Thursday, February 22, 2007

A New Breed of Gunner

When I first posted about gunners in the 1L class last semester, I got a lot of responses of people telling me not to worry because they would likely a) figure out they were annoying everyone and shut up or b) drop out/transfer. And to some extent that's true. Word on the streets is that our biggest gunner is indeed trying to transfer, and the other major 1st semester gunners chilled out a bit as the semester went on.

But, now, a month into second semester, a new breed of gunners has sprung up. And just like antibiotic-resistant bacteria, I think these suckers are gonna be harder to get rid of than the original batch.

You know the type. They may have piped up occasionally first semester, but for the most part, they kept a low profile. But now, perhaps emboldened by an A on an exam or a cushy summer job offer, they've decided it's their god-given right to blather on, incessantly, about whatever they like, every single class period. This breed is more agressive than the original gunners as well, frequently dispensing the need to raise their hands or be recognized by the professor.

But perhaps the most puzzling part about the nouveau gunner is that they have no idea that they've become a gunner at all. They made fun of the gunners last semester, and they still sigh and roll their eyes when the old gunners speak. It appears that they have become blinded to their own gunnerish ways. So, as a PSA to all my readers, I offer these helpful tips to determine if you have become a gunner:

1. Have you volunteered in class more than once today? (If yes, +1)
2. Have you done so in more than one class? (+1 for each additional class)
3. Have you spoken without being called on? (+1 for each outburst)
4. When you raise your hand, does anyone groan audibly (+5)
5. Does the professor notably try to call on every single other volunteer before calling on you? (+3)
6. Have you brought up game theory, religion, or philosophy in class to "add" to the discussion? (+10)

More than three points, and chances are you've become a gunner. But don't worry, it's easy to fix: just shut up. It's that simple.



At 4:19 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like the connotation of the word gunner. If I want to say something in class, I am going to say it. Last time I checked I paid my money same as everyone else. Furthermore , the teacher knows how to run a class. If they thought that a "gunner" would detract they know how to keep them quiet. Take what Powe did the first day of the first semester. If the teacher has no problem with certain people always talking I am going to go ahead and trust in her ability to effectively run a class. The way things are in class, no one except a few people really like to talk anyways. The class would be silent, besides the people called on, if no one talked during class.

Now, if we take your argument to its logical extension, no one except those called on should talk in class and believe me I would be FINE with that. Have law school become just like college and be mostly lecture. However, if that was done, that in my view would cheapen the experience of law school and diminish at least in my mind the value of the education I received here. Because even though the so called gunners talk to much and maybe slow down class, they at the very least get me thinking about how the issue is applicable to other issues in the overall world. This is very useful to me. Isn't that what Law School is supposed to be doing, teaching us how to apply legal issues to the real world and not just how best to memorize black letter law? My point is that unless you want no one to talk and have it become like college, it is unfair and mean spirited to single out people, that for what ever reason choose to speak out more than others.

Also, I wonder how would anyone enforce this anti “gunning” policy? Would I have a certain amount of times I could talk in class? Could they be consecutive? What would be considered good questions? Can they at all venture into questions which relate to other subjects? WHO would tell me what was right and what was wrong to ask, and HOW would this be implemented? I have paid my money, and no one is going to abridge my right to say what I want in connection with the subject matter being presented. Also, if I didn’t care that people got annoyed and kept on talking or gunning as it were, would the next alternative be physical violence? This may sound absurd to even consider but who knows what road this might take us down? To sit there and say LOL GUNNERS SUCK LOL and just moan about it adds nothing.

Next and not necessarily directed at you Lioness, but those who play "gunner" bingo and make fun of the so called gunners in my opinion are far worse. It my view all this anti gunner talk is a sort of deflection and transference. Basically look at how much these "gunners" suck but please don’t notice how mean spirited we are in the way we make fun of them. Think its not mean? How about the people on Facebook who make an ENTIRE group based on not liking one person because they are a so called "gunner" Naming it the Whigs, was a clever touch, must give credit where it is due. I know I am rambling at this point, but I guess what I am trying to say is that those who are talking and so called “gunning” most likely aren't intentionally trying to waste your time, although you may view it that way. Where as those who play gunner bingo and talk about how bad the “gunners” are, and say mean things are taking an affirmative action to be mean.

