Wednesday, January 30, 2008


funny pictures

You know who they are. They sit in the front of the class, arms raised so high their shoulders threaten to pop, fingers vibrating with manic energy, always ready with an answer. Unloved, unwanted, and occasionally loathed. The gunners. Every class has one -- or five. They compete for teacher's attention, and mark time by the bleating of their voices. Their classmates are both fascinated and repelled... -- Cameron Stracher

Gunners are a unique phenomenon of law school. They get particularly bad in classes where the professor doesn't keep them under control -- especially if the gunner starts lecturing the class, interrupting other students, or sometimes interrupting the professor and voicing their opinions without getting called on. When they do this, it is extremely disruptive and you can literally hear the whole class groan.

Here's one gunner story:

It all began at Admitted Students Weekend last spring, when this particular individual had to be shushed and told to "STOP TALK-ING" by a professor running a mock class. This was after he interrupted another admitted student and said, "Well, he gave a BAD example, but what he was clearly trying to say was..." There was other bizarre admitted students weekend behavior, but that should give you an idea.

Then, we arrived at school in August and there he was...ready to embark on a semester full of interrupting other students and professors, sharing awkward personal stories, and even telling professors that material they assigned from casebooks was "irrelevant."

For finals, he decided that typing on his laptop keyboard would not allow him to type quickly enough to get all of his thoughts down in EBB, so he got special permission from the Registrar to use an external keyboard and a stand for his laptop. The whole contraption takes up lots of desk space and looks like he is sitting at the controls of a spaceship. From what I hear, he also used it for the last week of classes to "practice" for the exams.

Follow the link to read other gunner stories and to share some of your own.

Ann Althouse has a balanced view of gunners and Cameron Stracher writes a defense of them. In it, he shares his idea for Gunner Bingo:

In law school, we played a game called "gunner bingo," in which the object was to arrange gunners on a bingo card, then cross them off as each raised his hand. That was the easy part -- the hard part was getting called on by the professor and using the word "bingo" when answering his question. Doing so not only won the admiration of your classmates, but also a substantial pot of money.

Be sure to read Ava Rice's hilarious You Might Be A Gunner If... Here are a few:

  • 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 make sure to correct every little mistake your fellow students or professor may occasionally make - 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.

The one good thing about gunners is that they sometimes keep the professor occupied, saving you from getting called on when you know you don't have anything to say...

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