The Lost LSATs
Very recently, I was in one of the world’s most beautiful places (Kauai), when regrettably, I got really sick. As in ten days of not being able to get up and walk outside sick. As in I was stuck in a room staring at the walls like a POW sunrise to sunset. It sucked.
By the fourth day in this miserable (albeit well appointed) prison cell, I had read every book I’d brought, twice. I’d read the entire internet. I’d even acquiesced to reading the fairer sex’s tripartite news lifeline: People, Us, and Life & Style. (The last of these experiences was profoundly damaging, and looking back at it, I now believe that it exacerbated my illness).
I was clawing the walls when a friend asked if I’d ever seen ABC’s Lost. I told him that I hadn’t, and in all honesty, I’d quietly put it in the same mental box as Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, and Everybody Loves Raymond: pieces of popular culture that left me cold.
But because I was laid up, and because iTunes sells seasons I, II,III, and IV, I gave it a try. By try, I mean eight to ten hours of Lost viewing daily, not including the obligatory post-episode discourse with my fellow ailing friends. I’m nowhere near current (since, as I was surprised to learn, Lost seasons contain as many as 25 episodes), but during my confinement, I saw more of these characters than anyone should.
I actually began relating to them. Their lives had been interrupted and so had mine. They were trapped on an island, and so was I. Their island was even next to mine. Really. Lost is filmed in Oahu and I was on Kauai, so I kind of saw them as neighbors. (Disclaimer: I was running a fever during this period).
At a certain point, I knew I was neglecting my responsibilities back in the mundane world of the LSAT, but I had given myself over to the consuming world of Lost. In a certain nausea induced blur, I began to wonder how the characters in Lost would fare on the LSAT. The following are my considered reflections on the matter.
Claire Littleton: 121
Background: Chick who gave birth on the island best known for irrationally screaming “My baby!” at every turn in a really annoying and self-righteous manner. Claire’s essentially helpless, possessing no talents or work ethic, and thus entirely dependent on others. Nevertheless, she spends most of her time telling people how little she needs them, only to fall immediately afterward and cry for help.
LSAT Analysis: Claire would collapse and start crying on the games. She might stumble over a couple of correct answers in reading comprehension, but would commit every fallacy known to man on the logical reasoning. I’d also vote her most likely to make interesting shapes with the bubbles on her answer sheet.
Shannon Ruthorford: 121
Background: Killed off mercifully early, Shannon used her time on the island to work on her “base tan.” Before reaching the island she actually had sex with her (half) brother and was in the habit of serially extorting him. Her survival skills make Claire look like a Navy SEAL. (Unsurprisingly, the two actresses are, according to IMDB, friends off-set). Even two seasons in, almost all of Shannon’s time was spent reading magazines she’d brought on the plane and lounging in her bikini. Men everywhere should be ashamed that this character earned actress Maggie Grace spot #27 on Maxim’s Hot 100 List of 2005 and #44 of FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2005. Fellas, if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s going to be a painful life.
LSAT Analysis: She’s literally too lazy to actually read the questions or bubble in answers. If she were to somehow muster the strength, she’d still be in Claire territory (Did I mention that the actresses are friends off-camera? To be a fly on the wall…) If she actually made it to a testing center, a siege of confusion would descend and she’d end up crying, pouting, and interrupting everyone else’s test as she stomped out of the room.
Charlie Pace: 125
Background: Charlie had one hit with his English rock band before he got addicted to heroin and the band broke up. The only lyric we hear (and we hear it repeatedly) is “You are everyone, You are everyone”, which might be his sensitive investigation into the subject/object distinction. Or it might not mean anything, because Charlie’s a bit of a fool. He worships Claire (a character defining weakness if ever there were one), always wants to hold “the baby”, and has been established time and again as the omega-male of the island.
Charlie doesn’t hunt, fish, fix electronics, or heal the ill. He can’t fight, negotiate or solve any problem on the island.
LSAT Analysis: Not that the washed up band-member/heroin addict doesn’t make this fairly clear, but he’s no great mind. I’ve actually known other washed up band-members/heroin addicts who were far brighter than Charlie. The image of him setting up a game is as painful as your grandfather break-dancing. He’d probably just give up on the test and go over to see if he could fan Claire, or wipe the sweat from her brow. Even if he did finish, his score would be a crime against reason.
Kate Austen: 136
Background: She kills a lot of people. Kate knocked her father off because he beat her mother, accidentally killed “the only man she ever loved”, and ridiculously killed/injured a bunch of people in a bank to recover a model airplane her lover once had.
