There is no Spoon: the LSAT as Taught to Keanu
- May 04, 2010
- Odds and Ends
So it occurred to me recently, while settling in for my 21st viewing of Point Break, that teaching the LSAT is a truly bodacious experience. I work less than 20 hours a week, I get to teach about dinosaurs and Thurgood Marshall, and I make enough money to travel the world in my downtime. But while watching Point Break, I was trying to figure out how it would be to teach the LSAT to the various characters from the great Keanu Reeves’ filmography.
Yes, way, way too much time on my hands.
So, without further ado, here’s my rundown of how that would go. These are actual lines from the actual movies. Party on, dudes.
JD: Ok, here we go, first student of the day. So what’s your name?
JU: The name’s Johnny Utah!
JD: Right. Love the enthusiasm. Let’s test your diagramming skills and go over a conditional statement. ‘If the Feds bust Bodhi, he’ll flee to Mexico.’
JU: He’s not coming back.
JD: Yeah, I get that, we all miss Swayze, but let’s stick to the point. Can you please just give me the contrapositive of that statement?
JU: Okay. I get it. This is where you tell me that “locals rule”, and that yuppie insects like me shouldn’t be surfing the break, right?
JD: Umm, not exactly. Look, we may have gotten off on the wrong foot here. I’m only trying to help you study for the LSAT.
JU: I went to law school – I got a football scholarship!
JD: This is ridiculous. If you have already been to law school why are you studying for the LSAT, to meet college girls??
JD: Beg your pardon?
JU: The correct term is babes, sir.
JD: Thank you Officer Utah, this has been eye-opening. I think it’s best if you leave.
JU: Vaya con Dios, brah.
Officer Jack Traven
JD: Hello sir, Officer Traven I see. First off I want to thank you for protecting and serving this great city of Los Angeles, and tell you it would be my honor to help you get a great LSAT score. Let’s start this session by looking at the infamous bus stop game from the October 2008 exam.
Jack: I’d want to know what bus it was…
JD: It really doesn’t matter, officer, it’s just a shuttle bus with 4 people who will be getting off one at a time at four different stops.
Jack: I’m a cop! LAPD! There’s a bomb on your bus! There is a bomb on your bus!
JD: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Take it easy, Jack. Purely hypothetical here, there are just a few rules determining the outcome of how these imaginary players get off this theoretical bus. We just need to figure out who gets out where, and in which order.
Jack: Maybe we can do something about these hostages.
JD: Wow, sir, you are really missing the point here. There are no hostages, just four passengers and four stops.
Jack: Shoot the hostage.
JD: What?! Are you out of your mind? Sir, seeing as though you’re both an officer of the law and an aspirant to a legal career, frankly I’m terrified. This is purely a logic game used to measure your analytical reasoning skills.
Jack: It’s a game…
JD: Precisely, maybe now we’re getting it.
Jack: …if he gets the money, he wins. If the bus blows up, he wins.
JD: To hell with it, you lost me again. There is nothing wrong with this bus!
Jack: Harry, there’s enough C-4 on this thing to put a hole in the world!
JD: My name is not Harry, and clearly you are suffering from a massive case of PTSD. I think it would be best for everyone if we ended this session now.
Jack: Why, because you didn’t get to kill everyone?
JD: Officer Traven, I had no desire to kill anyone, I just wanted to help you study for the LSAT. Frankly, this whole experience has been way too intense for me, and I think we need to stop.
Jack: I have to warn you, I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.
JD: Yeah, I’m starting to see that.
Ted: I am Ted of San Dimas, and, uh, I bring to you a message of love.
JD: Seriously? Fantastic. Look, kid. Please tell me you are serious about this tutoring session. Did you complete the reading comp passage about Genghis Khan?
Ted: This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman’s Sporting Goods. We are in most excellent shape for our report.
JD: Wow. I’m speechless.
Ted: Party on, dudes!
JD: No, Ted. Party off, dude. If you want to improve your score you need to actually study. Take a look at this flaw question about Freudianism.
Ted: Dude, it’s Sigmund Frood. How’s it goin’, Frood-dude?
JD: Are you high? Honestly, I can smell the weed in those brownies from here.
Ted: I believe our adventure through time has taken a most serious turn.
JD: Yes, I suppose you could say that. Look, I think you should go.
Ted: You totally blew it, dude!
JD: No, Ted, you blew it. You’re the student who does absolutely no homework, I’m just the teacher who’s running out of patience.
Ted: And I am the Duke of Ted. And we’re….. WYLD STALLYNS!!
JD: (points to the door) Out.
JD: Alright, finally, last student of the day. Mr. Anderson, is it?
Neo: My name is Neo.
JD: Sure. What the hell. Listen, I’ve had a ridiculous day, let’s just try and focus and get some studying in. Deal?
Neo: Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger, and you give me my phone call
JD: You know, I’ve never physically assaulted one of my students before, but nothing that happens today would really surprise me at this point. Whew, ok, ok, deep breaths. Okay, I am willing to give this one last shot. Let’s please talk about conditional statements. Try this claim: “If the dinner doesn’t serve soup, then there is no spoon.”
Neo: There is no spoon?
JD: Precisely. Now, there is a way of restating that condition on other words using a very handy and powerful tool called the contrapositive.
Neo: Jesus Christ. That thing’s real??
JD: It’s very real, just relax and take a deep breath.
Neo: Okey dokey… free my mind. Right, no problem, free my mind, free my mind, no problem. Right…
JD: Ok I’ll get you started. We need to flip and negate both terms from the original statement to reach a valid deduction. If there is a spoon, then what do we get?
Neo: Guns. Lots of guns.
JD: Umm, no. What we get is soup for dinner.
Neo: If that’s true, then I’ve made a mistake and you should kill me now.
JD: Look, uh…, Neo, I’m not going to kill you. You do understand I’m here to help, right? And if you actually find a way to focus and learn these concepts you will see a major increase in your LSAT score?
Neo: Some people go their entire lives without hearing news that good.
JD: Well if that tickles your fancy, then you should seriously consider taking a class with Blueprint. Not only do you get that major score increase, but you’ll actually enjoy yourself as we train you in becoming an LSAT ninja.
Neo: I know kung fu.
JD: I’m sure you do. But like I said, keep learning and practicing the Blueprint methods, and pretty soon you’ll have a high enough score to get you into any law school you wish.
JD: Tell me about it.
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