It’s funny, the things you think of when you’re tired. Over the past several days, I’ve had no more than 5 or 6 hours sleep each night and have been relying heavily on cups of coffee, cans of Monster, and B-vitamins to struggle through the day. So between the sleep deprivation, caffeine overload, LSAT classes on both Saturday and Sunday last weekend and the homework on top of that, it’s no surprise that I might have been a little loopy during Wednesday’s lesson. I get the feeling that I was in good company though. My fellow students seemed as bleary eyed and confused as I was.
No one else, however, started laughing out loud during class while Nick, our fearless leader in LSAT-dom, went over flaws of composition. One of the examples given was that you can’t make a bunch of green things red. In my extreme state of sleep deprivation, I immediately thought, “But you totally can make green things red! You put frogs in a blender!” And then I promptly started laughing my ass off. The frogs in a blender incident was followed closely by my thinking that the “Barman” of Gruber and Barman, L.L.P, in the stimulus was really “Batman.” Whatever, I like my version better.
I promise I’m not crazy! I think that I had just reached a point of saturation in which focusing on something was about as easy as carrying water in a sieve. With the first workshop on Saturday followed by lesson 5 on Sunday and its homework, I had been spending a little too much time in LSAT-land.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like learning all of these spiffy methods and tricks, but there comes a time when you feel like you’re one of those little hamster or gerbil things running around on their little wheels, going nowhere. You go through the motions, but it feels like you’re going nowhere. That’s when you know it’s time to take a break. Go do whatever makes you feel happy: work out, talk to your friends, watch some TV, do anything but think about LSAT prep. For me, I’ve been playing a lot of Left 4 Dead 2 recently because nothing says stress relief like a chainsaw and a hoard of zombies to dispatch. Yes, that pile of homework still needs to be done, but taking breaks and de-stressing helps me feel less burnt out.
But back to the LSAT part of LSAT-prep. Flaws! No, this isn’t the “do these jeans make my butt look fat?” sort of flaw, this is the sort of flaw where the “f” stands for FAIL. Thankfully, a few of them are pretty easy to spot like ad hominem (yay, Latin!) and appeals to emotion (because logic doesn’t give a rat’s ass if something makes you cry). Others we covered previously (huzzah for carry-over benefits!) such as the fallacy of the converse. Still others are sneaky little buggers that hinge entirely upon mere words or cleverly disguised omissions of key premises. It seems like a daunting task, but with a little more sleep, I think I’ll be able to get the hang of them.