Thursday, September 4, 2008

Worthy of a Re-Post

Courtesy of the Rising Jurist

The Gunners of Southwestern Wisconsin

The gunner is a widely recognized entity, an inevitable evil of every law school class. Each semester, as I had been exposed to different styles of gunnery, I had determined that there were four discrete types of gunner. After a semester of careful observation, I have determined that yet another breed exists. For your consideration, the Gunners of Southwestern Wisconsin:

The Money Gunner
aka, The Student Who Believes He Is On Jeopardy!

This is the classic gunner, the student who is eager to answer each and every question. The goal appears to be to impress the professor and, to a lesser extent, the other students. Of course, most students find the Money Gunner annoying, either for their own desire to answer a question or just for having tired of hearing the same person talking. Incidentally, even professors will tire of this student, frequently avoiding calling on them with the phrase "Let's get someone else in on the discussion." The Money Gunner can easily be recognized by their hand, constantly raised.

The 2-Ton Gunner
aka, The Student With Real World Experience

This is a rarer breed of gunner, one whose contributions to class discussion are always laced with hints that the answer is the product of some experience—previous schooling, work experience, age—that makes their thoughts inherently superior to all other comers. The 2-Ton Gunner tends to be the most annoying for other students and the most likely to elicit audible groans. This breed is often identifiable by a catch phrase such as "When I was working toward my PhD" or "I remember 1985."

The Funny Gunner
aka, The Student With a Thousand Quips

This gunner is less concerned with the substance of his answer as he is with the witty delivery. Any answer invariably comes with some quip or condescending commentary, undoubtedly meant to illustrate a deep understanding of the materials, one that goes beyond what is printed in the case book. The Funny Gunner's only audience is fellow students and the slightest chuckle from even one such classmate is enough to create a sense of accomplishment in this entertainer. Funny Gunner should not be encouraged.

The Un-Gunner
aka, The Student Who Hates Awkward Tension

This final type of the first-identified gunners is a funny breed, barely a gunner at all. Above all, this student despises the uncomfortable silence that ensues when a professor (a) asks a question of the class and receives no volunteers, and/or (b) asks a question of that student and receives no answer. Thus, the Un-Gunner will leap to action either to (a) give some answer, so the professor will stop pacing, or (b) answer an easy question, thus avoiding being called on unexpectedly for a later, more difficult scenario. This is a docile breed and should not be provoked.

The Shot Gunner
aka, The Student Who Hopes to Get One Right Eventually

This is truly the rarest breed of gunners; indeed only one is known to exist in my research pool and was only recently identified. The Shot Gunner volunteers to answer with nearly the same frequency as the Money Gunner. Unlike the Money Gunner, however, the Shot Gunner rarely knows the answer. The goal seems to be to garner the favor of the professor for having tried to participate, coupled with the expectation that, eventually, a correct answer will be delivered. This gunner has the potential to be the most obtrusive to classmates because it combines the worst qualities of the Money Gunner with the uncanny ability to provide nothing useful to class discussion. Shot Gunners should be considered a threat to natural order and culled.


Butterflyfish said...

I know two shot gunners.

mootgoescow said...

Is one of them Guys?

Guy Fawkes said...

Your mother was a gunner, Trebek. Give me Anal Bum Cover for $1000.