I think better on my feet.
Finally got cold-called today, and it really wasn’t that bad. My notes and highlights were good enough that I could give a decent accounting of the case despite the fact that I couldn’t remember it at the start, and being put on the spot really doesn’t bother me anymore. After teaching, I’ve been asked enough questions I don’t know the answer to that dealing with it again and thinking as I’m talking isn’t an issue.
I’ve often found that my position on any given issue solidifies as I discuss it and advocate for it in a discussion with a friend. I may not have had a solid opinion on the matter prior to the conversation; I may not have even thought about it. But I’m good at making connections and raising objections and refining positions while “under pressure.” The cold-call today was much like that. After running through the basics, I raised an issue with the case and the decision that I had completely failed to notice on my readthrough alone. When asked a general, unrelated question, though, the inconsistency leapt out at me and I constructed my argument for it even as I was communicating it. I do better in those kinds of situations. I enjoy them.
Now, if only I wasn’t an awkward, anti-social nerd, perhaps I would take this realization of my optimal mental settings and go out and study with other people. Hah! Like that will ever happen…