Oh and lets not kid ourselves, how much you get out of class is up to you, if you surf the internet all day good for you, or talk on aim during class in the big chat room or just to your friend from college cool. Hell, I am on aim a lot during class. Granted it is your choice to do so and you have your own system for studying in place but that is wasting time as well. Take care of your own form of wasting time and then talk about how the so called “gunners” are wasting your time.

This is submitted just to put my viewpoint on this and not start some sort of fight on the internet.


At 4:26 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only thing worse than a gunner is a backbencher. you're training to be lawyers, so act like it: shoot people down when they make bad comments, rather than leaving it to the prof. sitting in the back and tittering about it isn't helpful; this isn't high school, despite the striking similarities. idly complaining about "gunners" is passive-aggressiveness at its worst.

At 4:54 PM, February 22, 2007, Blogger Ruth said...

I've always thought there was a noticeable difference between those who talk in class to legitimately clarify things, ask questions, and participate in discussion and those who simply want to hear themselves talk. To me the latter are "gunners" and the former are just interested. I've always felt like gunners were a lot like porn: hard to define exactly, but I know them when I see them. ;)

At 6:25 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I hate more is when people get called on in class, particulary ones where they aren't allowed to have their computer and so their friends can't send them the answers, and they fumble around and waste everyone's time b/c they clearly haven't read.z

At 6:49 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bad, there was supposed to be more snark in that comment. When = today, class = civ pro, people = you.

At 8:03 PM, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is SO like a gunner to post a 3 page soliloquy about why they are not a gunner.

At 9:58 PM, February 22, 2007, Blogger angela said...

According to your criteria, I've become a gunner, but not in all classes. Is that even possible?

At 10:44 PM, February 22, 2007, Blogger The Lioness said...

Ah, yes, to anonymous 6:25, you are the most correct of the night. I had not read (and while there was a reason for that, it really doesn't matter in the long run, so I won't waste your time.) BUT--you did fail to recognize this; I was called on after person #1 said they weren't prepared, person #2 was absent, and person #3 (me) ALSO said they weren't prepared. I tried not to waste the class's time, but she stuck with me. Apologies all around on that one, but that still doesn't change my original point.

At 12:46 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous i.don' said...


to annonymous 6:25/29, my response would have been:


At 5:08 AM, February 23, 2007, Blogger Ex.Coll.Blog said...

C.A. said it just like a gunner.

At 5:53 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from anon1: "Also, I wonder[,] how would anyone enforce this anti 'gunning' policy? Would I have a certain amount of times I could talk in class?"

I have thought about this at length and I believe the correct response is paintball guns in class. Every time a gunner stepped out of line, or if I am just feeling cranky, I would fire off a round. Upon leaving class, it would be quite clear who was gunning because they were actually gunned down by paintballs. The symmetry is really beautiful. Perhaps the gunners could even compare who has more marks--and since they always want to be seen and heard, they would accomplish their mission (vis-a-vis the paint all over them) while simultaneously giving the rest of the class a cathartic outlet from the annoyance.

I suppose the only thing I haven't figured out is: what color paint to use.

At 7:49 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Responding to the "snarky" anonymous poster:

As Lioness said:
First dude wasnt prepared.
Second girl was missing in action.
Lioness was called on third, and explained that she hadn't read. The teacher nevertheless stayed on her. (This is probably b/c the teacher knows that Lioness' comments in class are usually insightful and thought out).

That being said, if I had lioness' grades and job offers... chances are I would take a day off reading as well.

Regarding the paintball idea.... can I call first fire at anon #1??