She’s perpetually playing all the alpha-males against each other by flirting relentlessly with everyone (except Charlie, of course, because no one flirts with their lessers). To be fair, Kate is crafty: she works hard and can track animals and people in the forest. But she was born in a trailer, grew up in a red state, and does not appear to have attended college. She’s stranded-on-a-desert-island hot, but not real life hot. With her low-rise jeans and her emaciated body, she kind of looks like an anorexic with a sunburn. But I digress…
LSAT Analysis: It’s hard to overcome the upbringing, especially because she’s a fan of shortcuts (robbing banks, living on the run, etc…). It’s hard to imagine her studying for the LSAT, and it doesn’t seem that her current faculties would get her far. Also pouting and flirting don’t count for much on the LSAT.
Still, Kate would at least complete the exam, which puts her head and shoulders above the others discussed thus far. But her score would be a disgrace.
James “Sawyer” Ford: 132
Background: Sawyer’s father committed suicide after discovering his wife was having sex with a con man who’d stolen the family fortune. So of course Sawyer became a con man. But don’t feel bad for Sawyer; he’s a monster. Immediately upon arriving on the island, he established himself as the most amoral and self-interested of the group, hoarding all the guns and selling people medicine.
Sawyer also speaks in a profoundly annoying southern drawl, though his names for his fellow castaways are admittedly witty. Indiscriminating female watchers sometimes find him to be alluringly dangerous, but such women are analogous to the men who lust after Shannon Rutherford
LSAT Analysis: One might argue that the LSAT isn’t a test of morality, so Sawyer’s nasty ways shouldn’t count against him here. But Sawyer seems not to have graduated from high school, let alone college. He’s accustomed to finding the easy way out, even if ugly behavior is required. He might buy or barter his way to a high score, but if he actually had to take the test, he’d be massacred. He’d smirk at the games and say something clever, but then get every question wrong. His reading comprehension score would suggest total illiteracy (One will recall, he was spotted struggling through Judy Blume books on the island). Sawyer would eke out a few points on logical reasoning, in particular on those questions that really only test animal intelligence. But overall, it would be drubbing.
Hugo Reyes: 141
Background: To say, “It’s complicated”, is to woefully understate the matter. Apparently, Hugo was in an asylum because he saw people who weren’t there. No biggie; happens to all of us. After being released, he got a job at a chicken shop (again, we’ve all been there), played the lottery with numbers he’d heard a schizophrenic repeat endlessly, and won (though he’s been cursed ever since). But again, he didn’t go to college and lacks the practical talents that others have.
LSAT Analysis: One’s sense of cosmic justice would suggest that Hugo ought to be good at the LSAT, ‘cause he ain’t exactly easy on the eyes. But he’s never shown any propensity for disciplined reasoning. He couldn’t even organize a system to preserve the clan’s food, though admittedly this task was might have posed special challenges for Hugo. He’d fare better than those discussed thus far. However, the games would kill him, reading comprehension would put him to sleep and his only hope would be gobbling up some of the easier logical reasoning questions.
Jin-Soo Kwon: 147
Background: Jin has a rags-to-riches story that would make Dickens blush. Born the son of a fisherman, he briefly worked as a bellman in an expensive Seoul hotel. During his tenure, he fell in love with daughter of a wealthy industrialist who happened by the hotel on a failed date. In order to win the approval of her father, he entered the man’s employ and reluctantly became his hitman. After several brutal episodes, he and his bride tried to escape to the US, only to be lost on our island.
LSAT Analysis: The son of a fisherman thing doesn’t hurt his chances on the test, but the lacking any formal education does. Then, there’s the not inconsiderable fact that he doesn’t speak English, even after seasons of being stuck on the island. However, he is industrious as evinced by the fact that he built the world’s most impressive looking raft in an early attempt to escape the island. But still he doesn’t speak the language in which the LSAT is administered.
Here’s the way it would go down. Reading comprehension would be an unholy nightmare and logical reasoning wouldn’t go much better. His salvation would be games, where he would muscle his way through to a score in the low 140s.
So what’s the moral to this story? First, don’t get swine flu on your honeymoon. Second, Itunes can get you though almost any period of confinement. Third, you don’t need a high LSAT score to survive on an island.
Stay tuned for the analysis of the 150’s through the 170’s in the next installment.
Article by Trent Teti of Blueprint LSAT Preparation.