Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman msl46 at law.georgetown.edu
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Richard Primus raprimus at umich.edu
K. Sabeel Rahmansabeel.rahman at brooklaw.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
There’s a story of a movie pitch meeting where a producer goes into a meeting with the studio head, just says “Eddie Murphy in a dress,” and on the basis of those seven syllables is given millions to make a movie. This YouTube clip spoofs what would happen if pitching came to the family dinner table:
My teenage kids love this clip in part because a mild version of it happens on an almost nightly basis at our own house – with me playing the role of the movie executive dad.
One of the endemic problems of having teenagers is getting them to talk about their school day. Many parents have had verbatim versions of this non-conversation:
Parent: How was you day?
Parent: What happened?
Child: Not Much.
I’ve never asked my kids to pitch me their day. But many a time I have asked them to tell me a story. A story is more than “I got a B+ on my math quiz.” My kids know there has to be two or more people in dialogue and probably a bit of action. Like movie producer dad, I have sometimes rejected my kids’ stories as insufficient. The “tell me a story” trick isn’t quite as good as just chauffeuring my kids around with their friends and listening to what they say to each other, but it beats the heck out of “How was your day?”
By the way, here’s a wonderful clip from Ira Glass, which teaches the art of story telling:
I find myself using Glass’s basic building blocks – the anecdote, the bait, the moment of reflection – all the time.