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Happy Saturnalia!

Today is the last day of Saturnalia, the ancient Roman winter festival. Congratulations to our many Roman pagan readers!

Here's what Saturnalia involved, according to the Encyclopedia Romana:

During the holiday, restrictions were relaxed and the social order inverted. Gambling was allowed in public. Slaves were permitted to use dice and did not have to work. . . Within the family, a Lord of Misrule was chosen. Slaves were treated as equals, allowed to wear their masters' clothing, and be waited on at meal time in remembrance of an earlier golden age thought to have been ushered in by the god. In the Saturnalia, Lucian relates that "During My week the serious is barred; no business allowed. Drinking, noise and games and dice, appointing of kings and feasting of slaves, singing naked, clapping of frenzied hands, an occasional ducking of corked faces in icy water—such are the functions over which I preside."

Although Saturnalia is ending, it's not too late to take advantage of the inversion of the social order. Professors switching places with students fits well with the Roman custom of slaves switching places with masters. So if any of my students want to grade the huge pile of Property exams currently awaiting my ministrations, you are more than welcome!

Student:
Prof. Somin,

I'd be more than happy to grade my exam.
12.23.2008 12:17pm
Felix Sulla:
Io, Saturnalia!
12.23.2008 12:19pm
Azatoth:
Mmmmmm ... The Rule Against Perpetuities
12.23.2008 12:22pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
So if any of my students want to grade the huge pile of Property exams currently awaiting my ministrations, you are more than welcome!
Sheesh, how hard is it to throw them down the steps and see which go farthest?
12.23.2008 12:36pm
Oren:
Off topic, but possible appropriate link.
12.23.2008 12:39pm
JB:
Also on topic is this Wondermark
12.23.2008 12:58pm
theobromophile (www):
Personally, I'm waiting for Sol Invictus Day, but can do some celebrating between now and then.

So if any of my students want to grade the huge pile of Property exams currently awaiting my ministrations, you are more than welcome!

Scan them in, post them here, attach a poll underneath, and we'll grade from the comfort of our snowed-in homes. The comment sections alone ought to provide more feedback than a 1L will get from all of his other classes, combined.
12.23.2008 1:07pm
Oren:
Damn you FERPA!!!
12.23.2008 1:17pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I personally favor Yule, which basically has 12 intercalery (sp?) days which involve divination and parties.

By my calendar, we are neither in 2008 nor 2009 today but somewhere in between......
12.23.2008 1:37pm
ASlyJD (mail):
Let me get this straight -- you lecture ~12 hours a week, probably spend another 12 prepping for class/ office hours/ answering student email, and get to spend the rest of your time researching/ writing/ blogging. And you're complaining about grading exams whose grades you need not post for another three weeks? I'll switch for the rest of the semester! It'd have to be more fun than teaching at an inner city high school. (When I think about dropping out of law school, I remember teaching and think how, no matter how bad things get, professors/judges won't get in my face and tell me to F-- off.)

Theo, that would be great. I could always use the help! :)
12.23.2008 1:43pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.... very convenient timing for the professors, that the switch would require the students to do the professor's work, but not require the professor to do the student's work (i.e., actually TAKE the exam)...
12.23.2008 1:54pm
theobromophile (www):
PatHMV,

There's very important work to be done by students at this time of year. Hot chocolate duty? Tough stuff - especially if you eschew that Swiss Miss garbage. Packing up and driving home? Mall-crawling at 4 am for Christmas presents, because finals don't leave time for that stuff? Don't even get me started on making batches of chocolate chip cookies and peppermint bark.
12.23.2008 2:11pm
Hoosier:
HBO's "Rome" made it appear as if some of this behavior was a daily occurrence.

Which was cool.
12.23.2008 2:22pm
Mongoose388:
It's Festivus for the rest of us!Long live George Costanza!
12.23.2008 2:35pm
Ilya Somin:
Hmmmm.... very convenient timing for the professors, that the switch would require the students to do the professor's work, but not require the professor to do the student's work (i.e., actually TAKE the exam)...

Since I know all the answers and in any case don't care what grade I would get, I would be more than happy to take the exam if the students would then do all the grading! Do we have a deal?
12.23.2008 2:46pm
Dave N (mail):
if any of my students want to grade the huge pile of Property exams currently awaiting my ministrations, you are more than welcome!
As one of my favorite law professors once said, "I teach for free; they pay me to grade."
12.23.2008 3:39pm
Dan Weber (www):
Keep Saturn in Saturnalia!
12.23.2008 3:40pm
PersonFromPorlock:

Professors switching places with students fits well with the Roman custom of slaves switching places with masters.

Wouldn't (tenured) professors switching places with adjuncts fit even better?
12.23.2008 3:44pm
Nate Bissonette (mail):
Sure, send them up, our lawyers are all Board Certified as Real Property Specialists. Snowing and below zero here anyway, be nice to have a break from mortgage foreclosures.

By the way, we're in a state with both abstract and Torrens systems operating in parallel. Does that matter?

Nathan Bissonette
Deputy Examiner of Titles
Ramsey County, Minnesota
12.24.2008 4:54pm
Hoosier:
PersonFromPorlock:

You win the thread.

Hell, you win the blog.
12.24.2008 6:06pm
Hoosier:
Dan Weber:

I'm with you. The pagan holidays are getting too commercialized.
12.24.2008 6:08pm

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