Avoid Soccer Outbursts in Class

–From Michael Severe, Barry University School of Law, Date of event: 2010

During a summer class in Advanced Appellate Advocacy, the eleven us who were enrolled were sitting there listening to another riveting lecture on TREAC vs. IRAC when out of the blue one of our classmates thrust both his fists into the air, pumped them up and down like he just scored the winning touchdown in the Superbowl, and hollered “YES!” As you can imagine, the rest of us were slightly bewildered, the professor included. She looked at him and haltingly asked, “Is… there… a problem?” to which he responded “Oh sorry. I’m watching the World Cup and my team just scored.”

On one hand, I give the gentleman credit. There was not even an attempt to hide the truth, although, after his display, coming up with an explanation such as “I love this TREAC stuff!” would only have insulted our intellects.

After being kindly asked by the professor to leave, he demurred, and promised to be quiet. Rather than stage a scene, and disrupt class even further, our Professor went back to her lecture. I give her credit as I’m fairly sure you would have needed to peel me off the ceiling, if I’d been in her shoes. Not surprisingly, when grades were released, there were 10 As/B+s/Bs and … 1 F. No way to know the cause, but the soccer outburst couldn’t have helped.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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