PROFESSOR KAGAN: Well, Mr. Mystal, did you manage to remember your casebook?That takes guts. I salute her! I wish I had the nerve to do things like that. I don't even like to call on people. I either rely on volunteers or call on students and add "sorry to bother you" or something like that (which I mean humorously, but only semi-humorously). And yet Kagan is the one who acquired the reputation for the high social IQ. Awesome!
1L ELIE: Yes. But like I said, I didn’t …
PROFESSOR KAGAN: Do you think you could be bothered to OPEN your casebook?
1L ELIE: (I have a bad feeling about this.) Yes. Abso…
PROFESSOR KAGAN: Please turn to page [whatever]… Now read.
1L ELIE: (Reading silently.)
PROFESSOR KAGAN: ALOUD.
1L ELIE: (Channeling Nathan Jessup: I’m not an idiot, I don’t need to read aloud like I’m a five year old.) Umm … Okay. (Much reading aloud.)
PROFESSOR KAGAN: Now, can you explain to me what you just read?
1L ELIE: (I can’t even remember what I blathered.)
PROFESSOR KAGAN: Mr. Mystal, open to page [same page as before], and TRY AGAIN!
At that point I just kind of had a disassociative break. My mouth kept moving, but my mind went into some kind of fetal position. Please stop hitting me, Professor Kagan.
Kagan hated unprepared students, but she reserved her harshest ire for people who showed up to her class late. She’d essentially stop the class, literally — she’d stop talking in mid-sentence. Then she’d wait impatiently for the student to assume their seat. And then make some caustic remark about the importance of timeliness.
May 11, 2010
“Professor Kagan, honestly I didn’t get to all of the reading for today’s class. Sadly, I think I need to pass on this one.”
Elie Mystal shares an old classroom transcript: