If You’re Going to be a Duck You Need to Learn to Quack – One L Quote

Out of class, school became an environment of legal talk, almost all of it well-spoken. I reported to Annette each night my general wonder at how enormously articulate everybody seemed. And people were beginning to inject that new vocabulary into their conversation, speaking Legal to each other. It was strange at first to hear classmates saying in the hallways, “Quaere if that position can be supported?” or employing Legal in other contexts—“Let me add a caveat” to mean “Let me give you a warning.” People were self-conscious about how oratorical and windy they sounded. They uttered a little hiccup or a laugh when they tried out their Legal, but most of us persisted, practicing on each other.

It was Nicky Morris who most neatly summed up what we were all trying to do in using legalisms. In the last meeting of Civil Procedure that week, a woman answered a question Morris had posed. “The court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the person,” she said.

“I’m not sure I know what that means,” Morris told the woman, “but I’m still glad to hear you talking that way. After all,” he said, “you can’t be a duck until you learn to quack.”

Turow, Scott. One L 
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What became so popular at your school that the teachers had to ban it?

Rulers. Year 10 in HS for whatever reason someone decided to smack a guy across the head with a ruler. Then everyone went out and bought a ruler.

Suddenly everyone was a knight with a sword. Staff kept confiscating them but rulers are cheap so kids just went out and bought them by the handful.

They ended up banning rulers. At a school. The kids who were taking geometry that year and needed them had to be assigned rulers at the beginning of class and then turn them back in.

If you rub the metal edge of a ruler against the sole of your shoe really fast back and forth it gets hot enough to seriously burn someone and leave a scar.

A kid did that to me back in 8th grade. Hurt like hell and left a mark that took a decade to fade. I was pissed!

When I was in elementary a girl took one of those rulers with the raised rubber grip on the flat side and rubbed it up and down in the middle of her forehead really fast. Ended up leaving a scar at least until end of highschool. None of us ever understood why she did that.

Edit: thank you, kind stranger, for the gold. I’m very happy this poor girls misfortune could get me a Reddit award. Stay strong, she-who-shall-not-be-named.

Kids did that with erasers on the back of their hands at my middle school! They’d rub until they had an open wound and they’d just keep it up so that it never healed. School couldn’t ban erasers, but kids with open wounds on the back of their hands got in trouble. And this wasn’t the emo crowd doing this, the most popular kids in school started the trend. I thought it was stupid in middle school, and now as an adult I’m honestly concerned about the girls who started the trend…

I had a girlfriend in high school do took an eraser and rubbed my initials into her arm when we broke up. I think that only reinforced the fact that I made a good decision to break things off.

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