Studying with Victoria: Puzzled by LSAT Logic

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As our nation celebrated its 234th birthday with fireworks and apple pie, I bundled up in a sweater and did my lesson 1 homework because, after spending a semester translating Plato, I’m used to that not having a life feeling. And the sweater? The “sunny” part of “sunny southern California” is a lie, as is the phrase “June gloom.” It’s gloomy whenever it damn well pleases, which is most of the summer.

But I digress. The homework went well, and dare I say it, I actually enjoyed doing the logic games. I won’t say that I breezed through each question, but I wasn’t banging my head against the table and cursing the day I decided to go to law school either. All in all, we’ll chalk that up in the win column.

After doing the homework, I was feeling pretty good about life and the LSAT in general, right up until the first ten minutes of lesson 2. Yep, good feeling is gone! The questions got harder, the pace got faster, and that nasty, panicky feeling returned.

Conjunctions and disjunctions got new functions that Schoolhouse Rock seemed to have missed. Who knew that “and” could become “or” when you make a contrapositive? Consider my mind blown. The section on logical force and modality reinforced that you must read for logic first and then English, and reminded me to review my German before school starts again because the last time I’d even thought about modality was in May. Then we were introduced to the subcategories of the implication family of logical reasoning questions. Subcategories?! Really? At least there were flowcharts involved to break down the madness into more manageable chunks. I haven’t seen a flowchart that useful since high school Latin.

Speaking of Latin, one of my teachers had a saying about perfection. The saying is a bit of a pun on the names for verb tenses, but I think you can get the gist of it without being a language nerd: “The imperfect is progressive. You’re only perfect when you’re dead.” I try to remind myself of this whenever I get questions wrong in class. Yes, it’s embarrassing and frustrating to keep making mistakes, but eventually, it’s going to click. You are progressing; it might not be an exponential progression, it might not even be a linear progression, but those starts, spurts, and plateaus are getting you somewhere.

In other important news, I finally registered for the LSAT! Like washing dishes or doing laundry, filling in registration forms is a necessary evil. You could drag your heels and keep putting it off for weeks of tomorrows until you’re out of plates, your closet is empty, and it’s October 8th, but we all know that’s not going to end well. I may have to do my laundry tomorrow, but at least I won’t be scrambling for a test center.

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