my time at The University of Chicago, it is that, on balance, markets are good, regulations are bad, and in some circumstances, it might be acceptable to sell babies. Thus, an administrative mandate that, for example, banned all raising of hands, would not be useful since it would prevent both value-added and deadweight comments from occurring. Luckily, we need not turn to the evils of God-less socialism just yet; there is a market-based solution to be had: gunner credits.

November 04, 2008

On a Serious Note

For those who have grown weary of my incessant inanity (blah, blah, I hate myself, blah), there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Well, actually, not really, so long as you continue to subscribe to this blog, but for something more substantive (read: boring), check out my first contribution to The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog. I have been assigned to cover the Crime and Punishment Workshop, so you can expect biweekly posts on the Faculty Blog on this subject in addition to the usual pursuit of nothingness for which the Realm is well known.

June 30, 2011

On the Purported Death (and Subsequent Rebirth) of the Oxford Comma

As I am sure you very well realize, dear readers, the rants on this squalid site are no longer what they once were. Part of the explanation, I'd like to think, is that with age has come maturity, but those familiar with my predisposition to irrational and obscure rants will note that this can hardly be the full story (if, in fact, it explains anything at all).

A more plausible explanation for the dearth of rants in recent times might be Twitter. With most of my rants fixated now as before on (a) bums, (b) transit, and (c) more bums, 140 characters on Twitter is usually sufficient (or at the very least, forces me to be succinct, which is certainly no loss). Sometimes, however, a tragedy of epic proportions unveils itself such that no amount of tweeting can ever suffice. Yesterday was such a time (as I observed briefly on, yes, Twitter). And it is to this source of all-consuming darkness to which I turn in this entry.