May 7, 2004

More simulproctorblogging.

So now I'm proctoring the Federal Jurisdiction exam, and, yay!, there's WiFi. In fact there's a nice little Apple AirPort router in view. I don't know why, in a school that did all it could to freeze out Mac users, they have Apple routers. You'd think the University of Wisconsin would be a hotbed of Mac rebels, but in fact, cooler minds prevailed and long ago decided the future was non-Mac, and the chance for computer happiness was blown. I got my first computer in 1984 or 85--right at the time of the famous Mac 1984 commercial. You'd think that would have impressed people around here. Was the main concern money or was it the old buzzword "compatibility"? I've been offered various computers over the years to switch, and they managed to get everyone else to resist Mac or give it up, but they didn't get me. I am the lone Mac holdout here in the school (though a number of people here have gotten Macs at home). I had a Mac back when there was no hard drive and you had to have a big external disc drive. I used Microsoft Word (replacing MacWrite because MacWrite didn't do footnotes) back before it hit version 2.0. I think it was maybe 1.5 when I started. Of course, you could fit Word on a single-sided disc that had room left for your documents, then. And the system fit on the other disc that you put in the internal drive. I've had many Macs over the years. I've lost count. (10?) One old one I kept was the first Classic that came with a hard drive. How wonderful it seemed then to have a hard drive. Getting a hard drive and a laser printer in 1991 was a real breakthrough in convenience. The only comparable hardware experience since then: setting up the laptop in a café with WiFi, downloading digital photos into iPhoto, and importing them into the blog.

Okay, so you've established that there is WiFi in the exam room. Next topic? We've been given the nicest room in the Law School for the exam. It is the trial courtroom, a quarter of which is a gallery with three long rows of seating so it can be used as a classroom. One student has chosen to sit in the jury box. I'm sitting at one of the lawyers' tables. There is a big wall of windows looking out on Bascom Mall. I'd take a picture and post it here, but that would intrude on the students, who are hard at work. So I'll just say, it's a lovely day, the rows of trees that line the hill are in full spring green, and the banner poles have red and white banners with "W" logos on them, and the banners are flapping in the breeze. We are one hour into the three hour exam. The wall of windows behind the students makes a cheerful atmosphere, as exam atmospheres go. Good light for writing and reading. And an ideal view for the teacher, who faces the windows.

Well, what are the students consuming this time? As on the previous exam, water is by far the most popular drink. This group, which is much smaller than the Conlaw group, with only 16 students, seems to favor personal container water slightly over the bottled water that held first place on the Conlaw students sippable liquids list (scroll down). The only other drink is coffee. A surprising number of students are taking the exam in the "classic" mode: nothing to eat or drink. Personally, I've got a cup of coffee in a green cup, but by now the coffee is completely cold. I drink it anyway.

Only 16 students took Federal Jurisdiction? Yes! Shocking, isn't it? This is the only section of the course offered all year, and only 16 students, the smallest FedJur class ever for me, I think. Too bad! But it will be easier to do the grading ...