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The Lost LSATs

The Lost LSATs
Very recently, I was in one of the world’s most beautiful places (Kauai), when regrettably, I got really sick. As in ten days of not being able to get up and walk outside sick. As in I was stuck in a room staring at the walls like a POW sunrise to sunset. It sucked.

By the fourth day in this miserable (albeit well appointed) prison cell, I had read every book I’d brought, twice. I’d read the entire internet. I’d even acquiesced to reading the fairer sex’s tripartite news lifeline: People, Us, and Life & Style. (The last of these experiences was profoundly damaging, and looking back at it, I now believe that it exacerbated my illness).

I was clawing the walls when a friend asked if I’d ever seen ABC’s Lost. I told him that I hadn’t, and in all honesty, I’d quietly put it in the same mental box as Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, and Everybody Loves Raymond: pieces of popular culture that left me cold.

But because I was laid up, and because iTunes sells seasons I, II,III, and IV, I gave it a try. By try, I mean eight to ten hours of Lost viewing daily, not including the obligatory post-episode discourse with my fellow ailing friends. I’m nowhere near current (since, as I was surprised to learn, Lost seasons contain as many as 25 episodes), but during my confinement, I saw more of these characters than anyone should.

I actually began relating to them. Their lives had been interrupted and so had mine. They were trapped on an island, and so was I. Their island was even next to mine. Really. Lost is filmed in Oahu and I was on Kauai, so I kind of saw them as neighbors. (Disclaimer: I was running a fever during this period).

At a certain point, I knew I was neglecting my responsibilities back in the mundane world of the LSAT, but I had given myself over to the consuming world of Lost. In a certain nausea induced blur, I began to wonder how the characters in Lost would fare on the LSAT. The following are my considered reflections on the matter.

The 120s:

trent_lost_claireClaire Littleton: 121

Background: Chick who gave birth on the island best known for irrationally screaming “My baby!” at every turn in a really annoying and self-righteous manner. Claire’s essentially helpless, possessing no talents or work ethic, and thus entirely dependent on others. Nevertheless, she spends most of her time telling people how little she needs them, only to fall immediately afterward and cry for help.

LSAT Analysis: Claire would collapse and start crying. She might stumble over a couple of correct answers in reading comprehension, but would commit every fallacy known to man on the logical reasoning. I’d also vote her most likely to make interesting shapes with the bubbles on her answer sheet.

trent_lost_shannonShannon Ruthorford: 121

Background: Killed off mercifully early, Shannon used her time on the island to work on her “base tan.” Before reaching the island she actually had sex with her (half) brother and was in the habit of serially extorting him. Her survival skills make Claire look like a Navy SEAL. (Unsurprisingly, the two actresses are, according to IMDB, friends off-set). Even two seasons in, almost all of Shannon’s time was spent reading magazines she’d brought on the plane and lounging in her bikini.

LSAT Analysis: She’s literally too lazy to actually read the questions or bubble in answers. If she were to somehow muster the strength, she’d still be in Claire territory (Did I mention that the actresses are friends off-camera? To be a fly on the wall…) If she actually made it to a testing center, a siege of confusion would descend and she’d end up crying, pouting, and interrupting everyone else’s test as she stomped out of the room.

trent_lost_charlieCharlie Pace: 125

Background: Charlie had one hit with his English rock band before he got addicted to heroin and the band broke up. The only lyric we hear (and we hear it repeatedly) is “You are everyone, You are everyone”, which might be his sensitive investigation into the subject/object distinction. Or it might not mean anything, because Charlie’s a bit of a fool. He worships Claire (a character defining weakness if ever there were one), always wants to hold “the baby.”

Charlie doesn’t hunt, fish, fix electronics, or heal the ill. He can’t fight, negotiate or solve any problem on the island.

LSAT Analysis: Not that the washed up band-member/heroin addict doesn’t make this fairly clear, but he’s no great mind. I’ve actually known other washed up band-members/heroin addicts who were far brighter than Charlie. He’d probably just give up on the test and go over to see if he could fan Claire, or wipe the sweat from her brow. Even if he did finish, his score would be a crime against reason.

The 130s:

trent_lost_kateKate Austen: 136

Background: She kills a lot of people. Kate knocked her father off because he beat her mother, accidentally killed “the only man she ever loved”, and ridiculously killed/injured a bunch of people in a bank to recover a model airplane her lover once had.

She’s perpetually playing all the “alpha-males” against each other by flirting relentlessly with everyone (except Charlie, of course, because no one flirts with their lessers). To be fair, Kate is crafty: she works hard and can track animals and people in the forest. But she does not appear to have attended college.

LSAT Analysis: It’s hard to overcome the upbringing, especially because she’s a fan of shortcuts (robbing banks, living on the run, etc…). It’s hard to imagine her studying for the LSAT, and it doesn’t seem that her current faculties would get her far. Also pouting and flirting don’t count for much on the LSAT.

Still, Kate would at least complete the exam, which puts her head and shoulders above the others discussed thus far. But her score would be a disgrace.

trent_lost_sawyerJames “Sawyer” Ford: 132

Background: Sawyer’s father committed suicide after discovering his wife was having sex with a con man who’d stolen the family fortune. So of course Sawyer became a con man. But don’t feel bad for Sawyer; he’s a monster. Immediately upon arriving on the island, he established himself as the most amoral and self-interested of the group, hoarding all the guns and selling people medicine.

Sawyer also speaks in a profoundly annoying southern drawl, though his names for his fellow castaways are admittedly witty.

LSAT Analysis: One might argue that the LSAT isn’t a test of morality, so Sawyer’s nasty ways shouldn’t count against him here. But Sawyer seems not to have graduated from high school, let alone college. He’s accustomed to finding the easy way out, even if ugly behavior is required. He might buy or barter his way to a high score, but if he actually had to take the test, he’d be massacred. His reading comprehension score would suggest total illiteracy (One will recall, he was spotted struggling through Judy Blume books on the island). Sawyer would eke out a few points on logical reasoning, in particular on those questions that really only test animal intelligence. But overall, it would be drubbing.

The 140s:

trent_lost_hurlyHugo Reyes: 141

Background: To say, “It’s complicated”, is to woefully understate the matter. Apparently, Hugo was in an asylum because he saw people who weren’t there. No biggie; happens to all of us. After being released, he got a job at a chicken shop (again, we’ve all been there), played the lottery with numbers he’d heard a schizophrenic repeat endlessly, and won (though he’s been cursed ever since). But again, he didn’t go to college and lacks the practical talents that others have.

LSAT Analysis: One’s sense of cosmic justice would suggest that Hugo ought to be good at the LSAT. But he’s never shown any propensity for disciplined reasoning. He couldn’t even organize a system to preserve the clan’s food, though admittedly this task was might have posed challenges for Hugo. He’d fare better than those discussed thus far. However, reading comprehension would put him to sleep and his only hope would be gobbling up some of the easier logical reasoning questions.

So what’s the moral to this story? First, don’t get swine flu on your honeymoon. Second, Itunes can get you through almost any period of confinement. Third, you don’t need a high LSAT score to survive on an island.

Stay tuned for the analysis of the 150’s through the 170’s in the next installment.

Article by Trent Teti of Blueprint LSAT Preparation.