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Author Topic: Active, engaged learner or gunner?  (Read 7580 times)

othius

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Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« on: May 15, 2005, 08:19:42 PM »
Hi folks, I've got a question if you don't mind: What's the difference between being an active, engaged learner and a gunner? There's so much talk about "gunner's" being bad that it seems anyone asking a question or volunteering to answer is seen in a negative light. Personally, I learn best by asking and answering questions, in fact, I believe most people learn best this way. For those of you who are now "seasoned vets" of 1L and beyond, what are your thoughts? With that being said, I do plan to ask and answer questions... not be obnoxious but if I don't understand, I'm not going to just sit there and become more confused...

Anyhow, thoughts?

lawgirl

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2005, 08:56:53 PM »
It is really just a fine line. The gunners are the ones who like to hear themselves talk and basically just take over the class for no reason other than to hear themselves talk. If you honestly don't understand a concept, ask a question. If you feel you have something good to contribute, answer a question. People don't normally have a problem with that. It is the other end of the extreme that causes the problems.

Yemaya

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2005, 09:18:29 PM »
http://lawsloth.blogspot.com/2004_07_01_lawsloth_archive.html

You Might be a Gunner

If, out of the 150 students in your lecture hall, you're the only one on a first name basis with the professor - you might be a gunner.
If the amount of time you spend speaking in class is second only to the amount of time the professor spends speaking - you might be a gunner.
If you include yourself in EVERY conversation the professor has with EVERY student at the end of class - you might be a gunner.
If you literally run up to the professor at the end of class - you might be a gunner.
If you haven't missed an office hour yet - you might be a gunner.
If you were first on line to pick up the writing competition...and you camped out for it like it was tickets to star wars - you might be a gunner.
If you spend more time preparing for moot court than most appellate lawyers would spend on their supreme court arguments - you might be a gunner.
If you bring up your work or life experience in class ("Well, when I worked at the State Department....") - you might be a gunner.
If you wear a suit and tie to class and you didn't just come from an interview - you might be a gunner.
If you keep a blog detailing your exciting scholastic career - you might be a gunner.
If you didn't go home for Thanksgiving or on vacation for spring break so you could spend more quality time in the library - you might be a gunner.
....even though your Grandma was on her death bed - you might be a gunner.
If you wrote a book about your 1 L experience and made yourself sound like a freakish, neurotic tool - you might be a gunner.
If you sign your emails with a legal quote (from Holmes, Cardozo, etc.) and update it daily - you might be a gunner.
If you use a rolling backpack, and you're a healthy guy - you might be a gunner.
If you bring a textbook stand to class - you might be a gunner.
If you threw your wireless ethernet card out the window so you would have no distractions in class (not a bad idea) - you might be a gunner.
If you joined two different study groups just to make sure you weren't missing anything - you might be a gunner.
If you feel nauseous when people ask you to give them your notes when they missed class - you might be a gunner.
If you're an older student that patronizingly addresses your fellow classmates as 'sonny' or 'little lady' and lets them know that they're lacking in the real world experience you posses - you might be a gunner.
If you make sure to correct every little mistake your fellow students or professor may occasionally make - you might be a gunner.
If your comments in class often being "Well, this doesn't answer your question, but" or "I know this is off-topic but I just wanted to mention...." - you might be a gunner.
If your professor has ever stated he will not call on you for the rest of the day - you might be a gunner.
If you sit in the same seat in every class, especially if it's front row center - you might be a gunner.
If when you talk, you use the biggest words you can think of, and talk slowly so it seems like you're continually thinking really hard, and you make sure to reapply concepts previously taught by the professor - you might be a gunner.
If you actually read the 'suggested' reading, and reference the professor's published articles in class - you might be a gunner.
If you go to Chicago - you might be a gunner.
If you remind your classmates of that guy in Office Space who nods his head as Lumbergh talks about the consultants coming (trying to show Lumbergh that he's listening really closely) - you might be a gunner.
If you remind your classmates of Reese Witherspoon's character in Election - you might be a gunner.
If you refer to fellow students as "my colleagues" - you might be a gunner.
If you laugh loudly at every single lame law joke made by your professor - you might be a gunner.
If you have sex dreams about your professors - you might be a gunner.
If you attend your school's talent show, and at least one of the sketches includes an obnoxious character that appears to be modeled on your mannerisms and mode of dress - you might be a gunner.
If you find this list, printed and highlighted, on your seat in class one day - you might be a gunner.
If you find that you're the center square in your classmate's version of gunner bingo, well, then you probably are a gunner

sharmaine73

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2005, 09:48:31 PM »
I think the difference between a real conscientious student who has legitimate questions and "gunners" is that gunners just like to hear themselves talk for some reason.  It's an ego thing.  Also gunners like to interject their opinions and  "hypo's" at inappropriate times during a lecture or discussion.    My advice to you is to follow the lead of the professor.  If he or she opens up a topic for discussion, then by all means participate.  Answer a question if you think you have the correct answer.  Ask a queston if it is short and to the point and will not detract from the topic at hand.  However, know when your time to ask a question, make comment, or express your opinion has passed and save it for office hours or just let it go.

Postmodern Punk

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2005, 09:56:16 PM »
Unfortunately, learning psychology suggest that the learning process in hedonistic.  One learns most what they engage in.  By asking questions, going to hypos, etc. one maximizes their learning.  For the rest of the class it really sucks however.  They way I see it is if the rest of the class is not asking questions, and the prof asks for comments, why not speak.  If a student talks too much then its the prof's fault for calling on them or the class's fault for not talking themselves.

sharmaine73

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 10:05:43 PM »
Unfortunately, learning psychology suggest that the learning process in hedonistic.  One learns most what they engage in.  By asking questions, going to hypos, etc. one maximizes their learning.  For the rest of the class it really sucks however.  They way I see it is if the rest of the class is not asking questions, and the prof asks for comments, why not speak.  If a student talks too much then its the prof's fault for calling on them or the class's fault for not talking themselves.

Yeah whatever, do what you have to do.  Just know that if you cross a line everyones going to think you're an annoying ass.

Postmodern Punk

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2005, 10:47:34 PM »
That's true.  If one goes to a small school the problem get's even bigger.  I guess it just depends on how much one want's to makes friends or how much they want to learn--or how much of a balance they would like to have.

rapunzel

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2005, 03:56:15 PM »
For me, what Postmodern Punk says is true.  I need to be engaged to learn.  But I have friends who truly prefer just to listen. 
I do not raise my hand often in class.  However, I do make eye contact with the prof during lecture.  Look around the room, you'd be amazed, almost no one does that.  I tend to get called on by each prof a few times a week.  Plus I do take advantage of office hours to ask a question if I need to.  So, my profs know my name and I am looking at them.  Makes it easy to be a reasonable participant in class.  Plus it's hard to be accused of being a gunner if you hand isn't up.  And the thing is, profs like feeling like you are interested and engaged.  It makes their job easier and it pays them a subtle compliment, hey, I think you are interesting.  So when you go to that prof later for a recomendation, they are happy to help you.

jacy85

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2005, 06:48:08 PM »
Being engaged in the topic and asking questions to clarify things strikes me as vastly different than introducing impossible hypos that do nothing to advance a topic or bringing up your work experience for some vague reason.

There's a difference, and I suspect that gunners either don't realize there's a difference or if they do, they don't care.

othius

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Re: Active, engaged learner or gunner?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2005, 07:46:22 PM »
Glad to hear your thoughts... Rapunzel's esp. seem pretty good.