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Author Topic: "I don't know"  (Read 7931 times)

tacojohn

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"I don't know"
« on: September 18, 2005, 01:28:49 PM »
About a week ago, a kid in my Torts class got taken to task for dropping that little bomb.  Our prof told us a story about how he was called on virtually every day by his Contracts prof in law school (30-40 years ago).  One day he honestly had no idea about the answer to the question.  He answered "I don't know."  The prof moved on, and never called on him again.  This sounded great at first, but then my prof realized that "I don't know" meant you didn't have anything good to say and you had given up.  So his professor found a new teacher's pet.

Bottom line, even if your teacher hates "weaseling" (another on of my prof's pet phrases), it's always better to BS than give up.

rapunzel

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2005, 08:00:44 PM »
I don't necessarily agree.  You waste everybody's time if you truly don't know the answer.  I've passed on numerous occaisions and have plently of profs who have proven willing to write me excellent recommendations.

tacojohn

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 11:18:38 AM »
Well, the way he teaches, he refuses to give answers.  Eventually, he will ask questions that are basically statements.  "So, don't you think the judge was really just allocating costs of the injury, and all this talk about whether a four-year-old can be negligent is really nonsense?"  He won't move on until you at least give a yes or no answer to the question he's asking.  So "I don't know" just further delays the process.  If the professor says you can pass, then pass.

He also has another great line that the reason he grills people is "Because I believe that somewhere in your mind the answer is there."  I don't know if it's some sort of trick or not, but he's moved on from someone after they gave one answer, like he knows he can't get them on the right track that day.

JD_MSA

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2005, 05:16:36 PM »
Replace "I don't know" with "it depends" and you're good to go.   :D

pissedoff11

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2005, 08:30:28 PM »
Replace "I don't know" with "it depends" and you're good to go.   :D

Throw in an evil smile too!

trouble

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2005, 07:23:23 PM »
"It's always better to BS than give up."

It really just depends on the teacher and his or her personality.

A few weeks ago in Legal Analysis, a guy was called on who was either not prepared or just hadn't read very closely.  Either way, he attempted to B.S. his way through the material.  The prof just went to another person and didn't come back to the guy.

Two days later, in the next L.A. class, the prof came in and says "Here's the deal.  I hate bullshitters.  If any of you attempt to waste my time by bullshitting me again, I will drop you a letter grade.  Not only that, you can expect to be called on for the next three class periods, and at that point you had BETTER be prepared."  He did go on to say that there was a difference between being obviously unprepared, and not knowing the answer.  He said it was better to admit that you don't know, rather than trying to fake it.  So I guess it just depends on the teacher.

Coincidentally, the guy who tried to bull him in the first place was called on for the next two class periods.  I haven't seen that guy around in two weeks.  I think he dropped.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

RoniDeutch

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2005, 09:14:42 PM »
in my property class, the professor called on 3 people who said they didnt read the case. it was the talk of the whole law school. i think the professor is giving up with us.

Jumboshrimps

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2005, 08:21:43 AM »
I wish someone would try this one: "I dunno professor. What do YOU think?"

Silvermtn

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2007, 11:15:00 AM »
I wish someone would try this one: "I dunno professor. What do YOU think?"
That will probably get you the "I ask the questions around here" response.

LubedPumpkin

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Re: "I don't know"
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2007, 10:21:18 AM »
I hate nothing more than the kid who tries to answer and inflects his voice in such a way that everything he says becomes  a question. It's embarassingly painful. I usually say "I'm not sure" and say what I do know.
'pumpkin
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