At 9:02 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow,seems like a person can't even express themselves and specifically say that they are not trying to start a fight on the internet without having it happen. Paintballs being fired at me wow, just wow. How would you get that authority , would there be oversight, or just you deciding on a whim to do it. Maybe there would be a counsel of students that would pick who to shoot. Votes could be arranged over aim. Wow that doesn't sound immature at all. I stick by my point, I paid my money I will talk all I want during class until the teacher and not my classmates say to stop. And here is the fun thing, there isn't a thing you can do to stop me. Cause while I am not looking for a fight, I don't care if any one here likes me, I simply want to learn and if from time to time if that requires me to ask a question or comment in order to get the teacher to clarify something so be it. I honestly don't even talk that much maybe 1 thing a class, every few days. I just don't like this attitude that is perpetuated by those playing gunner bingo. Because, if the so called "gunners" are silenced, then it isn't long till anyone who wants to speak in class is made to feel bad, just for simply trying to participate. Notice I didn't do the personal attack on the Lioness, even though I could have taken that route. In fact in her defense, the teacher seemed to gravitate on her after two other people. I wasn't looking for a fight, but on the internet you always seem to find one.

Everyone go back to your bar-review hangovers. Thank You.


At 9:44 AM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Law School For Dummies said...

I can't imagine law school without gunners. In fact, the society program has given gunners so much more prestige within the law school community.

As a 1L last year, I remember Friday mornings in Property. 8:15 AM...walking through the snow to get to class, etc. Nobody would have anything to say...except for two people. We'll call them Sheffield Gunner and Hodges Gunner.

S.G. would open up with her opinion on the Rule Against Perpetuities. H.G. would throw in his own two cents. S.G. would respond, followed by H.G. The rest of the class would be in awe, divided in two by the line drawn in the sand by Sokolow's masterful Society blueprint. It was like Jordan versus Isiah Thomas, Magic versus Bird...all we needed was Marv Albert doing commentary.

That said, I could have dreamt all that up, because I don't recall going to that class very much.

At 12:39 PM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: policing
I think small electrodes in the seat of the desk are the best way to go. A small shock, maybe 100 volts would be administered to the offending gunner. Everyone would have a seat number and a keypad. When a gunner started acting up, you enter in his seat number. In order to prevent abuse of the system, a person’s seat number would have to be entered by at least 5 different students.

At 1:13 PM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See now that whole administered by 5 different students thing wouldn't work because of AIM, independent action of each said student would be to hard to implement. Even in non laptop classes the fact that non verbel communication is so easy that those playing gunner bingo would gave visual cues when they were marking people off would make collusion to easy.


At 1:56 PM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people play gunner bingo for real? How come I feel like all of you have decided to base your law school lives on the cheesiest of ideas from the worst of the 'all about law school' sources that are out there?

At 8:43 PM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

again from anon1: "I paid my money I will talk all I want during class until the teacher and not my classmates say to stop."

You should have gotten a scholarship, then you wouldn't feel the need to get your money's worth.

At 9:38 PM, February 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You aren't wrong a bigger scholarship than the one I received would have been nice. Hey Debaucherous ?L what can I say, putting myself through Law School on money I made working before hand makes me feel that I deserve to get all I can out of the education. This is my money I am spending not my parent's money ( not to imply that if it is your parent's , it somehow means less to you). I guess since it is my hard earned money I am particularly sensitive to people telling me when I or anyone should speak in class. But hey man, feel free to be as snarky as you want. Personal attacks are the mark of maturity. Notice I was not the one who attacked the Lioness, nor did I take a pass at you. I specifically said I wasn't trying to start a fight on the internet in the first post. Regardless of what is said to me, I maintain my right to say what I want in class when I want within reason regulated by the teacher and not the other students, and I will not sink to the level of some and resort to personal attacks. To do so is beneath me.


At 6:08 AM, February 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon1: I am just being a smartass to see how many times I can get you to respond. As you are not in my section, your talking habits, etc, are of little--scratch that--no concern to me.

At 10:11 AM, February 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool, then now that we have all that straighted out, I bid you good day. lol


At 8:42 PM, February 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:

Was 5th grade English "beneath you" as well?

Despite your grammatical incompetency, I do like your use of repetition. It serves to drive home the "last time I checked I paid my money like everyone else" point. Well done.

The only thing worse than a gunner is a stupid one.

At 7:00 AM, February 26, 2007, Blogger BootStraps said...

