June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, passage 1 summary

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Reading Comprehension, more than any other part of the LSAT, is a battle of will. I fought this same battle in law school, every single time I sat down to read: Must”¦ not”¦ zone”¦ out. Must”¦ pay”¦ attention”¦

The first time I read this passage, I had to stop after reading the first paragraph, go back, and read it again. Why did I have to read it again? Well, I had to read it again because the first time I read it, I had no fucking clue what it said.

It takes some discipline to do this, but it's really really important that you do. If you proceed to the second paragraph without knowing what the first paragraph said, all you're doing is digging a deeper hole for yourself. It's not good that I spaced out during my first attempt. But there's nothing I can do about that now, and I don't want to compound the problem. The only sensible play is to reread, and see if I can dig myself out of these weeds.

OK, I've reread it. I think the basic point is this: There is some dude with a fake-sounding name, Booker T. Whatley, who is some kind of advocate for small farmers. He thinks that small farms can be successful if they follow his guidelines. I wonder what those guidelines might be? On to the next paragraph.

After reading the second paragraph, all I can think is that this is some hippie bullshit. The guidelines for the small farms include growing at least ten different crops (sounds complicated), marketing their products via “clientele membership clubs,” in which people would pay for the privilege of coming to the farm and harvesting their food (no thanks, I would prefer to pick it up at the store or better yet have it delivered). Both of those recommendations seem like nonsense to me. I like the final recommendation though: “Grow only crops that clients ask for.” I can get behind that! Why grow stuff that the market doesn't want? I'm feeling a lot happier at the end of paragraph 2, because I've finally gotten my teeth into the passage. If I can ridicule somebody, I can answer questions about their argument. No offense, Mr. Whatley's-his-name.

After reading the third paragraph, I think the hippie bullshit is getting deeper. Whatley's-his-name says that “pick-your-own” farming is a good idea because harvesting is expensive. Well, yeah. It's expensive because harvesting sucks, and people break their backs doing it. Mr. Whatley is going to get 1,000 city-slickers to drive to the sticks and tromp around in the mud every single week to get their produce? With the bugs and wind and beating sun? Dude. I live in San Francisco, the hippiest/hipsterest city in America, and I still don't think there's a legitimate market for this. I'm very happy right now by the way”¦ I totally get this passage.

The last paragraph provides some more recommendations. The farms should be no more than 40 miles away from a city, have well-drained soil and a ready water source (no shit), and carry a million bucks in liability insurance, which sounds expensive. The most laughable part of the last paragraph, if not the entire plan, is that Whatley considers hard-surfaced roads “city-to-farm” roads, rather than “farm-to-market” roads. I kinda envy Whatley his passion”¦ he seems to really believe this bullshit. I, however, don't.

Before looking at the questions, I'll ask myself:  “Why is the author wasting my time with this?” The idea is to put the main conclusion into my own words before I get tainted by any of the questions. I think the author wanted to waste my time by telling me about Booker T. Whatley, a crazy person who has a bunch of nonsensical hippified ideas about how small farms might be able to survive. The questions shouldn't pose any difficulty, because I've engaged sufficiently with the passage.

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Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project