Thursday the 19th

Yesterday in PTA class, we had a mock-trial. We (the class) really weren’t interested in this. It was abundantly obvious that it was something the PTA professors had fun doing. But we made the most of it—which is to say, it’s probably the most involved and excited our class has ever been. This is what happened:

PTA prof. 1: Over-dramatized accusations that PT in question, Polly {ed. actually, they made a muscley male student play the role of the PT. But they still called him Polly}, poorly treated the patient in question, and ruined her life, because she was a dancer before and now she can’t. Argument mostly revolves around nit-picky complaints about how he/she wrote the notes.

Interject PTA prof 1 with denials and explanations from “Polly”.

PTA prof. 2 Much calmer statement that the PT in question treated his/her patient properly, and that all nit-picky notes problems did not show evidence against that.

Interject PTA prof 2 with affirmations from “Polly” that he really did do a good job.

Concluding nasty closing statement from Prof 1.

Concluding statement from Prof 2.

Prof 1 and 2, and “Polly” exit while we deliberate.

First, a student tries to circumvent the whole “10 minute” process by suggesting we just declare a vote of him being guilty.

Someone else says “Wait, what? I don’t even understand what just happened!”

I say, “Well, I can do a quick fast-forward re-cap, but you’ll all have to listen fast!”

Blond girl on the other side of the room says, “YES! Ready? On your mark, get set, go!”

As fast as I can and in hopefully one (very long run on sentence), I re-cap the scenario.

Loud discussion ensues.

Basic issue? We know that he’s guilty of sloppy note-writing. But does that mean he’s guilty of sloppy care? Having concisely discovered the issue, we think we agree, so we call a vote.

“Guilty?” Only his bestest friend and a the guy from the Bronx raise their hands.

“Wait, what? Am I the only one who thinks he’s guilty?” askes the best friend.

“Innocent?” The remaining 18 or so people.

“Does this have to be unanimous?”

More, lounder, discussion. They guy from the Bronx is adamant the PT is guilty. Yes, yes, we all know he was a lousy note taker (you don’t ever use white-out, for Pete’s sake!!). But that doesn’t mean he didn’t treat her properly.

“But,” the Bronx guy says, “you can’t prove he didn’t treat her wrong. He’s guilty!!”

The class “President” interjects that you’re supposed to assume innocent until proven guilty.

He says he’s going above and beyond that, and he’s assuming guilty until proven innocent.

We managed to convince the bestest friend that there isn’t enough documentation to convict his buddy of wrong doing. He wants the case thrown out on lack of evidence. A couple other people think this might be the best course of action.

A student who was afraid we’d get stuck with a hung jury slips out into the hall. She comes back and says we don’t have to be unanimous.

Somebody finds the exact definition of what negligence is (which is what he’s being accused of). Those of us who can read it can see the case obviously does not fulfill all qualifications.

I read it, VERY LOUDLY over the loud discussion.

Most people hear me.

There is general agreement that the case presented does not fulfill the requirements of negligence.

We call a second vote. Most people say innocent, with a clear mind. The bestest friend will still only grant that the case should be thrown out. The guy from the Bronx still vehemently insists he’s guilty, Guilty, GUILTY!!!!

The PTA professors and the accused come back in.

The guy from the Bronx says, “Because of you, that poor girl lost her LIFE.”

They ask for the verdict. The class president smirks at “Polly” and give a thumbs down.

Then she delivers the verdict of innocence. “Polly” looks relieved.

PTA professor says “Great job, you guys!” with a faintly marveling expression on her face. I think that means, “Normally I don’t get to hear the discussion, but this time I could catch most of it from out in the hall! Nice to know you actually considered the case before calling a verdict.”

{For the record, that was the Bronx guy’s version of fun. He’s shown his sense of humor before; he refuses to let a scenario go by without making it all it can be, whether it be in what physics data he chooses for sample questions or “communications” skits forced upon us in PTA class.

And I’m pretty sure the “Bestest friend” guy was just annoyed because he’d been, as they say, “punk’d” by “Polly” at the start of the class. Actually, “Polly” enlisted the help of PTA prof. 1 in “punk” ing (how do you say that, grammatically?) the bestest friend. And actually, that’s why she chose “Polly” as “Polly”. She said since he made trouble he got to be the “Polly”. }

But most of the time PTA class is very hard not to fall asleep during.

2 Responses to Thursday the 19th

  1. I guess the supposed justification for this activity was to teach you to be careful about liability.

  2. I guess. I sort of think maybe it was just supposed to remind us how people would be picky about what we wrote, even if we felt like it was obvious.

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