Some advice, to all that get irritated or feel very strongly about gunners beyond that of the endless comedic value then inject into a law school exierience...

Lighten Up!

At 4:01 PM, February 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm here to tell you that any firm you go to will be largely comprised of these so-called "gunners". Shut up and let them dig their own graves. Keep yourself occupied with IM, gunner bingo, etc. It's clear that you have no intention of actually being engaged by lecture. If putting down others to make yourself feel like one of the cool kids is up your alley, then by all means... but take note that you look like a giant douche doing it and the actual cool kids all agree.

At 4:10 PM, February 26, 2007, Blogger Aron said...

I have to agree with C.A.

Shit, I'm sure you all consider me a 'gunner' and I really couldn't give a fuck. But, I will say this. Thank your lucky stars for all the 'gunners' in crim law who keep everybody else from having to talk. The same 10 people talk in that class everyday and its not because we are all excited to find out if the other 9 people think what we've said is convincing. Its just as big a waste of time to sit there when Jinks asks what the facts are and no one responds.

Secondly, I think I learn a lot from hearing what other people have to say. Sure, not every comment is a winner, but no one is perfect. Nor do I think that people are motivated by a desire to show the professor how smart they are. Newsflash - the grading is anonymous.

I came to law school, this one especially, so that I could interact with a group of inteligent people of differing viewpoints. Last time I checked 'the classroom' was an appropriate venue for that kind of interaction. I like the more debate oriented nature that our classes have this semester.

So, in conclusion...please stop trying to hide your own inadequacies by making fun of other people. It stifles the learning environment and makes many people who are nervous enough about raising their hands additionally hesitant. It's just not nice.

Aron Israelite

P.S. I know i can't spell. So if you are going to disparage my post please do it another way.

At 4:41 PM, February 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt many law students spending their summers working at firms are the very sort of gunners alternately supported and attacked. But I think ANON above overlooks one fact: the group may include, in no insignificant sum, a number of students who are in fact "CLOSET GUNNERS." (We're a diverse breed; quiet classroom no-shows ALSO get kickass offers.) But back in the closet... these are the individuals who attend class and roll their eyes at the gunners' contributions, but after class orchestrate elaborate study group initiatives, hoard outlines, and generally keep their stubby fingers on the pulse of the grade distribution.

They earn their grades, but leave the nasty smears of their personality behind them. We all know people who have found that trash-talking one's peers and sweet-talking one's superiors is a winning combo.

Now why on earth would anyone think lawyers are arrogant sleazeballs?

At 5:01 PM, February 26, 2007, Blogger The Lioness said...

The final word--

Ok, dear readers, once again people have gotten WAY TOO RILED UP about subject matter that is supposed to be humorous, not serious. So it's time for my final word, and then I'm turning comments off for this post.

I do not believe, nor was this post intended to profess, that all people who talk in class are gunners. I have no issue with people that talk in class. In fact, in my favorite classes both this semester and last, I often volunteer and talk myself. That being said, I do have an issue with less than a handful of people whose comments, in my opinion, rarely if ever add anything to the discussion.

Secondly, I do not believe that "volunteer-only" is a good way to run a law school class. I think that the pressure of possibly being called on keeps the class as a whole engaged and having done the reading. I further think that, as the most recent commenter pointed out, it results in a small group of people being the only ones who ever talk. And that in turn results in boredom, and people tuning out. It's a vicious cycle.

Next, I do not think that those people who fail to talk on a regular basis are scared, unprepared, or inadequate. I think that listening and not talking the vast majority of the time is what the best students in the class are doing.

Further, and this has always been the case, I think it's stupid to get in comment wars with people on the internet. So next time, before you launch into a personal attack or get all riled up about what myself or another commenter has said, maybe ask yourself: is this post most likely intended to be humorous? Is there a very good chance that the Lioness or her frequent commenters are being silly, sarcastic, or overly dramatic and probably don't think and mean everything in the post? If so, maybe think twice before getting in a mean-spirited comment war, or better yet, start your own blog and share your own opinions with the rest of the world. No one's forcing you to read mine.

-The Lioness


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