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Carmegeddon: What to do? Study.

All of you are undoubtedly aware of this Carmageddon thing. In LA, there’s always traffic. But this weekend, we have decided to really screw ourselves. The 405 (better known as “concrete hell” to all those who frequent it) will be shut down this weekend.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles, it might be hard to comprehend exactly how dependent people are on their automobiles. This will have far-reaching implications. What are all the douchebags to do if they can’t drive their Porsche around trying to pick up chicks? How in the world will people get to the Whole Foods that is ½ mile away from home? And what’s a weekend if you can’t valet at least 14 times?

Luckily, airlines are helping make a complete spectacle out of the whole thing. For only $4, you can fly from Long Beach (lovely) to Burbank (even lovelier). Why you might ask? To see the traffic from above. Seem crazy? The flights are already sold out. To put this in perspective, let me explain what a large number of people are going to do on Saturday.

Step 1. Find some form of city streets that take you to Long Beach because, remember now, the 405 is closed. Estimated driving time, depending on departure point: 4.5 hours.

Step 2. Sit on a plane and fly for 12 minutes over the same really crappy traffic in which you just sat. Ah, smog and pissed off people… so beautiful.

Step 3. Land in Burbank and then realize that you are in Burbank and your car is in Long Beach. Crap.

Well, I have a better idea for how to spend your weekend: study. Sit in your nice, comfy apartment, eat some ramen, and immerse yourself in a world full of LSAT.

We are roughly 11 weeks out from the LSAT. For most of you, studying is in its early stages. But the early stages are in many ways the most crucial of all.

Here are some tips for the weekend:

1. Piss your friends off by practicing conditional statements.

Sufficiency and necessity are the twin pillars of logic on the LSAT. Understanding conditional statements is essential to your success on the LSAT, which is essential to your success in life. Yep, it’s that important.

You can practice by translating any statements made by your family or friends into conditional statements. Check this out.

Friend: “Harry Potter is, like, totally going to be sold out. We have to go super early if we want to get tickets and skip happy hour.”

You: “Well, dear friend, I think what you are saying is if we choose to see Harry Potter, then we must skip happy hour. From this, we could conclude that attending happy hour would require us to not see Harry Potter. However, it would be fallacious to conclude that if we do not go to happy hour, we must have gone to see Harry Potter. Maybe we did, but we can’t say for sure.”

See, it’s fun for everyone. You can even use it on family members.

Mom: “You are a disgrace. No more borrowing my car, you little nitwit. Unless you do better in school, you will never get the keys again.”

You: “Sweet mother of mine, I can show you just how much I am learning. To diagram an ‘unless’ statement, you can simply negate that condition to form the sufficient condition. Thus, what you are really saying is that if I don’t do better in school, then I will never get the privilege of driving your car. It would also be valid to conclude that if I am found driving the car, then I must have improved my performance in school. Thank you so much for your love and the lesson.”

2. Work on the comprehension part of reading comprehension.

If you have begun to practice reading comp, you are probably aware of the huge obstacle that lay in front of you. You probably know how to read (otherwise, it’s a real puzzle how you got to this point in the post), but reading on the LSAT is a whole different game.

For the next couple months, please institute a strict ban against romance novels and gossip magazines. That type of “reading” actually makes you less intelligent, and that’s not the goal over the next few months. And heck, why not start this weekend?

When you start to attack passages, it’s very important to diagnose your weaknesses. Students are notoriously terrible at this. ‘I’m a slow reader’ or ‘I’m bad at reading comp’ are very common claims heard by instructors, but these are excuses rather than weaknesses.

After you complete a passage, try to isolate the elements in the passage that you missed, by analyzing the questions that you missed. Are you missing the author’s attitude? Getting the specific stuff but missing the big picture? Having trouble drawing inferences from the material? Not seeing the organization?

At this early stage, it’s important to note where you need to tweak your method.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend. As for me, I’m getting in my car right now to head to the Long Beach airport.