You have a predicament on your hands. You’re taking the October 2011 LSAT. You have to study for the October 2011. It’s also Summer. You want to go on vacation. Irreconcilable much? Perhaps. But that’s where this blog post comes in (bet you weren’t expecting that).
While sipping whipped adult beverages and fending off street peddlers in exotic locales don’t exactly scream “180”, going on vacation and preparing for the LSAT don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.
Going to a country whose people have traditionally been oppressed by white male settlers? Perfect. When you’re slogging through your Reading Comprehension preparation you’ll probably find quite a few passages that deal with “native cultures.” These passages will likely mention how such cultures have traditionally been undervalued or marginalized and then suggest a remedy of some sort. Remember this: In the testers’ eyes, the white man is always bad and those he has oppressed should always get some sort of recompense.
While on vacation in “Exotic Land X” make sure you learn to appreciate that country’s native people and culture. If you’re white, like I am, it probably wouldn’t hurt you to feel some remorse for the sins of your forebears as well. Take this attitude with you into the test and you won’t mistakenly pick the answer choice that suggests that the author of passage views the natives’ claims of oppression with “healthy skepticism” (or something equally absurd).
Perhaps you feel like staying domestic. We can work with you there too. I’ve been told that there’s a city in Nevada named “Las Vegas” (quotes inserted for humor, this is where you chuckle a little, but probably not out loud). It seems that people venture to this city in the desert to drink, gamble and do things that they wish their friends would let them forget.
All that debauchery aside (okay, not all of it), Vegas is a great place to work on diagramming conditional statements. For example, you could diagram the following: Your friend Gary will be drinking by himself in his hotel room tonight unless he shaves his back. Remember that “unless” translates to “if . . . not” for our LSAT purposes. In other words our statement translates to: If Gary does not break out the depilatory cream, he’s not gonna get with a lady. Or, if you’re the visual type:
NAIR –> Drinking Alone
Just because it’s fun, you can also use the contrapositive to determine whether you’re going to find a bathtub full of back hair in Gary’s room:
Gary Got With A Lady (i.e. Not Drinking Alone) –> NAIR
In other words, if you see Gary cuddled up with someone he’ll regret “cuddling” with in the morning, his back is smooth and the shower drain is clogged.
I’d hate to leave you with that image as a parting gift . . .