Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Semester Ends. My Students Shine

The Semester Again Ends

I work here for one reason.  I love my students.  

The young women here are getting the skills they need to serve as leaders in this quickly evolving country.  Those graduates with especially good English-language skills will find opportunities that open as Qatar plays an expanding role on the international stage.  

They remind me of me when I graduated from law school in 1982, when only 8 percent of all lawyers in the U.S. were women. They will face many of the same challenges entering the legal profession here.  At the same time, they understand that the ongoing recognition of human rights in the country will support their career ambitions.  They have many great female role models to emulate. 

We are close to ending the Fall 2017 semester.  I teach one of the skills courses QU College of Law offers: Legal Research & Writing I.  This required course serves as the first course in our Legal Skills Program.  Before graduation, students must also complete the second course in the series, Legal Research & Writing II.  Students typically leave the courses to the last year.  Accordingly, they have created great pressure on themselves to pass both courses on the first try. 

During Week 1 of the course, I promise students that -- if they work hard, attend class, do the homework, and file their assessments on time -- I will get them through the course.  They are worried at first.  It requires them to shift thinking from civil law to common law.  It requires them to write in English as a second language.  They must complete 18 assessments!

In the past few weeks, they have begun to relax.  They know they can do the work.  They will pass the course. Their attention has shifted to their letter grades and GPA.  

But, we have also gotten more playful with each other.  They laugh more in class. They smile when I crack jokes or do a silly pantomime to illustrate the story of a case. Last week, I played the role of a confused Alabaman trying to decide in which donut shop she had entered -- Donut Joe's or The Donut Chef.  

I have had larger enrollments in the course this year, so it has been harder to get to know each student individually.  During the past two weeks, I have held conferences with each student.  These meetings have given me an opportunity to see their individual personalities.  I really do love them so.  

I have been so pleased to see their work product.  I am so proud of them.  

Two more weeks, and I set them off on the path to graduation.  I hope they keep in touch.  I would love to know how they change this part of the world over their lifetimes. 

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