Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fresh Off The Boat

Yesterday, I was furiously studying for my International Business Transactions class, and by furiously study, I mean I outlined my in, I wrote down the name of each chapter of the book...

We have to learn contract shipping terms for that class and one of the main shipping terms is Free On Board, otherwise know as FOB. I have to laugh everytime I hear that term because of a particularly funny incident that happened in my 1L contract class. So- in one of our assigned cases, our class came across the term FOB. In class that day the professor asked the class if someone could explain what FOB meant.

The room was silent for a couple minutes until one particularly unfortunate student raised his hand, "it means "fresh off the boat." he chimed, referring to the derogatory term for immigrants who have not yet assimilated to their new culture. The entire class gasped in unison, waiting to see what would happen next.

Our contracts professor grew up in South Asia. He likes to tell us stories about his first job in America: working at a Seven- Eleven gas station, to perpetuate the stereotype. He then got an undergraduate degree and a law degree. But, he still has a very thick accent and might be mistaken by others as being "fresh off the boat" himself.

Fortunately for that student volunteer, he just laughed and then asked, "does anyone want to correct this bum and give us the CONTRACT term?"

I absolutely loved this professor. He was hard core about the socratic method. When someone got a question wrong, he would form guns with his pointer fingers and pretend to shoot them. One time he said, "I have to get out my rifle for this one" and put both his hands into a rifle shape and pointed it at a student.

This is also the guy who said things like: "If the law didn't inflict pain, it wouldn't be law" and "the only legitimate excuse for getting out of a contract is death, and it has to be yours."

He always had the best way to sum up the facts of the cases we were studying:
"she got this ugly stupid roof"
"give me my remodeled kitchen and take your justice home"
"the bum breached the contract, tell the bum to 'go to hell'"
"hell, damn no bum, 'go to hell'"

and he used Janet Jackson's song "What have you done for me lately" to explain the concept of consideration. That lyric was a running theme in our class. As was the phrase "go to hell" when a contract was found to not be enforceable.


Googie Baba said...

Cee, I laughed out loud when I read you are outlining your outline. That is pretty much they way it has been going for me. I am sooo screwed.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

Heh - I have that same outlining issue.

Also, that guy sounds like a loser. At least some of your classmates are prepared . . . in my Business Associations class, I swear even though the professor uses Socratic method, NOBODY is EVER prepared! I don't understand it - if you know you're getting called on, don't look like a moron, right? *sigh*