Monday, July 10, 2006

I Always Thought I'd Picked the Best Group ...

... for being the worst ... in social skills that is. I completed my Undergrad in Computer Science. Believe me when I say that those crazy computer nerd/geek characters that you see in comics/on tv - they're based on real people. I think Comic Book guy from the Simpson's was literally in some of my classes, but he didn't like cool things like Star Wars and Spiderman ... he liked talking about Linux and Assembly Level Programming. Whenever our Prof tried to tie our material into some kind of nerdy inside joke, he'd laugh the loudest ... and sometimes, he'd be the only one laughing. He'd challenge the prof on every comment, and I had to watch his ponytail get greasier every day, since he sat front and center.

That's not to say that being a nerd or geek is a bad thing - hey - I love Star Trek: TNG, and I read books about physics ... BUT ... I do have some social skills as well. I develop and maintain relationships with people, and I do so easily.

Computer Science students take lack of social skills to a level I never thought existed. Group work was a nightmare if you got paired with the wrong people. A NIGHTMARE! I had to spend a great deal of time in the computer lab at school, in order to program, and I hated every minute of it. While there were some cool people that I'd run into, they were few and far-between.

In the computer lab I had marriage proposals (plural ... proposalS), I had people sitting right next to me ignore me when I talked to them, I had someone explain how their ultimate fantasy was to become one with the machine (nope ... not get a girlfriend ... get even closer to the machine that he already spent ALL of his time with). I watched people try and outdo each other in technical lingo - and I watched people literally LIVE their lives in the lab - they'd be there when I get to school in the morning, and they'd be there when I left late at night ... and when they did go home? They'd be on their computers.

Now, the argument can be said that we need people like this - people who care so much about their machines that they become ultra-programmers and run all the computers in the world. This is true, but they'll all have to work with someone. There is a base level of social skill that should exist, for the sake of everyone's sanity.

I always thought that this phenomenon was reserved for compsci students, and somewhat for Engineers (although, that faculty looked like an absolute riot to be in). But ... I've been catching glimpses of the urban legend regarding the LAW STUDENT! I had a conversation today with a friend that just completed her first year of law school, and the stories she had to tell! On par with my compsci stories.

When discussing her rock climbing hobby with a fellow student, she was told that lead climbing just wasn't cost effective, in terms of billable hours, and that he'd rather just pay someone to do it for him. This was in the first month of his first year of law school. OUCH. What about living life, and maintaining the balance that is so necessary to development as an individual. What about relishing in the experiences that are so unique and precious to each one of us?

I can't wait to get to law school, and run down a straight off comparison of the CompSci student vs. the Law Student. I CAN'T FRIGGIN WAIT. I'm going to have to think to come up with the comparison criteria, and some kind of ranking system to yield accuracy.

Don't worry everyone ... I'll keep you posted on this train of thought. Don't worry.


Eru said...

I wonder how long before you meet some 'Gordon Gekko' upstart, (Oh wait that's 'Wall Street') - Well how about a young cocksure Southern laywer that talks like Foghorn Leghorn and dresses like the Cornel, Sanders that is.

Yorick said...

Law school is great, but get ready for everyone to argue every point possible to near exhaustion. It doesn't matter what- they'll debate it until Doomsday. Grows tiring after about two minutes. After half a semester, you'll be demanding that they be drug out in the street and summarily shot.

And please, for the love of all things holy, don't be a gunner. People hate that with a fiery passion.

Lisa Hutch said...

A gunner? I don't get it - HELP!

Yorick said...

"Gunner" is law school slang for the person who constantly asks questions in class. Everyone learns to hate this person, who inevitably does poorly come exam time.

Turow, in his book 1L (which is outdated but still a great read, by the way) talks about how he developed a formula for participating in class- he would volunteer once every three classes or so. If you want to volunteer, my suggestion is to do so sparingly- you don't want to raise your hand so much people start sighing and rolling their eyes at you.

I don't think you'd ever do this, of course- I just thought I'd share my experience.

Yorick said...

By the way, if you have any questions about law school in general, I'm happy to answer them.

A lot of 2Ls seem closed-off, as if they don't want to give away their secrets. Sometimes their pomposity astounds me.

Of course, I'm limited by my unique experience, but I feel I did well enough to offer competent advice on such things as study guides, etc.

Regardless, I wish you luck. It's difficult, but not as hard as they make it out to be. I can tell from reading your blog that you'll have little trouble.

Lisa Hutch said...

That is such an awesome offer (for the help). I'll most certainly take you up on it when the time comes.

As for being a gunner ... I like that every three classes formula ... I think that Comic Book Guy that was in my compsci program was the compsci version of a gunner - it got to the point where the prof had complaints about it and told Comic Book Guy that any questions that he had would be addressed outside of class. I had to hold my eyeballs in place for fear that they would roll straight out of my head! It was worse than sitting through the movie "the fast and the furious!"